Dead electricians honoured
Six electricians who died while trying to restore power supplies in regions blacked out by the worst snowstorm to hit central and southern China in more than five decades were named 'Central Enterprises' Model Workers' posthumously on Monday by the Ministry of Personnel and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. By Monday, 11 electrical workers had lost their lives while dealing with the crisis, Xinhua reported. Nine were from the State Grid Corporation of China, and two were from the smaller China Southern Power Grid. Premier Wen Jiabao met the families of three of the 11 on January 29 when he visited Hunan province .
US first to offer aid
The US appears to be the first foreign government to offer relief aid to the mainland, donating US$150,000 to the Red Cross Society of China, Xinhua reported. US Ambassador to China Clark Randt said the donation would be used to buy blankets, clothing and other necessities for victims in snow-stricken areas. Red Cross Society of China secretary general Wang Haijing said the donation symbolised the deep friendship between the two countries.
Donations pour in
Mainlanders had pledged 480 million yuan in donations to snowstorm victims by Monday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The ministry has received and distributed 45.81 million yuan. Donations arranged by the Red Cross Society of China had risen to 59.52 million yuan, and those to the China Charity Federation to 42 million yuan, Xinhua said.
Lottery winners help victims
A 22-year-old university student surnamed Luo from Changzhou, Jiangsu province, and his friends have donated 100,000 yuan to victims of the snowstorms from the 5 million yuan they won in the state lottery, Modern Express reports. The 10 friends discovered they had won the top prize in the lottery on Saturday. Before Mr Luo claimed the prize money, they decided to donate some of the proceeds.
Make-or-break time for cadres
The Communist Party's Organisation Department issued a circular reminding cadres that their performance during the snowstorm crisis would be included in their appraisals and those who performed badly would face punishment, Xinhua reported. 'Officials' performances during the crisis would be an important factor in their evaluations, which could mean promotion or punishment,' the circular said.
Birds given helping hand
Workers at Boyang Lake in Jiangxi have been scattering grain, corn and vegetables around the lake for the past week to help migratory birds survive the harsh winter, Xinhua reports. The lake, the biggest freshwater lake in China and the biggest habitat for migratory birds in Asia, is home to millions of birds in winter, but the exceptional snowfall this year has covered plants and frozen its surface, making it impossible for them to find food.