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  July



  • On Metro, they're riding in the cold
    While the mercury continues to climb outside, passengers are actually shivering inside some very well air-conditioned subway trains.
    Pictures uploaded by passengers online showed one passenger seated on the Metro Line 9 covered with a blanket to keep warm. Similar scenes were observed along the newly opened Metro Line 10.
    Metro operators said yesterday that they had raised the temperature one degree Celsius to about 25 degrees in trains on Line 9.
    Ma Wen, an engineer who works on the Metro air-conditioning system, said various factors can affect how passengers feel on a train.
    Frequent opening and closing of doors, for example, brings exchanges of hot air with the cool, said Ma.
    'We shall hear majority's opinions on cold or hot instead of individual complaints,'said the engineer.
    Trains are undergoing a renovation that allows passengers to speak to the driver through the emergency intercom system and ask for the air-conditioning to be adjusted. --(7/8)

  • Metro panic as man shouts 'bomb!'
    A bomb scare on a Shanghai Metro train caused panic at lunchtime yesterday as it pulled into the Nanjing Road W. Station.
    A Shanghai Daily reporter on the Line 2 train from Jing'an Temple witnessed 50 or more passengers running in panic from the rear of the 8-carriage train to the front after a man shouted there was a bomb onboard.
    There were cries of: 'Run!' 'A bomb has been planted on the train!' and 'It's about to explode!' as the passengers pushed their way forward, urging other passengers to get up from their seats.
    They were being led by the man who sparked the incident. About 30 years old, 1.67 meters tall and wearing a T-shirt with pink and white stripes, he was shouting that he had spotted a male passenger with a suspicious bag in the rear compartment. The passenger had told him it was a bomb.
    Raising the alarm just after the loudspeaker announcement that the train was about to arrive at the station, the man kept shouting 'The bomber is coming!
    Police cordoned off the station after the incident but a thorough search of the train and the station found nothing.
    They are now searching for the man who raised the alarm. Police said their investigation showed that the passenger with the 'suspicious bag'didn't exist.
    However, the incident highlighted the lack of emergency evacuation measures at the station, raising concern over potential accidents while passengers were running around in panic amid scenes of chaos.
    On the train itself, many passengers fell to the floor and were trampled on. They included several elderly women. Some suffered light bruises but no one was seriously injured.
    At the packed front of the train, with nowhere else to go, passengers began banging on the doors trying to get the driver to open them quickly. No one used the emergency brake system as the train was already slowing to a stop.
    Some children were seen crouching against the windows on the seats, covering their ears with hands, shaking in fear. Almost all the passengers on the train reached the first two compartments, leaving the others empty.
    When the doors opened there was a mad scramble to get out, with cell phones, handbags and transport cards falling to the floor and being left behind in the panic.
    Despite warnings from passengers leaving the train, many people still got on, some of them picking up items that the fleeing passengers had dropped.
    The train, again loaded with passengers and unchecked by security guards to see whether there was a bomb inside, continued its journey.
    A crowd of passengers began arguing with the staff at the station, asking why security checks had failed to detect the bomb they believed was on the train, and why the train was allowed to continue on its way.
    Many said that if the incident had happened during rush hour there could have been fatal consequences.
    'Fortunately there were not too many people in the train, otherwise there could be deadly treading accidents,'said a female passenger. 'When such things happened, the only idea I got was to run, as everyone else was running.
    The Metro operator halted the next incoming train and police with hand-held explosive detectors and sniffer dogs arrived. Entry to the station was blocked for just over 15 minutes.
    That man who started the panic left the scene after getting off the train.
    Police said they had identified him from surveillance tapes with the help of passengers, and were now in the process of tracking him down. --(7/7)

  • Runway repair work set to take 4 months
    Four months of repairs and renovations has begun on one of the two runways at Hongqiao International Airport, local construction and traffic authorities said yesterday.
    The runway, which dates from 1964, will be closed from 1am to 8am during the work period, officials said.
    Officials said disruptions would be minimal as no flights are scheduled between 12am to 6am.
    Flights during the day will not be affected, the city airport authority insisted.
    Delayed flights arriving after 1am will go to Shanghai's other international airport, Pudong International Airport, which has three runways.
    The 88.94 million yuan (US$13.76 million) project, that includes surface reinforcement, laying bitumen and navigation light adjustment, is expected to be complete by mid-November.
    There was one runway at the Hongqiao airport until last year, when a second runway and a new terminal opened.
    Previous runway repair work there took place in 1991, 1998 and 2005.
    Last year, the airport authority discovered potential safety hazards, including cracks and subsidence.
    Hongqiao airport handled more than 30 million air travelers last year.
    Meanwhile, Shanghai Tunnel Co yesterday said work on a shortcut road tunnel that will connect the two terminals at the Hongqiao airport will be finished by September. --(7/5)

  • Stocks likely to benefit as liquidity rises
    Analysts said Shanghai's stock market may continue a mild rebound this week as sentiment and liquidity improve although they cautioned that high inflation remains a concern.
    The Agricultural Bank of China said in a report last week that the inflation may peak in July at 6.4 percent, but will slowly moderate in the rest of the year.
    'The market is prepared for another interest rate hike in the short term, and there will be fewer monetary tightening measures in the second half of this year,'said Yi Xiaobin, an analyst at China Galaxy Securities Co.
    Yi said concerns over the European debt crisis eased after Greece's five-year austerity budget passed.
    Meanwhile, the seven-day repurchase rate, an indication of the shortage of money among banks, decreased to 5.9 percent last week from 8.67 percent the previous week after the central bank poured in 120 billion yuan through open market operations.
    'The toughest time for liquidity this year is passing,'said Zhang Li, an analyst at Huatai Securities. 'Investors can start buying shares with low valuations.
    Still, analysts cautioned that the rebound may be limited as it will take time to see whether inflation drops and monetary policy loosens.
    'The market is sensitive about possible changes in monetary policy,'said Chen Jian, an analyst at Caitong Securities. --(7/4)

  • City heat record
    The temperature in Shanghai reached 37.7 degrees Celsius yesterday, setting a new record for this summer, weathermen said. The high temperatures are expected to continue today with the high hovering around 37 to 38 degrees Celsius. Showers are forecast tomorrow and Tuesday in some areas, said the city's meteorological bureau. --(7/3)

  • Industry at its weakest since 2009
    The vitality of Chinese manufacturing activity in June dropped to its weakest level in 28 months as China continued to tame rising inflation and prevent asset price bubbles.
    The drop was an indication of an upcoming economic slowdown, but because of still expanding industrial production and resilient domestic demand, the slowdown wouldn't be marked, analysts said.
    The official Purchasing Managers' Index, a comprehensive gauge of manufacturing sector operating conditions across the country, settled at 50.9 percent in June, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday.
    It was close to the reading of 50 that separates expansion from contraction, and compared with 52 percent in May. The June figure was the lowest since February 2009.
    Among component indices, only stockpiles reported an increase. Others, including production, new orders, export orders and purchase all declined from a month earlier.
    There was some good news. Purchasing prices at the factory gate showed a significant retreat. The input prices under the PMI fell 3.6 percentage points, the biggest cut among all indices, the federation said.
    The manufacturing index is based on a survey of purchasing managers in more than 820 companies of 20 industries.
    "Continued moderation of PMI is a harbinger of economic slowdown," said Zhang Liqun, an analyst at the federation. "But as stockpile adjustment turns out to be a major trigger of weakening PMI, we expect this round of slowdown won't become an economic hard landing as some economists predicted."
    Australia and New Zealand Banking Group economists echoed that view.
    "While the June PMI moderated more than expected, it remained above the neutral level of 50, indicating that China's manufacturing sector continues to expand, albeit at a more moderated pace," said the bank.
    Meanwhile, the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI fell to an 11-month low of 50.1 in June, from 51.6 in May.
    "The HSBC PMI declined more sharply than the official PMI mostly due to the former having a larger weighting of SMEs which are more susceptible to tight credit conditions and the rising cost of labor, raw materials and other factors," ANZ said.
    China's gross domestic product grew 9.7 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, slower than last year's 10.3 percent.
    The State Information Center forecast that first-half growth would remain at around 9.5 percent, and continue to moderate to 9.3 percent for the whole year. --(7/2)

  • Flagging up 90th anniversary
    The flag of the Communist Party of China takes center stage during a revolutionary songs concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the Pudong New Area yesterday. The two-hour concert featured songs that reflect the different stages in the development of the CPC. Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Mayor Han Zheng, together with other government officials, soldiers and artists, participated in the gala concert, one of many events being held to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, which is today. --(7/1)

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