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Ukraine declares martial law following Russia's military operation******
A general view of Kiev after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday declared martial law in the country after Russia started a military operation against Ukraine.
In a video address, Zelensky said his country is under attack. According to the Interior Ministry, military depots and airfields in the capital were hit by missiles.
In Kiev, explosions were heard at Boryspil International Airport and other places across the city, according to media reports. The country's airspace was closed for civilian aircraft.
At least 19 people killed in New York City major fire******
Photo taken on January 9, 2022 shows emergency personnel from the New York City Fire Department monitoring the scene of a major fire in the Bronx borough of New York City, the United States.。
At least 19 people, including nine children, lost their lives in a major fire in a Bronx apartment in New York City on Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams confirmed.。
"We've lost 19 of our neighbors today. It's a tragedy beyond measure. Join me in praying for those we lost, especially the 9 innocent young lives that were cut short," Adams tweeted.。
The mayor said earlier on Sunday that the fire was horrific.。
"This is a horrific, horrific, painful moment for the city of New York, and the impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of just pain and despair in our city," he told reporters. "This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed during modern times."
Thirty-two people were sent to the hospital in life-threatening conditions. Nine people were also seriously injured, and 22 others sustained non-life-threatening injuries. One member of service was also removed to the hospital, said Adams.。
People are seen in front of the apartment building in Bronx, New York, the United States, on January 9, 2022.。
The fire started from a space heater in an apartment that spanned the second and third floors of the building and only made it to the hall, city officials said.。
But smoke still spread to every floor of the building, likely because the door to the apartment was left open, the city's fire department commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters at a news briefing.。
"Members found victims on every floor in stairwells and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest," Nigro said.。
Fire marshals determined through physical evidence and accounts from residents that the fire started from a portable electric heater in the apartment's bedroom, Nigro said.。
He added the heat had been on in the apartment building, and the portable heater had been supplementing that heating.。
Workers clean up at the scene of a major fire in the Bronx borough of New York, United States, on January 9, 2022.。
The catastrophe was likely to stir questions on safety standards in low-income city housing. This was the second major deadly fire in a residential complex in the US this week after twelve people, including eight children, were killed early on Wednesday when flames swept through a public housing apartment building in Philadelphia.。
US Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat whose district includes the New York building, told MSNBC that affordable housing developments such as the Bronx one pose safety risks to residents.。
"When we allow our affordable housing developments to be plagued by decades of disinvestment, we are putting lives at risk," he said.。
Adams said many of the residents were from the small West African country of Gambia. The Gambian consulate in New York did not immediately respond to a request for information.。
An investigator of the New York City Fire Department looks out of an apartment at the scene of a major fire in the Bronx borough of New York City, the United States, on January 9, 2022.。
Economic Watch: UK business leaders confident in resilience, vitality of Chinese economy******
by Xinhua writer Sun Xiaoling
LONDON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Giant consumption driven by middle class, steady economic growth even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, big green investment collaboration under mutual desire for the planet ... These are among the reasons given by British business leaders for their confidence in resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy.
To reduce the impact of the pandemic, British luxury brand Rapport London shifted its focus to digital economy, seeing a strong double-digit percentage growth in its online business across the world, especially in the booming online market of China.
"The Chinese market is set to become the largest luxury market by 2025, and we want to be a part of this growth," said Oliver Rapport, CEO of Rapport London, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
"The importance of the Chinese market is paramount," said Rapport, adding that the luxury goods market in the Chinese mainland saw a significant boost in consumer spending in 2020 and is expected to grow continuously into the year of 2025.
Since his company has set up online stores on Chinese e-commerce platforms, including WeChat Mini-Programs and Alibaba, Rapport said he plans to open offline stores in collaboration with Chinese partners.
Founded in 1972, a London-based market research company Mintel tracked consumer spending across 34 markets worldwide.
"We're seeing a real confidence from a lot of reports that Mintel published in consumer spending going forward," said Matthew Nelson, newly appointed global CEO of Mintel, told Xinhua.
Nelson said the Chinese economy will see a continuous growth in 2021, which has been "driven on the back of the initiatives of technological self-reliance, lifting the living standard, social security, as well as the green economy."
Having taken a closer look at the latest trends in Chinese domestic spending, Nelson said: "We've really been looking as a business at consumers in lower tier cities. Really, they're providing big growth opportunities for brands that enter into that market with increased purchasing power, and as well as a closer alignment to some of the values that are coming along with those brands."
"I mean, any global brand, whether it's Mintel, market intelligence, or whether it's automotive, retail, food and beverage, if you're a global brand, you should definitely have a focus on China," Nelson added.
John McLean, newly appointed chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) for the City of London, told Xinhua as Britain has left the European Union, it needs to look East.
McLean noted that the emerging middle class in China is attractive to British enterprises.
McLean said things are set to change as tourism resumes with improvements not only in economic cooperation but also in terms of bilateral understanding.
"I strongly believe that in a post-COVID era, China again will be that engine," he said, adding that Britain and China will find a way forward as businesses look for a long-term goal.
China is "wonderful and brilliant" on its carbon emission commitments and the City of London looks forward to continuing strong relationship and strengthening green collaboration with Chinese partners, said William Russell, lord mayor of the City of London.
"It's very important to strengthen the collaboration between the two sides," the mayor told Xinhua in a recent video interview. "One of the areas that we're very keen to strengthen is around green finance."
Talking about the collaboration with Chinese partners in green finance, Russell said, "I think China has made great progress, and it's moving very fast, and we will continue to work with China to help with that progress."
The China International Import Expo (CIIE) has given great access to many Scottish businesses to learn about the Chinese market, and it really has been "an eye-opening experience" for them, Kevin Liu, senior China representative for Scottish Development International (SDI), told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The SDI, Scotland's trade and foreign direct investment agency, will attend the 4th CIIE in eastern Chinese city Shanghai, which is just around half a month away for the second year running.
Speaking of China's recovery from the COVID-19 hit, Liu said, "You're seeing the strength of the rebound of the Chinese retail market, especially the role that e-commerce played in helping ensure that goods and services are still moving across as a fast market."
"The fact (is) that China's domestic market is still so resilient despite numerous external and internal shocks," said Liu. "I think China's market would become even more important, not only for Scotland, but also the rest of the world." Enditem