The Kangmei Chinese medicinal material price index, a barometer of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) material market, dropped 0.02 percent to 1,229.33 points on Wednesday.
Covering more than 500 TCM materials including herbs and minerals from six major markets nationwide, the closely-watched index reflects the overall price trend in the country's TCM material market. It is released daily by Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, one of China's major TCM companies.
The index was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission of China in 2012 to offer more timely and accurate reference for TCM material growers, traders and pharmaceutical companies.
Traditional Chinese medicines typically use the combination of a number of medicinal materials, mostly herbs, to address health problems.
A new Australian study examining the links between pet ownership and mental wellbeing found that acquiring a dog can make a person feel significantly less lonely in just three months.
Published by BMC Public Health on Tuesday, the University of Sydney's PAWS trail followed 71 Sydneysiders over an eight-month period, comparing new canine owners with people who had no intention of getting a dog.
The self-reported findings not only showed a reduction in loneliness amongst dog owners, but also a vast decrease in negative emotional states such as feelings of being upset or scared.
"Some previous research has shown that human to dog interactions can have benefits in settings like nursing homes using therapy dogs, however, there is very little research looking at the impact for everyday dog owners interacting with their dog at home," lead author Lauren Powell from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre said.
"While we can't pinpoint exactly how dog ownership positively affected mood and loneliness in our participants, many people in the study reported that they got to know others in their neighbourhood because of their new dog."
"We also know that short-term interactions with dogs improve mood so it may be that the regular occurrence of these interactions taking place with dog ownership produced long-term improvements."
The busy lifestyles in modern urban societies across the globe can often lead to social isolation and a lost sense of community.
That's why senior author, Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Medicine and Health, believes studying the link between pets and mental health is so important.
"If dogs can help people get out into their neighbourhoods more and to meet other people, this is a win-win," he said.
"This is particularly important in older age when there is an increased risk of isolation and loneliness."
"It's a major cardiovascular disease risk factor, it's a major cancer risk factor, and it's a major risk factor for depression."
But while the study demonstrated positive results in terms of emotional improvement, researchers warned they saw no impact when it came to psychological distress related to conditions like depression and anxiety.
The group is now conducting a parallel study examining the physical activity patterns of dog owners, compared to those who don't have a pet.
Here's an illustration of the many ways slow payment systems can inconvenience you and cost you money.
Let's say Homer is two days from payday. The family checking account at First Bank of Springfield is on fumes. There's just enough in the account, Homer thinks, to gas up his Plymouth sedan and buy Bart a Squishee at the Kwik-E-Mart.
But Marge checked the account balance too, and thought she could safely buy groceries. Because Homer and Marge didn't realize they were spending the same money, one of the transactions triggers an overdraft fee. Plus, they forgot the power bill is due, and utility owner Mr. Burns charges a wicked late fee.
Homer hits up Lenny and Carl for a loan, but Lenny uses Venmo, Carl uses PayPal and Homer uses only Zelle. Lenny writes Homer a check, but it's from National Bank of Springfield, so First Bank puts a hold on the deposit. Desperate, Marge breaks into Lisa's piggy bank for money to pay the power bill, but has to pay a fee to "expedite" a same-day bill payment.
The animated "Simpsons" television show might use this scenario to get laughs, but it's not funny for Americans who pay billions of dollars in overdraft charges and late fees , thanks in part to antiquated payment systems. The most vulnerable people turn to high-cost payday loans to bridge cash flow gaps, and some leave the banking system altogether because of high, unpredictable fees .
It doesn't have to be this way. Many other countries have real-time payments that clear almost instantly. Federal regulators urged U.S. banks to update their payment systems, but the banking industry has balked.
Finally, after years of nagging, the Federal Reserve announced in August it's developing its own service, FedNow, that will allow all U.S. banks to offer real-time payments. Big banks, predictably, aren't happy.
That's because the largest banks have already created a real-time payment system through a payment-processing company they own called The Clearing House. The big banks have yet to convince a critical mass of other institutions to make the investments required to connect to it, however.
Meanwhile, a bunch of person-to-person payment systems — PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle and so on — promise to move money more quickly between individuals. Many require both parties to have an account, and the cash can sometimes take days to transfer. We're still a long way from everyone having the ability to pay anyone instantly.
The current landscape underscores why the Federal Reserve needed to step in, says Lauren Saunders, associate director for the National Consumer Law Center.
"It's just really important that a public entity that answers to everybody, and not just the biggest banks, have a strong role in making sure that the payments work for everybody," Saunders says.
Only the Fed, which is the U.S.' central bank, can make sure faster payments are available at financial institutions of all sizes, which means consumers everywhere can benefit, says Christina Tetreault , senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports.
Unfortunately, this transformation won't happen overnight, even though we're already decades behind some countries. (Real-time payments came to Japan in 1973 and to Switzerland in 1987.) The Fed is shooting for implementation by 2024. In the meantime, here are some steps that could help you minimize the cost of slow payments:
TRY TO KEEP A CUSHION IN YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT. Many financial planners recommend keeping an amount equal to one month's bills, but that may not be possible. Even an extra $100 can help avoid overdrafts.
HAVE ACCESS TO CREDIT. Charging an emergency expense or getting a cash advance from a credit card is ultimately a lot cheaper than a payday loan.
DECLINE THE BANK'S "COURTESY OVERDRAFT" COVERAGE. This coverage, also sometimes known as "bounce protection," ''courtesy pay," or "overdraft privilege," is an expensive option that can trigger multiple $35 fees. Opting out means ATM and debit card transactions that exceed your balance will be declined. Or you can choose the less expensive "overdraft protection" that Iinks your checking account to your savings account or a line of credit.
TRACK TRANSACTIONS, SET UP ALERTS AND CREATE REMINDERS. You can use a budget app to download and monitor bank account transactions, or check your accounts frequently online. Note every bill's due date on your calendar and set up alerts for low balances, due dates and unpaid bills. Such vigilance is a hassle, but can save a lot of money while we wait for real-time payments to arrive.
Two collectors said you're the one that I want to Olivia Newton-John's iconic "Grease" leather jacket and skintight pants at an auction Saturday in Beverly Hills.
Julien's Auctions says the combined ensemble, which Newton-John's character Sandy wears in the closing number of the 1978 film, fetched $405,700 total. The leather jacket sold for $243,200 and the pants, which Newton-John famously had to be sewn into, went for $162,500.
Other "Grease" memorabilia included a Pink Ladies jacket that went for $50,000 and a poster signed by Newton-John, John Travolta, director Randal Kleiser and producer and songwriter John Farrar, which sold for $64,000.
The proceeds from the jacket and pants, as well as a portion of the other items sold, will go the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Australia.
Rainbow Paints, popular paint brand of RFL Group, has on Thursday launched ‘Service Month-2019’, aiming to provide highest service to its customers.
RN Paul, Managing Director of RFL Group, inaugurated the programme at Premier Plaza at Badda in the city.
During the service month, customers will be able to purchase products of Rainbow brand in installment. Customer will enjoy discount up to 25 percent on paint products and five percent discount on hardware products. All paint related solutions including selection of paints for new houses are available for customers during service month.
Moreover, there is scope to win attractive prizes including refrigerator, TV, microwave oven, bicycle, dinner set, through raffle draw by purchasing products during the campaign.
Addressing the programme, RN Paul said, “RFL Group gives highest importance to the quality of products as well as satisfaction of the customers. We have introduced the campaign to provide customers paint related best service as well as to grow confidence in their mind about the service of Rainbow Paints.”
Rainbow Paints began its journey in January, 2017 with the slogan ‘Charaw Jiboner Rong’. There are 30 types of paints in decorative, floor coating, marine, car, powder coating, industrial, wood coating categories. Customers can purchase Rainbow Paints across the country through more than one hundred outlets and authorized dealers across the country.