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CBA Roundup: Qingdao suffers 3rd straight loss, Jiangsu noses out Tianjin for 1st win******
ZHUJI, China, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Qingdao Eagles suffered three consecutive losses after being defeated by the Zhejiang Golden Bulls 105-98, and the Jiangsu Dragons edged out the Tianjin Pioneers 96-90 for their first win in the 2021-22 season Chinese Basketball Association here on Saturday.
Cheng Shuaipeng notched a game-high 24 points, plus six rebounds for Zhejiang, while both Wang Yibo and Wu Qian contributed 22 points.
Lagging behind by two points in the first half, Qingdao reversed the game with a better third quarter run of 24-18.
However, Wu stood out for Zhejiang in clunch time, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter through consecutive long jumpers.
Wang Qingming grabbed a team-high 21 points for Qingdao and his teammate Li Yuanyu contributed a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
In another matchup, Tianjin led Jiangsu by only four points at the end of the third quarter, while the latter turned the tide in the last quarter via a strong performance on the three point line, gaining the first win this season.
Both Wu Guanxi and Zhao Shuaizhou contributed 23 points for Jiangsu. Meng Zikai scored a game-high 24 points for Tianjin.
Also on Saturday, the Shanxi Loongs defeated powerhouses the Liaoning Flying Leopards 107-99, and the Beijing Royal Fighters upset the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 116-105 in overtime. Enditem
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'Panic' in Britain as Omicron crisis bites ahead of Christmas******
People wait in the observation after receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic set up at Chester Cathedral on December 16, as the UK steps up the country's booster drive to fight a "tidal wave" of Omicron.。
Soaring Omicron cases left Britons scrambling on Thursday to make alternative Christmas plans, faced with cancellations, long queues for vaccines and France shutting the border to UK visitors.。
Britain recorded a second consecutive record daily number of new COVID-19 infections at more than 88,000, but the government has so far stopped short of formal limits on socializing as it awaits further evidence of the severity and impact of the new Omicron variant.。
Last year, Christmas celebrations were drastically curtailed after the Alpha variant swept the country. Britons had hoped that this year would be different, but cases have again shot up since the Omicron strain of the virus first emerged.。
The UK government last week updated its guidance to advise people to work from home if they can, while mandating they must wear masks in some settings.。
But it has stopped short of recommending the cancellation of social gatherings such as Christmas parties, with embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson instead recommending that people get booster vaccines, COVID-19 tests and act cautiously.。
Recent days have seen long lines outside vaccination centers in London and other towns and cities, as people heeded Johnson's call to get jabbed again.。
But at the same time, pubs, theaters and other entertainment venues have reported rising cancellations – and concerns about their viability – as the case numbers continue to climb.。
From the top down, people were changing plans. Queen Elizabeth II, 95, canceled her traditional pre-Christmas family lunch next week, despite Johnson insisting such gatherings could still go ahead.。
It was a similar tale of cancellations in pubs and restaurants.。
"We had some cancellations here," Patrick Mullighan, 64, owner of the White Hart pub in east London, told AFP.。
He said his chef had caught the virus, forcing the kitchen to close, while 25 bookings for this Sunday had dropped to 10.。
He estimated turnover could be down by around a quarter for the normally busy period in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.。
"It represents a lot of money but... as long as people are still buying drinks, that will be good. I'm always worried but what can we do? You've got to carry on."
In a bid to curb the spread of Omicron across the Channel, the French government announced it would ban non-essential travel to and from the UK from Saturday, for both unvaccinated and fully jabbed non-residents.。
The sudden announcement sparked anxiety and even panic among would-be travelers scrambling to cross the Channel in time for Christmas.。
"I have friends who are panicking," London-based Marie Geoffroy, 43, told AFP at St Pancras station as she prepared to board a Eurostar train.。
"It's anxiety-provoking, these last-minute changes, it makes you feel like you're being held hostage," she added.。
"I know lots of people who have been able to change their tickets because they can, but others can't afford it."
'Prioritize what matters'
In the run-up to the festive period, England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty urged people to "prioritize what really matters to them and then cut down on the things that don't."
"I wouldn't want to say to people they should do a particular thing," he told a panel of MPs, insisting the government and its advisers like him were united in their approach.。
"I think it really should be for people to make those choices."
Johnson has set a highly ambitious target of offering a third vaccine dose to all adults by the end of the month, requiring around a million jabs a day.。
How a Chinese millennial became an African chief******
With the expansion of Chinese-African cooperation over the last decade, Chinese enterprises have made significant investments in African infrastructure.
Many construction sites there have Chinese workers. The two peoples work and live together and have developed a close friendship. For their outstanding contributions, some Chinese people have even been named "chiefs" by African leaders.
Among all the Chinese who have been given the title of "chief" in Africa, Li Manhu stands out as a "Post-90s" figure.
He is not only the youngest known Chinese "chief," but also the recipient of the Nigerian and Cameroonian "double chief" titles.
Li is only 30 years old, but he has worked in Africa for six years.
Why did he go to Africa? What contribution has he made to Africa earned him the title of "Double Chief"? What kind of special power does he have?
As the 8th FOCAC Ministerial Conference came to an end, a Shanghai Daily reporter reached out to this legendary millennial to learn more about his life.
Li Manhu in his office.
Searching for the 'African Dream'
Li is a typical young man who studies science and technology. He joined a state-owned enterprise to explore coal mining after graduating from university.
However, in his opinion, the concept of the "stable, life-long job" is meaningless.
"There is no point in living a life like this. So, despite my family's strong opposition, I resigned from my job."
After resigning, Li began to look for more "exciting" work and gave a curriculum to a mine in Nigeria.
The Nigerian company was very welcoming. After some English training, Li flew to Africa in 2015 with his dream in hand.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and one of the African countries with the largest Chinese population. The local government works closely with China.
However, it wasn't until he boarded the plane and flew for more than 10 hours that Li truly felt the vastness of Africa. He was dimly aware of the difficulties that lay ahead.
Photo with the senior officer of the Nigerian Border Immigration Service.
Nigeria has no winter, only rainy and dry seasons. "I went in January. It was the dry season; the local temperature was more than 30 degrees, but I was wearing a sweater. When I got off the plane, my only feeling was the heat."
Li's first job in Nigeria was to do mineral exploration, which entails living in a mining area for a year in miserable conditions.
There was no local signal, so "communication by shouting, traffic by walking" was his regular life. He also had to sleep in a room with four or more people while suffering from mosquito bites.
In just a few months, Li contracted malaria, developed a high fever, vomited, and suffered for several days. "At the time, I was remorseful for having come here. But when I got better, I forgot about it all and pretended it wasn't a big deal."
He said he never mentioned these things to his family, and when asked, his answer was always "It's fine."
After two years of training, Li joined China Overseas Group (CGCOC GROUP) in 2017 as the office director of the "Cross-border bridge between Nigeria and Cameroon" project.
He has over 200 African workers under him, and he must be concerned about their life, work, and safety. He is also in charge of paying their salaries at the end of each month.
And it was also this bridge project that laid the foundation for Li to earn the title of "Double Chief" later on down the road.
Li with his bodyguard.
The 'fortunate' Chief I
According to Li Manhu, before the construction of the cross-border bridge, there was only a one-way old bridge connecting Nigeria and Cameroon, which frequently blocked traffic, whereas the construction of the cross-border bridge will greatly improve the two countries' cross-border port traffic congestion, promoting trade and economic development between the two nations.
"The bridge was completed in April this year and is expected to be open to traffic next year," Li exclaimed joyfully.
Throughout his career, Li has developed a close relationship with the local paramount ruler (the king). On the Christmas Eve of 2018, Li was invited by the leader of the Etung local government as a guest to his home, and as he was leaving, the leader told him that he was going to bestow upon him the title of chief.
The king informed Li that the cross-border bridge project had benefited the local community and that he had been appointed chief as a sign of local recognition of the company, and that he would be representing the king in some of the company's future dealings with the local people.
"The chieftaincy title is not only a personal honor but also represents the respect and recognition of the local people for the company's projects," said Li. "In Africa, only foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to the local economy and social development can be awarded the chieftaincy title."
It should be noted that although Nigeria has a modern administrative system, chiefs, as traditional tribal leaders, still enjoy high prestige among the population and are also highly respected by the government, which even consults with local chiefs before making major decisions.
The chief's white suit and a leopard-print leather hat are presented to Li on the day of the chieftainship.
On the day of the chieftainship, the local Nigerian government held a grand ceremony and invited members of other tribes to participate. Even neighboring Cameroon sent representatives.
The king bestowed the title "Ntui Ofa 1" on Li, with "Ofa" meaning "fortunate" in the native language, and expressed his hope that the title would bring good fortune to his Chinese friend.
A scepter and the chief's white suit, as well as a leopard-print leather hat, were presented to Li, all of which are typical for chiefs to wear.
Despite the fact that his main title is merely a sign of honor and that he is not involved in the day-to-day business of the local tribe, Li claims that the title has brought him closer to the locals. When he walks down the street dressed as the chief and wielding the scepter, he can sense the people's respectful attention, and some will even approach him to respectfully ask for a blessing.
Certificate of chieftaincy title given by the Etung local government
What Li didn't expect was that just three months after he became the chief of the Etung local government in Nigeria, he received a letter from the king of the Ekok community in Cameroon.
The Ekok community accepted Li's chieftaincy title in Nigeria, according to the letter, and will arrange a coronation ceremony for him on March 31.
The honor was also conferred because of the cross-border bridge project, according to Li. Because the Etung local government of Nigeria and the Ekok community of Cameroon are "brothers" of the same clan, culture, and language, his chieftaincy title in Cameroon is the same as his chieftaincy title in Nigeria.
But unlike in Nigeria, in Cameroon, Chinese chieftainship requires not only the approval of the king, but also the consent of the local government.
"As far as I know, no Chinese chief has ever served in Cameroon before me."
Confirmation of the chieftaincy title of Ekok community
Li Yi / SHINE
The African king's 'Chinese prince'
Li recalls the words of Cameroon's king on the day of his enthronement: "When you go back to China, you can tell the Chinese people that you still have a home in Africa."
These are not just "beautiful words." Li has formed strong bonds with the locals over the years in Africa, and his relationship with the king is like "father and son," with the locals even referring to him as the king's "Chinese prince."
"There is no difference between people; as long as you treat them sincerely, they will sense it," Li said.
Coronation ceremony for Li in Ekok community.
However, due to the pandemic, Li has not been back to Africa since the end of last year. In addition to doing some work at home to help farmers, he also does some live commerce in TikTok, to help his friends sell Chinese wolfberries.
Concerning his TikTok account, Li confessed that he did not like to use this social platform at first, but because his friends always send him funny videos, he downloaded one, tried to share his work and life in Africa, and did not expect to become popular.
Now, Li's TikTok account has more than 500,000 followers, and the highest number of likes on a video has surpassed 400,000.
Li's Tiktok page
He stated that, despite the fact that the pandemic will not be over for some time, he intends to return next year.
"Their coffee and cocoa beans are perfect, and I'd like to go back and try to do live commerce over there as well in hope of driving the local economy."
Li is also keeping an eye on the recently concluded the Eighth Ministerial Conference of The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
"I used to work on engineering projects as part of the country's Belt and Road Initiative. Now that the country has put forward a number of good ideas through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and I want to do something practical for the local community through my identity as a chief and promote more cultural and trade exchange between China and Africa."
Li reveals that many people actually leave messages to him via TikTok wanting to learn about Africa and some of the projects Chinese companies are working on there. "China is paying increasing attention to Africa, and many people want to understand the market over there and want to go and break into it. I hope to communicate with them more in the future."
"As a result, the title of the chief is really just the tip of the iceberg for me."
Li with a local child