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Economic Watch: China mulls five******
BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- China is taking further steps to increase its support for the country's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with solid measures to encourage sci-tech innovation and stimulate their vitality.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is working on a five-year plan for the growth of SMEs, which underlines key tasks including improving a level playing field, increasing financing availability and enhancing innovation capacity and professionalism.
From 2021 to 2025, the country is expected to incubate and cultivate about one million innovative SMEs and 100,000 SMEs that feature specialization, refinement, uniqueness and innovation, said MIIT Minister Xiao Yaqing.
According to Xiao, the country also plans to incubate 10,000 "little giant" firms, which refer to small enterprises, still in the early stage of development, focusing on the new generation of information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, biomedicine and other high-end fields.
A total of 1,140 "little giant" companies enjoyed operating margins of 13.2 percent in the first eight months, an MIIT survey showed.
To further improve the technological innovation capacity of SMEs and resolve their difficulties, the country is unfolding a slew of measures.
China plans to build a number of national manufacturing innovation centers and generic technology platforms in key areas, as well as to support the integration of small and medium-sized enterprises into industrial chains, supply chains and value chains, according to the MIIT.
Calling for integrated innovation development pattern for large, medium and small enterprises and upstream and downstream firms, the ministry also proposed to increase inclusive finance support for small and micro-businesses.
Providing richer asset certificates for SMEs and reducing their loan pressure would be one of the many innovative practices to solve their financing difficulties and delayed payment and collection.
As of June 2021, Chinese logistics service platform Lionbridge has served more than 3,000 small, medium and micro logistics enterprises and provided financing support of more than 900 million yuan (about 140.87 million U.S. dollars), by conducting asset capability assessment based on big data covering car rental, shipment and transportation volume.
In addition, some industrial internet platforms have provided financing services for SMEs in the industrial chain by enriching information and capability certificates such as supply chain delivery and stocking.
To solve the problems of insufficient credit construction and direct financing, more efforts will be made to promote the establishment and improvement of enterprise-related data and information-sharing mechanisms and to support fintech to empower SMEs in financing innovation, according to the MIIT. Enditem
Steve Bruce considers retirement after being sacked by Newcastle******
LONDON, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Newcastle United has sacked Steve Bruce from his position as manager following just over two seasons in charge of the club form the north-east of England.
Bruce had expected to be sacked almost immediately in the wake of the Saudi takeover of the club on October 7th, but clung on for a few days more and was in charge for Sunday's 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham which leaves them second from bottom of the Premier League without a win in its first eight games of the season.
The 60-year-old's first two seasons in charge saw Newcastle finish 13th and 12th in the table without being drawn into a battle to avoid relegation.
The club has confirmed it has already begun to search for a replacement with former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca thought to be the early favorite, although Graeme Jones will be in temporary charge for Saturday's game away to Crystal Palace.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper after his leave had been confirmed, Bruce commented that he was considering retiring from management after a coaching career dating back to 1998.
"I think this might be my last job. It's not just about me; it's taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies (from Newcastle) and I can't ignore that."
Despite being a boyhood Newcastle fan, Bruce was never accepted by the club's fans, partly because he spent most of his playing days with Manchester United and also because he had a spell coaching bitter local rivals Sunderland.
"It has been very, very tough. To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail and saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a tactically inept cabbage head," he commented, adding that his family, his wife especially "have been worried about me."
"I'm 60 years old and I don't know if I want to put her through it again. We've got a good life so, yeah, this will probably be me done as a manager," added Bruce. Enditem
在发射升空三十天后，詹姆斯·韦伯望远镜（James Webb Telescope）于北美时间1月24日抵达距离地球150万公里的目的地——第二拉格朗日点。该点始终与地球和太阳保持在几乎同一直线上，使得仪器运转保持相对稳定。现在，地球上的控制人员将会在接下来的几个月对望远镜进行调节，为科学研究做准备。
James Webb telescope parked in observing position
Thirty days after it was launched, the James Webb telescope has arrived at the position in space where it will observe the Universe.
在发射升空三十天后，詹姆斯·韦伯望远镜（James Webb Telescope）已经在太空中抵达其将要观测宇宙的位置。
The Lagrange Point 2, as it's known, is a million miles (1.5 million km) from Earth on its nightside.
这个被称为拉格朗日L2点（Lagrange Point 2）的位置，在地球阴面之外100万英里（150万公里）处。
Webb was finally nudged into an orbit around this location thanks to a short, five-minute thruster burn.
Controllers back on Earth will now spend the coming months tuning the telescope to get it ready for science.
Key tasks include switching on the observatory's four instruments, and also focusing its mirrors - in particular, its 6.5m-wide segmented primary reflector.
"There's a pretty intensive effort to take all of those 18 segments from their current state and get them to act as one big mirror, and also to get the secondary mirror into its optimised condition," explained Charlie Atkinson, the chief engineer on Webb at Northrop Grumman, the American aerospace company that co-led the telescope's development with the US space agency (Nasa).
“将全部18个部分从现在的状态调节成一面大主镜，还要将副镜调到最佳状态，当中有颇为繁重的工作要做，”诺斯洛普·格鲁曼公司（Northrop Grumman）的韦伯望远镜首席工程师查理·阿特金森（Charlie Atkinson）解释说。这家美国航天企业与美国太空总署（NASA）联合主导这个望远镜的研发。
Webb, billed as the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope, was launched on 25 December by an Ariane-5 rocket from French Guiana.
韦伯被标榜为著名的哈勃太空望远镜（Hubble Space Telescope）继任者。它在12月25日在法属圭亚那用一枚亚利安5号运载火箭发射升空。
Its overarching goals are to take pictures of the very first stars to shine in the Universe and to probe far-off planets to see if they might be habitable.
Europe's Ariane-5 gave the new observatory a near-perfect trajectory and velocity to get it out to L2. Even so, two course correction burns were necessary, with the third on Monday tipping Webb into its planned parking position.
The Lagrange Point 2 is one of five gravitational "sweet-spots" around the Sun and Earth where satellites can hold their position with few orbital adjustments, thus conserving fuel.
The other advantage is that Webb will not experience at L2 the big swings in temperature and light endured by space telescopes positioned much closer to Earth.
This is vital for the mission. It's designed to view the cosmos in infrared light and must maintain therefore constant super-cold conditions for its hardware.
Infrared light has waves that are just longer than those of visible light. "Seeing" in the infrared will allow the telescope to, for example, look through dust to image stars that would otherwise be obscured.
Webb will now circle L2, keeping the Earth and the Sun in a near-straight line.
"L2 is pseudo-stable," said Jean-Paul Pinaud, who leads the Northrop engineers that keep Webb on track.
"The flight operations team is preparing routine station-keeping burns. They'll be doing those every 20 days or so with the trajectory calculations provided by our flight dynamics team. We'll set them up in a similar way, and then fire the thruster. But the burns will be quite small."
Hidden behind a big sunshield, Webb's optics and instruments will soon cool to about -230C (some sections of the telescope are already there). When that happens, controllers will switch on Webb's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to take a picture of a test star to begin the process of aligning the big mirror.
"We know when we first focus on a star in space, we'll actually see 18 different spots of light because the 18 individual mirror segments won't be aligned," said Nasa instrument systems engineer Begoña Vila.
"But we'll adjust the mirrors to bring all the spots together to make a single star that's not aberrated and good for normal operations. It's a long process. It can take up to three months during commissioning, and we are ready to do that.”
Focusing involves driving small actuators, or motors, on the back of the 18 segments of the primary mirror to harmonise their curvature. The current misalignment, which is measured in millimetres, will be brought down to one measured in nanometres - a factor of a million improvement.
Similar adjustments will be applied to the 74cm-diameter secondary reflector which sits out in front of the primary mirror and is used to bounce light back towards the instruments.
So far, the Webb mission has not put a step wrong. The launch and journey out to L2 passed off without incident.
And even the complex business of unfolding the telescope after it came off the top of the Ariane rocket was made to look like the easiest of rehearsals.
"We were thrilled with the precision and success of all those deployments," said Kyle Hott, the mission systems engineering lead at Northrop.
"It's pretty incredible to think that it was all just a concept on paper decades ago, and now it's actually here, arriving at L2. Morale is high and we're so very excited."