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China inflation hits highest level in 15 months

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Inflation in China rose to its highest level in more than a year in May driven by surges in pork and fruit prices caused by the African swine fever epidemic and bad weather, official data showed Wednesday.

But while prices are increasing, demand remains weak because of the trade war with the United States and economic uncertainty.

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The consumer price index (CPI) — a key gauge of retail inflation — hit 2.7 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, compared with 2.5 percent in April and the highest since February 2018.

The data was in line with a forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg News.

The rise was “largely the result of renewed acceleration in food price inflation”, and pork supply disruptions caused by African swine fever, Capital Economics said in a note.

Millions of pigs have been culled recently as the disease cuts through China and beyond, devastating global food chains and impacting pork prices from the food markets of Hong Kong to US dinner tables.

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The price of pork soared 18.2 percent in May, China’s NBS said. The price of fresh fruit on-year was up 26.7 percent as bad weather hammered supplies.

Beijing’s official statistics say around one million pigs have been killed since the first outbreak in August — but that is widely considered to be an underestimate.

The producer price index (PPI), an important indicator of domestic demand, hit 0.6 percent in May, from 0.9 percent the previous month.

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Economic “growth could slow further on escalating US-China trade tensions”, Nomura International said in a note.

“We expect Beijing to undertake further easing/stimulus measures to bolster confidence and to stabilise growth.”

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan this month to discuss the long-running trade row, but US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has warned that it will not be a stage for a “definitive agreement”.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘You’re scared of brown women’: GOP congressman’s town hall spirals into chaos after he attacks Ilhan Omar

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Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) got a lot more than he bargained for when he held a town hall meeting with constituents in San Antonio this week.

The Austin American Statesman reports that Roy on Wednesday hosted a town hall meeting at the Compassion Church in northern San Antonio this week in which he was confronted over his criticisms of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

While Roy was attacking Omar during the meeting, a woman named Eva Perez yelled at him to "let it go" and stop slamming his Democratic colleagues.

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Trump-voting evangelist drops the ‘blasphemy’ hammer on president for deifying himself

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In a column for the Washington Post, an evangelical leader who admits he voted for Donald Trump in 2016  is very displeased that the president anointed himself the "chosen one" when speaking with the press on Wednesday.

According to Jay Lowder who heads up the Harvest Ministries in Wichita Falls, Texas, the president stepped over a line with his boast -- calling it "disturbing."

"Since President Trump’s election, many in the evangelical community have lauded him, grateful for his work to protect and propel some of the Christian values we hold so dear," before pointing out that a comparison to Jesus by man who "claims to be a Christian" is nothing less than " shocking, blasphemous and sacrilegious."

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Couple who ran demon-obsessed gay ‘conversion therapy’ camp indicted on human trafficking charges

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An Alabama couple who operated a controversial gay "conversion therapy" camp has been indicted on human trafficking charges in connection with a new religious facility they set up in Texas.

A grand jury indicted 49-year-old Gary Wiggins and 34-year-old Meghann Wiggins after investigators found they had forced children to work at their Joshua Home for troubled boys, reported KXAN-TV.

Burnet County officials raided the 10-acre property near Bertram in July 2018, where they removed eight boys between 10 and 17 years old as part of an investigation into possible abuse, neglect, labor violations, fraud, licensing violations and human trafficking.

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