As dawn broke, those sobs began to make sense as a “ter

  rible sight” emerged, Taylor said.

  ”Dead bodies had floated up (and the) current of the flood water had washed the bodies up against the road,” said Tay

lor. “The road had subsided about 10 inches (25.5 centimeters). So these bodies had been washed up against the main highway.”

  Taylor said the smell of bodies and livestock was palpable.Hundreds of others were also attempting to make the congested seven-ho

ur walk from the village of Lamego — about 90 kilometers (56 miles) inland from Beira — to Nhamatanda, on higher ground. In places whe

re the current of the flood waters was strong, about 50 people joined hands to make a human chain, said Taylor.

  ”I’m 6 foot 2 inches (187 centimeters), but the force of water at knee level w

as powerful,” Taylor said. “You had to pay attention and concentrate where you put your feet.”

  Taylor said he saw an elderly woman carry her husband on her back.

  On the road out of Beira, he said “the entire area, as far as I could see, was one lake of flood

water,” adding that groups of up to 10 people had climbed eucalyptus, cashew and mango trees waiting to be rescued.

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After hitting Mozambique, Cyclone Idai tore into Zimbabwe

  killing many people as they slept.

  The 83-year-old husband of one Chimanimani resident was buried alive when their bedroom collapsed on them last Friday.

  ”We were sleeping in the house around 10 p.m. in the evening and it was raining. It

kept on pouring when rocks sliding from the hill started hitting our house,” said the 59-year-old.

  ”The stones we built our house with collapsed on us, and then I yelled, ‘oh my, I’m dying!’ The soils had

filled my mouth, nose and ears. Water filled the house to almost my neck level … I started to shake my husband’s body to no avail. He was alrea

dy dead.”People carry Chinese rice from a warehouse surrounded by water after Cyclone Idai hit the area, in Beira, Mozambique.

  Nearby, another family had abandoned searching for their 16-year-old missing son, who they suspect is buried under the mud.

  Efforts to bring aid to those affected by Cyclone Idai are under way in Zimbabwe. Pres

ident Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is airlifting food to some of the areas where people are still trapped.

  Mnangagwa has declared March 23 and 24 national days of mourning.

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And business confidence in Britain has slumped to the lo

  d to the lowest level in almost a decade.

  ”The reason for this underperformance relative to the rest of the world is, I believe, the uncertainty surrounding the prospect of Brexit,” Ge

rtjan Vlieghe, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, said in a speech last month.

  The pain has also been felt by households. The pou

nd plunged 15% against the dollar after the 2016 vote, pushing the price of imported goods hig

her. That spurred inflation and contributed to a decline in the value of people’s paychecks.

  Company trauma

  Executives have reacted to the uncertainty by attempting to Brexit-proof their businesses.

  ”It is clear that political inaction has already had economic consequences, with many firm

s hitting the brakes on investment and recruitment decisions as a result of ongoing uncertainty,” said Ad

am Marshall, director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, a business lobby.

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Top officials at the Confederation of British Industry and t

  he Trades Union Congress said Thursday that Britain faces a “national emergency” if politicians allow that to happen.

  ”Firms and communities across the United Kingdom are not ready for this outcome. Th

e shock to our economy would be felt by generations to come,” they wrote in a letter to May.

  McDonald’s (MCD) and KFC (YUM) joined with UK supermarkets to warn that crash

ing out of the European Union would disrupt supplies. Airbus has said that it would be forced to redirect future inv

estment away from the United Kingdom.What can the UK achieve in three weeks that it couldn’t in three years?

  The most obvious answer to this is, worryingly for some, not very much.

  While the European Union offered Prime Minister Theresa May — and her vision fo

r Brexit — a final lifeline this week, it did so with caveats and, crucially, harder deadlines than before.

  It’s these deadlines that European leaders hope will focus the minds of British la

wmakers as they return to the House of Commons to try and find a way out of the Brexit deadlock.

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Kazakh parliament approves renaming of capital to Nursultan

ASTANA – The Kazakh parliament approved a bill to rename the capital of Kazakhstan a

fter former President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday at a joint meeting of its two houses.

The bill was passed in two readings and the decision was announced by Nurlan Nigmatul

in, speaker of the lower house of the Kazakh parliament, state news agency Kazinform reported.

At the initiative of the new interim president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, it was dec

ided to change the name of the capital from Astana to Nursultan without a referendum.

Earlier in the day, Tokayev took office as Kazakhstan’s interim president following the sud

den resignation of Nazarbayev, who had served as the country’s president for nearly three decades.

After the inauguration, Tokayev proposed to rename the Kazakh capital in honor of the former president.

RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kazakh Justice Minister Marat Beketayev as saying

that the bill has yet to be signed into law by the president in order to become effective.

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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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He said he was asked by his employer to stay home for

mental illness and not go back to work until he recovered.”The utmost goal is like Zhuge Liang (of the Three Kingd

oms), who became a senior official to serve the country,” Shen said. “What comes second is to be like Du Fu (a reno

wned poet in Tang Dynasty known for his patriotism), who always puts the country’s and the people’s interests first.”

“Over the past 26 years, no one from the office has ever asked about me,” Shen told Red

Star News. The auditing office of Xuhui district hasn’t responded to comment as of press time.

Shen also denied online rumors that he graduated from Fudan University and once lost a daughter to a car crash.

“I have never been married, so how could I have a daughter,” he retorted. “Me, a Fudan graduate? Fudan was far out of my league.”

After days of being bombarded with visits and interviews from curious citizens or online streamers, who

are tapping into his sudden popularity for public exposure, Shen said he hopes he can be left alone so as to read more books.

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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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focused online brokerage Up Fintech Holding makes Nasdaq debu

NEW YORK – UP Fintech Holding Limited, a leading online brokerage firm focusing on global Chinese investors, rang th

e Nasdaq Stock Market opening bell on Wednesday in celebration of its initial public offering (IPO).

The company, known in Asia as “Tiger Brokers,” trading under the ticker symbol of “TIGR,” announced its IPO of 13 mill

ion American depositary shares (ADSs), each representing 15 Class A ordinary shares, at a price to the public of $8 per ADS.

UP Fintech Holding started trading at $8.10 per share on Wednesd

ay, climbing 24.6 percent from its pricing, and was traded at $9.97 apiece around midday.

Citi and Deutsche Bank acted as lead managers on the deal.

Online brokers utilize APPs and websites to provide integrated online securities services, incl

uding customer acquisition, account opening, securities trading and other value-added services.

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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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