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China's growing appetite for e-commerce and mobile payments is offering an expansion opportunity to Hongda Hi-tech Group Co Ltd, one of the largest domestic firms that develop biometric verification technologies.
Hongda, the No 1 maker of identification card recognition equipment in China, is focusing on iris and voice recognition technologies to cement its position as global tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Apple Inc which are also rolling out identification technologies. Wang, a soft-spoken engineering-teacher-turned-entrepreneur, said his flagship product, a population data management system widely used by the Ministry of Public Security, took 60 to 70 percent of the market share.
Hongda is competing with an array of Chinese companies, including Beijing-based Techshino Technology Co and Miaxis Biometrics Co Ltd for government-funded bio-identification projects. Because Hongda helps the government manage residents' ID information, it gets access to an ID pool that covers the entire Chinese population of more than 1.3 billion. The comparison work helps banks and internet companies to pinpoint the exact individual offline so they are able to evaluate financial risks before providing services to that person. China's bio-identification sector has been experiencing a surge in demand for its services from 2014, when market turnover exceeded 8 billion yuan, according to a report from industry consultancy Bosi Data Research Center. Zhu Jinsong, head of the information security control arm of Tencent Holdings Ltd, said telecom fraud and malicious apps are threatening Chinese shoppers' financial safety. Although Chinese internet companies and global hardware vendors such as Apple, are providing personal information safety services such as fingerprint verification, it is difficult for them to identify the user in the real world because they cannot access China's ID card databases. Wang said Hongda will invest more in the internet sector and partner with key service providers on mobile verification systems.
Hongda is also targeting overseas market for growth amid a government-backed initiative to bring its technologies to neighboring countries. Wang sees no difference between his company's technology and those of international competitors and that helps when bidding for overseas projects. The world's second-largest film market, with a box office haul of $6.8 billion in 2015, is churning out top-grossing movies inspired by popular novels published online. As the self-publishing phenomenon has shaken up the literary scene in the West, writers in China have increasingly eschewed conventional publishing models and found readers on the internet. Online novels have amassed hundreds of millions of readers, and now they are being tapped for their potential to reach an even broader audience once adapted into films. More movies based on online literary hits are expected to give Hollywood a run for its money in this summer's blockbuster season, and online novels have also been adapted into TV dramas and video games with great commercial success.
Zhou and his peers are desperate to replicate the success of Harry Potter, which of course began life as a series of novels before spawning films, games, audio books and numerous other licensed products, with a brand worth more than $15 billion. More than 140 million Chinese were regularly reading online literature on their computers and smartphones as of December, according to consultancy iResearch Consulting Group.
Popular genres include mystery and fantasy, court dramas - especially those involving political struggles, office romance, time travel and tomb-raiding adventures. Whereas online literature websites survived in the past on the money users pay to read long stories, they are now trying to become a licenser for works with potential to be adapted into movies and games. A moviegoer walks past a poster for Mojin: The Lost Legend, an Indiana Jones-style thriller adapted from the online novel Guichuideng, at a cinema in Nantong, Jiangsu province. Steven Ciobo said the government's decision to sign the historic China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, also known as ChAFTA, had helped boost exports to China substantially.
He said the reduction and in some cases abolition of tariffs on agricultural products had led to a big increase in exports to China, something he said was greatly benefiting Australian businesses and would continue to do so for "years to come".
Ciobo said the encouraging export figures would continue to rise as Asia's middle class grows, with increased demand not only from China, but from Japan and South Korea as well, after Australia signed free trade deals with both them earlier this decade. The first product will be on sale, both in supermarkets and China's largest e-commerce retailer Tmall, in July, and is expected to be available in 50 cities by the end of this year.
Smith was a member of the 1,000-strong business delegation, the largest to date, which visited China under the Australia Week China 2016 program, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in April.
Having spent two years studying the market for infant formula, which has been dubbed "white gold" in China, the company, which is targeting mothers born after 1985, defined the new generation of Chinese parents as less price-sensitive and eager to learn about the manufacturing of products. The formula offered by Purefine Nature under the brand Berex will retail at around 300 yuan ($46) per can, which is considered as the medium- to high-end category in the industry. Earlier in April, 17,000 cans of fake-brand infant formula were found to have been manufactured and sold nationwide, according to the official website of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Following that, the tariff department of the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on April 13 that all infant formula sold in China, including that purchased through cross-border e-commerce, must be registered with the country's food and drug authorities.
Statistics from research firm Nielsen Holdings Plc estimated that China's infant formula market was 60 billion yuan in 2013 and would keep growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent to reach more than 100 billion by the end of 2016.
Imported milk had a 54 percent market share, up from 30 percent before 2008, when a big food safety scandal broke out, in which some milk and infant formula were found to have been adulterated with melamine. Song Ye, a dairy industry analyst with the Distribution Productivity Promotion Center of China Commerce, estimated that more than 80 percent of foreign infant formula brands entered the market after 2008. Smith said the official implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in June 2015, could also help the company better tap into the market, which boasts a large population of nearly 150 million wealthy middle-class consumers. Most of the investments were in gateway cities such as New York, London, Sydney, and regional hubs like Chicago and Seattle. A Knight Frank analyst forecast further growth in outbound real estate investments this year despite the Chinese economic slowdown.
Ji said China's institutional investors as well as banks and insurers are focused on commercial properties with stable returns, which show their preference for deals with lower risks. In the future, developers may also look into opportunities in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and South Asia. In 2015, the top 10 overseas deals completed by Chinese mainland insurers, institutions and developers focused on commercial properties, particularly office real estate, according to data from Real Capital Analytics, a research and information services provider.
For example, Ping An Insurance (Group) Co purchased Tower Place in London for $506 million in January 2015, and Anbang Insurance Group Co purchase Merrilll Lynch Financial Center in New York for $414 million.
Knight Frank's report said a mixed group of investors consisting of lesser known small-to-mid-cap companies and developers, private equity funds and individuals are increasingly active and their investments in mature markets will also grow in the future. As for individual outbound real estate investors in China, more will choose to allocate their assets in residential properties and their investment decisions are more closely linked to their children's education and their own demands for care for years after retiring. The 117-year-old cheese-maker started selling infant formula this year through a joint venture with Blackmores as demand for the dried-milk powder surged in China. In an interview in Sydney last week, Bega Chairman Barry Irvin said the two companies aim to follow up with nutritional powders for the elderly as well as diabetes sufferers, and then push into developing markets across Asia. Irvin, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, wants to break a history of meager returns at Australia's leading cheese-maker.
Blackmores stock has more than quadrupled since the start of 2015, driven by demand from China. Falling commodity prices drove Australian dairy group Murray Goulburn Co-operative Ltd to slash its profit target as much as 50 percent on Wednesday.
Murray Goulburn also announced the departure of Managing Director Gary Helou and said it would bring forward efforts to make higher-margin, ready-to-eat foods. Based on Bega's average profit margin over the past five years, the company would have made more money putting its revenue in a local bank account. Expansion into Asian markets, where products from Australia and New Zealand are trusted and claim a higher price, is part of Irvin's plan. AIG Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock, under pressure from activist investors John Paulson and Carl Icahn to boost returns and simplify operations, announced in January he was creating a new legacy portfolio. AIG owned about 851 million shares in Beijing-based PICC P&C at the end of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tech giant Yahoo Inc has reached a deal to sell a 20-hectare undeveloped site in Santa Clara, California, near the heart of Silicon Valley and 6 kilometers from the company's Sunnyvale headquarters, to Chinese internet company LeEco Holdings Ltd, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Yahoo has revealed that it might sell real estate as part of its restructuring plan, and media reports said in December that Yahoo was preparing to sell the site.
Yahoo had bought property in Santa Clara for $106 million in 2006, when the company's revenue was still growing and the site was estimated to accommodate more than 12,000 workers, said the report. Yahoo had also got an approval to build up to 279,000 square meters of office or research and development space on the site, in 13 buildings. Apart from LeEco, internet giants such as Google Inc and Apple Inc are said to be among the bidders. On April 28, LeEco announced it would establish its new 7,400-sq-m North American headquarters in San Jose, a facility that can accommodate as many as 800 employees.
It will also be the future home of LeEco's self-driving research center the LeFuture AI Institute, through partnering with Faraday Future, an electric-car company based in California. Moreover, top talent engaged in research and development, products sales and management from Apple, Google and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have also been attracted into LeEco's US office.
LeEco could learn the most advanced technology and even attract top-level talent through establishing its headquarters in Silicon Valley, and to help expand in the North American market with its ecosystem of technology and content offerings, Pang added. Industry sources said selling the property could meet some of Yahoo's cash demands and reduce its operating cost, which also reflects the decline of the traditional internet conglomerate and the rise of some new internet forces. At the ongoing Auto China 2016 in Beijing, SAIC Maxus, a group firm of SAIC Motor, has put on display two big-size zero-emission electric vehicles: the seven-seater EG10 and the 15-seater EV80. What's more, the auto major is already thinking of exports, particularly to the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, even though the governments there are not as zealous as China in encouraging environmentally friendly surface transport technologies, senior officials of the company said. Besides, SAIC Motor will step up efforts to increase sales of its NEVs in China, said Wu Fengjie, its regional deputy general manager for sales.
One, focus on urban families for the EG10, and travel firms and vehicle-based businesses like mobile coffee shops for the EV80. Two, heavy investment will be made toward "changing the mindset" of peoples across its global market footprint.
SAIC's NEVs, company officials said, can cover a distance of 150-200 kilometers on a full charge. This year, SAIC is targeting to sell in China about 6,000 units of the EV80 priced around 500,000 yuan each, and about 1,000 units of the EG10 priced around 400,000 yuan each. It is understood that a senior official of China's People's Liberation Army checked out SAIC's NEVs at the expo and was all praise for them. In the markets in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates is said to be keener than others to switch over to NEVs. During the Dubai Motor Show in November, the UAE industry minister appreciated SAIC's NEVs. The European Union regulations are moving toward the Euro 6 standard for emissions, which is expected to increase demand for electric vehicles. Covestro went through a comparatively harder time in China in the second and third quarters of last year due to a slump in the financial markets and the problem of destocking. However, the momentum quickly picked up in the fourth quarter and has been even more noticeable since the Spring Festival in February this year, said CEO Patrick Thomas. As a result, Chinese market recorded a 13.3 percent of sales increase in the first three months of this year, up from the 4 percent last year and the highest in the entire Asia-Pacific region. The company's Asia-Pacific headquarters is now based in Shanghai, a reflection of the rising importance of the Chinese market to Covestro. More importantly, the headquarters for its global polycarbonate business, which is one of Covestro's core businesses, is also now located in Shanghai.
Covestro has also expanded the scope of its research center in Shanghai, contributing to global market studies. Confidence in the Chinese market comes from the evolution that Covestro has witnessed in the past few years.
With the central government's economic initiatives such as Made in China 2025, Thomas said he believes that there has come a tipping point of change for China's manufacturing industry.
Jahwa, wholly owned by Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, is acquiring the company from British private-equity firm 3i Group Plc, the group said. Mayborn, a leading high-end maternal and baby products producer, was taken private by 3i in 2006. Tommee Tippee takes the top market share in terms of sales revenues in the United Kingdom, and the fifth-largest market share globally. Jahwa's move is part of an ongoing trend by Chinese companies acquiring premium foreign consumer brands, expanding their businesses overseas and bringing high-quality foreign products to China.
In April, Chinese leading textile company Yong Sheng, a Hangzhou-based privately owned enterprise, acquired French lace producer Desseilles Laces SAS, one of the oldest lace producers in the country, for 300,000 euros ($341,000). China's manufacturing activity expanded for the second month in a row in April but at a slower pace, official data showed on Sunday.
The Agricultural Development Bank of China provided more financial support to China's agriculture and rural development in the first quarter. Tianjin began charging factories for emissions of volatile organic compounds, a major contributor to air pollution, on Sunday. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas received a record order intake for the first quarter of 2016, and maintained its annual guidance for the full-year, the company said.
National Oilwell Varco, a multinational energy corporation, cut nearly 6,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year to deal with low oil prices, the company said.
Foreign currency trading in South Korea hit a quarterly record high during the January-March period as hedging demand increased amid rising volatility in the foreign exchange market, central bank data showed on Monday.
Lithuanian GDP grew by 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the same quarter in 2015, Statistics Lithuania announced. A potential buyer examines car-shaped draw-bar suitcases at the ongoing China Import and Export Fair, which is known as the Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. In late April, Greenland Group, one of the largest developers in China, forwarded its staff a plan, proposed by a consultancy, to cope with the new 11 percent value-added tax or VAT, which is higher than the 5 percent business tax.
The plan suggested that developers should try their best to have their projects taxed as per the pre-reform rate.
Developers' scrambling for the old tax rate underscores their worry over uncertainty over the new tax. In late March, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued a circular clarifying that the cost of land - the biggest cost for developers that accounts for 30 to 70 percent of the project sale price - would be considered while computing the tax outgo. However, many real estate developers are still uncomfortable with the new tax, and prefer the previous 5 percent flat rate, which they said was simpler to calculate. It was recommended that developers should apply for their existing projects to be subjected to "easy taxation" before the deadline of April 30, Greenland informed its staff. For major developers, getting invoices would not be difficult as they have bargaining power. Alan Wu, national indirect tax leader for PwC China, said in general the reform is positive for developers, but there are some pending technical issues.
Besides, the reform will allow, for the first time, VAT incurred by all the enterprises on newly acquired immovable properties to be deducted while computing tax outgo. Asked about the issue, Vice-Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said that he did not believe this would be the case. There is no cause for concern that the new value-added tax may increase homebuyers' tax burden, tax officials said in a circular.
For the first time, VAT will cover individuals besides companies in sales of existing homes. The circular clarified that the VAT rate for individual secondhand home sales will be 5 percent, the same as the previous business tax rate.
Wang Kang, deputy director of the State Administration of Taxation, said last month that VAT will likely help reduce the tax burden. The actual tax burden of the service sector under the new system will likely ease, authorities said. International hotel chains, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corp and Marriott International Inc, have raised their room rates in the Chinese mainland, effective Sunday, by attributing the rise to VAT, which will be extended to several industries.
According to the Ministry of Finance, VAT will be levied at 6 percent on businesses with annual revenue of more than 5 million yuan ($769,000). A room at the Hilton in Shanghai would thus cost about 1,500 yuan ($230) per night, in addition to a service charge of 225 yuan, and VAT of 90 yuan, according to the hotel's website.
The pricing authorities in Shanghai said hotel chains should apply a proper method to calculate the correct room rates. Officials said the tax reform is expected to reduce burdens of businesses as it will end discrimination against the service sector. Besides, companies will be able to deduct their input VAT, including procurements of materials, equipment and services, the purchase or renting of real estate properties, and office expenses.
Under the new system, hotels with annual sales revenues of less than 5 million yuan will pay 40 percent less tax. People's Daily cited Finance Minister Lou Jiwei as saying that price adjustments are independent business decisions of hotels.
Analysts said VAT may hurt sales revenues of enterprises, but overall, it will likely have a positive impact on businesses as their costs will decline, given the input VAT deductions. The hike in hotel rates may well lower room occupancy levels, and the resulting loss in sales revenue may outweigh the gains from higher room rates, they said.

Matthew Wong, PwC China's financial services tax leader, said: "We talked to a number of bankers and they cannot see how this reform can help banks reduce tax because the rate is higher and the amount of input VAT they can credit is difficult to be estimated. The financial services sector in China has been paying 5 percent business tax or BT for many years, but from Sunday, the 6 percent VAT took effect. Many taxable items still require further clarification from the authorities concerned, Wong said.
Previously, when banks purchased computers, they simply needed to choose a provider that asked for the lowest price. Leung said the tax reform requires taxpayers to invest on additional resources such as talent and IT systems. Lachlan Wolfers, head of indirect taxes at KPMG China, said the change from BT to VAT may seem like a tax increase but in reality it is not. Over the past decade, many countries have explored the possibility of introducing VAT for the financial services sector, but have not been able to do so successfully because it has been very difficult to measure the "value added" to financial services on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
Dong Jinxian teared up as she watched a musical in Yan'an, set during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the Chinese Civil War (1946-49). Yan'an Nursery tells the true story of a school which took care of the children of soldiers during the war. After the show, 55-year-old Dong said it was worth watching the musical even though her tour guide had not recommended it. However, until recently Yan'an was not easily accessible because of a lack of good transportation.
High-speed trains now connect Yan'an with several cities, bringing increasing number of tourists. The number of daily passenger arrivals in Yan'an by train has gone up from just 4,000 in 2010 to nearly 47,000 now.
Railway authorities are also working to expand the network to other areas in China's western region. A special train named The Beautiful Dali Express was launched last April, connecting Xi'an and Dali county.
The western region has six provinces, five autonomous regions and the municipality of Chongqing.
By the end of 2014, trains connecting Lanzhou and Urumqi, Guiyang and Guangzhou and Nanning and Guangzhou were launched. The launch of Lanzhou-Xinjiang trains has sparked renewed interest in the ancient Silk Road, bringing unprecedented number of tourists to the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai as well as to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway will shorten the distance between Shanghai and Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, to about nine hours.
In the past, when tourists came to Yan'an, they usually went to caves where Chairman Mao Zedong and other Communist leaders lived during the fateful years of the revolution.
To attract more tourists to Yan'an and accelerate the area's economic development, the local government has been encouraging companies to create more interesting tourism-oriented projects. Guo Xiaoqiang, deputy general manager of the company, said the musical has been attracting a lot of tourists. For example, it has invested millions of yuan to turn Dihua Town, a town with ancient-style buildings, located in Danfeng into a multi-function site for tourists, said Zhang Wei, director of the administrative committee of the site. Cui Jiajia, a 20-year-old tourist who loves literature, said she went to Danfeng to visit the writer's house and didn't expect to see a large beautiful lake with full of lotus flowers. Zhang said the authority is working on the second phase of the site, which will be able to provide hotel services for tourists who want to stay in the area.
Thousands of angry protesters broke into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone area on Saturday and stormed the Iraqi parliament building after lawmakers again failed to approve new ministers. Jubilant crowds, most of them supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, invaded the main session hall, shouting slogans glorifying their leader and claiming that they had rooted out corruption. The capital was already on high alert for a major Shiite pilgrimage, participants in which were targeted in a bombing that killed 23 on Saturday, but extra security measures were taken after protesters stormed the Green Zone. Besides the parliament compound, the restricted area in central Baghdad houses the presidential palace, the prime minister's office and several embassies, including those of the United States and Britain. Protesters pulled down several slabs of the heavy concrete blast walls that surround the Green Zone to create an opening and also climbed over the barrier.
They then headed to parliament, where some rampaged through the building and broke into offices, while others shouted "peacefully, peacefully" and tried to contain the destruction. Some six hours after the Green Zone was stormed and despite the chaos, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a statement claiming the situation in Baghdad was "under the control of the security forces" and urging protesters to return to "designated protest areas".
Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi meanwhile issued a statement that referred to MPs as "representatives of the people, and their servants" - descriptions with which many Iraqis would disagree. Tear gas was used against protesters but violence did not escalate further, with both sides mostly seen fraternizing. An AFP photographer said members of the Sadrist militia group Saraya al-Salam were in control of the parliament building and were not permitting protesters to enter.
Demonstrators left parliament and began a sit-in at Ihtifalat Square inside the Green Zone.
Protesters earlier pulled barbed wire across a road leading to one of the Green Zone exits, attempting to prevent some scared lawmakers from fleeing the chaos. Inside the main hall where lawmakers failed to reach a quorum earlier in the day, protesters sat in the MPs' seats taking "selfies" and shouting slogans. Parliament failed to reach a quorum on Saturday after approving some of Abadi's ministerial nominees earlier in the week. The Green Zone unrest started as Sadr ended a news conference in the Shiite holy city of Najaf during which he condemned the political deadlock.
Followers of Iraq's Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr surround Baghdad's Green Zone after lawmakers failed to convene for a vote on overhauling the government in Iraq on Saturday.
Desperate farmers from a neighboring state regularly attempt to steal water from the Barighat dam, forcing authorities in central Madhya Pradesh to protect it with armed guards to ensure supplies. India is officially in the grip of its worst water crisis in years, with the government saying that about 330 million people, or a quarter of the population, are suffering from drought after the last two monsoons failed. But the security measures cannot stop the drought from ravaging the dam in the parched Bundelkhand region, with officials saying it holds just one month of reserves. Four reservoirs in Madhya Pradesh have already dried up, leaving more than a million people with inadequate water and forcing authorities to truck in supplies.
Almost a hundred thousand residents in Tikamgarh get piped water for just two hours every fourth day, while municipal authorities have ordered new bore wells to be dug to meet demand.
But it may not be enough, with officials saying the groundwater level has receded more than 30 meters owing to less than half the average annual rainfall in the past few years. With temperatures hovering around 45 degrees Celsius, its 850 residents fear they may soon be left thirsty. Farmers across India rely on the monsoon - a four-month rainy season which starts in June - to cultivate their crops, as the country lacks a robust irrigation system. Two weak monsoons have resulted in severe water shortages and crop losses in as many as 10 states, prompting extreme measures including curfews near water sources and water trains sent to the worst-affected regions. Many dejected farmers are now moving to cities and towns to work as daily wage laborers to overcome their financial losses and support their families. At a scruffy, makeshift camp in north Mumbai, in one of the worst-affected states, dozens of migrants who have fled their drought-stricken villages queue to fill plastic containers with water. A young child swims in a water reservoir in Tikamgarh in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. In a single act to reaffirm the nation's stand to save its elephant and rhino population, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze pyres of rhino horn and elephant tusks worth an estimated $150 million.
He addressed critical voices that call for legalizing the trade and said Kenya will soon be forwarding its proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species calling for a complete ban. Ina letter to Kenyatta, President Xi Jinping said China appreciates Kenya's effort in wildlife conservation and will continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with the international community, including Kenya, for wildlife conservation in Africa.
The trade has been nurtured by rampant corruption, porous borders and international cartels that use more sophisticated weapons. For his part, Bongo, who burned his country's stockpile three years ago, gave a stern warning to poachers and traders noting that Central Africa has seen much of its herds wiped out in the last decade. Bongo said poaching will evolve into terrorism creating regional and continental instability.
Firefighers spray water to put out fire that spread to a grassy area near a burning pile of ivory on Saturday. Three assailants sped up to a Bangladeshi tailor's shop by motorcycle on Saturday, dragged out the Hindu owner and hacked him to death, police said, in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Police official Abdul Jalil, quoting witnesses, said the attackers fled the scene after killing 50-year-old Nikhil Chandra Joardar outside his shop in the town of Tangail, 80 kilometers northwest of the capital Dhaka. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, saying the tailor had blasphemed Prophet Muhammad, the US-based monitoring service SITE said. The attack came days after a Bangladeshi gay rights campaigner and his friend were killed in a similar manner in a Dhaka apartment. Islamist militants have targeted atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and foreign aid workers in a series of killings that dates back to February 2015 and has claimed at least 20 lives. International human rights groups say a climate of intolerance in Bangladeshi politics has both motivated and provided cover for perpetrators of crimes of religious hatred.
Police said they were investigating whether Joardar's killing was connected to a complaint made against him for making a derogatory comment about Prophet Muhammad. He was in jail for a few weeks in 2012 but released after the complaint against him was withdrawn, said Jalil. The Islamic State and a group affiliated to al-Qaida have issued similar claims of responsibility in the past, but the authenticity of Saturday's statement could not be immediately verified. Three people, including a local Islamist party leader, have been picked up for questioning, police said on Sunday. The Bangladeshi government has denied that Islamic State or al-Qaida have a presence in the country of 160 million people. A building that collapsed amid heavy rains in Nairobi, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 134, did not have an occupancy permit, officials said on Saturday as they ordered its owner to turn himself in. An explosion on Sunday near a police station in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep has killed a policeman and injured 13 other people, an official said. Crews rescued a 72-year-old survivor of Ecuador's deadly earthquake almost two weeks after it struck the South American country. The roars of lions filled the cargo section of Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday evening as 33 lions rescued from South American circuses landed in South Africa where they will be released into a bush sanctuary for big cats.
Abu Sayyaf militants have freed 10 Indonesian tugboat crewmen who were seized at sea in March and taken to a jungle encampment in the southern Philippines, officials said on Sunday.
For the second time in a week, President Xi Jinping has emphasized the important role of science and technology in powering China's development on April 26. Speaking at a symposium on internet and cyberspace security on April 19 in Beijing, he called for China to make a breakthrough in next-generation internet technologies. And on April 26, at one of the events highlighted most by Chinese media during his field-study tour of Anhui province, Xi visited the University of Science and Technology of China, in Hefei. At the university's Institute of Advanced Technology, Xi was shown achievements in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to public security, and from drones to alternative energy.
Eliot Spitzer refused to give proper funding for our public schools, taxpayer money, but, he gives it to The Best Little Whore House in Washington, nice reform, eight years as Attorney General, and one year as Governor of New York, hum, he, should have named his book The Rise And Fall Of Eliota€™s Penis! Michael Garciaa€™s Office is getting weak, he found no wrong doing by the former Governor Eliot Spitzer for buying sex off Prostitutes. First, we must work together to reform state government.
In order to change the status quo, we must reform government to be more responsive to change.
Reform must target two areas: First, we must enact comprehensive ethics reforms. We gather here today with the front-page stories of scandal fresh in our minds and the minds of all New Yorkers.
Our package will lower contribution limits dramatically, close the loopholes that allow special interests to circumvent these limits, and sharply reduce contributions from lobbyists and companies that do business with the state.
We also must address lobbying reform to restore the publica€™s faith in government decision-making.
In addition to ethics reform, we must work together to implement structural reform at every level of government to make it more flexible and adaptive to change. In the coming weeks, I will submit a Constitutional amendment that incorporates Judge Kayea€™s recommendations to consolidate and integrate our balkanized courts. I will also submit a second constitutional amendment that will take the politics out of the selection of judges and implement a merit appointment process. We will build on the Legislaturea€™s recent reform effort and submit legislation to strengthen transparency and accountability. Third, we must consolidate New Yorka€™s multiple layers of local government a€“ those 4,200 taxing jurisdictions that cost taxpayers millions each year in duplicative services and stand as yet another impediment to change.
To increase timeliness, we must accelerate revenue forecasting, reduce the Governora€™s 30-day amendment period and require conference committees to meet as early as possible.
To increase transparency, we will move forward a€“ as the leaders have already agreed a€“ to eliminate lump-sum member items, and require that all member-item spending be specifically itemized in the budget, so this spending can be clearly defined, analyzed and transparent to the public.
To increase fiscal responsibility, we must require that the enacted budget be balanced, and we must require the Legislature to report on the financial impact of any changes made to the Executive Budget. I am also sensitive to the important balance of power between the Executive and the Legislature in the budget-making process. Together, these ethics and structural reforms will transform a government that is structurally oriented to resist change into one that is oriented to embrace it. First, we must focus on that period in a childa€™s life that is develop-mentally the most critical a€“ from birth to five years old.
The second part of our plan to adapt to the Innovation Economy will be a coordinated effort to revitalize distressed cities, towns and neighborhoods across our state a€“ because in the Innovation Economy, investment and jobs will flow only to those areas that are safe and vibrant places to live and work.
We must provide greater aid to distressed cities and towns in the same way we will provide more funding to distressed schools, based upon the principle that with any new investment must come new ac-countability. Therefore, we must significantly expand the Aid and Incentives to Municipalities program for those cities and towns in greatest need. I will also appoint an Upstate ESDC chair who will be based in a new Upstate headquarters in Buffalo, so we can have a dedicated chair to work with our Upstate mayors and zero in on the particular economic challenges facing their communities. And Downstate, ESDC will not only drive the big development deals, but will also make sure state investment flows to those neighborhoods and communities that have been overlooked in years past. The third part of our plan is to provide the infusion of capital necessary to catalyze our Innovation Economy. The fund will provide long-term investment, overseen by independent industry experts, for stem cell innovations and other types of applied research that will lead to direct commercial application.
Finally, we must not forget that in order to adapt to an Innovation Economy, we must open the doors for all to participate.
We must start with our workersa€™ compensation system, a system that does not work for anyone: not the employers who pay some of the highest premiums in the country, and not the workers who receive some of the lowest benefits. I have already begun discussions with the Legislature and representatives from both business and labor to arrive at a solution that will lower employer premiums, while increasing worker benefits for the first time since 1992.
I also look forward to working with you on legislation to reform the Wicks Law, which drives up construction costs for school districts and municipalities.
On January 31st, I will submit a budget that includes the first installment of a three-year, $6 billion property tax cut a€“ cuts that are focused on those middle class homeowners whose property taxes are rising too fast for their incomes to catch up. The fundamental problem with the statea€™s current property tax relief program is that it doesna€™t care whether a person can afford to pay their property taxes. It works round-the-clock, and for not just days or weeks, but for months and months, very own Money From Your Website making you tons of CASH! There’s always going to be a comment or situation that rocks you, but confidence is how you handle it and pick yourself back up. Hongda said the company also provides more than 60 percent of the fingerprint scanning machines used in Chinese embassies around the world.
The statistics are stored in a government data center, but the company is allowed to pair the ID information with its customers who only have the individuals' online ID. A more sophisticated verification process is expected to give customers better protection over data safety," according to Zhu.
But he said the company gets at least 20 percent revenue growth each year, thanks to growing business in the country. The initiative, announced in 2013, is an attempt to expand trade with countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Eastern Africa. Mojin: The Lost Legend, an Indiana Jones-style thriller adapted from the online novel Guichuideng, was the third-highest-grossing Chinese film last year.
It seems only a matter of time before China gets its first major media franchise based on an online novel.

Comics are quickly catching up as the fan base is broadening in China," said Zhang Xiaoting, CEO of Beijing-based investment firm Ming Capital. The company planned to penetrate "the most important overseas market" starting with its milk powder and introduce at least six products, including infant supplements and diapers, within one year.
Residential properties will be their first considerations in cities with demands supported by demographic and commercial conditions.
There has been significantly increased investment in commercial real estate in the United States, making it the fastest-growing mature market. Destinations with good education resources and ample natural landscape resources will be priorities, said the report. Tumbling commodity prices have made it difficult to make money manufacturing simple food ingredients like skimmed milk powder. Bega, which takes its name from the southern New South Wales town where it's based, needs the tie-up with Sydney-based Blackmores to deliver higher-profile goods that can command a price premium, Irvin said.
That book includes about a quarter of the company's equity and is comprised of discontinued businesses and investments that AIG plans to exit.
The CEO plans to free up about $9 billion as part of a two-year plan to fund $25 billion of share buybacks and dividend payments. After the sale, AIG is subject to a 60-day lockup on its remaining stake, according to the terms. The US insurer also took part in PICC P&C's rights offerings in recent years at subscription prices of less than HK$8. And the purchase indicates a rapid expansion plan for LeEco, which has been involved in diverse businesses, making phones, TVs, mountain bikes and soon electric cars, and that it is tapping into the entertainment and sports sectors. LeEco will establish its North American headquarters in San Jose, which will also be the future home of its self-driving R&D center. If you invest a lot, you earn a lot eventually," said Shawber Guan, SAIC Maxus' overseas business sales manager.
That's adequate to take care of daily needs of city couples driving to office together, dropping their children at school, and weekend needs like shopping or short getaway rides for picnics and sightseeing, they said.
Local distributors in Dubai later requested SAIC to arrange a few sample vehicles for extended test runs, Guan said. During the same period, the group's adjusted core earnings reached 508 million euros ($571 million), an 8.5 percent year-on-year increase. He spoke on the sidelines of the 30th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, which concluded in Shanghai last week.
Implied in all these changes is the fact that China is where the technology demand comes from, according to Thomas. While the company used to resort to traders for selling some of their products, they have been seeing a growing number of customers skipping traders and going directly to them for questions and more products. The quality of Chinese manufacturing exports, such as automobiles, has been largely improved while the prices are more affordable compared with European counterparts. After the acquisition, Mayborn started to make further investments globally, said Alan Giddins, managing partner of 3i Group.
After it entered the United States, Mayborn became the fastest-growing infant feeding bottles brand in the US market.
It is the highest monthly reading since March 2013 and also the first time for the index to climb above 50 percent in two years, indicating the expansion of the steel industry, according to the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing.
The charge applies to petrochemical, packaging and printing companies in the northern Chinese city.
More than 1.52 billion shares from 36 companies will become tradable on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses from May 3 to May 6, according to brokerage Southwest Securities Co.
The intake of firm and unconditional wind turbine orders amounted to 2,403 megawatts in the first quarter, up from 1,750 megawatts for the same period of last year, according to Vestas' quarterly financial report. The Houston-based oilfield equipment maker also plans to shut down a total of 200 facilities, it said in a statement.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in March grew to 806,118 from 768,118 in February, according to a report on the bureau's website. According to the first estimate, seasonally adjusted GDP growth of the first quarter of 2016 was the fastest since the third quarter of 2014. But, tax authorities have allowed developers to apply for their projects - existing as well as those under construction - to be taxed simply by the sale value, as an interim method. Given the large amount of costs developers can deduct, the actual tax as per the VAT system could work out lower than before.
It came as a relief for developers that long feared the land cost may not be included in tax computation. The problem is for millions of small contractors that might not be able to get invoices from their upstream businesses, experts said. This has created speculation that enterprises would be incentivized to buy properties, especially commercial properties, to gain tax credit, and thus lower tax burdens. Wu said the purchase of real estate requires a large sum of money, which far exceeds the benefits in the new VAT credit. Levying VAT on top of the business tax is a misinterpretation of the new policy," said the local taxation bureau in Shanghai.
Inter-Continental Hotels Group Plc became the first hotel that canceled the price rise after the meeting.
For instance, Hilton posted on its website that the tax reform will cause customers to pay an extra 6 percent VAT on top of the existing 15 percent service charge, including 10 percent service fee and 5 percent business tax.
The pricing regulator will launch market inspections, and prosecute hospitality firms charging excess rates in the name of VAT.
Attributing the price rise to VAT is groundless, there is no direct link, he reportedly said. For instance, the new VAT rules have exemptions on interest amount in connection with interbank funding activities, but the scope of exemptions is narrower than that under the old business tax rules. Now, they have to consider which provider could issue VAT invoices at better rates, in addition to the price. Some large financial institutions would need to spend more than 400 million yuan ($62 million) to modify their business operations. BT is levied on the gross revenue earned by financial institutions whereas VAT is levied on the "value added".
So, in an overall sense, it is expected that the tax burden on financial institutions may actually fall as a result of these changes," he said. If China does this successfully, you can expect many other countries will follow," Wolfers said. She had been part of a group of tourists visiting the city in April from Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province.
It was near the endpoint of the Long March (1934-35), and became the center of the Communist Revolution from 1936 to 1948.
Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region are also now connected, thanks to the opening of fast rail links. It lost 10 million yuan last year, but it is working on taking the play to other cities in the country, which will generate more revenue. Small items which feature the Communist Party's revolutionary history are among best sellers.
Armed men have been securing the Barighat dam for months against water thefts by desperate farmers from a neighboring state. The event took place at the Nairobi National Park, the only natural conservancy in the world located in a city. Despite its consistent anti-poaching stance, the country - and Africa as a whole - continues to lose its elephant and rhino population. He called for concerted efforts among countries that have shown a willingness to burn their stockpiles. We have to stop poaching because the vice is feeding insecurity and social unrest on the continent," he said. Details about the residential building emerged a day after its collapse on Friday, after which crowds of onlookers gathered to try to help pry victims from the rubble. Governor Ali Yerlikaya of Gaziantep province said those injured in the blast at the entrance of the police station include at least nine policemen.
A visiting Venezuelan search team located Manuel Vasquez, who had been trapped under rubble since the 7.8-magnitude quake that killed 660 people, the Venezuelan embassy in Quito said on its website. It was the largest airlift of lions in history, said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, which carried out the operation.
The Indonesians appeared to be in good health when they were dropped off on Sunday in front of the house of Sulu province's governor in the town of Jolo, said the town's police chief, Junpikar Sitin. Second, we must enact structural reforms to transform our government from one that is designed to resist change to one that is designed to embrace it. We are in danger of losing the confidence of those who elected us.
In the coming weeks, we will submit a reform package to replace the weakest campaign finance laws in the nation with the strongest.
In the coming weeks, we will propose legislation that fully bans gifts to elected officials and strengthens the a€?revolving doora€? law, which still allows legislative employees to immediately lobby their former colleagues. We will submit legislation that reforms our elections a€“ specifically legislation that establishes an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission.
New York has the most complex and costly court system in the country, a system that too often fails to provide justice while imposing an undue burden on taxpayers. Originally created to be lean, anti-bureaucratic machines, they have become patronage dumping grounds, adding yet another costly bureaucracy, entrenched in the status quo and insulated from accountability.
We will promptly review each of the authorities and develop with a plan to consolidate and eliminate those authorities that have outlived their usefulness. I will appoint a Commission on Local Government Efficiency to report back with a specific plan of action. We will work with you on a reform package based on three principles: timeliness, transparency and fiscal responsibility. Within four years, we should make pre-kindergarten available to every four-year-old in New York. Not only must we in-vest in what we know works today, we must continuously experiment with new approaches.
Because, to compete in an Innovation Economy, New Yorkers need more than a high school degree. But as we provide new aid, we must demand that municipalities practice better financial management and make stronger efforts to achieve efficiencies.a€?a€?And we at the state level must do our part. To that effect, ESDC will focus and leverage the broad array of economic development efforts, which right now are balkanized across 28 separate agencies, creating inefficiencies and fragmented policy. We will propose a Stem Cell and Innovation Fund a€“ led by Lieutenant Governor David Paterson a€“ to be presented to the voters for approval. This investment will repay itself many times over in increased jobs, economic activity and improved health. We ask that you begin implementing Lieutenant Governor Patersona€™s comprehensive plan for minority- and women-owned business development. A solution must also make it easier for workers to get the medical treatment they want and need so they can get back to work. Because of the different needs of our state, as we provide more resources to school districts, we must provide more property tax relief to over-taxed homeowners. The goal I have for myself is feeling quietly confident, like I don’t need the attention or approval of everyone in the room. That might be a surprising statement to hear from someone like me who probably knows most of you from the fitness industry, but it’s a very small component of weight loss and weight management.
First, my disclaimer, again, I just want to put it out there that I am by no means a Periscope expert. I think the best way to achieve and earn more in as little as 90 days is to focus on the people around you and your personal goals.
Technologies used to build nuclear power stations, high-speed trains as well as IT products are among items getting a boost under the program. Meanwhile strong growth in Australia continues unabated while investment in the United Kingdom is on par with that of 2014. The PICC P&C holding is one of the easier ones to sell, given that the stock is publicly traded in Hong Kong. The company has managed to produce a windmill blade up to 50 meters long with one single liquid injection.
The two sides will be able to create an international business platform of baby care products," it said. The standard charge is set at 10 yuan ($1.5) per kilogram, but authorities will grant a 50 percent discount to companies discharging less than half of the national limit while tripling the charge for those that exceed the limit in both volume and density of VOC discharges. Westpac Chief Executive Brian Hartzer said in a statement on Monday the company had delivered a sound result in a volatile economic environment with significant regulatory change. The value of the combined backlog of wind turbine orders and service agreements stood at 18 billion euros ($20.61 billion), which is an increase of 3 billion euros and the highest level ever.
The company, which conducts operations in more than 1,200 locations across the world, reported a loss of $21 million in the first quarter, with revenues falling 55 percent year on year. It surpassed the previous record high of 52.85 billion dollars tallied in the first quarter of 2008. The Indonesian government is robustly campaigning to expand tourism in Southeast Asia's largest economy as it targets to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2019. The regions' beautiful mountains, deserts and highlands have been luring tourists for years but its challenging geographical location has resulted in slower economic development. I want to say that we have made our stand that ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants. Data shows poachers have killed 100,000 elephants in the last 3 years alone with Central Africa bearing the brunt.
Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet ordered the owner of the building to surrender himself to the police for questioning. They found Vasquez "making sounds in a partially collapsed building" on Friday in Manabi province while doing inspections for structural problems, it said. To restore their confidence, we must overhaul our campaign finance, lobbying and election laws. Chief Judge Kaye has forged consensus within the legal community for how we must fairly administer justice. And we will staff our authorities with experts picked for what they know, not whom they know. Together, we must summon the political will to face the reality that 4,200 taxing jurisdictions are simply too many. We will form a Commission on Public Higher Education to recommend a comprehensive policy for achieving academic excellence, ensuring access, and contributing to the statea€™s workforce and economic development efforts.a€?a€?Finally, soaring property taxes cana€™t a€“ and dona€™t have to be a€“ the price of excellent schools. We must reform man-dates such as the Wicks Law that impose undue costs on municipalities, reform our brown-fields law to increase the amount of shovel-ready land and increase education investment to distressed cities and towns under a new school aid formula.
This plan a€“ driven by strong leadership from the Executive level a€“ will give qualified minority- and women-owned businesses the opportunity to develop the capacity they need to prosper in this new economy. I hope that together we can fix this flaw and make the system fairer by concentrating relief on those struggling middle class families who need it the most. So, we'll increase our advertising budget to explain the advantages of NEVs to consumers in our target markets," said Guan.
The surge in lending comes amid a government campaign to develop modern agriculture and increase farmers' income. Clay Williams, chief executive officer, said his company will continue to adjust its cost to cope with the oil bust, which has forced many energy companies across the world to cut jobs and budgets. But there are still some land parcels that developers have to pay for, and may not get the invoice," Wu said. Let the future generation judge us," he said amid applause from dignitarities, including Gabon's President Ali Bongo.
By cutting off the demand for private money, we will cut off the special-interest influence that comes with it.
Let us now begin to raise a new generation of New Yorkers who have the knowledge and skills they need to com-pete in the Innovation Economy. Yet the increase in charter schools must be accompanied by transitional aid for districts a€“ like Buffalo and Albany a€“ that have been most affected by a high level of enrollment in charter schools. We need a property tax cut plan that provides relief to middle-class New Yorkers who need it most.a€?Revitalizing Distressed Cities, Towns and Neighborhoods.

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