CF40 highlights strengths in China's economy amid challenges

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<img src='' alt='Zhang Bin, non-resident senior fellow at the China Finance 40 Forum and deputy director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, speaking at a media conference in Beijing, China, July 22, 2024. /CF40'

China’s economic trajectory in the second quarter of 2024 reflected improved industrial production and positive export performance, highlighting some strengths in the economy that is facing a key challenge in insufficient demand, according to a quarterly report by the China Finance 40 Forum (CF40), a Chinese think tank, on Monday.

CF40’s macro policy report for the second quarter of 2024 highlighted that the manufacturing industry is recovering globally, but inflationary pressures still exist.

In the first half of this year, China’s import and export scale and trade surplus both reached historic highs for the same period, the report noted. The cumulative year-on-year growth of China’s exports in the first half of the year was 3.6 percent, an increase of 7.1 percentage points compared to the same period of last year.

The report noted that one of the challenges for China continues to be an insufficiency in domestic demand, which is required to have a more balanced trade volume. The think tank said that to better solve these medium- and long-term reform issues, the emphasis for the government is on improving the economic sphere, further optimizing resource allocation and enhancing productivity, which are key goals of structural reform.

These were among the key discussion areas during the recently concluded third plenary session of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. 

The Communique of the Third Plenary Session of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China mentioned the need to deepen the foreign trade structural reform.

It called for strengthening the coordination of trade policies with fiscal, tax, financial and industrial policies. It also proposed to create a set of systems and policies to support efforts to make China a strong trading nation, and step up reforms to integrate domestic and foreign trade.

Meanwhile, the government has introduced highly feasible and practical policy measures targeting specific issues, said CF40. 

The government policies are expected to incrementally build a supportive framework for resource optimization, said Zhang Bin, a non-resident senior fellow at CF40 and deputy director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, on Monday, praising the plan to integrate permanent residents into the general public services in cities.

Additionally, fiscal reforms, particularly the redistribution of financial authority and responsibilities between central and local governments, will not only streamline inter-governmental mechanisms but also bolster the government’s capacity to fulfill its public service mandate, said Zhang.

He said that local governments should shift some valuable financial resources from subsidizing industrial enterprises to improving public goods and services, supporting low-income migrant population to settle in cities where they work and improving the living standards of low-income people so as to achieve the goal of better resource optimization.

The CF40 report also mentioned the importance of breaking down barriers to entry into the service industry and promoting fairer market competition in the fields of water conservancy, environmental and public facility management, as well as education, health, social security and welfare, social organizations, culture, sports and entertainment.

Why Does My Cat Fart When I Pick Him Up? 5 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As much as you love your cat, there are times when they can be a little gross. Times like when they repeatedly shove their butt in your face or the way they can fart when you pick them up. While some of the cat’s less-than-desirable behaviors can’t be changed, as they’re simply feline in nature, you might be able to do something about others.

If your cat always farts when you pick them up, you’ve probably wondered why they were doing so and whether it could be stopped. A cat that always farts is experiencing excessive gas or flatulence, which can be for a few reasons. Knowing which of these reasons is the one for your cat may help you reduce the chances of this happening.

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The 5 Reasons Why Cats Might Fart When You Pick Them Up

1. Dietary Related

You know how sometimes you eat something that simply doesn’t agree with your stomach. Well, the same thing can happen to your feline friend, and it could be the reason they’re farting when picked up. This could be a one-time thing if they’ve had a new treat or stolen some of your food. However, it could also be a long-term issue related to their regular cat food.

If a cat’s diet doesn’t agree with their stomach, they could experience more gassiness, as well as gastrointestinal distress. A rise in flatulence could also mean that your cat has developed a food sensitivity or allergy to a food they’ve been consuming for years. If you think your cat’s diet may be to blame, try switching them (slowly!) to a different food. Choose something with high-quality, digestible ingredients. However, if your cat has dermatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea, it is worth consulting with a vet as these are signs of a food allergy among other things.

cat and orange bowl inside the house
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Eating Habits

Sometimes, the problem isn’t the food your cat is eating but how they’re eating it. Felines who eat too fast or tend to overeat can ingest extra air that builds up until it causes flatulence. This problem has a simple fix, though.

If your cat eats too fast, you can get them a slow feeder that will help them eat far slower. If your pet tends to overeat, you may want to break their meals down into a few smaller meals a day rather than a couple of large meals. In either case, these things should help the cat to swallow less air resulting in fewer instances of farting.

3. How You Handle Them

Your cat farting when you pick them up might be entirely on you! The way you handle your cat when you’re lifting them up could be forcing air out of their body in the form of farts. This is especially true if you tend to pick your cat up by holding them around their belly. Instead of picking them up this way, try picking them up by placing one hand under the front legs and one under the back legs.

The issue might also be that you’re cuddling your cat too close to your body after you pick them up, which could cause air to move around and be released. If this is the case, loosen up your hold. Essentially, you want to avoid compressing your cat’s belly when picking them up or holding them to avoid triggering flatulence.

Cat Lifted Cute girl playing with Siamese kitten on couch at home
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

4. A Bad Fright

There’s no doubt about it; felines have a tendency to be skittish. And this skittishness could be why they fart when you pick them up. How so? Well, you may inadvertently be startling your cat when you try to pick them up, which could cause them to pass gas, as it isn’t entirely uncommon for kitties to fart when they get frightened. To avoid this, try to let your cat know you’re there before picking them up. Also, try not to simply scoop them up while they’re playing or sleeping. Read their body language and don’t pick them up if they thrash, pin their ears, swish their tail, scratch, or bite when you do so. These signs are your cat telling you they are uncomfortable with being held.

5. Health Issues

If your cat didn’t often fart before, but now they pass gas whenever you pick them up, there’s a good chance it could be related to a health issue. Constant gassiness is often related to gastrointestinal problems. Infections, parasites, inflammatory disorders, and cancers can affect the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with digestion, potentially leading to more farting.

If you’ve noticed a recent uptick in flatulence in your feline or signs like inappetence, weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, take them to the vet for a check-up.

close up cat sleeping on the sofa
Image Credit: Garna Zarina, Shutterstock

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Is Flatulence Normal in Felines?

Flatulence is perfectly normal in felines, but when it’s excessive or accompanied by other signs you should seek veterinary advice. If your cat has only recently begun farting a lot, there could be something going on with their digestive system. The same goes for if your cat’s farts have suddenly gotten much stinkier. But unless your cat seems to have excessive gas or suddenly potent farts, there’s rarely a need to be alarmed.

Why Do My Cat’s Farts Smell So Bad?

Farts never smell good, but sometimes your kitty’s farts are particularly powerful. If your cat has exceptionally stinky gas, they could be having issues with their food, whether that be a sudden allergy to something in it or just trouble digesting it. It could also indicate an underlying health issue, such as internal parasites. Again, if your cat’s gas is foul and not getting less so, contact your vet to make sure everything is alright with the cat.

Hispanic woman working in modern vet clinic talking to bengal cats owner
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

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Felines can experience flatulence for many reasons, and this isn’t uncommon. However, if you’ve noticed that your cat keeps farting when you pick them up, it’s likely because of one of the reasons mentioned here. If you can determine the reason, chances are you can reduce the amount of gas your pet has, which will lead to fewer instances of them farting when picked up.

Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Budget 2024: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Urban 2.0 unveiled

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Urban – a housing-for-all scheme – covering one crore middle and lower–middle class segments in cities. The scheme, PMAY Urban 2.0, has a proposed investment of ₹10 lakh crore and a “central assistance” — credit-linked interest subsidy of ₹2.2 lakh crore.

The housing needs of one crore urban poor and middle-class families will be addressed with an investment of ₹10 lakh crore.

“Under the PM Awas Yojana Urban 2.0, the housing needs of 1 crore urban poor and middle-class families will be addressed with an investment of ₹10 lakh crore. This will include a central assistance of ₹2.2 lakh crore in the next five years. A provision for interest subsidy to facilitate loans at affordable rates is also envisaged,” the Budget document reads.

Launched in 2015, the PMAY aims to set up homes in both rural and urban areas, with a credit-linked interest subsidy component supporting the middle and lower-middle class. The financial assistance scheme was divided into two components – one targeting the urban populace, and the second targeting the rural.

“….enabling policies and regulations for efficient and transparent rental housing markets with enhanced availability will also be put in place,” FM Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.

One of the first Cabinet decisions that the Modi 3.0 government took after coming to power was announce the construction of 3 crore additional houses under the PMAY scheme. Of this, 2 crore homes would be under the PMAY (Grameen) scheme in the rural areas.

The interim Budget tabled in February allocated ₹80,671 crore for the PMAY.

In 2023-24, the Budget Estimates under PMAY (Urban) were pegged at ₹25,103.03 crore, against actual spending of ₹22,103.03 crore. The allocation for FY25, Budget Estimate is pegged at ₹30,170 crore, up 20 per cent over last year’s BE.

In case of the PMAY (Rural), the BE for FY24 was ₹54,487 crore, against actuals at ₹32,000 crore and an additional ₹12,000 crore transferred from the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Fund. The BE for FY25 was ₹54,500 crore – at similar levels as last year’s BE.

According to Dhruv Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, &, there is a distinct push towards promoting homeownership by encouraging states to reduce stamp duty rates, particularly for women.

“This could significantly reduce the cost of property acquisition in India where stamp duty rates are one of the highest in the world,” he said, adding that an increase in standard deduction under the New Tax Regime and rationalisation of the tax structure could leave India’s salaried class with more disposable income, consequently boosting housing demand.

Neki od najboljih ajvara su na super akciji, napravite zalihe

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Pri kreiranju rubrike Index Shopping nastojimo izdvajati odlične proizvode koji se i nama sviđaju te odlične akcije i popuste. Ne objavljujemo proizvode koje i sami ne bismo kupili ili smatramo da njihova promocija nije u skladu s profesionalnim standardima. Neki proizvodi u rubrici Index Shopping mogu biti sponzorirani.

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Lidlov katalog vrijedi od ponedjeljka, 22.7., do nedjelje, 28.7., ili do prodaje zaliha, a pojedini popusti vrijede samo na odabrane datume u tom periodu. Katalog možete prolistati ovdje, a za ostvarenje pojedinih popusta potrebna vam je mobilna aplikacija Lidl Plus.


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Katalog Eurospina vrijedi od četvrtka, 25.7., do srijede, 31.7., ili do isteka zaliha. Aktualni katalog možete prolistati ovdje


Konzumov katalog vrijedi od četvrtka, 25.7., do srijede, 31.7., ili do prodaje zaliha. Za pojedine popuste potrebna je MultiPlus kartica. Aktualni katalog možete prolistati ovdje


Katalog Plodina vrijedi od srijede, 24.7., do utorka, 30.7., ili do isteka zaliha, a pojedini popusti vrijede samo na odabrane datume u tom periodu. Aktualni katalog možete prolistati ovdje.


Tommyjev akcijski katalog vrijedi od četvrtka, 25.7., do srijede, 31.7. Možete ga prolistati ovdje


Novi katalozi Spara i Interspara vrijede od srijede, 24.7., do utorka, 30.7., ili do prodaje zaliha za prehrambene namirnice, kozmetiku, proizvode za osobnu higijenu i sredstva za čišćenje. Pojedini popusti vrijede samo u trgovinama Spar i Interspar, ovisno o dostupnosti proizvoda na akciji u tim trgovinama. Aktualne kataloge možete prolistati ovdje.

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Video released of Terrell Davis handcuffed by FBI on United flight

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Former NFL star Terrell Davis will sue United Airlines and one of its employees after a recent incident that led to Davis being handcuffed by the FBI and removed from a plane at John Wayne Airport, his attorney said.

Davis’ lawyer also released new video that shows Davis being handcuffed by a man in an FBI jacket and led away, while his wife, Tamiko, stands nearby. The Davises’ three children, ages 9 to 13, were also said to be present but cannot be seen in the video.

Davis has said that during a July 13 flight from Denver to Santa Ana he lightly tapped a flight attendant and asked for some ice. The flight attendant yelled, “Don’t hit me!” Davis said.

The FBI said it responded that day to a report of “a violent assault.” A person was detained for questioning, was cooperative and then was released, with no charges pursued, the FBI said.

Davis told CNN last week: “I certainly felt like that wouldn’t have happened if I … was a white person. That wouldn’t have happened. That’s what I felt. Whether that’s true or not, that’s a different conversation.”

“This clearly is not the kind of travel experience we strive to provide,” United said in a statement last week. “We have reached out to Mr. Davis’s team to apologize and continue to discuss the issue with them. We have removed the flight attendant from duty while we closely look into this matter and we are reviewing our policies around incidents like this.”

Good news for phone buyers! Government reduces custom duty on mobile phones

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Union Budget 2024: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman on Tuesday proposed reduction of basic customs duty (BCD) on mobile phones, mobile charger to 15 per cent. Earlier, the BCD on electronic items such as mobile phones, mobile printed circuit board assembly was 20 per cent.

“With a three-fold increase in domestic production and almost a 100-fold jump in exports of mobile phones in the last six years, the Indian mobile industry has matured. In the interest of consumers, I now propose to reduce the basic customs duty (BCD) on mobile phones, mobile PCBA, and mobile chargers to 15%,” Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget 2024-25 in Parliament.

Moreover, the government also made a provision for the exemption of customs duty on 25 critical minerals including lithium, copper, cobalt, and rare-earth minerals. These minerals are used in the production of some high-tech electronics and telecom gear.

“To increase value addition in the domestic electronics industry, I propose to remove the BCD, subject to conditions, on oxygen-free copper for manufacture of resistors. I also propose to exempt certain parts to manufacture connectors,” she said. 

The minister announced the removal of basic customs duty on ferronickel, blister copper, while increasing the same to 15 per cent from 10 per cent on specified telecom equipment.

The reduction in basic customs duty of gold, silver and platinum has been a long pending demand of the gems and jewellery industry.

Sitharaman also proposed reduction in basic customs duty on certain brood stocks, shrimps and fish feed to 5 per cent.

On the other hand, she said the government will raise customs duty on ammonium nitrate to 10 per cent and 25 per cent on non-biodegradable plastics.

China travel alert: Tourist spots closed, flights cancelled amid heavy rains and storms | Travel

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Bloomberg | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz

Jul 23, 2024 05:58 PM IST

Extreme weather batters tourism in China: Flights cancelled, travel warnings issued amid storm threats

Heavy rains lashing China have left at least 26 people dead in the past week, flooding city streets and threatening farming and industrial activity, as two more tropical storms barrel toward the nation.

China travel alert: Tourist spots closed, flights cancelled amid heavy rains and storms (File Photo by AFP)

Tropical storm Prapiroon is expected to make landfall near the border of China and Vietnam on Tuesday. Another system, Gaemi, has already caused heavy rainfall and flight cancellations in the northern Philippines, while authorities in Taiwan issued a warning it could affect people on the island in the coming days, before moving toward China.

The northern metropolis of Zhengzhou was forced to close schools and tourist spots last week, while cars were inundated on roads and parking lots. At least 14 people in Sichuan and a dozen in Shaanxi died over the weekend due to flooding and a bridge collapse.

In addition to the human toll, the extreme weather raises risks of damage to everything from croplands and coal mines to fishing boats and offshore oil platforms, according to China’s National Mine Safety Administration.

The heavy precipitation could impact coal mining in the country’s third-largest production hub, Shaanxi, and hydropower generation, which has already seen a 21% surge in the first half of the year. Gaemi’s projected path across the Taiwan Strait is set to cross an area with dozens of offshore wind turbines.

Rainfall could also affect corn and soybean growth in the north and rice in the south, right on the heels of heat waves and drought that have already withered some crops in the country’s major agricultural areas.

China has already seen bouts of extreme weather this year that have left a trail of damaged farms and infrastructure in their wake. The country’s battles with flooding spans thousands of years, and meteorologists warn it will only get worse as climate change exacerbates extreme fluctuations in weather.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

John Lennon’s son unveils what makes dad’s solo music stand out from Beatles | Music | Entertainment

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This month John Lennon’s estate has re-released 1973’s Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection as a special box set featuring new mixes.

Some have been worked on to amplify the late star’s voice, while others emphasise the instruments. Promoting the release is his younger son Sean Lennon, who he had with Yoko Ono.

Speaking with The Times, he said of his parents: “Their story is a love story. They found each other across a great divide and certainly struggled through ups and downs, but never doubted their love. It is important we remember them as an example. Even through rough patches, you can see my father thought about my mother. They were simply, irrevocably intertwined.”

Meanwhile, Sean also spoke of what made his father’s solo music stand out from his Beatles tracks.

Sean added: “One thing that distinguishes my dad’s solo career,” Sean says, “is how personal his lyrics became. It is like a diary, and it is my duty to bring attention to my father’s music. Not just my duty to him, but a duty to the world. With the world as it is now, people have forgotten so many things that I never imagined could be forgotten. I refuse to let that happen to this music — it means too much to me.”