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  • Road project ready
    Expansion work on the section of Jing'an District's Wanghangdu Road from Wuning Road S. to Beijing Road W. will be finished today, Jing'an District government said yesterday.
    The reopening is expected to improve traffic flow. Previously the road only had one lane in each direction but now it has six lanes.
    The width of the road was almost doubled from 28 meters to 45m in some places, district officials said. The width of the road in the most crowded section, from Beijing Road W. to Xinzha Road, was tripled from 8m to 24m, the district's engineering authority said.
    "I won't be late to the office anymore," said Li Zhe, a Website designer who takes the No. 93 bus, which runs on Wanhangdu Road, to work every day.
    Workers also cleaned the walls of buildings and shop signs along the road and planted more greenery to make the area more pleasant, officials said. --(12/31)

  • Shanghai stars
    The renowned Chinese mainland film maker Jia Zhangke will shoot the 90-minute documentary "Shanghai Legend" for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
    The film will introduce Shanghai's architecture, culture and life and explore the Expo theme, "Better City, Better Life." The documentary is slated to start its global release in May 2010. --(12/30)

  • Ramp in service
    A ramp connecting the Lupu Bridge's exit to Pudong came into service yesterday morning, the Shanghai No. 1 Engineering Co announced.
    The 246-meter exit ramp will help relieve traffic congestion from cars using the bridge to enter the World Expo zone in Pudong. The ramp joins Yaohuazhi Road in Pudong. --(12/29)

  • High-tech series
    Shanghai has established a series of high-tech parks and scientific enterprise incubators to encourage the industrialization of advanced technology, officials from the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said at a meeting yesterday to mark the 20th anniversary of China's torch plan, which supports high-tech projects and businesses. --(12/28)

  • Airport shuttles start up
    A bus shuttle service between the west terminal station on Metro Line 2 and Hongqiao Airport starts tomorrow.
    Taxis from Songhong Road, the nearest Metro station to the airport were hard to find at rush hour and the new 2-yuan service should prove popular with air travelers.
    Buses will leave the Metro station every half hour from 9:30am to 9:30pm and from the airport at half-hourly intervals from 10am to 10pm.
    "In normal traffic, the bus ride should take less than 30 minutes," said Lu Gaosheng, an official with the city's urban transport administration.
    The shuttles will remain in service until the completion of the Hongqiao passenger transport and transfer hub project before the World Expo 2010. By then, Metro and bus routes will all link to the transport hub which is connected to the airport.
    Also from tomorrow, residents living near Caolu Road along Metro Line 6 will be able to catch a new bus service, Caolu Road Route 2, between their homes and the Metro stations.
    Meanwhile, a pedestrian passage connecting Guilin Road Station on Line 9 with Yishan Road Station on Line 3 also opens tomorrow. --(12/27)

  • Local lifespan rises 17 years
    The average life span of Shanghai locals has gone up by more than 17 years in the past three decades.
    The average life span was 64.05 years in 1978. Last year it was 81.08 years, officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau said at a meeting yesterday about achievements in public health since the start of the reform and opening-up period.
    The mortality rate for pregnant women or those in labor was 21.85 in every 100,000 in 1978. Last year it was 6.68 in every 100,000. The infant mortality rate for children under the age of 1 fell by four fifths from 15 in every 1,000 babies in 1978 to three in every 1,000 children last year. Both figures are in line with developed countries.
    Song Guofan, from the Shanghai Health Bureau said the city's incidence of serious infectious diseases dropped from 1,700 in every 100,000 people in 1978 to last year's 198.95 in every 100,000.
    Shanghai has eliminated the plague and now has cholera under control.
    The city stopped smallpox vaccinations in 1981 and is the nation's first provincial-level city to almost totally eliminate malaria and leprosy. --(12/26)

  • Another cold day and it will be winter
    The official start of winter may be known today if forecasters are correct and the maximum temperature is just 9 degrees Celsius. That would mean a daily average below 10 degrees for five consecutive days and winter would have started last Sunday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday. However, the city is expected to warm up from tomorrow and temperatures will again rise above 10 degrees, forecasters said.
    Rain is forecast over the weekend as a weak cold front hits after today and tomorrow's sunshine. Temperatures will be between 6 and 12 degrees.
    From the beginning of next week, they will drop again.
    Winter is late this year, the latest since 2004 when it didn't arrive until December 23.
    Bureau forecaster Man Liping said: "Although several strong cold snaps have hit the city this year, they came fast and left fast, therefore the temperatures soon rose back."--(12/25)

  • Rule change for city students
    Children without a Shanghai residence certificate, or hukou, will be able to apply to the local education administration of their district to receive compulsory education in the city, according to proposals laid out yesterday.
    Several amendments to current rules were floated at a session of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress, aimed at improving the city's implementation of the Compulsory Education Law.
    Under the proposed new rules, parents or legal guardians who live or work in Shanghai will be able to bring their identity cards, employment certificates and their children's identification documents to local education administrations, and the related departments will help them arrange schooling.
    The committee also proposed new rules for rural teachers. At present, teachers from urban areas who volunteer in rural areas receive preferential treatment if they apply to become head teachers or want further education and training. According to the revisions, headmasters and teachers who have worked for a long time at rural schools will enjoy these same preferential policies. In addition, if they still work at rural schools when they reach retirement age, their retirement age could be extended.
    It was also proposed that schools should be built at new residential areas and, to reduce the burden on students, it was proposed that teachers should not make them use their weekends and leisure time to make up for lessons missed through illness. Currently, teachers can make students take extra classes in their free time, and students have to pay for these lessons.
    The committee also wants to improve communication between schools and parents, and encourage feedback from parents about students' rights and interests. --(12/24)

  • Charity help
    The US-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints donated 800 wheel chairs and 400 walking aids to more than 1,000 seniors in four districts - Putuo, Yangpu, Minhang and Fengxian - at the weekend.
    The donation was worth about 1 million yuan (US$145,964). --(12/23)

  • Hospital grows
    Renji Hospital, a city-level comprehensive hospital, has started building a new outpatient and emergency services building in its Pudong New Area branch.
    The 20-story building will open by 2010. --(12/22)

  • Science awards
    Eleven of the nation's top scientists received the first Tan Jiazhen Life and Science Awards in the city on Friday. The awards, established by United Gene Holdings and managed by the Shanghai Biopharmaceutics Industry Association, are in memory of the geneticist who died in November. Each year the winners share prize money of 1 million yuan (US$146,092). --(12/21)

  • Pavilion tripping the light fantastic
    A showcase of "light and electricity" will be the World Expo 2010 offering from China's State Grid, the country's main power supplier.
    The grid yesterday unveiled its pavilion design, a metallic square with a crystal cube embedded inside, and it will feature a working substation supplying power to parts of the Expo site. The pavilion will include displays showing how the substation works.
    The pavilion's theme will be based on the "relationship between electricity and daily life," said Teng Letian, the chief engineer of the State Grid Shanghai branch.
    The design of the exhibition will highlight the concepts "safe, high quality, clean and reliable," Said Teng.
    Zhao Xiaojun, chief designer for the pavilion, was the senior designer for the National Aquatics Center for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which became better known as the "Water Cube." --(12/20)

  • GPS use will avoid penalties
    The city's transport watchdog has announced penalties for those who transport dangerous cargo in the city without using a GPS tracking device.
    All vehicles transporting dangerous substances must be equipped with global-positioning-system equipment so their speed and route can be recorded. Firms not using GPS will be fined between 20,000 yuan (US$2,926) and 100,000 yuan from January 1. --(12/19)

  • Temple to host New Year's ceremony
    The Longhua Temple in Xuhui District is inviting visitors to make a New Year's wish by ringing its bell or tying a wish to its "auspicious tree" in the temple on December 31.
    The temple will also invite 10 people born on December 31 and five couples who were married on that day to attend the New Year's event, the Xuhui Tourism Administrative Bureau said yesterday.
    The first 20 eligible listeners calling in to a radio program will be offered free tickets to the event, the bureau said. Details in English and Chinese can be heard by calling 6436-9592.
    Masters in the temple will welcome visitors on the night, and the bell will be rung 108 times to welcome the New Year. Tradition has it that after striking the bell 108 times, all unhappiness will disappear during the new year.
    Admission to the temple will cost 200 yuan (US$29.25). --(12/18)

  • Spike in cost of fire damage
    Fire disasters had cost the city nearly 51 million yuan (US$7.45 million) this year by the end of November, more than double the amount for the same period last year, local fire control authorities said yesterday.
    At least 3,180 fires broke out during the period, killing 39 people. Both numbers were lower than last year, down about 18 percent and 15 percent respectively, said the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau, but the number of injured rose by about 47 percent, officials said.
    The bureau said the city still had some fire control issues, especially in the suburbs. High-rises, entertainment venues and some underground spaces were potential dangers, said Chen Fei, director of the bureau.
    "Seniors who live alone are also a big problem," Chen said. "On Monday morning, an 89-year-old senior died in a fire lit by a cigarette."
    Officials said the suburbs were most at risk from serious fires. "We found some of the fire-extinguishing equipment in the suburbs has been broken for a long time," Cheng said.
    Seventy percent of fires reported this year were in the suburbs. Officials urged the government of suburban districts to be fully aware of the importance of fire control.
    During the past five years, the city has invested 1.2 billion yuan on fire-fighting facilities.--(12/17)

  • Holiday job fair
    Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions yesterday said it would hold a job fair during the Spring Festival to give training to people who had lost their jobs because of the financial downturn.
    The city's trade union branches have also been asked to give legal aid to the city's migrant workers. --(12/16)

  • Ads removed
    More than 7,000 illegal outdoor advertising billboards have been removed, in line with preparations for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
    This is 80 percent of the total illegal billboards due to be removed. --(12/15)

  • January Start Date For Retailers
    SHANGHAI Expo organizers are to recruit retailers for the Expo site from January 1 until June, an official from the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination said at a working meeting in the city yesterday.
    Both Chinese enterprises and 2010 World Expo participants can apply, Zhu Xiangang, operation director of the bureau said at the second coordination meeting with the Hong Kong and Macau Expo delegations.
    Retailers could be Expo souvenir shops, convenience stores or restaurants, Zhu said.
    Organizers are to build 43 retail places with a total of 30,000 square meters across the Expo site in both Puxi and Pudong areas. They will be about 500 to 3,000 square meters each. The organizer will also build a total of 100,000-square-meter areas serving food to visitors. --(12/14)

  • Cold front may mean it's winter
    A cold front is expected to chill the city today bringing drizzle with it. The cold front will probably push the city into winter, weathermen said yesterday.
    Daily low temperatures will drop to 2 to 3 degrees Celsius on Monday morning downtown and will be below zero in the suburbs, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
    The maximum temperature is expected to drop by 5 degrees at the weekend and will start to rise from Monday, forecasters said.
    Showers are expected this evening but the sun is expected to return tomorrow afternoon after an overcast morning. The city will have sunny and cloudy weather early next week, said the bureau.
    "The cold front will not be as strong as the cold snap last week," said bureau forecaster Fu Yi. "But people should still make sure to keep warm."
    The influence of the cold front is expected to end late on Monday but maximum temperatures will not go above 15 degrees from Tuesday, forecasters said.
    The city may step into winter today if it is the fifth straight day that the daily average has been lower than 5 degrees, the bureau said.--(12/13)

  • Yangtze Delta to host Expo dignitaries
    Yangtze River Delta Region cities will invite World Expo participants to visit their cities for free during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
    The 15 cities of the region, all in Shanghai's neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, will invite Expo participants to take part in local festivals, or watch art performances and sports for one or two days during the Expo, said Zhou Xianxing, director of the National Participation Department of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination yesterday.
    Each city will also have a dedicated "Friendship Day," to be held between May 4 and October 27, Zhou said.
    Each city will invite 60 to 80 officials from participating countries, international organizations, and corporations or cities from the Urban Best Practices Area of the Expo.
    The cities will also invite the corporate participants of the Expo for business talks, said Zhou.
    The organizer aims to use the Expo as an opportunity to promote the whole region's economy and make the Expo a "joint event of the region," said Zhou Hanmin, deputy director general of the bureau.
    The organizer yesterday signed corporation contracts with five Yangtze River Delta Region cities: Nanjing, Changzhou, Taizhou, Zhenjiang and Nantong. All the cities in the region have now signed participation contracts.
    The six themed forums of the Expo will be held in Nanjing, Wuxi and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, and Shaoxing, Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province.
    So far, 183 countries and 45 international organizations have said they will participate in the 2010 event.--(12/12)

  • License plate quota crashes
    This month's quota for vehicle license plates is 4,500, the lowest number for the year, the Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co Ltd said.
    The quota is 1,000 less than last month. The auction will take place on December 20. Among the 4,500 plates, 25 are for motorcycles and 238 are reserved for businesses changing motorcycle plates to car plates. The average price for a car plate in November dropped 8,873 yuan (US$1,292) to 24,351 yuan from a month earlier. The lowest winning bid sank to 21,800 yuan. Both the average and lowest bid prices dropped to the lowest level since March. There were 10,170 bidders last month, a sharp drop from the record high of 63,534 in March. --(12/11)

  • Blogging tourists take in Shanghai
    A group of Swiss travel insiders have been roaming Shanghai for the past two days and blogging about their experiences.
    Organized by a Swiss magazine, they recorded their experiences with articles, pictures and video clips on, a Swiss tourism Website written in German and French.
    After arriving in the city on Sunday night, the travelers split into five groups to check out different attractions across Shanghai.
    "We are amazed by the mixing culture in Shanghai," said Michael Gaszczyk, one group member.
    Gaszczyk said they wanted their blog to give Swiss people a general idea of Shanghai and attract more Swiss travelers to the city.
    They left last night for Nanjing, where they will stay until Friday. Readers of the blog can vote for their favorite group's work and get the chance to win a free airline ticket to Switzerland, among other prizes.--(12/10)

  • Clement weather sees off winter
    The city will have a relatively warm week before another cold front hits us at the weekend, weathermen said yesterday.
    The maximum temperature is expected to rise above 15 degrees Celsius from today, meaning the city will have to wait for some time before it can officially welcome winter, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    The highs of today and tomorrow will rise to between 18 and 19 degrees, with lows ranging between 6 and 9 degrees, forecasters said.
    A weak cold front is expected to affect the city on Thursday, but the mercury will not fall very far. The maximum temperature will linger around 15 degrees, with lows of around 7 degrees, forecasters said.
    "The warm weather retarded the city's move into winter," said Fu Yi, a forecaster with the bureau.
    Usually winter comes when the daily average temperature drops under 10 degrees for five straight days.
    On Saturday, cloud is expected to thicken as a stronger cold front arrives. The temperature will drop to around 10 degrees, forecasters said.
    The city's water authorities have started wrapping pipes to prevent them bursting, officials said.
    The Shanghai Metro operator said oil had been applied to Metro lines 3 and 4 to prevent them freezing at night. --(12/9)

  • Restaurants create a feast of magnificent meals
    Prawn balls wrapped in cream and fried to golden brown, beefsteak with the "eight treasures in hot sauce," vegetable crab meat, tofu in chicken soup and sweet-smelling rice boiled with red Chinese dates.
    They might sound like dishes for a cooking competition, but in fact they are part of a set meal to be offered to visitors during the World Expo 2010. It will cost 128 yuan (US$18.82), the same as the price of a meal in a local three-star hotel.
    The Shanghai Expo organizer is sparing no effort in delivering magnificent national pavilions at the world's fair, by preparing an exposition of delicacies in meal boxes for Expo visitors.
    Peking duck, braised spareribs with sugar and vinegar, fried tofu in hot sauce, soup of old duck, West Lake beef soup will be included. They are classic dishes from China's eight famous cuisines - Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Anhui.
    Most Expo meals will combine Chinese and Western styles, but the Chinese food would be the highlight, said Duan Fugen, secretary general of the Shanghai Restaurants Association.
    The association gathered representatives from more than 40 famous domestic restaurants at an exhibition late last month to design meals for Shanghai Expo. Twelve modern set meals for both family and business were exhibited.
    The association was invited by the Shanghai Expo organizer to advise on the Expo meals.
    The prices of the meals will range from 38 yuan per person to 328 yuan. A highlight of the 328-yuan set meal is that some will include imperial dishes which were exclusively cooked for past Chinese emperors such as soup of abalone and boletus (a type of mushroom).--(12/8)

  • Route to reopen
    China Eastern Airlines will resume flights to Bangkok in one to two weeks. A ticket booking service is still available. The Shanghai-based carrier canceled all flights from Shanghai to Bangkok after anti-government protests forced Bangkok airports to close late last month. --(12/7)

  • Industry outsider Penny Tai to hold first Shanghai gig
    Malaysian singer and songwriter Penny Tai will hold her first Shanghai concert at Shanghai Oriental Art Center on December 14.
    The 30-year-old singer, known for expressing the feelings of modern women, writes and composes all her own songs. She hasn't released an album for the past two years, instead choosing to upload her songs online.
    "I don't want to write songs to accommodate other people," she says. "I'm not looking for more fans, either. I'm not used to the traditional music-industry life, whereby a singer has to spend so much time and energy on marketing."
    She plans to go on using the Internet to market her songs and has been working with a new band for the past two years.
    For her first concert in Shanghai, Tai has prepared a lot of costumes and learned some Shanghai dialect. She also released the full line-up of songs for the concert online this week, two weeks before the performances so that "it's fair for fans to choose whether they want to come according to the repertoire." --(12/6)

  • Passage of Huangpu tunnel will open early
    One of the two passages of the underground Shangzhong Road Tunnel will be open for traffic before the end of January, the city's transport commission said yesterday.
    The tunnel will run under the Huangpu River, linking the Puxi and Pudong sections of the Middle Ring Road, the commission reported.
    The two-level vehicle tunnel is a key traffic development as it leads into the World Expo zone in Pudong.
    The Middle Ring Road's section in Pudong is still being built and is expected to open before the end of next year, according to the local construction commission.
    The second passage is planned to open for traffic in March, officials said yesterday.
    The first passage to open will be the south passage, designed to serve traffic flowing from Puxi to Pudong. However, it will temporarily be used for two-way traffic until the other passage comes into service, officials said.
    Construction officials also said another underground tunnel is being built to link the Jungong Road Tunnel to the Pudong section of the Middle Ring Road. The project will be finished in 2011. --(12/5)

  • Pagoda to rise
    A 63-meter-high pagoda will be built west of the Jing'an Temple. The renovation plan will improve the setting of the 1,000-year-old temple.
    The Lulu Restaurant at 157 Yuyuan Road will be relocated and the land used for temple facilities. --(12/4)

  • Charity concert
    Angelin Chang, a Grammy Award-winning pianist, will give a charity concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater in January.
    She will play the two concertos that won her the award in 2007 - celebrated French composer Oliver Messiaen's "Exotic Birds" and Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 1. There will also be a performance by the Shanghai Ballet Company. Chang is an America-born Chinese who has been playing piano since she was 5. She is the dean of the Piano Department of Cleveland State University. --(12/3)

  • More help for creatives
    Shanghai will continue to develop its creative industries, especially during the global financial crisis, officials said yesterday.
    Methods include increased government investment to support the industries and more innovation zones. The sector includes computer and online games companies, animation, fashion and film.
    By 2010, more than 100 culture and innovation zones, such as M50 and Tianzifang, will be established in Shanghai. About 80 will have been set up by the end of this year.
    "It's an opportunity for us to develop the innovation industry during the (financial) crisis and the government will strengthen the support of it in future," said Zhou Taitong, the deputy chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Chinese Political Consultative Conference.
    Beijing invests 500 million yuan (US$72.6 million) annually to support the industry. Shanghai has up until now invested less than 200 million yuan a year.
    Forty-four CCPCC members visited culture and innovation sites yesterday, such as Shanda Entertainment and the Shanghai Artron Color Printing Co.--(12/2)

  • Easier visa
    From December 12, Switzerland will join the European Schengen Visa scheme. Chinese tourists holding the EU visa will not have to apply for an extra Swiss visa in future.
    However, they may have to apply for Swiss visas until the end of this year at least. --(12/1)



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