China Digest, October 3, 2012
Crowds head for parks
Beijing's 11 public parks attracted about a million visitors for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays on Sunday and Monday, The Beijing News reports, citing official figures. Another 24 scenic spots in the capital, including the popular Badaling section of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace drew about 804,000 people on Monday alone.
Disaster drills at school
Eighteen schools in Chaoyang district have started natural-disaster-preparedness drills for primary and middle school pupils, the Beijing Times reports. The children will learn to protect themselves and help others. The lessons were ordered by the local education commission.
Training school sued
A flight-attendant training institute must pay a student 5,000 yuan (HK$6,120)because her collarbone was accidentally broken by a teacher, a court in Jiangbei district recently ruled, the Chongqing Times reports. The 23-year-old woman began a six-month training course in September of last year to realise her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Her collarbone broke when a teacher pressed hard on her right shoulder during an exercise class. The woman sued after she and the school failed to agree on compensation.
Help for visiting drivers
Drivers of vehicles that are not licensed locally can enjoy free towing services in the municipality throughout the National Day holiday, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. Stranded drivers may call 112, and tow trucks will be on standby around the clock to help within minutes. However, locally registered vehicles, which are covered by municipal vehicle insurance policies, are excluded from the offer.
A pregnant woman and her husband said that the form that will grant their unborn child permanent residency when it is born in a few days was stolen from their car last month when they stepped away while at a highway lay-by near Zhuhai , The Southern Metropolis News reports. The thieves stole two iPhones, the couple's identity documents, more than 70,000 yuan in cash and several branded handbags from their car. The child will be their second, which is legal because they are both single children, but special registration must be obtained in advance. They said they might not be able to re-register the child in time, and could face a hefty fine.
Holiday traffic surge
Guangzhou saw a small spike in ozone pollution on Monday as holiday traffic surged in the city, The Southern Metropolis News reports, citing a warning issued by local environmental authorities. Ozone, which is believed to be mainly caused by car emissions, was the top pollutant found at all 10 of the city's monitoring stations.
Commuters ride free
A new bus service launched on Monday in Lianyungang will be free to commuters all month, the Modern Express reports. The "bus rapid transit" service, as it is called, will use traffic lanes designated solely for buses, to reduce travel time for those who use public transport. The service is expected to carry about 200,000 passengers a day in the city, at a cost of 2 yuan for the whole route.
Trade fees relaxed
To help stabilise trade amid the economic downturn, more than 30 million yuan of inspection and quarantine fees for imported and exported goods will be cut in Nantong during the fourth quarter of this year, which began on Monday, Zgnt.net reports. Jiangsu's total value of foreign trade for 2011 was US$540 billion.
Family reunion site
The Shanghai Red Cross Society recently launched a website to help reunite abandoned or kidnapped children with their families, Xinhuanet.com reports. The organisation is calling on the community to help make the effort successful.
Disposable income grows
The average disposable income in Shanghai reached 36,230 yuan last year, and it has grown at an average rate of 11.9 per cent since 2006, according to official statistics, the Labour Daily reports. Additionally, about 13.4 million people in the city had basic medical insurance last year - a nearly 80 per cent increase from 2006.
Allowance for elderly
From this month, senior residents in Tianjin will enjoy a monthly stipend of between 150 yuan to 400 yuan, depending on their age and income, People.com.cn reports. Anyone over 60 years old who earns less than 117 yuan a month may receive the allowance, and those over 80 with only one child and who make less than 1,160 yuan are also eligible. Officials said the money was intended to help alleviate the financial burden placed on children to care for their elderly parents.
Whales for aquarium
A pair of beluga whales arrived at the Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World on Monday, China.com.cn reports. The whales, a male and female, are three years old and about four metres long. The public will be able to see them after a 40-day adjustment period in their new home. The report didn't say where the whales came from.
Bad weather sets in
Meteorologists say holidaymakers in Tibet can expect bad weather this week, as sleet and rain are expected across most of the region starting today, Xinhuanet.com reports. Areas such as Nyingchi , in Nagqu prefecture and Chamdo county are expecting small to moderate amounts of rain or snow, and northern Tibet should see strong winds. October is the start of the dry season that lasts until April.
Winter holiday deals
The off-peak winter tourism season begins in Tibet on October 15 and lasts until April 15. Tourism bodies are ramping up promotions to draw more visitors during the traditionally slow season, Xinhua reports. Weddings packages, a New Year's concert and a contest to select a new tourism ambassador are being offered in hopes of boosting tourism.
Acid spill on highway
A tanker truck carrying 30 tonnes of hydrochloric acid rolled over and began leaking on a highway near Haining on Monday morning, Chinanews.com reports. Two men in the truck escaped and no injuries were reported. A portion of the highway, which runs from Shanghai to Hangzhou , was shut down for three hours, until about 8.30am. The acid could be seen evaporating into a gaseous cloud, and emergency workers at the scene used water guns to dilute the acid. The accident was under investigation. It was unclear how the accident affected holiday traffic.
Body under car a mystery
An SUV carrying members of a wedding party crashed into a ditch near a road tunnel in Hangzhou on Monday afternoon, and emergency workers found the body of a man aged about 50 under the vehicle. However, it was not known whether the body was there before the crash occurred, the Today Morning Express reports. The six women and a man in the SUV were not injured. The body was found underneath the vehicle as a crane was removing it from the ditch. Police were investigating the incident.