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. Chinese farmers' income rises: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 27, 2008
Chinese farmers' income in the first half of 2008 rose 10.3 percent in real terms from a year ago, state media said Sunday, signalling some success for policies to improve life in the countryside.

By contrast, people in the cities saw a more modest 6.3 percent rise in incomes after deducting inflation, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the National Bureau of Statistics.

However, despite the faster income growth in the countryside the disparity between rural and urban areas remains huge.

The average farmer in China made 2,528 yuan (370 dollars) in the first six months of 2008, compared with 8,065 yuan for the average urban dweller, according to Xinhua.

China has made it a priority in recent years to lift the economy of the countryside, which remains home to a majority of China's 1.3 billion people.

In this year's budget, the government has allocated 563 billion yuan (83 billion dollars) for investments in rural infrastructure.

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Japanese sushi rage threatens iconic Mediterranean tuna
On The Mediterranean Between Malta And Tunisia (AFP) July 27, 2008
The rage for sushi and sashimi, Japan's raw fish dishes that overtook the West and have now spread to increasingly prosperous China, risks wiping out one of the Mediterranean's most emblematic residents: the bluefin tuna.

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