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  • Books donated to migrant schools
    The Shanghai Education Commission teamed up with the Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Charity Foundation to donate 50,000 books yesterday to students at 100 schools for migrant children across the city.
    All of the books donated as part of the "Soong Ching Ling Love Bookstack" program were purchased with 300,000 yuan (US$39,232) the foundations raised in donations.
    Gu Xiulian, vice chairwoman of the National People's Congress, also donated 10,000 yuan to the program, officials said.
    The foundation plans to extend the program to cover all of the 277 migrant schools in the city within the next three years. Those schools have a combined enrollment of about 300,000 students. --(5/31)

  • Bank loan in place for salvage vessel
    The Shanghai Salvage Bureau has received a 500 million yuan (US$62.5 million) bank loan to build the first self-powered crane ship in Asia capable of stabilizing itself in deep seas.
    China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank and China Everbright Bank approved the loan on Monday to build the giant engineering ship, which will be about the size of a Boeing 737, the Shanghai Salvage Bureau announced yesterday.
    The bureau hasn't decided who will build the ship yet, or announced the full cost of the vessel.
    The 135-meter-long, 40-meter-wide ship will be equipped with a movable helicopter pad and a working crane that can lift wrecks or other objects weighing up to 3,000 tons.
    While Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is home to an engineering vessel capable of lifting up to 4,000 tons, the Shanghai bureau's new ship will feature a self-positioning function that enables it to work in deeper seas.
    "Ordinary crane crafts need to be tugged out to sea by other ships to work and they must be tied up to other vessels to stabilize at sea," said Zhao Guocai, an official with the bureau.
    The new vessel will be self-powered allowing it to position itself and remain stable. --(5/30)

  • Shanghai builds China's biggest container ship
    A Shanghai shipbuilding company made a breakthrough in domestic shipbuilding industry by building the country¡¯s biggest container ship yesterday.
    Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Group Corporation, built a container ship capable of carrying 8,530 20-foot containers, making China the fourth country in the world capable of creating such container ships after South Korea, Japan and Denmark.
    With a loading capacity of 101,000 tons, the 334-meter-long ship only needs one helmsman and is equipped with four electricity generators.
    It is one of the five 8,530-TEU-ships the company is building for China Shipping Container Lines Co. Ltd. The company will also build four such ships for Greek shipping company Costamare. --(5/29)

  • Forum consensus looks to Asian cooperation
    The 2007 Shanghai Forum closed yesterday with an agreement Asia must work together to solve its energy obstacles.
    "Economic globalization has turned many Asian countries into the world's manufacturers, which has led to overconsumption of energy and environmental pollution," said the consensus, which was jointly issued by the more than 300 academics, government officials and business representatives attending the three-day forum.
    "Since energy problems concern every country's economic security and sustainable development, cooperation in the energy sector should be a key part in Asian countries' regional cooperation."
    Forum participants also agreed China's exchange rate and monetary policies would deeply impact neighboring countries.
    Countries across Asia should further boost their economic partnerships to contribute to development of the whole world,'' the consensus said.
    This year's Shanghai Forum, which was held by Fudan University, received 151 theses from all over the world. Speakers included the 2001 Nobel Laureate in economics Michael Spence; New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters; and Hans van Ginkel, rector of the United Nations University.
    Officials announced that the 2008 Shanghai Forum will also be held at Fudan University next May.
    The forum will focus on social problems including Asia's economic transformation and the 2010 World Expo. --(5/28)

  • Seniors to learn to use ATMs
    The Shanghai Committee for the Aging will launch a three-year program to teach seniors in the city how to use bank machines and other high-tech products, officials announced this week.
    The committee, which will work with the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, has suggested local banks promote the use of ATM machines to seniors, many of whom have a psychological block against using new technologies.
    The committee said at present about three million seniors in the city draw their pension from banks, but only 10 percent of them are willing to use ATM machines.
    A local employee of the Bank of China surnamed Zhang said seniors usually need more time to withdraw money from the bank, and few are willing to use machines. --(5/27)

  • Yale delegation visits Fudan
    A delegation of 100 students, faculty members and administrators from Yale University visited the city's top college yesterday.
    Led by Yale's Vice President Bruce Alexander, the delegation is engaged in an 11-day trip to China in response to an invitation issued by Chinese President Hu Jintao during his state visit to the United States last year.
    During a visit to Fudan University yesterday, the delegation was welcomed by a student playing the zither, a traditional Chinese instrument.
    Fudan, which has signed a four-year collaboration deal with Yale, presented its US partner with a colored-glaze souvenir with the two university's logos on it.
    Yale students and professors also toured the Fudan campus, talked with their Chinese counterparts, and attended interactive seminars that focused on topics such as cultivating leadership, integrating international students, extracurricular activities and campus alcohol issues. --(5/25)

  • Chill out in an ice bar this summer
    City residents will soon have a new way to cool down this summer - visiting an icebar.
    A 40-ton ice crystal has been transported to Shanghai from the Torne River in northern Sweden. Workers will carve out all the interior fittings, furniture and artworks from the giant block, according to Absolut Icebar (Shanghai).
    A team of Icebar designers under the leadership of Mark Armstrong have also arrived in Shanghai and will work on the ice before it opens in downtown Huaihai Road M. late next month. --(5/24)

  • More POS machines expected in city stores
    More than 75 percent of stores with annual sales topping 500,000 yuan or with more than 100 square meters in retail space should be able to accept bankcards by the end of the year, a 12 percent jump from the end of last year.
    The rate will hit 90 percent by the end of 2008 and reach 99 percent in 2010, according to the Shanghai Municipal Information Commission.
    The city is allocating more POS (point of sales) machines in wet markets, restaurants and barber shops. By the end of 2007, the number of POS machines in the city is expected to hit 100,000, compared with 84,000 by the end of last year. --(5/23)

  • French students start city tour
    Fifty-seven overseas students from INSEEC, the French Institute of Economic Studies, started a short-term study and internship in the city yesterday.
    The 55-day program will include classroom courses about Chinese history, culture and industry development at Shanghai Normal University. Students will also be taken to development zones and high-tech parks around the city as well as attending job training. --(5/22)

  • Kids grab Guinness record
    Elementary school students in the city set a Guinness world record for creating a display with the largest number of pinwheels on Saturday, according to Shanghai Great World Guinness.
    The 81,863 colorful paper pinwheels were displayed at the Century Park, Pudong New Area, as part of a citywide charity campaign to help needy and migrant children.
    Starting in February, the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese Youth League has called on primary and secondary school students to make as many paper pinwheels as possible to help needy students from other provinces.
    Upon completion of each pinwheel, Haha TV, a children's channel operated by Shanghai Media Group, will donate one yuan (13 US cents) to Shanghai Charity Foundation's Haha Education Fund.
    As of Friday, hundreds of students from more than 40 elementary schools had made a total of 81,863 pinwheels, earning an 81,863-yuan donation to the charity fund. --(5/21)

  • Art aficionados put heads together
    The arts administration department from Shanghai Conservatory of Music will host a symposium on audience development called "Bridging the Arts" from tomorrow to Tuesday in the recital hall at its Fenyang Road Campus.
    The symposium aims to incite a discussion of what arts marketing and audience development might bring to the fast emerging art scene in China. Arts promoters including Robert Lynch, chief executive officer of Americans for the Arts, Taiwan percussionist Ju Tsong-ching, and Katy Cheng, marketing manager of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, will address the symposium. --(5/19)

  • Earliest summer in 10 years
    Summer arrived in Shanghai on Sunday. And that's official.
    The daily average temperature surpassed 22 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days, allowing the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau to declare yesterday the summer season upon us.
    It's the earliest summer in 10 years and about a week earlier than the past three years.
    The daily high yesterday hit a new record for this year of 32.6 degrees while the low was 20.1 degrees. --(5/18)

  • Four roads added to Hongqiao traffic hub
    Shanghai will build four elevated roads stretching into the Hongqiao transport hub - a planned area near the Hongqiao International Airport that is home to several bus, train, and metro stations - before the World Expo begins in 2010.
    The elevated road network will link the Hongqiao hub to suburban areas.
    The city will also extend 22 nearby roads, including Qixin Road and the Huqingping Highway, to connect with the hub.
    The Hongqiao hub will cover 26.26 square kilometers when it is completed.
    According to the city's plan, the hub will handle nearly 1.1 million travelers every day by 2020.
    The city will also set aside four areas for taxis to pick up and drop off passengers. --(5/17)

  • World Financial Center breaks city's height record
    China mainland's tallest-building-to-be was 398.93 meters high as of yesterday and is now 91 stories high. It is taller than the Jin Mao Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and still has 10 stories to go.
    The developer, Mori Building Co Ltd, is scheduled to complete the building's construction on September 9 and to finish the whole of the work involved in fitting it out on March 3, 2008. At that time, the 101-story building, which can hold 40,000 people, will become another of city's landmarks in Lujiazui in Pudong District.
    The skyscraper is also the first building in China that will be equipped with "dampers" to cope with strong winds which can cause high-rise buildings to shake.
    The two 269-ton-weight dampers are to settle down on the 90th floor, according to Jiefang Daily. When the dampers detect any vibrations caused by strong winds or earthquakes, they will vibrate themselves as a counter-balance.
    Once designed to be the world's tallest building, it was surpassed by the 508-meter-tall Taipei 101 in Taiwan that was completed at the end of 2003.
    The building, which began construction eight years ago, was once delayed by financial troubles. It will be 498 meters tall, 72 meters taller than the Jin Mao Tower, the tallest building on the mainland until yesterday.
    The developer also changed the initial design of the top of the building, from a circular shape into a trapezoid, to avoid complaints that design resembled Japan's National Flag -- the rising sun. --(5/16)

  • Public sports facilities insured
    The sports administration in Minhang District has purchased accident insurance to cover residents doing physical exercises at 426 public sports venues throughout the district.
    The city and various district governments have bought insurance for about two-thirds of the more than 4,000 public exercise facilities throughout the city over the past three years, according to the Shanghai Social Sports Management Center.
    The policies ensure residents are compensated for accidents when properly using exercise equipment, and also cover damage to the facilities.
    Officials wouldn't say how many accidents have taken place in public parks since the city began setting up exercise equipment in parks in 1998, but said the number was reasonable. --(5/15)

  • City on fast track of energy conservation
    The Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission recently mapped out this year's key projects and energy conservation targets all aimed at increasing efforts to curb energy consumption and protect the environment of the city.
    The city plans to stem projects with high-energy-consumption this year by weeding out a batch of inferior enterprises that cause damage to the environment and by improving power consumption assessment systems according to officials with the Shanghai Municipal Economic Commission.
    Eleven energy-consumption giants in the city with an annual consumption of more than 180,000 tons of coal will be put under strict supervision and management. At the same time, the city's energy-saving supervision center will continue to play its role in making analysis and evaluation of the enterprises' consumption index, energy-saving potential, management and power conservation technology.
    Enterprises will also be encouraged to engage in a contractual power management program, an innovative way to save energy launched by the city six years ago. Enterprises adopt energy-saving technology and equipment provided by designated agencies and, after benefiting from the technology, the enterprises then pay the agency. The city now has up to 60 agencies and 76 enterprises involved in the program.
    Shanghai is planning to set up an arbitration commission composed of personnel from relevant government management departments, universities and energy conservation supervision departments to better manage the contractual power program when disputes over the progress of energy-saving between the two parties arise.
    The city suspended the operation of nearly 640 inferior enterprises last year, cutting energy consumption by about 500,000 tons of coal, industrial sewage by 6.37 million tons and reducing exhaust gas emission by 1.5 billion cubic meters. --(5/14)

  • Taxi talk
    Shanghai Normal University has teamed up with Dazhong Taxis to set up a foreign language training school for taxi drivers. University students will work as volunteers to teach taxi drivers dialogues in English, Japanese and Korean to prepare drivers for an influx of overseas tourists during the 2010 World Expo. --(5/13)

  • Bosses urged to lift wages
    A salary guideline issued by the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau yesterday suggests local employers give their workers an average pay raise of nine percent this year.
    Under the salary guidelines, the wage increase should range between three and 12 percent. Local workers who earn double the average salary in the city should get a three-percent raise, while workers who earn 50 percent of the average level should get the 12-percent increase.
    Employees earning at the average level can expect a pay increase of nine percent.
    The guidelines are just a suggestion to local companies, but domestic firms may have to offer higher salaries to remain competitive, a bureau official said.
    The average annual salary for all workers in Shanghai hit 29,569 yuan (US$3,810) last year, growing 10.2 percent from a year earlier. The average monthly wage was 2,464 yuan last year.
    The guidelines also recommend that companies should focus on pay rises for first-line workers. If their wages are not increased, managers should also receive no raise.
    The city's average salary has maintained a growth of 10 percent in recent years, with yearly income reaching 26,820 yuan in 2005 and 24,396 yuan in 2004, according to the bureau. --(5/11)

  • City has some brand new heroes
    The city's quality authorities yesterday announced last year's 131 local "well-known brands."
    More than 300 companies applied for the title, with service industries making their debut in categories including auto sales and rental, restaurants and hotels, and furnishings and house decoration, said the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision.
    The winners in the newly involved industries were Jinjiang Inns,, Dongchang Auto sales and Rongxin furnishings.
    Seventy-seven of the product brands made profits that amounted to 60 billion yuan (US$7.8 billion) last year, while the rest, all in the service sector, accumulated 79 billion yuan, the bureau said.
    "We also put emphasis on the city's agricultural products, giving titles to brands including Zhaotunqiao strawberries and Jihong vegetables," said Ji Jian, an official with the bureau.
    Starting in 1995, the city has selected "well-known brands" annually to push companies to improve product quality. --(5/10)

  • City committee to sit on Saturday
    The 12th plenary session of the 8th Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China will open on Saturday.
    Participants will review the committee's report for the 9th CPC Shanghai Congress. The candidate list of the representatives from the city to attend the 17th CPC National Congress will also be settled at the two-day meeting. --(5/9)

  • Mercury on the path to summer
    Shanghai is expected to officially enter summer this week and set a significant piece of history in the process.
    It will be the earliest summer for the past 100 years, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.
    The season arrives after five consecutive days with average temperatures above 22 degrees Celsius after the solar term "Summer Arrival" occurs. This year that fell on Sunday.
    Yesterday the high temperature reached 28.9 degrees after a low of 15.6 degrees.
    The weathermen said the mercury will stay high at least until the weekend, making the advent of summer a virtual certainty.
    The city is forecast to bathe in sunshine from today until Friday, with maximum temperatures reaching above 30 degrees. The lows are expected to be about 20 degrees, the bureau said.
    The bureau reminded power and water authorities to be prepared as the first demand peak may occur this week.
    A weak cold front is expected from the north at the weekend, which won't have much of an effect on the temperatures, according to the bureau. But thunder and hail may occur. Before the 1990s, the city usually entered summer at the beginning of June, but the season has arrived earlier for the past five years - as early as mid-May.
    Last year it arrived on May 20 and lasted until October 23, the longest summer since 1873, when Shanghai first began recording the weather. --(5/8)

  • Titans of the track
    Motorcycle aces Casey Stoner of Australia, Valentino Rossi of Italy, and John Hopkins of the United States, ham it up after the award ceremony of the MotoGP Grand Prix of China yesterday at the Shanghai International Circuit. Stoner received the checkered flag, with Rossi runner-up and Hopkins third. --(5/7)

  • Record falls as 2.8 million holiday visitors hit the city
    The city received a record-breaking 2.8 million visitors during the first three days of the weeklong Labor Day holidays. This is an increase of 16 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the Shanghai Holiday Management Office, which is under the local Tourism Administrative Commission.
    But it is the first time the number of local residents travelling abroad during the three days has decreased since the state issued the "Golden Week" holiday policy in 1999.
    It was estimated that the Yuyuan Garden where the 2007 Spring Folk Custom Temple Fair is ongoing attracted 1.11 million visitors from May 1 to 3. The Longhua Temple Fair in Xuhui District received about 390,000 visitors.
    More than 60,000 people went to Oriental Land in Qingpu District - a rise of nine percent compared with that of 2006 where visitors enjoyed the "Summer Water Revelry" - aquatic entertainment events.
    The sixth City Forest Flower Exposition is in Gongqing Forest Park in Yangpu District. It attracted 78,000 visitors in the three days, 12 percent up from last year.
    In Pudong New Area, Century Park invited more than 10 foreign bands of different styles for its music carnival. The park received 580,000 visitors in the three days, an increase of 10 percent on 2006.
    The Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center said it carried 78,300 passengers in 754 coaches in the first three days of the holidays. A total of 146,800 private cars carrying tourists entered the city through three major expressways linking Shanghai to neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
    The Pudong Frontier Inspection Station said yesterday there were 114,000 travelers entering and leaving the city by 5pm on May 3, a drop of 10 percent from the same period of 2006.
    The number of passengers travelling abroad was 15,000 on Thursday, about 60 percent more than usual times. The only passenger flow peak occurred from 8am to 1pm on May 1, with 17,000 residents going abroad.
    Hangzhou also hosted a visitor rush during the three days, with 4.3 million people entering the city, a rise of 20 percent from that of 2006.] --(5/6)

  • Gas supply cut off as pipe snaps
    The gas supply to about 10,000 households in Shanghai was yesterday cut off for eight hours after a pipeline was broken by a digging machine at a construction site.
    No casualties have been reported, according to the municipal government.
    The accident happened about 8am at the crossing of downtown Caoyang and Shunyi roads, a heavily populated residential and commercial area in Putuo District.
    Workers said gas burst out after the machine put a 300-millimeter crack in the pipeline. They tried in vain to plug the crack with bricks and mud.
    The municipal gas supply company arrived quickly and cut the supply. Fire fighters sprayed water around the pip to avert the danger of explosion.
    The pipeline was repaired about 4pm and consumer supplies resumed by 6pm, the gas company said. --(5/4)

  • Free bus takes trippers around Lujiazui
    Visitors to Lujiazui in Pudong, Shanghai, can now catch a free bus to see the many sights around the district.
    The open-deck red bus attracted more than 300 passengers on its first day of operation on Monday.
    And traffic authorities say the service is so popular that they plan to add four more buses to the service before the National Day holiday in October.
    The clearly-marked sightseeing bus has nine stops at venues such as Shanghai Super Brand Mall, Jin Mao Tower and HSBC Mansion, and takes about 30 minutes to complete its journey.
    An English-speaking attendant can also answer questions from tourists.
    The bus driver said the bus was warmly welcomed by tourists and passengers, with more than 300 using it on its first day.
    The bus operators said they plan to have music played on the bus as well as offering to sell coffee and other trips to make the trip more comfortable.
    Visitors can recognize the bus by its sign along the coach saying Lu Jiazui Sightseeing Bus.
    The route covers almost 40 kilometers around the financial district, which is popular with shoppers and tourists. --(5/2)

  • Recall on medical pipe after warning
    Health and safety watchdogs yesterday ordered a city-wide recall on an artificial heart-and-lung pipe after doctors in Guangdong Province warned of potential adverse reactions in child heart-disease patients.
    The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration also told hospitals and companies to stop using and selling the pipe, which is made by Xi'an Xijing Medical Equipment Co and is used for external circulation during surgery.
    In surgeries on some child patients with congenital heart disease at Guangdong Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital's Zhuhai Branch on April 22, patients had abnormal liver function syndromes, which may have been caused by the pipes.
    Officials from the administration have visited the Xijing Medical Equipment Co for an investigation and organized medical experts to study the relationship between liver functions and the pipes.
    The Shanghai Center for Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring has not yet received a report on the product.
    Residents can call authorities on the hotline 962727. --(5/1)



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