Small wonder, Starbucks thought it fit to launch a special

product aimed at this market. But even it may not have anticipated the tremendous response.

The moment Starbucks launched its limited-edition “cat-paw cup”, it sparked a frenzy among Chinese consumers who own pet cats.

In scenes reminiscent of the pre-launch serpentine queues for snob-value smartphones, cat-owners stayed up all nig

ht in queues in front of Starbucks stores across Chinese cities a day before the cup’s formal sales launch on Feb 26.

Some female pet-owners, exasperated by the seemingly never-ending wait, got into cat-figh

ts, while others indulged in slanging matches on learning the cups were in short supply.

The craze and high demand were attributable to slick videos and images pos

ted on social media by key opinion leaders or KOLs, or influencers, market insiders said.

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Cat-owners spend about 3,117 yuan per cat each year

on average, while the corresponding number for a dog is 4,723 yuan, said the report.

Much of a pet’s expenses are on food. For a cat, it is about 1,340 yuan, with medical care requiring 742 yuan on average.

“About 41 percent of the 99.8 million pet-keeping Chinese households now have cats,

and the number is still growing,” said Neil Wang, president of Frost & Sullivan China.

In addition to 67 million pet cats, there are more, adopted or given by friends and families, the company’s report said.

This has spawned a cat culture of sorts, spanning a variety of business activities.

For instance, specialist apps offer a service called “cloud petting” for those who

do not own a pet cat. The latter can follow “cat celebrities” on social media platforms.

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For India’s 84 million first-time voters, election finally gives the

  In less than a month, the world’s biggest democratic exercise begins in India. And out of a total of 900 million eligible v

oters, a staggering 84.3 million — including 15 million aged 18 or 19 — will be casting ballots for the first time.

  So what do they want from their politicians?

  Tolerance, according to Shreeparna Chatterjee, a 22-year-old arts student in New Delhi going to the polls for the first time.

  Voting will be held in seven phases across the vast country, from 11 April to 19 May, with the res

ult announced on May 23. The Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which stormed to power at the last gen

eral election in 2014, is battling a challenge led by the secular opposition Congress party

  Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed a record-breaking 282 seats in the national parli

ament five years ago. Critics accuse his party of fostering religious polarization to woo support from the country’s Hindu majority.

  ”With this government, I feel it’s been very heated religion-based and caste-based politics,” Chatterjee told CNN.

  She has not yet decided who to support but does want to see a change in an increasingly toxic political climate.

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At one point in the meeting Tump, said he wasn’t going to

  ”comment on Brexit,” but characteristically unable to constrain himself, could barely leave the topic alone.

  At the start of his meeting, Trump welcomed Varadkar, and pointin

g out that his visitor was in a difficult position over Britain’s tortured attempts to com

plete its withdrawal from the European Union, which could harm Ireland’s peace and prosperity.

  Trump also, as he often does, used his position to slyly shout out one of his businesses, in this case, a golf course in Ireland.

  ”I have a very warm spot for Doonbeg, I will tell you that and it just a great place really.”

  While praising Ireland, Trump promptly switched to a characteristic boast about his own success, his mana

gement of the economy and how he held “all of the records … every single record for the stock market.”

  Trump’s obsession with Obama — a defining characteristic — app

eared like a nervous tick twice in his photo-op, twinned with a willingness to spout untruths.

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killed in mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New

  At least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christc

hurch Friday, in a carefully planned and unprecedented attack that has shocked the usually peaceful nation.

  New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press confe

rence, saying the suspects held “extremist views” that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

  The attacks targeted two mosques in central Christchurch at lunchtime local time Friday.

  A total of 48 people, including young children with gunshot wounds, were admitted to Christchurch hospital for treatment.

  Three men and one woman were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the incide

nt. One man in his late 20s was charged with murder and will appear in court Saturday morning local time.

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During the second session of the 13th CPPCC Nation

ional Committee, political advisers submitted 5,113 proposals, covering a wide range of topics that included econom

ics, politics, culture, social development and environmental protection, officials said. Among them, 3,

859 were formally filed and will be forwarded to relevant authorities for handling.

This year, economic issues and social affairs drew more attention from the political advisers during the two sessi

ons, with 1,484 proposals and 1,336 proposals falling in the two categories respectively, officials said.

Some of the typical proposals on economic issues dealt with such matters as preventing financial risks, supporting the

private economy, developing a high-quality manufacturing sector and shoring up market confidence.

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Sports participation, as part of all-around education, sho

uld be given a more prominent role on campus, whereas now acade

mic excellence seems to be the main priority in our country,” Yao told China Daily on Sun

day in Beijing during the annual session of the country’s top political advisory body.

“Building organized and accessible sports competitions with tailor-made programs and adequate facilities is the key to involv

ing as many students as possible,” said Yao, who is chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association.

At last year’s two sessions, he proposed implementation of a “m

ini basketball” program for younger students. It saw 10,000 participants registered with the CBA

sign up for some 15,000 teams that competed regularly in 192 cities across the country over the past year.

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We don’t know if there’s a link to the Lion Air crash

  Until flight data recorder data is analyzed, it’s impossible to say whether the two disasters are linked.

  There are a number of apparent similarities between the two flig

hts, aside from the obvious fact that both flew on new MAX 8 jets. Each flight crashed mi

nutes into its journey, during a phase of flight where fatal accidents are not at their most common.

  The Lion Air flight flew for 13 minutes before crashing, while the Ethiopian

Airlines jet crashed at six minutes into the journey. Both flights also dipped and then regained altitude, acc

ording to flight data, though the erratic movements on the Lion Air plane were more extreme.

  ”The similarities with Lion Air are too great not to be concer

ned,” CNN aviation expert Mary Schiavo said after the se

cond disaster — and that concern has prompted numerous countries to ground Boeing MAX jets out of caution.

akiok.cn

Highlights: Press conference on market regulationinister of th

hinese officials speak on strengthening market regulation and safeguarding market order

at a news conference during the second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 11, 2019.

Minister of State Administration for Market Regulation Zhang Mao, Head of National Medical Products Admin

istration Jiao Hong and Commissioner of National Intellectual Property Administration Shen Changyu meet the press.

hina will improve its long-term regulatory mechanism for vaccines and implement the toughest possible over

sight on related products, Jiao Hong, head of the National Medical Products Administration, said on Monday.

She said domestically made vaccines were safe overall, affirming comments made by the head of Ch

ina’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention on March 4, who urged the public not to lose trust in the country’s vaccine sector.

Jiao said a new draft law on vaccine management, to tighten the supervision and

management of production, research, and distribution of these products, had

been reviewed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and released to solicit public opinion.

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What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Bananas Every Day

ind out what happens to the girl who eats too many bananas… It sounds like the tagline to a cheesy B-

movie. But with the incredible worldwide popularity of bananas – they are grown in 107 cou

ntries and represent the fourth most valuable crop globally – it’s smart to take a deeper look at their nutritional make-up.

And since there can be too much of any good thing, stick with us to the end to find out just how many bananas are too many.

China will continue to propose laws and regulations to further guide and manage research

ethics and academic integrity, Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said on Monday.

Relevant guidelines are necessary for scientists to be aware of their academic conduct,

stick to the norms of scientific research and follow regulations when commercializing scientific achievements, he said.

“In this way academia can have more rational and respectful people. Those who di

sregard laws for the sake of personal fame and fortune should be regulated,” he said.

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