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Chinese rescuers help move a Pakistani vehicle trapped in snow at the China-Pakistan border on Saturday. Fifty-five people in 44 container trucks and two other vehicles were rescued after being trapped for more than 20 hours. Photo by Wei Yongchao / China News Service
28b yuan for safe drinking water
The central government has spent 28 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) this year on improving the drinking water of more than 70 million rural residents, according to the Ministry of Water Resources. Water safety problems in areas that suffered incidence of schistosome - sometimes known as blood-flukes, or flatworms - and high levels of arsenic and fluorine had been solved, said officials.
Minimum wages set to rise
Provinces and municipalities such as Beijing, Zhejiang and Shaanxi will see rises in their minimum wages, starting in January. Beijing's monthly minimum wage will increase from 1,260 yuan ($202) to 1,400 yuan. In Shaanxi province it will be raised from 1,000 yuan to 1,150 yuan, and in Zhejiang province, from 1,310 yuan to 1,470 yuan.
Air quality data to be issued
The government will issue real-time air quality monitoring data in 74 cities including Beijing, Tianjin and major cities in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta starting Jan 1. The data will include PM2.5, a gauge that monitors fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Information on major pollutants in the air, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, will also be released.
Rain and snow forecast in China
Rain and snow are forecast for parts of Northeast and Southwest China in the coming days. Snow or sleet is expected to hit the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, most of Northeast China and some parts of Guizhou province from Sunday to Tuesday, the National Meteorological Center said, bringing moderate to heavy snowfalls.
Longest pipeline operational
China's second west-to-east gas pipeline, the world's longest, became fully operational on Sunday after its last section was opened, according to China National Petroleum Corporation. The 8,704-km pipeline, including one trunk line and eight regional lines, will carry natural gas from central Asia to as far afield as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Funding needed for industries
China should provide special funding to support the development of its new strategic industries, according to a report released on Saturday. The report on "Internet of Things", compiled by the Guanghua School of Management under Peking University and other institutions, said that China's new strategic industries are still facing financing difficulties in spite of their rapid development.
Expert predicts 8% growth in 2013
A state think tank expert has forecast China's GDP to grow more than 8 percent in 2013. Lu Zhongyuan, deputy director of the Development Research Center under the State Council, said China's economy bottomed out in June this year, buoyed by the country's economic restructuring, innovation incentives and the market's self-stabilizing forces.
Red Cross Society launches probe
Members of the public supervision committee of the Red Cross Society of China have arrived in Chengdu, Sichuan province, to launch an independent investigation into suspected dereliction of duty by the local Red Cross branch. Donations in local collection boxes had been left uncollected for four years.
Snowfall brings transport chaos
The first snowfall of the winter to sweep Shanghai and most of the Yangtze River delta area caused hundreds of canceled and delayed flights, halted trains and caused hefty traffic congestion. By 3 pm on Sunday, 146 flights had been canceled at Shanghai's two airports and another 210 delayed, according to Civil Aviation Resource Net of China.
KFC admits high levels of additives
Yum Brands, which owns the fast food chain KFC, has admitted it detected excessive traces of drugs in its chicken samples two years ago but did not disclose it. The company said in a notice on Friday that it has stopped cooperation with Liuhe Group, based in Shandong province, after several batches of chicken from the supplier were found to have excessive levels of additives during tests conducted between 2010 and 2011.
Leopards blamed for goat deaths
Leopards, rarely seen in China in recent years, have been blamed for attacks on livestock in North China recently. The reappearance of the big cats was suspected after 29 goats, raised by a farmer in the deep mountains in Shexian county, Hebei province, were found dead with deep injuries on their necks. Experts from the provincial forestry bureau later confirmed that the goats were killed by leopards.
3,500 kg of Han coins found
Archaeologists have excavated about 3,500 kilograms of ancient coins in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The coins were found in three millennia-old coin pits in the ancient town of Huoluochaideng in Ordos during an investigation by police into local theft, said Lian Jilin, a researcher with the regional Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. Most of the coins were Huoquan, coins commonly used in the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), said Lian.
(China Daily 12/31/2012 page2)