Around China

Updated: 2013-03-20 07:15

(China Daily)

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Anti-corruption top public concern

Fighting corruption is the public's biggest concern of all the issues discussed during the annual political sessions, a survey reveals. According to a poll conducted by the China Youth Daily released on Tuesday, 53 percent of the 8,205 people polled said anti-graft issues concerned them most. China's new leadership has adopted a tough tone in pinpointing the urgency of fighting corruption.

Pair of pandas heads to Canada

Two pandas will leave China for Canada on March 25 and stay there for 10 years, according to an agreement signed by the two countries. The pandas, Ershun and Damao, will be accompanied by animal protection experts during the flight, and fresh bamboo will be sent to them regularly. The pandas will spend five years each at the Toronto and Calgary zoos.

Hotline operational in 26 provinces

A national health service hotline is providing services to more than two-thirds of provincial regions, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said on Tuesday. The commission said the hotline had received 3,449,000 calls by the end of 2012. The public health service number - 12320 - opened in 2006. There are 31 provincial regions on the mainland and 26 have access to the service hotline.

FM calls for political dialogue

A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday called on all parties in Syria to open a political dialogue soon. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a daily news briefing, noting that China has always considered a political solution as the only practical way out for Syria. Hong's comments came after Syria's opposition coalition elected Ghats Ditto as prime minister of the interim government on Tuesday.


Former official faces charges

Li Jun, a former official of the civil affairs bureau of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, was charged on March 18 with molesting underage boys. Li allegedly met the boys through QQ, a popular Chinese instant messaging application, lured them to his apartment, molested them and gave them money afterward, according to the people's procuratorate of Liwan district in Guangzhou. The alleged crimes occurred between September 2011 and June 2012.


11 dead, 2 missing after ship sinks

Rescuers have retrieved 11 bodies and are searching for two missing crew members after a container ship sank off east China, authorities said on Tuesday. The Beihai Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport dispatched two rescue vessels and a helicopter to the area 40 nautical miles northeast of Longkou, Shandong Province, after the ship with 14 aboard capsized and sank at around 5:15 pm on Monday amid strong winds.


22 drug-trafficking suspects arrested

Police from Hunan province have arrested 22 suspects for drug trafficking, uncovered 268 kg of methamphetamine tablets and seized 5.28 million yuan ($642,000), Legal Daily reported on Monday. It is the biggest national drug trafficking case this year. Police said that in July they investigated a drug trafficking case and later set up a special investigation team.


Melting snow wreaks havoc

More than 16,000 people have been affected and thousands of houses damaged by floods triggered by melting snow in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, authorities said on Tuesday. Temperatures in Xinjiang's northern Burqin county are rising, leading to melting snow in mountainous areas and flooding. It has caused damage and economic losses of more than 80 million yuan ($12.87 million).


Fire kills pupil and injures six others

One pupil died and six others were injured after a fire at an unlicensed education center for children, the local government said on Tuesday. The blaze broke out at the center for primary pupils in a seven-story building in Liushi town, Leqing city, at 10:30 pm on Monday.

Hong Kong

Private sector employment rises

Hong Kong boosted private sector employment by 1.3 percent or 34,800 people in December 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier, the city's Census and Statistics Department said on Tuesday. The figures also show that the total number of vacancies was 65,100, representing an increase of 18 percent over the same month of the preceding year.

Xinhua - China Daily