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Harrowing scenes after Cyclone Idai with inland ocean visibl

  As many as “300 to 400” bodies line the banks of a road out of the city of Beira in Mozam

bique, according to an eyewitness account, and flood waters have formed an inland

ocean that is visible from outer space.The harrowing scene, described by Zimbabwea

n Graham Taylor, suggests that the human toll of Cyclone Idai is likely to far exceed officiaal estimates. It follows reports fr

om aid agencies on the ground detailing how entire villages and towns have been completely flooded in the wake of last Thursday’

s high-end Category 2 storm.Taylor said the bodies were located on a 6 kilometer (3.7 mile) t

rack of highway, where flood waters had created an inland ocean, submerging entire villages around a “densely populated” s

ugar-cane plantation. The area is a mere fraction of the land in the southeast African nation left flooded after two major rive

rs burst their banks in the days following the storm.The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red

Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday that the destruction left by the cyclone is “worse than

we imagined” and warned that the humanitarian needs “will tragically only deepen in the coming weeks.”

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But information has been slow to emerge and communicati

  ion with affected areas remains limited. On Monday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said that “everyth

ing indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead” — a figure that some experts now believe could be conservative.

  The mortuary at the central hospital in Beira “is full and dozens of bodies need to be

removed and handled in a dignified way,” according to IFRC. Beira is still flooded, which makes it impossible to bury bodies, IFRC said.

  It is premature to say how many people have died while affected areas remain i

naccessible, Stephen Fonseca, regional forensics manager at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told CNN.

  On Friday morning ICRC set up a new base in Chimoio, near the border with Zimbabw

e. Fonseca said identifying victims is “a monumental task” that will take months or years rather than days or weeks.

  ”The agony of not knowing what happened to your loved one in a disaster like Cyclone Idai is

indescribable,” Diane Araujo, an ICRC delegate deployed to Beira, said in a statement Friday.

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As dawn broke, those sobs began to make sense as a “ter

  rible sight” emerged, Taylor said.

  ”Dead bodies had floated up (and the) current of the flood water had washed the bodies up against the road,” said Tay

lor. “The road had subsided about 10 inches (25.5 centimeters). So these bodies had been washed up against the main highway.”

  Taylor said the smell of bodies and livestock was palpable.Hundreds of others were also attempting to make the congested seven-ho

ur walk from the village of Lamego — about 90 kilometers (56 miles) inland from Beira — to Nhamatanda, on higher ground. In places whe

re the current of the flood waters was strong, about 50 people joined hands to make a human chain, said Taylor.

  ”I’m 6 foot 2 inches (187 centimeters), but the force of water at knee level w

as powerful,” Taylor said. “You had to pay attention and concentrate where you put your feet.”

  Taylor said he saw an elderly woman carry her husband on her back.

  On the road out of Beira, he said “the entire area, as far as I could see, was one lake of flood

water,” adding that groups of up to 10 people had climbed eucalyptus, cashew and mango trees waiting to be rescued.

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Brexit is costing the UK economy $1 billion a week. And it could

  rexit has been delayed, and may eventually be called off. But it’s already done major damage to the UK economy.

  The vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 caused the pound to weaken drama

tically and ushered in years of uncertainty that has reduced economic activity and triggered a slump in investment.

  The economy is now 2% smaller than it would have been if the United Kingdom had chosen to remain in the bloc, according to the Bank of England. The econ

omic output lost since the referendum is worth about £800 million ($1 billion) per week, or £4.7 million ($6 million) per hour.

  The economic consequences have piled up despite there having been no struct

ural changes yet to Britain’s trading relationship with EU nations or the rest of the world.

  Britain has continued to sell goods and services into the European Un

ion, its biggest trading partner, while politicians worked to negotiate the divorce. It has been

easy for UK companies to hire EU workers, and to maintain supply chains that crisscross national borders

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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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Many banks have set up new offices in Germany, France,

  ther EU countries to safeguard their regional business after Brexit. Financial services companies also have to move substantial asset

s there to satisfy EU regulators. Assets worth at least £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) are leaving the country, according to consultancy EY.

  Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PCRFF) are both moving their European headquarters to the Netherlands.

  Manufacturing comapanies, which need their supply chains to function seamlessly, have also made changes. Nissa

n (NSANF) has scrapped plans to build a new model in the United Kingdom, citing uncertainty over Brexit. Ger

man engineering group Schaeffler (SCFLF) is shutting two of its three factories in Britain for the same reason.

  The biggest risk

  The most dangerous scenario — a disorderly Brexit — could still come to pass.

  EU leaders on Thursday granted the United Kingdom a short delay to Brexit, but the

country could still crash out of the bloc unless UK lawmakers agree a path forward.

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Liu Gang, the founder of PayNews.net, a Hangzhou-based

online news service focusing on China’s mobile payment industry, said to Securities Daily he

expects the run-up of cashless payments will maintain for three to five years until it takes up as much sha

re of consumption as possible, as consumers incrementally wade farther into cashless payments.

Data from PBOC revealed banking financial institutions in 2018 conducted 220.31 billion deals in non-cash paym

ents involving 3,768.67 trillion yuan, a rise of 36.94 percent and 0.23 percent year-on-year respectively.

In the same period non-banking payment institutions, mainly referring to third-party online payment service providers, had 530.61 b

illion deals, surging 85.05 percent, and the transaction volume was 208.07 trillion yuan, up 45.23 percent fro

m the previous year. Mobile payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay occupy over 90 percent of market share.

By the end of 2018, a total of 424 commercial banks and 115 payment institutio

ns were connected to a unified clearing platform set up by the Payment and Clearing Association of China, PBOC said.

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Purrfect! A smart shelter powered by AI keeps stray cats warm in

A constant temperature of 27 degrees, a water bowl that never freezes, a comfy mat, and no dogs allowed.

Those are the amenities for felines in a neighborhood in Beijing’s Sh

unyi district, where stray cats can loll around contentedly all winter, nibbling food and sipp

ing water, safe from the weather and provided with love through an artificial intelligence platform. It is purrfection.

Wan Xi, an engineer at Baidu Brain-the open AI platform of Baidu-had the idea of build

ing a smart shelter for strays when he found a kitten huddled on his car tire in the winter of 2017.

Winter is rough for stray animals, as they require extra calories to stay warm. Only around 40 perc

ent of stray cats find enough food and shelter to make it through the harsh temperatures.

Although volunteers offer water, food and even heating pads to stray animals, Beijing’s freezin

g winters can turn a bowl of water into ice before a cat can drink. Many stray cats don’t live more than two ye

ars. Those that are not neutered or spayed face more health problems and spawn more homeless cats.

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Modi and officials at the bank allegedly issued fraudulent Lette

Letters of Undertakings to overseas banks to obtain buyer’s credit, according to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“Investigation further revealed that the fraud was allegedly perpetrat

ed despite the knowledge of senior officials of Punjab National Bank, who did not impl

ement the circulars and caution notices issued by the Reserve Bank of India regarding safeguarding the SWIFT oper

ations and instead, misrepresented the factual situation to RBI,” according to a statement from the CBI last year.

The CBI has raided dozens of offices and seized property worth millions of dollars belonging to Modi, who denies all wrong

doing. He has already been charged by the bureau for criminal conspiracy, fraud and corruption.

Forbes once ranked Modi as India’s 85th richest man, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

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At smaller services, shovels are used to move the dirt. So

many people attended Wednesday’s service that Akil said guests were invited to throw a small handful each.

Zaid was too weak to hold a shovel, Akil said, so one was taken to him, piled with dirt.

‘It’s their names we need to keep telling’

Zaid stayed to accept condolences before being taken back to Christchurch Hospital, A

kil said. It’s likely to be some time before he’s well enough to return to Cashmere High School, which his brother also attended.

Ardern visited Cashmere High on Wednesday to address the students who’ve been payi

ng tribute to Hamza and another classmate who was killed, Sayyad Milne, 14. Former student Tariq Omar, 24, also died.

New Zealand terror suspect planned third attack, police chief says

“You know some of the young people who lost their lives on Friday,” Ardern told the students. “It’s their names and their stories we need to keep telling.”

The prime minister invited questions from the assembly. The first was: “How are you?”

“Thank you for asking,” Ardern said. “I’m very sad.”

New Zealand will fall silent for two minutes this Friday to remember the victims of the massacre.

The call to prayer will be also broadcast over national television and radio uniting a country wracked by grief one week on.

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