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Health Minister investigating campaign that paid Instagrammers to get young women to exercise

A taxpayer-funded campaign that paid Instagram influencers to encourage their followers to exercise more is under "immediate investigation" by Greg Hunt.

Source: ABC News | 20 Jul 2018 | 1:07 pm(NZT)

Police appeal for information on Grey Lynn man Biao Zhang missing for past month

Police are concerned for the wellbeing of a young Auckland man who has been missing for the past month. Biao Zhang, 29, has been reported missing from Grey Lynn since June 21. Senior Constable Graeme Bruges said police had made...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 12:57 pm(NZT)

Funeral underway for Burmese couple who drowned at Auckland's Muriwai Beach

A joint funeral is underway for a couple who left Burma as refugees for the safety of New Zealand, only to drown tragically at Auckland's Muriwai Beach.Kay Dah Ukay, 48, and his wife Mu Thu Pa, 50, were fishing on the rocks with...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 12:43 pm(NZT)

'Loud bang' heard before two people found dead in crashed car in Pakuranga

Some Pakuranga residents reported hearing a "loud bang" in the early hours of this morning before two people were found dead in a crashed car in Pakuranga early this morning. One woman told the Herald her mother heard the crash...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 12:25 pm(NZT)

'You're just fat': Why bad diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome could be a thing of the past

New guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome could help thousands of Australian women who have struggled with the disorder.

Source: ABC News | 20 Jul 2018 | 12:13 pm(NZT)

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Man once acquitted for 1980s murder charged again under double jeopardy laws

Queensland's double jeopardy provisions are being used for the first time after a man previously acquitted for a murder is charged again in relation to the 1980s death.

Source: ABC News | 20 Jul 2018 | 12:05 pm(NZT)

Cow trapped on cliff as worried Whanganui onlookers ponder its fate

A cow is stranded above Mowhanau Beach, near Whanganui.It stands atop a subsided ledge and has no path to freedom.Callers to the Wanganui Chronicle said they were concerned about might happen at high tide.Others have said...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 11:40 am(NZT)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Happy 25th NZ First - now grow up

In this country you only reach full adulthood at 25.At 17 you can join the army. At 18 you can drink. At 20 you can gamble in a casino. At 24 your parents' income won't count against government assistance for your studies. And at...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 11:23 am(NZT)

Violent threats made against peace group opposing visit of controversial Canadian pair

A group opposing the New Zealand visit by two controversial Canadian speakers accused of hate speech say they are being threatened on social media.Far-right activists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have been granted visas to...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 11:16 am(NZT)

Mistaken identity suspected in Mount Maunganui home invasion

Three men with weapons who forced their way into a Mount Maunganui home early this morning are on the run from police.Western Bay of Plenty area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton said he believed the people at home during the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 11:02 am(NZT)

Doctors' horror: Kids with maggots in scalps and pre-schoolers with rotting teeth

Children with maggot-infested scalps and pre-schoolers with rotting teeth are among the horror stories that are being revealed by New Zealand doctors. In a bid to address child poverty, paediatricians have opened up about distressing...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 11:02 am(NZT)

Waverley crash sole survivor Ani Nohinohi faces learning to walk again

The sole survivor of the Waverley crash where seven people died, including her partner and two children, is having to learn to walk again.Ani Nohinohi is the only person to survive the two-car crash that left seven people dead...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 10:50 am(NZT)

Company fined $37,500 for ignoring quake strengthening orders for 10 years

A Lower Hutt company has become the first in New Zealand to be prosecuted for failing to complete earthquake strengthening of a building it owns in Petone.The case centres on an earthquake-prone building notice issued to the company...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 10:47 am(NZT)

Russel Norman and Sara Howell await fate for Greenpeace protest

Greenpeace Aotearoa executive director Russel Norman and volunteer Sara Howell face an anxious wait to find out whether they will be convicted after trying to disrupt oil exploration off the North Island's east coast.At the end...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 10:05 am(NZT)

Auckland woman declared unfit to stand trial for grisly murder of sister in 2008

A woman accused of murdering her sister and leaving her charred remains in a car has been declared unfit to stand trial nearly a decade after the gruesome Auckland killing - despite a judge saying there is evidence pointing towards...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 10:00 am(NZT)

Hunter avoids jail after fatally shooting Bay of Plenty grandfather during the 'roar'

A Waikato man who shot and killed a Katikati grandfather while hunting has avoided jail.Quentin Clay McCreedy and Gordon Douglas Leech, 57, were hunting deer in the Kaimai Range when McCreedy mistook Leech for a deer.He fired...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:56 am(NZT)

Identity of teen accused of killing Oliver Johnston whose body found at Woodend Beach remains secret

The identity of a teenager charged with murdering a 20-year-old man, whose body was found on a Canterbury lifestyle block after a two-day police hunt, will remain a secret for at least two more months. The 18-year-old man is accused...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:54 am(NZT)

Union contacts police, says Wellington bus drivers' shifts in breach of law

Police have been contacted over ongoing concerns around Wellington's new bus network and operator Tranzit.The Tramways Union has filed a complaint with police, concerned about the hours Wellington drivers are working under their...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:41 am(NZT)

Anzac spirit: Haunting words of Wellington solider feature in new memorial

Words of a Wellington soldier who survived three of the bloodiest battles in World War I will create a haunting segment in an Anzac memorial opening in Queensland tomorrow. Walk with the Anzacs - Gallipoli to Armistice is a multimedia...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:41 am(NZT)

Helicopter pilot Rick Lucas admits lying about medications

A Wellington helicopter pilot who was prescribed anti-anxiety and sleep medications considered unsafe to fly on has pleaded guilty to lying on his medical forms.Rick Lucas has denied a charge of careless flying, but today pleaded...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:25 am(NZT)

Alt right speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux granted entry to NZ

Immigration NZ has granted visas to controversial Canadian speakers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, but Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the decision does not condone their "repugnant views".The pair, who have stirred...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 9:12 am(NZT)

Two dead after car crashes into Pakuranga building

Two people are dead after a crash in Pakuranga early this morning. A car has veered off Pakuranga Rd and has crashed into a building near Udys Rd and Johns Lane.The vehicle was severely damaged and has split into at least four...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 8:27 am(NZT)

Police still seeking car in connection with Huntly man's death

Police investigating the death of Huntly man Wayne Noda are still seeking a dark blue Nissan Skyline in connection to his murder.Noda's beaten body was found inside Berryman Access Rd home on Saturday June 30.No arrests have yet...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 20 Jul 2018 | 8:14 am(NZT)

Watch Macron’s security aide attack a protester. The French government has now come under fire.

Alexandre Benalla was given a two-week suspension as a punishment, which immediately drew the ire of political opposition leaders.

Source: WorldViews | 20 Jul 2018 | 5:59 am(NZT)

After being called ‘aggressive’ by Trump, Montenegro insists it’s a friend to America

Montenegro said in a statement that “the friendship and alliance of Montenegro and the United States of America is strong and permanent.”

Source: WorldViews | 20 Jul 2018 | 5:42 am(NZT)

In India, at least 17 men are accused of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old

The men would kidnap the girl and then film their assaults, court documents say.

Source: WorldViews | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:57 am(NZT)

HK launches campaign for plastic-free beaches

Hong Kong yesterday launched a “plastic-free beach” campaign, calling on people to cut down the use of disposable plastic tableware on beaches to protect the ocean environment.The campaign, named “Plastic-Free Beach, Tableware First,” was launched by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing at Repulse Bay Beach, a popular attraction, especially in summer.Members of the public as well as eateries on beaches and nearby areas are encouraged to cut down on using disposable plastic utensils and tableware, the Environmental Protection Department said, adding that the initiative aimed to achieve a plastic-free ocean.Speaking at the campaign’s launch ceremony, Wong said the problem of excessive plastic waste is pressing and worldwide; and it is a global challenge to prevent plastic waste from entering the marine environment.“The gazetted beaches, in particular during summer time, will be a very good venue to talk about this. It is a venue associated with the ocean and marine lives,” he said. “So with our volunteers and green groups we can work together to promote that change.”Around 47 fast food kiosks and restaurants at and nearby public beaches have joined the campaign so far.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Oktoberfest in Yunnan

Munich’s Oktoberfest, one of the world’s most prestigious beer festivals, will kick off its latest China tour next month in Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan Province. The festival will run from August 10 to 25, according to organizers.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Industrial shift lures back migrant mothers

Chen Jiangling couldn’t be happier these days. The 35-year-old mother of two has secured a stable job near her home and can now look after her children after work.Chen comes from Sanmenzhai Village in Jianghua Yao Autonomous County, central China’s Hunan Province. Jianghua, located in the mountainous region of Nanling, is one of the country’s poorest counties.For years, Chen and her husband had to travel away from home as migrant workers, leaving their children behind under their grandparents’ care.Chen’s story is not uncommon. In 2016, there were more than 9 million left-behind children across the country and 90 percent of them lived in the less-developed central and western regions. Hunan now has about 700,000 left-behind children.With industries in more prosperous coastal regions facing rising labor costs in recent years, the transformation and upgrade has forced many labor-intensive businesses to move inland, bringing vast numbers of jobs and creating opportunities for migrant working mothers to return home.Two years ago, after learning that Jianghua was soliciting businesses from coastal areas, Chen decided to return from Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. She finally got a job as a quality inspector at a factory in Jianghua Jiuheng Industrial Park, where her husband, too, found a job.“Working near home feels so much different, I can spend time with my children while still earning money,” she said.The industrial park now employs 10,000-plus people, with an annual per capita income of 30,000 yuan (US$4,424). Another 400 companies in the county have also provided 9,000 jobs for local residents.Pan Jinying is another mother who has returned home to work in Jianghua. In February, she found a job in a clothing factory and earns about 1,000 yuan a month.The 39-year-old has two children — a 17-year-old son, and an 8-year-old daughter. Pan said she hopes her son can join her factory as a technician, and she will have more time taking care of her daughter who is still in elementary school.In 2012, Dongliang Wood Industry moved its manufacturing base from Guangdong to Jianghua’s Mashi Township, creating more than 100 jobs. “The favorable policies and great investment environment have made the inland areas more appealing,” said Yang Yangfang, CTO of the company.Yang is originally from Shaoyang in Hunan. She started the timber business with her husband in Guangdong in the 1990s and now she is bringing the business back to her hometown.“I love my hometown, and I enjoy my life here,” Yang said. “My children were born in Guangzhou, and when they grow older I think I will stay in Hunan.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Xi calls for all-out efforts on flood control

PRESIDENT Xi Jinping has stressed a people-centered approach to flood control and disaster relief work and urged all-out efforts to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark in an instruction on flood control and disaster relief work as rainstorms have hit many regions across the country, triggering landslides and flooding of rivers this month. Noting that China has entered flood and typhoon season, Xi urged Party committees and governments of related regions to firmly adhere to a people-centered approach, carry out rescue and relief work at full strength, minimize casualties, properly arrange people’s lives in disaster areas, and reduce disaster losses to the minimum. In July, rainstorms have hit many regions, triggering flooding of rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Jialing, Tuojiang and Fujiang rivers. As of Wednesday, a total of 20.53 million people in 27 provincial-level regions had been affected by flooding, with 54 dead and eight missing. Flood disasters also affected 1.759 million hectares of crops and flattened 23,000 houses, inflicting direct economic losses of 51.6 billion yuan (US$7.6 billion). Xi ordered local authorities of relevant regions to strengthen emergency duties, fulfill responsibilities and refine planned measures to ensure disasters can be addressed quickly. Monitoring and early warnings of meteorological, flooding and geological disasters should be enhanced and inspections of major areas should be strengthened to prevent disasters and secondary disasters, Xi said. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Emergency Management should coordinate all social forces and resources, and guide local governments to carry out relief work and make all-out efforts to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property and social stability, Xi said. Flood-hit regions have launched emergency responses and taken all efforts to relocate people and repair facilities. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Emergency Management have dispatched work teams to flood-hit areas to lead relief work.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Tibet compensation for wildlife damage

THE Tibet Autonomous Region, a natural habitat for many species of wildlife in southwest China, has spent 730 million yuan (US$108 million) to compensate residents for damage caused by wild animals, local forestry authorities said.Thanks to the improved environment, the population of wild animals on the plateau has grown, resulting in increased interactions with herders and farmers, according to Zongga, deputy director of the regional forestry department.The regional government started piloting the compensation plan in 2006 and expanded it to all areas in 2010. Most of the compensation was funded by the government, with insurance firms paying the rest.The measure protects the interests of residents with the aim to prevent them from hurting the animals causing the damage such as yaks, leopards, and sheep, Zongga said. The population of Tibetan antelopes and yaks, both protected species, has since risen by 10,000 each.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

China sets mark in wetland protection

Wetland areas in China cover a total of 53.6 million hectares, official data showed.The statistics were released by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration at the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference held recently in southwest Guizhou Province.China has 57 wetlands that are of international importance, 602 wetland nature reserves and 898 national wetland parks, according to the administration.In the country’s wetland ecosystem, there are 4,220 species of plant and 2,312 species of animals, with the wetland protection rate reaching 49 percent, figures show.With increased policy support and financial investment, China has achieved remarkable results in wetland protection, said Li Chunliang, deputy director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.According to Li, a total of 8.15 billion yuan (US$1.23 billion) of central investment was arranged from 2013 to 2017, covering more than 1,500 wetland protection and restoration projects. Around 233,333 hectares of wetland was restored, with 51,000 hectares of farmland converted into wetlands.China will step up efforts in strengthening the protection and restoration of wetlands as the focus of ecological civilization construction, and strive to see its wetland area reach no less than 53.3 million hectares with a wetland protection rate of 50 percent by 2020, according to Li.By 2035, the quality of China’s wetland ecosystem will be significantly improved, the official added.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

New space vehicle

China is developing a space vehicle to help transport orbiting satellites that have run out of fuel, Science and Technology Daily reported yesterday. The vehicle is being developed by an academy affiliated to the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. The carrier, instead of refueling the satellite, will use a robotic arm to dock with it, and will then carry the satellite to maintain its original orbit.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

China secures trade deals as Xi arrives in UAE

CHINA and the United Arab Emirates yesterday announced oil and trade deals ahead of a state visit by President Xi Jinping to the Gulf state. State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co said it has awarded two contracts worth US$1.6 billion to BGP Inc, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp, for a seismic survey in the emirate. The survey is to search for oil and gas in onshore and offshore sites covering an area of 53,000 square kilometers, the statement said. CNPC already has two concession rights contracts with ADNOC worth around US$3 billion. The UAE’s state-owned DP World also announced an agreement by the two countries to build a new trade zone in Dubai. The deal between the global port operator and the Zhejiang China Commodities City Group will see a “traders’ market” built at Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone. The project is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious plan to revive the ancient Silk Road trading routes with a global network of ports, roads and railways. The new facility will cover 3 square km at the Jebel Ali site, which is the Middle East’s largest trade zone, DP World said in a statement. The market will host a vast range of goods from food and cosmetics to building materials and technology. DP World, which operates in 40 countries, did not announce the value of the deal or provide a time frame for its construction. Xi arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday for a state visit to the UAE, the first by a Chinese head of state in 29 years to the Arab state. During the visit, the two sides are expected to bolster cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative, production capacity, energy, agriculture and finance, and further promote their strategic partnership. China is the UAE’s top trading partner, with non-oil trade in 2017 rising 15 percent year on year to over US$53.3 billion — more than 90 percent of it Chinese exports to the UAE, according to Abu Dhabi’s finance ministry. The UAE is also one of the top 15 crude suppliers to China, exporting some US$4 billion worth of oil to China last year. In a further sign of strengthening ties between the two countries, Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar Properties on Wednesday announced plans to build the Middle East’s largest Chinatown in the UAE. Xi is carrying out a major diplomatic move from yesterday to July 28, paying state visits to the UAE, Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, attending the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, and visiting Mauritius during a stopover. The overseas trip, his first after being re-elected Chinese president in March, is aimed at pushing for concerted efforts to further boost common development and improve global governance against the backdrop of profound changes in the international circumstances. Xi’s visit to Senegal will be the first by a Chinese head of state in nine years and his first visit to a West African country. China is now Senegal’s second-largest trading partner and largest source of financing. Xi’s Rwanda visit will be the first by a Chinese president. China is the largest trading partner of Rwanda. Xi’s visit to South Africa will be his third state visit to the country. China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, and South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa. In Mauritius, the Chinese president and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth will meet on ties and cooperation, as well as other international and regional issues of common concern.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Officials punished

China has punished 240,000 officials for discipline violations during the first half of 2018, officials said yesterday.According to an announcement released jointly by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, 28 of the punished officials were at provincial level or above. More than 1,500 of the punished were at prefecture level, with about 10,000 at county level.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Duterte’s drug war killed thousands, and Filipinos still loved him. Then he called God ‘stupid.’

The Philippine leader is known for his off-color and off-the-cuff rhetoric. But in a deeply religious nation, he might have gone too far.

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 11:30 pm(NZT)

Austrian state wants to force meat-consuming Jews and Muslims to register, drawing Nazi comparisons

One Jewish association branded the law proposal an “Aryan paragraph."

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 10:54 pm(NZT)

Nicaragua is on the path to becoming the next Venezuela

Protests and crackdowns have claimed around 300 lives in the Central American nation since mid-April.

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:59 pm(NZT)

North Korea has 2.6 million ‘modern slaves,’ new report estimates

One in 10 people in North Korea live as “modern slaves,” the report found.

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:05 pm(NZT)

On fourth anniversary of MH17 crash, father of three victims slams Trump’s friendliness with Putin

Tuesday marked four years since MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers on board.

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 9:19 am(NZT)

Dutch foreign minister says multicultural societies breed violence

"Give me an example of a multiethnic, multicultural society, where the indigenous population still live . . . where they live in a peaceful, societal union,” Blok said. “I don't know of any."

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 9:07 am(NZT)

How did Nelson Mandela survive 27 years in prison? A new collection of letters sheds light.

A new collection of Nelson Mandela's prison letters show how he tried to stay connected to the outside world during his imprisonment.

Source: WorldViews | 19 Jul 2018 | 7:41 am(NZT)

Typhoon makes landfall

Son-Tinh, the ninth typhoon this year, made landfall at 4:50am yesterday in Wanning, southern island province of Hainan, bringing gales of up to 23 meters per second at its eye, according to local meteorological authorities.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Gansu ex-top official gets 15 years’ jail

Yu Haiyan, former vice governor of northwestern Gansu Province, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined 6 million yuan (US$893,000) for taking bribes by a court in Chongqing yesterday. Yu’s illicit gains will be turned over to the state treasury, according to the verdict announced by the First Intermediate People’s Court of Chongqing. The court found that between 1998 and 2016, Yu took advantage of his positions to seek benefit on product sales, project contracts, real estate development and personnel arrangements and promotions for others.He was convicted of accepting money and gifts worth more than 65.63 million yuan personally or through his wife, Li Yanhua, the court said.Yu confessed his crimes, provided leads on his case, and returned all the bribes, which led to mitigation of his sentence, it added. Yu decided not to appeal.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Report says Qinghai-Tibet Plateau among cleanest regions on earth

THE Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which covers over a quarter of China’s land area, is still one of the cleanest regions on earth, according to a white paper issued by the Chinese government yesterday. With a low intensity of human activity on the plateau, “the air quality is little impacted, the types of pollutants are few and the density is low, and the content of pollutants is similar to those at the North Pole,” said the white paper, titled “Ecological Progress on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.” Ecological progress on the plateau is essential to the Beautiful China initiative, which aims to create good working and living environments for Chinese people and play China’s part in ensuring global ecological security. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have made ecological conservation a top priority, and believe protecting the plateau is a vital task for China’s survival and development. Solid achievements A conservation and protection system is being developed step by step for the plateau, with solid achievements in improving ecological conservation and environment quality, according to the white paper. The local green industry has witnessed steady growth, and an eco-culture is taking shape to showcase the plateau’s exemplary role in ecological development. Located in southwest China, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau covers the entire Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, in addition to parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Xinjiang. It is about 2.6 million square kilometers in area, and most of it lies at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters above sea level. Hailed as the “roof of the world,” the “third pole” and the “water tower of Asia,” the plateau is a natural habitat for rare animals and a gene pool of plateau life. It is a key eco-safety barrier in China and Asia, and a focus of the country’s drive to promote ecological progress. China has established an ecological compensation mechanism for the plateau. From 2008 to 2017, the central government made transfer payments of 16.29 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) and 8.35 billion yuan to key ecological function zones in Qinghai and Tibet, respectively, covering 77 key counties and all areas prohibited to development by the state, according to the white paper. China is improving its policies and regulations for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to form an increasingly complete system for ensuring ecological progress. A system of protected natural areas has been set up in the region, it said. To date, the plateau has established 155 nature reserves at all levels (41 state and 64 provincial ones), covering a total area of 822,400 square km. This is equivalent to 31.63 percent of the plateau’s landmass and represents 57.56 percent of China’s land nature reserve areas. A number of eco-projects have been implemented on the plateau, achieving positive results in ecosystem conservation, reining in the degradation of the local ecosystem and restoring biodiversity, said the white paper. The restoration and expansion of rare and endangered species is visible evidence of success in biodiversity conservation, it added. The number of Tibetan antelope on the Qiangtang Plateau in the Tibet Autonomous Region increased from about 60,000 in 2000 to more than 200,000 in 2016. The number of wild yak in this area increased from 6,000 before it was included for protection, to 10,000 in 2016. The Chinese government has carried out a number of projects for overall improvement of river basins, improvement of urban and rural living conditions, and prevention and control of pollution from factories and mines, according to the white paper. Zhang Yongze, vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said at a press briefing that more than 94 percent of the region’s rivers are prohibited from exploitation and development. “Tibet remains one of the areas in the world with best environmental quality,” Zhang said, noting that most areas of the region are in a primordial state. Tian Jinchen, vice governor of Qinghai, told the same briefing that the province had witnessed an increase in its green coverage, water resources, area of wetland ecosystem, biodiversity and herdsmen’s income over the years, while its desert has been dwindling. The area of Qinghai Lake, China’s largest saltwater lake, has expanded more than 170 square km since 2005, reaching a record size in 40 years. Nearly 1,000 highland lakes and wetlands which disappeared in the late 1990s re-emerged in the Sanjiangyuan area, Tian said. “The concept of ecological protection is on the mind of every herdsman,” said Drolmayap, a herdsman-turned park ranger for the Sanjiangyuan National Park, which started trial operation in 2016, to protect the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang (Mekong) rivers. Sanjiangyuan means “the source of three rivers.” The environment had degraded due to human activity such as overgrazing but has seen improvement over the past decade with intensified conservation and restoration input. “The area has come back to life with blue sky, green grass and clear water,” Drolmayap said. “We frequently see Tibetan antelopes, which used to be rare.” The white paper pointed out that the unique strengths of local agriculture and animal husbandry have become increasingly outstanding on the plateau. More than 100 leading enterprises have emerged, increasing the incomes of local farmers and herdsmen by 1.18 billion yuan and benefiting 1.75 million people. Tourism has become an important channel for green growth and higher incomes for farmers and herdsmen. In 2017, Tibet hosted 25.61 million visitors, and its revenues totaled 37.94 billion yuan, representing 28.95 percent of the region’s GDP; Qinghai received 34.84 million visitors, and its revenues totaled 38.15 billion yuan, or 14.44 percent of the province’s GDP, the white paper said. The white paper, however, noted that the plateau still faces many ecological challenges, including glacier retreat, melting permafrost and other growing disaster risks, due to global warming and contradictions between protection and development.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Animal products seized

Chinese customs have intercepted a large quantity of illegal animal products worth up to 106 million yuan (US$15.8 million), the customs office in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, said yesterday.The smuggled animal products include two elephant tusks, 1,276 antelope horns, 156 mammoth tusks, 406 walrus tusks, 226 narwhal tusks as well as bear gall bladders and teeth, and 320kg of sea cucumbers. The products were hidden in a Russian truck that claimed to be carrying soybeans. Eight suspects were arrested.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Online gambling busted

Police in east China’s Jiangsu Province have caught 23 people in an online gambling case involving over 4.2 billion yuan (US$625 million). Thirty-three servers and more than 40 mobile phones were confiscated, and 65 bank accounts have been frozen, police in Zhenjiang City said on Tuesday. An investigation showed that an online gambling gang, with members in more than 10 provinces and regions in China, had set its primary server in the Philippines, and used a rental server in China to support the gambling websites.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

No more life risks as technology bolsters flood-control measures

Holding a smartphone, He Xuehao, director of the flood control office in Anqing City, east China’s Anhui Province, knows everything about the city’s real-time precipitation and hydrologic conditions.Anqing is situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway. Every summer, flood season arrives just in time to worry flood control officials like He.In the summer of 1998, the Yangtze saw some if its worst flooding, causing more than 1,000 deaths.Determining rising water levels is one of the biggest challenges for the flood control office.He still remembers that 20 years ago, when he was just 16, he had to patrol dikes every two hours, with a bamboo pole, a flashlight, and an umbrella, for days on end.“I had to row a boat and even swim to the mid-stream to measure water levels. It was troublesome and extremely dangerous,” he recalled.Thanks to the advancement of technology in flood control, officials like He no longer have to risk their lives to measure water levels in rivers.“The automatic observation and flood prediction system achieves full coverage of the Yangtze — the mainstream, primary tributaries, large reservoirs, key medium reservoirs and lakes along the river,” He said.In Anqing alone, more than 600 stations measure and report rainfall automatically, and 210 water-level gauging stations provide precise and timely monitoring data, which helps officials form and implement emergency plans.In addition, a series of flood control equipment has been put into use. In 2016, a collapsible mobile “water plugging wall” with a waterproof canvas bag at its core was used to fill dike breaches in Anqing. In just 10 minutes, the “wall” can swell up to 6 meters, serving as a water barrier.“China has comprehensively strengthened its flood resistance ability in the past 20 years,” He said.In 2010, flood control headquarters in neighboring Jiangxi Province used satellite remote sensing to evaluate flood situations and dispatch rescue teams to the worst-hit areas. Two years later, drones were used to monitor water levels.This year, the province purchased five units of drainage equipment that can adapt to different environments such as cities and farmland. Seven remote-control rescue robots also came into service in Jiangxi. Shaped like lifeboats, these robots can evacuate three to four people stranded by the flood and deliver relief supplies.“We have set up a compete flood prevention communication system, which can automatically send warning messages to residents if a potential risk of flood is detected,” said Wang Bin, secretary general of Huaihe River Flood Control Headquarters. “Technology improves prediction accuracy, increases rescue efficiency, and reduces losses caused by flooding.”Huaihe is another flood-prone river that originates from central China’s Henan Province.With the advanced flood observation system and the introduction of cutting-edge equipment, floods are no longer as life-threatening as they used to be before, He added.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Taking aim at illegal land reclamation

China’s coastal regions were asked to rectify improper and illegal land reclamation practices after inspections exposed issues that could cause damage to marine ecosystems.Inspectors from the State Oceanic Administration reported issues to 11 provincial-level regions, including Shanghai and Guangdong, urging them to correct problems such as a high vacancy rate of reclaimed land and an improper project approval process.Since 2002, Tianjin has reclaimed 27,850 hectares, yet the vacancy land amounted to 19,202 hectares, resulting in a vacancy rate of 69 percent.The vacancy rate in other regions, including east China’s Zhejiang and Shandong provinces, was also found to be above 40 percent.The inspectors said that local authorities behaved improperly in project approval. Projects covering reclaimed land were segmented into smaller sections to bypass state-level examination and approval, inspectors found.Local authorities also failed to contain nearshore pollution and protect the marine ecology amid lack of supervision.In 2017, inspectors were dispatched to 11 provincial-level regions, namely Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Hebei, Hainan, Jiangsu, Liaoning, and Guangxi.Concrete actions were taken to address the issues in question. By the end of April 2018, south China’s Guangdong Province settled 305 cases transferred by the inspection team, 19 of which were placed on file and settled with punishment.Environmental protection has been high on the agenda of the Chinese government, with authorities stepping up efforts to punish those who violate environmental laws. In January this year, China introduced its toughest regulation on land reclamation along the coastline, vowing to demolish illegally reclaimed land and stop approving general reclamation projects.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

It’s beating the heat, Chinese-style

Chinese people embraced the first day of sanfu, the hottest and dampest period of the year, yesterday, in unique ways across the country.Sanfu, also called China’s “dog days of summer,” refers to three periods that are predicted to be the hottest days of the year. The period, usually mid-July to mid-August, will last 40 days this year. As a millennium-old tradition, Chinese people are spending sanfu like their ancestors.In traditional Chinese medicine, sanfu is considered a particularly suitable time for treating illnesses. Originating in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), sanfutie, a special treatment, has been used for thousands of years.In the central metropolis of Wuhan, tens of thousands of people came to the Hubei Provincial TCM Hospital for the treatment — a bandage made of herbal TCM placed on various acupuncture points on the body.“This is the 11th year I have received this kind of treatment,” said a woman in her 40s waiting in line to get the sanfutie.“I was diagnosed with chronic pharyngitis several years ago, but after I used sanfutie, my disease was gradually cured,” said the woman on condition of anonymity.Amazed by the effects of sanfutie, she recommended the therapy to her friends.“Sanfutie represents a typical counter-season TCM treatment, which treats cold-weather-related illnesses in hot summer,” said Deng Kebin, director of the otolaryngology department of the hospital.“Because of the hot temperature, the meridians in the human body are clear and smooth, providing a great opportunity to balance the body’s energy to heal diseases.”In Tai’an City, east China’s Shandong Province, people flocked to barbecue shops to eat mutton on sanfu.“Our business is the best during sanfu,” said Wang Yan, the owner of one of the biggest mutton shops in town, “customers eat up to 40 sheep each day.”Wang said the custom of eating mutton during sanfu can be traced back to the Yao period about 4,200 years ago.According to Chinese medical theories, drinking hot mutton soup can disperse the cold in the stomach caused by drinking cold beverages.Besides eating mutton, Shandong also organizes other cultural events during sanfu, such as sheep-fighting contests.In Shanghai, people practice the sanfu traditions by eating dumplings and drinking tea. Wu Zude, a local culture expert, said these traditional foods can replenish a person’s energy and prevent health problems.In the scorching heat, the jasmine flowers are blooming in Fuzhou City, capital of eastern Fujian Province.“Sanfu is the busiest time for the jasmine tea industry,” said Du Luwen, an inheritor of the traditional jasmine tea processing technique.“During the sanfu period, jasmine flowers contain the highest level of essential oils, which is indispensable for first-class jasmine tea.”For locals, a cup of jasmine tea, a cattail leaf fan, and a Fuzhou opera performance are all they need for a peaceful and cozy summer.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

World Cup DUI cases

Police caught about 130,000 people driving under the influence during the World Cup, which ended on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Security said. The cases included 114,000 minor drink driving incidents, it said. The death toll caused by the DUI cases was 32 percent lower than during the 2014 World Cup.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

7 baby antelopes rescued at lake reserve

Seven baby antelopes who got lost during migration were safely sent to a wildlife rescue center yesterday in northwest China’s Hoh Xil nature reserve.Zonag Lake in Hoh Xil is known as the “delivery room” for the species. Every year, tens of thousands of pregnant Tibetan antelopes migrate to Hoh Xil in May to give birth, leaving with their offspring in August. “The babies can get separated from the migrating groups during the journey which can be as long as 1,600 kilometers,” said Guo Xuehu, vice head of the Zonag Lake protection station. The station saved the seven babies, transferring them to the wildlife rescue center of Sonam Dargye protection station.The rescuers will feed them milk to start with and later take them to grasslands. They will be set free in July next year when the mother antelopes start their migration again.The rescue center was set up in 2000, and more than 400 antelopes have been saved there.Tibetan antelopes are mostly found in Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The species is under first-class state protection. In the 1980s, the Tibetan antelope population fell sharply from 200,000 to 20,000, due to illegal hunting. It has recovered thanks to measures to improve its habitat and a hunting ban.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Restoring the grassland

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 18 Jul 2018 | 4:01 am(NZT)

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