Fingers crossed! Washington zoo hopes to get panda pregnant again


Zoo officials in Washington hope they can get lucky again with female giant panda Mei Xiang.

Giant panda Mei Xiang walks in her outdoor enclosure at the National Zoo in Washington, U.S. on November 29, 2005. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

WASHINGTON: Zoo officials in Washington hope they can get lucky again with female giant panda Mei Xiang.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is trying to get the 18-year-old giant panda pregnant in hopes she will deliver her fourth living cub in a move to boost the species, officials said on Friday.

There are about 1,800 giant pandas in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which classifies them as “vulnerable.”

Mei Xiang had artificial insemination performed on her twice on Thursday after she had shown signs of being in estrus, or capable of becoming pregnant, the zoo said in a statement.

The pregnancy window is very narrow for pandas, which are native to China and star attractions at the National Zoo. Estrus lasts only 24 to 72 hours per year, and Mei Xiang’s estrogen levels had peaked on Wednesday, it said.

If Mei Xiang becomes pregnant, the cub likely would be born around the end of September, the zoo said. It turned to artificial insemination using semen from the zoo’s 19-year-old male, Tian Tian, when he and Mei Xiang were unable to mate.

Giant pandas have low reproductive rates and Mei Xiang has had several false pregnancies. She has three surviving cubs – Tai Shan, born in 2005; Bao Bao, born in 2013, and Bei Bei, born in 2015 and still at the zoo.

Tai Shan, the first panda born at the National Zoo to survive past birth, is at a research center in China. Bao Bao left for China in February as part of a breeding and research program.

The National Zoo received its first pair of giant pandas in 1972 as a gift from China.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson)



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Annual dog meat festival kicks off in China.



A controversial annual dog meat festival kicks off in China.

SHOW: YULIN, GUANGXI ZHUANG AUTONOMOUS REGION, CHINA (JUNE 21, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, YANG YUHUA, SPEAKING WITH MAN SELLING DOG

2. DOGS IN CAGE

3. PEOPLE WATCHING/MEDIA

4. VARIOUS OF DOG SELLER TAKING DOGS OUT OF CAGE

5. YANG TAKING DOGS’ LEASHES

6. PEOPLE WATCHING

7. YANG WALKING WITH DOGS

8. (SOUNBITE) (Mandarin) ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, YANG YUHUA, SAYING:

“Dogs are man’s best, the most loyal friend. How could we eat our friends? You tell me.”

9. YANG WALKING WITH DOGS

10. DOGS

11. PEOPLE WALKING ALONG NANQIAO MARKET/VENDOR

12. DOG MEAT VENDOR, MR. ZHOU, PREPARING DOG MEAT FOR CUSTOMERS

13. ZHOU CHOPPING DOG CARCASSES

14. (SOUNBITE) (Mandarin) DOG MEAT VENDOR, MR. ZHOU, SAYING:

“They are a lot, a lot of people who like (eating dog meat). It’s your habit, it’s my habit.”

15. ZHOU WEIGHING DOG MEAT IN PLASTIC BAG AND HANDING IT TO CUSTOMER

16. NANQIAO MARKET

17. VARIOUS OF DOG MEAT VENDORS

18. DOG MEAT RESTAURANT SELLING DOG MEAT

19. (SOUNBITE) (Mandarin) 54-YEAR-OLD YULIN RESIDENT, MIN, SAYING:

“Why won’t they (let us openly celebrate the festival)? The city government came out and told (the vendors) not to let restaurant owners sell (dog meat). The city government is always (handling this issue) this way. If there was no city government to mess with them then they of course could let them out.”

20. VARIOUS OF BANNER COVERING UP CHINESE CHARACTER “DOG” IN FRONT OF CHINESE CHARACTER “MEAT”

21. STAND AT RESTAURANT SHOWING CHINESE CHARACTER “DOG” PAINTED OVER

22. COOK PREPARING NOODLES WITH DOG MEAT ON TABLE

23. CUSTOMERS EATING

24. (SOUNBITE) (Mandarin) RESTAURANT OWNER FROM ANHUI PROVINCE AND DOG MEAT FESTIVAL ATTENDEE XU YONGFEN, SAYING:

“The people of Yulin can see so many dog lovers, so they don’t want to connect (everything) with dogs. I personally like eating dog meat.”

25. VARIOUS OF DOG CARCASSES ON STAND

STORY: Yulin’s annual dog meat festival kicked off on Tuesday (June 21) with animal rights activists voicing their opposition and locals and vistors saying celebrations are low key this year.

But at a popular morning market, it was business as usual as vendors had dog meat on display for customers to choose.

“They are a lot, a lot of people who like (eating dog meat). It’s your habit, it’s my habit,” said Zhou, a dog meat vendor.

Many restaurants did not have the Chinese word for “dog meat” on display.

“Why won’t they (let us openly celebrate the festival)? The city government came out and told (the vendors) not to let restaurant owners sell (dog meat). The city government is always (handling this issue) this way. If there was no city government to mess with them then they of course could let the meat out,” said Ms. Min, a Yulin resident.

Animal activists were doing their best to save dogs from the pot.

“Dogs are man’s best, the most loyal friend. How could we eat our friends? You tell me,” said Yang Yuhua, an animal rights activist who flew from south-western Chongqing to purchase dogs sold at this year’s festival.

Yang spent over 1,000 yuan ($151.5) to buy two caged dogs at the market from the vendor.

Animal welfare NGO Humane Society International says that it has organised a petition against the festival which already garnered over 11 million signatures.

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Man City release quartet as summer clear-out begins


Manchester City will not extend the contracts of defenders Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, midfielder Jesus Navas and goalkeeper Willy Caballero as the quartet will leave the club during the summer, the Premier League side announced on Thursday.

Britain Football Soccer – Arsenal v Manchester City – FA Cup Semi Final – Wembley Stadium – 23/4/17 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaks to Gael Clichy during the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic

REUTERS: Manchester City will not extend the contracts of defenders Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, midfielder Jesus Navas and goalkeeper Willy Caballero as the quartet will leave the club during the summer, the Premier League side announced on Thursday.

Caballero, Navas and Sagna made 16 or fewer league starts for City in the season that finished on Sunday, while the 31-year-old Clichy started 24 games.

“I have enjoyed every moment of my City career and will look back on my time at City fondly,” the 34-year-old Sagna told the club’s website (www.mancity.com)

“From the first day I arrived, everyone at the club has made me feel welcome and I will always be grateful to them,” the 35-year-old Caballero said.

Navas, 31, saw his playing opportunities diminish in his fourth season at the club as fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola led the side to a third-place finish in his debut campaign.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru)



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Tiny House on Wheels French Door Country Porch | Small Home Design Ideas



The Irish Caravan Shell Tiny House Mobile is built by Tiny House Cottages. It measures 9′ x 22′ 198 sq ft. It has mobile floor system triple axle trailer, fully insulated windows, country porch with 2 octagon windows and single french door, 4 fully insulated vinyl windows with screens 2′ x 3′, cedar and batt board exterior siding fully painted and stained, rough in electrical kit 7 outlets and 2 lights wired up and 30 amp sub panel box, and rough in Bathroom Drain pipe 4″ ABS.

You can find more details about the builder/designer and pricing of this Tiny Home here: https://www.tinyhousecottages.com/

Images: © https://www.tinyhousecottages.com/

Music: Prelude No. 6 by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/preludes/
Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/c/HomeBlings

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Champions Trophy success hinges on execution for India's Kohli


India will benefit from a fitter, more mature squad when they begin their defence of the Champions Trophy next month, but the team have little room for error because of the tournament’s short format, skipper Virat Kohli said on Thursday.

Britain Cricket – India – Virat Kohli Press Conference – The Grange Hotel, London – 25/5/17 India’s Virat Kohli during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Tony O’Brien Livepic

REUTERS: India will benefit from a fitter, more mature squad when they begin their defence of the Champions Trophy next month, but the team have little room for error because of the tournament’s short format, skipper Virat Kohli said on Thursday.

Kohli, who was part of the side that trumped hosts England in the final at Edgbaston in 2013, is relishing the chance to lead India’s title defence and says the squad is well balanced with the right mentality to replicate their earlier success.

“This year the team is a lot fitter, the cricketers are a lot more mature because that was a very young group four years ago,” Kohli told reporters after India touched down in London for the tournament starting on June 1.

“It has gained a lot of experience in the last three or four years… We are in a good head-space going into this tournament.”

India begin their Group B campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4, before facing Sri Lanka and South Africa, and Kohli called for complete focus.

“I love the tournament because it represents a challenge from the (word) go. In the ICC Cricket World Cup you have a league and a lot of games to play but here it is group games and then either the semis or you are out.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been included in India’s squad and although Kohli expects his former captain to thrive during the tournament, he called on the rest in the lower middle order to help ease the pressure on the 35-year-old.

“We needed to strengthen our lower middle order contribution,” Kohli said. “I felt too much burden was coming on MS Dhoni in the past couple of years.

“He wasn’t able to express himself purely because of the fact that there are not enough guys showing composure to finish off the game with him. But now we are a balanced side,” he said.

“It’s about execution now. You might have the best side in the world but if you do not execute there is no point having that skill. In a tournament like this it all boils down to how you execute on the day.”

(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)



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PLAYMOBIL Extension for Luxury Mansion



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Add more lavishness to your Luxury Mansion with this extention! This product is an addition to existing Playmobil sets. For this reason these items come in a clear plastic bag or a brown cardboard box instead of a colorful retail box. Please consider when gifting. Recommended for ages 4 and up. This PLAYMOBIL Addition is perfect for existing sets, saving time, money, and headache while doubling the fun for children. It will make a thoughtful gift for any young PLAYMOBIL fan!
PLAYMOBIL®’s unique play principle stimulates imagination and creativity and thus promotes child development. With PLAYMOBIL®, children can not only slip into many different roles, but also recreate and experience the world in miniature. Recommended for ages 4 and up.EXTENSION FOR LUXURY MANSION – Add more lavishness to your Luxury Mansion with this extention!
HIGH-VALUE, QUALITY PLAY PRODUCTS – Figures can bend, sit, stand and turn their heads!
MAKES A GREAT ADDITION – This PLAYMOBIL Addition is perfect for existing sets, saving time, money, and headache while doubling the fun for children. It will make a thoughtful gift for any young PLAYMOBIL fan!
CREATIVE ROLE PLAY WITH PLAYMOBIL® – PLAYMOBIL®’s unique play principle stimulates imagination and creativity and thus promotes child development. With PLAYMOBIL®, children can not only slip into many different roles, but also recreate and experience the world in miniature.
SPECIFICATIONS – This product is an addition to existing Playmobil sets. For this reason these items come in a clear plastic bag or a brown cardboard box instead of a colorful retail box. Please consider when gifting. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

China's Lenovo global PC shipments fall 1 percent, slower than market decline


China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, the world’s largest personal computer maker, on Thursday posted a 41 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit at a time of sluggish PC demand.

A man uses his laptop next to Lenovo’s logos during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files

HONG KONG: China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, the world’s largest personal computer maker, said its global PC unit shipments fell 1 percent in the year ending in March, against a market decline of 3 percent, as consumer demand continued its downward trend.

Revenue from its personal computer and smart device business, which accounts 70 percent of total revenue, fell 2 percent to US$30.1 billion.

Lenovo blamed a 4 percent drop in total revenue to US$43 billion on difficult macro environment, its own business transformation efforts, and component supply constraints in the second half of the year.

For the full year ended March, Lenovo posted a profit of US$535 million, reversing a loss of US$128 million a year prior. The result compared with the US$569 million average of 24 estimates.

According to market intelligence firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totalled 62.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017, the 10th consecutive quarterly decline and the first time since 2007 for the figure to drop below 63 million.

Lenovo said its worldwide PC market share for the full year rose 0.4 percentage point to a record high of 21.4 percent, though that is down from 22.4 percent in the previous quarter.

“Despite market conditions that will remain challenging in the short term, the Group exited the year with stronger organization allowing for sharper customer focus and more compelling product portfolio across all our business,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing said in a filing.

PC competition took a step up this week when China’s largest mobile phone maker, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, said it would enter the market for premium consumer models.

Lenovo also competes with Huawei in mobile, which accounts for 18 percent of its revenue. The business’ loss widened to US$566 million last year from US$469 million a year prior on a 10 percent drop in revenue to US$7.7 billion, though Lenovo said the business had strong growth in markets outside China, especially Latin America and Western Europe.

The company’s smaller data centre business, which includes servers and enterprise services, incurred a loss of US$343 million, with revenue down 11 percent to US$4.07 billion.

Yang said Lenovo’s core PC business remained solid, transformation for mobile businesses is on track, while it is accelerating efforts to improve its data centre business.

He said last week Lenovo will reorganise domestic operations in response to the changing PC industry. Lenovo China will split into two divisions: one focused on consumer PCs and smart devices, and the other on data centres.

Lenovo’s profit for the three months through March dropped 41 percent to US$107 million. That beat the US$93.8 million average of 11 analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue rose 5 percent to US$9.58 billion, against an estimate of US$9.6 billion.

(Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Christopher Cushing)



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Exclusive: US Senate's McConnell sees tough path for passing healthcare bill


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday said he has yet to hit upon a formula for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new healthcare program, but he expressed some optimism on another top priority, overhauling the tax code.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to Reuters during an interview in Washington, U.S., May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday said he has yet to hit upon a formula for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a new healthcare program, but he expressed some optimism on another top priority, overhauling the tax code.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, McConnell said healthcare and taxes still top the Republican legislative agenda, and he added he will not be reaching out to the minority Democrats on either one because differences between the two parties are too stark.

That approach will leave McConnell, a conservative 75-year-old Kentuckian with a reputation as a dealmaker, a narrow path to win passage of these ambitious goals, which are also at the head of Republican President Donald Trump’s policy agenda.

Referring to behind-the-scenes work among Senate Republicans on a healthcare bill, McConnell said, “I don’t know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that’s the goal.”

Under a scenario of gathering the votes needed for passage in the 100-seat chamber, Republican Vice President Mike Pence would be called upon to cast any potential tie-breaking Senate vote.

McConnell opened the interview by saying, “There’s not a whole lot of news to be made on healthcare.” He declined to provide any timetable for producing even a draft bill to show to rank-and-file Republican senators and gauge their support.

On the other hand, he said, prospects for passage of major tax legislation were “pretty good.” While this too will be difficult, McConnell said, it is “not in my view quite as challenging as healthcare.”

Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress want to cut tax rates across the board, but a House of Representatives proposal to use the tax code to boost exports and discourage imports has split the business community and some lawmakers.

The Republican-led House on May 4 narrowly approved its own legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and dismantle major parts of the Obamacare law that was Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

The House passed it over unified Democratic opposition.

Healthcare legislation must be passed by the Senate, and then the two chambers must work out the differences between their versions before it can go to Trump for his signature.

(Reporting By Susan Cornwell and Yasmeen Abutaleb; Writing by Richard Cowan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Will Dunham)



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Vonmay Women’s Faux Suede Fur Slip On Memory Foam Clog House Slippers Indoor / Outdoor (9-10 B(M) US, Coffee)



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Pamper your feet with Vonmay Faux Suede Memory Foam Clog Slippers – The ideal, must-have slippers for you!

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