China Digest, February 28, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 5:01am

BEIJING

Trash stuck in frozen moat

Rubbish has become frozen in the moat around the Forbidden City, and it will remain there until the ice thaws, The Beijing News reports. Tourists have been accused of turning the moat into a refuse dump, tossing in instant-noodle boxes, corn cobs and plastic bags. The ice makes it difficult for cleaners to retrieve trapped rubbish.

Ban on selling food online

A ban will be placed on selling bulk food and dairy products via the internet, television or mail, including baby formula and milk powder, starting April 1, unless retailers receive special permission from the municipal industry and commerce bureau, the Beijing Youth Daily reports. The order came after the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it would start inspecting Beijing-based online retailers of those products.

FUJIAN

1 dead after ships collide

At least one person died when two cargo ships collided and sank on the Min River in Fuzhou at around 4am yesterday, Xinhua reports. By the afternoon, eight people had been rescued, but rescuers were still trying to confirm how many people were aboard. The cause of the accident was unclear.

High-rise robber arrested

A 29-year-old man has been arrested in Xiamen on suspicion of stealing from more than 65 apartments by scaling residential buildings by hand and entering the apartments through windows, the Haixi Morning Post reports. Police said the man once climbed more than 70 metres to reach an apartment on a building's 20th floor.

GUANGDONG

HK doctor's clinic warned

Shenzhen's first clinic run by a Hong Kong doctor may be shut down by authorities if it doesn't make improvements by March 31, The Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The clinic, in Luohu district, was warned for employing unlicensed staff. The chief doctor, Ng Wai, practices traditional Chinese medicine and was the first doctor from Hong Kong to obtain a licence to operate in Guangdong. The clinic opened in December 2010.

Man admits killing girl

A 30-year-old man has confessed in a Shenzhen court to kidnapping and killing a five-year-old girl in October, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. No verdict had been reached, but the man admitted to holding the girl and demanding a 200,000-yuan (HK$247,000) ransom. He said her death was an accident.

HUBEI

Man takes 9 HIV tests

A 24-year-old man in Wuhan has taken nine HIV tests since having a one-night stand in October, the Wuhan Evening News reports. Doctors told the man to trust the test results, but he said he would be tested again soon.

Finger-biting suspect held

Wuhan police have arrested a disturbed 30-year-old man suspected of biting off the fingers of a seven-year-old boy and an elderly man in Wuchang district last week, Cnhubei.com reports. The attacks happened on separate days. Police discovered that the man violently attacked his parents earlier this month, and his mother said he bit off one of his own fingers and toes in June 2010.

SHAANXI

Maid cemetery unearthed

Archaeologists in Xian have uncovered a public cemetery from the Tang dynasty (618-907) that was used to bury palace maids, Xinhua reports. About a dozen tombs are expected to help researchers learn more about the political system, funeral customs and the lives of palace servants.

Ex-dean jailed for bribery

A former dean of a people's hospital in Qianyang county, Baoji , has been sentenced to six years in jail for taking more than 270,000 yuan in bribes between 2009 and last year, the Huashang Daily reports. The man, who was also the deputy director of the county's health bureau, took the money in exchange for buying various medical and heating supplies.

SHANGHAI

Woman charged in scam

A top saleswoman with the Shanghai branch of Ping An Insurance (Group) appeared in court on Tuesday charged with swindling more than 13.88 million yuan from over 20 clients, the Oriental Morning Post reports. Prosecutors said she created a short-term financing option with high interest rates in July 2011 and lured clients to transfer money to her account. The woman's lawyer said her company did not properly supervise employees.

Jail for stealing Windows

Three men have been sentenced in Pudong district to up to three years in jail for stealing 379 certificates of authenticity for Microsoft Windows operating systems, valued at 146,540 yuan, the Legal Daily reports. They stole the labels from a local company in November.

TIBET

Shuttle buses for students

Transport authorities in Lhasa launched a campaign last week to ensure shuttle bus services are available to students of boarding schools in Duilongdeqing and Dazi counties, Chinatibetnews.com reports. More than 3,2000 students were transported last week to the schools from the villages where they live. The buses will run once a month.

Thangka painting delay

Authorities say 45 large Thangka paintings have been completed, out of 100 that Tibetan painters were commissioned to do in honour of the 60th anniversary, in 2011, of Tibet's incorporation into the country, Chinatibetnews.com reports. Thangkas are large, colourful paintings on silk with embroidery, usually with Buddhist themes.

YUNNAN

Rise in drug trafficking

Border police made 2,400 busts related to drug trafficking last year, seizing 4.95 tonnes of drugs and narcotics, or 40 per cent more than in 2011, China News Service reports. Traffickers have many smuggling routes out of the province, including by road, ferry, air and mail.

Crops hit by drought

A new estimate of farmland affected by persistent drought in Kunming over the past four years puts the total at 76,000 hectares, or about 60 per cent of cropland within the city limits, the Kunming Daily reports. Starting tomorrow, water supplies will be guaranteed only from 4pm to 8pm each day.

ZHEJIANG

Youths broke into cars

Four youths, aged between 12 and 17, were caught by police in Wenzhou after breaking into and damaging more than 100 vehicles since March, including more than 20 Porsche Boxsters, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. The suspects, children of migrant workers, told police they targeted luxurious cars because they usually contained expensive items.

Caught doing homework

Nine civil servants in an undisclosed provincial government department have been suspended after doing a homework assignment for their boss' 12-year-old daughter, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. They spent three days on the assignment in the girl's hometown, and claimed expenses.