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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He also repeated the untruth that he predicted the result of

  when he flew into his Turnberry golf course in 2016. In fact, Trump

arrived on the west coast of Scotland hours after the result of the referendum was announced.

  Whether the President knows he’s lying, or has convinced himself of the truth of his a

lternative reality, is unclear. But his continued use of a discredited fact is a core element of his political technique.

  Trump also put Varadkar on the spot — asking h

im to comment on Brexit, threatening to expose their differences on the issue.

  Then Trump interrupted Varadkar, who watched with a bemuse

d look as the President savaged the EU alongside one of its national leaders.

  ”The European Union treats us very, very unfairly,” Trump said, i

n a screed that included another characteristic political device — a flagrant threat.

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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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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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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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In 2018, the government introduced several policies to offer

 more support to private hospitals. According to the policies, private hospitals will have the same assessment system as

public hospitals, the government will not limit the opening of general clinics, third-party medical insti

tutions will have their own standards, and internet hospitals will be encouraged.

Judging from the policies, opening up the incremental market will c

ontinue to be an important direction for medical reform in the nex

t few years. At the same time, the government will also tighten the supervision of private hospitals, in the ho

pe of forming a diversified system with public hospitals being the main body, supplemented by private institutions.

On Nov 5 2018, President Xi Jinping gave a speech during the opening

ceremony of the China International Import Expo, stating that China is steadily expanding the

opening-up of the financial sector, and will loosen limitations on foreign investment in the medical field.

Market insiders said that this is a positive signal for China’s medical sector to attract foreign investment.

According to the notice issued by the government in 2000, forei

gn capital can contribute up to a 70 percent share of China’s medical institutions.

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Chen Bin, executive vice-president of the China Machi

nery Industry Federation, said the organization’s member companies are optimistic because th

e extension of the March 1 tariff deadline should help both Chinese and US companies restore their ab

ility to trade, while pacifying Chinese companies that have already invested heavily in machinery manufacturing in the US.

“It is increasingly evident that tariffs had negative effects — such as rising unemployment an

d slowing growth rates — not only in China and the US, but also in many parts of the world,” said Xue Ro

ngjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies research institute.

The proposed tariff delay indicates economic rationality is preva

iling and both countries are predicted to reach an agreement soon, Xue added.

Asa Hutchinson, governor of the US state of Arkansas, applauded both presidents for

working hard to narrow the differences and reach more consensuses. “I a

m optimistic we will be able to reach an agreement because it is important for both countries,” he said.

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The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will

give full play to its advantages and seek complementary and mutually beneficial cooperation on inn

ovation and technology in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Ba

y Area, an official of the HKSAR government said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area aims at building a globally influenti

al international innovation and technology hub, and Hong Kong’s role should be “capitalizing its

strengths to serve the country’s needs,” the HKSAR government’s Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nic

holas Yang said Tuesday, one day after China unveiled an outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area.

To build an international innovation and technology hub, Hong Kong has multiple advantages due to its world-class uni

versities, high international recognition and relatively low financing cost, according to Yang.

Home to four of the world‘s top 100 universities, Hong Kong i

s well recognized for its basic scientific research, he said, adding that the newly un

veiled outline development plan may encourage other elite universities around the globe to upgrade cooperation w

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