Four die in sandstorm

09:39, April 28, 2010      

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Property market cooling off

China's property market has started to cool down after the government introduced new regulation policies, with the country's four first-tier cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou all seeing a drop in the volume of property trading, Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.

Property trading volume plunged 64 percent last week from the preceding week in Shenzhen. It also dipped 45 percent in Beijing, 38 percent in Shanghai and 2 percent in Guangzhou.

In China's 35 main cities where housing market data was monitored by the newspaper, 21 experienced a fall in the trading volume of commercial housing last week, with the figure in Hangzhou diving 73 percent.

China's property market is expected to enter a long wait-and-see period as the new policies take effect, an analyst said.

Ban on HIV carriers lifted

China has lifted an explicit decades-old travel ban on foreigners with HIV virus, leprosy as well as venereal diseases, according to a revised State Council regulation made public on Tuesday.

Instead of banning foreigners with mental disorders, lepriasis, active pulmonary tuberculosis, HIV and venereal diseases from entering China, the revised regulation, passed at a State Council meeting last Monday, stipulates that "foreigners with serious mental diseases, infectious pulmonary tuberculosis and other infectious diseases that may do serious harms to public health are not allowed into China".


Debate sparked over funding

A local electricity authority in Hengshan county, Hunan province, recently came under fire from the country's netizens for allegedly misusing public funds to build villas for its workers.

A post, which has widely circulated online, claimed that a large number of villas are under construction near the office building of Hengshan Electricity Bureau, citing a source close to the bureau as saying the villas are being built by the bureau as a benefit to its workers. The author of the post also published a series of photos showing the unified style and magnificence of the villas.

The post aroused a mixture of concern and satire from other netizens about the possible abuse of government authority, as well as the use of public funds in the construction of the villas.

In response to the post, an official with the bureau said the expense of the project is being met by the bureau's workers and that an investigation will be launched into the allegation of possible misconduct.


Ex-police on trial for bribery

A former high-ranking police chief in Chongqing stood trial at Chongqing First Intermediate People's Court on Monday for allegedly taking bribes, China News Service reported on Tuesday.

Xie Dejiu, former director of Beibei district public security bureau, is charged with receiving 1.42 million yuan ($208,000) in bribes by taking advantage of his position to offer illegal assistance in real estate developments. He is also accused of receiving a bribe in return for sheltering a prostitution business.

Xie confessed to all charges in court, where a verdict has yet to be delivered.
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