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Long recovery after "unusual" tornado outbreak strikes US states******
Debris are piled after a tornado tore through rural Kentucky.
Rescue and recovery efforts are underway after dozens of tornadoes swept through parts of the US Midwest and South late Friday and early Saturday, causing severe casualties and damage.
"There is no lens big enough to show you the extent of the damage" in Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear told reporters on Sunday, as several other states have also reported storm-related damage and deaths.
The tornado outbreak of that magnitude was unusual during this time of the year and the road to recover could be long in some affected regions, experts and officials have said.
Houses, structures, and Vehicles are seen with damage after a tornado tore through rural Kentucky.
Eighteen counties in Kentucky have reported damage from an extremely devastating tornado, which carved out a long path of about 227 miles (roughly 365 kilometers) of terrain – almost all of that in the "Bluegrass State," said Beshear.
The National Weather Service on Sunday classified the tornado as an EF-3 and estimated its maximum width to be about three-quarters of a mile (roughly 1.2 kilometers) wide.
Beshear, after previously estimating that the state's death toll could exceed 100, said on Sunday afternoon that it might be as low as 50. "We are praying that maybe original estimates of those we have lost were wrong," he reportedly said. "If so, it's going to be pretty wonderful."
The comments came after a spokesperson for a candle factory in the western Kentucky town of Mayfield, which had been flattened by the violent twister, said that eight of the 110 workers on the overnight shift Friday had been confirmed dead and another eight are still missing, while 94 others have been accounted for.
The tornado also uprooted trees, downed power lines, and damaged or destroyed houses and vehicles in Mayfield, where thousands of people have been left homeless.
Bulldozers began removing debris in some neighborhoods on Sunday. Residents of Wickliffe, a county neighboring Mayfield which narrowly escaped storm's impact, told Xinhua that they had been encouraged to help shelter the displaced.
Rescue efforts are being conducted by local response teams, Kentucky emergency officials said. The state has also deployed the National Guard to conduct searches and take generators to help power shelters and hospitals.
"We want to focus today and the next day on life-saving. We really want to make sure that we find anybody who still might be trapped in the rubble," Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said on Sunday.
Tornadoes also ripped through Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi, and brought about deadly and tragic destruction in several of the states.
At least six people died in Illinois, where a distribution center owned by e-commerce giant Amazon in Edwardsville was struck and collapsed.
"The news from Edwardsville is tragic," Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tweeted on Saturday. "We're heartbroken over the loss of our teammates there, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones."
Besides, four deaths were confirmed in Tennessee; two people were killed in Arkansas; and one death was reported in Missouri.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Saturday surveyed storm damage in the western part of the state, including Dresden, where multiple downtown buildings were torn apart. "This is about the saddest thing I've ever seen," Lee told reporters. "The whole town, the whole town."
US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that he's "monitoring the situation very closely since early this morning" and called the disaster likely "one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history."
The White House said on Sunday that Biden had declared that a major disaster exists in Kentucky and ordered federal aid to supplement the state and local recovery efforts "in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes."
"It's going to be a long recovery," said Criswell, adding that the FEMA is working with communities in making efforts to "help reduce the impacts that we're seeing from these severe weather events."
Tornadoes can form at any time of year, but most occur in the spring and summer months, according to meteorologists.
Defined as vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air, these violent twisters are born in thunderstorms and are often accompanied by hail. Their winds may top 250 miles (roughly 402 km) an hour and can clear a pathway a mile wide and 50 miles (roughly 80 km) long.
Tornadoes occur around the world, but the United States is a major hotspot with about a thousand tornadoes every year.
Victor Gensini, an extreme weather researcher at Northern Illinois University, pointed out, however, that the powerful tornadoes churning through the US states were unusual coming in December, when colder weather normally limits the storms.
Criswell said something similar on Sunday.
"We do see tornadoes in December, that part is not unusual, but at this magnitude I don't think we've ever seen one this late in the year," the FEMA chief said. "But it's also historic. Even this, the severity and the amount of time this tornado, or these tornadoes, spent on the ground is unprecedented."
She also warned such extreme weather events could be a "new normal," pointing to the effects of climate change.
Biden said "the intensity of the weather across the board has some impact as a consequence of the warming of the planet and the climate change."
"The specific impact on these specific storms, I can't say at this point," the president added. "But the fact is that we all know everything is more intense when the climate is warming – everything. And, obviously, it has some impact here, but I can't give you a quantitative read on that."
Economic Watch: World Manufacturing Convention breathes new life into manufacturing sector******
HEFEI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The fourth World Manufacturing Convention kicked off Friday in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, with a number of the country's cutting-edge technologies and products on display.。
The four-day event, themed "innovation-driven, digitally empowered: global manufacturing industry aligned for high-quality growth," focuses on cutting-edge trends, displays the achievements in development, and explores a new path of high-quality manufacturing.。
The event's topic is in line with the current trend of integrating the digital economy into the manufacturing sector, said Ma Jiantang, a senior official at the Development Research Center of the State Council, at the opening ceremony.。
He added that China would further tap the potential of the digital economy to beef up the sector's high-quality development by reinforcing fundamental research in software, chips, core components, and speeding up infrastructure construction in 5G networks, big data centers, and industrial Internet.。
Data showed that in October, China's industrial added value above the designated size grew by 3.5 percent year on year, 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous month.。
Meanwhile, high-tech and equipment manufacturing value-added increased by 14.7 percent and 4.7 percent year-on-year, respectively.。
China's manufacturing sector has faced various difficulties and challenges, and it has maintained a momentum of recovery, with new advancements in high-quality development, said Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, at the opening ceremony.。
"The development of the manufacturing sector has provided strong support for the steady growth of China's economy and made an important contribution to the recovery of the world economy," Xin said.。
The convention, covering an area of over 43,000 square meters, included various industrial seminars, business matchmaking events, and exhibitions of new energy vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, imported products, among others.。
The event offers a broad platform for deeper cooperation in global manufacturing and sustainable development, especially at a time when the world supply chain is hindered by the pandemic, said Christian Wulff, global chairman of the Global Alliance of Small and Medium Enterprises.。
In the future, China will accelerate perfecting data transaction regulations and supervision framework to cultivate new forms of data service and promote further opening up in the area, said Ma.。
According to the organizing committee, the convention has attracted 800 guests, including foreign diplomats, officials of relevant international organizations, and senior managers from Global Fortune 500 companies.。
A total of 1,752 projects with investments of 1.8 trillion yuan (around 282 billion U.S. dollars) were signed at the previous three conventions. More than 80 percent of them kicked off construction by the end of October 2021. Enditem。
Economic resilience proves China's ability in handling compounding crises****** Aerial photo taken on May 26, 2021 shows the Yangpu international container port at Yangpu economic development zone in south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)
BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's economic growth notched 9.8 percent year on year in the first three quarters, which indicates that, despite global downward pressure, the Chinese economy has maintained the recovery momentum and continues to play a stabilizing role for the world economy.
While some overseas observers noted that China's growth rate slowed down in the third quarter compared with previous ones, they admitted that the Chinese economy is expected to return to its pre-coronavirus trajectory.
Facing multiple risks, the Chinese economy does not lack bright spots: domestic consumption is coming back; the high-tech manufacturing sector has posted a strong performance; and the service sector's input for the overall economic growth continues to go up.
In the meantime, China's foreign trade is showing strong resilience despite disruptions in global supply chains. China's exports to major world economies, including the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea, all maintained a double-digit growth in the first three quarters.
"For months, economists have made the same prediction: the fast growth of China's exports cannot last. The economists were wrong," The New York Times said in a recent report, which highlights China's ability to navigate its economy in times of compounding tests and challenges.
The Chinese authorities always take into account both cyclical and structural elements of the economy, and give targeted policy support to weak economic spots, while avoiding flooding the economy with liquidity and keeping on optimizing China's economic structure. Beijing has also paid close attention to striking a balance between stimulating short-term recovery and fostering long-term growth like boosting green development.
Moreover, China has carried on with deep reforms to expand market access for foreign investments, upgrade its business environment and promote multilateral trade cooperation.
The Chinese authorities have also stayed wary of the headwinds facing the economy, cautioning against "rising uncertainties in the international environment and uneven recovery in the domestic economy," according to National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Fu Linghui. He pledged that China will continue to "take various measures to keep the economy running within a reasonable range."
In March, the Chinese government set its annual GDP target for 2021 at over 6 percent although many had expected the growth to reach 8 percent or more. This would give Beijing "more room to deal with long-festering issues in the economy," said The Wall Street Journal.
Looking ahead, the Chinese economy is expected to continue to perform well. Latest forecasts on China's yearly GDP in 2021 by the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development all posted a rate of 8 percent or more.
As reporters of The Economist dug into stories of high-tech innovators in Hangzhou, nimble exporters in Wuxi and ambitious entrepreneurs in Wenzhou, all cities in east China, they found that "two of the fundamental underpinnings of China's economic dynamism remain intact: red-blooded competition in the private sector and the restless quest of millions upon millions of ordinary people to improve their lot in life."
Given China's determination to push forward reforms as well as its flexibility in policy, the Chinese economy is buoying confidence in the global recovery and will bring more development opportunities to other economies. Enditem