Seven arrested as Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 207

The death toll from a rash of bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose past 200, police and local media said.

“Altogether we have information of 207 dead from

all hospitals. According to the information as of now we have 450 injured peop

le admitted to hospitals,” Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told reporters in Colombo.

Altogether eight explosions have ripped through the country so far, with six blasts hitting in t

he morning and two in the afternoon. The curfew has been imposed from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Morning explosions occurred when hundreds of worshipe

rs gathered at churches to commemorate Easter Sunday, the police said.

Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said two explosions were reported fro

m St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in capital Colombo and another church in Katana on the outsk

irts of the capital; a third explosion was reported from a church in Batticaloa in the east.

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The meeting highlighted the importance of implementi

ting the spirit of December’s Central Economic Work Conference.

Macro policies should be stable, micro policies should be flexible and social policies should guarantee the basic needs of the grassroots

people, the statement said. Macro policies should focus on promoting high-quality growth and stimulating market vitality.

The importance of manufacturing’s high-quality development in stabilizing economic growt

h was stressed. Traditional industries should be guided to upgrade, and new industries should grow stronger.

The development of small and medium-sized companies and private businesses should be supported through measures like s

peeding up the supply-side structural reform of finance and providing better loan services, the stat

ement said. It also reaffirmed that houses should be used for living rather than for profit.

Reform should be further deepened and opening-up boosted, and forei

gn capital should have bigger access to the Chinese market. Poverty reduction is a key meas

ure of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which must be achieved by the end of next y

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For example, technologies like artificial intelligence

have improved the company’s stocking and inventory processes.

“Earlier we were reliant on the intuitions and experience of the local operation team. With the

use of technology like AI and big data, we are getting more accurate answers.”

As a larger and older retailer, Walmart has constantly worked with startups, said McMillon, citing the new Omega 8 platf

orm that enables retail innovation startups to collaborate with Walmart China to create better services for customers.

McMillon cited the example of a scanning ring developed by a starup for

Walmart that shortens pickup time for JD Daojia orders to less than 10 minutes and impr

ovements in the overall efficiency by 50 percent. Walmart’s WeChat mini-program has over 30 million members and is

developing an e-commerce service based on WeChat to help customers shop more easily and more accurately.

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It’s regrettable that the US treats academics like me in

such an unfriendly and offensive manner,” Wang said, adding t

hat Washington’s decision shows that the country has become an “oversensitive and

paranoid one which has a lack of confidence in dealing with diplomatic relations”.

A number of Chinese social scientists have had similar experiences when their US visas were revoked.

Zhu Feng, executive director of the China Center for Collaborat

ive Studies of the South China Sea at Nanjing University, told the Global Times news

paper in Beijing that his 10-year US visa was crossed out by FBI agents, canceling it, whe

n he was about to board a flight back to Beijing at Los Angeles International Airport in March 2018.

Zhu said the FBI first threatened to revoke his visa if he did not cooperate with their inquiry.

“‘Go back to China’,”Zhu recalled an agent telling him during that visit. “You will receive a notification.”

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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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Economic structure was further improved during the sa

me period. The value-added high-tech sector’s out

put rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, the NDRC approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in th

e fields of energy, transportation and high-tech. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

The NDRC reportedly is considering a slew of new measure to boost spending on automob

iles, home appliances and consumer electronics products. People close to the NDRC said it has sent a draft plan to

encourage consumption in the three sectors, according to a report in the National Business Daily.

The news caused shares of home appliance companies traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen to increase

by 1.47 percent on Thursday, according to Shanghai-based information provider Wind Info.

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China’s foreign direct investment up 6.5% in Q1

China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled 242.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of t

his year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

FDI in China from non-financial sectors reached $35.8 billio

n in the first three months, up 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Investment from South Korea, the United States and Germany in China m

eanwhile increased 79.6 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech manufacturing s

ector surged 14.8 percent year-on-year to 25.97 billion yuan during the same period.

March’s FDI amounted to 95.17 billion yuan, up eight percent year-on-year.

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Amazon to end local 3rd-party sales in Chinaon offices in Ne

US-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc plans to shut down its third-party seller services on its Chinese online marketplace

in July, as it shifts its focus to offering Chinese mainland consumers overseas products rather than goods from local sellers.

Starting July 18, customers logging in to Amazon’s Chinese web portal will only see a selec

tion of goods from its global store, rather than products from local third-party sellers.

Amazon said it will keep running its other businesses in China, inclu

ding the cross-border shopping business Amazon Global Store; Global Selling, which helps Chin

ese merchants sell products abroad; its cloud service platform Amazon Web Services; and Kindle e-book devices and content.

“Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly

emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we’ve seen a very strong response from Chinese customers.

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From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

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Chinese people are deeply sad about the fire, just as th

He said he believes that with the efforts of the French people and supp

ort from the international community, Notre Dame will be repaired and regain its glory.

The fire broke out around 6:30 pm on the roof of the cathedral, which was covered in scaffoldi

ng. The blaze spread quickly and destroyed the wooden interior before causing the spire to collapse.

It took more than 400 firefighters over 12 ho

urs to put out the fire, and the main structure and two bell towers remained standing.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, though officials said it could be linked to renovation work. Investigators were eag

er to question the workmen in an effort to determine the cause of the fire, according to media reports.

Visiting the scene of the fire in Paris, Macron vowed an immediat

e fundraising effort to rebuild the landmark, calling for international contributions.

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