China Digest, January 7, 2013
Military fraud trial begins
The embezzlement trial of the former deputy general manager of a state-owned military contractor has begun at Beijing's No 1 Intermediate People's Court, the Beijing Times reports. Yang Xiaoli, 50, told the court on Saturday that she transferred more than 22 million yuan (HK$27 million) to a private trade company in Hebei to thank the owner for helping her materials company on a previous occasion. Nearly 14 million yuan remains unaccounted for.
Jail for robbers of ex-lover
Chaoyang District Court has sentenced a Beijing man and his girlfriend to 31/2 years in jail for stealing nearly 10,000 yuan from the man's former lover, the Beijing Times reports. The 31-year-old defendant said he decided to rob his ex-girlfriend last January as he was in desperate need to pay off loan sharks. The couple were also fined 8,000 yuan each.
Duck-row woman loses ear
Jiangjin district police are investigating a fight over ducks in which a farmer bit a female neighbour's ear off, Chongqing Economic Times reports. Doctors said it was impossible to repair the female farmer's left ear because her neighbour chewed it before spitting it out. The woman said the fight started after the man accused her of stealing two ducks.
Charity plea in bribe case
A former Fengjie county finance official has been sentenced to 101/2 years in jail for soliciting 150,000 yuan in bribes from a local entrepreneur, the Chongqing Evening News reports. The official asked the businessman to transfer the money to his mistress, so she could buy a bus for the kindergarten she runs. Some parents sought leniency for the defendant, arguing he was trying to be charitable.
Cities see revenues jump
Guangxi's fiscal revenues reached 181 billion yuan last year, a year-on-year increase of more than 17 per cent, the Guangxi Daily reports. The regional finance department said the autonomous region was one of the few mainland regions and provinces to see double-digit growth in revenues in the past 12 months. Revenues for each of Guangxi's seven major cities exceeded 10 billion yuan last year.
'Sex booze' leaves 1 dead
One man died and six others were sent to hospital after consuming a mysterious alcohol at a Wuxuan county banquet last week, the Nanguo Morning Post reports. The dead man brought the liquor to the party, claiming that it could enhance sexual performance. Police later found that it contained a toxic substance used to cover up bruises. One villager was in serious condition and has been transferred to Liuzhou for treatment.
Data on 400 people stolen
A Changsha man has been given a suspended sentence of 14 months in jail for selling the personal information of more than 400 people, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The man and his girlfriend, who was given a suspended sentence of nine months, made 20,000 yuan in less than a year by selling information about people's addresses, cars, credit histories, hotel stays and mobile phone movements.
'No-park' officer scolded
Changsha security authorities have disciplined a police officer who was exposed on the internet for parking in a no-parking zone near a residential area, the People's Daily reports. An internet user posted a photograph of the officer's police vehicle after noticing it sitting in front of a conspicuous no-parking sign. Some passersby had also put a mock parking ticket on the car.
Sick dad free of son's fees
A Xingan county appeals court has rejected a 20-year-old local man's attempt to force his poor, asthma-stricken father to pay 10,000 yuan annually to cover his tuition fees at a Beijing university, jxnews.com.cn reports. The student, whose parents had divorced seven years ago, sought help from his father after his mother was unable to borrow enough money. The court suggested that the student apply for subsidised education loans or take a part-time job.
Crowded bus in fatal crash
One passenger was killed and 39 others were injured when their overloaded bus flipped over on a Nanchang county highway early yesterday morning, xinhuanet.com reports. Soldiers who helped rescue victims said the bus was carrying 59 people, four people more than its capacity. Rain- and snow-slickened roads are believed to have contributed to the crash.
Fatal dog attack: man held
Police have detained a man from Xian's Yanta district for keeping six large, unregistered dogs that mauled a 78-year-old woman to death on Christmas Day, the Huashang Daily reports. Police said the dogs have been impounded and would soon be put down. The district government promised a campaign next month to identify any large, unregistered dogs in the area.
Extortion police jailed
The former chief of a Xian police station and his deputy have been sentenced to jail for ordering subordinates to extort phony fines from people they arrested over the past three years, the Xian Evening News reports. After one prostitution raid, police under their command fined the customers thousands of yuan and failed to issue any punishment tickets. The prostitutes were released. The chief and his deputy have been sentenced to 13 and 11 years, respectively.
Drug profit margin ditched
Shanghai health authorities have scrapped the 15 per cent mark-up on prescription drugs at four major suburban health centres, the Shanghai People's Radio reports. Consultation and nursing fees will rise considerably to compensate for the loss of income, but the medical insurance scheme should cover much of the patients' share. The central government is seeking to end the mark-up, which has been blamed for driving up health costs.
Residents left in the cold
The Municipal Development and Reform Commission said Shanghai will not follow its northern counterparts by providing indoor residential heating, the Jiefang Daily reports. Experts said installing municipal heating was not feasible because it would be difficult to install in many buildings, and Shanghai, despite the recent cold spell, sees relatively short winters.
Farm exports hit US$2bn
Yunnan agricultural exports hit the US$2 billion mark last year, leading all western provinces and regions for the 10th consecutive year, the Kunming Daily reports. The provincial agricultural department said top exports include vegetables, tobacco and coffee. Authorities plan to build a 3.3-square-kilometre growing centre to support exports.
Traffic rules alarm drivers
Yunnan drivers last week purchased more than 2,000 radar and camera detectors to warn them if there are any red-light cameras on the road ahead, yn.yunnan.cn reports. The gadget-buying spree was spurred by tough new national traffic regulations that took effect on New Year's Day and treat jumping a yellow light the same as not stopping on a red.