With UK politics in disarray, there’s still a risk the country

  will leave the European Union without a transitional deal to protect trade. The Ba

nk of England has said the fallout from that scenario would be worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

  The big Brexit slowdown

  The United Kingdom was the fastest growing G7 economy when voters went to the polls in 2016. E

mergency action by the Bank of England helped the UK economy avoid the recession that some had

predicted would follow a vote in favor of Brexit, and unemployment remains very low.

  But the country still fell toward the bottom of the G7 rank

ing. Economic growth has slumped from an annual pace of around 2% to less than 1% now.

  Investment by UK companies stalled after the referendum and then plunged 3.7% in 2018. Me

anwhile, the rest of the G7 has seen business investment grow around 6% a year since the vote.

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But Bercow ruled that, according to parliamentary proc

  edure, the government could not repeatedly put a motion before lawmakers if it had been previously rejected in the same session.

  May’s deal suffered a second, crushing defeat last week when it was rejected by 149 votes.

  ”What the government cannot legitimately do is resubmit to the House the same pr

oposition — or substantially the same proposition — as that of last week, which was

rejected by 149 votes,” Bercow said in an unannounced statement on Monday.

  Third time lucky for Theresa May’s Brexit vote?

  Bercow said that, in his view, the first two motions on May’s Brexit deal were sufficiently different not to have broken parliamentary convention.

  The speaker did not set out what tests the government would have to meet if it was to succ

essfully submit its deal for a third vote, saying only it would have to be “fundamentally different.”

  In response, a Downing Street spokesperson said, “We note the speaker’s statement. This is a statement that requires proper consideration.”

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Russian authorities may have wide latitude to restrict sp

  ech online, but it’s also worth remembering that the Yarovaya Law had a major impact on religious freedom in Russia.

  A 2018 State Department report noted that Russian authorities

“prosecuted individuals of many denomination

s for unauthorized missionary activity under the

amendments to antiterrorism laws passed in 2016, known as the Yarovaya Package. Polic

e conducted raids on the private homes and places of worship of religious minorities.

  Religious minorities said local authorities used the country’s anti-extremism l

aws to add to the list of banned religious texts. Local officials continued to prevent minority religi

ous organizations from obtaining land and denied them construction permits for houses of worship.”

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He also shared the story of Crystal Mason, who got five yea

  esidential election while on supervised release for a tax fraud conviction.

  ”Manafort was sentenced to less than a woman who voted while on probation without knowing she wasn’t allowed to,” he tweeted.

  Social media users also brought up Juanita Peralta, a mother of six w

ho got 15 years in prison for drug possession, according to the Oklahomans for Crim

inal Justice Reform, which launched an effort to get her sentence commuted. Her 18-year-old is now raising five kids.

  Hechinger also shared the story of Matthew Charles, who was released after serving 21 of his 35-year sentence for selling crack cocaine.

  ”Got a job, began volunteering, reconnected with family. The prosecution appealed. He

was thrown back in jail. Fortunately, just released again. But should have never gone back,” he said.

  Charles was convicted in 1996 of selling crack and illegally possessing a gun. At the time

of his sentencing to decades in prison, he had previous convictions involving drugs, weapons and assault.

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The space station’s core module and a Long March 5B are

under construction, the agency said, adding that it is also selecting and training astronauts for the mission.

According to government plans previously made public, China will start putting

together its first manned space station around 2020, when a Long March 5B will put the station’s core module into orbit.

Other components and astronauts will later be ferried to the core module to assemble the station.

The space station is expected to be built and become fully operational around 2022 and is set to operate for about 15 yea

rs, according to the China Academy of Space Technology, the contractor for the station’s development and construction.

In 2024, it will likely become the world’s only space station if t

he United States-led International Space Station is retired that year as planned.

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South Korea’s plastic problem is a literal trash Uiseong, a pictu

  ue South Korean farming county, was a backwater until homegrown heroes the Garlic Girl

s became breakout stars and curling silver medalists at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

  In recent months the spotlight has again fallen on Uiseong for a far less glorious rea

son: a smoldering mountain of garbage which highlights the trash crisis in the densely populated nation.

  Among the rice paddies and beside the Nakdong River in the

country’s east, a horseshoe-shaped, 170,000-ton heap of trash is spontaneously combusting, spe

wing out plumes of smoke and the nose-scorching, chemical stench of burning plastic.

  On a cold February morning, six workers wearing grimy overalls a

nd gas masks clamber over the 50 feet-tall (15 meters) man-made hill, dousing the smo

ke with fire hoses. But as soon as one smoldering spot is extinguished, another flares up.

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Earlier this month, a container ship docked in Pyeongtae

  harbor, on the southwest coast of Seoul. On board were 51 containers of mixed waste that South Korean company Green SoKo had exported to the Philippines last year.

  The company had claimed the waste was recyclable plastic, but most of it was not in fact recyclable an

d had been strewn over a 45,000 square meter patch (almost 500,000 square feet) of Mindanao island.

  Locals discovered that the trash included household garbage, used diapers, empty ca

ns of ham, and washing machine parts. Protests by environmental group EcoWaste Coalition put pressure on the South Korean govern

ment to take back the trash.What that container ship brought back to Seoul, however, was only a fraction of the 290

,000 tons of waste which South Korean Customs estimates was illegally exported in 2018.

  A report released last month by the Ministry of Environment

blamed the problem on the lack of affordable alternatives for disposing of solid waste.

  ”The cost of incineration used to be $53 per ton and now it’s over $230. The waste comp

anies cannot recycle or incinerate (affordably), so the waste is left abandoned,” ministry officials said at a briefing.

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In an interview with China Daily Website on Tuesday

 Jesus Madrazo, a member of Bayer’s executive leadership team and head of Agricultural Affai

rs and Sustainability for the Crop Science division of Bayer, said the company, sensing tremendous op

portunities in China, is constantly looking for opportunities to expand its operations in China.

“There is a broad recognition that China has made tremendous prog

ress in not only advancing food security, but also about the quality of what is grown, and gro

w it not only more but also better, better for the consumers and better for the environment.”

He said Bayer, having been operating in the Chinese market for more than 30 years, plans to be here for many decades to co

me to support the agricultural development and introduce the best products and technologies.

Bayer Crop Science Greater China Country Head Huang Weidong said China has bee

n vigorously supporting the development and upgrading of agricultural industry and opening the doo

r to new technologies, new business models, digital agriculture and digital-related applications.

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Sao Paulo orchestra makes debut in ChinaState Symphony

The Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, the first South American symphony to t

our China, will hold a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the night of Valentine’s Day.

The event also marked the first time the symphony’s female conductor Marin Alsop is involved in a performance in China.

Alsop, who is one of the most prominent students of the late US musician Leonard Bernstein, introduced the symphony’s m

usic style as “accessible with folk elements” and highly rhythmic, which is “a hallmark of the Brazilian music”.
The

concert program, she added, is perfect for Valentine’s Day as it “begins with lots of fire and ends with lots of romance”.

The concert opened with Bernstein’s Candide Overture, followed by works from Brazilian composer Heit

or Villa-Lobos and Argentine Alberto Ginastera. The second part featured Sheherazade by Russian artist Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Following its China premiere in Shanghai, Alsop and the Sao Pa

ulo symphony will go on to play in Jinan of Shandong province, Beijing and Hong Ko

ng, where the company will feature as the opening performance for the Hong Kong Arts Festival on Feb 21.

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In Foxconn’s case, the average salary it promised isviously l

ower than the average salary for engineers in the state, which is about $60,000. In addition, having employees work 50-60 hours a week would be difficult.

“The US educational system is probably not even generating enough for the current deman

d in the United States with the economy strong and high-tech industry developing well,” said Jason Dedr

ick, professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.

“You already have a lot of companies, Google, Facebook, Amazon and so on, com

peting for those engineers. Apple or rather its suppliers, will be trying to hire en

gineers in a market that’s already pretty tight. It would not be really easy to do that hiring really quickly,” he added.

 engineers, the college plans to expand their enrollment from around 4,500 to 5,200 in

the next few years. But after graduation, how many of the students will be hired by Foxconn is hard to say.

Robertson said many companies in need of e

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