China Digest, March 5, 2013
Microblog saves the day
A woman in Changping district was cleared by police of wrongdoing after an elderly man she tried to help on the side of the road claimed she had knocked him down with her car on Saturday morning, the Beijing News reports. The woman said she sat and talked with the fallen man until police arrived, but then he turned on her and said she hit him. She appealed for eyewitnesses via her microblog, which was reposted more than 10,000 times on Saturday and Sunday. A police investigation then confirmed her story.
Forced out for cruelty
A family in Pinggu district was forced to move out of a village on Saturday on the orders of the local village committee because fellow villagers were furious at the man and his wife for allegedly neglecting and abusing the man's parents, who lived with them until they committed suicide on Wednesday, the Beijing News reports. Villagers said the elderly couple often quarrelled with their son, who was believed to have beaten them and withheld food. The elderly woman told her sister that she didn't want to live if no one wanted to care for them.
Property sales down
Property trading volume in Guangzhou dropped 44 per cent last month compared with January, but the average price of 13,758 yuan per square metre remained almost unchanged, the real estate channel of news portal 163.com reports. The average price in February was up 21.5 per cent year on year.
Bike spill leads to killing
A man went on trial in Shaoguan on Thursday for allegedly killing another man in August by punching him in the head and knocking him down, the Nanfang Daily reports. Prosecutors said the incident occurred when the suspect was riding a bicycle and was knocked down by a motorcycle rider. The two couldn't agree on compensation, so the suspect allegedly punched the motorcycle rider, who suffered brain damage and died.
Green power, cleaner air
The province is bolstering the development of its clean-energy-production sector this year, according to the Hubei Electric Power Company, which said the decision was made against a backdrop of heavy haze that has shrouded the region since late last year, the Changjiang Times reports. About 20 power plants that generate power via biological sources, such as plants or compost, have sold electricity to the company this year.
Fake ticket scam
A couple in Wuhan was recently detained for forging and selling counterfeit train tickets, which brought them about 200,000 yuan over the past four years, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reports. The fake tickets were sold for about 15 yuan each to business people who turned them in to their companies for reimbursement. The husband and wife, in their early forties, found customers by advertising their illegal business venture online.
The autonomous region is expected to experience about six to nine days of sandstorms this year - slightly fewer than the average in recent years, according to local meteorologists, Northnews.cn reports. About three-quarters of all sandstorms in the region occur between March and May annually.
More beds for elderly
Civil affairs authorities in the region said 8,300 beds will be added to nursing homes for the elderly this year, and additional facilities will be added in cities and rural areas to ensure that senior citizens receive proper care, Northnews.cn reports.
Provincial agricultural authorities will begin a month-long inspection campaign targeting animal-care facilities in mid-March, after a spate of incidents in which pet dogs died during or after receiving treatment and other services at such institutions, reports Chinanews.com Inspectors will check the licences of centres, examine other certifications and ensure that staff are working in line with national regulations.
Teens with knives rob kids
Police caught five teenagers in Fuzhou on Friday, two days after they allegedly used knives to rob other children at internet bars, the New Legal News reports. Three of the boys were between 14 and 15, and the other two were younger. They had dropped out of school and were staying together in a hotel. They told police they stole to make money. The report made no mention of their parents.
Corpse theft for weddings
Four people in Yanan have been sentenced to up to two years and eight months in jail for stealing the bodies of women from their graves, cleaning the corpses and selling them to families in rural areas of Shaanxi and Shanxi so that weddings could be carried out between the women's bodies and the bodies of deceased males, the Xian Evening News reports. Posthumous weddings are a tradition in some parts of the regions. The four defendants earned 240,000 yuan by stealing and selling 10 bodies between 2011 and last year.
Scammed man tells all
A migrant worker in Xian told his story of being defrauded in hopes of preventing others from suffering similar losses, the Xian Evening News reports. He saw an advert on a downtown wall last year saying that a woman, whose rich husband was infertile, was looking for a man to get her pregnant. She offered 300,000 yuan for the job but first requested 7,800 yuan for notary fees and other alleged expenses. After the man transferred the money, he never heard from the woman again.
Drowned boys found
The bodies of an 11-year-old boy and his 14-year-old cousin were found in a river in Linqing on Saturday, more than a week after their parents reported them missing, the Qilu Evening News reports. Police said the boys drowned, and foul play was not suspected.
Water quality monitoring
Qingdao will soon launch an investigation into the quality of its underground water, following recent reports that groundwater in the neighbouring city of Weifang had been seriously polluted by industrial waste, the Qingdao Daily reports. Qingdao authorities said they would increase spending on infrastructure and staff to monitor underground water.
Three deaths over pigs
Police are searching for a 35-year-old Hubei native who is believed to have killed three people and injured another in Shanghai's Fengxian district on Sunday, the Oriental Morning Post reports. Police said the knife attack resulted from a dispute over the price of pigs raised by the man. Three of the victims went to the suspect's home to buy the pigs. The other victim was a relative of one of the workers.
Improved consumer rights
The municipal legislative body plans to amend regulations this year to better protect consumers' rights, the Xinmin Evening News reports. The municipal consumer rights protection committee said consumer complaints increased from about 30,000 in 2002 to 100,000 last year. Most complaints involved cars, various types of pre-paid cards and goods bought online.