China Digest, January 25, 2013
Jail for fake bomb threat
A man from Henan province has been sentenced to 10 months in jail by the Beijing Railway Court for making a fake bomb threat to police on October 22, the Beijing Times reports. He claimed there was a bomb in the departure hall of a Beijing railway station, and police tracked him back to his hometown of Luoyang . He said the bomb threat was retribution for his three-year-old son being injured in a scuffle between himself and a railway station security guard during a visit to Beijing in March. The fight started because the father was smoking inside the station.
Mother, son found dead
Residents of a Dongcheng district neighbourhood were shocked to learn that a woman and her six-year-old son, who had not been seen in more than two years, were found dead in their home this week, the Beijing Evening News reports. The bodies were removed from the home on Wednesday, but police did not say what led them to the discovery, and it was unclear how the mother and child died.
'Dead' woman wakes up
A 101-year-old woman from Zhanjiang woke up from a deep sleep last week to learn that her family had thought she was dead and began making funeral arrangements for her, Southcn.com reports. Her body became rigid, she didn't appear to be breathing and she would not wake up. Sixteen hours after the family assumed she was dead, the centenarian opened her eyes and greeted them with a smile.
Housing proposal removed
The provincial government's advisory body - the Guangdong provincial People's Political Consultative Conference - has taken offline a controversial proposal from its members calling for government-funded housing to be made available for civil servants, the Nanfang Daily reports. The proposal set off a firestorm of criticism, with internet users noting that civil servants weren't the only people who can't afford to buy a home, so it wouldn't be fair to give them access to cheaper housing.
Gas blast destroys road
An underground gas pipeline exploded in front of a residential estate in Beihai on Wednesday afternoon, completely destroying a 100-metre section of road, which now appears to be a long stretch of rubble, Gxnews.com.cn reports. No injuries were reported. Investigators were still looking into the cause of the blast.
Accident scam man jailed
A Liuzhou man has been sentenced to 14½ years in jail for extorting 380,000 yuan (HK$469,000) from several drivers over a five-month period in 2011, by intentionally getting into car accidents and then demanding compensation from the drivers whose cars they hit, Gxnews.com.cn reports. The man had two accomplices who were sentenced to 13 and seven years in jail.
Ban on use of raw coal
Boiler operators in Harbin could face fines of up to 100,000 yuan (HK$1,230) if they are found using raw coal, such as the kind that comes from Inner Mongolia, because it causes more pollution when burned, Hljnews.cn reports. Harbin environmental authorities said the ban on the trade and use of raw coal in all downtown areas within the city's Fourth Ring Road will be put in effect later this year, in accordance with newly approved regulations.
20m yuan for back pay
The Harbin municipal government has allocated 20 million yuan (HK$25 million) in emergency funds to help cover the back pay owed to migrant workers in the city, Xinhua reports. Additionally, all eight district-level governments in the city will contribute at least 5 million yuan to the fund. The more than 60 million yuan will be paid by February 3 to migrants whose employers have been withholding salaries for several months. Authorities said the companies that haven't been paying workers will be dealt with pending further investigation.
Canteens to curb spending
More than 3,800 canteens have been built or renovated in government offices across the province since January of last year, in an effort to reduce spending on meals and banquets, the Dahe Daily reports. More than 97 per cent of government agencies now have canteens where officials can eat rather than dine out at more-expensive restaurants.
Appeal for transplant teen
The family of a 19-year-old university student with a rare kidney disorder has spent 860,000 yuan (HK$1,057,987) on medical bills since September, Xinhua reports. The young man has received liver and kidney transplants but his family is appealing for help because they are broke and can't pay for additional treatment.
School competitions ban
Wuhan education authorities have banned academic competitions at primary and junior-secondary schools, in order to free students from the burden of excessive studies, Xinhua reports. Authorities said schools would be held accountable if they organise such competitions. .
Accused briber in tears
The former head of the Wuhan municipal government's publicity department, Xie Gongzhuo, broke down in tears during his corruption trial on Wednesday, the Procuratorial Daily reports. Xie, 54, is accused of taking 1.67 million yuan (HK$2 million) in bribes between August 2004 and October 2009. If convicted, he could face at least 10 years in jail.
Chicken scandal price drop
Revelations that some farms were treating chickens with antibiotics has caused the wholesale price of baby chicks to plummet, the Qilu Evening News reports. The president of the Shandong Minhe Animal Husbandry Co said his company could lose up to 50 million yuan (HK$61 million)because of decreased demand, even though his company was not implicated in the scandal.
Driver hit police assistant
Weihai police have detained a 22-year-old woman who ran through a red light on Monday and hit a police assistant who was trying to stop her, the Qilu Evening News reports. The assistant, who was not wearing a uniform, was carried on the bonnet of her car for 50 metres. The police assistant suffered a broken rib.
HK$2b for kindergartens
The provincial government has earmarked 1.67 billion yuan (HK$2 billion) to build or renovate 400 public kindergartens in the next three years - an effort that should create 71,000 new spots at the schools, the West China City Daily reports. Additionally, 500 private kindergartens will be given subsidies to improve safety and their learning environments.
Schoolchildren wait in cold
The municipal women's federation in Neijiang has apologised after a primary school in Dongxing district welcomed some members of the federation by having students stand in the freezing cold to greet them during a visit last week, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. Pictures of the children waiting in the cold were posted online, sparking criticism that the federation, which oversees child-welfare issues, was showing a disregard for the health of pupils.