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Briefs, February 8, 2013

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 5:01am
 

Final charge dropped in 'four lawyers' case

The high-profile Beihai "four lawyers" perjury case came to an end on Wednesday as prosecutors dropped the charge against the last defendant, Guangxi lawyer Yang Zaixin, Caixin magazine reported yesterday. Yang and three other lawyers were detained in 2011 after their clients, defendants in a murder trial, retracted their confessions, claiming they had been tortured. The perjury case prompted an outcry among lawyers across the country. The city's intermediate court also ruled on Wednesday that the five defendants in the related murder trial - involving the death of a man in 2009 - were not guilty on the grounds of insufficient evidence. He Huifeng

 

Official and driver held over young boy's death

Authorities have detained a driver and a local government official on suspicion of causing the accidental death of a 13-month-old boy who was run over by a van during an argument between his parents and local officials demanding that the couple pay a fine for violating the country's strict family planning limits. The boy was the rural couple's third child. Most couples in the countryside are limited to two children. The Communist Party propaganda department for Ruian in the eastern province of Zhejiang said in a statement yesterday that the accident occurred after the mother was told to board an official's van and during a scuffle the baby was dropped under the rear wheel of the vehicle. The boy died in hospital. AP

 

Japan relations worry causes fireworks ban

Chinese authorities have ordered retailers to stop selling fireworks named "Tokyo Big Bang" because they could damage relations with Japan, a manager with the fireworks' manufacturer, Beijing Doudou Fireworks Company, said yesterday. Relations between China and Japan have been tense lately as the two argued over who owns tiny islands in the East China Sea. The manager said the name came from both patriotism and profit. AP

 

Boy gets to the bottom of new premier's visit

State media coverage of a routine visit to a home by incoming premier Li Keqiang has become an internet sensation after a boy appeared on camera half-naked. Footage from the CCTV state television broadcast in the northern city of Baotou showed a rare unplanned blip in usually tightly controlled coverage. Li was speaking to the man of the house in a modest bedroom when the boy popped out of a wardrobe behind them not wearing any underwear. He quickly ducked under the blanket of a bed, exposing his buttocks to the cameras. "The kid was having fun as if there was nothing special going on in front of him. It was amusing," said one internet user. AFP

 

Xi says party should tolerate criticism

General Secretary Xi Jinping says the Communist Party should tolerate sharp criticism from outside, in comments that have been greeted with a certain scepticism from a public accustomed to pervasive censorship. State media said the newly installed party chief made the remarks on Wednesday at a gathering of non-Communist Party groups. Xi urged members of the groups to speak truthfully, give advice even if it was unpleasant, and accurately reflect the voice of the public. He also asked all party organisations to accept advice and criticism from outside the party. AP

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Briefs, February 8, 2013

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