Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong trimmed its growth forecast for the year on Friday as the weak global economy weighed heavily on the trade-dependent Asian financial center, mirroring a similar move by regional rival Singapore.
Hong Kong’s economy expanded 1.3 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier, slightly higher than the second quarter’s 1.2 percent growth, the southern Chinese financial center’s government said in a report.
The sluggish expansion prompted the government to trim its full-year growth forecast to 1.2 percent from an earlier prediction of 1 to 2 percent. Singapore, another wealthy Asian financial hub that is reliant on global demand, cut its 2012 growth forecast to 1.5 percent from 2.5 percent on Friday following an anemic third quarter that the government blamed on weak overseas demand.
Hong Kong’s exports rose moderately but the government said there was widespread weakness across the European Union, the U.S. and many major Asian markets.
“External demand remained subdued in the face of the recession-ridden eurozone, slow growing U.S. economy and the ensuing setback in Asian production and trade flows,” the report said.
Exports to the European Union had a double-digit yearly decline while shipments to the U.S. and many major Asian markets were also weak. But exports to mainland China and Japan picked up.
Looking ahead, government economist Helen Chan said Hong Kong could find some relief from an expected rebound in mainland China, predicting that the world’s second-biggest economy would grow faster than the 7.5 percent that officials have predicted this year. But she warned that “the downside risk is still high.”
Hong Kong is a former British colony that’s now a semiautonomous region of China. Its economy has thrived thanks to open markets and a busy port handling a big share of goods from China, but it’s also highly vulnerable to the ups and downs of global trade.
Heather Tan in Singapore contributed to this report.
Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanman
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.