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  • Pudong to Chongming in 20mins
    Constructors of the Shanghai Changjiang Bridge, part of the connection between Pudong and Chongming Island, laid the first of the 101 bridge surface girders yesterday and vowed to lay the rest by next June.
    The 10-kilometer span is a part of the city's largest ever infrastructure project which covers 25 kilometers and includes a tunnel and a highway.
    The connection, with an investment of 12.3 billion yuan (US$1.64 billion), is expected to cut the driving time from Pudong to Chongming to 20 minutes. The journey takes about an hour by ferry depending on weather conditions.
    The cable-suspended bridge will connect Changxing Island, which sits between Pudong and Chongming, and the Chenjia Town in Chongming Island.
    The 8.5-kilometer tunnel will link Changxing Island with Wuhaogou in Pudong.
    The highway will be built on Changxing Island to link the bridge and tunnel.
    The bridge has an impressive width of 51 meters to allow for two tracks of metro line.
    The connection is expected to be completed by 2010. --(10/26)

  • It's the superjumbo over Shanghai
    Shanghai residents will get a closer look at the new superjumbo Airbus A380 when it takes a demonstration flight today from Pudong International Airport.
    The aircraft landed in the city yesterday afternoon on the second stop of its tour of the Chinese mainland.
    The one-hour flight will carry 200 passengers, according to Airbus China. It will take off at 10am heading over Tonglu in neighboring Zhejiang Province before returning to Pudong on its 250-kilometer journey.
    The world's largest passenger plane arrived in Guangzhou on Tuesday from Toulouse, a southern city in France where Airbus is based.
    The demonstration is aimed to promote orders for the jet, which saw no new orders for 18 months after a wiring problem that pushed back deliveries of the model for two years.
    The first Chinese buyer of A380, China Southern Airlines, has ordered five of the aircraft, but delivery delays have dashed the carrier's plans to fly the superjumbos during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The earliest operation in China could be in 2009. --(10/25)

  • Longhua to show off its treasures
    Ancient treasures will be shown to about 40 residents near Longhua Temple for the first time today as the temple unveils its cultural heritage.
    If the visit goes well, the temple may allow more people to appreciate its library, museum and Buddhist sculptures.
    The temple's relics, known as the Longhua Three Treasures, include a tripitaka - a famous Buddhist scripture - dating back to the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), a gold-plated Birojana Buddha statue from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and a gold seal granted by the Ming Emperor Shenzong.
    Other activities such as lectures on Buddhist culture will also be given by temple masters today.
    The temple has protected the relics against any possible harm during the visit.
    First built during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the two-hectare Longhua Temple has gone through several restorations. Most of the present halls were built during the late Qing Dynasty. --(10/24)

  • Power saving show goes on the road
    Hints on how to save power and water are heading out to Shanghai residents over the next three months.
    The Shanghai Science and Technology Commission will stage energy saving exhibitions throughout the city's 18 districts and Chongming County.
    The first exhibition opened yesterday at the Juvenile Activities Center of Xuhui District on No. 8 Tianlin Road E.
    The exhibition's posters show a variety of smart ways to save energy and resources. --(10/23)

  • Turtles to be returned to the sea
    Four sick sea turtles being cared for at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium will return to the sea tomorrow, healthy and strong.
    They have been looked after at the aquarium since last November, when they were accidentally caught, an aquarium spokeswoman said.
    "At that time the turtles weighed only about five kilograms, and their shells were full of cracks," said Daisy Wu, an official with the aquarium's marketing department.
    Now, the biggest among the four turtles weighs 36 kilograms, while the smallest one now weighs four times as much as when it was admitted to the aquarium. The shells have also healed.
    "The turtles stayed in our 155-meter-long 'harbor tunnel', and we created an oceanic environment for them," Daisy said.
    The Shanghai Administration of Fishing Affairs will return the turtles to the sea at Luchao Port.
    Meanwhile, a citizen surnamed Zhao presented a pair of black-breasted leaf turtles to the Shanghai Zoo over the weekend, after he found he couldn't spare the time to take care of the pets. The zoo thanked Zhao, but warned possessing protected animals was illegal. --(10/22)

  • Modern mall for Metro hub
    The new Metro transfer hub at People's Square, due to open late this year, will be a classy shopping and exhibition space, local Metro officials said yesterday.
    The hub forms a large triangle under a corner of People's Park at Jiujiang Road and Xizang Road M., enabling passengers to transfer between Metro Lines 1, 2 and 8.
    "We want to create a modern mall to attract senior white-collars," Zhang Yan, vice president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said yesterday at a meeting inviting businesses to sign up for space in the hub.
    The group, which funds the local Metro system, also signed a contract yesterday with 12 major banks - including China Construction Bank and China Everbright Bank - to improve banking services in Metro stations.
    Zhang said his company plans to install banking ATMs within enclosed kiosks in some major stations. The first ATMs will be installed in People's Square Station and some other new stations of Metro Lines 6, 8 and 9 by the year's end.
    At People's Square, the 8,000-square-meter transport hub will have three separate zones for high-end shops and exhibitions.
    One zone will exhibit products such as the latest household appliances and digital devices.
    Another will be a shopping center for international goods, from imported red wine to hand-made jewelry.
    And a public space will be set aside for people to relax and chat.
    According to a recent survey conducted by Shentong, most passengers using People's Square Station daily are aged between 18 to 29 years old, mostly female.
    Within the hub, the platforms of Metro Lines 1 and 8 will be on the first basement floor, while the Metro Line 2 platform will be on the second basement floor.
    Passengers will have to walk no more than 70 meters to transfer between lines, compared with the current 240 meters between Lines 1 and 2.
    Metro Line 8 will link northern Yangpu District with downtown and Pudong New Area. --(10/21)

  • Weather to play it cool over weekend
    A cold front from the north will chill the city over the weekend, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau reported yesterday.
    The average high temperatures will be around 21 degrees Celsius today and tomorrow while the low temperatures may hit 13 degrees, the lowest since fall arrived in the city.
    From the beginning of next week the weather will range from sunny to cloudy.
    Next week the temperature will rise again after the cold front leaves the city, and will range between 16 and 23 degrees. Umbrellas might be needed to contend with the drizzle that the bureau is expecting on Wednesday.
    Although the weather is cooler, people are suffering from dry lips and sore throats. According to traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, these are symptoms of excessive internal heat and people have to drink more water to relieve the "internal inflammation." --(10/20)

  • Small restaurants new target
    Small restaurants and food factories are the new targets as city health authorities continue their crackdown on food hygiene.
    Answering the call by the State Council for increased inspections for food hygiene, the local authorities began the crackdown in August and will maintain it until the end of the year.
    Jiao Yang, the city government spokeswoman, said in a government news release yesterday that the crackdown was expected to radically improve the food supplies. Local authorities have already seized substandard or unregistered products and either destroyed them or had them returned to the suppliers.
    Jiao said that the factories and wholesale markets for agricultural food are now under close supervision. --(10/19)

  • Golden day for seniors
    More than 160 couples celebrated their golden and diamond weddings yesterday at Donghua University, as part of festivities for Chongyang Festival, honoring senior citizens, which falls tomorrow.
    Garlanded with red flowers, 135 couples celebrating 50 years of marriage walked hand-in-hand into the campus stadium, along with 31 couples celebrating their 60th, or diamond, wedding anniversaries.
    At least one of each couple used to work at the university, bringing back happy memories for many.
    Zhao Yuliang, an 81-year-old Donghua official, was celebrating his diamond wedding anniversary yesterday, getting married in 1948.
    "Our family has no special plans to celebrate (the wedding anniversary), so we were really very glad to attend such a group activity," said Zhao.
    Each couple was presented with a framed commemorative photograph and snack coupons to celebrate the festival. --(10/18)

  • Shanghai art fair unveiled
    The ninth China Shanghai International Art Festival Trade Fair opened yesterday and will run through Friday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
    Organizers from world-famous art festivals, show agencies, and artists from more than 30 countries and regions and more than 20 provinces or cities nationwide are taking part in the fair. Latvia and Morocco are taking part for the first time in the event¡¯s nine-year history.
    The overseas versions of top domestic plays will be introduced to foreign art institutions on the fair. The shows include the Peking Opera¡°Struggle for Imperial Power¡±adapted from Shakespeare¡¯s¡°Hamlet¡±by the Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre, the folk musical¡°June 6th¡ªPlateau of Red Flowers¡±and¡°The Green Green Qinghai,¡±as well as a solo concert by well-known baritone Liao Changyong.
    Nearly 30 live shows will be staged at the fair, including a percussion show by the Shanghai Oriental Jiangzhou Drum Theatre and clown shows from US-based Tomfoolery Inc. --(10/17)

  • Sunny and cool times in the city
    Shanghai will enjoy cool and sunny weather for most of this week but can expect a drop in temperature at the weekend.
    High temperatures will average 22 to 23 degrees Celsius with lows at around 15 degrees before a cold front hits the city on Saturday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau reported.
    After comfortable three days, the cold front is also expected to bring drizzle on Friday night but the sun will reappear from Saturday with the average top temperature dropping to around 20 degrees.
    The city usually has less rain in fall than in other seasons. --(10/16)

  • Fudan subsidies
    Fudan University announced that postgraduate management students will be granted an allowance of 1,000 yuan (US$133) per month from next year. The amount for doctoral students will be further raised to 1,500 yuan. --(10/15)

  • Time to smell the flowers
    Shanghai residents should have the chance to enjoy a late blooming of sweet-scented osmanthus during this weekend, the Xinmin Evening News said on Friday, citing local gardening experts.
    Residents are encouraged to visit city parks to enjoy the flowers.
    The blossom, about a month later than normal due to unseasonably warm weather, is expected to last for about 10 days, said the report.
    To bloom, osmanthus needs warm daytime temperatures under 25 degrees Celsius, with nightly lows of five degrees cooler.
    This year's first blossom of the flower occurred in mid-September and lasted for no more than a week.
    Guilin Park in Xuhui District, Shanghai Botanic Garden in Xuhui and Grand View Garden in Qingpu District are the best places to appreciate the sweet-scented flowers in Shanghai, said experts. --(10/14)

  • Zoo sticks its neck out to breed
    One of Shanghai Zoo's giraffes has moved home to the Jinan Zoo in Shandong Province.
    It is part of the zoo's breeding improvement program and it saw a female giraffe being swapped for a male giraffe from Jinan Zoo.
    The breeding improvement program is designed to avoid inbreeding and improve bloodlines and the zoo has exchanged other animals this year in the same program.
    "We have introduced a pair of red-crowned craned from the Wuxi Zoo (Jiangsu Province), a male blue sheep from the Dalian Zoo (Liaoning Province) and a male mandrill from the Chengdu Zoo (Sichuan Province)," said an official surnamed Wang of the Breeding Management Department in the Shanghai Zoo.
    The zoo chose a male giraffe to complement its eight female giraffes.
    "We contacted the Jinan Zoo which agreed to exchange a male for a female. Both of the giraffes are grown but not fully developed sexually," Wang said.
    The Shanghai giraffe was born on September 29 last year and is the "eldest daughter" among the fourth generation at the Shanghai Zoo's Giraffe Hall. "It set off on its journey last Saturday and reached its new home in Jinan Zoo the next day. In spite of the long journey and the strange surroundings, the giraffe behaved as if nothing had happened and ate and slept as normal.'' --(10/13)

  • Sea bridge due for a thorough check-up
    The Donghai Bridge, the country's longest sea bridge will undergo its first "physical" later this year.
    The bridge was opened less than two years ago but as it stretches far into the East China Sea, regular engineering checks are necessary to ensure there is evidence of erosion.
    The bridge engineers promised that the bridge would have a life of at least 100 years. This year's checks will concentrate on the pier girders which are more likely to be affected by sea water.
    Depending on the result of the examination, the bridge managers may take further measures to counteract erosion.
    The 32.5-kilometer bridge links the very eastern tip of the Nanhui Bridge with the Yangshan Deep-Water Port. It is mainly used as a transport line for container trucks.
    The city government has also planned to build a row of wind-driven generators along the bridge to generate green power in the next few years.
    It is estimated that the project could cost around two billion yuan (US$267 million). --(10/12)

  • City ban on black fumes
    Vehicles discharging black fumes will be banned from local streets from next year, the city's top legislative body announced yesterday.
    The Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress yesterday passed an amendment of the city's air pollution prevention regulations.
    Vehicles found emitting black fumes will have their operation license seized by traffic police until maintenance is done to ensure the vehicle's emissions meet the city's standard, according to the amended regulations.
    The amendment will go into effect from January 1, 2008.
    Li Zhiqiang, member of the SPC's legislation commission, said that the timing was delayed to allow bus companies time to improve their fleets.
    "Many deputies showed their concern over the regulation's implementation effect on buses, so we changed the implementation date to make it possible for government (public transport management) departments to make preparations," Li said at the SPC session yesterday.
    The city now has 2.43 million vehicles. Auto emissions account for about 80 percent of air pollution in downtown areas, says Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.
    According to the city government last month, old buses will be replaced by new ones that meet national emission standards. The city had replaced 1,500 buses and 18,500 taxis by June.
    Officials had promised to get rid of black-fume buses within the Inner Ring Road by the end of this year. --(10/11)

  • Autumn may be just around corner
    Cloudy skies are expected over Shanghai after tropical storm Krosa left the city, but daily temperatures are expected to remain about 24 degrees Celsius at their warmest, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.
    Lows this week will range between 17 to 18 degrees, which indicates fall may be just around the corner, said the weather bureau.
    Autumn is officially declared when the daily average temperature is lower than 22 degrees for five straight days.
    Water levels in the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek exceeded the alert level at midnight on Monday due to the storm, which was downgraded from a typhoon, Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters said yesterday.
    Water at the mouth of Suzhou Creek rose to 4.75 meters at midnight, two centimeters higher than the alert level. "This is the first time this year the water level has risen above the level," said Chen Maopan, a headquarters official.
    The water level in the Mishidu area of the Huangpu River reached 4.21 meters at 1:20am, 0.71 meters higher than the alert level. That's the third-highest level ever recorded, according to officials.
    Rains continued on Monday night, causing floods along 22 streets in Nanhui District. Water also flooded into 433 residential buildings and inundated more than 1,330 hectares of farmland.
    After the yellow typhoon alert was canceled on Monday night, 8,883 people who were evacuated from their homes in low-lying areas started to return home. --(10/10)

  • Rice a staple diet now for 7,700 years
    A small town in Zhejiang Province has been identified as China's earliest site where rice was grown - about 700 years earlier than previously believed.
    The research, by scientists at Shanghai-based East China Normal University's institute for estuarine and coastal research, was published in the international journal "Science" on September 27.
    The scientists found the evidence at Kuahuqiao in Hangzhou Bay where micro-charcoal sediments were discovered in ancient stratigraphic layers, three to five meters beneath the earth.
    As well grass pollens were found.
    Taken together, says Chen Zhongquan, a tenured professor of ECNU and one of the article's co-authors, the fact that the times were identical went to suggest that there was rice planting at that time.
    "The evidence we collected from Kuahuqiao reveals these Neolithic communities selected lowland swamps for their rice cultivation and settlement, using fire to clear alder-dominated wetland scrub and prepare the site for occupation," Chen said.
    "That could be the earliest rice cultivation practice discovered so far in the lower Yangtze River region, which is the country's center for rice domestication," he explained.
    Before this, it had been accepted that people in ancient Hemudu in southern Zhejiang, who lived at about 7,000 years ago, were the predecessor of rice planters in coastal China.
    The "burning-for-planting" method also marked a changing lifestyle from hunting and gathering by Mesolithic foragers to the food-producing economy of the Neolithic farmers, Chen said.
    Research results also showed that growing rice in the area was stopped when seawater began regular flooding about 7,550 years ago. --(10/9)

  • Raikkonen wins Chinese Grand Prix
    Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari won the Chinese Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton of McLaren swallowed the sorrow as he retired midway in Shanghai yesterday.
    Thus, the Formula One title battle becomes a three-way fight down to the last stop in Brazil on Oct. 21 as Hamilton's teammate Fernando Alonso finished second with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa third.
    Hamilton, who hopes to become Formula One's first rookie champion with one race to spare, had his overall lead reduced to four points with 107 points against 103 for Alonso and 100 for Raikkonen.
    "I'm disappointed for the team, the battle goes on to Brazil," said 22-year-old Hamilton.
    The Briton needed only to win or finish ahead of Alonso and Raikkonen to become the youngest of champions. Instead, he suffered the first retirement of the season in which he has set a string of records.
    As Raikkonen savored his 14th career win, his fifth of the season, he has emerged as a renewed threat.
    "Anything can happen, we just have to try to win the last race and then see," said the Finn.
    But two-time champion Alonso, who crashed out in Japan last weekend, was still pessimistic about his chances.
    "I still need something really dramatic if I want to win. With a normal race it will be impossible," said the Spaniard.
    Hamilton led Raikkonen from pole position while Alonso lagged in fourth. Neither of them changed their wet tires at the first pit stops.
    However, Hamilton was struggling to control his car before the second stop was due. Raikkonen overtook him and Alonso closed the gap in third place when he slid off the pit lane and into the gravel.
    Toro Rosso's German Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, his team's best and also their first points of the season, with Briton Jenson Button a surprisingly fifth for Honda.
    Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi was sixth for Toro Rosso, with Nick Heidfeld seventh for BMW Sauber and David Coulthard taking the final point for Red Bull. --(10/8)

  • Wet and chilly weather tipped
    Weather experts expect a spectacular - and chilly - end to the weeklong National Day holidays.
    Heavy rain will hit the city on Sunday and the temperature may drop to below 20 degrees Celsius by Monday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.
    The weather is being influenced by cold wind from the north and a fallout from Typhoon Krosa, which is heading in the general direction of Shanghai.
    Krosa-influenced rain may occur as early as tonight and strong winds and downpours are on the cards for tomorrow.
    Today's forecast, ahead of the rain, is for cloudy conditions with temperatures ranging from 24 to 29 degrees, the bureau said.
    "The typhoon won't directly hit Shanghai but it will definitely influence its weather," an official at the bureau said in a phone interview yesterday.
    Typhoon Krosa is expected to hit landfall in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.
    Two weeks ago, Typhoon Wipha hit east China, which brought six deaths, including one in Shanghai, and three missing. It destroyed more than 9,600 houses and damaged 42,000 others, and direct economic losses were 6.62 billion yuan (US$882 million).
    A total of 2.67 million people in Shanghai and Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces were evacuated during Wipha. --(10/6)

  • Holiday blood flows in a worthy cause
    Shanghai's shortage of Type A blood has been rectified, thanks to the generosity of its citizens.
    The city's Blood Administration Office said yesterday that 3,172 people donated more than 650 liters of blood during the first three days of the weeklong holidays.
    The city has been short of Type A since summer, despite authorities repeatedly calling on residents for donations.
    "It is a long-term task to keep a balanced storage of blood," said Lu Jinong, an official at the office.
    To encourage donations, all the city's 30-odd blood-collecting vehicles and centers are operating throughout the holidays. Officials said they received many donations to celebrate National Day on Monday.
    Since the nation's Blood Donation Law was enacted on October 1, 1998, authorities have organized many initiatives to increase people's awareness of the practice.
    For example, a sculpture depicting a family of three was unveiled in Minhang District yesterday. The district's blood-donation promotion association also donated 15,000 yuan (US$2,000) to a child aged nine who has received a stem-cell transplant to fight leukemia.
    By September this year, Minhang had collected 4,200 liters of blood. --(10/5)

  • Commuter numbers break record
    Record numbers of travelers have used the city's flight and rail facilities during the first part of the weeklong National Day holiday.
    Immigration police at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the city's major air terminal for global travel, said yesterday that 15,000 Chinese flew out of the country daily during the first 48 hours of the holiday period - up a staggering 50 percent from last year.
    More than 300 Chinese tour groups, made up of 7,200 people, flew out of the city for overseas trips during the first two days of the holiday.
    About eight million people used the city's Metro lines from Sunday to Tuesday.
    Police enforced emergency traffic restrictions - by interchanging entry and exit queues - at the People's Square Metro hub on Monday night, National Day, because of serious overcrowding. The restriction lasted for several hours until 10pm when crowds lessened. Police said they confiscated hydrogen balloons from some holiday revelers. The balloons come under the category "dangerous goods."
    Metro operators had 1.2 million extra tickets printed for the holidays in anticipation of a 30 percent increase in commuters from last year.
    Police yesterday urged spectators for the Formula 1 race, to be held from tomorrow until Sunday in Jiading District, to use shuttle buses and leave their own vehicles at home. --(10/4)

  • Holiday visitors flock to city
    Shanghai hosted an estimated 660,000 tourists on the first day of the weeklong National Day holiday on Monday, the city's holiday office said yesterday.
    About 30,000 tourists visited the city's landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower yesterday, up 20 percent from a year earlier and brought 2.4 million yuan (US$319,766) to its ticket earnings, the office said.
    The Shanghai Wildlife Park received 24,000 people yesterday, an increase of 21 percent from a year ago.
    Century Park hosted 16,000 tourists yesterday and Fengjing Town, a local water town with a history of more than 1,500 years, also received 16,000 people, the office said.
    A total of 9,375 people made trips via the city's tourism bus hub on Monday.
    Shanghai Railway Bureau on Monday put 71 extra trains into use to handle the peak period, when 230,000 people departed the city by rail.
    Vehicles and ships shuttling between Shanghai and Chongming, Hengsha and Changxing islands more than doubled on Monday compared with ordinary days, bringing more than 50,000 visitors, the Shanghai Maritime Safety Bureau said.
    Local shipping companies have arranged 60 vessels and opened more routes to send tourists to the islands during the holiday period.
    More than 6,800 people from Taiwan took 32 chartered flights between Shanghai and Taiwan from September 21 to 30 via Pudong International Airport.
    About 4.2 million visitors are due in Shanghai during the holidays, a rise of five percent compared with the last Golden Week holiday in October, according to the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission. --(10/3)

  • Expo contest
    Shanghai has again launched an Expo English contest for middle school students. This year's contest has added new elements to highlight renovation and interaction.
    It is hosted by Wenhui- Xinmin United Press Group, co-sponsored by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, Shanghai Education Commission and the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese Youth League. Shanghai Daily is the special support unit. --(10/2)

  • Shanghai welcomes 4.2 million visitors
    About 4.2 million visitors are due in Shanghai during this week's National Day holidays beginning today, a rise of five percent compared with the last Golden Week holiday in October, according to the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission.
    Meanwhile, local hotels have an average of 50 percent bookings during the week. Today more than 60 percent of hotel rooms have been booked.
    On the other hand, 1,594 groups of 32,271 local tourists are travelling abroad during the holiday, an increase of 40 and 30 percent respectively from last year. They are mainly leaving for Northeast and Southeast Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.
    Hong Kong and Macau are still among the favorite overseas destinations for Shanghai residents.
    The Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center has arranged 122 tourism routes including 39 one-day trips, 67 for two days and 16 for three days. A total of 1,657 coaches will be dispatched to Shanghai's suburban scenic spots such as Qingpu District and Chongming County, and other tourist destinations in neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
    Center officials said short journeys are popular with local residents. By Saturday morning more than 13,000 sightseeing bus tickets had been sold.
    Airline tickets are also in great demand. Popular routes include the cities of Xi'an, Urumqi, Chengdu, Kunming and Qingdao. --(10/1)



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