Digital Scrapbook. John Doe . Contents . Fresh Signs of a Cooling Economy in China Summary Germany Adds Lessons in Islam to Better Blend Its Melting Pot . Summary Bibliograph y. January . Fresh Signs of a Cooling Economy in China.
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BEIJING — Growth in China’s services industries slowed in December, separate surveys have found, echoing a slowdown in manufacturing and confirming views that the economy lost steam at the end of last year.
HSBC on Monday released its purchasing managers’ index for services, compiled by Markit Economics, showing a drop to 50.9 in December, its lowest level since August 2011, from 52.5 in November. But the figure remained above the 50-point level that indicates expansion in activity. New business growth was the slowest in six months.
A similar survey by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, released Friday, also showed a slowdown in service sector growth in December, to a four-month low of 54.6, from the previous month’s 56.
Indexes from the government and HSBC last week showed that China’s factory activity slowed in December, suggesting the moderation in the country’s growth in the final quarter of 2013 was broad-based.
The weaker purchasing managers’ indexes contributed to a decline in Asian markets on Monday, on concern over whether China’s slowdown would continue into the first quarter.
“What has been the principal sort of driver of the market since the beginning of the new year has been a disappointment of the Chinese P.M.I. data,” said Guy Stear, Asian credit and
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan was down 0.6 percent, reaching a two-week low and adding to a 1.1 percent drop on Friday. China’s CSI 300 index fell 2.3 percent, hitting a five-month low.
China’s economy has regained some momentum since midyear after a protracted slowdown. While the economy was expected to lose momentum as the government reined in rampant credit growth and demand for China’s exports remained subdued, activity remained resilient into the fourth quarter.
Beijing has said it will accept slower growth as it tries to reshape the economy toward sustainable growth that is based on consumer demand, after three decades of breakneck expansion driven by exports and credit.
China’s economic growth is expected to come in at 7.6 percent in 2013, the government has said, just above the official target of 7.5 percent and slightly below the 7.7 percent of 2012. Data for gross domestic product in 2013 are scheduled to be released Jan. 20.
“The implementation of reforms such as lowering the entry barriers for private business in service sectors and expanded V.A.T. reforms should help to revitalize service sectors in the year ahead,” said Qu Hongbin, the chief economist for China at HSBC, referring to changes in the value-added tax system.
FRANKFURT — For the first time, German public schools are offering classes in Islam to primary school students using state-trained teachers and specially written textbooks, as officials try to better integrate the nation’s large Muslim minority and counter the growing influence of radical religious thinking. The classes offered in Hesse State are part of a growing consensus that Germany, after decades of neglect, should do more to acknowledge and serve its Muslim population if it is to foster social harmony, overcome its aging demographics and head off a potential domestic security threat.
The need, many here say, is ever more urgent. According to German security officials and widespread reports in the German news media, this past semester at least two young Germans in Hesse — one thought to be just 16 — were killed in Syria after heeding the call for jihad and apparently being recruited by hard-lineSalafist preachers in Frankfurt.
Such cases have stirred alarm not only that some young Germans are increasingly feeling alienated and vulnerable to recruitment, but also that they will eventually bring their fight home, along with new skills in the use of weapons and explosives gained on distant battlefields. Other parts of Europe with expanding Muslim minorities — including France, Britain, Spain and Scandinavian countries — are facing similar challenges of integration and radicalization.
The Hesse curriculum effectively places Islamic instruction on equal footing with similarly state-approved ethics training in the Protestant and Catholic faiths. By offering young Muslims a basic introduction to Islam as early as first grade, emphasizing its teachings on tolerance and acceptance, the authorities hope to inoculate young people against more extreme religious views while also signaling state acceptance of their faith.
Parents have the option to enroll their children in the religious education classes offered in the district. NurguelAltuntas, who helped develop the Hesse program at the state’s Ministry of Education, said the sign-up for 29 classes in immigrant-heavy districts was enthusiastic. For German authorities, countering the expansion of more radical religious thinking has presented a vexing problem. For now, the domestic intelligence service keeps close watch on a growing number, with 4,500 Salafists under observation in 2011 and 5,500 in 2012, according to an annual government report. The figures for 2013 are not yet available, but “we are reckoning with another increase, whether sharp or gradual I cannot say,” said a security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Increasingly, attention has turned to education and ways to nurture greater inclusion for Germany’s approximately four million Muslims, a number that has steadily increased since German industry recruited the first Turks as “guest workers” in the 1960s. How to integrate that minority has long been a source of tension in a country of more than 80 million that has also struggled with — and even resisted — absorbing Christian and European outsiders into the fabric of German life.
One answer, officials in Hesse hope, is being put in effect in classes where young children are guided by a state-trained teacher working from a state-approved curriculum.
In one class, religious education classes offered in the district. TimurKumlu recently asked his 19 6-year-old students each to take a strand from a large wool ball. He then instructed the children — whose parents hailed from Muslim countries as varied as Afghanistan, Albania, Morocco and Turkey — to examine how, like the threads, they, too, were woven together.
It was a simple lesson containing a gentle message filled with symbolism — that they were linked by their Islamic faith and practices of prayer.
“We are now all bound together — you come from different countries, and so do your parents,” said Mr. Kumlu, who reminded the children that while their parents came from Afghanistan or Albania, they were born in Germany.
Summary religious education classes offered in the district.
In an attempt to bring the other races and religion into the country Germany has started to lessons in Islam.
By doing this they hope to end the flight of young Muslims to areas where terrorist train.
Bibliography religious education classes offered in the district.
“Fresh Signs of a Cooling Economy in China”www.nytimes.comhttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/business/international/fresh-signs-of-a-cooling-economy-in-china.html?ref=world Date accessed 01/06/2014
“Germany Adds Lessons in Islam to Better Blend Its Melting Pot” www.nytimes.com