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The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 49.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. The result, which tracks activity in China's vast factory and workshop sector and considered a key barometer of the nation's economic health, was worse than July's 50.0 reading and the first contraction since February.
By Timothy Mclaughlin and Hnin Yadana Zaw YANGON (Reuters) - Swathed in crimson robes, 77-year-old Ashin Tilawkar Biwonsa shuffles through a crowded conference room with the help of an aide, his supporters standing in respect as he takes a seat at the head of a table under a portrait of his own image. It is from here, at an unremarkable roadside monastery just outside the city of Yangon, that the abbot is propelling the radical Buddhist group he co-founded into the mainstream of Myanmar's politics. Four bills drafted by his Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, have been passed by parliament and signed into law.
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to about 15 percent of the population, its lowest point in decades, health authorities said Tuesday. "The prevalence of current cigarette smoking among US adults declined from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 15.2 percent in January–March 2015," said the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.