Flight attendant breastfeeds passenger's baby after mother runs out of formula on plane

Philippine Airlines flight attendant Patrisha Organo is being praised for breastfeeding a passenger's baby after the mother ran out of formula.

In a viral Facebook post shared Wednesday, Organo, 24, says she offered to help out the mother after she heard the hungry baby crying.

"After take off, I heard an infant’s cry, a cry that will make you want to do anything to help. I approached the mother and asked if everything’s okay," she wrote. "I tried to tell her to feed her hungry child. Teary-eyed, she told me that she ran out of formula milk."

She continued, "I felt a pinch in my heart. There’s no formula milk onboard. I thought to myself, there’s only one thing I could offer and that’s my own milk. And so I offered."

Her post, which includes a photo of herself holding the baby, has over 145,000 likes, over 6,000 comments and has been shared nearly 30,000 times.

Organo explained she and the mother then went to a private area of the plane to feed the baby

"The baby started rooting, she was so hungry," she wrote. "I saw the relief on her mother’s eyes. I continued to feed the baby until she fell asleep. I escorted her back to her seat and just before I left, the mother sincerely thanked me.

Organo told Yahoo that she has a 9-month-old daughter of her own, so she recognizes the difference between "a cry of hunger, a cry of sleepiness, or a cry of something else."

 

November 09, 2018

Sources: USA Today

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His actions certainly saved many lives and show the manner of these men, who are extremely brave and always ready.' </p><p>When contacted by MailOnline, the Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the report. </p><p>Meanwhile, another army veteran, who was awarded the George Cross when he risked his life to save hundreds of people held hostage by Islamic terrorists five years ago, again found himself at the centre of the action.</p><p>Retired Royal Marine Major Dominic Troulan was awarded the prestigious honour for his heroics in the 2013 terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall after he helped to rescue the wife and daughter of a friend trapped inside the shopping centre.</p><p>The former special forces soldier also risked his life repeatedly enterering the mall to rescue other civilians. </p><p>On Tuesday he was forced into action again when the six militants entered the complex where he had been working providing private security.</p><p>'Then I came back because we still had people in the building. We went firm and hunkered down in a conference room until about 6pm [three hours after the attack started]. There were General Service Unit police paramilitaries patrolling outside the building. I went outside and made sure we were good to get out.'</p><p>Once his colleagues were safe, Mr Troulan braved the carnage to rescue a driver who was hiding in a multi-storey car park. </p><p>The unnamed soldier helped rescue civilians and reportedly helped storm the complex</p><p> Kenyan security officers search for attackers during an ongoing gunfire and explosions in Nairobi on Tuesday</p><p>People take cover as they follow a police officer to evacuate the upscale hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi</p><p>Security forces help civilians flee the scene as cars burn behind, at a hotel complex in Nairobi</p><p>Rescued: A distressed woman is taken out of the luxury hotel complex during the terror attack on Tuesday </p><p>Kenyan security forces walk from the scene shortly before President Kenyatta announced that the attack was over and all terrorists killed</p><p>Prince Philip's Land Rover lies on the side after Sandringham crash</p><p>British SAS hero 'storms Kenya hotel to take on terrorists'</p><p>Cars removed from scene of Duke of Edinburgh crash in Norfolk</p><p>Boris Johnson believes 'still have time' to get better Brexit deal</p><p>Israeli student is attacked and killed close to university</p><p>Brit 'gypsy' family cover park in rubbish before threatening locals</p><p>Psychologist discusses the behaviour of killer Ian Stewart</p><p>'We voted for independence!' - Nigel Farage addresses Leave rally</p><p>Theresa May 'calls on MPs to act on national interest'</p><p>Corbyn says he's happy to talk if no-deal is off the table</p><p>Woman appears to follow couple and reach into the wife's bag</p><p>Snow falls in Newcastle as winter sets in across the UK</p><p>Prince Philip's Land Rover lies on the side after Sandringham crash</p><p>British SAS hero 'storms Kenya hotel to take on terrorists'</p><p>Cars removed from scene of Duke of Edinburgh crash in Norfolk</p><p>Boris Johnson believes 'still have time' to get better Brexit deal</p><p>Israeli student is attacked and killed close to university</p><p>Brit 'gypsy' family cover park in rubbish before threatening locals</p><p>Psychologist discusses the behaviour of killer Ian Stewart</p><p>'We voted for independence!' - Nigel Farage addresses Leave rally</p><p>Theresa May 'calls on MPs to act on national interest'</p><p>Corbyn says he's happy to talk if no-deal is off the table</p><p>Woman appears to follow couple and reach into the wife's bag</p><p>Snow falls in Newcastle as winter sets in across the UK</p><p>President Kenyatta said that 21 civilians have been confirmed dead and that more than 700 people had been evacuated to safety during the attack. </p><p>Yesterday, charity executive Luke Potter was named as the British man killed in the attack. </p><p>Mr Potter worked for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation as their Africa Programmes Director, and had only recently moved to Nairobi from the UK.</p><p>Luke Potter (pictured) worked for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and had only recently moved to Nairobi from Britain when he was killed in the terror attack yesterday</p><p>The father-of-one had worked for the international development charity for more than three years, most recently on projects across East Africa.  </p><p>Mr Potter,  a dual British-South African citizen, described himself on his company website as loving water-sports, camping, hiking and talking about adventures outside the city.</p><p>'I strongly believe in the need for societies to offer as equal an opportunity as possible to all, and that, while economic competitiveness is essential to build a country, long-term stability is not achievable unless the gains are widely spread,' he said on the website</p><p>The Gatsby Charitable Foundation said in a statement they were 'deeply shocked and saddened' to confirm the death of Mr Potter.</p><p>'Luke had devoted the past ten years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. He had worked with us for three and a half years, carrying out assignments across East Africa.</p><p>Describing Mr Potter as 'deeply committed to his work', the statement added that 'Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project. He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation.</p><p>'We share the grief of his family, partner, daughter and friends. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with them. We are now focused on offering all the support we can to them and to our staff.'</p><p>Mr Potter had an Master of Business Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and had previously worked for charity TechnoServe in east Africa and for Unilever.</p><p>U.S. businessman Jason Spindler from Houston, Texas was also among the dead.</p><p>Spindler, who turned 41 on the very day of the terror attack, had survived the 9/11 terror attack on World Trade Center in 2001. </p><p>Mr Spindler's father, Joseph, had been enjoying a successful career on Wall Street when he decided that he wanted to develop a model for helping low-income people. </p><p>Dramatic footage has emerged showing the horrifying moment a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Kenyan terror attack.  </p><p>CCTV, released to local media, shows the attacker walking calmly in front of what is believed to be the terrace of a restaurant in the complex.</p><p>At least two people are seen passing the assailant, one of them appearing to turn his head to take a close look at him.</p><p>The assailant stands still in front of the covered terrace for almost a minute, before he blows himself up. Soon after, panicked guests and workers are seen running past the scene of the explosion.</p><p>This is the shocking moment a suicide bomber blows himself up in the Kenyan terror attack that killed 21 people. Harrowing CCTV, released to local media, shows the attacker walking calmly in front of what is believed to be the terrace of a restaurant in the complex</p><p>At least two people are seen passing the assailant, one of them appearing to turn his head to take a close look at him. The assailant stands still in front of the covered terrace for almost a minute, before he blows himself up</p><p>Kenyan police said the attack began with an explosion outside the complex, followed by a suicide blast inside, before armed assailants arrived and opened fire</p><p>Soon after, panicked guests and workers are seen running past the scene of the explosion. The Al-Shabaab extremist group, which is based in Somalia and allied with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the brazen attack, which claimed the lives of 21 people, plus the five militants killed</p><p>Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, claimed it was behind the attack at the DusitD2 complex, situated in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood, popular with many foreign expatriates</p><p>Al-Shabaab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011. Tuesday's violence came three years to the day after al-Shabaab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people</p><p>Spindler later became the founder and CEO of I-DEV International, a management strategy and investment firm based in Nairobi, and had lived in Kenya for the past five years.  </p><p>Another British citizen was injured in the attack and is receiving care, the Foreign Office confirmed yesterday. </p><p>London-based company Adam Smith International also said two employees were killed in the attack.</p><p>Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed were killed on the terrace of a restaurant in the complex where the company has Nairobi offices, the company said in a statement.</p><p>Survivors of the attack have shared the horrific tales of what went on inside the hotel complex when the gunmen stormed the building.</p><p>Reuben Kimani, a barista working at the hotel, said he recognised at least one of the attackers, having served him coffee in the run-up to the assault.</p><p>'I knew one of them because he had a big scar on one of his hands,' he said. 'I saw them. They shot six of my friends, four didn't die but two succumbed.'</p><p>He said the attackers yelled out 'why are you killing our brothers and sisters in Somalia?' before opening fire. </p><p>Spindler is pictured during a trip to Puerto Rico with friends in 2013 (left) and (right), rock climbing in Nairobi </p><p>Jason Spindler (pictured), 40, was killed at the Dusit hotel in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi along with 13 others on Tuesday </p><p>Friends mourned the businessman (shown far left with a group during a trip to Puerto Rico in 2017) as news of his death emerged </p><p>Gunmen blasted their way into the venue - sending workers fleeing for their lives as others cowered under their desks. Pictured: Bullet holes in the windows of a restaurant inside the venue </p><p>Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister said he thought the Thai-owned hotel in Nairobi had been attacked by terrorists 'because the food is delicious'.</p><p>Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also the Defence Minister, made the comment yesterday during a press briefing. </p><p>Wongsuwan told reporters it was 'good enough' that no Thai citizens had been killed in the horrific attack in Nairobi on Tuesday. </p><p>When asked why he thought a Thai-owned hotel had been targeted, he replied: 'I don't know. Maybe because the food is delicious.' </p><p>The DusitD2 hotel is owned by Dusit Thani, a multinational chain which has 29 hotels and resorts in 18 countries. </p><p>Cyprian Otieno, a 23-year-old student, met a friend for lunch elsewhere in Westlands, and then decided to go to the Dusit where his friend wanted to grab a cocktail.</p><p>'All of a sudden we heard a weird BOOM followed by gunfire! Security guards at the entrance screamed 'get back, get back' in English and Swahili,' he told AFP via Twitter.</p><p>He said some fled while others tried to hide, waiting about half an hour until they heard a voice shouting 'kill them, kill them' in Swahili and more gunfire.</p><p>Terrified a group of about 20 people fled towards the back of the hotel.</p><p>'Sorry to say at that point it was every man for himself. We were all together in the beginning but after a few minutes the attackers began shooting... I can't even really remember what happened afterwards.' </p><p>Tracy Wanjiru, 28, a manager at a salon housed in the complex, found herself in the middle of another Shabaab strike, five years after surviving an attack on the Westgate mall while she was six months pregnant.</p><p>Speaking to the Nation media group she said: 'I was working there (Westgate) when the attackers stormed in, it was not easy just like today. All I can say is that I thank God.'</p><p>After the first blast was heard at the DusitD2 complex, Wanjiru says she saw 'human body parts in the midst of fire flames flying in the air'. </p><p>The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed that it was behind the attack at the complex - which includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices. Pictured: People run for cover  </p><p>An injured man is evacuated from the scene of an explosion. Thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the complex behind them</p><p>A shell-shocked woman is evacuated form the Dusit Hotel by hotel staff and security guards who try to calm her down</p><p>Prince Philip's Land Rover lies on the side after Sandringham crash</p><p>British SAS hero 'storms Kenya hotel to take on terrorists'</p><p>Cars removed from scene of Duke of Edinburgh crash in Norfolk</p><p>Boris Johnson believes 'still have time' to get better Brexit deal</p><p>Israeli student is attacked and killed close to university</p><p>Brit 'gypsy' family cover park in rubbish before threatening locals</p><p>Psychologist discusses the behaviour of killer Ian Stewart</p><p>'We voted for independence!' - Nigel Farage addresses Leave rally</p><p>Theresa May 'calls on MPs to act on national interest'</p><p>Corbyn says he's happy to talk if no-deal is off the table</p><p>Woman appears to follow couple and reach into the wife's bag</p><p>Snow falls in Newcastle as winter sets in across the UK</p><p>Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attach by an extremist gunman which killed 21 people</p><p>More than 700 people were evacuated from the complex overnight, however some 50 people believed to have been in the building at the time of the attack are still unaccounted for, according to the Kenya Red Cross</p><p>Members of Kenyan special forces at the scene of an attack by an extremist gunman Wednesday</p><p>A armoured Hummer truck ferries Kenyan special forces troops following the deadly terror attack</p><p>A Kenyan officer from a special unit looks on outside the business complex in Nairobi</p><p>Kenya's Interior Minister Fred Matiangi (pictured centre) addresses journalists near to where the Islamist militants struck yesterday</p><p>A Kenyan officer from a special unit looks on outside the business complex in Nairobi, Kenya,</p><p>Muslim men prepare to bury the bodies of felllow Muslim men Abdalla Mohammed Dahir, 28, and his age mate Feisal Ahmed Rashid, who were killed in the DusitD2 Hotel and Office Complex attack, out of the mosque to trasnport it to the cemetery</p><p>Mourners carry the body of Feisal Ahmed, who was killed with his colleague Abdalla Dahir in Tuesday's attack, as they leave a mosque and head to the funerals in Nairobi, Kenya</p><p>Relatives and mourners bury the body of Feisal Ahmed Rashid, who was killed the previous day in an attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex, during his funeral service at the Langata Muslim cemetery in Nairobi</p><p>Collected packs of blood donation in a mobile station at the August 7th Memorial Park, where the 1998 terrorist bomb attack took place at the then United States Embassy, in Nairobi, a day after a blast followed by a gun battle that rocked the upmarket hotel complex the day before. Kenyan President said that gunmen who stormed the hotel complex on January 15, 2019, killing 21 people, had been 'eliminated' after an almost 20-hour operation in which hundreds of civilians were rescued</p><p>Relatives carry the remains of Feisal Ahmed Rashid, who was killed the previous day in an attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex, during his funeral service at the Langata Muslim cemetery in Nairobi on January 16, 2019</p><p>Relatives and mourners bury the body of Feisal Ahmed Rashid, who was killed the previous day in an attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex, during his funeral service at the Langata Muslim cemetery in Nairobi</p><p>Mourners stand with their shovels after burying the bodies of Abdalla Dahir and his colleague Feisal Ahmed, who were both killed in Tuesday's attack</p><p>Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda, claimed it was behind the attack at the DusitD2 complex, situated in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood, popular with many foreign expatriates.</p><p>Kenya's Citizen TV aired security camera footage that showed at least four heavily armed men in dark-coloured, paramilitary-style gear. Officials later confirmed that five terrorists had been involved in the attack and killed.</p><p>Kenya's national police chief, Joseph Boinnet, said the coordinated assault began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests.</p><p>Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.</p><p>A CCTV grab showing one of five suspected al Shabaab attackers who opened fire in the hotel as a suicide bomber detonated in the lobby </p><p>CCTV showing two of the alleged attackers walking past a barrier towards the hotel wearing dark paramilitary-style gear. Al Shabaab has already claimed responsibility for the carnage </p><p>Shell-shocked survivors are rushed to safety from the complex, barely-clothed, by security forces</p><p>An armed officer tells survivors to stay back and duck down as he tries to lead them to safety</p><p>A female member of staff cries after making it out of the complex. Her male colleagues and a guard console her </p><p>Prince Philip's Land Rover lies on the side after Sandringham crash</p><p>British SAS hero 'storms Kenya hotel to take on terrorists'</p><p>Cars removed from scene of Duke of Edinburgh crash in Norfolk</p><p>Boris Johnson believes 'still have time' to get better Brexit deal</p><p>Israeli student is attacked and killed close to university</p><p>Brit 'gypsy' family cover park in rubbish before threatening locals</p><p>Psychologist discusses the behaviour of killer Ian Stewart</p><p>'We voted for independence!' - Nigel Farage addresses Leave rally</p><p>Theresa May 'calls on MPs to act on national interest'</p><p>Corbyn says he's happy to talk if no-deal is off the table</p><p>Woman appears to follow couple and reach into the wife's bag</p><p>Snow falls in Newcastle as winter sets in across the UK</p><p>Video footage from inside the hotel showed Kenyan security officers searching the building and workers emerging from hiding while gunfire could still be heard. Some climbed out a window by ladder.</p><p>One man got up from the floor where he appeared to be trying to hide under a piece of wooden panelling.  </p><p>Al-Shabaab's 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.</p><p>Al-Shabaab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011. Tuesday's violence came three years to the day after al-Shabaab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.</p><p>The group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya. In the deadliest attack, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an assault on Kenya's Garissa University in 2015 that killed 147 people, mostly students.</p><p>The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabaab's continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US air strikes against it under President Donald Trump. </p><p>Several cars are ablaze in a parking lot as security forces stream in and people run or are carried from the scene. Police quickly call it a terror attack.</p><p>Kenyans watch the police response closely after officers took hours to respond to a deadly attack on the nearby Westgate Mall in 2013.</p><p>They reunite with relieved friends and family and recount a long night of cowering in hiding places while listening to nearby gunfire.</p><p>The security forces work their way through the hotel complex, finding terrified groups of people who have barricaded themselves into rooms.</p><p>More than 100 are retrieved and taken for medical treatment. </p><p>The al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, whose name means 'The Youth,' seeks to impose its strict version of sharia law in East Africa.</p><p>The group is particularly active in Somalia, where it has an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 militants in its ranks who frequently unleash attacks targeting security and government officials, as well as hotels and restaurants in the capital.</p><p>The group has also behind deadly attacks in Kenya and Uganda, which both contribute troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.</p><p>Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, after Al-Shabaab gunmen raided the shopping centre killing more than sixty people in 2013</p><p>Yesterday's attack immediately reminded many Kenyans of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013, when al-Shabaab extremists burst into the luxury shopping centre, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead.</p><p>British jihadi Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the White Widow, was rumoured to have been involved in planning that attack. </p><p>The complex attacked yesterday is less than two miles from Westgate Mall and is in what is considered one of the most secure areas of the city.</p><p>The attack came three years to the day after al-Shabaab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people. </p><p>The al Shabaab objects to the presence of Kenyan troops in the turbulent Horn of Africa nation.</p><p>British jihadi Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the White Widow, was rumoured to have been involved in planning the Westgate Mall attack</p><p>Everyone was so brave to risk their lives to save ...</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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    1 January 18, 2019
  •  Zimbabwe again forces 'total internet shutdown' amid unrest

    Zimbabwe again forces 'total internet shutdown' amid unrest

    shutdown," a media group says, after a days-long violent crackdown on people protesting dramatic fuel price increases.</p><p> MISA-Zimbabwe shares a text message from the country's largest telecom company, Econet, calling the government order "beyond our reasonable control." The shutdown faces a court challenge from the group and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.</p><p> On Friday, a prominent pastor and activist who faces a possible 20 years in prison on a subversion charge is set to appear in court, one of more than 600 people arrested this week. Evan Mawarire calls it "heartbreaking" to see the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa acting like that of former leader Robert Mugabe. Mawarire is accused of inciting civil disobedience online.</p><p> "Our country is going through one of the most trying periods in its history," the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a sweeping statement lamenting the government's "intolerant handling of dissent" and its failure to halt economic collapse.</p><p> International calls for restraint by Zimbabwe's security forces are growing, while Mnangagwa prepares to plead for more investment at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He announced the fuel price increase on the eve of his overseas trip, leaving hardline former military commander and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as acting president.</p><p> Gasoline in the economically shattered country is now the world's most expensive. Zimbabweans heeded a nationwide stay-at-home call earlier this week in protest. Rights groups and others have accused security forces of targeting activists and labor leaders in response, with the United States expressing alarm.</p><p> The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has said it had treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and 100-plus other cases of "assaults with sharp objects, booted feet, baton sticks" and more. Hungry residents of the capital, Harare, who ventured out seeking food reported being tear-gassed by police.</p><p> Death tolls have varied. Eight people were killed when police and military fired on crowds, Amnesty International said. Zimbabwe's government said three people were killed, including a policeman stoned to death by an angry crowd.</p><p> The demonstrations amount to "terrorism," Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, blaming the opposition. State Security Minister Owen Ncube thanked security forces for "standing firm."</p><p> Zimbabweans had briefly rejoiced when Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe, who was forced out in late 2017, thinking the new president would deliver on his refrain that the country "is open for business." But frustration has risen over the lack of improvement in the collapsed economy, which doesn't even have a currency of its own.</p><p> The UK's minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, has summoned Zimbabwe's ambassador to discuss "disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force" against protesters.</p><p> The European Union in a statement late Thursday noted the "disproportionate use of force by security personnel" and urged that internet service be restored.</p><p> Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP&#8212;Africa </p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  •  China slump squeezes workers, hammers consumer spending

    China slump squeezes workers, hammers consumer spending

    prepare to sell shares to the public until the cooling economy derailed those plans.</p><p> As demand for auditing services sank, the 25-year-old accountant in the eastern city of Hangzhou was laid off in December. Yu tightened his belt: No more movies or eating out. He put off buying a computer.</p><p> Headline economic numbers still look healthy. Growth in 2019 is forecast at more than 6 percent, down only slightly from about 6.5 percent last year. But it is propped up by higher government spending, which masks sharp declines in other areas. Those are spooking the public and discouraging spending, which could make the downturn worse.</p><p> "I am worried about my job security and have cut spending on everything including clothes, vacations and changing smartphones," said He Siying, who works for an investment consulting firm in Beijing.</p><p> He, 32, was rattled when friends were laid off. One found a new job but the employer wanted her to work six days a week.</p><p> "I really dare not spend much," said He, who has a 1-year-old son.</p><p> That anxiety is hitting China's trading partners and global companies that increasingly count on Chinese consumers.</p><p> The decline in economic growth that peaked above 14 percent in 2007 is partly intentional. Regulators clamped down on lending in late 2017 to cool a debt boom. But the downturn was sharper than expected.</p><p> "Many people have been laid off. People are having a hard time finding a new job and are panicking," said Summer Li, a 28-year-old product manager for an electronics company.</p><p> Yu, the Hangzhou accountant, said he lost his 100,000-yuan-a-year ($14,000-a-year) job after demand for auditing services fell by one-third. Clients put off plans for stock market listings after profits sank below the level required by regulators.</p><p> "It happened due to the bad economic situation," he said.</p><p> The ruling party promised in 2013 to support entrepreneurs who create China's new jobs and wealth. But reform advocates complain President Xi Jinping's government has instead focused on expanding state-owned companies that dominate oil, banking and other industries.</p><p> Jolted by the deepening slump, Xi and other leaders have pledged to help private business by cutting taxes and regulation.</p><p> Premier Li Keqiang, the top economic official, met with bankers in December and told them to make 30 percent of new loans to private business, state media reported. The central bank announced a 100 billion yuan ($14 billion) loan fund on Dec. 19 for small companies.</p><p> Exports to the United States held up through late 2018 despite President Donald Trump's tariff hikes. But sales shrank 3.5 percent in December compared with a year earlier as those penalties started to hurt demand.</p><p> Jittery companies and consumers already were putting off investments and big purchases.</p><p> "Consumer confidence is weaker and uncertainty has increased. The U.S.-China trade war is feeding into that," said Rajiv Biswas, chief Asia-Pacific economist for IHS Markit. "That is obviously a risk to the growth outlook for 2019."</p><p> The slowdown is adding to pressure from wrenching changes in jobs and industry that already were under way.</p><p> The ruling party has wiped out millions of steel and coal mining jobs in a marathon campaign to shrink those bloated state-owned industries.</p><p> Since 2017, Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities have forced out migrant workers who lack official permission to live there. Local leaders say they want to reduce crowding, but restaurants, retailers and other companies depend on migrants as employees and increasingly as customers.</p><p> The sales manager at a Beijing dealership for one of China's biggest automakers said purchases have fallen by half. He blamed the departure of migrants who buy lower-priced models starting at 50,000 yuan ($7,000).</p><p> "Many such customers returned to their hometowns because there wasn't much work for them," said the manager, who asked that he and his employer not be identified by name. "Sales of high-end cars also plunged because the buyers own businesses serving migrant workers."</p><p> Overall, disposable consumer income rose by a relatively healthy 5.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2018, but that was down from 2017's 6.6 percent. Retail sales growth fell to a lower-than-expected 8.6 percent from a year earlier in November, its weakest rate in five months.</p><p> Construction, the industry that powered China's boom in past decades, also is struggling.</p><p> Some cash-strapped developers in China's northwest have resorted to paying contractors by giving them apartments, according to Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital Research, a financial research firm.</p><p> The contractors hope to sell later, but some developments are three-quarters vacant, said Stevenson-Yang.</p><p> The owner of a Cantonese restaurant in southwestern Beijing said she wants to give up and return to her hometown near Shanghai but can't find a buyer for the business.</p><p> "I am making a profit but can't earn a lot from it," said the owner, who would give only her surname, Yue.</p><p> Economists expect the downturn to bottom out this year as government stimulus gains traction.</p><p> But cautious spenders like Paige Fu, an assistant to the general manager of a company in the film industry, are wary.</p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  •  Zimbabwe again forces 'total internet shutdown' amid unrest

    Zimbabwe again forces 'total internet shutdown' amid unrest

    shutdown," a media group says, after a days-long violent crackdown on people protesting dramatic fuel price increases.</p><p> MISA-Zimbabwe shares a text message from the country's largest telecom company, Econet, calling the government order "beyond our reasonable control." The shutdown faces a court challenge from the group and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.</p><p> On Friday, a prominent pastor and activist who faces a possible 20 years in prison on a subversion charge is set to appear in court, one of more than 600 people arrested this week. Evan Mawarire calls it "heartbreaking" to see the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa acting like that of former leader Robert Mugabe. Mawarire is accused of inciting civil disobedience online.</p><p> "Our country is going through one of the most trying periods in its history," the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a sweeping statement lamenting the government's "intolerant handling of dissent" and its failure to halt economic collapse.</p><p> International calls for restraint by Zimbabwe's security forces are growing, while Mnangagwa prepares to plead for more investment at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He announced the fuel price increase on the eve of his overseas trip, leaving hardline former military commander and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as acting president.</p><p> Gasoline in the economically shattered country is now the world's most expensive. Zimbabweans heeded a nationwide stay-at-home call earlier this week in protest. Rights groups and others have accused security forces of targeting activists and labor leaders in response, with the United States expressing alarm.</p><p> The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has said it had treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and 100-plus other cases of "assaults with sharp objects, booted feet, baton sticks" and more. Hungry residents of the capital, Harare, who ventured out seeking food reported being tear-gassed by police.</p><p> Death tolls have varied. Eight people were killed when police and military fired on crowds, Amnesty International said. Zimbabwe's government said three people were killed, including a policeman stoned to death by an angry crowd.</p><p> The demonstrations amount to "terrorism," Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, blaming the opposition. State Security Minister Owen Ncube thanked security forces for "standing firm."</p><p> Zimbabweans had briefly rejoiced when Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe, who was forced out in late 2017, thinking the new president would deliver on his refrain that the country "is open for business." But frustration has risen over the lack of improvement in the collapsed economy, which doesn't even have a currency of its own.</p><p> The UK's minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, has summoned Zimbabwe's ambassador to discuss "disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force" against protesters.</p><p> The European Union in a statement late Thursday noted the "disproportionate use of force by security personnel" and urged that internet service be restored.</p><p> Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP&#8212;Africa </p>

    1 January 18, 2019

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