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A haunting experience

A young woman meets a ghoulish-looking character in a haunted house in downtown Shanghai on Halloween yesterday. Western festivals have gained popularity with young Chinese in large cities.

Shanghai has more single women than bachelors

SHANGHAI people tend to get married earlier. The latest census indicates that the average age of first marriage is 24.25 years in Shanghai, 1.01 years earlier than the 2010 figure.People in suburban districts prefer to get married early -- about three years earlier than people in urban districts, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said today.Meanwhile, the city has more single women than men. In the past 10 years, the number of single women between the age 30 and 44 increased by 2.7 percent, but the number of bachelors in the same age group decreased by 1.4 percent, the bureau said.

Student gets jail for stabbing mom

A local student who stabbed his mother nine times during a dispute at Pudong International Airport was sentenced to three years and six months in jail for intentional injury this morning.Wang Jiajing, 23, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The court ruled that he had the ability to control himself during the attack, but he chose not to.The attack took place at around 9pm on March 31 after Wang had returned on a flight from Tokyo, where he was studying, and was met by his mother, surnamed Gu, at Terminal 2 of Pudong Airport.The pair argued when Gu told Wang she could no longer afford his study fees. Wang then pulled a knife from his bag and stabbed his mother nine times.Gu cried in court when the verdict was announced, and said she would appeal to the higher court to get Wang's sentence reduced.

Shanghai Flyers Affected

HUNDREDS of passengers in Shanghai were affected yesterday as Australia's Qantas Airways grounded its global fleet, including a round-trip daily flight between Shanghai and Sydney, over the weekend.Ticket selling stopped for the airline's flight, and no staffers could be seen at the airline's check-in counter at Pudong International Airport yesterday. Australia's flagship carrier agreed to provide refunds or rebook service for its passengers. It also agreed to reimburse the price difference to those who fly with another carrier. Apart from Qantas, Air China and China Eastern Airlines each has a flight between Shanghai and Sydney every day. Local travel agencies said the cancellations had little impact on their business because they tend to use the two Chinese carriers.

Cultural festival begins

White-collar workers participating in a fun run at Shanghai's Lujiazui financial zone wave to onlookers yesterday as the Pudong New Area's central business district kicked off its 5th cultural festival.

Chilly times ahead

A helicopter lands on China's icebreaker Xuelong - Chinese for "Snow Dragon" - at a port inside the China Polar Research Center in the Pudong New Area. The ship sets off today on the country's 28th Antarctic research expedition, focusing on monitoring environmental changes at the pole.

Worker dies in crane collapse

A worker died after a crane collapsed at the construction site of a real estate project in Shanghai's Jinshan District this morning.The accident happened around 9:20am. A 33-year-old operator, surnamed Wu, was killed in the accident, Jinshan police said. No one else was injured in the accident. An investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Collapsed road fixed, traffic resumes

TRAFFIC has resumed this morning on a section of road that had collapsed in downtown Shanghai yesterday.An underground wastewater pipe beneath the intersection of Hengfeng Road and Chang'an Road caused the road collapse after it burst and washed away sand and soil from under the road surface, initial investigations found.The water pipe was replaced and the excavated area filled up with soil last night.The collapse was spotted yesterday afternoon. The hole, about 10 square meters long and located in the middle of the intersection, was about 2 meters deep. Police said no vehicle was passing by when the collapse happened.

Road section collapses into 5-meter long hole

A large piece of road surface in a busy downtown intersection collapsed suddenly yesterday in Shanghai, severely disrupting traffic but causing no injuries.The local urban facility maintenance department said that loose sand and soil beneath the road likely was to blame. Workers were still doing the repair work yesterday afternoon.The collapse was spotted about noon at Hengfeng Road and Chang'an Road, near the Shanghai Railway Station."Just in a glimpse, the road surface disappeared," said a witness, surnamed Zhang.The hole, about 10 square meters and located in the middle of the intersection, was about 2 meters deep. Police said no vehicle was passing by when the collapse occurred. Two lanes were closed to traffic with officers guiding the vehicle flow.Officials with Zhabei District's work maintenance company said the area "has long been bothered by poor geological conditions."The road surface was just paved with new asphalt on Wednesday night to cover a d…

Fudan scientists invent revolutionary lighting device

A natural lighting device that illuminates rooms with daylight instead of electricity will make a debut at the China International Industry Fair to be held November 1-5, the city's education authority said today as it introduced innovations made by local universities.Unlike solar panels which convert sunlight into electricity to power light bulbs, the new lighting device developed by Fudan University scientists can transmit daylight straight into rooms.The solar panel has a sunlight conversion rate of just 18 percent and much energy is lost in transfer process, said Ge Aiming of Fudan University's Department of Illuminating Engineering and Light Sources.The new lighting device can achieve a utilization rate of up to 80 percent, Ge said.The device consists of a parabolic mirror and a reflector installed outdoors to collect sunlight and conduct it into the house via a light pipe. The secrets lie in the coupling of the light collector and transmitter and in the light storage syst…

More in city would like 2 children

About 40 percent of local women want to have two children, according to a survey carried out by the city's population authorities.The Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission surveyed 21,900 women between 15 and 49 years old, among which 11,800 were Shanghai-registered, finding that the ideal number of children is 1.43 for Shanghai women overall. Migrant women wanted about 0.3 more children than permanent residents.A similar survey carried out in 2009 showed Shanghai women were interested in having only 1.07 children each, while migrant ones wanted 1.33, officials said.Education background is closely correlated with women's procreation desires, with women holding bachelor's degrees or higher and those with only primary school education background wanting more children than women with middle amounts of education."The results of the survey reflect people's procreation concept as well as their abilities of raising children," said Xie Lingli, director …

Survey: Majority of Shanghai women prefer one child

MORE Shanghai women choose to have one child, representing 56 percent of the 21,900 women polled recently by local population authorities, while another 40 percent say they want to have two.The women surveyed by the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission age from 15 to 49. About 11,800 of them are permanent residents. Their ideal number of children per family averages 1.43, compared with 1.73 suggested by migrant women.Education also influences women's preference for family size. Women with college education or only primary school education wanted more children than those with high school education."The survey result reflects people's views on family planning and their ability to raise children," says Xie Lingli, the commission director.Local population experts predict the city's baby boom will last another six years. About 180,000 babies are expected to be born this year, equal to last year's number.The current baby boom began in 2006 when people…

Truck hits water main, causes flood in street

A heavy truck damaged a temporary water main on Xiangyang Road near Huaihai Road this morning, causing flooding in the area, but no one was hurt in the accident, police said.The mishap happened around 10:30am when the speeding truck lost control, rode onto the sidewalk and crushed the 30cm-diameter water pipe on the ground. Water jetted into the sky and soon inundated the neighborhood with 10 centimeters deep of water.Bicycles and mopeds parked on the sidewalk were all mowed down, said a traffic coordinator on the spot.Police and workers from the water company rushed to the scene immediately and the water main was shut down at 10:45am. Traffic resumed at 11:50am after the truck was pulled away.

Bogus Viagra dealer gets 10 months in jail

A man was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined 2,000 yuan (US$314) for selling bogus sex drugs online, the Jing'an District People's Court said yesterday.The 24-year-old convict, Yang Lei, sold 46 fake Viagra pills through his online shop from January to June. Each pill was bought at less than 2 yuan and was sold at 30 yuan, earning him a total of 1,844 yuan.Yang said he came to Shanghai in 2007 and opened a courier service in 2008, but it didn't run well. So he closed the business and established an online shop in February 2010 to sell fake sex drugs through a home computer.In June this year, a middle-aged man in Shanghai bought four fake Viagra pills for 220 yuan and found there was no Chinese description on the wrapper. He then reported to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.Yang admitted that he knew the pills he sold were counterfeit because a real Viagra pill costs about 100 yuan.Yang pleaded guilty in the court and said he sold fake drugs to make a livin…

'The pride of Shanghai' ... or a cynical publicity stunt?

DOUBTS have been raised about "the pride of Shanghai" - members of the public who helped a pregnant woman who had fainted - after it emerged they included actors working for an online promotions company.Questions are now being asked if the whole episode, which became an Internet hit after footage was posted online, was a publicity stunt.Web users praised the good Samaritans, contrasting their actions to the high-profile case concerning Wang Yue, a two-year-old girl in Guangdong Province who died last Friday after she was twice run over and ignored by 18 passers-by as she lay badly injured. Erma Shanghai Co, the company that employed the actors, insists they simply happened to be in the area at the time and helped out. Shanghai No.1 People's Hospital, where the nine-months pregnant woman was said to have been taken on Sunday, told Shanghai Daily they admitted no patient matching that description.The pregnant woman, surnamed Zhang, her sister and a helper did not answer ca…

New tunnel offers shortcut to Hongqiao terminals

MOTORISTS can take a shortcut to the Hongqiao Airport and Hongqiao Railway Station terminals after a new tunnel opens in a few days, the Shanghai Construction Commission said today.The Yinbin No. 3 Road Tunnel is set to open to traffic before the end of this month. It connects the two terminals with the Outer Ring Road, elevated Yan'an Road, and the ground-level Xianxia Road, the officials said.The tunnel is expected to divert traffic from the congested roads in the area and cut the driving distance by nearly half for vehicles coming and leaving the terminals.

At long last: Passers-by come to aid of a victim

RELATIVES of a pregnant woman helped by a group of residents after she fainted in a Shanghai park are trying to track down the good Samaritans to express their gratitude. A video of the incident where more than 10 people rushed to the aid of the woman in Luxun Park in Hongkou District on Sunday afternoon has become a hit on the weibo.com microblog.In the clip, one man who helped, when asked to give his name, turns to the camera and says in the Shanghai dialect: "Just call us Shanghainese."Many web users praised the residents who didn't hesitate to help, noting the sharp contrast to the high-profile case concerning Wang Yue, a two-year-old girl in Guangdong Province who this month was twice run over and ignored by 18 passers-by as she lay badly injured.Wang died last Friday, and the incident has led to fresh debate over whether Chinese society is growing more selfish.On Sunday in Shanghai, five residents took the woman to the entrance of the park while others hailed a pri…

Local scientists develop fiberglass for space lab

A special kind of fiberglass developed by Donghua University scientists in Shanghai has been used to "knit" the "wings" of Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace, university officials said today.The space lab module China launched on September 29 has fiberglass panels embedded with solar cells. They are lighter than the aluminum alloy panels used on spaceship Shenzhou 1 to Shenzhou 7.Moreover, fiberglass is resistant to corrosion and oxidation when flying in the low Earth orbit, the scientists said.However, this kind of fiberglass is too fragile to fabricate. The school scientists teamed up the Nanjing Fiberglass R&D Institute to develop the special fiberglass for the spacecraft.Shanghai Donghua University is now working on new materials for satellite antenna to cut the country's dependence on foreign technology.

Shanghai tourists safe in Turkey after deadly quake

ALL Shanghai tourists are safe after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey yesterday, killing at least 200 people.The Shanghai Tourism Administration said two tour groups from Shanghai, totaling 38 people, are now traveling in Turkey, but they are 1,000 kilometers away from the epicenter. No one was injured and their schedules are not affected.They will continue their sightseeing in Turkey and come home as scheduled, the administration said today.Officials reminded people to avoid going to the quake area. If encountering any emergency in Turkey, they can call the Chinese embassy in Turkey for help. The hotline is 0090-312-436-0628.

Purifiers banned over levels of ozone

AIR purifiers releasing excessive levels of harmful ozone have been found on sale in the city, quality watchdogs reported over the weekend.Machines made by two manufacturers - Shangjie and Broad - failed recent tests on 20 brands conducted by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision. The Shangjie SJ-1090B model and the Broad TB400 unit were discovered to release ozone in levels above the country's standard.Ozone - a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms - is used to sanitize and deodorize rooms.But it is also an irritant, affecting the eyes and respiratory system and can aggravate conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.And as ozone is colorless and odorless, people are usually unaware when levels in a room are excessive, officials said.The products that failed the quality tests have been removed from shop shelves. Customers who had bought them can get refunds, said the bureau.Recently, air purification services have been at the center of controversy, with co…

Expats say condoms don't fit

SOME expatriates from Europe and Africa complained to Shanghai Daily that they are always embarrassed about "ill-fitting" condoms in the city as almost all of them are designed to a standard Asian size, which may not fit them.Main condom suppliers including Durex, Jissbon and Okamoto confirmed that they supply condoms only with a common size suitable for Chinese men their target consumer group. Sizes of condoms differ in various countries and Chinese condoms, usually 180mm long and 52mm wide, are slightly smaller in length and girth than those being sold in Western countries, some suppliers said.An official surnamed Zhao with Jissbon said his company has received complaints from some foreigners about Chinese condoms that are sometimes a little bit tight for them. But considering those people are a very tiny part of their consumer group, they haven't considered making bigger ones. An official surnamed Wang with Okamoto's Beijing retailer said they used to sell bigger…

Shanghai mulls incentives for SOHO workers

SHANGHAI Human Resource and Social Security Bureau has promised to offer more policy support for small business owners.According to the law, SOHO (small office/home office) practitioners can start their business at home or a rented apartment or a temporary commercial space. SOHO business ranges from translation services, software development, e-commerce, animation and design.But the local regulation on property ownership forbids apartment owners to change the usage of their properties for business purpose. It becomes a roadblock for the development of SOHO businesses in Shanghai.To address the problem, the bureau said it will work out new policies, such as easier loans and rent subsidies, for SOHO practitioners.

Cement truck crushes moped driver to death in Pudong

A woman died under the wheels of a cement truck early this morning at a crossroad in Pudong New Area.The woman was riding a moped along Kangshen Road when the truck driving on the same road turned right to Shenmei Road and knocked her down around 6:40am, witnesses said.The woman died instantly when the truck wheels ran over her head, according to the witnesses.Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

The business of running

A total of 3,888 corporate employees from 158 companies took part yesterday evening in the inaugural JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in downtown Shanghai. The 5.6-kilometer team road race is the first expansion of the worldwide event since 2004. First across the winning line for the men was Barclay Grundler from Tagus, while Angeline Ding from PwC took the top spot among women competitors.

Shanghai launches first online mediation court

THE Xuhui District Court today opened its online, 3-dimential courtroom that enables judges to solve distant mediation cases through voice and text.
It is the first online platform in Shanghai where judges and involved parties can meet on screen and solve a dispute through mediation.
Liu Leiyan, who sued her former Taiwanese boss for unpaid salaries, had her case solved this morning through the online courtroom. The two parties were given a one-time username and password to log on the virtual courtroom.
Hou Rongkang, a Xuhui District judge, said the whole mediation process is recorded on the disk and also on the paper. The involved parties can settle the case by sending their agreements with signatures to the court.
Traditionally, they are required to appear at the court, Hou said. "It is more efficient and convenient for both the court and both parties," he added.
The website, www.zxdt.xh.sh.cn, has downloadable litigation forms and people can present their cases directly to the…

Bus drivers steal coins from fare boxes using magnets

A gang of nine who allegedly stole more than 70,000 yuan (US$10,969) of coins from bus fare boxes has been charged with theft, Changning District prosecutors said yesterday.The gang, eight of them bus drivers, used magnets to suck coins out of fare boxes during the period from December 2007 to June 2011. They also forged keys to open the fare boxes, the prosecutors said.Within four years, the gang stole more than 70,000 yuan from their buses on Route 88 which runs from Zhongshan Park to Xinchao Road in Changning District.They used instant noodle bowls to cover the monitoring cameras and stole the money around twice a week.One suspect surnamed Shen was caught on June 5 by a police patrol who suspected Shen was an unlicensed taxi driver and followed him to Xianxia Road, just one stop from the bus terminal. The officer found in Shen's car a heavy sack of coins which Shen could to tell where it came from.Later, Shen confessed to his crime and led the police to other gang members, the …

Woman falls off Metro platform by accident

A woman accidentally fell onto the rail track of Metro Line 2 at the Jiangsu Road Station this morning and was rescued by Metro staff.The woman suffered only light bruises after Metro workers pulled her up. The episode happened around 11am and delayed the Metro operation only briefly, the Metro operator said on its Weibo microblog.It reminded passengers to stand behind the yellow line while waiting for trains and avoid making a rush for the doors when a train pulls into the station.

Dumpling bacteria concerns

A box of frozen dumplings produced by Synear Food Holdings is seen in a Tesco outlet in Shanghai yesterday. Beijing media reported that frozen dumplings produced by Synear's Zhengzhou branch were found to have been contaminated with golden staph bacteria. An official with Synear confirmed that authorities notified the company about the contamination in July and all affected dumplings had already been recalled in Beijing.

Drunk driving the cause of 2-car crash that killed 5

A drunken driver was blamed for driving onto the opposite lane of a highway in Qingpu District and colliding with another car in a fatal accident that killed five people on October 16, police said today. The driver, who was also killed in the head-on crash, was tested to have a blood alcohol level of 1.42mg/ml, nearly double the legal limit. The late night accident also left two survivors severely injured, police said. Shanghai police said the city has reported 1,599 road accidents and 710 deaths so far this year. The death toll has declined compared with the same period of last year.

Student pleads guilty to severely stabbing mother

A student who allegedly stabbed his mother and severely injured her at Pudong International Airport went on trial this morning. Prosecutors said the 21-year-old suspect, Wang Jiajing, had attacked his mother Gu Guohua with two knives at around 8:30pm on March 31 the airport's terminal 2. The court heard that the victim had sustained severe injuries to her head, arms, stomach and back.Wang told the court he was agitated after his mother, who came to pick him up, refused his request of giving thousands of yuan to support his tuition and living fees in Japan. "I stabbed my mum," he admitted. The mother, who has recovered from her wounds, also appeared at the Pudong District People's Court. Gu said her son was innocent since he had been suffering from mental problems for two years. Gu told prosecutors Wang went to study in Japan in 2006 and was about to graduate next year. During his stay in Japan, Wang frequently moved home as he said he was always assaulted by people w…

Airliner emergency drill

Rescuers evacuate passengers and give first aid to the "injured" yesterday at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport during a drill to test emergency preparedness. The drill simulated a fire triggered by an onboard equipment malfunction when an airplane taxied along the runway. Ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles gathered at the edge of the airfield and rushed to the rescue when the "fire" broke out.

Dealers punished for selling fake furnishing products

SHANGHAI police said today that they have closed down several shops that sold fake decoration materials in a joint raid with the city's quality supervision department. Last month they detained a fake dealer surnamed Sun who ran a store in a home furnishing market in Minhang District. Sun sold counterfeit products bearing the logos of Schneider, Panasonic and Siemens. Police said they confiscated 260,000 yuan (US$40,744) worth of fake products from Sun's store in the September 28 raid.

4 injured in domino fall on Metro escalator

FOUR passengers were injured when they tumbled down an escalator at the Laoximen Station of Metro Line 8 this morning, but they are all in stable condition. The mishap happened at about 10: 30am when an elderly woman lost her balance and fell backward, causing others to fall like dominos, according to the Metro operator. It dismissed the rumor that their falls were caused by the escalator's sudden backward motion. A couple in their 80s stepped onto the escalator followed by their children. But the elderly woman did not hold the handlebar and fell backward on people behind. The four injured were sent to a nearby hospital. Except the old woman who remained in a coma, the other three suffered only minor bruises.

Making a splash

Tourists take pictures at the "Pit Garden" of the Wusong Wetland Park's second-phase complex that opened in the city's Baoshan District yesterday. The wetland park now covers about 110 hectares. It sits on land created since the 1960s by dumping steel along the Yangtze River.

Air quality to improve as winds blow away haze

THE haze that has enveloped the city since Friday is expected to clear up with winds this afternoon, the local forecaster said today. The air pollution index, a measure of inhalable particulates, dropped to 103 this morning from the highest of 111 on Saturday but still subjected the city to light pollution, said the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center. The haze was caused by airborne dusts blown to the city from north China. The light breezes over the weekend failed to dispel the haze, the center said. More winds from the northeast are expected this afternoon, which can improve the city's air quality, the forecaster said. However, more polluting weather conditions may occur in the next two months as cold fronts become frequent around this time of the year. Shanghai had 29 polluted days last year and 18 of them happened in November and December, according to the center.

Wedding park snaps rooted out

NEWLYWEDS hoping to have wedding photographs taken in the romantic surroundings of Shanghai Botanical Garden over the weekend were shocked to be turned away. The garden put up notices stating that commercial wedding photograph shoots are now banned. "Commercial shooting has damaged greenery in the garden and caused problems for other visitors," said Zhao Yingying, an official with the Xuhui District garden. Officials also objected to private enterprises profiting from public facilities. But just-married couples are still welcome to invite friends to photograph them in the park, Zhao added. However, it's hard for park management to determine whether a bride, groom and party plus photographer is a commercial shoot or just a friend taking snaps. Other local gardens say the difficulty has forced them to drop a plan to introduce a similar ban. At the weekend, brides in elaborate gowns and smartly attired grooms accompanied by professional photographic teams were stopped a…

Pure entertainment

A senior shows off his Chinese yo-yo skills in front of a crowd along the Bund in Shanghai yesterday as part of an ongoing international public sports festival. More than 200 Chinese yo-yo players from around the country are competing for the title of "master." The games requires players to keep a toy consisting of two discs connected with a long axle spinning on a string tied to two sticks at the ends.

Bogus Bank Sites Warning

THE local banking regulator yesterday warned residents to be on the lookout for bogus bank websites claiming to take applications for credit cards. The Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission said the sites would ask applicants to open an account with them and deposit cash there. Then the online fraudsters would empty the account. The bureau said the scammers used telecom technology to make their telephone numbers seem like genuine bank numbers.

2 passengers fined for interrupting Metro service

SHANGHAI police said two men were fined 200 yuan (US$31.34) each for preventing their train door from closing on Metro Line 8 yesterday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in the subway. The two offenders surnamed Chen and Zhou used their feet and bodies to wedge the door from being shut at the Zhongxing Road Station around 9pm, police said. Police said they were demanding an explanation from the Metro operator because Line 8 experienced a malfunction and took nearly 48 minutes to travel from People's Square to Zhongxing Road Station just one stop away. Chen and Zhou were forced out of the train after they had delayed it for 12 minutes and refused to cooperate with police. The Metro operator said Line 8 was observing a speed limit for one and a half hours yesterday and normal operation resumed by 9:30pm.

No synthetic hormone found in hairy crab test

SHANGHAI officials said no excessive level of estrogen has been detected in hairy crabs in local markets following media reports about excessive hormone found in hairy crabs in Hong Kong. Chen Qiwei, the Shanghai government spokesman, told reporters at a press conference today that test results of all the samples collected from the local markets were satisfactory. Food inspectors checked for more than 30 contents in the samples, including diethylstilbestrol, a type of estrogen. The inspection is carried out every three months by the city's agricultural commission, food and drug administration, and administration for industry and commerce. Chen said the three departments will strengthen the inspection of hairy crabs to ensure food safety. It was reported on Tuesday that one-fourth of the 30 hairy crab samples tested in Hong Kong showed an excessive amount of hormone with the highest reaching 100 micrograms. SGS, an international inspection company, warned that eating three hairy cr…

Breakdown slows Metro Line 1 services during rush hour

AN equipment breakdown forced Metro Line 1 to slow the speed of trains running between the Xinzhuang Station and the Jinjiang Park Station this morning. In an announcement made by Shanghai Metro, the breakdown occurred at 8:18am. The type of the equipment failure was not disclosed but it caused longer intervals and restriction of passengers entering the affected stations. One commuter posted a Weibo microblog saying the breakdown had cost him 20 more minutes to reach People's Square from Xinzhuang. The normal operation resumed by 10am. http://shanghai.xinmin.cn/tfbd/2011/10/14/12371080.html

Police probe resident's death amid fight with mystery gang

POLICE blocked the entrance of a local community yesterday morning to probe the death of a resident who died during a fight with a "mysterious" gang that appeared linked to a district election on Wednesday evening. Residents were demanding answers after they accused the gang of beating eight of them as intimidation so they would not vote for a congress deputy. The 50-plus policemen lined up at the entrance to prevent residents from disturbing traffic by protesting on the road, as they had the previous evening to demand justice. Residents claiming to have witnessed the fight said a 42-year-old resident, Hang Hongqi, was "beaten to death by four men of the gang" while police said that the man "died suddenly when arguing with others." But the identity of the gang was still a mystery. According to residents, the gang consisted of 19 migrant workers hired by Jiangqiao Town Post Office who delivered letters on Wednesday to inform them of the election of distr…

US ambassador starts Shanghai visit at a local school

Gary Locke, the US ambassador to China, started his two-day visit to Shanghai by working with schoolchildren in an organic garden yesterday afternoon. This is his first visit to the city since he took the post in August. Locke arrived at the Jinzhou Primary School at 4pm yesterday to participate in the "Roots and Shoots" organic garden program. Students showed him drawings of their dream farms and handicrafts they made from waste and plants they grew. Locke harvested vegetables, watered the soil and sowed seeds in the school's organic garden together with the students. "I'm very impressed by your commitment to the environmental protection," Locke said. "In the Unites States, First Lady Michelle Obama has an organic garden on the grounds of the White House. They grow vegetables, using organic methods, no chemicals, no fertilizers, no insecticides," he said. "They harvest many fruits and vegetables from that garden to serve in the White House,&…

Garden-variety diplomacy

United States ambassador to China Gary Locke (center) offers a diplomatic hand in harvesting vegetables in an organic garden at the Jinzhou Primary School in Shanghai yesterday. He told the students that his family used to have a large garden many years ago where they grew corn, squash, strawberries and many other vegetables and fruit. Today, Locke is to attend a breakfast meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and have a media roundtable later in the morning as part of his two-day visit to the city.

Authority: No toxic goods in sunken containers

More than 20 containers fell into the Yangtze River when they were being loaded onto a freighter in the Pudong International Container Terminal in Shanghai this morning. Local maritime officials said 15 of them had been salvaged by noon and assured the public that no hazardous goods were inside the containers. Improper distribution of weight was blamed for the accident and choppy water also caused the ship to tip over, officials said.

New institute to train spokesmen and PR professionals

THE Shanghai Municipal Government Information Office and the Journalism School of Fudan University jointly launched the Shanghai Institute of International Communications today to train communication professionals for the city. The institute will supply qualified graduates to government departments, media organizations and enterprises. The 400-square-meter institute offers students practice experiences through simulated press conferences, media interviews and public relations crisis management. Hi-tech communications equipment will be used to improve the effect of education and training at the institute, officials said.

Containers fall off ship in Pudong, blocking traffic

MORE than 20 containers fell into the Yangtze River when they were being loaded onto a freighter in the Pudong International Container Terminal in Shanghai this morning. Improper distribution of weight was to blame for the accident and choppy water also caused the ship to tip over, Xinmin.cn reported. Some containers went down into the water while others floated on the river, threatening traffic. Port authorities have closed the area to navigation and are retrieving the fallen containers. Investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Controversy over 'heroic rescue'

LYING in bed, 20-year-old Chen Meijie is frustrated not only by the crushed vertebrae that have left her temporarily paralyzed, but also by the debate whether she is a hero who risked her life to save three children ... or a money-grabber. Chen says she suffered the injuries taking the impact of a sack of granules weighing about 1,000 kilograms that was about to fall on children playing in a yard in Baoshan District on August 1. The native of Luoyang City in Henan Province, who was working as an intern in the city, was visiting a friend working at Bei'er Fireproofing Material Co at the time. She said she saw a sack begin to fall on the two girls and a boy, aged seven and eight, whose parents worked at the plant, and rushed over. Chen took the brunt of the impact while the children suffered less serious injuries. However, Chen was shocked to learn that when the city government wanted to reward her for her actions, the children's parents denied she had saved them. Now recovering…

Animated scenery of Song Dynasty capital goes on display

AFTER the China Pavilion ended its 86-day rerun on Saturday, its star attraction, the animated rendition of an 850-year-old scroll painting, "Along the River during the Qingming Festival," will meet the public again in a memorial exhibition on the World Expo 2010. The animated painting will be shown on the second floor in last year's Urban Footprint Pavilion in the Puxi section of the Expo Park. Tickets to the show will cost 30 yuan (US$4.73). Students, servicemen, senior citizens and children can enter for 15 yuan. The 20,000-square-meter exhibition to run for two years and is expected to attract 10,000 visitors a day. The projection is 30 times the size of the original scroll created by the Song Dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145). The painting captures the daily life of people in the then capital, Bianjing, and reveals the lifestyles of both the rich and the poor.The China Pavilion received more than 2.4 million visitors since it reopened on July 12. The building …

Man sent fake bomb-threat in revenge for small salary

A man who falsely claimed to set a bomb in a factory in the city's Fengxian District and extorted 500,000 yuan (US$78,450) was arrested for disseminating false terrorism information, Fengxian District prosecutors said yesterday. The 27-year-old suspect, surnamed Chen, allegedly sent a message to a manager, surnamed Xu, of Fuping Company on August 18 claiming that he had set up a remote controlled bomb in the company. He demanded 500,000 yuan in cash before 5pm in exchange for defusing the bomb. More than 100 policemen, including 78 from the bomb squad, rushed to the scene after receiving the bomb threat report at 2:30pm. They cordoned off the company, but failed to find any explosive device inside. Chen was captured at 10:10am the next day. He told the police that there was no bomb in the company. Chen, a Sichuan native, was an employee of the company from 2009. He allegedly masterminded the bomb scare in revenge for earning a small salary during the two years he worked for the c…

Bus knocks down, kills 80-year-old

AN elderly woman was killed this morning after a bus knocked her down at an intersection on Huaihai Road M. in Huangpu District. The accident happened at about 7am when the bus was driving along Maoming Road S. and turned right into Huaihai Road M. The bus driver said he felt the back wheels bouncing and when inspecting the cause found the elderly woman dead in the road. He told a reporter from xinmin.cn that the woman was about 80 years old. The bus, with a logo of a local international school, was on it way to pick up passengers. Police rushed to the scene and cordoned off the traffic for a while. They are still investigating the accident.

Metro's X-ray machines are 'illegal'

ALL 528 X-ray security inspection machines in Shanghai's Metro stations are "illegal devices" operating without radiation safety licenses, officials with the city's environmental protection bureau said yesterday. "None of the X-ray machines in the Metro stations has gone through an environment impact assessment to get a radiation safety license as the law requires, which means they are all illegal devices in operation," said Chen Jiliang, deputy director of the radiation inspection department under the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. In response, the city's railway police said they would complete assessments to all the machines by the end of this month to ensure their safety, but they would not stop the machines operating in the meantime. Under the law, X-ray machines need to be tested and given safety licenses before they are put into operation. The move is to prevent the risk of radiation leaks. Radiation experts told the Southern Metropoli…

Man punished for posting client data online

A 29-year-old man who posted a local bank's client data on a website to earn credits was punished for his illegal activity, the Pudong District People's Court said today. The man surnamed Hou was fined 5,000 yuan (US$789) by the court. On January 18 and 20, Hou posted two name lists on Baidu, a search engine in China, and claimed the 800-plus individuals each had more than 5 million yuan in savings deposits at the China Merchants Bank. The lists were soon visited by hundreds of netizens and downloaded 22 times. Hou earned credits based on the number of downloads and the credits allowed him to download materials he liked, the court said. Hou confessed that he obtained the client data illegally from someone else between March and April of 2010. He was arrested in a hotel in Xintiandi in April and received a lenient sentence after making a voluntary confession, the court said.

Study: depression changes hate behavior

A recent psychiatric study suggests that depressed people may hate differently because their brain's "hate circuit" has disappeared. Scientists from Shanghai and the UK scanned the brains of 76 people with and without depression and they found that depression affects several areas of the brain, including the one that controls the feeling of hatred. This may explain why they tend to turn emotions like hatred and anger inward instead of venting them out. The discovery may lead to new methods to cure the depression. "We were shocked when we first saw these results," says the lead researcher Feng Jianfeng, a professor of Fudan University's Center for Computational Systems Biology. Their research finding was published in the latest issue of Molecular Psychiatry, a journal run by the Nature Publishing Group, university officials said yesterday. Scientists scanned the brain activity of 39 depressed people and 37 control subjects who were not depressed and found t…

Insider trading ends in jail term

THE former investment director of Shanghai-based Everbright-Prameric Fund Management Co was yesterday sentenced to three years in jail with three years' reprieve for insider trading. Xu Chunmao, who the Jing'an District court heard had been in the mutual fund business for more than seven years, was also fined 2.1 million yuan (US$329,437). Xu was the first Shanghai-based asset manager to be sentenced for insider trading, the court said. Xu made more than 2.09 million yuan in illegal profits and that has been confiscated. Xu, 37, abused his position at Everbright-Prameric from July 2006 to April 2010 by leaking investment tips to three of his former university classmates, the court said. The three would buy shares of certain companies on Xu's advice before or at the same time his firm bought into the companies, the court said. The group traded a total of 68 stocks in this way with a combined investment of more than 95 million yuan. China has been stepping up supervision o…

Speed limits to end on Line 10

SPEED restrictions will be lifted on Shanghai's Metro Line 10 and it will resume normal operations today after a rear-end collision late last month injured nearly 300 people. Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, which operates the city's subway network, said yesterday that trains on Line 10 were restricted to a maximum speed of 45 kilometers per hour soon after the crash on September 27. The speed limit will be lifted after a thorough inspection has been conducted, Shanghai Shentong said. Intervals between trains will be reduced as the trains will travel at normal speeds of 60 to 70 kph. Metro officials said "double staff will still be on duty at key posts, such as drivers and dispatchers, on Line 10 as operations fully return to normal" to ensure safety. Human error was blamed for the two-train collision, the worst in Shanghai's Metro history, according to an investigation released during the holiday. A dozen Metro employees and officials have been punished for the a…

Line 10 to resume normal operation after crash

SHANGHAI'S Line 10 subway will resume normal operation tomorrow after a rear-end collision on Sept. 27 injured nearly 300 passengers, subway authorities said today. A speed limit on the the subway's trains will be lifted after a thorough inspection has been conducted, Shanghai's subway authorities said in a statement. A Line 10 subway train rear-ended another train around 3 p.m. on Sept. 27, injuring more than 270 passengers. Most of the injuries were bruises and bone fractures, although 20 of the injured remain in critical condition. Line 10 resumed operation the day after the crash, although train speeds were limited to 45 km per hour. The Shanghai Shentong Metro Group Company, which operates Line 10, admitted that human error played a role in the train crash. According to an initial investigation, a sudden loss of power caused the subway line's signal system to fail, forcing the trains to be operated manually. Train operators failed to follow proper procedure while …

Ready for ace tournament

Staff of the 2011 Shanghai Rolex Masters watch a flag-raising ceremony yesterday at Shanghai Qizhong Tennis Center, where the top-class tennis event will run from today until October 16. As the highest level tournament in the ATP world tour and the only ATP Masters 1000 Tournament in Asia, the Shanghai Rolex Masters has attracted more than 100 of the world's top players. However, World No. 1 NovakDjokovic and World No. 3 Roger Federer pulled out due to physical problems.

City will bask in a weekend of warmth

SHANGHAI is expected to enjoy warm and fine weather over the next few days when most people are returning to work after the holiday, according to the weather authority. The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said Shanghai should be mainly sunny and partly cloudy from today until Monday, during which the temperature should climb as high as 27 degrees Celsius. Today should be sunny with some cloud and the mercury should range between 17 and 25 degrees. Tomorrow is expected to be cloudy with temperatures between 19 and 27 degrees. Showers are forecast from Monday afternoon to Wednesday. Air quality in the city was hazy yesterday, causing low visibility in some areas, particularly in the west and south, according to Fu Yi, a chief service officer at the weather bureau, who said the haze was mainly dust and should not last long.

Shanghai Apple fans join in mourning

CHINESE Apple fans gathered at Shanghai's three Apple Stores yesterday, leaving flowers and paying silent tributes to Steve Jobs. At China's biggest Apple Store recently opened on downtown Nanjing Road E., at least 1,000 people, including local residents, tourists and Apple Store workers, lined up at the entrance with flowers and notes to mourn Jobs under the store's big Apple logo, whose light had been switched off in tribute. Many of the notes were accompanied by black and white portraits of Jobs, which read, "Thank you, Jobs. You have changed our lives," or "Thank you for bringing us jobs." Some fans expressed their grief and regret with notes saying "iGone," "iThankYou" and "iSad," word plays on Apple's iconic products. A young couple took out a red apple, symbol of the company, and placed it among the notes and flowers. "I still cannot believe it that he has gone, so fast and in such a sudden way without any …

Music is the food of love

A bride and a groom wave to the public during a parade on Yandang Road in downtown Shanghai yesterday. They were among 30 couples who took part in this year's Rose Wedding, a traditional event held during the annual Shanghai Tourism Festival. Music was a highlight of this year's mass wedding with Chinese folk music and Western classical melodies played throughout the ceremony to add to the already romantic nature of the event. This year's Shanghai Tourism Festival ends today.

'I thought it was a joke,' says scientist

IN Shanghai yesterday, Jules Hoffmann, one of the three scientists who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize for medicine, said he thought at first it was a joke when he was told he had won the award. The scientist was on a visit to the city when he was told of the Nobel Committee's decision by a Chinese friend and fellow researcher on Monday night. "I was enjoying the firework shows at Century Park in Pudong with my wife when my Chinese friend, Professor Cao Meixun, told me about the Nobel Prize," Hoffmann told Shanghai Daily. "I then thought it was a joke, just a mistake, and I couldn't believe it." The award meant that the Luxembourg-born French national had to cut short his trip to China and he flew back to France last night. A lecture he planned to give at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences on Saturday was canceled. But he promised he would return and said he was hoping for more collaboration with Chinese scientists. "I am already impressed…

Towering achievement

Wang Yuerong and her nine-year-old daughter Zhao Yixuan pose with a certificate announcing Wang, a Changning District resident, as the 50 millionth visitor to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower yesterday. The landmark structure in Lujiazui first opened to tourists on November 11, 1994.

Staying cool

A woman walks in a cool shower at the Bund in downtown Shanghai yesterday. The low temperature fell further to 18.6 degrees yesterday, against a low of 19.8 degrees on Saturday. Rain is expected again tomorrow and Wednesday and the high will hover between 21 and 22 degrees with lows of 17 to 18 degrees, forecasters said yesterday. However the mercury is forecast to climb back to about 25 degrees toward the end of the weeklong National Day break that draws to an end on Friday.