Briefs, January 23, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 4:53am

Onus on Oslo to mend relations, ministry says

A Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday called on Norway to take concrete steps towards improving bilateral ties, putting the onus on Oslo to mend relations, Xinhua reported. Hong Lei made the appeal at a press briefing when asked whether Norway's support of China's bid for permanent observer status to the Arctic Council could improve ties. Relations have been strained since jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 by the Oslo-based committee. Staff Reporter


Gender ratio disparity for newborns reduced

The gap between the number of boys and girls born on the mainland narrowed slightly last year, but it was still higher than the warning level, the National Population and Family Planning Commission said. The gender ratio stood at 117.7 newborn boys for every 100 girls, a decline of 0.08 from 2011. Xinhua


Toxic warning over hot food containers

Melamine, the chemical that killed infants in a milk-formula scandal in 2008, may be ingested when it's used to serve hot food, a study found. The toxic chemical is released from tableware containing melamine when exposed to boiling-hot substances, researchers at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan showed. Their study, involving a dozen healthy adult volunteers, detected traces of melamine in urine following consumption of noodle soup from non-breakable melamine bowls. The organic chemical is widely used in plastics, adhesives, countertops, dishware and whiteboards. Bloomberg