Teacher jailed for abuse
A 50-year-old elementary school teacher has been sentenced in Chaoyang district to three years in jail for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in his office in April, The Beijing News reports. The victim's mother said the girl was still too traumatised to go to school, even though she transferred to a new one.
Fireworks spark blaze
Three upper floors of a residential building were evacuated on Wednesday because of a fire that started when a shop owner on the ground floor was setting off fireworks around 11am, The Beijing News reports. One of the fireworks ignited an air conditioner on the balcony of an apartment. Floors 19 to 21 were cleared because of smoke. No one was injured, and the shop owner was detained.
Boost to public green fleet
Shenzhen will add at least 1,700 electric buses and taxis to its public transport fleet this year in a bid to reduce pollution and promote the use of clean-energy alternatives, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reports. There are more than 5,100 such vehicles on Shenzhen roads.
2,400 arrested for graft
More than 2,400 government officials were arrested in the province last year on suspicion of being involved in graft or abuse of power, resulting in economic losses of at least 540 million yuan (HK$666 million), the Nanfang Daily reports. Those arrested included 196 high-ranking officials - 17 bureau heads and 179 department heads.
Three die in fog crashes
Three people died and about 70 were injured in six accidents involving 27 vehicles on a fog-covered part of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway in Luohe city on Wednesday morning, the Henan Business Daily reports. The accidents involved many vehicles, including large trucks, and occurred over two hours, from 7.20am. Visibility was reduced to about 20 metres.
River rescue team set up
Sixteen local fishermen set up a volunteer rescue team on Wednesday in Zhongmou county, Zhengzhou , after seven people drowned last year in a section of the Yellow River, the Dahe Daily reports. The fishermen, aged 22 to 52, said they could reach the dangerous section of the river within 10 minutes.
New irrigation technology
Scientists in Wuhan have unveiled new technology to help farmers cope with droughts by conserving about half of the water normally used, the Hubei Daily reports. The team of irrigation experts from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology said the key was to place a water tap near plant roots, where it could sense the water level and release more if necessary. The team completed field tests in several dry areas, including Xinjiang , Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Guangxi , since 2007.
'Suicide' caught on film
An apparent suicide was captured on camera on Wednesday afternoon, when a tourist was photographing the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge and a man jumped off, about 10 seconds after a woman jumped, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reports. Neither body had been recovered. The picture showed a man photographing a woman in the foreground, with the jumper seen falling in the background.
Cancer-causing chemicals have been found in several homework exercises notebooks sold in Nanjing , the Yangtse Evening Post reports. Eight types of notebooks were randomly sampled, and all were found to contain carcinogenic fluorescent agents. Manufacturers reportedly add the agents to improve the paper's appearance and to cut costs.
Hairball in girl's stomach
A hard solid mass of hair was recently found in the stomach of a 10-year-old girl in Nanjing, after she had been chewing on her hair since she was three, the Zhejiang Television station reports. The undigested hair formed a rock-like concretion measuring 3cm in diameter.
Police have arrested a man in Songjiang district for pretending to be an interested tenant and robbing a landlord while signing a rental agreement last month, the Shanghai Youth Daily reports. The man allegedly pulled out a knife and extorted money from the woman as they were about to sign the contract. The woman was then tied up and valuables worth about 7,000 yuan were stolen. Police said similar robberies had been on the rise and advised residents to be wary.
Unsavoury dinner served
A patron at a popular hotpot restaurant posted a picture online showing what she said was a pork bone with bite marks. She also accused the restaurant of serving another customer's leftovers, the Oriental Morning Post reports. The restaurant chain denied the accusation and said it reserved the right to sue the customer for slander.
Man held over blast
Police have arrested a 45-year-old man in connection with an explosion that killed three people and injured four others at a home in Fenyang city on Wednesday evening, China News Service reports. The man illegally kept detonators at the home and one of them went off.
Bonus for centenarians
Jincheng authorities will offer local centenarians a monthly living subsidy of 3,600 yuan this year - a 50 per cent increase from last year, the Sanjin City News reports. The local government is trying to make the city as welcoming to senior citizens as possible.
2,000 help fight fire
More than 2,000 people responded to help fight a forest fire that started early yesterday morning in Yiliang county, Kunming, Xinhua reports. Officials said the group included more than 500 residents, and hundreds of police and security officers. The fire persisted into at least the afternoon. The cause is under investigation.
30b yuan drought relief
Provincial authorities have vowed to spend at least 30 billion yuan this year on drought-relief measures, Yunnan.cn  reports. The plan calls for more than 600,000 underground rainwater-collecting vats to be built, which will benefit 2.5 million rural villagers. Persistent drought in the past four years has affected more than 340,000 hectares of cropland in the province.
Return of The Voice
A second season of The Voice of China - the hottest programme on the mainland last year and the Chinese version of a globally franchised talent show that originated in Holland - will begin airing on Zhejiang Satellite Television in August, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. Last year, the show drew more than 120 million TV viewers in China, and 400 million internet users.
Fast rail trial to start soon
A 150-kilometre high-speed rail link between two provincial hubs, Hangzhou and Ningbo , will start in July and cut travel time between the cities to 40 minutes, Xinhua reports. Trials begin this month.