China Digest, October 22, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 4:13am


Autumn lovers in a jam

More than 100,000 people swarmed to the Fragrant Hills forest park on Saturday for an autumn festival to enjoy the bright red and yellow leaves, but congestion on the main road there became so bad that authorities limited traffic to one way, the Beijing Times reports. Visitors had to take a different route when leaving. Saturday was the eighth day of the festival at the scenic park.

Organ donations

Beijing is expected to join a national pilot programme for organ donations, according to a senior official with the Beijing Red Cross, The Beijing News reports. The organisation is working with city health authorities to make necessary preparations at various hospitals and to set up an oversight committee and database. Nineteen provinces and cities have joined the pilot programme, and 419 donations have been made since the programme began in 2010.


Tip catches fire

Environmental protection authorities in Fuzhou ordered a fire to be put out at a landfill on Saturday morning after widespread complaints arose about the putrid smell spreading to five districts, the Strait City Daily reports. The smell was first noticed at 10pm on Friday. A similar incident involving burning rubbish occurred in August in the city.

Transfer trouble

Fuzhou police and a local bank have refused to help a woman who mistakenly transferred 30,000 yuan (HK$36,850), to be spent on medical care for her family, to another person to whom she had previously transferred money, Strait City Daily reports. She was unable to reach the accidental recipient by phone, so she asked the bank to freeze their account, but the bank said the woman had to get a police statement. But police said there were no grounds to issue such a statement because the woman was the one who made the mistake.


In defence of tape players

An official with the province's publishing authority said most textbooks for learning English and Chinese still came with a cassette tape because it was convenient for rewinding, the Guangzhou Daily reports. The statement came after many parents asked where to get a digital version of the lessons, as cassette players are hard to find. An unidentified official with the Guangzhou education authority said most schools preferred tapes over CDs when ordering the textbooks.

Drugstores in strife

A county-level court in Qingyuan city has handed suspended prison sentences to two drugstore owners convicted of selling drugs they bought from unlicensed pharmaceutical companies, the Guangzhou Daily reports. The drugs were sold for 5,000 yuan. One of the shop owners was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for three months, and was fined 2,000 yuan. The other was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for two months, and was fined 1,000 yuan. The court said the owners were given lenient sentences because they were first-time offenders and because their crimes weren't that serious.


Red faces over red carpet

The Zhengzhou municipal government has apologised after hundreds of metres of red carpet were laid down for officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for an artificial lake on Friday, China National Radio reports. The government came under fire for wasting public money, after a photo started circulating online on Friday showing senior officials of the city and province walking on the carpet. The government said the ceremony was arranged by a subcontractor, but also acknowledged that officials let it proceed.

Inmates put to the test

More than 100 prisoners sat exams on Saturday at the Henan No 1 Prison for higher-education degrees, Xinhua reports. About 2,200 inmates at the prison have sat such exams in the past 18 years, but just 63 have obtained diplomas, which have come in fields such as public relations, law and Chinese literature.


Candidate kerfuffle

Yueyang authorities have disqualified three candidates for a position with the city's child welfare institute after two of the candidates reported that the others were ineligible. A subsequent investigation found that they were all ineligible for the job, which involved caring for foster children, Xinhua reports. The institute said the candidate who was placed third in the recruitment process got the candidate immediately ahead of him disqualified. The scorned candidate then told authorities the other two were also ineligible.

Gutter tactics

Changsha police raided a kitchen-waste recycling workshop and confiscated 300 barrels, or 27 tonnes, of "gutter oil" on Friday and Saturday, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The used oil was supposed to be turned over to authorities for proper disposal, but it was being sold to be reused. The workshop owner has been detained in the investigation. Gutter oil is reprocessed oil, usually from restaurants, that is often contaminated and dangerous to people's health.


Youth, 17, kills father

A court in Yinchuan has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to six years in jail for killing his abusive father, reports. The killing occurred in January after the father hit the youth on the face with a shoe because he did not charge a customer enough to fix a tyre. The boy said his father also threatened to hurt his wife and daughter, who had run away to escape the abuse. The boy said he beat his father to death with a hammer while he slept, out of fear that the boy's mother and sister would be hurt if they ever returned home.

Sinking feeling

Several people and a tricycle fell into a large sinkhole that opened up on a road in front of a vegetable market in Guyuan on Saturday morning, China National Radio reports. About 30 firemen responded to the scene, and at least four people were rescued. It was unclear how many people were involved, and the extent of their injuries was unclear. No cause for the road collapse was given.


I want to go to jail: boy

A 17-year-old who used a knife to rob a woman in downtown Hangzhou told police he did it because he wanted to be sent to jail as he believed that would lead to an easier life, the Qianjiang Evening Post reports. The boy became upset because his parents, who are both migrant workers, didn't let him spend his wages, forcing him instead to save the money. His friend joked that the only way for him to be free from his parents' rules and avoid working was to be sent to prison, so the youth robbed the woman.

Rule of thumb broken

Health authorities said the central hospital in Shaoxing county would be reprimanded for sending away a 29-year-old man who had suffered a serious cut on his thumb a week ago as there were no beds available, reports. The patient then went to a second hospital, but the smaller facility said no surgeons were available to treat him properly. So the man went to a third hospital, where he was given basic treatment until a bed became available the next morning. Health authorities scolded the central hospital for not at least providing the man with basic medical treatment.