China Digest, February 7, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 3:47am


Capital set for fireworks

Fireworks enthusiasts can ring in the Lunar New Year at 909 sites designated by police, from Saturday to February 24, the Beijing Daily reports. More than 60 roads will also be closed for fireworks on Saturday night - the eve of the Lunar New Year.

10 gassed burning coal

Five medical interns were found dead in their flat on Monday from carbon monoxide poisoning, The Beijing News reports. They were from Harbin Medical University in Heilongjiang and had been renting an apartment in Chaoyang district. They had been burning coal inside with no ventilation. Five residents of the same district, including a seven-year-old boy, died in the same circumstances on Tuesday.


Dining scam warning

Shenzhen authorities are warning people to be wary of common scams at restaurants during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reports. Some restaurants serve cheap wine to customers who order expensive bottles, and restaurants may also try to pad the bill when customers are drunk and not paying close attention to the meal cost. People can call 12315 or 12358 to lodge complaints.

Shoddy walkways

About 20 pedestrian overpasses in Longgang district, Shenzhen, are already in need of repair less than two years after they were put into use, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The walkways were made with substandard materials and have started to fall apart. The total cost of repairs is estimated to be about 1 million yuan (HK$1.23 million). The walkways were completed three years ago but not put into use until just before the 2011 World University Games. They had all passed quality inspections.


Bus-truck collision kills 4

At least four people died and 14 others were injured in a head-on collision between a bus and truck on a highway in Binyang county, Nanning , on Monday, reports. All of the injured victims were taken to hospital. An investigation into the cause of the accident was underway.

Nothing left to lose

A woman whose home in Nanning was burgled five times in the past month put a note on her door telling potential thieves that her mobile phone, laptop and digital camera had already been stolen, and all that remained was an old refrigerator, reports. "The fridge is old and big. It's hard to move. Please don't waste your time breaking open this door, and happy New Year," she wrote.


Official traced to Vietnam

A high-ranking official from Baoding city was caught in Vietnam on Tuesday and extradited to Henan yesterday, China News Service reports. Song Jianzhong, former director of Baoding's Bureau of Land and Resources, has been charged with taking 1.5 million yuan in bribes between 2008 and 2011. He fled to Vietnam with his mistress in January.

Fair for jobseekers

More than 100,000 young people are expected to compete for 40,000 jobs at a job fair in Shijiazhuang on February 18 and 19, reports. Most attendees will be new university graduates looking for their first job. Organisers said the fair would help ease the burden on new graduates, who are finding it increasingly hard to land jobs after completing their studies.


Sister maims siblings

A 21-year-old woman in Linzhou has been detained for gouging out the eyes of her eight-year-old sister and six-year-old brother on Monday, then cutting off the boy's penis, the Dahe Daily reports. The woman suffered from bipolar disorder. Both children were taken to a hospital in Zhengzhou but doctors said the children would never see again.

Arrests for fireworks blast

Police have detained four people in connection with the deadly elevated expressway collapse that killed 10 people in Sanmenxia on Friday, Xinhua reports. The truck was hauling illegal fireworks when it exploded, causing an 80-metre section of elevated road to collapse. The 44-year-old owner of the fireworks was caught in Xinyang city on Monday.


Blue-sky ambition

Nanjing plans to invest more than 9 billion yuan to be named an "ecological garden city", the Nanjing Daily reports. One requirement to win the designation is that the city's air quality must be rated "good" for at least 346 days a year.

Escort for ATM withdrawal

A private business owner in Jiangning district, Nanjing, called police on Tuesday and requested a police escort after he withdrew 2 million yuan from a local bank, the Yangtze Evening News reports. Police agreed to the unusual request because he said the money was to pay his workers before the holiday.


On the road

A nine-year-old girl and her father, from Jinzhou , are spending the winter break walking and hitchhiking to 31 major cities across the country, reports. The journey started on January 20, and they had visited 11 cities by Sunday, when they arrived in Chongqing . They will spend the Lunar New Year in Guangzhou or Shenzhen, and will return home by February 24, ahead of the new school semester. They never stay in hotels, opting instead to rest at hospitals, banks and petrol stations, and eat mostly instant noodles.

Hot pot jackpot

Provincial tax authorities are trying to track down the unknown winner of an 800,000-yuan lottery prize drawn on November 7, the Liaoshen Evening News reports. The winning number appeared on a meal receipt from a hot pot restaurant in Shenyang on October 12.


Business crackdown

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau handled 85,000 cases involving illegal business operations last year, and three companies were fined more than 1 million yuan, Shanghai Business Daily reports. Swedish fashion brand H&M was fined 690,000 yuan for selling substandard leather shoes.

Public help migrant

A 29-year-old migrant worker who fell off his scooter in Shanghai on Sunday and lost most of the 17,000 yuan he was carrying has received more than 22,450 yuan in donations, but he plans to donate excess money to charity after the Lunar New Year holiday, The Beijing News reports. The money was his earnings for the year, and most of it blew away or was snatched up by passers-by when he fell.


4G for Wenzhou

Wenzhou and Hangzhou have launched 4G mobile phone networks for commercial use, and compatible mobile phones and wireless cards are expected to become increasingly popular this year, the Securities Times reports.

Week-long bus odyssey

A 27-year-old man took 48 buses from Sunday to Saturday last week to travel 660 kilometres from Hangzhou to his hometown of Linyi in Shandong province, Xinhua reports. He also took a ferry and walked several kilometres. The bus tickets cost him just 140 yuan, and the man said the journey was intended to make him a stronger and more determined person.