China Digest, February 20, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 5:12am


Lily danger for cats

Guangzhou scientists have warned cat lovers that various lilies can kill their pets, the Guangzhou Daily reports. Certain species such as Lilium longiflorum, sometimes called the Easter or November lily, as well as daylilies, are known to be toxic to felines. Public concern grew after an internet user posted an item online saying his cat had died two days after licking a lily. Lilies are popular indoor decorations during the Spring Festival.

Speed boast backfires

A woman transport police officer in Shenzhen was fined 2,000 yuan (HK$2,465) and had six points deducted from her driver's licence for speeding, reports. The woman attracted public attention on Saturday after she posted a photo online of her car's speedometer showing it was travelling at 138km/h. Some internet users captioned the photo and forwarded it to the Shenzhen police microblog.


Landslide buries five

Five people, including two children, were buried in a landslide in Kaili on Monday, Xinhua reports. The landslide buried several sheds and dormitories at a coal mine in Longchang township. More than 70 villagers were evacuated.

Overloaded buses found

A coach driver abandoned his vehicle and fled on a highway in Bijie yesterday after police found the vehicle was severely overloaded, Guizhou Metropolis Daily reports. The 28-seat coach was carrying 49 people. Police checked another 28-seat coach a few minutes later and found that it too had 48 passengers.


Deadly supermarket blaze

One employee died and six others were injured in a fire in a supermarket in Qianxi county on Monday, Xinhua reports. They were in the store when the fire started before opening time. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 12.30pm. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Big turnout, small wages

More than 90,000 young people competed for 40,000 jobs at a careers fair in Shijiazhuang , the Hebei Daily reports. Most jobseekers were university graduates looking their first job. Organisers said the turnout was higher than expected even though many jobs were offering graduates salaries of just 2,000 to 3,000 yuan a month.


Plane turns back

China Southern Airlines confirmed one of its flights made an emergency landing on Monday morning after an engine cover fell off during a flight from Harbin to Guangzhou, the Beijing Youth Daily reports. No one was injured. Crew noticed that part of the cowling on the left engine of the Airbus 320 was missing shortly after it took off and returned to Harbin.

Jobless swindler arrested

A 29-year-old jobless man has been detained in Qiqihar for swindling 4.5 million yuan from three local businessmen by pretending to be closely connected to the city's mayor, the news portal reports. The suspect said his uncle was the mayor's personal assistant and could approve government-related projects. He asked the businessmen for kickbacks in return for referrals.


Cadre's nephew took rap

A government official in Zhenan county has been detained for running over and killing a four-year-old boy after he had been drinking and then getting his nephew to take the blame, the Sanqin Daily reports. Zhang Yihua , party secretary of the county's poverty relief office, hit the child at high speed on February 7. Zhang's nephew, who was in the car at the time, told police he was responsible. But a five-day investigation proved the official was to blame.

Gambler embezzled funds

A director of Jianhua township's financial bureau has been arrested for embezzling 2 million yuan of public funds between 2007 and last year, the news portal reports. The man said that he had misappropriated public money more than 20 times to pay for his gambling habit.


Fine over escalator crush

The Jiading District People's Court ordered Shanghai's Metro operator to pay 40,000 yuan in compensation to a passenger who was hurt when other people fell on him while riding an escalator in June 2011, the Shanghai Evening News reports. The man fractured seven ribs when passengers in front fell on him on an escalator at the Nanxiang station on Line 11. Metro officials said the escalator had not malfunctioned and blamed a drunken passenger, who they said had fallen and triggered a domino effect that sent seven to eight people tumbling down the escalator.

Schools go back to basics

The city's Education Commission has ordered all primary schools in the city to teach first-graders their ABCs, 123s and strokes of Chinese characters from the very beginning, the Shanghai Evening News reports. Many primary schools have not bothered teaching the basics to new students because many parents make their children study Chinese and English before they enter primary school.


Six trapped in illegal mine

Six men have been trapped underground after an illegal coal mine flooded in Yangquan yesterday, reports. The accident happened at about 4am when 12 miners were carrying out the illegal excavation. Six escaped but the others were trapped. Rescue efforts and an investigation are under way. Nearby residents had told local authorities that the miners had illegally dug a pit in a small room of a house but their tip-off went unheeded.

Fake monks busted

Two temples on Mount Wutai, one of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, have been shut down and six people who operated them arrested for deceiving tourists, Xinhua reports. Two illegal temples - Foguozhongxin and the Temple for the God of Wealth - were exposed by mainland media on Thursday for hiring fake monks to trick tourists into donating money, buying expensive incense and paying excessive amounts for ceremonies. Added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 2009, Mount Wutai is home to about 50 Buddhist temples built between the 1st century AD and the early 20th century.


Moderate quake on border

Two people were injured when a 4.9-magnitude quake jolted part of the seismically active border of Sichuan and Yunnan yesterday morning, Xinhua reports. The quake was felt strongly in Qiaojia county, Yunnan, with the local government saying it toppled some houses. The China Earthquake Networks Centre said the quake occurred at a depth of 6 kilometres and was centred at 27.1 degrees north and 103 degrees east.

Lijiang drug ring busted

Police in Lijiang have arrested 13 people for drug trafficking and confiscated more than 34kg of drugs in the largest case of its kind in the city, the news portal reports. Police had been investigating the drug trafficking ring since December, and discovered that it bought drugs across international borders and transported them to Xichang and Chengdu , capital of Sichuan, via Baoshan and Dali in Yunnan.