China Digest, January 28, 2013
Train kills woman
A woman was hit and killed by a train while crossing railroad tracks near the Lishui Bridge subway station in Beijing on Saturday, The Beijing News reports. Police said she might have been trying to take a shortcut to the subway station, as it would have taken her another 10 minutes if she took the safe route. Witnesses said she was wearing earphones and a hat, which might have impeded her sight and hearing.
Car lottery unchanged
In response to rumours that Beijing might adjust its car licence plate lottery this year, local transport authorities said there were no plans to increase the plate quota, which is currently 20,000 a month, the People's Daily reports. Authorities also plan to review different measures to help control congestion in the capital.
Food waste soars
Nearly 380,000 tonnes of kitchen waste was collected in central Chongqing last year, up by 64 per cent from a year earlier, the Chongqing Business News reports. The municipality's environmental sanitation group attributed the stark increase to a growing number of people who dine out, coupled with their habit of wasting food.
Scared man sheds cash
A migrant worker became so delusional that someone was going to kill him and steal a large sum of money he was carrying, that he scattered 20,000 yuan (HK$24,630) in the waiting hall of the Qianjiang district railway station on Wednesday night, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. A policeman arrived 10 minutes later and helped the man retrieve all the money. The officer said the man was heading home to Guizhou and was under a lot of pressure not to lose the money, as it was the combined wages for himself and four fellow workers.
Relief for bank clerk
A woman in Lanzhou returned 10,000 yuan to a bank after a clerk mistakenly gave her 40,000 yuan instead of the 30,000 yuan she was trying to withdraw on Friday, the Lanzhou Evening News reports. The woman said she didn't notice the mistake until several hours later when she counted the money, and she felt compelled to do the right thing and return it.
Small mines 'to close'
The Lanzhou government will this year shut down all coal mines with annual production capacities of less than 300,000 tonnes, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. Local work-safety authorities said on Saturday that 290 people died in work-related accidents in the city last year, four fewer than in 2011.
Fish die in river mystery
Hundreds of dead fish appeared in the Wuyong River in Guangzhou's Huangpu district over the weekend as the water appeared black and yellow, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. A local resident blamed refinery factories located upstream, but the district's environmental officials said that, despite the discoloration and dead fish, tests of water samples showed that the water quality was normal, and they suggested that the fish simply died from a lack of oxygen.
Man held for abusing girl
A Shenzhen man has been detained for allegedly sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl last week, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The girl often played with the man's two children, and he bought her snacks from a local shop. Her parents were shocked when they found their daughter using feminine sanitary wipes, and she told them the man had taught her.
School down to 3 pupils
A school in a village in a remote part of Nanning's Xingning district has only one teacher and three students, as most families in the village have sent their children to schools in the city, the Modern Life Daily reports. The teacher said the number of students had declined by about one a year since 2007, when nine pupils studied there. Local education authorities said the school was kept open because the three students would otherwise have to walk 10 kilometres along a mountainous road to get to school.
Man killed in abortion row
A woman in Luchuan county, Yulin , has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing her husband, who was pressuring her to abort their baby, the Nanguo Morning Post reports. During a pregnancy check-up in April 2011, the woman was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Angered when he husband repeatedly asked her to have an abortion, she killed him with a knife and tried to take her own life by cutting her neck, wrist and stabbing herself in the chest. She had a miscarriage and lost the ability to speak.
Car's fuel 'contaminated'
Rice and traces of white lime residue were recently found in the petrol tank of a Cadillac that frequently stalled in Wuhan, the Wuhan Evening News reports. A mechanic said the contaminants could have come from low-quality petrol, but the owner insisted that they were added intentionally by the last mechanic who worked on the car. The owner said the previous engineer may have decided to carry out an act of revenge after quarrelling with him over the vehicle.
Coup for Li Na's hometown
After winning the right to host to the Women's Tennis Association's Premier-5 Tournament for 15 years, starting in 2014, Wuhan - the hometown of tennis star Li Na - said it plans to build a tennis centre with a capacity of 10,000 people to host the event, Xinhua reports. No cost estimates or construction timeframe were given for the venue.
Fire engine kills cyclist
A fire engine hit a battery-powered bicycle in Xuhui district on Friday night, killing its rider and injuring his female passenger, the Xinmin Evening News reports. The fire engine was turning right when it collided with the bicycle, which became stuck underneath the truck with its two passengers. The man died at hospital and the woman was still under observation.
Bread prices rise
The price of flour in Shanghai has increased by between 5 and 10 per cent this month, resulting in higher bread prices in many shops, the Shanghai Morning Post reports. The general manager of a flour manufacturer was quoted as saying that the increase was due to the central government raising wheat prices by 0.2 yuan per kilogram this year.
Couple dead in bed
A man and a woman were found dead in their bed from unspecified causes in Wenling on Friday, Zjol.com.cn reports. A next-door neighbour heard a phone ringing in the apartment, and he saw the couple in bed when he peered through a window. He knocked and shouted, but they failed to respond, so he called police. The couple, migrant workers from Hunan province, had been dead for several days. Police were still investigating the causes of their deaths.
Banks tighten lending
Many private companies in Wenzhou are facing financial difficulties which are becoming worse as banks refuse to issue new loans after they pay off old ones, Zjol.com.cn reports. Wenzhou business owners told a conference in Zhejiang province on Saturday many companies wouldn't be able to survive without loans, and they urged banks to be less nervous about lending money in the coming year. Local firms pay banks 20 billion yuan in interest every year, they said.