January 29, 2014 |
BEIJING - Flowers to mark the new year? How about electronic gizmos that flash and go bang? Fireworks are as integral to Chinese New Year as evergreens are to Christmas. Tradition holds that noisy pops and colorful flares ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. But the pyrotechnics also release particulates that include sulfur dioxide and other toxins. With smog blanketing many Chinese cities as the Year of the Horse approaches, environmental activists, meteorologists and government officials are urging people to start the new year without a bang Friday.
January 27, 2014 |
China's Jade Rabbit moon rover experienced a “mechanical control abnormality” over the weekend, according to the official Xinhua news agency, just as it was set to go to "sleep" for the long lunar night. "Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humans. " Those were the words in a "first-person" account from the rover's perspective that was published in Chinese state media after the robot experienced some troubling technical difficulties. Officials with China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said scientists are now organizing an overhaul, according to state-run CCTV . China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft made headlines last month after becoming the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the lunar surface in nearly four decades . The last one before that was the Soviet Union's Luna 24 mission, sent to collect samples in 1976.
January 25, 2014 |
BEIJING -- Legal advocate Xu Zhiyong was sentenced Sunday morning to four years in prison after being convicted by a Beijing court of "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order. " The 40-year-old Xu is the most prominent Chinese activist to be sentenced to prison since the 2009 trial of Liu Xiaobo, who was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. "This destroys the last remaining dignity of the Chinese legal system," Xu told the court, according to his lawyer, Zhang Qingfang.
January 21, 2014 |
China is getting "The Ellen DeGeneres Show. " Warner Bros., which produces and distributes the daytime talker, said it has struck a deal with Sohu Video, an online distributor, to carry the show in China. The studio said it is the first time a U.S. syndicated talk show will be available in China. Subtitled episodes of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" will hit China within two days of their original broadcast here. WINTER TV PREVIEW: Full coverage of the season's shows Sohu is an over-the-top video service similar to Hulu.
January 21, 2014 |
BEIJING - At least seven Chinese activists who have advocated for greater rule of law, fairer access to education and other issues are being put on trial this week as the government steps up a campaign against dissent. The most prominent case is scheduled to open Wednesday morning in Beijing as lawyer Xu Zhiyong, founder of the loose-knit New Citizens Movement, goes to court on charges of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place. He is the highest-profile activist to be tried since Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison on subversion charges in 2009.
January 20, 2014 |
China's export industry is responsible for dirty emissions that are blowing across the Pacific Ocean and contributing to smog in the United States, a new scientific study says. About one-fifth of the pollution China spews into the atmosphere comes from producing goods for export to the United States and other countries, according to the paper by a group of scientists that was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Winds blow pollutants from Chinese power plants and factories across the Pacific in about six days, where they boost levels of smog in the United States.
January 18, 2014 |
BEIJING - In August, Ma Liangfu and the more than 100 other inmates at the Tumuji Reeducation Through Labor Camp in Inner Mongolia received good news: China was abolishing its much-criticized network of detention facilities, known as laojiao , where people have been imprisoned without trial for up to four years. Police sent Ma to the camp in April 2012 and he was forced to work long hours growing tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbage. His offenses? Establishing an anticorruption group, handing out fliers at a Beijing railway station, and helping others to petition the government over grievances such as land disputes.
January 17, 2014 |
China Mobile began selling Apple iPhones on Friday and marked the occasion with a visit from Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to its stores. "Having fun in Beijing at the iPhone launch with China Mobile!" Cook tweeted. The new partnership was announced last month, and already analysts are betting that the sales of iPhones will have a big effect on Apple's bottom line for the current quarter that ends in March. PHOTOS: Top 10 tech gadgets we want to see in 2014 During a briefing with media this week, China Mobile's chairman, Xi Guohua, said the company had already received "several million" pre-orders for iPhones before they went on sale in the company's stores.
January 17, 2014 |
BEIJING -- The U.S. government and human rights activists are voicing concern about the detention of a professor who has been an outspoken advocate for China's Uighur minority group. Ilham Tohti's home in Beijing was ransacked Wednesday afternoon by more than 20 police officers who seized computers, phones, credit cards and documents and took him into custody, his wife, Guzaili Nu'er, said by phone Friday. About 10 officers remained posted outside, she said, adding that she has had no contact with Tohti for 48 hours, and authorities have refused to divulge his whereabouts.
January 16, 2014 |
In a bit of life imitating Aesop's fables, a tortoise has beaten a hare in a skiing competition in China. Yes, that first line is real. (And OK, so it wasn't a hare but a pet rabbit; it still could do the long jump.) The contest, held at Sanmenxia in central China's Henan province, calls on sports enthusiasts to enter the race along with a furry friend. The weirder the pet, the more points the owner is given. PHOTOS: Amazing images from 2014 so far The 40 human contestants were allowed to place their animals on either skis or sledges, or simply lead the animal during competition.