In brief

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 March, 2004, 12:00am

Second manned space mission to last 3-5 days

China's second manned space flight next year will last three to five days, the Shenzhou spacecraft's chief designer said on the sidelines of the NPC. Shenzhou V, which carried China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, last year left the Earth's atmosphere for less than 24 hours. Qi Faren also said there would be more astronauts on the Shenzhen VI mission.

Technicians keep google peekers at bay

How long does it take to shut down internet search engine Google? Less than five minutes for technicians manning the 24 internet-connected computers in the lobby of the Great Hall of the People. A first search, for 'drums', came up quickly, but searches for 'Falun Gong' and 'democracy' brought the response 'not available'. Other searches for sites previously accessible were then denied.

Comic turns serious over need to develop province

China's funniest man brought a serious message to the NPC. Zhao Benshan, a comic actor known for his roles as a country bumpkin, said he planned to stress the importance of the development of his home province, Liaoning. Zhao said Liaoning had had a huge advantage over other provinces because of the support for industry under former governor Bo Xilai, recently promoted to Minister of Commerce.