China Digest, October 29, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 4:53am


4b yuan for low-cost flats

The provincial government secured more than 4 billion yuan (HK$4.95 billion) in loans from state-owned banks this month with the money to be used to build subsidised housing for low-income residents, Xinhua reports. A lack of funding had forced the province to put some of its ambitious housing projects on hold, but with the recent cash injection the government is expected to finish construction on more than 1.4-million-square-metres worth of new flats by the end of the year.

7 killed in truck crash

The death toll from a serious traffic accident on Friday in Wudu district, Longnan, rose to seven at the weekend with the death of another primary school pupil in hospital, Xinhua reports. A light truck carrying three farmers and nine primary school pupils was taking them home on Friday afternoon when the driver apparently lost control and the truck crashed into a roadside ditch. The cause of the accident is being probed. Police did not say how many of the pupils died in the accident.


Hotel serves roast camel

A hotel in Ordos roasted a 550kg camel on Friday. The feast was believed to have set a record for the largest animal cooked by meat-loving Mongolians, the Northern Daily News reports. The chef said they had to design and build a special electric oven to handle the roast, as the camel could have easily become burnt on the outside while remaining uncooked inside. He said the next animal roast may feature a water buffalo.

Car race with no drivers

The third national championship race featuring "smart", driverless cars will take place in Ongniud Banner, Chifeng, on Wednesday and Thursday, Xinhua reports. The race, sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, is intended to aid in the development of better and more reliable automated driving systems that could adapt to nearly all road conditions. More than 10 teams will compete in the race, which will take place on terrain including dirt roads and desert.


44 arrested for extortion

Wuxi police have arrested 44 suspects who allegedly lured single men to a hotel, via an online dating site, and then extorted money from them by overcharging for wine, the Modern Express reports. The suspects allegedly rented out an entire hotel for the scheme. Police said that some of the female suspects, most of whom are young and attractive, would order wine in the hotel rooms to celebrate their first meeting with the men. Since May, more than 200 male victims were each swindled out of more than 10,000 yuan for just a few bottles of wine. Police said none of the victims had sex with the female suspects.

Bad air week for Nanjing

Air pollution in Nanjing last week resulted in five out of the seven days being rated "bad" by the city's environmental authorities, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The city government said that the pollution, which blanketed several provinces and cities, was rare for the provincial capital. In the past, authorities there have blamed pollution on farmers burning hay, but this time the authorities admitted that most of the smog came from industrial plants near the city.


Police window smashed

An irate 60-year-old man picked up a chair and used it to smash a window at a police station in Shenyang last week, the Liaoshen Evening News reports. Police would not say why the man lost his temper but witnesses said he may have been upset by having to fill out a lot of paperwork. Police said they wouldn't charge the man for the damage because such outbursts occur from time to time at police stations in the city.

Law helps lovelorn student

Shenyang police detained a young man for a few hours after he was caught walking along a highway on Friday night when the temperature was near zero degrees Celsius and he wasn't wearing cold-weather clothes, the Liaoshen Evening News reports. Police thought the university student, 20, from Liaoyang had lost his mind but he said he wanted to show his girlfriend in Shenyang that he was brave enough to walk the 60-kilometre journey on foot on the highway. Police released him with a warning, saying he would be cited if he was again caught illegally walking along the highway.


Work on highway speed up

The rushed construction of a 100-kilometre stretch of highway, which will connect Shenchi and Hequ counties in Xinzhou, will continue though this winter, even though low temperatures are known to present challenges to construction safety and quality, the Shanxi Evening News reports. The province's coal industry has said it desperately needs the highway, to reduce transport costs, so the government ordered the contractor to finish the project as soon as possible.

Crackdown on dynamite

The provincial government is engaged in a month-long campaign to check for and confiscate illegally owned dynamite in Shanxi , in order to ensure the safety of the upcoming 18th party congress in Beijing, where the biggest power handover in a decade will take place, Xinhua reports. As a major coal-production centre, Shanxi uses more dynamite than any other mainland province.


2 buried in road accident

Two people were killed in downtown Dujiangyan on Friday after a dumper truck overturned and buried their SUV in tonnes of sand and rock, the West China City Daily reports. It took firefighters more than an hour to free the two people inside, and they died on their way to hospital.

Girl, 5, found dead in bush

The body of a five-year-old girl was found in a bush near a construction site in Chengdu on Saturday evening. Police say she may have been sexually assaulted before her death, the West China City Daily report. The girl, whose parents are merchants at a nearby food kiosk, was seen walking to a public toilet about half an hour before her father found her body in the bush. An investigation is ongoing but police did not give further details.


Shattered glass hits boy

A window on a coach in Hangzhou inexplicably shattered on Saturday, injuring a 12-year-old passenger, the Today Morning Express reports. The boy was hit by a sharp piece of glass and he was admitted to hospital with severe bleeding. The bus driver and passengers said they were terrified when the window suddenly shattered, apparently without being struck. However, the bus company said that all windows on their buses had been equipped with reinforced glass that should not shatter.

More mental health cases

Health authorities in Ningbo interviewed about 5,000 residents for a mental health survey. The results, released on Saturday, showed that nearly 70 per cent of those polled suffered from some degree of emotional instability, or 13 per cent more than in 2009, the City Express reports. Additionally, nearly a third of those interviewed were reportedly found with mental problems severe enough to warrant psychiatric help. Authorities said that mental health issues were becoming more common among the younger segments of the population.