2.2B have eye problems
On Wednesday, one day before World Sight Day, the World Health Organization issued its first World Report on Vision, which shows that at least 2.2 billion people are blind or have impaired vision. Among them, at least 1 billion people have an eye problem that could have been prevented or which has yet to be addressed.
But they are now living with vision impairment because they do not get the care they need for conditions like short and far sightedness, glaucoma and cataracts. The report found that ageing populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are among the main drivers of the rising numbers of people living with vision impairment.
Women allowed into stadiums
Thousands of Iranian female soccer fans will be free to attend a soccer game on Thursday for the first time in nearly 40 years. World soccer's governing body, FIFA, ordered the Islamic republic last month to allow women access to stadiums without restriction. The directive came after a girl died after setting herself on fire due to fear of being jailed for dressing up as a boy to attend a match.
Those women attending Iran's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Teheran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday will be segregated from men and watched over by 150 female police officers. Though not written into law or regulations, the ban on women accessing stadiums has been strictly enforced since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with clerics suggesting women must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.
New scholarship rules issued
Undergraduate and junior college students applying for the National Scholarship must be of Chinese nationality, according to a newly released document. The measures on the appraisal for the National Scholarship for undergraduate and junior college students were jointly issued by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.
Apart from the new nationality requirement, there are some other notable changes in the new guideline from the previous one. Two more competitions have been recognized as discipline events to help students apply for the scholarships. The two newly recognized competitions are the China College Students "Internet Plus" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition and the National Vocational Students Skills Competition.
In addition, the number of National Scholarships has been increased by 10,000, which will be awarded to outstanding full-time higher vocational school students, who will each receive 8,000 yuan per year.
China is by far the best performer among the five BRICS economies in terms of competitiveness, said the World Economic Forum Wednesday in its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report. China ranks 28th among the 141 world economies, 15 places ahead of Russia, 32 places ahead of South Africa and some 40 places ahead of both India and Brazil, the report showed.
The report measured an economy's performance through 103 indicators in 12 "pillars”, showing that China has obvious strengths in various areas, such as the sheer size of its market, macroeconomic stability, information and communication and technology adoption, and increasing innovation capability.
Singapore took the crown as the world's most competitive economy this year from the US. China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Netherlands and Switzerland are among the top five, the report showed.
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