China Digest, February 15, 2013

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2013, 4:59am


Fraudster jailed for life

A woman has been sentenced to life in jail for swindling nearly 4 million yuan (HK$4.9 million) from several people in Haidian district between 2007 and 2011, the Beijing Times reports. The woman, who worked for a local bank, accepted money from people who believed she could help them find work or gain entrance to military academies. She had previously been sentenced in 2002 to four years in jail for a similar fraud.

10 heroes honoured

Ten residents of Mentougou district have been honoured as heroes, The Beijing News reports. Every Lunar New Year holiday the district government recognises people who have acted heroically and the 10 each received 5,000 yuan in cash. One saved several people during a deadly flood in July.


Bomb kills 7, wounds 19

At least seven people were killed and 19 others injured when a man detonated a car bomb near his former wife's family home in Zhanjiang on Wednesday afternoon, the Nanfang Daily reports. The blast happened around 2pm at a village in Potou district. Police said the man, in his 50s, confessed to targeting the family. His ex-wife was killed and he was among the injured.

City tour draws 10,000

Guangzhou's new sight-seeing bus route has attracted more than 10,000 customers since it began operating on Saturday, the Guangzhou Daily reports. The 11.7-kilometre trip costs 3 yuan and passes popular sights along the Pearl River. Six yellow double-deckers ply the route.


Robots serve diners

A restaurant that opened on Wednesday in Harbin where customers are served by 20 robot waiters has proved to be quite a draw, Xinhua reports. Each robotic waiter cost about 200,000 yuan and can carry dishes to customers, as well as cook dumplings.

Help for cancer sufferers

The provincial government has started providing funds to women in rural areas who are suffering from uterine or breast cancer so they can seek better medical help, the Heilongjiang Daily reports. A total of 17 women were each given 10,000 yuan this month.


At least 3 die in ferry crash

At least three people drowned and five others went missing in the Yangtze River after a ferry crashed into a cargo ship and sank on Tuesday near Jianli county, Jingzhou , the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The accident occurred at 3.15pm as the ferry was crossing to Yunxi district, Yueyang . All 14 people aboard the ferry fell into the water and rescuers were able to save only six. A search was under way for the five missing. The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Lai see 'a burden'

About 30 per cent of Wuhan residents received more than 3,000 yuan in "red packet" money from friends and relatives for the Lunar New Year holiday, according to an online survey, the Changjiang Daily reports. Many said the tradition of exchanging cash gifts had become a heavy burden.


Museum offers free entry

Visitors to the Jiangning Weaving Museum in Nanjing will be given free admission until February 27, during its soft opening, reports. The museum, which shows how weaving has evolved over the centuries, has more than 500 items on display, such as ornate robes embroidered with dragons and snakes, as well as rare cloth materials. More than 40,000 people, mostly the elderly, have visited the museum each day since the soft opening began last Friday.

Fatal expressway pile-up

A woman was killed and her husband injured in a five-car pile-up on an expressway in Wuxi on Wednesday morning, reports. The crash between two cars that triggered the pile-up occurred around 10.35am on the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway. Traffic flow returned to normal around noon. The cause of the accident was being investigated.


Babies switched at airport

Two parents accidentally picked up the wrong baby at Pudong International Airport on Monday morning when they were distracted by phone calls while waiting to pass through immigration, the Xinmin Evening News reports. The switch was discovered when an immigration officer noticed that one of the infants in a carrier did not resemble the photograph on identification he was checking.

Night buses deployed

A total of 28 temporary night-bus routes were put into operation yesterday at Shanghai's three railway stations and two airports to meet demand from holiday travellers arriving in the city, reports. The routes will be in service for most of this month.


14 million aged over 60

More than 17 per cent of the province's 80 million people, or about 14 million residents, are aged over 60, the Sichuan Daily reports. The report said Sichuan , one of the nation's most populated provinces, suffers from a lack of resources and public services for the elderly.

Wine theme park planned

The Qionglai government plans to spend 1.05 billion yuan building a 167-hectare wine-themed park in Wolongji township, the Chengdu Daily reports. The park is expected to be completed by 2015 and will showcase various liquors, the processes for making them and the history of the industry.


Strips to detect bad food

Consumers wary of contaminated food may be interested in paper testing strips being created at the Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Xinhua reports. Researchers say the strips change colour when they come into contact with more than 60 types of chemicals in food samples. Some substances can be detected in minutes. The report said the paper strips will be made available to the public soon, without specifying a date.

Rise in farmers' earnings

The average annual income of farmers living in the Tanggu area of Tianjin increased to 14,465 yuan last year, or 13 per cent more than in 2011, the Bohai Morning Post reports. The increase came as the area is being developed as part of the burgeoning Binhai New Area, a special economic zone created in 2009.


Blaze hits shopping street

A total of 23 small shops were damaged or destroyed by a fire in Jinhua city early on Wednesday morning, reports. The blaze started at one of the stores around 12.45am and spread along Fufeng Street. About 600 square metres of shop space was burned. The fire was brought under control after about two hours.

Cadres vow to assist poor

More than 10,000 party cadres in Haining have signed an agreement with 3,700 poor families, vowing to provide them with help when they are in need, the Qianjiang Daily reports. As part of the aid campaign, launched by local authorities, officials are to regularly visit poor families and offer services such as helping them find work or get to hospital.