China Digest, March 7, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 4:43am

CHONGQING

More rain forecast

An average of just 38.2mm of rain has fallen across all districts in the municipality since December, with only about 25mm seen in districts such as Dazu and Wanzhou, China news.com reports. However, meteorologists expect the drought conditions to improve over the next two months, with 10 to 20 per cent more rain during that period than the average in past years.

'Rural' eggs are fake

An experienced worker from a chicken farm says many of the highly sought after "rural" eggs, sold in supermarkets for about twice as much as ordinary eggs, are counterfeits and have had their yolk colour altered, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. The eggs are believed be more nutritional, with fewer foreign elements. So-called rural eggs are from free-range chickens, while most eggs come from battery farms.

GUANGDONG

Teacher warned over baby

A middle school in Huaiji county, Zhaoping , has reprimanded, but not dismissed, a 29-year-old teacher who fathered a boy delivered last month by his 16-year-old former student, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. The girl was the man's student last year. Her elder brother said the family did not notify police or the local education bureau, but had asked him to pay all medical expenses related to the birth. The school's headmaster said the teacher was willing to marry the girl.

Payout for jail time

A man has received a 54,000 yuan (HK$633,700) payout for being wrongly jailed for 244 days, the Guangzhou Daily reports, citing prosecutors in Huangpu district, Guangzhou, this week. The man was detained in September 2009 for allegedly stealing a cellphone and purse, but he was released eight months later. Prosecutors said there was no evidence to support the theft charge.

HENAN

3 children drown in pond

Three siblings - two girls, aged nine and seven, and their six-year-old brother - drowned in a 1.5 metre deep pond about 200 metres from their home in Weibin district, Xinxiang , on Monday, the Dahe News reports. They never arrived home from primary school that evening, and relatives found the bodies in the pond. The parents, migrant workers in Shanghai, returned to Xinxiang after receiving the news.

Man held over use of van

A man who borrowed an official vehicle from his cousin, and then lied to police about his job, has been detained for 10 days in Zhengzhou , the Henan Business Daily reports. Police stopped the 12-seat Mercedes Benz minibus, belonging to the provincial Land Resources Department, on Tuesday. The man's licence permitted him to drive vehicles with fewer than nine seats, but the minibus seated 12. The man was ordered detained for 10 days. A spokesman said the department did not know non-government employees were using public vehicles.

JILIN

I'm not dead just yet

A 76-year-old man in Shulan had a rude awakening on Monday when he found himself locked inside a coffin with no idea of how he got there, the City Evening News reports. His family thought he was dead after he passed out two days earlier, and they were preparing to bury him. He shouted until someone at the funeral home freed him, and then he called his family. They gave him hot sweetened water and took him to hospital.

Firms' revenue up 41pc

Private businesses in Gongzhuling raked in 50.1 billion yuan in total revenue last year - a year-on-year increase of 41.4 per cent and about five times as much as in 2005, Xinhuanet.com reports. The increase was due to the city's efforts to bolster the private business sector in recent years, the report said. The number of private firms also rose from 10,200 to 45,400 over the seven-year period, and taxes collected from them more than quadrupled, from 217 million to 949 million yuan.

QINGHAI

Funding for rural doctors

The provincial government has allocated 2 million yuan a year since 2011 to train rural doctors, the Qinghai Daily reports. More standardised equipment is also in use in rural clinics.

5.28b yuan for highways

Some 5.28 billion yuan will be spent on highway projects this year, with 4.98 billion yuan to fund the extension of existing highways and 300 million yuan to build new ones, the Xining Evening News reports, citing provincial transport officials. Two new highways will be built through Yushu prefecture, which was devastated by an earthquake in April 2010.

TIBET

11,000 jobs for graduates

Government departments across the autonomous region will offer 11,000 positions to university graduates this year, Chinatibetnews.com reports, citing the region's human resources and social security authorities. Although the employment rate among university graduates in most parts of the country remains low, 98 per cent of the 17,000 graduates in Tibet last year found positions. The region's authorities paid about 13 million yuan in subsidies to businesses that hired graduates last year, as part of efforts to expand the job market for educated young people. Additionally, more than 1,300 Tibetan graduates found jobs outside of the region.

Tibetans 'are happier'

The autonomous region has topped a "happiness index" ranking all mainland provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, as voted on by about 10 million internet users on QQ.com Tibet.cn reports. The voting started in mid-February and ended last week. Tibetans were most content in terms of clean air, good social security and low property prices. Ningxia came second, while Shanghai, Guangdong and Beijing were the least-happy places.

XINJIANG

Vehicles trapped in hole

Firefighters arrived at the scene of a land subsidence on Tuesday morning and found that it was still occurring, with three cars and their passengers stuck inside a two-metre-deep hole, Chinanews.com reports. The incident occurred in Emin county, under Tacheng prefecture. Officials blocked traffic on the road and blamed the subsidence on melting snow. The width of the hole was not provided.

Ancient tombs significant

A heritage site and ancient tombs discovered last year near a mountain about 41 kilometres from downtown Wenquan county marked the first traces of human activity in Xinjiang dating back at least 4,000 years, during the Bronze Age, China news.com reports. The region's cultural heritage bureau said the site was believed to be used for important rituals.

ZHEJIANG

Jail for illegal ultrasounds

Two unlicensed doctors recently received jail sentences of up to three years and 10 months for performing ultrasound examinations to illegally determine the sex of fetuses in Wenzhou , from 2010 to the middle of last year, Chinanews.com reports. Their records also showed they helped 15 women terminate pregnancies. Four assistants were also jailed for up to two years.

710m yuan budget set

The provincial finance department has budgeted 710 million yuan to be spent by provincial-level departments this year on the "three public expenditures", referring to cars, banquets and foreign travel, Zjol.com.cn reports. The total is 3.7 per cent less than last year, amid government efforts to rein in frivolous spending. Some 350 million yuan will be spent on cars and 240 million yuan will fund receptions.