China Digest, February 8, 2013
Corrupt cadre jailed
The former party secretary of Chaohu's civil affairs bureau was sentenced to 10½ years in jail for embezzling 100,000 yuan (HK$124,400) from village coffers in 2005, when he was party chief of Zhonghan town. He was detained last June.
Orphanage now a hotel
An orphanage in Feidong county, Hefei, has been operating as a hotel and also renting out rooms to a kindergarten since 2009, while orphans are sent to a nearby shelter for adults, most of whom are mentally unstable, Anhui news.com reports. The centre was set up by the county's civil affairs bureau in 2004, but the director said it had received only one or two children a year, so they were sent elsewhere.
Director took kickbacks
The former director of the Beijing Sci-Tech Information Centre was sentenced to 10 years in jail for corruption, The Beijing News reports. Hu Qinghua received more than 200,000 yuan in cash, shopping vouchers and gifts from a subordinate and various companies, in exchange for favours.
An equal opportunity
Municipal human resources and social security officials have drafted new regulations banning workplace discrimination based on ethnicity, gender or religion, the Beijing Times reports. Officials will get public feedback on the draft, which would require all employers in Beijing to grant an equal opportunity to all job applicants.
Suspension for wine bill
The senior executive of a state-owned enterprise in Zhuhai was suspended for hosting a dinner at which he ordered 12 bottles of expensive red wine for 17 people, the Beijing Times reports, citing local disciplinary officials. The general manager of Zhuhai Financial Investment Holdings spent 37,517 yuan on the January 4 dinner, including 23,706 yuan on wine. Guests were from the financial sector.
Fake banknote ring busted
A counterfeit money-laundering ring was busted in eastern Guangdong, with police arresting 37 suspects in raids in Jieyang, Shantou and Shanwei, according to the provincial public security department's official publication, the Nanfang Law Journal. Police found nearly 210 million yuan worth of finished and unfinished banknotes.
Termites cause havoc
A termite infestation in Xingyi city has affected about 4,500 homes since July, causing about 34 million yuan in damage, China News Service reports. Of the more than 8,000 people affected, 1,700 have relocated.
Students fail to pay loans
Nearly 30 per cent, or 6.28 million yuan, of all student loan payments in the province were overdue by the end of last year, Xinhuanet.com reports. Provincial education authorities ordered universities to strengthen management of student loans, with default notifications issued monthly. Students who fail to make loan payments will get reminders.
Pair held in begging scam
Two men were detained in Zhengyang county, Zhumadian, for organising groups of senior citizens and disabled people from across the province to beg in cities in Southeast Asia, including in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the Henan Legal News reports. About 40 beggars earned up to 20,000 yuan on each trip, but they had to pay 40 per cent to the men. Police became suspicious when 10 poor illiterate or semi-illiterate seniors, some disabled, applied for passports in Zhengyang.
Driver attacked over death
An angry mob attacked and badly assaulted a driver on Wednesday afternoon in Zhengzhou after learning that he ran over and killed a six-year-old boy, the Dahe Daily reports. The mob heard that the man ran over the boy twice, but police said it was once.
Tang artefacts found
More than 2,000 porcelain artefacts from the Tang dynasty (618-907) have been unearthed in Qingpu district, the city's first port for foreign trade, Eastday.com reports. The findings also included a four-metre-deep well - the oldest found in the city.
11 cars damaged
A 19-year-old man received a suspended 30-month jail term for scratching 11 cars with keys and stones between July and September in Xuhui district, Eastday.com reports. The court found that the man, a migrant worker from Anhui , scratched cars parked along Guiyi Road because he thought one of them knocked him down in July. However, he was drunk at the time and couldn't get a clear look at the car or its plates.
Tunnel victims named
Provincial publicity officials this week finally released the names of the eight people killed and the five injured in an explosion in a railway tunnel on December 25 in Linfen city, China National Radio reports. A construction company affiliated with the state-owned China Railway Tunnel Group covered up the accident for five days, and it took the provincial government 32 days to confirm the victims' identities.
Masks for traffic officers
The provincial police chief has asked the traffic management bureau to provide masks to traffic officers on smoggy days, the Shanxi Daily reports. The request was made after the chief learned that about a quarter of traffic officers in the province were suffering from nose and throat problems, or lung disease.
12 killed in van crash
Twelve people were killed and three others injured when an overloaded van crashed off a mountainside in Kunming on Wednesday afternoon, Xinhua reports. The accident occurred at about 1.30pm when the vehicle plunged more than a dozen metres. An investigation is under way.
Big forest fire in Dali
More than 1,600 volunteers and firefighters, aided by helicopter support, were fighting a forest fire in a mountainous region of Dali yesterday, China News Service reports. Authorities said the fire was caused by a local rubbish collector's careless burning of waste on Monday afternoon.
Teacher probed over girl
Education authorities in Jinhua are investigating allegations that a 45-year-old male teacher at a local junior high school was having an improper relationship with a schoolgirl, the City Express newspaper reports. A letter, supposedly written by the teacher to the girl, appeared online saying he had been paying the girl 50 yuan a day, but she hadn't let him touch her body for four weeks. The report said the teacher thought of himself as a godfather to the girl, and that the letter was a joke.
Pile-up in highway tunnel
Several accidents occurred within 20 minutes in a highway tunnel in Hangzhou on Wednesday morning, resulting in a 39-vehicle pile-up, Zjol.com.cn reports. The accidents happened as many people were rushing to get home for the Lunar New Year holiday. More than 30 accidents have occurred daily since last Friday, or about 80 per cent more than on normal days.