bundant mallow harvest a boon for impoverished Iraqis

With rain spreading across Iraq, mallow growing in the northern and eastern parts of the country gives impoverished people food to eat or sell for extra money.

Mallow, or Malva pusilla, is a cosmopolitan weed found principally in temperate regions of

the world. It is a fast-growing annual or perennial herb with the capacity to grow in dense pa

tches in gardens, yards, roadsides, waste ground, orchards, pastures and agricultural fields.

It grows without any assistance and easily harvested and so is often called the “food of the poor.”

It is also delicious and good for one’s health.

Thanks to the heavy rain in Iraq, this year mallow spread and were found for collectors to harvest in winter, without any help from farmers.

Some of poor families are able to collect mallow plants and sell them

due to its medical value, as it is used to treat some sicknesses and to strengthen immunity.

Haydar Sattar, a member of the local council in Eastern Baquba, told the Xinhu

a News Agency that “mallows spread tremendously this winter. It reminds me of Iraq from a long time ago.”

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What apparently has shattered the confidence of the ruling

its poor performance in recent polls in three key Indian states.

One key factor that apparently sealed the fate of the BJP was prevailing anger among upper castes. So the first thing the prime

minister did was to grant 10 percent job reservation to the less well-off among the upper castes.

The BJP projected the move as a “game changer” which it claimed would win it the support of a certain section of society bu

t now finds itself on the back foot as the Congress came out with a proposal promising “minimum income guarantee” fo

r every poor villager if the party was voted to power. The idea has left the BJP leadership unnerved.

The head of the Pakistan Navy hailed the Chinese navy’s participation in the Aman 19 multinational maritime exercise during a visit to the

warship Kunlunshan on Sunday, saying that the Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean is vital to regional ­security.

Pakistan is holding its sixth multinational maritime naval drills, Aman 19, from Friday to Tuesday in Ka

rachi, with navies and observers from 46 countries including China, Russia and the US participating in the exercise.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy), which has participated in all

previous Aman exercises, sent two warships from the Task Group 998 for the exercise.

“The PLA Navy has always been a very big participant, we are really grateful for that,” Ch

ief of the Pakistani Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi told the Global Times during his visit.

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hina sees progress in revitalizing traditional crafts

ina has seen progress in its effort to revitalize traditional crafts and turn them int

o targeted measures for poverty alleviation, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The ministry said it has organized extensive training for inheritors of traditional c

rafts and supported setting up relevant workstations in collaboration with different departments.

The ministry has set up 57 workshops for intangible cultural heritage and provided training for 2,500 people in poverty-stricken areas

, including a county in southwest China’s Guizhou Province that is home to the ethnic Miao people.

The campaign has also raised the awareness of provincial-level authorities. A total of 26 provinces, autonomous re

gions and municipalities have issued plans for revitalizing traditional crafts in their regions.

The ministry said it will continue to focus on policy implementation and the inclusion of social forces in the future.

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro released from hospital after 17 days

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was released from the Albert Einstein

Hospital in Sao Paulo on Wednesday after convalescing from surgery and returned to the capital, Brasilia.

Bolsonaro spent 17 days in recovery, mainly in intensive or semi-intensive care units, but worked from his bedside for m

ost of that time, with his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, filling in for him for two of those days.

On the presidential campaign trail last year, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen by

a lone attacker. He required a colostomy and underwent surgery in late January to reverse the procedure.

The surgical procedure reportedly went well, but his recovery had some complications. Last week, he had fever and was diagn

osed with pneumonia, but his health improved and doctors said he was able to leave the hospital and return to Brasilia.

Bolsonaro commented on social networks about leaving the hospital, noting that the ma

n named Adelio Bispo who had attacked him had been a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL).

At the time of the attack, the PSOL admitted Bispo had been a member, but said he quit the political organization years ago and was never very active.

So far, investigations have not uncovered a connection between the attacker and any Brazilian political party.

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Tiantongyuan redevelopment set to improve lives Wen | Chi

Li, the professor, is a regular visitor, and he and his wife often bring their 3-year-

old daughter to participate in the activities. He

has also established a discussion group in Huilongguan in the hope of using people’s input to build a better area.

“Everyone has an idea of the kind of life they want to live, and to live in a better

community is everyone’s dream,” he said.

In an interview with 21st Century Business Herald, Tian Zaiwei, CEO of Sh

untiantong Co, the company overseeing Tiantongyuan’s red

evelopment, said the neighborhood covers the same area as many medium-

sized cities overseas. That means there is st

ill a long way to go, because construction and improvement of a city can often take

decades or even 100 years.

After 20 years, Tiantongyuan has slowly filled its developmental gaps, and despite

the lack of infrastruct

ure, the congestion and dense population, it remains an area that many

people consider when looking to buy property.

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Wang said his department encourages companies to pr

mote scientific and technology innovation to make them more competitive.

Zhou Yawei, a member of the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou Committee of the Communist

Party of China and secretary of the Party Working Committee of the Guangzhou D

evelopment District, said the district has registered more than 20,000 science and

technology companies and took the lead in innovation among 219 State-level development zones in China last year.

It is the first time the district – which is home to Sino-Singapore Know

ledge City, Guangzhou Science City and Guangzhou International Island – has led State-level de

velopment zones in scientific and technological innovation. It ranked second in 2017.

“The district, in the eastern part of Guangzhou, introduced preferential policies to promot

e scientific and technological innovation years ago,” Zhou said. “Priority was given to the dev

elopment of the information, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceutical industries.

“Scientific and technological innovation are expected to play an even bigger role in

the district’s economic development and industrial upgrading in the years ahead.”

Zhou promised to attract more high-end talent from home and abroad t

his year to help boost the district’s scientific and technological innovation efforts.

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Payment by phone sees big growth overseas

Swiping phones for payment is shaping up to be the new norm for Chinese people shopping oversea

s, as the adoption of mobile payment becomes more evenly distributed by age and geographical location.

Customers in their 50s saw a 1.3-fold increase in Alipay usage as they traveled overseas during the Spring Festival

holiday that concluded on Sunday, according to the country’s largest mobile wallet operator.

The age group has recorded the highest growth rate among all demographics tracked by Al

ipay, as more older people embrace digital payment at home and extend such habits overseas.

Meanwhile, those born in the 1990s, who grew up in relative material abundance and are more “digitally native”, formed the ba

kbone of outbound travel this year, data from Tencent’s popular messaging app WeChat showed.

They accounted for 31 percent of users who embarked on overseas trips, the biggest pr

oportion, and paid with WeChat’s embedded wallet, according to data released on Sunday.

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He also noted that China and Australia see strong people-to-people

connections through education and tourism.

“Currently there are around 185,000 Chinese students studying in Australia and we welcome over 1.4 million Chinese visitors to o

ur shores every year,” he said. “China is also an attractive destination for many Australians, with more than 400,000 visiting in the last year.”

“I have every confidence that the relationship between Australia and China will continue to

prosper in 2019 and well beyond,” he said.The New York Philharmonic on Wednesday presented its eighth edition of Lunar New Year c

oncert, featuring the U.S. premiere of Chinese composer Tan Dun’s violin concerto Fire Ritual.

Opening the celebration with Spring Festival Overture, a well-known piece in C

hina, the orchestra instantly kindled an air of festivity in the David Geffen Hall at Li

coln Center, as audience, mostly from local Chinese community, started to nod and hum the jubilant melodies.

South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim then entered the stage from among the audien

ce, playing the core role as a oracle in Fire Ritual, a violin concerto created by Oscar Winner Tan Dun.

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The famous Italian opera of Turandot is based on a

story that happened in China. According to Xu Mengke, the Chinese co-director and the actor for Cala

f, “telling it in a Chinese perspective can promote the exchange and understanding between the two

peoples in terms of artistic expression and way of thinking. And it is also a case of Chinese culture ‘going out’.”

“I believe the audience will have a better understanding of Chinese culture and Peking opera,” he added.

“Our Turandot is a fable in which the Chinese and Italian traditional elements can coexist. Our C

hinese colleagues gave the radiance, liveliness and a sense of poetry fiction that are typical of Peking opera,

while the Italian troupe made a more conceptual intervention, trying to put in this beautiful story a more painful and black vein connected to the idea that ‘lo

ve can not be founded by such bloody acts as those Princess Turandot did’,” Marco Plini, the Italian co-director of this new show, told Xinhua.

“It was really a work of cooperation to build mutual trust and esteem between me and the Chinese troupe. We worked with great p

assion and rigor, and there was a very good result from both the artistic point of view and the human point of view,” he stressed.

There will be another five shows at the Argentine Theater in Rome from Feb 6 to 10, which is also the last stop of the troupe’s Itali

an tour. The troupe has toured five cities including Bolzano, Prato, Modena, Ferrara and Casa Maggio since Jan. 10th and have finished

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While China and the US saw escalated trade frictions in 2018, Br

 record high in its soybeans exports to China. As of the end of 2018, the local industry association estimated that the country’s total soybeans output will reach 120 million to 125 million tons – a new high – in 2019.

Brazil will enter the harvest season for soybeans in coming months. As China restarts to im

port more from the US, companies in Brazil have also lowered their expectations for soy oil exports.

Brazil’s exports are expected to fall to 400,000 tons this year versus 1.43 million tons last year in terms of soy oil exports, according to Amaral.

Still, the Brazilian industry representative remained optimistic about the future of soybeans trade with China.

“Even with the more intense participation of US products in the Chinese

market, we believe China will continue to need Brazilian soy to fulfill its domes

tic market,” he said, noting that neither US or Brazil can adequately supply Chinese demand.

“Brazil will keep an important presence in the Chinese market,” Amaral added.

Soybeans have been a crucial element in simmering trade tensions between the two count

ries, CNBC said on Saturday. China, the world’s largest soybeans importer, cut off purchases from the US in 201

8, sending prices tumbling and leaving US farmers struggling to sell off their record harvest, the media report noted.

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