China Digest, October 11, 2012
Public opposes traffic fees
Three in four respondents to an online poll opposed the Beijing municipal government's plan to charge congestion fees to ease traffic, the China Youth Daily reports. The newspaper's survey found that more than 75 per cent of 2,148 residents of several large urban cities disagreed with the traffic plan, even though a similar percentage believed the mainland's cities had serious congestion problems. About two-thirds of respondents were car owners.
Official's appeal rejected
The Beijing High People's Court has rejected the appeal of a former district official sentenced to life in prison last year for pocketing more than 26 million yuan (HK$32 million) in bribes, kickbacks and embezzled public money, the Beijing Times reports. Prosecutors said Yan Yongxi, a former vice-mayor in Mentougou district, took advantage of his post overseeing relocation projects for personal gain.
Subway scuffle 'his fault'
A retired hospital security chief filmed biting another passenger in a bloody fight over a Guangzhou subway seat has blamed the other man in a public "apology" letter, the Guangzhou Daily reports. "I admit it's wrong to fight others … but the young man provoked me first," said Chen Daocai, 67. A 46-second video posted online showed the younger passenger huddled on the seat, covered in blood, as the older man struck and bit him. Both men were reprimanded and released.
Traffic violators hunted
Shenzhen traffic police have released photos of 41 vehicles whose drivers are accused of violating traffic rules during the National Day "golden week", the Shenzhen Economic Daily reports. Identified drivers will have three points deducted from their licences and will be fined 500 yuan for each violation. Police said the 41 selected cases represented the most egregious examples from 412 photos sent in by travellers last week.
Cemetery ash robber held
Police say they have detained one member of a gang suspected of ransoming ashes they stole from a public cemetery in Nanning earlier this year, www.gxnews.com.cn reports. The cemetery's management told police they paid the gang more than 230,000 yuan between February and June to prevent them from making the theft public.
5 tunnel workers killed
Five construction workers were killed and one was injured in Debao county yesterday morning when a tunnel they were building collapsed, China National Radio reports. Seven people were working at 4am when the Najia township section of the Baise-Jingxi expressway collapsed. One escaped unharmed. The cause of the collapse is being investigated.
Twins held over killing
Two autistic 18-year-old twin brothers have been detained on suspicion of killing a family of six in Longjiang county, the Heilongjiang Morning News reports. The victims - aged six to 50 - were found in their Yangcao village home on Saturday. A preliminary investigation found that the victims had been hacked to death with knives. Police said the motive for the killings was unclear.
Mine death toll rises to 12
The death toll of a coal mine fire in Shuangyashan last month has risen to 12, after rescuers recovered another body yesterday, Xinhua reports. It was originally believed 13 workers were in the mine during the September 22 incident, but investigators discovered another worker who they say failed to declare his arrival that day. Two workers escaped.
Policeman run over
A truck driver has been detained while police try to determine why he ran over and killed a traffic police officer during a weight inspection in Loudi, Xinhua reports. Just before his death, the policeman, who suspected the truck was overloaded, had stopped it at a highway toll plaza. Police are investigating the case.
Wingsuit contest planned
Zhangjiajie's Tianmen Mountain will host the first Wingsuit World Championship this weekend, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The 16 international competitors will leap off a 300-metre-high cliff wearing special jumpsuits that allow them to glide through air.
Woman faked assault
Nanjing police say a young woman tried to fake an assault and robbery to avoid paying her debts, the Guangzhou Daily reports. The woman, who was found bleeding with her throat cut on Monday night in Gulou district, claimed she was attacked after withdrawing money from an ATM. But investigators suspect she injured herself to avoid a family argument over 20,000 yuan she spent on losing lottery tickets.
Record Ferris wheel plan
Changzhou city plans to erect the world's largest no-axis Ferris wheel in Bauhinia Park to provide a landmark for the city, www.jschina.com.cn reports. Local authorities will spend 150 million yuan to build the 89-metre-tall amusement ride, which it hopes to complete by April.
5 die in scaffolding plunge
At least five workers died after falling 21 storeys at a construction site in Xian's Lianhu district, Xinhua and www.cnwest.com report. The victims, including at least one woman, were working on the exterior of a 33-storey building on Tuesday when the scaffolding collapsed.
10 die in dormitory fire
At least 10 people have been confirmed dead after a fire at a construction site in Zhouzhi county yesterday, Xinhua reports. The fire broke out at 5.30am in the dormitory area on the site of a water diversion project.
Tourists' photos sought
Shanghai's cultural heritage authority is inviting tourists to submit photos of cultural and historical sites to compete for prizes worth up to 20,000 yuan, www.eastday.com reports. Locals can also participate in the competition, which started yesterday.
City scientists say they have detected a molecular "target spot" to aid early diagnosis and prevention of liver cancer, one of the most common and lethal forms of cancer, the Wenhui Daily reports. The finding, which was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology , is being described as a breakthrough in understanding how a gene network can sabotage normal liver cells.
Quake rebuilding begins
Reconstruction began in quake-hit areas of Yiliang county on Tuesday, Xinhua reports. The 5.6-billion-yuan reconstruction plan will continue until September 2014. The region was struck on September 7 by a pair of earthquakes that killed 81 and injured 1,000. Direct economic losses were estimated at 4.3 billion yuan. Residences will be the first buildings to be rebuilt.
5 held over robberies
Five men are being held after a string of brazen robberies in Yuxi in which motorcycle-riding thieves swiped gold necklaces from 20 pedestrians, www. yunnan.cn reports. The suspects, including four men from Guangxi and one from Yuxi , are believed have started the attacks in August after hearing that some city residents have been wearing elaborate gold necklaces to show off their wealth.