A hundred volunteers from immigration police, airline companies and the airport administration officially started their duties at the Pudong International Airport to prepare for the Olympic Games yesterday.
Hundreds of athletes and accredited personnel will arrive in Shanghai for 12 football matches held in town. --(7/31)
History in the making
The Shanghai Sports Administration received a third batch of donations for its planned Shanghai Sports Museum yesterday to mark the 10-day countdown to the Beijing Olympics.
The donations included two cups and a medal won by Qian Xingsu, a female sprinter in the 1930s known as "Queen Sprinter," and a camera used by Chen Baoqiu, a local shot putter, when he took part in the 11th Berlin Olympic Games, and pictures he had taken.
Qian's son, Chen Shihe, a Tongji University professor, donated her items. One cup was presented by the Zhejiang Province government in 1933 and another trophy won in 1935 is of a runner.
"Donating these cultural relics to the museum will make more people better know the history and share the common glory," he said.
The camera was donated by three relatives of Chen Baoqiu, who represented China in Berlin in 1936. The "Iron Ox" held the national shot putting record at that time.
Chen Baoqiu took a number of photos at the Games, including some of the Chinese athletes in competition. --(7/30)
Members of the Shanghai Opera House opened this year's Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland on Sunday with a performance of "The Yellow River" and "Carmina Burana."
The company will perform four operas at the festival. --(7/29)
Forecasts depend on Shanghai institute
China's weather satellites, named Fengyun, have been collecting weather information such as cloud maps and wind movements since 1988.
And the Fengyun satellites (the name means wind and cloud in Chinese) will provide accurate forecasts for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The satellites' birthplace was the Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering (SISE) in Minhang District. The institute was founded in December 1969 under the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology of Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
Since its establishment, SISE has successively developed four polar orbit satellites, called FY-1, and four geo-stationary meteorological satellites, called FY-2.
Scientists are now working on their successors. China is the third region in the world to develop both polar and geo-stationary satellites, after the United States and Europe. --(7/28)
Olympic Village officially opens
The Olympic Village for the Beijing Games was officially opened today as hundreds of Chinese athletes started checking into the 66-hectare compound.
The village mayor Chen Zhili announced the opening of the village, which is about 20 minutes' walk northwest of two centerpiece Games venues - the Bird's Nest stadium and aquatic venue Water Cube. --(7/27)
Foreign citizens are being told to check their visas by Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration.
If working, studying or staging a show in Shanghai, they need employment permission from the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau, and should apply for residence permission to the Shanghai Entry-Exit Administration. Certificates must be obtained from companies or educational institutions. --(7/26)
Exhibition organizer brushed by art supplier
An exhibition featuring artwork by Picasso which was due to have been held at the Shanghai Exhibition Center this month has been canceled.
Show organizer Gao Qiang said he would be taking court action against the Danish company which was to provide the exhibits.
The company promised to provide 100 of Picasso's works on loan from galleries and museums around Europe, he said.
"But recently when we contacted these museums, they hardly knew anything about our show," said Gao, general manager of Beijing Time Yixuan Trade Corporate Ltd.
Gao's company had paid 960,000 euros (US$1.5 million) to its Danish partner for the exhibition including rental and insurance fees.
"We will use all our connections and sources to fight against such a commercial cheat," Gao said.
Gao said the Danish company wrote a letter on July 11 to him, claiming compensation of 1.417 million euros.
"They said in the letter that we didn't transfer our money according to the time set in the contract," Gao said, "We might have been late twice, but they still accepted (the money) at the time." --(7/25)
Scholars discuss city development
The 6th International Symposium on Shanghai Development in the 21th Century opened in the city yesterday. The two-day symposium invited more than 200 scholars and government officials from home and abroad to discuss the topic "contemporary service science and mega-city development."
Tu Guangshao, the city's vice mayor, revealed in his keynote speech that the city's monopolized energy, education and public health sector are expected to be open to foreign investors gradually. --(7/24)
Second tunnel to remove congestion
Shanghai's first cross-river tunnel, Dapu Road Tunnel, will soon have a sister tunnel completed to help ease traffic congestion for the 2010 World Expo.
Once the new tunnel is opened, the old Dapu Road Tunnel will be closed for renovations. With a total budget of 1.5 billion yuan (US$220 million), the new tunnel, west of the old tunnel, is expected to be finished by the end of 2009.
It will have two lanes plus a 3 to 4-meter emergency lane underneath. The tunnel, including the above-ground section, will stretch 2.96 kilometers.
The new tunnel will have two entrances in Puxi and two in Pudong. The two entrances in Puxi are at Longhua Road E. and Ruijin Road while the two in Pudong are at Changqing Road and Xueye Road. All except the Xueye Road entrance will be open before the Expo. The Xueye Road entrance is due to open after 2010.
The tunnel will be built in two phases. During the first phase of construction, the old Dapu Road Tunnel will be open to traffic during the day and closed for renovations at night.
During the second phase it will be closed completely and will reopen before the Expo, said Project Manager Zhang Rencai.
The original Dapu Road Tunnel was opened in 1972. After 36 years in operation, its ventilation and drainage systems are struggling to cope with the current traffic load.
The Dapu Road Tunnel is the only cross-river tunnel that allows trucks. But after the new tunnel is finished, both tunnels will mostly carry cars and buses. --(7/23)
City due to sizzle through this week
Scorching weather is expected to return this week under the influence of a subtropical high.
The daily temperature is expected to rise above 35 degrees Celsius for most of the week, at times reaching 38 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.
Thunderstorms may hit in the afternoons of Thursday and Friday when the heat reaches its peak.
Cloudy weather is expected in the city for the rest of the week, forecasters said.
Today, the temperature is expected to reach 34 degrees, as the subtropical high is still relatively weak.
Although the bureau issued a blue typhoon alert on Saturday evening, the year's seventh tropical cyclone, Kalmaegi, did not cause much trouble in Shanghai.
Rainfall hit most areas of the city on Saturday night. In Songjiang District, the rainfall was about 53 millimeters, the bureau reported.
Forecasters said Kalmaegi's main rain belt was at the southern and western side of Shanghai, quite a distance from the city center. --(7/21)
Car plate price falls at auction
The price for a car plate in Shanghai dropped slightly at the monthly auction yesterday, as fewer bidders joined the fray in what is traditionally the slowest period for auto sales.
At 6,800, the number of car licence plates up for sale was the smallest quota for the year. However, the average price still fell 500 yuan to 34,491 yuan(US$5,072) from a month earlier, organizer Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co Ltd said yesterday.
The lowest winning bid also edged down to 33,800 yuan, a decrease of 100 yuan on June. Both the average and lowest bid prices have now dropped for three consecutive months.
About 16,700 people joined in the bidding - a sharp decline from the 21,208 bidders last month.
The starting bid price was unbroken until seven minutes before the deadline for the first bidding phase.
July is usually the slowest season for car sales. This year, the market is even worse because of high inflation, record fuel prices and the sluggish Shanghai stock market, analysts said.
"Many auto buyers were waiting on the sides or scaling back their budgets," said a dealer surnamed Chen.
"Because they don't anticipate a further price hike in the short term, they were not so eager to win the bid. This dragged down the winning price."
The auto market has showed clear signs of slowdown, with many dealers reporting that the number of visitors to showrooms had halved.
A Shanghai Volkswagen dealership said it had sold 40 vehicles in the past month, compared with 70 units on average in previous months, placing pressure on the inventory. --(7/20)
From July 22 to July 26, bus routes to Guilin Road Station on Metro Line 9 or Yishan Road Station on Metro Line 3 will be changed due to construction work on Metro Line 9. Passengers have been advised to take extra care to plan their trips. --(7/19)
Buses ready to fight fire
SHANGHAI is to install fire-fighting equipment on transit buses currently in service.
When temperature in the engine compartment reaches 110 degrees Celsius or the temperature in the bus reaches 170 degrees, the equipment would be triggered automatically to spray water to control the fire, transport officials said.
Alarms are also to be added to the escape ax cases to reduce theft.
In the wake of the May 5 bus blast that killed three people, companies had been adding escape axes but they were being stolen frequently. A loud siren will sound if any attempt is made to steal axes in future.
The transport authority is also to improve emergency guides on the buses, making it easier for passengers to know where they should break the windows and the locations of other emergency tools.
The authority said they were considering amending the bus equipment standards and ordering all new buses to carry such equipment.
The new guides will be highlighted in campaigns on TVs on the Metro and buses. --(7/18)
Public pools warned of terror attacks
Public swimming pools have been urged to strengthen security checks this summer, according to the Shanghai Social Sports Administrative Center yesterday.
Under the new policy which has been issued to avoid explosions or other terrorist attacks, local public swimming pools have been ordered to check shampoos, body wash and other liquids before people are allowed on the premises.
Since public swimming pools opened on June 20, more than 1.5 million people have entered.
During that period, the sports authority conducted 321 spot checks on swimming pools, but found some venues did not follow security procedures.
"Some swimmers could not understand the security measures and refused to have their liquids checked before entering the swimming pools," said a director surnamed Ma at the Shanghai Social Sports Administrative Center. "As pool managers are afraid to lose their customers, the guards sometimes just let them go in."
There were 438 swimming pools in the city which had passed the organization's safety examination. --(7/17)
Housing plans on the Web
A draft of the Shanghai residential house construction plan (2008-2012) can be seen at www.shanghai.gov.cn.
It includes the city's house construction situation, development trends and construction targets. --(7/16)
Quality of water
Huangpu District sanitation inspectors check water quality at the swimming pool in Gezhi Middle School yesterday, as the city beefs up sanitation management. The checks of 15 pools yesterday reported satisfactory results. --(7/15)
Day chemotherapy clinic opens
The city's first day clinic for chemotherapy has been established at Shanghai Chest Hospital, allowing lung cancer patients to receive treatment and return home the same day.
The clinic started trial operation with four beds early this month. Doctors hope to expand it to seven beds within two months, easing a hospital bed shortage that can delay treatment. Dr Lu Shun, director of the hospital's Lung Tumor Clinical Center, said the center could handle the workload of 40 hospital beds. --(7/14)
Students push Expo
Shanghai World Expo officials have set up their first promotional team, comprising 86 local university students who will help build knowledge of the 2010 event among city residents.
The students were sworn in yesterday at a ceremony at the Huayang residential community in Changning District, which was the first stop on the promotional trail.
Members of the team aired a promotional video clip to introduce community residents to features of the world fair, which will run from May 1 to October 31, 2010, and staged performances involving Shanghai's Expo mascot, Haibao.
Expo officials said the first batch of promotional team members was selected after several rounds of tests that have been conducted since May. The students have received special training designed by event organizers. --(7/13)
Students from earthquake-hit Sichuan Province were at Fudan University yesterday. The 32 pupils of Mianzhu Nanxuan High School had been invited to a summer camp featuring lectures, sightseeing and arts activities. --(7/12)
China's Arctic mission
A total of 121 team members stepped onto the ship "Snow Dragon" in Shanghai yesterday afternoon, all ready to take their leave for China's third scientific exploration to the North Pole.
The team includes 60 researchers, 39 seamen and 22 logistic staff and journalists.
Among the researchers, 11 come from the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Finland, France and other foreign countries.
The 49 domestic scientists come from Ocean University of China, Xiamen University, the State Oceanic Administration and the Polar Research Institute. Many of them are of the "post-80s generation."
"One of the main features of this team is its members are young and of high quality," said Qu Tanzhou, an official with the State Oceanic Administration. The average age of the team is 35.7 and the youngest member is just 19.
And the team has 11 female members - the most since the first exploration.
"Snow Dragon," the carrier for China's third Arctic expedition, will leave today as it carries out a mission to observe polar changes and their effects on the country's climate and environment.
The ship is waiting for its 75-day journey to and from the Arctic at Waigaoqiao dock in Shanghai.
The team leader is Yuan Shaohong, vice director of the Polar Research Institute, and Zhang Haisheng with the State Oceanic Administration is the chief scientist during the research mission. --(7/11)
A cool topic
About half of heat-preserving beverage vessels failed quality inspections, officials said yesterday.
The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision inspected the glass or steel-made insulated bottles, cups and lunch boxes, finding that some of the vessels didn't retain heat, some leaked easily, and some were too easily broken. --(7/10)
Their Best Feet Go Forward
One hundred Shanghai college students are heading off to work in Beijing as volunteers at the Olympics, the Shanghai office of the Olympic organizing committee said yesterday.
The 100 students were selected from 238 candidates from local colleges. Eighty of the volunteers will be sent to work during the Olympics, while another 20 students will help at the Paralympics that follow.
The office has also selected 946 students from more than 20,000 applicants to work at the Olympic soccer matches in Shanghai.
"We have chosen the most outstanding young people to serve and ensure a smooth, safe and successful Olympics," said Deng Xiaodong, head of the city's Olympic management division.
The volunteers have to take an oath to serve the games faithfully. Those for Beijing will leave on July 24. --(7/9)
Summer cruise liners arrive
Japanese cruise ship Fuji Maru sailed into Shanghai with horns blaring yesterday, the first of about 30 liners due to visit the city this summer.
The 167-meter ship carrying hundreds of passengers berthed at Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal on the northern Bund about 6am. Immigration police said the terminal had been quiet for the past three months. Most passengers spend two or three days here while sightseeing. --(7/8)
Rescue at sea
A sailor from the Philippines was rushed to hospital by Shanghai maritime rescuers on Saturday after he was found unconscious and partially paralyzed while working on a German container ship.
Donghai Rescue Bureau vessels transferred the sailor to Shanghai Sailor Hospital, where the 28-year-old is recovering. Doctors said he suffered a sudden neural spasm of his right arm due to his heavy workload. --(7/7)
Letting their hair down
Actors perform during rehearsals yesterday for the 20 performances of Broadway musical "Hairspray" which opens today at the Shanghai Grand Theater and ends on July 20. One of the performances will raise money for areas suffering the consequences of the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. The musical also forms part of the theater's 10th anniversary celebrations. --(7/6)
More than 60 business school students from all over the world discussed challenges facing would-be entrepreneurs at the World Entrepreneurship Forum Junior Edition in Shanghai yesterday.
Sponsored by students of the Emlyon Business School, the forum will release its findings in September. --(7/5)
Blackout hits island
Some parts of Changxing Island remained blacked out until late last night after a connection from Chongming Island was short circuited.
The power authority had been working on repairing the problem for a day and a half and managed to restore the power for homes and company security systems by yesterday afternoon.
About 10am on Wednesday, the 110-kilovolt cable fused above the Yangtze River, 2.5 kilometers away from the island's southern coast.
Officials with the Shanghai Municipal Electric Company found paint had dropped onto the cable and this had melted the wires. The company is still investigating the incident, which blacked out most of Changxing Island on Wednesday.
The company had to introduce a temporary cable to keep some power flowing to consumers and businesses on the island.
Rough waters in the Yangtze River hampered efforts to reach the cable and work on it with safety, officials said. --(7/4)
Weather warnings hot up
Shanghai will offer more meteorological level warnings, Tang Xu, the chief of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau told the regular press conference of the municipal government yesterday.There now will be 15 warnings including ozone and haze levels instead of the previous 11.
There are 39 programs issuing daily meteorological information on 17 TV channels citywide for 20 million viewers. About 1 million people receive the information via cell phone short messages.
More than 22,000 public electronic screens, 2,000 LCD screens in office buildings and 1,000 electronic guideboards issue real-time weather information. City residents can access online more than 5,000 statistics and charts about the weather every day. --(7/3)
Boost for city software training
Shanghai is to train 10,000 software experts within the next three years to meet a personnel shortage and boost the local high-tech industry, industry insiders said yesterday.
Shanghai Municipal Informatization Commission, Infosys - India's second-biggest IT service firm - and the Shanghai Pudong Software Park are cooperating on the project.
More than 1,000 people are expected to be trained this year, 3,000 next year and additional 6,000 in 2010. The Shanghai IT commission will fund the 4 million yuan (US$583,397) project.
"We can gather experience from India's IT industry through the project and we will provide full support with capital and related policies," said Shao Zhiqing, vice director of the local IT commission.
India has the world's leading IT service industry.
Its IT firms, such as Tata, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam, now have facilities in Shanghai.
It is estimated that the annual shortage of software talent in Shanghai is at least 20,000 and about 400,000 nationwide. Last year, IBM opened a software talent training center in Pudong. --(7/2)
Fund plan to lure top managers to Pudong
Pudong New Area is to invest at least 2 billion yuan (US$286 million) over the next three years to attract top professionals to work in the future financial center, officials announced yesterday.
"As the city's pilot area for reform, Pudong is actively competing worldwide for high-class talents," said Huang Zhong, vice director of Pudong's personnel bureau.
"It cost a lot of money to attract professionals. This 2-billion-yuan fund is allocated to improve the welfare and benefits of professionals and help their children's education," he said.
Huang said part of the fund would be allocated as a reward to senior managers working in financial institutes and organizations.
It will also fund recruitment, training and the improvement of living conditions for professionals.
Another large share of the fund will provide subsidies for medical care, insurance and housing to innovative professionals in high-tech institutions, research and development organizations, large accounting firms and human resources corporations.
Employers can also get an allowance of 100,000 yuan for each post-doctoral researcher they employ, officials said.
Pudong also plans to build 37,000 apartments, totaling 2.3 million square meters, over the next three years to address incoming professionals' housing problems.
It is also expected to be a pilot area for the city's new policy to link the residence card system with permanent residence, which will be more convenient for non-local residents, officials said.
In 2001, Pudong had 240,000 people holding at least a college degree or with a special talent.
Now the number is more than 460,000, with an annual growth rate of 17.7 percent. --(7/1)