China Digest, December 19, 2012
Firecracker labels blasted
The director of the supply and market co-operative in Lixin county, Haozhou, was ridiculed online after his portrait appeared on "anti-fake" labels on firecrackers, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. He had been criticised for monopolising firecracker production in the area and said the local quality inspection authority used his portrait "accidentally".
One-armed driver arrested
A man stopped for driving in the wrong direction on a street in Hefei on Monday was not only drunk and unlicensed but missing an arm, the Anhui Business News reports. Police first noticed he was holding the steering wheel with one hand then detected a strong smell of alcohol. He was detained for 15 days and faces a fine of up to 2,000 yuan (HK$2,464).
Smoker causes flight delay
A China Eastern Airlines flight to Saipan was delayed for 2-1/2 hours on Sunday after a passenger lit a cigarette just before take-off, The Beijing News reports. The man was removed from the plane and fined 200 yuan.
7 years' jail for embezzler
The deputy chief of the State Environmental Protection Administration's service centre has been sentenced to seven years' jail for embezzling 560,000 yuan between 1998 and 2006, the Beijing Morning Post reports. Liu Yige said she used the money to bribe experts who helped obtain credentials for an agency subsidiary where she served as a legal representative.
Wife incriminates officer
Police in Sanya have opened an inquiry after an officer's wife boasted online about taking a squad car on holiday, jwb.com.cn reports. The woman posted pictures of her husband driving in uniform and herself in the passenger seat. She detailed their leisure pursuits over the weekend and posted a copy of her husband's police credentials.
2-year-old dies at clinic
A clinic in Haikou has been temporarily closed after a two-year-old died while being treated for a fever, the International Travel Island Business News reports. The Longhua District Health Bureau said the girl began to vomit 10 minutes after being put on an intravenous drip. It said the clinic was licensed and the girl received the same medicine last month. The clinic was ordered to pay the family 20,000 yuan.
6 killed in mine explosion
Six miners were killed, one was injured and another missing after an explosion at a coal mine in Zhongfang county, Xinhua reports. Workers were not safely evacuated before explosives were set off around 3pm on Monday at the Niulanchu mine.
School bus in fatal crash
A child was killed and three others were injured when their school bus flipped over in Ningyuan county, the Sanxiang City Express reports. The bus was carrying 31 children to school on Monday morning when it swerved to avoid a car. A five-year-old boy died in hospital.
Cars ordered off roads
Seven cities including Baoji, Tongchan and Xianyang have been ordered to keep two-thirds of government-owned cars off of roads to improve worsening air quality in Shaanxi, the Huashang News reports. Open burning of leaves and rubbish has also been forbidden and restaurants have been ordered to control kitchen emissions.
Poisoner put behind bars
A Xianyang court has sentenced a 30-year-old middle-school teacher to 15 years in jail for poisoning her abusive husband, the Huashang News reports. The woman purchased thallous nitrate online last year and put it in his coffee in May. She urged him to go to the hospital that night but he died 11 days later.
Bank's nepotism exposed
A China Merchants Bank branch in Jinan has confirmed the authenticity of a list detailing job candidates' connections to senior bank executives, Xinhua reports. The bank said the wrong version of a list of interviewees was inadvertently posted online and the information was not meant for publication.
Canteen knew rice was off
Two former employees of a middle-school canteen in Qingdao have been jailed for serving rice that caused many pupils to fall ill, the Qilu Evening Post reports. The manager and chief chef were sentenced to two years and 18 months, respectively. They were found to have known the rice was off before serving it up in May. The children suffered from vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, and some took weeks to recover.
Cloned-card losses shared
A court in Luzhong has ordered a man and his bank to each shoulder half the 38,000 yuan stolen from his account in May with a cloned card, the Chengdu Economic Daily reports. The court said the customer should have done a better job of protecting his PIN. He has appealed against the decision.
Self-immolation at bureau
Two police officers were burned while subduing a man who attempted to set himself alight at the commerce bureau in Yibin on Friday, the Chengdu Economic Daily reports. The man, who had worked at the office, suffered an eye injury in a dispute with a colleague five years ago and was unhappy with the 3,000-yuan compensation ordered by the bureau. He was detained in unknown condition.
Tobacco stores face pinch
The Tobacco Monopoly Bureau in Kunming plans to tighten its requirements for operating as a retailer to thin their ranks and make the remaining businesses more profitable, yunnan.cn reports. The bureau has held a public hearing on its restructuring plan and, if passed, the licences of around 16,000 tobacco retail stores would not be renewed.
FDA chief to return gifts
The chief of Yiliang county's Food and Drug Administration has been ordered to return 130,000 yuan in cash gifts from companies that attended an agency briefing last week, the People's Daily reports. The briefing was called to unveil a new squad of inspectors, and 110 of the 115 companies that attended the event paid cash gifts. The official was also ordered to write a self-criticism.
Benefactor insures 3,000
A businessman from Dalingyang village in Ruian city has spent 1.5 million yuan over the past three years buying basic health insurance for some 3,000 villagers, zjol.com.cn reports. The man decided to pay for the insurance policies after his father told him that only 500 villagers could afford basic cover. The father said his son believed that the money would be better spent on charitable causes than renovating their three-storey home.
Police to watch over pupils
Provincial authorities in Zhejiang will assign police patrols to kindergartens and primary schools to improve safety next year, the Qianjiang Evening Post reports. Pan Weichuan, who oversees school security for the provincial education department, said an inspection in October found nearly 10 per cent of schools failing to meet safety requirements.