China Digest, August 23
12,000 bikes rolled out
About 12,000 bicycles will be made available for local residents to rent in Wuhu , starting in October, as part of efforts by local authorities to reduce traffic congestion, Xinhua reports. The bicycles will be available free for the first hour, and then cost just 1 yuan (HK$1.22) for the second hour, rising to 3 yuan by hour five. Residents will be notified by SMS if they keep the bicycles for more than 10 hours.
Drunk walks off after fall
A drunk Hefei man who fell off his fourth-floor balcony managed to wander a short distance from where he landed, despite having broken his upper right leg, Anhuinews.com reports. He was eventually found by family members, who called an ambulance.
Rare crocodile rescued
An endangered Siamese crocodile was caught in the Liangma River in Chaoyang district on Tuesday, the Beijing Times reports. The small crocodile, just 40cm long and weighing 2.4kg, is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Someone likely set it free in the river. It was sent to a reserve for aquatic wildlife.
Baby saved from bin dies
A street cleaner found a newborn alive in a rubbish bin in Chaoyang district on Monday and brought it to hospital. But the boy later died, the Beijing Times reports. Police are searching for the baby's parents.
Trial for village gunman
The trial began this week for two men linked to the shooting deaths of four villagers in Huining county, Baiyin , on February 5, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. Seven people were also injured when 30-year-old Cao Jiquan killed a woman he was fond of, her boyfriend and two other villagers with a gun he bought from Li Dong, prosecutors said. A verdict is expected soon.
University passers rise
A record 219,000 students from Gansu have been admitted to universities on the mainland after performing better on their college entrance exams as a whole than students had in previous years. The percentage of students who sat the test and were admitted to university reached 74 per cent this year, up from 50.7 per cent in 2008, the Lanzhou Evening News reports.
Water woes plague estate
About 2,700 households in an estate in Daowai district, Harbin , have been without tap water since August 16 because of malfunctioning pumps that cut off supply, and residents have had to rely on water delivered to them by a fire engine, the Heilongjiang Morning Post reports. Water service is not expected to be restored until sometime next week.
Fake cops arrested
Harbin railway police recently detained four farmers who posed as police officers and raided an illegal gambling lounge in Pingfang district on February 18, taking more than 40,000 yuan, the Heilongjiang Morning Post reports. One of the gamblers notified the real police three days after the raid. The farmers were finally caught at the train station.
Jade stolen in 'inside job'
About 2 million yuan worth of jade items were stolen from the Zhengzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday, and Zhengzhou police suspect it may have been an inside job, as all of the cabinets and locks were intact and security guards were on duty all night, Dahe.cn reports. The thieves also managed to avoid all of the cameras.
Boy injured after TV leap
A nine-year-old boy's attempt to imitate a scene from a television show ended with several broken bones when he jumped off the third floor of a building on Monday in Zhengzhou, Chinanews.com reports. He was taken to hospital for serious injuries.
Drunkard drowns in river
Police have detained six men for allegedly forcing a drunk man to jump into a river in Huanggang on Sunday after he sexually harassed the girlfriend of one of them. The drunk man drowned. Police are still investigating the case, Chinanews.com reports.
Grandmum's suicide foiled
Huanggang police spent four hours talking a 74-year-old woman out of consuming a bottle of pesticide on Monday, Chinanews.com reports. A passer-by called police after seeing the woman near a highway carrying the bottle, and officers learned that she was suicidal because her son died 10 years ago, her daughter-in-law left after that and her grandson had a gambling addiction. After the incident, the grandson vowed to stop gambling and to take care of his grandmother.
Germ-filled pools probed
Inspections of public swimming pools by sanitation officials in Shenyang since late last month found that the water in 19 out of 46 pools did not meet health standards, Liaoning.nen.com.cn reports. Problems included excessive bacteria and inadequate pH levels. Officials designated supervisors to oversee corrective measures being taken at the 19 pools, which remained open.
Bad-bag gang sent packing
Dalian police recently busted a gang found producing and selling substandard plastic bags, and more than 6.5 tonnes of bags were seized, Liaoning.nen.com.cn reports. The bags were brought to Dalian from outside Liaoning and sold mainly to local markets and small stores. Substandard bags are generally darker and flimsier than regular bags, and can contain toxic dyes and chemicals that are harmful to people's health.
Jobless benefits up 20pc
Monthly unemployment benefits have risen by more than 20 per cent since last month in Weihai , to 730 yuan, in a bid by local authorities to improve the living standards of its residents who are unable to find work, the Qilu Evening News reports. It was the sixth time the benefits were increased since 2007, when they were 280 yuan a month.
Extra kindergarten places
A total of 33,174 new spots for kindergarten pupils have been created in Qingdao through a large renovation and expansion project since last year that cost about 650 million yuan, the Qingdao Daily reports. The additional spots were needed to address soaring demand and to improve the quality of existing facilities.
Boy dies in swim lesson
A six-year-old boy drowned while being given swimming lessons at a pool in Xuhui district on Tuesday night, the Xinmin Evening News reports. The teacher found that the boy had sunk to the bottom of the pool and rushed him to hospital, but he could not be saved. Police were investigating.
4 iPhone pirates detained
Four people were recently arrested for selling knock-off iPhones and other fake goods such as watches. All of the items seized, including more than 2,000 recharge cards for cellphones, were valued at more than 200,000 yuan, the Shanghai Daily reports. The investigation had been ongoing since June, as the gang took many precautions to avoid detection.