Briefs, January 3, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 4:12am

Beijing denies expelling paper's correspondent

The Foreign Ministry last night denied it had expelled a reporter for The New York Times and said it that was still considering his visa application. The US newspaper said on Monday it had been "forced to relocate" China correspondent Chris Buckley to Hong Kong despite "repeated requests to renew his journalist visa". The New York Times had recently published a story by another reporter about Premier Wen Jiabao's family wealth. Buckley, 45, said he had been waiting for a new visa and accreditation since leaving his job at Reuters in October. "[Buckley] is still not yet a Beijing correspondent for The New York Times at present, and thus there is no such thing as renewing his visa or him being expelled," a ministry spokesman said. Teddy Ng

NPC team puts heat on drafting of tobacco law

A report by a National People's Congress committee has called on the government to speed up research for drafting the country's first national tobacco control legislation. The Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee's report, released yesterday, said it was "quite necessary" to enact laws to control smoking. Xinhua

Fujian orders better security for schools

Education authorities in Fujian ordered kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools to close their doors to the public during class hours to improve school safety, Xinhua reports. Schools across the province will also be required to set up safety patrol teams to enforce such measures. Raymond Li

3 workers saved from collapsed metro tunnel

The last worker trapped for over seven hours in a collapsed tunnel of a metro line under construction in the Nanning, Guangxi province, was rescued late last night. The man and two others were working in the tunnel under Minzu Avenue when the accident happened at around 3pm. The cause of the accident was not known. Xinhua