Nigerians on Saturday expressed disappointment at the electoral body’s postponem

ent of the presidential election few hours to the commencement of voting in the country.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the shift

ing of the polls until Feb. 23 at a midnight press conference, saying the scheduled proceeding of the voting was not “feasible.”

“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and

the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission came to the co

nclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” Yakubu said.

Likewise, the electoral body postponed gubernatorial elections in the country, earlier slated for March 2, also by one week.

Although Nigerians are used to elections being postponed, the postp

onement of this year’s presidential polls in the country was greeted by criticism.

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council said i

t received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement of the postponement of the election by the electoral body.

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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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China’s research icebreaker Xuelong, with 126 crew members aboard on the 35th Antarc

tic research mission, on Thursday local time left the Zhongshan Station on its way back to China.

Snow Eagle 601, China’s first fixed-wing aircraft for polar flight, on Th

ursday night also departed from the Antarctic after completing all assignments.

Xuelong arrived near Zhongshan on Feb 9. It supplied the station with fuel oil, then picked up summer exped

ition team members at the Kunlun, Taishan and Zhongshan stations, as well as members of the fixed-wing aircraft project.

Sixteen members of the Kunlun team previously completed all scientific expeditions at Dome Argus (Dome A), the So

uth Pole’s highest icecap. They, together with 21 members of the Taishan team, returned to Zhongshan on Feb. 8.

The Zhongshan team completed tasks including installation of and tests for LiDAR, drilling of ice bedrock, aa

tmospheric sounding observation, surveys of birds and aerial exploration carried out by the fixed-wing aircraft.

As the summer expedition team at Zhongshan left, 19 members stay for winter expeditions.

Also known as the Snow Dragon, the icebreaker carrying a research team set sail from Shanghai on Nov 2 last year, beg

inning the country’s 35th Antarctic expedition. It is expected to arrive in Shanghai in mid-March.

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Experts said the Spring Festival holiday was the major factor behind the significant drop in property sales perfor

mance nationwide in the first month of 2019 and did not necessarily represent a negative market trend for the industry.

According to Centaline Property Agency’s research, in January property sales declined by 38 p

ercent year-on-year in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Among the four cities, Guangzhou saw the most dramatic decrease of 65 percent year-on-year, followed by Beijing, where home sales dropped by over 40 percent.

Country Garden, one of the country’s biggest developers, sold 33 billion yuan ($4.88 billion) of prop

erty in January, a 52.2 percent yearly decline. Vanke, whose monthly sales were 48.8 billion yu

an, saw a 28.1 percent drop year-on-year, while Evergrande Group’s sales performance shrank by 32.9 percent.

Third and fourth-tier cities accounted for most of the sales, but these had also slowed down com

pared to the same period in 2018. Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline, said the lack of e

nthusiasm from buyers was caused by the overheated market during last year’s Spring Festival.

“During the Spring Festival in 2018, housing prices in first and second-tier cities suddenly increased, triggering price

rises in lower-tier ones too,” said Zhang. “Back then, buying properties in one’s lower-tier hometown became a trend.”

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 exert to secure gifts or arrange a romantic evening, while men often seek th

e easiest means and least efforts needed to accomplish the much-disliked ob

ligation of purchasing Valentine’s Day presents for their beloved or selecting a romantic spot to awe them on Valentine’s Day.

On one hand, men might put much emphasis on the monetary value of the gifts that they buy or the cost of spending a ro

mantic Valentine’s Day. They believe that expensive gifts and extravagant settings for the event will endear them to th

e hearts of their loved ones. On the other hand, women might evaluate the romantic gestures on sentimental values.

Most men have to the tendency to be lazy when it comes to buying Valentine’s Day g

ifts. Some are inclined to purchase things that might be practical yet not so ro

mantic. Receiving such gifts might dampen any romantic aspirations a woman may have for Valentine’s Day.

From discussions with students through my teaching assignments, I discovered that most of these young men are too tim

id to show their romantic feelings. However, they are slowly becoming bolder in dealing with their affections.

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Deng Xia, a fan of Huagu (“flowery drum”) Opera, a local art form of Yueyang in

Central China’s Hunan province, barely misses such shows at the One Yuan Theater.

“It has enriched the cultural life of residents like me,” Deng, 35, says.

“In the past, we could appreciate the Huagu Opera, mostly during important festivals such as Lunar New Year, but now we can watch it often.”

The One Yuan Theater, located in Rongjiawan town of Yueyang, has staged 30 to 50 Huag

u Opera shows annually since 2012, with the audience numbers for each show sometimes touching 1,000.

“Some people bring along stools or are even willing to stand through a show of two or three hours,” says Deng of the theater that has a seating capacity of 800.

To enjoy a show, each viewer has to pay only 1 yuan ($0.15) as admission fee to the theater, as the prog

rams are covered by government funding. The initiative to provide regular and nearly-free shows to lo

cal residents has been successful in bringing the once-dead cultural heritage back to life.

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younger generation of residents-80 percent of them tenants and many of them migrant workers-now occupies Tiantongyuan.

At weekends, a number of community centers on one street in Huilongguan are filled with people. One of the most popular cente

rs is a children’s library called “Happy Book Kid”, whose owner, Wang Yanping, has lived in the community for more than 10 years.

As a migrant worker for more than 20 years, the 40-year-old said she always wanted a sett

led place of her own so she could get to know more people and gain a sense of belonging.

She established the library at the end of 2013 with the aim of providing a range of books that children could read and study after school.

At weekends, the library is packed as parents bring their children to participate in

a range of activities, including drama performances, poetry recitals and handicraft classes.

“If just one kid becomes interested in reading, I will have made a contribution to their life,” Wang said.

“A rising number of families treat the library as a place to gather, and they love being here.”

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ech in Guangzhou, said the city and the whole Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Ar

ea still have huge space to develop innovative businesses compared with the Tokyo, New York and San Francisco areas.

Medprin has proposed building an innovation center for high-performance medical equipment and instruments in the Greater Bay Area.

Guangdong, which has been largely reliant on foreign-oriented economic development, achieved GDP growth of 6.8 percent last year.

The province’s GDP, a barometer of China’s reform and opening-up, reached 9.73 trillion yuan last y

ear, cementing once more the top ranking in the country, a position it has held for more than three decades.

The province’s regional innovation topped the country for the past two years, a

ccording to the Ministry of Science and Technology. Its investment in research an

d development exceeded 250 billion yuan last year, or 2.65 percent of the province’s GDP.

Guangdong had registered more than 40,000 new and high-tech companies as of the end of last year, more than any other provincial-level region.

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Several ministry-level departments, including those for human resources and social security,

civil affairs, and finance, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Employment survey to help job seekers

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Securit

y has launched an online survey in an effort to improve services to job seekers.

In a notice posted on its website on Feb 2, the ministry invited members of the public to fill in

an employment questionnaire and give it a better understanding of the employment sit

uation after the Feb 4-10 Spring Festival holiday.

The survey is open to the public until Feb 20. Respondents can access the questionnair

e by scanning a QR code on the screen of their cellphones or logging on to the ministry’s website.

The ministry also surveyed employers and job-seekers last year to find out more about employment needs after Spring Festival.

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industrial organizations and chambers of commerce to lower membership fees and refr

ain from imposing unreasonable charges to reduce the burden on businesses.

The ministry said in a statement on Feb 3 that it will conduct the annual examination

of national-level social organizations, and such organizations are also expected to report fee adjustments in their annual reports.

The lowering of membership fees will be an important criteria for the ministry in evaluating na

tional organizations. Other criteria include whether the organizations have imposed charges against regulations or been found to have m

isused funds. Those who fail the evaluations will be disqualified, the ministry said.

Social organizations found to be engaged in activities that harm national reunification, national security, ethnic un

ity or jeopardize the national interest will also be disqualified and punished according to law, the ministry said.

A third-party will conduct random on-site verification of information submitted, it added.

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