Memorial activities in Mao's hometownVisitors queue at the former residence of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedongin in Shaoshan, south China's Hunan Province. Masses of people from different parts of the country pay their respect to Chairman Mao in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of his birth that falls on Deceomber 26. (Xinhua)
Model of Beagle 2 probe exhibited in LondonA model of the Beagle 2 probe is exhibited at a news conference in London, Dec. 26, 2003. The Beagle 2 probe still remained silent after controllers with the European Space Agency sent signals to it for a second time late Thursday. Scientists are not giving up hope of contacting the missing Mars lander. (Xinhua)
Chinese Wong leads the 2nd stage of South China Sea TourWong Kam Po (C) from China's Hong Kong SAR wins the second stage of the 8th Tour of South China Sea on December 26. Wong finishes the 98-km individual road race from Wanchai to Tsing Yi in 2.41.28 followed by Australian Peter Milostic and Cameron Hughes.
Iran quake death toll soars with increasing aid offers The Iranian government confirmed on Saturday that 20,000 people had been killed in Friday's earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam, while more countries have expressed condolences over the mishap and pledged aid to Iran. (Xinhua)
Advance team of Japanese ASDF leave for Gulf region Members of an advance team of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF), clad in plain clothes, prepare to board the plane at Tokyo's Narita Airport Dec. 26, 2003. The 40-odd team left Tokyo for the Gulf region Friday to make preparations for the deployment of main troops in Iraq. (Xinhua)
More open train ticket selling in Shaanxi A tourist looks for train tickets from a computer facing to customers at the ticket office of the Xi'an Railway Station in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Dec. 26, 2003. Tickets began to be sold here in a more open way during the Spring Festival transportation period starting from January 7, 2004. (Xinhua)
Construction of China's first train theme park startsA 150-ton JS steam locomotive is hoisted on Thursday at Zhengzhou Centennial Park in the capital of Central China's Henan Province. It's the first train theme park in China. Zhengzhou has been the rail transport centre of Central China. [newsphoto.com.cn]
State Councillor visits gas blowout victimsState Councillor and Secretary-General of the State Council Hua Jianmin (L) expresses sympathy and solicitude to a woman who has been evacuated from the gas explosion area in Kaixian County, some 337 kilometers northeast of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Dec. 26, 2003. Hua, on behalf of the Party's Central Committee and the State Council, led a working group to Kaixian to conduct rescue and disaster relief work at 1:15 a.m. of Dec. 26. At least 191 people had been confirmed dead by 6:40 p.m. Thursday in the gas explosion which occurred in a natural gas field Tuesday. (Xinhua)