Identity of ‘Shanghai vagrant’ confirmed by employer

The identity of a Shanghai vagrant, who has become an overnight online celebrity after videos of him explaining Chinese classics to passers-by went viral on Chin

ese social media, has been confirmed by his employer, the auditing office of Shanghai’s Xuhui district government.

The office said the vagrant called Shen Wei became one of its employees in 1986 but

has been on sick leave since 1993, during which he has been paid with a basic salary.

For the past seven years, Shen, usually in rags and tangled long hair, has lived near the metro st

ation of Yanggao South Station and collected garbage every day. He began to get online attention over the past few

days when videos taken by passers-by, and then online broadcasters, show his eloquence, resourceful knowledge of Chinese classics and “wor

ds of wisdom” as he advises onlookers to spend more time on reading rather than taking videos of him.

He spends most of his spare time reading books, mostly Chinese classics which he has bought wit

h the money he earns from garbage collecting. He refuses to receive help and told the Red Star News reporter that he has around 10

0,000 yuan ($14,991) in his bank account. The money comes from his 2,000 yuan monthly salary and his father’s savings.

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Mobile payments continue meteoric risepayment deals has jump

Use of China’s mobile payment services has skyrocketed over the past five years, with total transactions covered reaching 277.39 trillion yua

n ($41.51 trillion) in 2018 — a more than 27-fold increase from five years ago, according to the central bank.

A total of 60.53 billion mobile payment transactions were conducted last year, as a repor

t released by the People’s Bank of China Monday shows, while the figure was only 1.67 billion back in 2013.

From around 2013, with online payments dominant and mobile payments only nas

cent, to 2018, which saw mobile payments outpacing the domestic market, it is easy to observe a mo

bilization trend in payment structures, Xue Hongyan with the Suning Institute of Finance told Securities Daily.

The number of China’s online payment deals has jumped from 23.67 billion in 2013 to 2018’s 57.01 billion, and trans

action value more than doubled to 2,126.3 trillion yuan in 2018 from 1,060.78 trillion yuan five years earlier.

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As swine fever threat falls, most quarantines liftedrantines in

China has lifted pig quarantines in most of the areas where outbreaks of African swine fever have bee

n found, signaling a steady slowdown in the spread of the virus, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.

Since the first outbreak of the deadly pig disease was discovered in Au

gust in Northeast China’s Liaoning province, 113 cases in 28 provincial-level regions have be

en confirmed by the ministry. Restrictions on the transport of pigs in 105 of those cases have been lifted.

The ministry has imposed strict quarantine measures in affecte

d areas and ramped up supervision of pig farms, transport businesses and the pork proc

essing industry after the onset of the highly contagious viral disease. Humans are not affected.

Yu Kangzhen, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said the spread of the virus has

slowed because of measures imposed by the authorities, but added that it’s difficult to wipe out the disease in the short term.

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In the latest case, which was discovered on March 12 in

Linshui county of Guang’an, Sichuan province, a transport truck carrying 150

 pigs, nine of them dead, was seized at a toll station.

It was the second case in March after an outbreak that killed 20 pigs on a

breeding farm in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region was confirmed on March 7.

The next step, Yu said, is to maintain the momentum of the ongoing disease preven

tion and control measures and strengthen oversight over the slaughtering sector.

On Friday, the ministry launched checks on slaughterhouses nationwide and

ordered them to carry out self-inspections.

Yu stressed the need to secure supplies of live pigs and pork products.

The domestic output of live pigs in China has been declining since the second half of last year beca

use of the disease, according to Yang Hanchun, a professor at the College of

Veterinary Medicine of China Agricultural University.

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Wan said the facial recognition system was developed

on Baidu’s EasyDL platform, a no-code tool that helps users build customized mac

hine learning models. The system was “trained” with thousands of images of cat faces.

The temperature inside the smart cattery is maintained at 27 degrees, at which cats feel most comfortable and relaxed.

It also has a ventilation system that monitors the air inside in real time.

Wan said stray cats in the neighborhood are more nervous at first and just wander aro

und curiously. After one brave mongrel made the first visit, others followed.

Stray cats are often emotionally sensitive, so the door will not close the minute a cat enters. The anima

l will have time to get used to the cattery without being jittery. Seven or eight cats come to rest in the shelter every day.

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Some have said the killings robbed New Zealand of its i

innocence. But that is probably being too simplistic as we live in a complex world.

Indeed, New Zealand is about as far away as you can get from the violence we see alm

ost daily in other war-torn places. That is not to say New Zealand has been immune to violence.

The quiet seaside town of Aramoana, near Dunedin, saw 13 people gunned down in No

vember 1990 when a local resident went berserk after an argument with his next-door neighbor. Five years lat

er, in April 1995, across the Tasman Sea in Australia, there was the Port Arthur massacre on the island state of Tas

mania where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman. That was an act of pure evil rather than of hate or race.

Both acts of violence saw changes to gun laws. In Australia’s case, it w

as a radical overhaul. New Zealand will change its gun laws in 10 days, said Ardern on Monday. In N

ew Zealand, it is estimated 250,000 gun-owners own about 1.5 million firearms and the laws governing guns are weak and exploited.

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Taking into account the Trial Chamber’s conclusions reflec

ting the magnitude of Karadzic’s crimes, the Appeals Chamber is in agreement with the Prosec

ution’s position and considers that the 40‐year sentence inadequately reflects the extraordinary gra

vity of Karadžić’s crimes as well as his central and instrumental participation in four joint criminal enterprises,” said the judge.

“Given the above, the Appeals Chamber considers that the sentence of 40 years imposed by

the Trial Chamber underestimates the extraordinary gravity of Karadzic’s responsibility and his inte

gral participation in ‘the most egregious of crimes’ that were committed throughout the entire period of the con

flict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and were noted for their ‘sheer scale’ and ‘systematic cruelty,'” added Joensen.

The now 73-year-old Karadzic led the breakaway Serbian entity of Republic of Srpska, located w

ithin Bosnia, during the Balkan wars of the 1990s that were initiated by the breakup of former Yugoslavia.

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Indian billionaire arrested in London over alleged $2B fraud

K police have arrested India’s billionaire diamond dealer Nirav Modi

in London over his alleged involvement in a bank fraud that could be worth $2 billion.

Modi was arrested Tuesday on “behalf of the Indian authorities,” acco

rding to a statement from London’s Metropolitan Poli

ce, and is set to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court Wednesday.

Punjab National Bank, one of India’s largest, reported fraudulent activity at one of its branches more than a year ago.

India then issued an Interpol Red Notice for Modi’s arrest and London authorities were asked to pr

oceed with it, said a spokesperson for India’s Enforcement Directorate. The Indian foreign ministry sai

d in a statement it welcomed the arrest, and would seek to extradite Modi as soon as possible.

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Six people arrested in Kenya after seizure of fake $20 millio

Police in Kenya have arrested six people in connection with the seizure of counterfeit notes worth more than $20 million.

The fake banknotes were found in a personal safety deposit box of a Barclays Bank bran

ch in the capital Nairobi, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Tuesday.

“Six people were arrested… by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency a

mounting to slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” the statement read.

6 People were arrested today evening by @DCI_Kenya Detectives in conn

ection with Fake currency amounting to slightly over 20Million US Dollars @Ba

rclays_Kenya~Queensway Branch. The fake notes in 100 Dollar denominations were recovered from the Bank’s

“The fake notes in $100 denominations were recovered from the bank’s safe room.”

Those arrested include two bank officials, DCI said, adding that a person who woul

d have been defrauded by the suspects was cooperating with the police in the investigation.

Barclays Kenya confirmed on Tuesday that the police arrested a customer who had kept counterfeit dollar notes in a safety deposit box at the branch.

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No-deal Brexit happens next week and no one knows if the EU

is deep into its most crucial week since the last one.

On Thursday, Theresa May travels to Brussels to meet with the remaining 27 EU leaders, where she is expected to request an extension to Article 50, the legal

process by which Britain is leaving the EU. If the EU27 agree, as they probably will, Brexit will be delayed beyond the current deadline of March 29. Lea

ving aside the gravity of this epic failure of British Brexit policy, the key question is how long will the delay last?

There are two likely options. The first is a short delay, which Downing Street said on Wedne

sday it would request. This would give the UK government a little more time to get its Withdrawal Agr

eement through Parliament, perhaps sweetened with some changes to the accompanying political declaration.

Or, the EU could offer May a much longer extension, possibly lasting years, to give to the UK more breathing space in which to u

ntangle its Brexit mess. The EU says it would only grant a longer delay if there was a good reason for doing so.

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