Folorunsho Amsat, a journalist, told Xinhua one of the

Folorunsho Amsat, a journalist, told Xinhua one of the

 of the polls postponement is that it would cause many voters to be depressed and the country might record a low turnout of electorates when the election eventually holds.

“The momentum is dying. I hope it’s not dead in one week,” he said.

According to the electoral chief, shifting the polls was “a difficult decision for the Commission to take.”

For more than seven hours, the electoral chief and the 12 nation

al commissioners of the INEC were in a closed-door meeting on Friday night.

The elections were supposed to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of res

ults was to take place in 8,809 registration areas or wards, 774 local government areas in 36 states and the capital Abuja.

Sources had hinted a possible postponement of the election due to logistic challenges in some parts of the country.

The official News Agency of Nigeria, citing official sources in the north-central state of Niger

had reported that ballot papers for two of the state’s three senatorial districts were missing as of Friday evening.

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Meanwhile, Japan continued signing agreements with

Meanwhile, Japan continued signing agreements with

one with the UK in 2017 and another with India the following year. By exploiting the power of these regional countries, Japan aims to secure military provisions for

its SDF in the Indo-Pacific region from the US, Canada, Australia and India and in the North Atlantic region from the US, the UK, France and Canada.

This has laid the foundation for Japan to broaden its SDF activities and ensure military provision with its partners. It is a sm

all-scale bilateral military alliance system centered on Japan. This shows Japan’s long-term strategic plan.

Since the 21st century, Japan has clearly labeled China as its biggest real and potential rival. Esp

ecially since Shinzo Abe took office, he spared no efforts at containing China. During Abe’s first te

rm, the Japanese government raised the idea of the “arc of freedom and prosperity.” When he became prime mini

ster for a second time, the policies advocated by his cabinet, including the values-based alliance, the alliance of m

aritime democracies, the democratic security diamond and the freedom corridor, have all kept China in focus.

Because of the ACSAs with Australia and India, Japan can militarily c

onstrain China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. In the At

lantic, it can also exert forceful intervention in China’s policy in Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

In some areas where China’s military strength has not reached, Japan has crafted its military plan in advance by ut

ilizing its bilateral alliance system, trap-falling China’s military strategy into a passive position.

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According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Repor

According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Repor

eased by the World Economic Forum, global tourism revenue contributed over 10 percent of the global GDP, but China’s domest

ic tourism revenue was around 5.5 percent of its GDP, which has been the world’s second highest since 2012. C

ompared with its economic volume, the Chinese tourism industry is not very well developed, which may have something to d

o with the overall low disposable income levels of Chinese residents. For example, in 2017, China’s gross national inc

ome (GNI) per capita ranked 69th in the world, while the US GNI per capita was 6.5 times that of China during the same time period.

In recent years, various local governments have been making great efforts to promote the increase of local tourism revenue

s by building traditional towns, exploring and developing local history, local culture and other tourist resources. It is certainly justified for au

thorities to develop tourism, to expand domestic demand, to increase “green” GDP and promote an economic transformation. However, it should be no

ted that the development of a tourism industry is closely related to the growth of residents’ disposable income. As the income level of residents rises, the to

urism industry will naturally see a rapid development. In the context of the declining growth of residents’ disposable i

ncome, it is completely unrealistic to achieve a rapid growth in tourism revenues. Furthermore, as various local gov

ernments are competing to develop tourism resources, this may lead to an “oversupply” within the tourism ind

ustry, and this will result in a low efficiency of fiscal expenditure and a waste of precious resources.

In short, it is of fundamental importance to find ways to improve the disposable income level of re

sidents as well as social security and welfare, which is the prerequisite for sustainable prosperity.

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The BJP has projected Gandhi as a “Chinese propagandist.

The BJP has projected Gandhi as a “Chinese propagandist.

raving about China,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quoted as saying in The Times of India.

The BJP has also questioned the “request” of the Chinese ambassador to give a ceremonial send-off to Gandhi for his Mansarovar trip. “When Rahul Gan

dhi went for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, a letter was sent by the Chinese ambassador to the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) that he wanted to give Rah

ul Gandhi a ceremonial send-off. This protocol is limited to heads of state or government and leader of opposition. No

w it is clear why China wanted to extend this protocol to Rahul Gandhi. Yatra was just an excuse, he had to meet Chinese ministers and discuss so

mething. The cat is out of the bag today, and the Congress needs to clarify,” Patra told Hindustan Times. The BJP didn’t stop at that. It als

o dug into Gandhi’s earlier meeting with the Chinese envoy in India during the Doklam standoff.

If the developments are any indication, the BJP is desperate to raise any issue which could work in its favor in the elections with the mood of the general

masses not looking positive towards the party. It wants to eliminate the anti-incumbency factor and divert the at

ention of the masses from more pressing issues. The main opposition has alleged the BJP failed to keep its promise of

generating 20 million jobs in a year. The opposition is also repeatedly raising the Rafale fighter jet deal to counter M

odi’s take on corruption. Now the BJP strategists feel playing the China card, to a certain extent, could help the ruling party in this matter.

But experts say such issues are not going to impact the elections. “China card will prove to be of litt

le or just no help for the BJP,” says Ajay Jha, a prominent Delhi-based journalist who is an expert in Chinese affairs.

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In the guidelines, the regulator set detailed rules on

In the guidelines, the regulator set detailed rules on

the basic prerequisites that micro and small enterprises should meet to renew their loans and on the regulatory

requirements for banking institutions to do this type of business.

The loan renewal policy does not apply to real estate companies or enterprise group head office that are not engaged in production

and business operation. Besides, qualified companies should not have delinquent loans and interests with malice, according to Jiang.

In terms of pricing, the regulator said commercial banks should adhere to market principl

es and encouraged banks to renew micro and small business loans at a lending rate no higher than the previous rate.

As of the end of 2018, the balance of micro and small business loans of the banking sector in Beijing

increased by 15.23 percent year-on-year to 1.2 trillion yuan ($176.95 billion). During the same pe

riod, the number of micro and small enterprises that received loans grew by 59,500 to 257,200.

A recent survey on 617 micro and small businesses in 200 villages in Beijing’s peripheral areas found that at the start-up phase, 13 perc

ent of the businesses obtained bank loans, 13 percent borrowed from friends and relatives, 8 percent secured funding from

microcredit companies, nearly 8 percent received loans from small lending services offered by Alibaba Group Ho

lding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, while the majority of business owners used their own money or borrowed from individual creditors, said Mo Xiugen, di

rector of research at the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University of China.

He advised policymakers to encourage joint-stock commercial banks and microcredit com

panies to play a bigger part in providing financing to micro and small companies, as these financial institu

tions are more flexible and experienced in serving small business clients than large State-owned commercial banks.

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The amount of new loans more than doubled from 1.08 tr

The amount of new loans more than doubled from 1.08 tr

The M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, ro

se 8.4 percent year-on-year to 186.59 trillion yuan at the end of January, according to the PBOC.

The M2 growth was 0.3 percentage points up from the level at the end of December.

The narrow measure of the money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand

deposits, rose 0.4 percent year-on-year to 54.56 trillion yuan by the end of last month.

New yuan loans made to households reached 989.8 billion yuan last month, while t

hose to non-financial enterprises and government institutions totaled 2.58 trillion yuan.

Newly-added social financing, a measurement of funds that individuals and non-fina

ncial firms get from the financial system, stood at 4.64 trillion yuan in January, up 1.56 trillion yuan year-on-year.

China will keep its prudent monetary policy “neither too tight nor too

loose” while maintaining market liquidity at a reasonably ample level in 2019, ac

cording to the annual Central Economic Work Conference held in December last year.

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Hunan art festival promotes rural culture vitalization

Hunan art festival promotes rural culture vitalization

The annual Huaihua Beautiful Country Culture and Arts Festival recently took place in Huna

n province, aiming to involve more villagers in art creation and vitalize local culture.

Hosted by the China Art Association, Hunan Photographers Association and the Huaihua Feder

ation of Literary and Art Circles, this year’s arts festival featured local people performing a vari

ety of disciplines on stage, including wind and percussion music, group dance and Chinese operas.

Unique to this year’s arts festival is a photography exhibition, showcasing 50 pictures taken by mi

grant workers. The photos are selected from the award winners of the 2018 Hunan Province W

orkers Photography Exhibition.
“These photos focus on the extraordinary achievements made by laborers from all wa

lks of life, freeze-framing the wonderful moments of their daily work, presenting their diligence, endeavor and co

mmitment to innovation,” says Liang Xiangfeng, secretary-general of Hunan Photographers Association.

The exhibition is a major measure taken by the association in 2019 in its bid to use the arts to alleviate poverty and promote rural vitalization.

Founder of the arts festival, artist Shu Yong, says: “To vitalize the countryside, we must first vitalize rur

al culture. Only when the local villagers feel proud of their home and culture, can rural vitalization truly be realized.”

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Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe

Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has found that Paul Ma

nafort, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has breached his plea a

greement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office by intentionally lying to prosecutors.

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Pa

ul Manafort looks on during Trump’s walk through at the Republican National Convention in C

leveland, US, July 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sa

ys in an order that there’s sufficient evidence that Manafort lied in breach of his plea agreement.

The decision hurts Manafort’s chance of receiving a reduced sentence next month.

Manafort was accused of lying about several matters including his discussions with a longt

ime associate the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence. Mueller’s prosecutors have said the discussions be

tween Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik about a Ukrainian peace plan go to the “heart” of the Mueller probe.

Manafort was also accused of lying about sharing polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Pompeo, Lavrov hold phone talks over INF, Venezuela

Pompeo, Lavrov hold phone talks over INF, Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, reaffirming US stance on the Inte

rmediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and Venezuela, the State Department said on Wednesday.

Pompeo told his Russian counterpart on Tuesday that the INF Treaty would terminate in early August unless Russia com

es back into full and verifiable compliance with the treaty, the State Department said in a statement.

Pompeo and Lavrov also discussed the situation in Venezuela and a peaceful transition to

democracy that is in the best interest of both the United States and Russia, said the statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Lavrov warned Pompeo in the phone co

nversation that Russia opposed US intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela, including the use of force.

Washington will face violations of international law if the United States intervenes, Lavrov told his counterpart.

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This year, I am issuing a challenge to men everywhere to enth

This year, I am issuing a challenge to men everywhere to enth

husiastically rise to the occasion to correct the misconception that they are not romantic. Take the t

ime to figure out what kind of gift would touch the heart of your woman, and buy it for her if you can af

ford it. Fight the temptation to purchase gifts that are perhaps useful but not so romantic.

Most women love it when men give them more personal gifts. A man should a

llocate enough time to create a gift that a woman may truly appreciate, such as w

riting a poem expressing his love for her, cooking a delicious meal for two, or arranging a spa treatment for her.

For some people, Valentine’s Day is the loneliest day of the year. For tho

se who have no significant other, go out to spend the evening with your peers in a bar or a ni

ghtclub, as many such entertainment establishments in cities host special events for the evening. You may be lucky eno

ugh to meet the person of your dreams. But even if you don’t, chances are you could still have a wonderful time.

Finally, I wish women and men everywhere a very happy Valentine’s Day.Sava Hassan is a Canadian-Egyptian educator.

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