China’s birthrate dropped despite allowing 2-child families

Despite government hopes, studies have predicted the loosening of China’s one-child policy would bring only a relatively small increase in population growth. (AP)
Updated 19 January 2018
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China’s birthrate dropped despite allowing 2-child families

BEIJING: The birthrate in China fell last year despite the country easing its family planning policies and allowing all couples to have two children.
There were 17.2 million births in the country last year, down from 17.9 million in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday.
China changed its long-standing one-child policy in 2015 in hopes of reversing the trend toward an aging population. The number of births rose nearly 8 percent in 2016, with nearly half of the babies born to couples who already had a child.
That increase appears to have been a one-off however, with couple’s decisions to not have a second child affected by the trend toward later marriage, the desire for smaller families and concerns about the high cost of raising children.
Despite government hopes, studies have predicted the loosening of the one-child policy would bring only a relatively small increase in population growth. Those have been accompanied by recommendations that the country increase its retirement age to address an expected labor shortage and declining economic growth.
With almost 1.4 billion people, China currently has the world’s largest population. It is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2029.
China enacted its one-child policy in 1979, enforced with fines and in some cases state-mandated abortions. But it now faces a rapidly aging workforce and the prospect of not having enough younger workers to support its elderly.


EgyptAir pulls magazine after Drew Barrymore article

Updated 37 min 29 sec ago
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EgyptAir pulls magazine after Drew Barrymore article

  • EgyptAir will stop printing the issue and will pull out distributed ones from shelves
  • The airline earlier deflected the blame to a partner advertising agency

CAIRO: Egyptian officials say EgyptAir has removed the latest edition of its in-flight magazine over a contentious article it published, purportedly based on an interview with American actress Drew Barrymore.
They say the carrier had agreed with its publisher, Al-Ahram advertising agency, to stop printing more copies of the October issue of the magazine, Horus, and pull the ones already placed onboard the fleet’s aircraft.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media.
Earlier this month, EgyptAir said Al-Ahram is to blame for Horus’ content and specifically for the Barrymore article, which was riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. It described Barrymore as “being unstable in her relationships” and quoted her as saying that motherhood was “the most important role” of her life.