China No Longer Largest Tea Exporter
   2012-03-27 21:12:55    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li

China Daily

Despite the long and illustrious history of tea in this country, China is no longer the world's largest exporter of tea.

China Daily gives statistics from 2010, where Kenya was the world leader, with 441,021 kilograms, while China's 302,419 kg only secured second place.

What's more, the article says in the age of multinationals and branding, China is fast losing its name as the cradle of the drink because of a dearth of world-famous brands.

China sold 320 million kg of tea last year, earning $96.5 million in the process, amounting to roughly $3 per kg, almost 50 percent higher than the price five years ago as a result of the appreciation of the yuan and rising labor costs.

Tea is the world's most widely consumed beverage after water, says China Daily, and Chinese teas are still highly prized: A pre-sale 500-gram batch of West Lake Longjing, a renowned roasted green tea, drew a bid of 180,000 yuan ($28,500) at an auction in Hangzhou last week. Weight for weight that made the tea 25 percent more expensive than gold on the day. However, that hasn't been enough to keep China at the top of the export chain.

Beijing City Weekend

Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise appearance in the Xidan Apple Store on Monday. The Xidan store has topped all Apple Stores worldwide in consumer traffic and transaction volume.

Steve Jobs never made the trip to China, despite all the gadgets his company is worshipped for here.

City Weekend says Cook's arrival is a clear signal that Apple is becoming increasingly committed to the Asian market.

City Weekend also includes reference to Technode, which says there is speculation that Cook came to China to talk to the big telecom giants about future generations of the iPhone.

Yahoo news Blog

The Sideshow reports on a breed of giant, Gambian rats that have rapidly been reproducing in the Florida Keys -despite a decade-long effort to wipe them out. Sideshow says the invasive, African native species first began showing up between 1999-2001 after a local exotic animal breeder released eight of the rats into the wild.

An exotic species coordinator is quoted as saying they thought they had the rat "whipped" as of 2009, but clearly not.

The rodents, officially known as the Gambian pouched rat, are the largest known breed of rats in the world. They can grow up to three feet in length and weigh as much as nine pounds. Wildlife officials say they fear that if the large-sized rodents make it to the Florida mainland, they could devastate local crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been working with Florida officials to wipe out the rodents, and there are only an estimated few dozen at large, but: they can reproduce quickly, six at a time, and can begin reproducing five months after they are born.

Using cantaloupe and peanut butter as bait, officials hope to catch the rest of these giants -some of which weigh more than the average house cat.

Reuters reports an unemployed Austrian man has sawed off his own foot, apparently to avoid being found fit to go back to work.

The article says hours before the 56-year-old was due for an appointment on Monday at the labor office to check on his health, he held his left leg against an electric saw in his home workshop and severed his foot just above the ankle.

The article continues to describe how, bleeding profusely, the man then threw the foot into an oven, hobbled to his garage and called an ambulance. An emergency operation was unable to reattach the foot.

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