China Digest, December 1, 2012
Food workers face ban
People who have violated food safety rules in Beijing will be banned from working in food processing and distribution in the city in the latest draft of new food management regulations, China News Service reports. The first draft would only have prohibited them from working as managers or representatives of food companies.
Embezzler bet on soccer
An accountant has appeared in a Chaoyang district court to answer charges he embezzled more than 10 million yuan (HK$12.3 million) from a telecommunications company he worked at to bet on soccer games, the Beijing Evening News reports. The 33-year-old man said he took advantage of his employer's trust and bookkeeping loopholes to transfer company funds to his personal bank account. The foreign-backed company did not discover the loss until the end of last year.
Son stabs father to death
A 23-year-old man is on trial in Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court for stabbing his abusive father to death, the Nanfang Daily reports. The son said he got into a brawl with his father in May because the older man had been abusing other family members. The fight ended with the defendant stabbing his father 20 times. The son turned himself into police immediately afterwards, but said he did not regret the killing.
Good deeds may pay more
Families of Guangdong residents who die while helping others could soon be eligible for government awards of up to one million yuan, south.com reports. The maximum award under the draft "good samaritan" regulation before the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress would exceed those now given to the families of soldiers and police officers killed in the line of duty.
Ex-director gets 7 years
The former director of the Hui county land resources bureau has been sentenced to seven years in jail for taking 440,000 yuan in bribes from mining companies, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. The court said Liu Baoping was shown leniency because he turned himself in and provided evidence in another corruption case that resulted in a 20-year prison term for the county's former director.
Old law limits sentence
Lanzhou Intermediate People's Court has sentenced a local man to 12 years in jail for killing a friend in a fit of rage more than two decades ago, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. In 1990, the man, then in his early 20s, threw stones at a friend, after the friend called him names and took off his trousers in a practical joke. The court said the relatively light sentence was necessary because he was prosecuted under old criminal codes.
Family lives in old toilet
A Xinghua family said crushing medical expenses forced them to move into a dilapidated public toilet in March, xinmin.cn reports. The family's troubles began 22 years ago, when their son was born with severe birth defects, and worsened when the father fell ill with heart disease. Four years ago, the couple had a daughter, who they attempted to sell for 40,000 yuan. But the buyers backed out, leaving the family with another mouth to feed.
Mahjong ban unpopular
The Jintan Education Bureau has come under fire for banning teachers from joining mahjong clubs just days before the World Mahjong Competition was held in Chongqing last month, the Xinhua Daily reports. Teachers were upset that they could not participate, arguing that the game is part of China's cultural heritage. The Chongqing event is one of several recent events across the mainland promoting the game.
Robber preys on HIV fears
Nanchang police have detained a 41-year-old man they accused of robbing several taxi drivers by threatening to inject them with blood he said was infected with HIV, jxnews.com.cn reports. The suspect, a long-time drug user, brandished knives and blood-filled syringes and displayed his numerous festering sores to back up his claims that he was infected. He has since tested negative for the Aids-causing virus.
Divorce okayed on genetics
A Jinxian county court has granted a divorce to a local couple on the grounds they would be unlikely to produce a healthy child, the New Legal Report said. The couple started fighting last year under pressure from the husband's parents to have another grandchild. Their first child had been born with cerebral palsy, and genetic screening suggested future children would have similar problems.
Love is in the air
The Shanghai Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau said more than 1,400 local couples had secured reservations to register their marriages on December 12, eastday.com reports. The date is regarded as auspicious because its pronunciation Putonghua sounds similar to the phrase "want love". Officials estimate 2,000 couples will tie the knot that day, about five times the average number.
Museum fans say goodbye
Patrons have been flocking to the Shanghai Art Museum in recent days to get one last look at the historic building before the collection is relocated to the former World Expo park, eastday.com reports. The building, which is notable for its prominent clock tower, was built in 1935 as the headquarters for the Shanghai Race Club. The museum moves to the China Pavilion at the end of the year.
Family disposes of corpse
A 49-year-old farmer from Jingle county was detained last week for strangling his parents, chinanews.com reports. Other family members helped him bury the bodies in an effort to conceal the crime. But they reported it to police several hours later, out of fear the farmer would attack them. The suspect told police he killed the couple because they treated him poorly.
Man kills three over debt
Yucheng police have detained a 28-year-old man suspected of killing a family of three over gambling debts of 5,500 yuan, sxgov.cn reports. The suspect is accused of stabbing the first victim, the husband, to death during a quarrel in the suspect's car. He found a house key on the body, drove to the victim's home and killed his wife and 12-year-old son.
Courier says theft routine
A Hangzhou court has sentenced a 27-year-old courier to three years in jail for redirecting packages to his own home in Anhui province, zjol.com reports. The man was found to have stolen two packages worth 70,000 yuan in April. He told the court he saw his colleagues doing the same thing with impunity.
Historic home 'too shabby'
An elderly Lanxi man has been detained for demolishing his historic home to help his son attract more prospective brides, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. The man said his 200-year-old house, which was recognised as a heritage site in 2004, needed to be replaced. "Young girls hate shabby houses, therefore no one wants to marry my son," he said. A village official said authorities had not provided enough money to preserve the village's 63 historic homes.