Showing posts from August, 2011

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Man axed relative to death after job quarrel

A man in Minhang District has been arrested after he confessed to killing his distant relative with an axe over a job, prosecutors said today. The 58-year-old suspect, Xu Zhengjiu, came to Shanghai from Anhui Province last October and worked as a cleaner and gate guard with Zhang Quan, a distant relative of his in Pujiang Town. Since Xu and Zhang were doing the same kind of job, the two often quarreled. Police said they had a fall-out at their company on August 9 and Xu was injured. His oldest son tried to persuade him to quit the job but Xu didn't listen and maintained that Zhang should quit. On August 12, Xu finally snapped after his son said he was "stupider than pig." Enraged by the taunt, Xu turned all his hatred on Zhang. He went to the company at about 2am the next day, armed with an axe, while Zhang was sleeping in the guard room. Xu climbed over the wall, entered the room and struck heavy blows to Zhang's head until he was sure that Zhang was dead. After t…

Teenager jumps to death ahead of school year

A schoolgirl jumped to her death from a residential high-rise building in Pudong New Area early this morning, one day before the new school year starts. The student, 15, jumped from the top of an 18-story apartment building on Zhangyang Road about 7:50am today. The girl, whose name has not been released yet, was a Grade 9 student at Jincai North Middle School. Students of the school were required to fetch their new textbooks today. She was wearing a school uniform when she jumped and left her schoolbag and cell phone on top of the building, security guards said. An ambulance rushed to the scene immediately but found her dead on arrival. The girl was a resident of a neighboring community and went into the building alone according to the surveillance camera record. Her death was still under investigation, police said.

Sex-ed book for early grades

THE first sex education textbook for pupils in grades one and two will be introduced to local classrooms this semester. Compared with the Beijing sex education textbook that has sparked controversy, the Shanghai version is more implicit as it has replaced illustrations depicting intercourse with cartoon pictures of tadpoles. However, many parents still worried that it's too early to teach sex information to children under the age of 10 and complained that the book is too revealing. In one chapter called "Where do I come from?" it introduces names of private parts and explains fertilization with colorful illustrations. "Kindergarten children have a vague idea about gender difference," said Xu Dianfang, an official with the Shanghai Education Commission. "Local primary schools are required to launch gender education among grade one and grade two students." But the commission didn't specify any one textbook or detail the content that should be tau…

Picture perfect dress

A visitor snaps a picture of a unique concept dress at Shanghai's Xintiandi yesterday. A creative exhibition displaying artworks of domestic designers attracted scores of visitors and acted as a curtain raiser for Shanghai shopping and tourism festivals.

Regulator revokes Juneyao pilot's license

CHINA'S civil aviation regulator has revoked the license of the Korean pilot of Juneyao Airlines who refused to give way to a Qatar Airways plane that was running out of fuel as both planes waited to land at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport. The Korean pilot is banned from flying an airplane as a crewmember in China for life. The license of the co-pilot will be suspended for six months, according to the penalty handed down by the East China Regional Administration under the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Xinhua news agency reported today. The CAAC said the crew of Juneyao flight HO1112 seriously violated regulations and ethics codes. Juneyao Airlines' request to expand its business, set up branch offices and rent or purchase aircraft temporarily will be denied by the administration. It will cut its capacity by 10 percent for three months. The pilot of Qatari flight QR888 sent a Mayday signal and asked to land first as its fuel would soon be used up on Aug…

Knife attack at daycare center injures 8 toddlers

TODDLER Gao Tiantian hid herself behind the stuffed toy she had held onto throughout her surgery as she lay in her hospital bed, moaning from the pain of a deep knife wound to her right cheek. "It's her. Ms Lu," she said. "She came with a sharp thing in her hands, and she cut me in the face." The four-year-old was one of eight toddlers, all aged four or five, who were injured when a female worker at a privately owned daycare center in suburban Shanghai attacked them with a craft knife at lunchtime yesterday. The 39-year-old woman, whose name has not been released by police, was said to have aimed at the necks of the toddlers when she attacked them. All the toddlers were cut on the face or neck. The motive for the attacks was unclear. A four-year-old boy surnamed You was still in a coma in the intensive care unit after he suffered an 8-centimeter-deep cut to his neck, causing heavy bleeding, said doctors at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University. &q…

City installs disaster alert system in sea

SHANGHAI is installing a 20-kilometer sea floor observation system in the East China Sea to sound early earthquake warnings. The system would also be able to detect typhoons, tsunamis and monitor the marine environment and biological safety, local scientists told a seminar for academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering in the city. The installation will take two years and when completed will send out earthquake warnings 60 seconds in advance. A 1.1-kilometer pilot network, which has started operation, is already sending information back to a laboratory every five seconds. Local scientists said the nation is planning a 400-kilometer long-term sea floor observatory network with a total investment of 1.38 billion yuan starting this year. "The deep sea part of the national network will be located at the South China Sea, while the city's network will be included into its offshore part," said Jian Zhimin from Tongji University. Also at the seminar, scientists announced tha…

Daycare employee attacks toddlers with knife

A staff member at a suburban daycare center in Shanghai attacked eight toddlers with an art knife around noon today. The employee, who is suspected of suffering from mental problems, was arrested by the police. Four of the children are receiving surgery - one serious, while the other three are in a stable condition. A Shanghai Daily journalist has been dispatched to the daycare center on Zhujian Road in Minhang District to bring you more details.

3 tour ships banned from river

THREE tourism ships have been suspended from operation along the city's Huangpu River for safety reasons, the local river vessel watchdog said yesterday. "They will not be allowed to operate again until the safety hazards are removed," said Chen Xiuping, the head of city maritime safety administration. The suspended ships were found lacking escape signs and, more ominously, surpassing the original designed waterline when fully loaded, said maritime officials. Other safety problems included drivers unfamiliar not only with equipment but also with potential navigation issues or obstacles in the river. Oversize advertisement boards on the ships were also noted. The potential dangers were found in recent inspections on all tourism ships in service on the river. Officials ordered the checks after two high-profile transport accidents in July - the sinking of a tour ship in Russia in which more than 120 people were killed and the Wenzhou train collision that killed 40, said Che…

Recovery from bus crash

Two children receive treatment at a hospital after the tour bus they rode collided with a fully loaded truck and then crashed into a motor tricycle in Shanghai's Fengxian District yesterday. Two people on the tricycle were killed and 29 people, including the bus passengers and the truck driver, were injured. Police said the accident happened about 6:30am when the bus left the road after hitting a truck carrying a full load of sand and stones at Haiwan Road and Haisi Road. The bus rolled over to one side and struck the unlicensed tricycle that happened to pass by, killing its two riders. Two people were in critical condition, including a pregnant woman.

Gun hobbyist faces charges for illegal possession of firearms

A gun enthusiast has been charged with the crime of illegal possession of firearms after his midnight shooting practice scared the neighbors, Huangpu District prosecutors said yesterday. The 22-year-old suspect, Liu Xiaochuan, told the prosecutors that he shot from his room to the sky and other open space for practice on May 9, using an imitation gun. Police said Liu's glass bullets hit a neighbor's apartment on Tangfang Road, leaving two holes in the window. "This was not the first time that I heard gun shots at night," said a resident surnamed Chen, who reported to police after finding two bullet holes in his kitchen. Police said imitation guns are able to hurt people and cause injuries. Liu, a military enthusiast, bought five imitation guns from an online seller in March with 4,000 yuan (US$626). They were two sniper rifles and were assault rifles.

City gears up vegetable supply to bring down prices

SHANGHAI officials said today that they have taken measures to control rising prices of green vegetables while local farmers have geared up vegetable production to ensure sufficient supply during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. The wholesale price of newly harvested vegetables averaged 7 yuan (US$1.1) per kilogram today, a hike of more than 50 percent from two weeks ago. To lower the prices, local farmers have planted more fast-growing vegetables to ensure a stable supply during the festival which falls on September 12 this year. The traditional Chinese holiday is a time for family reunion. The officials said local vegetable wholesale markets are also ordering vegetables from other provinces to ease the holiday demand. The Jiangqiao Vegetable Wholesale Market on Cao'an Road, Putuo District recently waived entry fees normally charged on vegetable suppliers from the provinces. The new police increased its trade volume to 6,600 tons a day, 2,000 tons more than in the same period of…

Runaway cargo ship strikes barge, 1 killed

A runaway 13,000-ton cargo ship bumped into a sand barge at a Pudong New Area harbor this morning, killing a crew member and sinking the smaller vessel. The cargo ship from Nanjing, in east China's Jiangsu Province, was out of control and crashed into the stationary barge at the Dongjiadu Harbor along the Huangpu River at 9am, reported. The far smaller barge sank immediately, while a 60-year-old female on the barge was bumped into the river and was later found dead, the report said. The barge had been salvaged and the two ships were presently held at the harbor, an official surnamed Gao at a nearby ferry port told Shanghai Daily. Local maritime and police authorities are dealing with the accident on the scene, which is near the former World Expo 2010 site.

Guide dogs welcomed

A man surnamed Dong walks with his guide dog, which has served him for three years, in downtown Shanghai yesterday. According to Shanghai's new pet dog rules issued in May, guide dogs are allowed on buses. Authorities said they have received no reports of disputes arising from guide dogs being taken aboard buses. Pet dogs are banned from public buildings and public transit.

Man feared dead after jumping into Suzhou Creek last night

CITY rescuers are scouting the riverbed of the downtown Suzhou Creek for a young man who jumped into the river last night after quarreling with his girlfriend. The search was still ongoing this morning and nothing was found except the man's backpack and wallet. Police said they had searched a 200-meter section on both sides of the alleged jumping spot and failed to find the man. The chance of his survival was minimal, they said. The incident happened around 9pm last night. The man, in his 20s, had a quarrel with his girlfriend on Nansuzhou Road along the river, near the Wuzhen Road Bridge, witnesses said. "He was mad and suddenly pushed the girl away to run toward the river," a witness said. "He jumped headlong into the water and the girl was shocked and then cried for help." Witnesses soon called the police and one of them jumped into the water trying to save the man but failed as the river was flowing swiftly and it was dark. The man's wallet and backpack…

Shanghai sports bureau denies Olympic bid

SHANGHAI Sports Bureau denied online rumors that the city is bidding to host the 2028 Summer Olympics. Rumors spreading online said Shanghai has earmarked several land plots to build sports venues for the Olympic Games. The venues were scattered in areas in Baoshan and Pudong districts, Shanghai East Radio reported today. An anonymous official with the Sports Bureau said so far it's impossible for the city to bid for the game. Government departments in Baoshan and Pudong said they have never heard of such thing.

Mystery of glowing white ball in the sky

A HUGE glowing UFO hovering high above Shanghai at around 9pm on Saturday was spotted by several civil aviation pilots who reported the sightings to the East China Air Traffic Control Bureau. A bureau official surnamed Jiang confirmed yesterday that they had received reports from several pilots. No flights were affected but he refused to disclose more details. The unidentified flying object was 10,700 meters above Shanghai, and it grew bigger and bigger as time passed, a man who claimed he was a pilot on "Flight 6554" wrote on his microblog. "The huge white ball suddenly appears in the sky when the airplane climbed out of thick clouds," he wrote. "It was several hundred times bigger than the moon, and human eyes can observe." He said the object reached a diameter of at least 92 kilometers. About 20 minutes later, the shining ball became darker and gradually disappeared, he said. "At first I thought it was just an illusion, but the copilot said he saw…

Groupon's Chinese JV lays off local workers

THE layoff dispute of a group buying website ended peacefully this morning after about 60 people went to negotiate compensation with the company. Each of laid-off employees in Shanghai will get two months' salary as compensation plus their wages for August, the workers said. Gaopeng, a joint-venture between Tencent and Groupon Inc, told one third of its 300-plus workers in Shanghai that they had lost their jobs on Thursday and Friday without a prior notice and their compensation varied from five days' to two weeks' pay. A representative of the laid-off workers said they all accepted the current compensation scheme and were satisfied with the negotiation process. "The management officials behaved politely today and we are glad that the disputes have been solved," he said. Groupon, the world's largest group-buying website, launched its joint venture in China in February and opened its Shanghai office in March. It has not explained the reasons for the large-scal…

Carnival workers strike over pay

AROUND 150 workers at the Shanghai Grand Carnival, which is in full swing in the Pudong New Area, took part in a strike over unpaid wages which lasted until the early hours of yesterday. At around noon on Thursday, they gathered at the entrance to the carnival venue, site of the World Expo, in their uniforms in a 14-hour protest at not being paid since the event opened on July 28. The workers said they were hired as entertainment assistants whose duties included explaining the rides to the public. Pudong social security officials said yesterday they had told the company in charge of the event to pay part of the employees' salaries. "The strike started from 12pm, and didn't end until 2am," said a carnival worker. "The salary on the contract was 11 yuan (US$1.7) an hour, but we hadn't received a single buck from the start." The strike had no effect on carnivalgoers, the employee said, as many assistants kept on working. One of the strikers made a video of…

Worker jailed for stealing gold from chemical solution

A man in Baoshan District was sentenced for two years and a half in prison for stealing liquid gold from the production line of his company, Baoshan court said yesterday. Xie Wei, a technician on an electroplating production line in an electronics company, found there was a lot of gold in the chemical solution used on his production line and planned to steal some. On February 14, Xie allegedly put two bags of special materials he had prepared in the gold slot to absorb gold from the chemical solution. He did that for two days and stole 170 grams of gold. He hid the gold in his rented apartment in Qilian Town in Baoshan District. However, Xie didn't realize that his act had been recorded by a surveillance camera installed by the company and he was soon captured.

Military goes culinary

Officers of the Shanghai Armed Force Corps prepare food in a cooking contest aspart of a military logistics competition yesterday in the city. More than 400 officersparticipated in the competition, which also includes providing battlefield medicine,dismantling and reassembling weapons and driving.

Falling Metro scaffold kills 2, injures 4 in Pudong

TWO workers were killed and four others injured when a scaffold collapsed this morning at the construction site of Metro Line 16 in Pudong. The accident happened about 11:30am when the scaffold fell from the elevated railway near Luoshan Road. Shanghai safety supervisors said six workers were carried from the scene of the accident and sent to a hospital. The new line is expected to open to traffic by the end of this year. It will have a high-speed track spanning four stations and trains will have more seats arranged in rows.

China's Got Talent extends search to HK, Taiwan

THE third season of China's Got Talent will be open to competitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the show's producer said yesterday in Beijing. The popular reality show has begun its new season with 30 recruitment stations across the country, including Hong Kong and Taiwan. "We hope to provide a bigger platform for untapped talent in the country, particularly creative young people," said Jin Lei, the show's director. "We will also open recruitment stations in London, Sydney and Los Angeles." Jin said the new season will continue to seek talent in ordinary people, who are more appealing to audiences of different regions and cultural backgrounds. The show will be shown on Dragon TV starting from November 13. Its final round is temporarily set on January 22, the eve of Chinese New Year. If so, China's Got Talent will become a strong competitor for the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the most watched program in China for 30 years. However, the producer said the…

Boys present a problem for city's future

SHANGHAI, like the rest of the country, has a gender imbalance in both the total population and in newborn babies. This week saw the launch of a national campaign to solve the problem by curbing non-medical sex determinations and sex-selective abortions. The latest national census conducted last November revealed that the gender ratio between Shanghai's male and female residents was 106.18:100, up from the 105.68:100 in the previous census 10 years ago. Residents include those with local registered residency and migrant people living in the city for more than six months. The city also sees more boys born than girls, though the ratio has been declining since 2008 after continuous growth from 2000. The gender ratio in 2009, the latest figures to be released by the local population authority, was 113.7 boys for every 100 girls among local residents. In 2008, it had been 114.8 boys to 100 girls. The birth gender ratio of migrant people, mostly farmers who were keen to have boys rather…

Bookworms' feast again

Thousands of people flock to the annual Shanghai Book Fair after it opened this morning amid torrential rain. With "I Love Books, I Love Life" as its theme, the fair will run through next Tuesday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on Yan'an Road M. A sea of books are on display and sale. A day ticket costs 10 yuan (US$1.46) and a night ticket 5 yuan.

Don't challenge superstition!

When we flew back to China (on Saturday, August 13) we bumped into some friends at Helsinki airport.

-Hey, hows your holiday been?! When did you first get here? (The standard post-holiday conversation, you know).

-Its been great, we got here six weeks ago!

-Youve had a six weeks holiday?! Me and my bf flinched. We thought we had had an extremely long holiday my bf had 3 weeks and I was off for a whole month.

-Yeah, well the last week was work, the guy said.

-Ah, OK.

-Well, we actually wanted to have our holiday a bit earlier and be back by now, but because I had a Chinese delegation coming to Finland I had to be here and take care of them.


-We tried to get them to come here already in July but they refused, saying it was impossible. They really wanted to come in August.


-Yeah, and we pushed and pushed and then finally, they revealed why they just HAD to come in August. And not only in August. But on the 8th of August.


-Because they wanted to fly here on the 8th day of the 8th m…

Rail authority tightens management for train safety

The Ministry of Railways today called for stricter management of high-speed rail projects as loopholes were found in some key sections, posing threat to trains. It's the latest move by the railway authorities to ensure railway safety after a bullet train collision killed 40 people in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province on July 23. The new Nanjing Railway Station was built in haste to meet the deadline for the opening of the Shanghai-Beijing High-speed Rail. Some parts of the station have to be redone to fix defects. The railway authorities will conduct a safety check on all the high-speed rails in the country soon. Meanwhile, new train schedules were adopted today with some bullet train services removed. Shanghai railway operator said passengers can get refund for the 24 canceled services, most of them running on the Shanghai-Beijing line. Fewer than 100 passengers would be affected by the changes. The operator said the non-stop train services are not cut, but their schedule at the Hongqia…

Office confrontation

Moment of truth -how much of this did you consume this summer?!
8.30 am. Monday morning. Back to work. Back to reality.

I enter the office. Bump into no one as I enter my office. Quickly push the power button on my computer. Unpack my handbag.

8.35am. I enter the kitchen. Armed with two large, 250 gram Fazer chocolate bars. Pressies for my workmates. A compulsory manner where I work.

8.36am. The ayi steps into the kitchen around the same time as I start putting down the chocolate on the table.

-Ah, Youna!! (Youna is my Chinese name) She says, and smiles. Youre back!

-Younas back?! I hear, from outside.

It takes some 20 seconds and then they are all there. My wonderful workmates. Welcoming me back. And. Inspecting me.

One is so blunt that she says it straight to my face:

-Well, I want to see what has changed with you! And she gives me a long, once over, before she sighs and leaves.

No one has anything special to comment on. I havent cut or dyed my hair. I havent lost or put on weight. I havent …

Scientists find genetic link to Graves' disease

LOCAL scientists identified two genes that could cause Graves' disease -- an autoimmune disease causing an over active thyroid. Graves' disease impacts over 1 percent of Chinese, resulting a range of dramatic neuropsychological and physical symptoms, experts said today. A team of scientists from Ruijin Hospital and the National Human Genome Southern Research Center pinpointed the two genes after studying a sample of over 10,000 people with Graves' disease and 12,000 people without the disease from ten cities. They found a strong correlation between the two genes and the onset of Graves' disease, suggesting that the genes could trigger the disease. "With the discovery on the two genes' functions, we can forecast the disease before people really develop serious syndromes and give timely treatment," said Dr Ning Guang from Ruijin Hospital. "More targeted diagnostic measures and medicines will be developed based on the study in the future." Doctors …

Back in the buzz

Dear city how I've missed you!

Back in Shanghai after a looong holiday. Almost too long. I get way too lazy when my life lacks structure. But Ive had a wonderful time in Finland and Sweden, and as soon as I get around to connecting my camera with a missing cable () I will upload a holiday photo special.

But like I said, now Im back. Back in our old (or new, because we moved in here one week before we went on our holiday!) flat, back in the humid heat, enjoying the noises, smell and atmosphere of being back. Its actually pretty wonderful! Ive missed China. I've missed my friends and I've missed the food. But most of all, I've missed the life we have here. The every day life where anything is possible and nothing is predictable. Sure, it can be frustrating at times but most of the time it's kind of fun. Also, this time, the humid heat wave that hit me when I stepped out of the airport terminal and into the taxi did not make me feel like running back inside and hiding o…

Wonderful imaginations

Shanghai resident Sun Yan (center) explains her painting to two Japanese children, who are wearing kimonos, at an exhibition that opened in the city yesterday. More than 300 drawings from Chinese and Japanese children were on display at the exhibition.

Tourist dies in bus trip tragedy

A TRIP to a famous mountain resort town turned to tragedy for Shanghai travelers when their bus overturned on a wet expressway in neighboring Zhejiang Province yesterday. One man was killed and more than 40 others, including seven children, were injured. Of the injured, four, all adults, were in a critical condition. The bus, belonging to a Shanghai tourism transport company, overturned at about 9am on the G2501 road near Hangzhou, Shanghai tourism officials said. The bus was heading to Jiangxi Province's Sanqing Mountain on a three-day trip, tourism officials said. The driver, a guide and 44 tourists were on board. Tourism authorities said rainfall had made conditions on the expressway treacherous and the bus had rolled over as it tried to overtake other vehicles. "The driver did not slow down until we were just several meters from a van in front," said one passenger, surnamed Xia. Xia said that the bus was driving at about 90 kilometers per hour at the time. As the bus…

Boy beaten close to death by step mom in city hospital

A four-year-old boy was admitted to a local children's hospital today with skull fractures and water on the brain after his stepmother allegedly beat him close to death. Little Yu Zhongbao from Henan Province is expected to undergo reconstructive surgery on his skull next Wednesday when doctors will also drain the remaining water that has accumulated on his brain due to the injury. "We were shocked to see Yu's injuries when he arrived at our hospital," said Dr Bao Nan, director of Shanghai Children's Medical Center's neurosurgery department. "Such serious brain injury could only be caused by falling from a building, traffic accidents and serious battery." Dr Bao said the loss of his skull bone and the remaining water on his brain still threatened Yu's life, adding the boy urgently needed surgery. "Fortunately, a checkup has found that the boy doesn't suffer intelligence or vision loss due to the brain injury. We are confident about his …

45 injured as bus overturns

An officer checks the wreckage of a bus which overturned on an expressway between Shanghai and Hangzhou in neighboring Zhejiang Province yesterday. Of the 45 passengers onboard, 39 were taken to Shanghai hospitals while the other six were being treated in Zhejiang hospitals. Two of the injured, who were initially in a critical condition, were stable last night, said Tan Shen, deputy director at the Shanghai No. 6 People's Hospital, which was treating 17 of the victims. The accident occurred at around 7pm in the city of Jiaxing when the bus overturned after colliding with a minibus, police said

Police rule out homicide in death of woman found in lift shaft

SHANGHAI police said the woman found dead in a lift shaft yesterday was killed in an accident. Lu Feng, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau spokesman, said this morning that the police had ruled out the possibility of homicide after initial investigation. The victim's body was found in the lift shaft of a 12-story building in Huangpu District. She was around 30 years old but her identity has not been confirmed yet, police said. An elevator maintenance worker found her body at 2pm yesterday in Huida Building at 748 Xizang Road S. The building has both apartments and offices. It was rumored that the woman was found naked and residents questioned the building's security measures as its surveillance cameras had been broken for a while.Police investigation is still ongoing.

No one hurt when sheets of glass fall off downtown high-rise

FOUR sheets of curtain wall glass fell off a high-rise building in downtown Shanghai last night. Luckily, no one was hurt. The accident occurred around 9:30pm when the four sheets of glass fell from a 30-floor apartment building in Jing'an District. Each sheet was about 2 square meters. They smashed on the pavement of Yongyuan Road, a witness said. Part of the road was closed to traffic and authorities were investigating the cause. People living in high-rises and their property management companies have been told to examine their curtain walls after a spate of falling-glass accidents in the city.

Graduates get jobs

MORE than 80 percent of graduates from city universities this summer have landed jobs, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday. Their average monthly salary is almost 4,000 yuan (US$621.9) before tax, according to according to the survey of 421 graduates. The jobs are in Shanghai and other areas.

Boxing bag for annoyed passengers

A man pumps his fists at a leather-bound pillar in a Metro station in Shanghai to release his frustration and stress. Such "boxing bags" can be found in stations along Metro Line 1.

US Consulate's millionth visa

THE US Consulate in Shanghai yesterday celebrated issuing its millionth US visa since 2004 and three Chinese residents won trips to Hawaii and Guam in a lucky draw. US Consul General Beatrice Camp described the occasion as "an important milestone" and said it was a reflection of the ever-growing cooperation in various fields between the United States and China. "As President Obama said during his 2009 visit to Shanghai, cooperation between China and the US is rooted in the studies we share, the business that we do, the knowledge that we gain and the sports that we play," she said yesterday during a brief celebration at the city's visa application office. "This growth in Chinese travel to the US is contributing to that cooperation," Camp said. In the past 12 months alone, the Shanghai consular section had processed more than 260,000 visas, the consul general said. She said more than 800,000 US visas were issued throughout China during that time, with o…

Migrant workers and kids invited to Shanghai Book Fair

FREE tickets were given to the city's migrant workers and their children to visit the 8th Shanghai Book Fair, the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau said today. A total of 20,000 tickets were distributed to the local underprivileged groups, including migrant families, the handicapped, and those living on government allowances, the bureau said. People aged at and above 70 can have free access to the book fair by showing their identification cards. Kan Ninghui, deputy director of the bureau, said giving free tickets was the first step to encourage migrant workers to enrich their cultural life in Shanghai. "This fair is a national cultural event. I hope everyone have a chance to browse the books on display and get close to knowledge," Kan said. The bureau also plans to hold a summer camp during next year's book fair. Children who are outstanding in academics but are from a needy family will be invited to a feast of books at the summer camp, Kan said.

The annual Swedish crayfish party...

....started off in a quite calm, friendly, and sophisticated manner

Then I'm not quite sure what happened, but I guess everyone's true colours came out.

Until next year!

Shanghai closes major bridges as Typhoon Muifa sweeps past

SHANGHAI today closed a second major sea bridge linking the urban area to an outlying island amid gusts packed by Typhoon Muifa which swept across the region. The closure of the 16.63-km-long Yangtze Bridge to traffic followed a similar action that sealed the 32.5-km-long East Sea Bridge yesterday afternoon, local traffic authorities said. The authorities also imposed speed limits on highways and launched a thorough safety inspection of transportation infrastructure. According to the National Meteorological Center, Typhoon Muifa, moving northward off the east China coast, is expected to land in Shandong Province to the north of Shanghai tomorrow morning.

Shanghai braces for Typhoon Muifa

RESIDENTS have been evacuated, ships called back to port and flights canceled as Typhoon Muifa approaches east China's coastal areas. Typhoon Muifa is likely to make landfall over Zhejiang Province or Shanghai during the weekend, Shanghai's meteorological station said today. There is also a chance that Muifa may brush Shanghai and continue moving northward, according to the station. Muifa, the ninth typhoon to hit China this year, was located about 630 km from Shanghai at 7am today and was moving northwestward at a speed of 18 km per hour. More than 206,000 residents in the coastal areas of Zhejiang Province have been evacuated since yesterday. A total of 75 flights scheduled to depart from Shanghai this afternoon were canceled, but no flights had been affected in the morning, according to Shanghai airport authority. Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Zhejiang's capital Hangzhou saw the cancellation of 140 flights today. Air China canceled all inbound and outbound …

Muifa puts city on alert as typhoon approaches

Shanghai has ordered all its local government departments to be on emergency alert to prepare for the approach of Typhoon Muifa. This year's first typhoon alert was issued yesterday morning as the powerful typhoon moved closer to the city, packing winds of up to 162 kilometers per hour and threatening havoc over the next two days, the weather bureau said. Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said Muifa was 750 kilometers southeast of the city by 5pm yesterday and moving at a speed of 15kph towards the Chinese coast. The typhoon was most likely to land in northern coast of Zhejiang Province tonight and swirl past the west of Shanghai, the bureau said. Although there was still uncertainty about its path yesterday, the differences in predictions by experts in China, Japan, the United States and Europe had narrowed. The possibility of Muifa directly hitting Shanghai has not yet been ruled out. Only two typhoons had directly landed on the city before, one in 1977 and the other in 1989, the w…

Metro braces itself for emergencies during typhoon

SHANGHAI Metro operator is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of Metro services during the typhoon period.The Metro operator said when the wind reaches force 8 or 74 kilometers per hour, trains will shift from automatic to manual control so drivers can respond fast to emergencies. When the wind reaches force 10 or more, trains will pull into stations at a speed of 20kph. Metro Line 3 and Line 5 that run on the ground will likely to suspend their operation if wind is too strong.Metro officials urged the public to pay attention to traffic report on its official website and make route changes accordingly.

Shanghai braces for typhoon

SHANGHAI is bracing for the strongest typhoon in its history this weekend. A beach music festival due to be held in the city's Jinshan District has been canceled and other outdoor entertainment venues are preparing for the storm. The city's airports, the railway bureau and the maritime safety administration all have plans in place to cope with the typhoon's arrival. Typhoon Muifa is forecast to enter the East China Sea today and hit the coast of northern Zhejiang Province, about 100 kilometers from Shanghai, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday. Although it was weakening from a super typhoon to a strong typhoon, the second highest level, it could still spell disaster with wind speeds of 162 kilometers per hour around its core causing violent storms in its path, the bureau said. With Muifa's landing point close to the city, Shanghai is expected to experience torrential rain with falls of between 100 to 250 millimeters and winds of up to 117 kilometers per h…

City hosts summer camp for 330 Russian teenagers

A total of 330 Russian students aged 12 to 16 arrived in Shanghai yesterday to participate in a summer camp as the guests of Chinese President Hu Jintao. Before coming to Shanghai, they spent three days in Beijing and had exchanges with Chinese students there. During their week-long summer camp in Shanghai, they will experience Chinese culture and traditional customs such as dragon boat race and have a variety of activities. Yesterday they visited the China Pavilion in the Expo Park and were impressed by the display. Ivan Vergun, 14, said he was very interested in Chinese history and kung fu. Their trip is the second part of a program that will bring 1,000 Russian teenagers to China in two years. The summer camp reciprocates Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's hosting of 1,500 Chinese students from regions devastated by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake three years ago.

Wknd in Tallinn, Estonia

The summer weather in Finland has been amazing this year. Except for a few rainy days in the beginning its basically been blue skies, sunshine and 25 degrees every single day. Since we live pretty much next to a forest and a lake, its been a lot of swimming during the last few weeks.

When the weather is so great you become almost ignorant to the fact that just because the sunshine is where you are, that doesnt mean its sunny everywhere else. Or at least if your name is Jonna. So, when we decided to do a spontaneous wknd trip to Tallinn, Estonia, and I saw a weather forecast that said 17 degrees and rain, I still didnt believe it. In shorts and a t-shirt (and equipped with no umbrella!) I jumped on a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn.

The ferry took 2 hours and once we arrived my shorts felt like the most ridiculous choice of clothing. It wasnt that it was raining. Oh no. It was pouring down. Literally pouring down. There was so much water on the road that the cars could barely drive off th…

Comedian's wife denies her wealth is ill-gotten

HU Jie, the wife of Zhou Libo, famous Shanghai stand-up comedian, denied her wealth was related to ill-gotten assets obtained by her ex-husband, who surrendered himself to police for alleged corruption and embezzlement. The case has attracted attention in Shanghai because of Zhou, once considered a rescuer and representative of Shanghai culture and recently described to be a gold digger after marrying the wealthy Hu last December. Hu, a native of Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province, divorced Yang Shenghua, former driver and henchman of corrupt Wenzhou government official Yang Xiuzhu, in May 2010. The corruption case is still under investigation. The Wenzhou government said in 2004 that the amount of money involved was about 253 million yuan (US$ 39.3 million). It was said the official Yang asked Yang Shenghua to handle her properties in Shanghai and Hangzhou before fleeing abroad with her daughter and son-in-law. Yang Shenghua was also once appointed general manager of two state-owned e…

Food carts begin serving breakfast to Lujiazui white-collars

WHITE-COLLAR workers in the city's Lujiazui financial district can grab breakfast from roadside food carts starting from today. The Lujiazui administration deployed 12 food carts near the Metro stations and office towers to serve breakfast and snacks to office workers who have long complained about a shortage of restaurants and convenient stores in the area. The food carts sell steamed buns, porridge and other dim sum items at prices from 1.5 yuan to 10 yuan. They will make two rounds each weekday, 7:30am-9:30am and 5pm-10pm to provide breakfast and supper, said the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone Administration, which oversees the service. The food carts will not be available on Saturday and Sunday. Guo Rong, deputy director of the administration, said they are considering adding lunch service in the future. The food carts are not allowed to roam freely in the district so that people can find them where they are. There are about 150,000 people working in office towers in Lujiazui…

Summer in Finland

Despite the horrific events that took place in Norway on July 22 Ive managed to have a pretty good holiday. It was just really hard for a while to think about anything but the attacks. I have a countless number of Norwegian friends (from studying in Australia 2003-2005) and Ive been in touch with pretty much all of them, just to make sure that they are OK (they all are. One guy has an apartment located some 500 m away from where to bomb blast took place, however, but he was in Australia for a holiday when everything happened. Fortunately, his flat is still intact).Since I can read Norwegian, I had a bit of an information overload situation in the beginning of last week, where I sat glued to the computer and read everything I saw in the newspapers, as well as blog posts and comments from Norwegian survivors. As a result, I cried a lot and didnt sleep for three night, and when I did, I had nightmares where the shooter appeared, trying to kill me. So, I decided to keep away from the Inte…

South Bund graffiti wall

Graffiti covers a 300-meter-long flood wall yesterday at Shanghai's former Shiliupu Dock on the southern part of the Bund, now a hub for restaurants, bars, clubs and stores. A graffiti wall along Suzhou Creek will be torn down later this year to make way for a commercial development. That wall measures 600 meters long and is on Moganshan Road in Putuo District near the Creative Park. Officials at the district's relocation office said the complex was expected to be relocated to make way for a business zone.

Reviled Bund plan gets review

SHANGHAI'S urban planning authority will reconsider the plan for a modern high-rise complex on the historic Bund after a large majority of local citizens disapproved of the design, a senior official said yesterday. In a public survey launched by the authority, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they consider the proposed 136-meter-high SOHO twin towers too high and out of harmony with the rest of the Bund's architecture. The green-capped Peace Hotel, the tallest among Bund buildings, is 77 meters high. The planning body will organize an expert panel and involve the public to improve the plan, Xu Jian, director of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Planning and Land Resources of Huangpu District, told Shanghai Daily. The authority accepted public opinion on the plan from July 20-25, after residents heavily criticized it in Internet postings. Construction has begun on the underground part of the complex on Zhongshan Road E2, but officials have said people can still weigh in on …