Closed for the holiday
The service windows of the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration will be closed from June 7 to 9 for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.
Starting on June 10, services will run as usual. The windows will be open from 9am to 5pm at 1,500 Minsheng Road in Pudong New Area from Monday to Saturday.
Residents in Hongkou District can also receive passports from 8:30am to 5pm at 260 Minhang Road from Monday to Saturday.
People can call 2895-1900 for more information. --(5/31)
Festival attracts famous film maker
Hong Kong film maker Wong Kar-wai will chair the jury panel of the 11th Shanghai International Film Festival from June 14 to 22, festival organizing committee officials said yesterday.
Wong's latest film, a remake of his 1994 classic "Ashes of Time", will have a special screening at the festival. All proceeds will go to earthquake-stricken regions of Sichuan Province.
On the opening day, the festival's red carpet event will allow celebrities from home and abroad to leave their signatures and best wishes for the earthquake victims.
Actress Zhang Ziyi and award-winning mainland director Yin Li will attend the festival and lecture at its film forums. --(5/30)
Officials to dress down to save power
Shanghai will encourage government officials to dress less formally this summer to reduce power consumption from air-conditioners, a city official said yesterday.
"Government officials should take the lead of less formal dress in indoor workplaces," Zhou Minhao, a spokesperson of the Shanghai Economics Commission, said yesterday in a municipal news conference.
According to the city's meteorologists, the number of days above 35 degrees Celsius will reach 24 to 30 this summer from June 15 to September 23.
The power load this summer is expected to exceed 23 million kilowatts, up 10 percent from last summer, Zhou said.
"We are about to encounter a power shortage," Zhou said.
He said the government would take temporary measures to control the power supply for industrial uses.
The government will require some factories to rearrange work hours; some pollution-causing industries will be suspended; and electricity fees for industrial use will be adjusted.
"We will try our best to ensure a sustainable power supply for residential use," he said. --(5/29)
Bus blast triggers crackdown
Shanghai police have called on locals to be alert for anyone with suspicious carry-on luggage on buses, the Metro and ferries in the wake of the deadly No.842 bus blast earlier this month.
The Shanghai Public Security Bureau said yesterday they would begin stricter supervision to prevent anyone carrying combustible or other dangerous goods on city public transport vehicles.
The bureau asked commuters to beef-up surveillance efforts.
Passengers are strictly banned from carrying forbidden goods on public buses, coaches, tourism bus lines, the Metro, Maglev and any company commuter bus or free supermarket shuttle, police said.
Forbidden goods include gasoline, diesel and coal fuels, liquidized gas, painting oils, fireworks, mousse, spray hair gels and all other flammable and combustible products.
Police said they would reinforce surveillance and increase awareness of safety rules in the wake of the bus blast that killed three people and left 12 others injured on May 5 in Yangpu District.
Police are still investigating the blast which has been ruled the result of an explosion of oil products carried onboard.
"Locals should understand the rules and cooperate when they are asked to open the bags for security checks," said Jiang Xianfa, a deputy director of the public security bureau.
"They should stop others from carrying dangerous goods and report to the transport workers or alert police whenever necessary," he said.
Drivers and attendants on buses, the Metro and other transport vehicles are not authorized by law to open passenger bags for inspection. But, if a passenger refuses a request to search their bag, transport workers are required to alert the police immediately, Jiang said.
Police warned that refusal to allow luggage checks could lead to detention or even criminal charges.
Shanghai Metro police have intercepted 4,300 dangerous goods from being taken onto Metro trains since May 10 after special security checks were set up at all Metro stations.
Shi Fuming, a deputy director with Shanghai Public Transport Police Bureau, said surveillance videos were being installed on transit buses and stations on downtown routes as well as near Olympic Games sites. --(5/28)
China strives to protect ozone layer
Consumption of products that harm the planet¡¯s ozone layer had been reduced more than 110,000 tons last year in China, the Ministry of Environment Protection said yesterday at a symposium in Shanghai.
Zhang Lijun, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environment Protection, addressed the symposium.
Products that produce harmful gases that damage the earth¡¯s ozone layer include refrigerators, aerosol sprays, some air conditioners and tobacco.
Shanghai Chlorine-Alkali General Plant already began operating according to international quotas and promised to stop producing methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and methyl bromide before 2010.
China is the largest consumer and producer of ozone damaging materials. --(5/27)
Recovery experts on way
The first recovery treatment team for earthquake survivors set out for Chengdu yesterday.
The 50-strong team, organized by the China Disabled Persons' Federation, has eight local doctors and psychologists.
The team was expected to reach Chengdu last night, and split into three groups to carry out treatment in Chengdu, Deyang and Mianyang.
The doctors will estimate the health condition of the injured, and will also take recovery facilities and medicine to the area.
"Many wounded victims were buried under rubble for a long time, which may cause some cervical spine disease," said Jin Rong, a doctor on the team. "They may be permanently disabled if are not treated in time. Some of the injured have been lying in litter for a long time, and their muscles may have atrophied, which will also affect their life after the disaster."
Psychologists will help people suffering from shock and distress. --(5/23)
Shanghai all set for torch relay
The Shanghai leg of the Beijing Olympic torch relay will be held in the city tomorrow and on Saturday after being postponed during the nation's period of mourning for earthquake victims.
The Olympic flame will be passed on to Shanghai from Zhejiang Province this evening, local authorities announced yesterday.
The relay will pass eight city areas including historic sites, education and commercial centers as well as zones outside the downtown area.
More than 400 torchbearers will take part in the Shanghai relay.
The relay means there will be traffic restrictions and some transit bus lines will make detours or have their routes temporarily shortened.
The torch relay organizers will hold a news conference in Shanghai today, open to both Chinese and overseas media representatives.
China National Radio, the CCTV Olympic Channel, and local radio and TV stations will make live broadcasts of the torch relay from the launching ceremony at 8am tomorrow until the end.
As the relay continues on Saturday, sightseeing bus routes will also be affected, city tourism authorities said yesterday. Some services will be delayed, and others canceled.
Officials said people who have bought tourism tickets for Saturday can receive refunds before May 31 at all business sites of the Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center.
The Olympic torch relay resumes its journey through China today at a container port in the eastern city of Ningbo, traveling across the Hangzhou Bay Bridge to Jiaxing. Later today the flame will be moved by vehicle to Shanghai.
It is unclear exactly how the route through the rest of China will be adjusted to make up for the delay this week.
After Shanghai, the torch and relay move to neighboring Jiangsu Province.
They are due to arrive on June 13 in Chongqing City and enter Sichuan Province, site of the deadly earthquake, two days later. --(5/22)
Free phone calls
Local telecommunications carriers are providing free calls for rescue teams and donations.
"Local people attending the rescue, from medical, firefighting to media, don't need to pay any mobile communications fees during the rescue period," said Zheng Jie, Shanghai Mobile's general manager. The carrier has set up a hot-line, 13501710086, for rescuers.
Shanghai Telecom is providing free long-distance call services for Sichuan people in Shanghai in its 15 local outlets. It has also sent urgently needed communications equipment to Sichuan. --(5/21)
Residents register for adoptions
Many local people have expressed a strong desire to adopt orphans from the earthquake zone.
More than 400 people have already registered at the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, which has also conducted a survey showing at least 2,000 Shanghai residents have similar intentions.
The bureau said that, according to the city's adoption regulations, couples should be over the age of 30, physically and mentally healthy, have no other child and be able to educate the child.
Peng Xiaoying, a 36-year-old woman from Deyang, Sichuan, who has been working in Shanghai for eight years, said: "I'm extremely sorry for the victims, although my parents stayed safe during the earthquake. I really wish to do something for the people there."
Anyone who wishes to adopt an orphan can register at the Shanghai Marriage and Adoption Registration Center under the bureau. Its address is: 3F, E, Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center, 82 Caobao Road. People can also dial the center's hotline on 6432-5087 or 6432-5088. --(5/20)
Climate apocalypse to be simulated
If climate change continues unabated, and the globe gets warmer and warmer, one day the world and the weather as we know it will snap.
Climate-change catastrophes - from rising waters to endless blizzards to desertification - will become common place.
The forecast for World Expo 2010 Shanghai is fair, warm and hot, May through October. But if you need to be convinced about apocalyptic scenarios, you can enter the Meteorology Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo where climate cataclysms will be simulated.
Visit lands where the sun is blotted out by pollution and nothing will grow, where power grids collapse and light is precious.
The pavilion will be constructed jointly by the World Meteorological Organization, a UN agency and the China Meteorological Bureau.
The WMO signed an Expo participation contract on May 9. Expo Coordination Chief Hong Hao signed for the Expo, and Xu Xiaofeng, deputy director of China Meteorological Bureau, signed for WMO, of which China is a member.
It will jointly build a weather pavilion with the China Meteorological Bureau.
WMO, a United Nations agency, is the first of 31 confirmed international organizations to sign the Expo contract. In total, 205 countries and international organizations have confirmed participation.
Green living, energy conservation and efficiency will be highlighted in the 2,000-square-meter Meteorology Pavilion. Recyclable materials, natural materials and natural ventilation and lighting will be used wherever possible.
The pavilion theme is the "Future of Meteorology" and it explores cities' responsibility to live green and rationally and to conserve energy.
"Better City, Better Life" is the Expo theme.
The Shanghai Multi-Hazard Early Warning System is a WMO demonstration project that will be featured.
WMO is the United Nation's authoritative voice on weather and the state of Earth's environment. --(5/19)
Expats donate 500,000 yuan
Some 800 overseas residents from more than 20 countries and regions in Pudong's Green City donated about 500,000 yuan (US$71,429) to the victims of the earthquake yesterday.
The residents all gave spontaneously to help those in need - about 1,500 overseas families are living in the international community.
Sharon Potter, from the United States, was the first to come to the community club to donate yesterday afternoon. She arrived in the city just three weeks ago to visit her daughter and grandchildren. She said she learned about the earthquake from the TV and decided to help.
"I feel bad and wish them well. I'm sure they'll be OK," said Potter who donated 500 yuan.
Hirai Motoko, a manager with a Japanese company, flew especially to the city yesterday to donate.
Motoko, whose company has a branch in the city, said she was in Japan when she heard about the disaster. She took the first flight from Tokyo to Shanghai yesterday morning to donate 100,000 yuan. "Because of this disaster different nationalities are important no longer. We should treasure life and try our best to save as many lives as possible." --(5/17)
Vision of future is on display
A vision of the city's future has been unveiled to the public at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
Blueprints of major downtown venues, including the Bund and the Hongqiao Airport, are on show as part of the science exhibition of the city's urban infrastructure projects.
"We expect local residents to come here to see and experience what changes the city will undergo in the future," said Wang Rong, a publicity official of the Shanghai Engineering Administrative Bureau.
The exhibition shows how the future Bund area will become more pedestrian and environmentally friendly with more trees, alfresco outlets and new landscaping.
The underground space will be fully developed beneath the Shiliupu area of Zhongshan Road E2, the Yuyuan Garden shopping area, Gucheng Park and the coastal areas along the Bund. The changes will make it possible for pedestrians to reach any of those places by underground passages.
The exhibition, which runs until Sunday, is free to the public but visitors must show ID cards at the entrance. --(5/16)
Shanghai medical teams arrive in Chengdu
Five Shanghai medical teams have arrived in Chengdu today and will soon help victims of the earthquake that ravaged parts of Sichuan Province.
The next step will depend on road conditions as most expressways to the devastated areas were cut, blocked or destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude quake.
The teams departed from Hongqiao Airport on a China Eastern Airlines flight at noon.
Five teams of experts were chosen from Zhongshan Hospital, Renji Hospital, Xinhua hospital, the No. 9 People's Hospital, Shanghai No. 1 Hospital and Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Each hospital sent 18 people including 10 surgeons, two anesthetists, four operation assistants and two surgery nurses, and the disease control center dispatched six disease control experts, the Shanghai Public Health Bureau said.
The doctors and nurses will take sufficient medicine, tools and some tents, the bureau said.
It was reported that six other medical teams as well as a disease prevention team have been set up and will be sent to Sichuan soon. --(5/15)
World Diamond Congress takes a shine to Shanghai
The 33rd World Diamond Congress began yesterday in Shanghai. The three-day conference will wrap up tomorrow. Shanghai Vice Mayor Tang Dengjie addressed the opening ceremony.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) jointly operate the conference. It is the first time China has hosted the event.
China has developed into the world¡¯s second-largest diamond processor, second only to India and the fourth-largest diamond products consumer around the globe in the past two decades. China already boasts a world-class diamond manufacturing production industry.
A total of 6 million to 6.5 million carats of diamonds are processed in China annually, the value amounting to US$1.5 billion.
The Shanghai Diamond Exchange will shift from the Jin Mao Tower to a new building in Lujiazui Area at the end of this year to improve the development of the sole diamond bourse in China.
The inaugural meeting of the WFDB took place in Antwerp in July 1947 and is now recognized as the premiere World Diamond Congress. --(5/14)
Sunny days ahead
The temperature at the weekend will rise to 27 to 28 degrees Celsius. The city is expected to experience a dry week, the weather bureau forecast yesterday.
Today the temperature will drop a little to 22 degrees from yesterday's 24.3 degrees. And the lows will be around 12 degrees, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Sunny to cloudy weather is expected to be seen in the city for most of the week, but rain may hit this afternoon, forecasters said. --(5/13)
March of the Expo volunteers
More than 15,700 ideas for a World Expo 2010 volunteer theme and slogan are under consideration. The winner will be announced in October when recruitment of volunteers begins.
There are 6,982 valid entries for the logo and 8,156 for the slogan contest, according to the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination. The solicitation period ended on April 30.
Entries were submitted from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and many other countries, including Britain, Italy, Japan, France and even Mauritius.
More than 500 entries were received on April 29, organizers said. The submissions Webpage got an average of 5,327 clicks per day. Solicitations began on December 5, International Volunteers Day.
The volunteer logo is to be modern but embody Chinese characteristics. It will be integrated with the Expo logo.
At least 20,000 volunteers are needed for 38 types of on-site positions, including interpreters, media assistants, traffic guides and "environment maintainers."
Recruitment of overseas volunteers will begin in October. --(5/12)
The State Ministry of Environmental Protection held a forum in Shanghai yesterday to promote information transparency and environmental protection.
Scholars attending the forum said that ordinary Chinese people had the right to acquire environmental protection information from governments at all levels. --(5/10)
The 11th Shanghai International Film Festival (June 14-22) will have a special focus on environmental protection. Acclaimed films and documentaries which show concern for the environment, such as "The Day After Tomorrow" and "The Host" will be screened.
Ten environmental ambassadors will be honored during the festival. The candidates include kung fu star Jackie Chan, actress Zhang Ziyi, award-winning director Jia Zhangke and pianist Lang Lang. Netizens can log on www.sohu.com to vote online. --(5/9)
Landmark plans up for comment
Shanghai yesterday presented a blueprint for the Shanghai Center, the new landmark in the Lujiazui area, on an official Website of environmental protection for public feedback.
The building will be 580 meters tall and is expected to be finished by 2013. It will cover a ground area of 30,000 square meters. --(5/8)
Shanghai to supervise construction sites
Shanghai¡¯s urban construction department yesterday started 100 days of intensive supervision to ensure security at various construction sites.
From May to July, construction companies should inspect and improve the quality of construction projects.
The municipal department in charge of urban construction will take a series of actions to ensure the quality of projects and the security of operations.
According to the safety requirements of the General Office of the State Council, Shanghai will also check for hidden troubles with drilling at construction sites of railway lines, conduct spot tests for risky projects and renovate sightseeing roads. --(5/7)