The US finally grounded Boeing Co’s money-spinning 737 Max series of aircraft on Wednesday over safety fears, after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash killed 157 people on Sunday, leaving the world’s largest planemaker facing its worst crisis in years.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cited new satellite data and evidence from the scene of Sunday’s crash near Addis Ababa for its decision to join Europe, China and other nations in suspending 737 Max flights.

The crash was the second disaster involving the 737 Max 8, the world’s most-sold modern passenger aircraft, in less than five months, after a Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia in October 2018, killing all 189 on board just after take-off.

The new information from the wreckage in Ethiopia and newly refined data about the plane’s flight path indicated some similarities between the two disasters “that warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause,” the FAA said in a statement.

The acting administrator of the FAA, Daniel Elwell, said he did not know how long the US grounding of the aircraft would last. A software fix for the 737 Max that Boeing has been working on since the Indonesia crash will take months to complete, Elwell told reporters.

The single-aisle 737 is central to Boeing’s future in its battle with European rival Airbus SE. The new variant of the 737, the fastest-selling jetliner in Boeing’s history, is viewed as the likely workhorse for global airlines for decades.

“The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today,” the FAA said, shortly after US President Donald Trump announced the planes would be grounded.

It was the second time the FAA has halted flights of a Boeing plane in six years. It grounded the 787 Dreamliner in 2013 because of problems with smoking batteries.

Boeing, which maintained that its planes were safe to fly, said in a statement that it supported the latest FAA move.

“Boeing has determined – out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety – to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 Max aircraft.”

Passengers have been spooked by the two disasters happened recently. US travel website Kayak was making changes to let customers exclude specific aircraft types from searches, and booking sites were looking to reroute passengers.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday urged South Africans suffering from a worsening power shortage to join a national day of action against what “is now a national crisis.”

The DA said it planned to launch the national day of action on March 29, with the aim of urging the government to take real action when the country is being crippled by consistent power outages.

“We call on South Africans in every community, town and city across the country to join us in a collective protest against what is now a national crisis,” the DA said.

As rolling power outages continued, more and more South Africans have vented their anger on social media at the government’s failure to fix the power shortage.

Fear among the public has been mounting following messages circulating on social media that South Africa will run out of electricity soon.

But electricity utility Eskom on Wednesday denied the allegation, calling it “false and misleading.”

“Messages being circulated via social and digital media indicating that there will not be electricity in South Africa are false and misleading,” the utility said.

For the past week, South Africa has been hit hard by continued rolling blackouts. As power outages become more frequent, President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to prepare for tougher times in days to come.

Load shedding has turned from bad to worse since Saturday after tropical cyclone Idai struck Mozambique.

South Africa is so dependent on electricity imports from neighboring states that a loss of 1,100 megawatts (MW) from Mozambique forced Eskom to implement stage 4 load shedding, which allows for up to 4000 MW of the national load to be discarded.

Stage 4 is the most severe load shedding that was first implemented in February and now has been in effect for the past five consecutive days.

There have been reports that Eskom is preparing stage 5 and 6 load shedding, which means that the utility will shed 5,000 MW and 6,000 MW respectively. This is an indication that the national grid is on the brink of collapse.

South Africa has never experienced higher than stage 4 load shedding.

Eskom has denied that it would implement stage 5 and 6 load shedding but has acknowledged that there is a race against time to ensure that a national blackout and grid collapse do not occur.

“Load shedding is controlled and managed on a rotational basis for a period of between two or four hours at a time, depending on the schedule that the customer is on, on a particular day,” said the state-run parastatal, which provides about 95 percent of the electricity consumed in South Africa.

Thanks for your advice, which I am following, having got Lord Malmesbury’s Diary; but I am relapsing into my natural dawdling, lazy, and somnolent habits, and can with difficulty get through the leaders even of the “Times.”
* * * * ‘The vehemence of the farmers is personal against Peel; it is quite clear that the rising price of wheat has cured their alarm. The railway expenditure must keep up prices and prosperity, both of which would have been far greater without free trade; but in face of high prices, railway prosperity, and potato famine, depend upon it we shall have an uphill game to fight.
‘O’Connell talks of Parliament meeting in November, to mend the Irish Labour-rate Act. Do you believe this?’
The Labour-rate Act, passed at the end of the session (‘46), was one by which the Lord Lieutenant was enabled to require special barony sessions to meet in order to make presentments for public works for the employment of the people, the whole of the money requisite for their construction to be supplied by the imperial treasury, though to be afterwards repaid. The machinery of this act did not work satisfactorily, but the government ultimately made the necessary alterations on their own responsibility, and obtained an indemnity from Parliament when it met in ‘47. The early session, therefore, talked of by Mr. O’Connell, became unnecessary. As the only object of this Labour-rate Act was to employ the people, and as it was supposed there were no public works of a reproductive nature which could be undertaken on a sufficient scale to ensure that employment, the Irish people were occupied, towards the end of the autumn of ‘46, mainly in making roads, which, as afterwards described by the first minister, ‘were not wanted.’ In the month of September more than thirty thousand persons were thus employed; but when the harvest was over, and it was ascertained that its terrible deficiency had converted pauperism into famine, the numbers on the public works became greatly increased, so that at the end of November the amount of persons engaged was four hundred thousand, receiving wages at the rate of nearly five millions sterling per annum. These immense amounts went on increasing every week, and when Parliament met in February, 1847, five hundred thousand persons were employed on these public works, which could bring no possible public advantage, at an expense to the country of between ?£700,000 and ?£800,000 per month. No Board of Works could efficiently superintend such a multitude, or prevent flagrant imposition, though the dimensions of that department appeared almost proportionably to have expanded. What with commissioners, chief clerks, check clerks, and pay clerks, the establishment of the Board of Works in Ireland, at the end of ‘46, consisted of more than eleven thousand persons.
Always intent upon Ireland, this condition of affairs early and earnestly attracted the attention of Lord George Bentinck. So vast an expenditure in unproductive labour dismayed him. He would not easily assent to the conclusion that profitable enterprise under the circumstances was impossible. Such a conclusion seemed to him unnatural, and that an occasion where we commenced with despair justified a bold and venturesome course. The field is legitimately open to speculation where all agree that all is hopeless. The construction of harbours, the development of fisheries, the redemption of waste lands, were resources which had been often canvassed, and whatever their recommendations, with the exception of the last, they were necessarily very limited; and the last, though it might afford prompt, could hardly secure profitable, employment. Prompt and profitable employment was the object which Lord George wished to accomplish. Where millions were to be expended by the state, something more advantageous to the community should accrue than the temporary subsistence of the multitude.

A total of 1,883 private equity and venture capital deals were completed in China’s telecommunications, media and technology industry in the second half of last year, accounting for 46 percent of total PE/VC investment, a record number since 2016, according to a PwC report.

The report showed that 1,290 PE/VC deals were clinched in the third quarter of 2018, while in the fourth quarter, the number of PE/VC deals in TMT sectors dipped to below 600, as overall PE/VC investments plunged.

In the second half of 2018, there were 54 large-size deals with a single deal value over $100 million, and these large-size deals had a total value of $21.3 billion, making up 76 percent of the total in TMT sectors in the second half.

“In the second half of 2018, total deal number and value in all sectors fell back to low levels, and PE/VC investors turned more cautious. Although TMT sectors saw a big drop in deal numbers and value compared with the first half amid the lackluster PE/VC investment market, they remained the leaders among all sectors,” Gao Jianbin, PwC China TMT leader said.

The report also said similar to the first half of 2018, the number of PE/VC deals involving startups was the biggest among all categories in the second half, while companies in the expansionary period received the largest investment in terms of deal value. Investors adopted a strategy to avoid risks by mainly investing in mature projects that had survived market competition and were in stable development.

“As China officially launched an innovation initiative for the integrated circuit industry and a government IC industry fund raised 150 billion yuan ($22.4 billion) in second-phase financing, a number of IC innovation enterprises have been established in the second half of 2018,” said Charline Ni, PwC China technology leader.

“A total of 36 IC-related companies received funding, up 260 percent from the first half of 2018, and three of them each obtained more than $100 million in investment. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality also were hot spots that lured investment during the period,” Ni said.

Ni added although the technology industry is rapidly expanding under favorable policies, internet and mobile internet are still the attractive sectors in the TMT industry. Internet finance, internet-based education, fragmented entertainment and content sharing were hotly pursued by investors.

“The setup of the science and technology innovation board will improve the inclusiveness of the domestic capital market towards emerging enterprises, and open a new financing and exit channel. The board offers a new platform for high-tech emerging enterprises, and technology companies are expected to kick off a new wave of IPOs,” Janson Yang, PwC China assurance partner, said.

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to 1)delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s 2)confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his 3)luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!”

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.

The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die!” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was 4)devastated.

Then a voice called out: “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from 5)malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!”

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives

The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.

Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our deathbed to 6)lament.

According to the agreement, EU will impose a 10.9 percent tariff on the duck meat within the quotas, and 2,765 euros ($3,109) per ton for duck meat exceeding the quotas, China News Service reported Monday.

In previous years when China did not have a separate country quota for poultry exports to the EU, it could only compete with other countries for around 4 percent of the EU’s global quotas, said the report.

In April 2015, China filed a complaint against the EU at the WTO over its high tariffs on Chinese poultry products. In 2017, the WTO ruled that the EU’s tariff quotas on Chinese poultry products had violated WTO rules. The final agreement on the new tariff quota came after rounds of negotiations between China and the EU in November 2018.

“Thanks to the relatively strong production ability of China’s poultry sector, more exports of duck meat to the EU will enhance domestic companies’ competitiveness in the world and the Chinese market,” Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

The new quota can also improve industry standards in China’s poultry business. The EU has high quality and safety standards for poultry imports from all sources, and entering the market will require Chinese poultry products to meet certain criteria, which will drive standardized breeding in the domestic industry, according to Li.

For instance, the abuse of hormones to help birds grow will not be allowed, he said. Standards like this will drive domestic poultry companies to pursue high-quality products and safety standards, which will give them edges to expand in other overseas markets, Li said.

The much-anticipated China Restaurant Week (CRW) kicks off today, March 14, and runs till March 24. Held twice a year in spring and autumn, it brings happy times for Chinese foodies.

The event brings 11 days of different culinary experiences at more than 450 restaurants in seven Chinese cities.

All participating restaurants registered on CRW’s website will run two sets of fixed price menus – one for lunch, the other dinner.

Customers at each will be able to enjoy fine dining for 108-288 yuan ($16-43), some at prices of 50 percent off.

A number of Michelin-starred restaurants are taking part, including L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, YongFoo Elite, and Jean-Georges in Shanghai.

For more details, click here.

Rafael Nadal receives medical attention on his right knee during his quarter final match against Karen Khachanov in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA, US, March 15, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]
PARIS — Rafael Nadal is expected to make his return from a knee injury at the Monte Carlo Masters, after being included in the official list of players on Thursday.

Tournament organizers announced the line-up for the clay-court tournament in Paris. Nadal has won it a record 11 times and held a 46-match winning streak at Monte Carlo from 2005-13 — the most consecutive wins at a tournament by any man or woman.

Last Saturday, the second-ranked Nadal withdrew from his semifinal at Indian Wells against longtime rival Roger Federer after feeling pain in his troublesome right knee during the quarterfinal against Karen Khachanov.

Nadal skipped the hard-court Miami Open, which began this week, to prepare for his season on clay.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is aiming for a record-extending 12th French Open title at Roland Garros, and an 18th major, from May 26-June 9.

Amid speculation that senior officials from China and the US might meet later this month to end the year-long trade war between the two economies, many wondered whether US President Donald Trump would look for a new target of his economic attacks.

The US decision to withdraw duty benefits on Indian products under the Generalized System of Preferences program came at this sensitive time. Trump, who has vowed to cut the US trade deficit, said India had failed to assure the US it would provide reasonable access to its markets. It is also possible that Washington will take further steps to impose pressure on New Delhi.

It was unrealistic to expect that India would be immune to Trump’s protectionism because of the Indo-Pacific strategy, which has enhanced the strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi. If India had any domestic companies similar to China’s telecom giant Huawei, which has established a leading position in global markets, those Indian companies would also face a US crackdown.

With “America First” as Trump’s guiding principle, no country can count on getting special treatment from the US. Not only China but also India and other Asian nations will sustain blows as a result of Trump’s protectionism. Washington will perhaps shift its focus to other countries that enjoy a trade surplus with the US, once it ends the trade war with China.

Asia has been a traditional production base for the US, and the region has a big trade surplus with the world’s largest economy. With Trump’s plan to bring jobs back to the US, supply chains between the US and Asia may be greatly disrupted under Trump’s trade policy. Most Asian countries must prepare for a trade conflict with the US as Trump tries to reduce the trade deficit.

The Indian government announced its “Make in India” strategy in 2014, with the purpose of turning India into a new global manufacturing center. India’s ambition to become one of the globe’s greatest technology hubs and foster homegrown enterprises with global influence like Huawei will lead to conflicts with the US sooner or later.

The US trade war with China gives observers a chance to anticipate other upcoming conflicts between the US and Asian nations. The US is unlikely to import products from Asia as generously as it used to. This poses a serious challenge to the entire Asian production chain, which is highly dependent on the US market.

It’s now more important than ever for Asian countries to increase imports and pursue economic interdependence.

If China can launch new policies to boost domestic consumption and increase imports from other Asian countries, it can play a positive role in Asia’s economic development.

umid weather will continue for a day or two, but a cold front will change things up by the end of the week.

With high humidity and dense cloud, you will be hard pressed to see any sunshine throughout most of the province for a couple of days. At present, humid weather is mainly affecting central and western Guangdong, including Guangzhou, Huizhou, Foshan and Zhanjiang.

In the more southerly areas of the province the temperature is rising little by little, but still remains low in areas such as Shaoguan and Qingyuan in the mornings and evenings. The flow of warm, moist air continues to produce areas of fog or mist in the mornings and evenings, and is also trapping a great deal of particulate matter over the city.

[Photo/Nanfang Daily]

Here are some tips for you to fight against the damp over the next few days:

1. Prevent and remove moisture build up. Close windows to keep wet air out of your house, even on a sunny day. Close bathroom and kitchen doors after showering and cooking. It is also unadvisable to ventilate rooms at noon when the temperature difference between in and outdoors is the highest. Turn on a dehumidifier or an air conditioner with dehumidifier functionality to reduce the level of moisture in the air.

2. Keep home appliances in ventilated locations and use them more often. Machines generate heat when they run, which can help to dispel the damp. Use a dust cover to cover up your home appliances when they’re not in use.