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Back in the saddle
Migrant workers prepare to continue their journey home for Spring Festival on motorcycles after a break in Changshan county, Zhejiang province, on Thursday. After a year's work in Wenzhou, they will be reunited with families in their hometown in Jiangxi province. Photo by Ju Huanzong / Xinhua
Guidelines to protect privacy
China's first set of national guidelines on personal information protection took effect on Friday. Information collectors should obtain permission before collecting and using citizens' private information, according to the rules, first published in November. Leaks of private information such as phone numbers and purchase records have often been used for commercial purposes and have aroused concern among the public amid China's ongoing Internet boom.
Nation increases cultural spending
The central government spent 15.52 billion yuan ($2.47 billion) on improving cultural services for the public in 2012, up 19.8 percent from a year ago, according to the Ministry of Finance. The total funds earmarked for cultural services during the 2003-12 period reached 58.01 billion yuan, representing compound annual growth of 82.2 percent, the ministry said.
Academy shuts door on tobacco
The Chinese Academy of Engineering said on Friday it will no longer admit tobacco scientists, more than a year after the entrance of a tobacco expert stirred strong controversy. Scientists who work in tobacco research will not be nominated or recommended for future selections of academics, said Xu Rigan, the academy's vice-president. The elite academic body included Xie Jianping, a cigarette researcher, as a member in December 2011.
Fleet enters South China Sea
A Chinese People's Liberation Army navy fleet has entered the country's territorial waters in the South China Sea for patrol and training missions, military sources said on Friday. Comprising the missile destroyer Qingdao and the missile frigates Yantai and Yancheng, the fleet entered the South China Sea at 11:40 am after taking about five hours to pass through the Bashi Channel. The three ships, all from the North China Sea Fleet of the PLA navy, are scheduled to carry out patrol missions and training exercises in the South China Sea over the next few days, according to navy sources.
Top adviser attends symposium
Top Chinese political adviser Jia Qinglin on Friday attended a symposium to mark the centenary of the birth of former general Hong Xuezhi. Hong was a former member and deputy secretary-general of the Central Military Commission and former head of the General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army. He was also a vice-chairman of the Seventh and Eighth National Committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He died on Nov 20, 2006, at the age of 94.
Regulations on household service
A set of rules on household service industry management, which were created to reject improper practices in the booming sector, took effect on Friday. Issued by the Ministry of Commerce in December, the rules state household service agencies shall not default on workers' wages or overcharge employees in the name of management fees. Household service agencies or workers shall enter into a written service contract with customers, or the agencies will face a fine of up to 30,000 yuan ($4,800), according to the rules.
Tomb cluster unearthed
Archaeologists have unearthed an unidentified cluster of 102 tombs, 40 percent of which were made for infants, on the Pamirs Plateau in the westernmost part of the country. The tombs, found in Kezilesu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, contain wooden caskets with desiccated corpses, as well as stoneware, pottery and copper ware believed to have been buried as sacrificial items, said Ai Tao from the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute.
Mothers should 'stay for children'
A deputy to the Hunan provincial people's congress said that mothers who have children under 3 years old should not leave home for extended periods of time, according to a report on gmw.cn, a website owned by the Guangming Daily. Xiao Bailing, head of the provincial women's federation, was quoted as saying during the local sessions that it is vital to protect the rights of children whose parents moved out of their hometowns to seek better job opportunities.
County building to cost 100m yuan
A county government in Anhui province is planning to spend more than 100 million yuan ($16 million) on a building, more than double the approved cost, China News Service reported on Friday. Qimen county in Huangshan city was originally allowed by the provincial economic planner to build an 18,000 square meter administrative building at a cost of 45 million yuan. But according to a statement on its website on Wednesday, the building turned out to have a floor area of 33,000 sq m and is scheduled to cost 106 million yuan.
Conservation efforts pay off
Years of conservation efforts by the government, non-governmental organizations and individuals have paid off in Northwest China's Qinghai province, which now holds the largest share of the country's wetlands. By the end of last year, Qinghai's wetland area had reached 8.16 million hectares, around a 50 percent increase from 1997, according to data released by the province's forestry department in late January.
(China Daily 02/02/2013 page2)