China Digest, November 14, 2012
Official jailed for graft
A former director of farm-machinery management in Chongqing was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in jail for accepting 3 million yuan in bribes and for embezzling 500,000 yuan in public money to operate his own business, China News Service reports. The court also seized personal assets 600,000 yuan (HK$740,685).
Stats job gets big response
Nearly 20,000 people have applied for two civil service positions in Chongqing that would require them to collect statistics, Chongqing Evening News reports. Demand for public sector jobs remains high on the mainland, as such positions pay relatively well and are considered stable.
Drunk's friends punished
Two friends of a man who drank excessively and then suffered a stroke two days later in Foshan were ordered to pay him a combined 25,000 yuan in compensation for encouraging him to drink so much, Nanfang Daily reports. The court deemed him 80 per cent responsible for his actions, but 20 per cent of the blame was placed on his friends.
Outrage over poo pics
Photos of a boy defecating on a Guangzhou subway car while his parents stood by have been circulated online, with many internet users calling the family uncivilised, Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The boy appeared to be of primary school age. The family exited the car soon after without cleaning up the mess.
ATM thief arrested
A man has been arrested for breaking into two ATMs in Jingmen and stealing 83,600 yuan in September, about a month after he allegedly broke into three businesses in the same area and stole 52,000 yuan, Xinhua reports. Police said the alarm rang for 44 minutes after the ATMs were broken into, but the security guards assumed it was just a false alarm.
Invisible exam aid
An undergraduate student at Wuhan University of Technology was surprised to find that part of a workbook he left on a library seat, in order to save the seat for himself, was completed by other students in his absence, Xinhua reports. The book featured exercises for the post-graduate entrance exam. It was unclear how long he was away from the seat, but he returned to find 60 of the 100 pages had been completed.
Commuter wings it
A 42-year-old former parachutist in Zhuzhou has come up with an eye-catching way to avoid evening traffic jams: paragliding home from his civil service position. Changzhutan Today reports that the man spent up to 60,000 yuan for the motorised paraglider, which can fly for three hours on 10 litres of petrol.
HFMD cases drop
The province recorded 14,642 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) last month - a 15 per cent decline from September, Xinhua reports. Three people died from the highly contagious disease in October, and 60 were still in critical condition.
A 68-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 months in jail, suspended for one year, in Suzhou because he ran a red light while on a motorcycle with his wife in June. She died when they hit a truck. China News Service reports the man also suffered serious injuries.
GPS info sold illegally
Two men who used global satellite positioning to illegally obtain individuals' whereabouts have been sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for two years, in Sihong county, Suqian , Legal Daily reports. The court said the pair earned 18,000 yuan from June of last year to April by selling the information to clients including suspicious wives and debt collectors.
Toilet paper quality woeful
Nearly a third of all toilet paper produced in the province doesn't meet quality standards, according to a recent survey by quality inspectors, Liaoning Daily reports. Some of the toilet paper was not sterile, and the number of substandard samples was twice as high this year compared with last year.
'Ring of Life' derided
A 50-storey-tall "Ring of Life", intended to be a new landmark in Fushun , has been widely criticised as being an eyesore and a waste of money. The 3,000-tonne steel ring remains under construction, and the price tag is more than 100 million yuan. The city government has defended the project, saying it will be illuminated with LED lights and will change the city's landscape.
Doubts over grassland
The provincial government plans to convert more than 200,000 hectares of desert into forests or grasslands by the end of 2015, but no cost estimates were given for the undertaking, Xian Evening News reports. Some scientists said the cost of converting the desert area would far exceed the potential benefits.
A tanker truck hauling nearly 30 tonnes of liquor ran off the highway and into a ditch, causing a huge spill in Hanzhong on Saturday morning, Xian Evening News reports. Firefighters had to cordon off the area to prevent villagers from collecting the liquor in bottles and basins. Unable to stop the leak, the firefighters spent nearly five hours diluting the alcohol with water. Some of them reported feeling drunk afterwards.
Tree project 'for face'
In the absence of arable land to plant trees, officials in Pu county, Linfen, decided instead to plant thousands of trees on a rocky cliff face, Shanxi Daily reports. The project, which began in September of last year, has cost about 2 million yuan, and about 6,000 pine trees have been planted. Authorities said it took a single worker a whole day to drill a hole large enough for a single pine tree. Some residents have criticised the project as an example of authorities trying to spruce up their resumes.
Broke? No sweat, dear
A recent survey conducted by the National Population and Family Planning Commission found that women in Shanxi were the least likely, compared with women elsewhere in the country, to care about their mate's wealth. They were also the most tolerant of body odours, Shanxi Evening News reports.
Cars to accelerate
The annual production of automobiles in Xinjiang is expected to reach 200,000 by the end of 2015, or about 10 times more than this year's output, Xinjiang Daily reports. Beijing is trying to boost economic development and jobs in the region by offering tax cuts and cheap business loans, especially for the automobile industry.
Jade thieves undetected
A gang of five thieves stole two jade artifacts worth a combined 3 million yuan from a jewellery shop on Tuesday last week, but the owner didn't discover they were missing until Sunday, Xinjiang City Daily reports. The theft occurred during business hours, as two men distracted a clerk. The owner said he didn't notice the missing display items because business had been so good lately.