China Digest, February 4, 2013
Job loss after hotel scuffle
A member of the Miyun county People's Political Consultative Conference has been stripped of his membership because of a recent scuffle he had at a local hotel, The Beijing News reports. The man was angry at the high price of his bill, and he threatened to close down the hotel if they didn't reduce it. A video clip of the incident was uploaded online. The man said he was drunk at the time.
Father held over car death
A father has been detained, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation, in connection with the death of a fee collector run down by his daughter in a car park in Beijing's Xicheng district on January 27. The man had travelled with his 28-year-old daughter to Liaoning , according to the Beijing Times. The victim had asked the woman for 40 yuan (HK$49) for three hours of parking, but she paid only 20 yuan and ran him down when he tried to stop her leaving. She was later detained in Huludao , Liaoning.
House prices fall, sales rise
The average housing price in Wuhan dropped 1 per cent to 6,350 yuan per square metre last year, compared with 2011, marking the first decline in seven years, Xinhua reports. Meanwhile, home sales in the provincial capital rose by 24.7 per cent to 134,953 flats - the biggest annual rise in 10 years.
School for migrants closes
The biggest school for pupils from migrant families in Wuhan has closed because it failed to find a new campus after its existing lease in Hongshan district expired in August after 14 years, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. Local education authorities said that the school's 2,400 students would be transferred to nearby schools, but all of the teachers have to find new jobs. The school was allowed to continue operating for the past few months while looking for a new campus.
'Gang members' face court
A group of 21 gang members are on trial in Yuhu district, Xiangtan, for various organised crimes, including providing venues for illegal gambling and for drug use, the Xiangtan Morning Herald reports. The gang's leader allegedly bribed the city's police chief in 2006 in exchange for protection against prosecution. The former chief was charged in December with taking bribes.
Arrest after clerk robbed
Liuyang police have arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly robbing a bank clerk of 300,000 yuan outside a Postal Savings Bank of China branch on Tuesday morning, Xinhua reports. A man stole a money-filled metal briefcase from the clerk, then fled in a car he had parked nearby.
Pay row is load of rubbish
A residential street in downtown Siping has become a makeshift refuse dump after 14 refuse collection centres were locked up on Thursday by a sub-contractor, who was engaged in a pay dispute with the centres' government-appointed operator, the New Culture News reports. By Saturday, a 100-metre-long stretch of Dizhi Road had been covered with rubbish.
Cold response stirs ice plea
A resident of Changchun's Erdao district has asked for help in removing a giant ice column that has grown from his family's sixth-floor apartment to the ground, the New Culture News reports. The ice formed because of a leaky solar-powered water heater atop the building. Local firefighters inspected the 40cm-thick column but said they could not safely remove it as they were not equipped for such problems.
Hotel spending queried
More than 170 rooms at a five-star hotel were booked for members of the Baota district People's Congress meeting in Yanan late last month, the China Youth Daily reports. The legislature claimed that they were given a group rate of 260 yuan a night for standard rooms, but a hotel staff member said the rooms would have cost at least 653 yuan after a group discount. The excessive spending came amid a central government call for austerity during the legislative gatherings that took place across the country in recent weeks.
'Building scam thugs' held
Police have caught half of the 16 thugs allegedly hired by a village-level official to attack a construction site in Gaoling county, Xian , on December 23, in an attempt to secure development rights to the property, the Huashang Daily reports. Two drivers of earth movers were severely burned after being hit by petrol bombs. The thugs said the official hired them to scare off subcontractors, so he could win the construction bid from the developer. The official and other thugs remained at large.
Student trains to save time
A university student in Shanghai has arranged to take eight trains home to Deyang for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, because he said it will cut travel time by more than 12 hours compared with a 29-hour non-stop train, China News Service reports. The man said he will save so much time, despite the seven stopovers, by taking some high-speed trains along the 2,000-kilometre journey.
2 die in pond rescue drama
A 24-year-old civil engineering student drowned on Thursday while trying to rescue an 11-year-old boy from a fishing pond in Cangxi county, Guangyuan, the Qilu Evening News reports. The woman, who attends a school in Shandong , was passing by the pond when she heard the boy's cries for help and tried to save him, but neither survived. The woman was very smart and had recently been accepted into her university's graduate programme without having to sit the entrance exam. The boy was playing at the pond with a young girl when he fell into the water.
Gold production increases
Annual gold output in Yunnan increased by 4.7 per cent last year, to 27.14 tonnes, making Yunnan the mainland's fourth-largest gold-producing region, the Yunnan Daily reports. The provincial government said it has identified about 500 tonnes of gold reserves in Yunnan. The goal is to mine 32 tonnes this year.
Fatal hit-and-run probed
The party secretary for a municipal government bureau overseeing culture, sports and tourism affairs in Mangshi has been put under criminal investigation following a hit-and-run accident in which a 22-year-old female university student died on Thursday night, China News Service reports. The official allegedly hit the student and her brother, who suffered a severe head injury, on a downtown road. Police were still investigating whether the official had been drinking.
Gambling hacker jailed
A computer hacker has been sentenced in Yunhe county, Lishui, to 3½ years in jail for using a "Trojan horse" virus to steal money from online gamblers since June 2010, the Youth Times reports. The man, along with five accomplices, managed to steal 600,000 yuan in their first month of hacking, but the total amount stolen was not disclosed. The accomplices received suspended sentences ranging from one to 2½ years.
Plea after jewellery raid
Police in Ningbo are asking the public to come forwards with any information related to Saturday night's armed robbery of a gold shop in downtown Fenghua, which is under Ningbo , the City Express reports. The robbers used sub-machine guns and made off with more than 100,000 yuan worth of jewellery.