China Digest, December 21, 2012
Theatre site burns down
The former site of Fuyang Theatre was destroyed in a fire early yesterday morning, Anhui Business Times reports. The building, which now houses a nightclub, was closed and no casualties were reported. Built in 1943, it had undergone a major overhaul in the 1960s and several smaller renovations since.
Axe attacker kills student
A 22-year-old was killed by a fellow student armed with an axe at the Anhui Medical University's library yesterday morning, anhuinews.com reports. The attacker, 23, was subdued by staff and taken away by police, who are trying to establish a motive.
Estate agents punished
Twenty property agents from two rival companies in Chaoyang district have been treated as gang members and sent to forced labour after a brawl in August, the Beijing Times reports. The fight began after an agent from Maitian approached a client who had viewed a flat with an agent from Link Home. Three of them face criminal charges.
Commuter caught short
A Beijing man has caused an online uproar after a video surfaced showing him urinating from a subway platform just 50 metres from a public toilet, qianlong.com reports. In the video, the seemingly middle-aged man is seen casually doing his business at Yuquan station.
Payout over pupil's fall
A middle school has been ordered to pay 110,000 yuan (HK$135,500) to the family of a first-year pupil who was left mentally and physically disabled after a fall, the Chongqing Evening Post reports. The boy fell from the first floor while attempting to stand on a railing in November last year. His parents argued in court that the railing should have been higher. The court said the school was 40 per cent responsible.
University criteria relaxed
From next year, some high-school pupils who lack permanent residency will be able to sit university entrance exams, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. To be eligible, pupils must have studied in Chongqing for three years and have at least one parent with a stable job in the city.
Six die in road accident
Six people were killed and another was seriously injured when a car crashed in the Chaonan district of Shantou early yesterday morning, CCTV reports. The vehicle, which was displaying a temporary Shenzhen number plate, struck a stone bollard.
Residency process eased
Guangdong will make it easier for parents from other provinces to obtain permanent residency for their children, the Yangcheng Evening Post reports. An official from the province's Population and Family Planning Commission said applications for birth-approval certificates will require fewer stamps.
iPhone scam fools woman
A woman from Wuhan who planned to buy 600 cut-price iPhones and sell them at a profit was shocked to find the box she was handed full of playing cards, Chutian Jinbao reports. The woman said she was contacted by a businessman she knew from a shopping centre offering to sell her the phones for 3,000 yuan each. She paid him cash but waited until he had left to check the contents of the box. She called police but he could not be found.
Car smashes into bank
An elderly bank customer was injured after a Hankou woman accidently backed her car into a bank on Wednesday, the Chutian Metropolis News reports. The driver said she mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal and drove into the building, breaking the glass door and pushing chairs. An elderly woman hurt her leg while falling to the ground. The bank has been closed and the money moved for safekeeping.
Poppy grower avoids jail
A farmer from Xining county, Shaoyang, has been given a suspended six-month prison sentence for cultivating opium poppies, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The woman said she began planting the 569 poppy plants in March after hearing they could help treat diseases in poultry. The plants were ripped out by police, but the court gave her a suspended sentence because she confessed and showed repentance.
Prison for noodle vendor
A noodle shop owner from Shaoyang's Longhui county has been sentenced to four years in jail for accidentally poisoning 145 middle school pupils - one of them fatally - in May, Xinhua reports. The shop owner, 45, had asked his girlfriend to fetch monosodium glutamate but she returned with nitrite, a food preservative. She was sentenced to eight months in prison. They were also ordered to pay 590,000 yuan in hospital bills.
Mahjong player suspended
An urban management official in Nanjing was suspended after a picture circulated online showing him playing mahjong in uniform, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The city's discipline inspection commission issued a statement on its microblog on Wednesday saying it found the official had been gambling.
Legless driver in stand-off
Huaian police endured a day-long confrontation with a legless driver from Harbin who refused to hand over his car keys, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. Police discovered his van in a no-parking area and found iron bars affixed to the pedals to control the vehicle. The 60-year-old driver refused to hand over the keys, saying he had 40 years of experience and was on his way home from Xiamen.
Bus cushions stolen
Two-thirds of the more than 60 cushions donated for use on a bus were stolen within two weeks, the Shenyang Evening Post reports. The cushions were donated by more than 30 women to help keep the seats warm in winter. One passenger said he witnessed others untying and removing the cushions from the bus.
Cable thieves detained
Dalian police have detained 10 men on suspicion of stealing 5,000 metres of cable since July, nen.com reports. The thieves, who are believed to have struck five times, usually arrived on the scene at 10pm and spent one or two hours on the job. The cable was estimated to be worth more than one million yuan.
Couple lose handcuff key
A couple's attempt to demonstrate their love by hiking handcuffed to a Zaozhuang mountaintop backfired when they lost the key on the way up, the Qilu Evening Post reports. Their hands were already swollen and purple when they arrived at a fire station seeking help. It took firefighters 40 minutes to break the handcuffs.
Porn mogul arrested
A 29-year-old Qingdao businessman has been arrested for operating a 13-site online pornography empire that made him more than 30,000 yuan this year, the Qilu Evening Post reports. The man, who also owns garment and internet companies, expanded into the pornography business in January, eventually increasing his operation to 13 sites.