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Children make their way home from school as willow catkins drift in the air in Hongqi Street, Pingliang city, Gansu province, on Wednesday. Experts warn that the catkins pose a potential risk to traffic and people's health. Photo by Yang Xin / for China Daily
Tornado leaves eight injured
At least eight people were injured and dozens of houses destroyed when a tornado swept through parts of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Wednesday morning. It hit the Qixing district of Guilin and Rong'an county in Liuzhou at around 5 am, meteorological authorities said. Six people were injured in Qixing and at least one is in serious condition, the district government said. Twenty-two houses were destroyed in the district.
Faster Internet services on way
More urban families and rural schools will have access to faster Internet services in 2013, with the government making more efforts to narrow the "digital gap". Some 18,000 rural villages and 5,000 schools in impoverished regions will enjoy broadband or faster Internet service this year, according to an annual plan announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and seven other ministries on Wednesday.
Macao media's economic role
Media in the Macao Special Administrative Region are expected to continue to play an important role in promoting Macao's economic prosperity, as well as communication and cooperation between Macao and the Chinese mainland, China's top publicity official said on Wednesday. Media in Macao have been supporting the work of the region's government and contributed to Macao's prosperity and stability, Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said while meeting a visiting delegation from Macao's media organizations headed by Lok Po, publisher and editor-in-chief of Macao Daily News in Beijing.
Railway corruption case trial held
A case related to former railways minister Liu Zhijun, recently charged with corruption, was heard by Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday, but the media's request to attend the trial was denied, Beijing Evening News reported. The case's five suspects, including Hou Junxia - the daughter of Ding Shumiao, investigated in a separate case related to Liu - were charged with illegal business operations involving 3 billion yuan ($486 million), the newspaper reported.
Nine affected as quake strikes
Nine people were slightly injured after a magnitude-5.0 earthquake jolted the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture on Wednesday morning, authorities said. The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 9:45 am, was in the border area between Eryuan and Yangbi counties, with a depth of 11 km. The provincial civil affairs bureau confirmed the number of injuries at 1 pm. The bureau has sent 4,000 tents, 2,000 items of clothing and 1,000 quilts to those affected.
Eight pupils hurt in stampede
Eight children from a primary school were injured in a stampede at about 3 pm on Wednesday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The pupils were on an escalator at a children's recreation center during a group activity when the escalator suddenly stopped, causing the stampede. Four children were seriously injured, but no lives were endangered, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily.
Prison heads fired over drug scandal
The head and deputy head of Tieling Prison have been fired over a drug scandal involving prisoners, an official confirmed on Wednesday. Yu Guoqiang, an official from the Liaoning Prison Administration Bureau will serve as the new head of the prison, according to a publicity official from the bureau. On Jan 17, authorities found and seized 2.23 grams of methamphetamine at the prison, apparently sent to prisoners by former inmates.
Time for flower competition
Qingdao in Shandong province will host a series of flower-related competitions from April 25 to Oct 25 next year during the Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition, organizers said at a news conference on Wednesday. The competitions focus on the practicality of plants and gardening in everyday life. Visitors may figure out the best way to improve the interiors of their homes and offices through award-winners at the competition.
(China Daily 04/18/2013 page2)