Security forces fired tear gas at activists during the demonstrat

  during which some protesters called for the April presidential elections to be called off altogether and for parliament to be dissolved to make the way for a new government.

  Activists chanted, “Republic, not monarchy,” and “No to the fifth mandate,” a

mong other slogans rejecting the continuation of Bouteflika’s term on Friday. Some placards read “leave means leave.”

  Video on social media showed protesters this week setting pictures of Bouteflika on fire amid w

histles and cheers — scenes that are uncommon in a country tightly controlled by security services.

  The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces has started a ground operation to clear the la

st ISIS enclave in Syria, a spokesman for the group told CNN Friday.

  SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said thousands of civilians ha

ve been evacuated and kidnapped fighters have been freed in Baghouz, in eastern Syria,

  ”Only the terrorists remain in Baghouz.” Bali said in a tweet.

  At its height, ISIS controlled huge swaths of territory in Syria an

d Iraq. A US-led coalition has been working for years to oust the group from cities and towns.

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One soldier in Baghouz during the evacuation of civilians

  told CNN that the wives of ISIS martyrs are there with their children and they don’t want to leave. Multiple US officials to

ld CNN’s Barbara Starr that civilians still remain in the last piece of territory remaining under ISIS control.

  Trump surprises allies, claims US-backed forces reclaimed 100% of ISIS territory in Syria

  Trump surprises allies, claims US-backed forces reclaimed 100% of ISIS territory in Syria

  David Eubank, director of the Free Burma Rangers, a Christian humanitarian group t

hat operates in the area, estimates that in the last month, around 15,000 people have fled Bagh

ouz.Before the offensive started, SDF officials estimated that 1,500 civilians and 500 ISIS fighters remained, but a

s the assault got under way it became clear that the actual number was much higher.

  The militants include some of the most battle-hardened and experienced personnel rem

aining in ISIS. Some of those being used as human shields are the wives and children of those ISIS fighters.

  On Thursday, President Donald Trump said that US-backed forces have retaken 100% of the territory once claim

ed by ISIS in Syria. That announcement surprised US officials and regional allies leading the fight who told CNN

the battle isn’t over. An SDF officer said the group was surprised by the statement and said fighting has been ongoing.

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Roger Federer claims 100th title with revenge victory

  Federer, who moves back to number four in the world, had endured a frustrating wait since lifting his 99th tour-lev

el trophy last October in Basel, while the 20-year-old Tsitsipas was fresh from claiming the Marseille Open crown last weekend.

  ”I’m delighted. It’s great to win my eighth here in Dubai and in combination with my 100th si

ngles title,” he said.Federer imposed himself on his youthful opponent from the start, brea

king him in the very first game and then saving two break points when serving for the opening set.

  The second was closer, but Federer made his breakthrough against the Tsitsipas del

ivery in the ninth game and served out to love to clinch the title and enter the tennis history books.

  ”I don’t know if he was born when I won my first title,” he joked about his youthful

opponent in the on-court interviews, but Federer’s longevity has been remarkable.

  Since his first title as a 19-year-old, Federer has won at least one trophy in every season si

nce with at least four titles in 16 of the past 18 seasons, including a record 20 grand slam crowns.

  Frenchman Julien Boutter faced him in that Milan final

and at the time had no inkling he would go on to dominate tennis for so many years.

  ”He was still so young, still far from the top 10, never mind the best

player in the world. It’s not possible to say, but it’s not impossible for him,” he told CNN.

  Only Connors with 109 titles stands ahead of him, within Federer’s reach if he can stay motivated and injury free.

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According to a survey by the Ministry of Water Resources in

there were 6,092 major sewage outlets along the Yangtze.

The Ecology and Environment Ministry also noted some improvements in w

ater quality nationwide. As of the end of last year, 95 percent of 1,062 black, odorous water

bodies in 36 major cities across China have been removed or cleaned up, the statement said on Feb 28.

The volume of good quality water nationwide has reached 71 perce

nt, a year-on-year increase of 3.1 percentage points, the statement said.

Zhang also highlighted other challenges to be faced. He said that many drinking water source

s in rural areas are still under weak management, and many rivers and lakes are in need of aquatic vegetation.

“We believe that by 2020 a repeatable and constructive tech

nology and work model will be developed as a reference for future work,” he said.

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Trump-Kim summit shows need for more talks

United States President Donald Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea top leader K

im Jongun did not sign any deal at their second summit in Hanoi on Thursday. So what will US-DPRK r

elations be like in the future? Two experts share their views with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Both sides should show patience to continue talks

That no agreements were signed between the US and the DPRK in Hanoi came as a surprise since ex

pectations were high that the second Trump-Kim summit would yield at least a US-DPRK peace trea

ty, if not a pact on verifying the DPRK’s dismantled nuclear facilities or establishing a US liaison office in Py

ongyang, or an agreement on Washington partly lifting sanctions against Pyongyang.

In fact, the US tried to lower the expectations before the sum

mit by calling for long-term negotiations. It was confirmed at the post-summit news confe

rence of Trump that the sticking point between the two sides is Washington’s refusal to accept Py

ongyang’s demand to lift the sanctions in one fell swoop, and Pyongyang’s rejection of Washington’s proposal that it shoul

d do something “meaningful” to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula before getting any sanctions relief.

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Without mutual trust, neither the US will accept the

demand for lifting the sanctions at one go, nor will Pyongyang dismantle all its nuclear facilit

ies and destroy its nuclear weapons in compliance with Washington’s demand.

Perhaps this lack of mutual trust prevented Kim and Trump from signing any agreem

ents at their second summit. Or maybe they didn’t sign any agreements because the two sides had not m

ade good preparations to reach consensuses on even very important issues.

With no agreements planned in advance, all the problems were left for the two leaders to dis

cuss and decide. And even if the two leaders have formed a good personal friendship, as Trump claimed, th

ey cannot be expected to compromise their countries’ positions on complicated historical issues.

Yet the second summit cannot be regarded as a failure, especia

lly because the Trump administration has left room for further talks with Pyongyang.

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Trump was cautious about reaching any consensus with

Kim, as he would have to face more pressure at home. And perhaps that’s why he said he was not in a rush to sign an agreement.

As discussions on denuclearization have become more detailed, Tr

ump better understands the complexity of the issue, resolving which has become a tough cha

llenge for not only the US and the DPRK, but also China, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

The US should therefore work out a long-term plan to resolve the pen

insula nuclear issue. In fact, Trump said there is no need to increase sanctions on Pyon

gyang, and indicated that Washington will continue making efforts to negotiate with Pyongyang.

As for the international community, it should help the US and the DPR

K to restore permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, because it would create dev

elopment opportunities not only on the peninsula but also in the whole of Northeast Asia.

Wang Sheng, a researcher at the Co-Innovat ion Center for Korean Penin

sula Studies and a professor of international politics at Jilin University

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Three billion trips made during 40-day Spring Festival trav

The 40-day-long Spring Festival travel rush, which came to an end on March 1, recorded thre

e billion trips made during the period, according to the Ministry of Transport, CCTV reported.

The rush saw 410 million railway trips, up 7.4 percent on a yearly ba

sis, while road trips fell 0.8 percent to 2.46 billion. The number of waterway trips stayed same as last

year at 41 million, while plane travel jumped 12 percent to 73 million this year, the data showed.

Local transportation departments improved transfer efficiency for travelers by extending the operation time of s

ubways, launching night bus lines, and arranging taxis pick-up at night, the Ministry said.

Customized passenger buses and bus booking services in rural and urban areas also met the perso

nalized travel needs of certain passengers during the spring festival holiday.

E-tickets and self-service check-in were mass applied in this year’s travel, with self-service check-i

n available in 300 train stations nationwide. Passengers were also offered the option to scan their sec

ond-generation ID cards for quick check-in at nearly 700 high-speed train stations, according to the report.

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Bayer will continue to support green and digital developmen

German company Bayer’s agriculture division Bayer Crop Science in China and China’s National Ag

ricultural Technology Extension Service Center (NATESC) under the Ministry of Agriculture jointly lau

nched the Action Plan for Enhancing Green Development Capability in Beijing on Wednesday.

The plan, a large non-profit training project co-sponsored by Bayer and the NATESC, is an

important topic under the framework of Sino-German agricultural cooperation.

To respond to the needs of green and quality development in Chinese agriculture, it a

ims to build green development capacities among key players, such as local officials and tec

hnicians in agriculture, executives in new types of agribusinesses, serve organizations and lead in co-operatives.

The project will be implemented for five years from 2019, covering all provincial regions.

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In an interview with China Daily Website on Tuesday

 Jesus Madrazo, a member of Bayer’s executive leadership team and head of Agricultural Affai

rs and Sustainability for the Crop Science division of Bayer, said the company, sensing tremendous op

portunities in China, is constantly looking for opportunities to expand its operations in China.

“There is a broad recognition that China has made tremendous prog

ress in not only advancing food security, but also about the quality of what is grown, and gro

w it not only more but also better, better for the consumers and better for the environment.”

He said Bayer, having been operating in the Chinese market for more than 30 years, plans to be here for many decades to co

me to support the agricultural development and introduce the best products and technologies.

Bayer Crop Science Greater China Country Head Huang Weidong said China has bee

n vigorously supporting the development and upgrading of agricultural industry and opening the doo

r to new technologies, new business models, digital agriculture and digital-related applications.

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