Metro gap gets bigger
Passengers at People's Square Metro Station will have to watch their step from today - the gap between Line No. 2 trains and the platform is now wider.
A train shortage has forced authorities to draft in Line No. 4 trains, which have doors that open outwards and need more room than Line No. 2's regular trains, Metro authorities said yesterday.
To make room for the doors at People's Square - one of the Metro network's oldest and narrowest stations - the Shanghai Metro Construction Corporation last night cut back the platform.
The gap at other stations on Metro Line No. 2 will remain the same because the newer stations can already accommodate Line No. 4 trains.
The new gap at People's Square is bigger than at other stations because, authorities said, they don't want the outward opening doors to interfere with the station's more crowded platforms. As a safety precaution Metro managers have put anti-slip panels on the edges of the platform.
The train shortage was caused by the imminent opening of Line No. 2's western extension.
The borrowed trains will return to Line No. 4 when 12 new trains, built by a consortium of Chinese companies in cooperation with German firm Siemens, arrive and are gradually put into use over next year. --(11/30)
City offers new creative jobs
The city offered 40 creative jobs at the Shanghai International Originality Industrial Week, which ended yesterday.
The jobs, in five categories of exhibition ads, digital arts, product design, fashion design and environmental arts design, mainly targeted the city's youth and middle-aged. After the candidates pass relevant training they will receive national professional certificates. --(11/29)
Local freshwater fish safe to eat
More than 99 percent of the freshwater products in Shanghai have passed inspections and are safe to eat, the local food safety authorities said yesterday. The only fish on the exception list are turbots.
Hong Kong found malachite green, a cancer-causing chemical, in mud carp imported from Shunde, Guangdong Province last week. Fish vendors in Hong Kong have suspended the sale of more than 30 types of freshwater products from the Chinese mainland, including the popular mandarin fish.
Since last year, Shanghai's food safety watchdog has established 79 inspection services citywide, with more than 60 focusing on residual antibiotics in 50-plus edible aquatic products. --(11/28)
WSN system boosts World Expo security
A Chinese developed Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) system to safeguard World Expo 2010 was now on broad, a professor told the launching ceremony for the system at Jiao Tong University yesterday.
The Wenhui Daily reported that the project, headed by well-known scientist Professor Ni Mingxuan of Jiao Tong University, was the first national key project -- also known as a 973 project -- in the city's information industry which was led by a university or research body.
Sources said the WSN model system would be widely used in the World Expo Site during the 184-day event in 2010. --(11/27)
Uni job fairs
Universities in the city plan to hold more than 60 job fairs to offer employment opportunities to upcoming university graduates by the end of this year, according to the Shanghai Career Guidance Center for Graduates.
More than 100,000 job openings from nearly 7,000 companies will be available to first-time job seekers. Graduates can also log onto the center's Website to attend an online job fair involving about 1,500 employers. --(11/26)
The Shanghai Charity Foundation will launch a program to assist needy students from Ruijin, Jiangxi Province studying in colleges in Shanghai at the end of this month, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Long March of the Red Army which started in Ruijin. --(11/24)
Forecast: rain, more rain
City meteorologists say the wet weather will continue for about 10 more days, as no cold fronts are on the horizon to drive away the rain belt.
The forecast calls for highs around 15 to 16 degrees Celsius in the coming days, two to three degrees above the average for this time of year. The city experienced five months of summer weather this year, the longest in about 130 years. --(11/23)
Ancient tombs found in Luwan
An ancient tomb uncovered during construction of a subway line between Xintiandi and the future World Expo site on Monday contains the remains of at least two couples who lived during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), archaeologists said yesterday.
The tomb was discovered by workers during construction of Metro Line 9 at the intersection of Xujiahui Road and Huangpi Road S. in Luwan District.
Archaeologists are sure two of the bodies are female, including one that is very well preserved, and speculate the two other bodies are their spouses.
Mercury drops were found on the well-preserved female body, proving that rich people had started using mercury to preserve bodies during the Ming Dynasty.
That also shows the level of social wealth during the period, archaeologists said.
More than 300 ancient tombs have been dug up in the city's downtown core. In November 2004, a Ming Dynasty tomb was found in Yangpu District by construction workers.
Shanghai began as Huating County in 751 in today's Songjiang District. In 1292, the then central government established Shanghai County in the area. --(11/22)
City to set up popular science tours
Shanghai plans to open 10 "popular science tour routes" and organize college students to promote scientific knowledge in neighborhoods across the city over the next four years, city officials said yesterday.
Both projects are part of the city's efforts to improve scientific literacy by 2010.
The science tours will include trips to various industry specific museums, including facilities related to insects, dairy products, tunnels, glasses and waterworks.
The commission also plans to upgrade a maglev technology exhibition hall at the Longyang Road Station.
It plans to add various maglev prototypes and multi-media exhibits to explain magnetic levitation technology to ordinary people, particularly children.
The commission will also organize college students to form 10 "science shops" - volunteer groups that will help answer questions common residents have about science.
The first such organization will be set up at East China Normal University by the year's end. Members of the group will engage in regular activities, both online and in neighborhoods across the city. --(11/21)
City opens China International Travel Mart
The 8th China International Travel Mart kicked off at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Pudong yesterday morning, with special attendee Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng.
The exhibition has a total space of 57,500 square meters, up 27 percent from that in 2005 and 25 percent from 2004. More than 4,100 exhibitors from 280 groups attended the fair, including 31 domestic groups, 36 Chinese travel companies and 213 overseas groups from 91 countries.
The exhibition opened to industry professionals yesterday and today, and will open to the public on November 18 and 19. --(11/17)
Better community health services for residents
Shanghai should lower the costs in local community health services, improve medical standards and worker quality, said Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng at yesterday's work conference.
Reforms in community health services aim to offer better and more convenient services for residents, Mayor Han said.
"Above all, medical costs should be lowered, as well as the improvement of medical standards and the service quality in the local health community," Han pointed out. --(11/16)
City to hold International Licencing Expo
The 2006 Shanghai International Licencing Expo will launch on November 17, and mainly focus on the franchising of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai. Ten categories such as home gadgets, clothes, stationery, gifts and toys are on the franchising list.
Charles Riotto, president of the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser's Association said that brand licencing has become an industry that boasts over US$170 billion. Many international programs, such as the Olympics and the NBA, have significant incomes and golden opportunities because of their brand licencing. While the Chinese market is not that large, it still has room to develop in many fields.
Chen Xianjin, president of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Operation Co. Ltd. said that the Shanghai Expo Bureau would license to those qualified enterprises that have the priority to produce and sell products associated with World Expo 2010 Shanghai. They plan to separately authorize an enterprise to handle the production and sales sector. --(11/15)
City enhances public security
Shanghai is establishing a system which encourages citizens to report local public security problems to the authorities.
As part of the system, a public security inspection group made up of local residents has been established, together with a multifunctional website (http://www.shzongzhi.com/) and a 24-hour telephone hotline (64221890). Citizens can report issues by mail, email and phone.
The system is designed to promptly find and solve public security problems, according to the local public security bureau.
By last month, 159 citizens joined the inspection group and conducted three large-scale campaigns. --(11/14)
Survey finds rare frogs in Pudong
An endangered frog species was spotted in Pudong for the first time in many years during the first ever thorough investigation of wildlife living in the area, according to the Pudong Greenery Administration.
The one-year study concluded that there are 194 species of wild animals living in Pudong, including eight amphibian species, 10 reptiles, 152 birds and 24 mammals. "The results indicate some places in Pudong are maintaining a good eco-environment that attracts many wild animals," said Sun Weiping with the administration.
Researchers were surprised to find hedgehogs and Chinese hares in the area, as they weren't thought to live in Pudong.
The most significant discovery, however, was the tiger frogs. The species was seen in Pudong's Heqing, Caolu, Chuansha and Zhangjiang areas but in very limited numbers. The investigators only saw five tiger frogs during the survey and about 15 tiger frogs are estimated to live in Pudong.
"The species used to be commonly seen in the fields but now they are facing extinction due to overhunting and environmental destruction," Sun said. --(11/13)
UN events to promote Special games
Shanghai began hosting a series of activities at the United Nations' headquarters in New York yesterday to promote the 2007 Special Olympic World Summer Games.
The events kicked off on Friday with a forum on the role the Special Olympics play in promoting social harmony. Social workers involved with the mentally challenged and athletes were invited to speak at the gathering.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was scheduled to speak yesterday at a photo exhibition promoting the games, which will run through November 15.
The forum and exhibition were organized and supported by the steering committee of the 2007 Special Olympic Games in Shanghai as well as its international committee, the Shanghai municipal government, China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations as well as the UN New York Office of Sport for Development.
The games are expected to bring 7,000 mentally challenged athletes to compete in Shanghai next October. --(11/12)
Rare sight at botanical garden as flowers bloom
Visitors to the Shanghai Botanical Garden can currently glimpse chrysanthemums, orchids and osmanthus flowers in full bloom at the same time, which gardeners say is a very rare event.
The osmanthus flowers in the garden on Monday went into bloom for the third time this year, according to Li Xuemei, director of the garden. --(11/10)
Building leveled for World Expo
A 16-STORY building was demolished yesterday to make way for World Expo 2010 pavilions.
The Shanghai Pudong Iron and Steel Company building was the highest building within the 5.28-square-kilometer Expo site.
So far, nearly 40 percent of the Expo site has been leveled, officials said yesterday, adding that the site will be ready for pavilion construction in June next year.
At 2pm yesterday, the 60-meter-high building was brought down in a demolition that used 300 kilograms of explosives.
The building was built in 1987 as the metal company's administrative office.
The company has been relocated to the Lujing Town of Baoshan District.
Lin of the Shanghai World Expo Land Reserve Center said all of the 18,000 families in the Expo site have agreed to move out. Most of the 272 companies in the site have also signed contracts for relocation.
Also yesterday, the Bureau of the Shanghai World Expo Coordination announced that Pakistan had confirmed its participation in the event. --(11/9)
300 replica terracotta warriors go on display
An exhibition of nearly 300 replicas of terracotta warriors and horses in Xuhui District opens today and runs through May 8.
The 1,800-square-meter exhibition aims to duplicate the appearance of the three pits where the Qin Dynasty era (221-206 BC) figures were unearthed and displayed at the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
In the Shanghai exhibition, the pit that represents army headquarters attempts to present the figures and the pit itself in the same size, arrangement, number and detail as the corresponding pit at the Xi'an museum, said Sun Jian, general manager of Shanghai Shengjing Culture Broadcasting Co, the organizer of the exhibition.
"Even the small horns, the tool of divination in the ancient time, are rendered strictly according to their number and position in the museum in Xi'an," said Sun.
The replicas displayed in two other pits in Shanghai will reflect infantry and archer armies at half the size of the original figures.
All figures were transported from Xi'an, where they were made. "The exhibition will give local people the opportunity to see the amazing relics in their hometown," said Sun.
The first figures were unearthed in 1974 in Xi'an. They were regarded as a sculpture wonder for their vivid images and exquisite crafts.
The cost of the exhibition is 35 yuan (US$4.37). It's at 2828 Longhua Road. English explanation service is available in the exhibition. --(11/8)
Free taxi phone hotline expands
The city's free taxi hotline service is increasing the number of taxis and taxi companies it represents, the local taxi industry administration said yesterday.
Last year, only about 2,000 taxis from the Haibo taxi fleet were connected with the phone line - 96965 - which is operated by the local taxi administration.
Since then more small companies have signed on, and the administration is seeking to expand the service further.
"We will not force large taxi fleets, such as Dazhong and Bashi, that have hotline numbers of their own, to connect with 96965. We hope that we could get more taxi companies that do not have the call service to join in our operation to provide convenience to more riders," said Lu Gaosheng, an official from the taxi administration.
By the end of the year, the number of taxis covered by both the city and private company hotlines should reach about 10,000. --(11/7)
Shanghai Charity Foundation has collected 309 million yuan (US$38.62 million) in donations in the first nine months of this year. The number has exceeded the budget for the period, said the foundation over the weekend. It has set up 245 places to accept donations and identified more than 70 charitable supermarkets. --(11/6)
Building bridges to Chongming
Builders work on piers on Friday for a bridge that will link the city's Changxing Island and Chongming Island. The 25.52-kilometer bridge is expected to be complete by 2008, and will be part of a tunnel-and-bridge project that connects the islands to the mainland. --(11/5)
Utc Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corporation in the United States, has set up its Asia headquarters in Pudong.
Company officials said they expanded to Shanghai because China's growing urban population created a massive demand for fire security products. --(11/3)
Free bike parking axed after 10 months
Xuhui District government has scrapped free bike parking at 18 lots around Xujiahui's shopping centers, just 10 months after the scheme was introduced.
The Xuhui District Vehicle Parking Management Company confirmed yesterday it reimposed fees at 18 of its 30 bike parking lots in Xujiahui commercial circle from October 25.
It charges the same five jiao (six US cents) to park a bicycle, one yuan for a moped and two yuan for a motorbike that it did before free parking began.
Announcing the free-parking policy in January, the district government said it expected the free-parking lots, looked after by attendants, would attract more shoppers as well as clear the streets.
But the free service also meant lot operators were no longer liable for compensation for bike thefts.
The change produced a flood of complaints.
Some cyclists said they sensed attendants were less diligent and they would rather pay to have better security.
The industry rule says the owner can claim part of the value of a stolen bike from the company, with a parking receipt. --(11/2)
Airline limits checked bags
China Eastern Airlines said yesterday it will reduce the amount of baggage economy class passengers are allowed to carry with them on trips to the United States starting on December 1.
Economy class passengers will still be allowed to check in two bags, but the maximum weight for each bag will be lowered to 23 kilograms from the previous 32 kilograms.
First class and business class passengers will still be allowed to check in two bags weighing up to 32 kilograms each.
The baggage allowance for kids taking economy class is two bags with each bag no heavier than 23 kg, while infant are entitled to check in only one bag. Disabled passenger can take one wheelchair or any other type of walker as checked baggage free of charge. The maximum weight for carry-on luggage will be five kilograms for all passengers.
No bags exceeding 45 kg will be accepted as checked baggage.
China Eastern Airlines also made adjustments to the excess baggage fees for checked baggage.
Economy class passengers to or from the west coast of the United States will be charge 200 yuan (US$25) for up to 32 kg of overweight baggage. For passengers to or from the east coast of the United States, the fee will be 240 yuan. --(11/1)