China Digest, January 29, 2013
Slums' towering success
Mentougou, one of the poorest districts in the capital, is expected to finish revitalising its slum areas this year and will relocate poor residents to high-rise buildings, China News Service reports. The reformation project started in 2009 with the aim of relocating 33,000 families, at a total cost of 43 billion yuan (HK$52.96 billion). District authorities said residents would be provided with natural gas and would no longer have to burn coal to stay warm.
Swindler on trial again
A woman jailed from 2007 to 2010 for fraud was back in court in Fengtai district on Sunday, accused of cheating a man out of 700,000 yuan by pretending to be a prison guard, the Beijing Times reports. They often chatted online, and she regaled him with prison stories. She asked him to give her money several times between October 2011 and May 2012, sometimes claiming she needed help paying her relatives' medical bills.
Villagers slam road project
More than 40 villagers in Dianbai county, Maoming city, have signed a letter accusing the village committee director and the village's party secretary of bulldozing farmland to make way for a road project, People.com.cn reports. The villagers said 20 hectares of fertile farmland were destroyed in the past month, under a plan to reclaim 120 hectares of farmland owned by 3,000 villagers. Both sides had not reached a compensation deal.
Civil servant's grave graft
A civil servant in Shenzhen has been accused by villagers in his hometown in Lufeng of spending 1 million yuan to renovate the tombs of his ancestors, and 10 million yuan to build a memorial hall for them, China National Radio reports. The Longgang district petitions office worker's case triggered calls for the disclosure of assets by all civil servants.
Heroic repairmen hired
A car-maintenance firm in Zhengzhou has hired two brothers - both car repairmen - who became heroes earlier this month by stopping a woman from being mugged on a bus in Wenzhou , Zhejiang , the Dong Fang Jin Bao reports. The pair had been fired as their former employer in Zhejiang feared that the thief would target their workshop. Returning after six years to their hometown of Zhengzhou, they will earn 60,000 yuan a year at their new job.
Aid for noodle shop owner
Zhengzhou residents have flooded to a noodle restaurant in the western part of the city after its owner, a 42-year-old man, recently said online that he had been diagnosed with a malignant bone tumour and needed money, the Guizhou Du Shi Bao reports. Many people have eaten at the restaurant or donated money, which his family said would eventually be paid back as they were keeping a record of all the funds coming in.
Man stabs toddler son
A man in his early 30s turned himself in to police in Changsha on Saturday, immediately after killing his five-year-old son at home with a kitchen knife, the Sanxiang City Express reports. The man said he was angry because the boy insisted on playing on the computer instead of doing his homework. Neighbours said the man cut his wrists a month ago and was deeply depressed after twice divorcing and remarrying his wife, the boy's mother.
Payout for taxman's lover
The vice-director of the Yanfeng district tax bureau in Hengyang has reached a mediated settlement with his mistress - he will pay her 230,000 yuan, and she will return his clothes and not harass him anymore, the Modern Consumer Herald reports. The settlement was reached with help from the local community committee, and the couple also agreed to end their relationship. They met in 2005 and moved in together in 2007. But the man stayed married to his wife until 2010. To keep their affair secret from the public, he asked the mistress to call him "brother" instead of "husband".
Bugs bankrupt man's safe
A villager in Nanchang county recently discovered that his secret cache of 25,000 yuan had been destroyed by termites, and all local banks have refused to exchange the tattered remains for new bills, the Jiangnan City Daily reports. The man said he had kept the money in a wooden box for 10 years, and he decided to check on it when he noticed termites in his home.
Boyfriend faked rape case
Nanchang police are searching for a man who called them last week and lied that his girlfriend had been raped by his friend in a hotel where the couple had been living, the Jiangxi Morning Post reports. When police arrived at the hotel, the woman, aged about 20 years old, was alone and assured police that she had not been raped. She said her boyfriend suspected that she and his friend were having an affair.
13b yuan for forest project
The provincial government plans to spend 13 billion yuan by 2017 to plant trees and maintain the ecological systems of forests, with an aim of raising the percentage of forested area in Qinghai from 5.23 to 6.8 per cent, the Xining Evening News reports. Authorities will focus largely on overhauling land in the western part of the province to stop desertification there.
Good air days for Xining
Xining recorded 315 days last year when the air quality index was "good", including every day between May and October, the Xihai Metropolis News reports. The city began making air quality data public this year. Levels of dangerous PM2.5 particles are monitored at four stations.
Air purifier sales surge
Sales of air purifiers have surged in the city in recent weeks, as Shanghai is among the many mainland cities that have been shrouded with heavy smog, the Shanghai Morning Post reports. Prices vary from a few hundred yuan to several thousand, and sales are reportedly several times higher than they were during the same time last year.
Toxin alert over NZ milk
Milk powders imported from New Zealand remain on sale in Shanghai supermarkets despite trace amounts of an anti-pollutant found in some New Zealand dairy products, Eastday.com reports. Municipal authorities were keeping an eye on the situation, in which low levels of toxic dicyandiamide - used to reduce pollution in the foreign nation's waterways - were detected. New Zealand officials said no health risks were associated with the trace levels.
Family strangler executed
A 25-year-old migrant worker was executed this month for killing his grandmother and seven-year-old cousin in 2010, according to a recent statement by the Nanchong Intermediate People's Court, Newssc.org reports. The man strangled the two to death because his grandmother refused to loan him money for leisurely activities. He was arrested in a Henan internet bar two weeks later.
Cyclist's 8-day adventure
A 20-year-old man recently spent eight days cycling 928 kilometres from Xian , Shaanxi , where he attends university, to his hometown of Ziyang in Sichuan, the Huashang Daily reports. He said he preferred riding to taking a crowded train. He plans to cycle across Tibet this summer.