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2018-06-07 07:29:21

China’s national college exam starts today — and so have the scams associated with it.

Swindlers have been circulating a text message alerting people of a missing gaokao admission card of a student named Liu Mingwei, urging them to call a specific number if they have any info, The Beijing News reported Thursday. Many people sympathetic to the student sitting for the notoriously tough test end up calling the number — either to inquire or help — for which they’re charged a certain sum. Scammers have followed the same tactic for years, the report said. Last year, Beijing police warned of a scam using the same name, in which people lost hundreds of yuan on bogus calls. The education ministry also published a list of rumors and scams ahead of the 2017 exam to squash fraudulent activities.

20 hours

An abbot accused of sexually assualting female monks at a Beijing monastery earlier this month has resigned from his post as head of the Buddhist Association of China.

The association announced the resignation of Shi Xuecheng during its council meeting Wednesday without specifying the reason for his dismissal. In a 95-page leaked document addressed to Buddhist leaders and Chinese authorities, two supervisory chancellors at Beijing’s Longquan Monastery had accused Shi of raping at least two female monks and sending inappropriate text messages.

In its meeting, the Buddhist Association of China also called for reforms targeting the religion’s commercialization. Last year, 12 government departments issued a joint declaration banning commercial activities in the name of religion. (Image: CNS/VCG)

20 hours

Authorities in southern China have suspended the licenses of two steel companies for dumping oil in a local stream, triggering a massive fire Saturday.

Chaozhou Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said Tuesday that the fire in Caitang — known as China’s home of stainless steel — was caused by the illegal discharge of waste oil into the streams. No casualties were reported during the blaze.

The weekend fire comes only a month after the central government’s environmental protection inspection team concluded that Caitang suffers from water pollution issues and that several stainless-steel manufacturers are operating without following proper environmental protection measures. In June, the provincial government also issued draft guidelines calling for stricter policies to curb pollution. (Image: WeChat)

1 day

An Audi vehicle in Shenyang, Liaoning province, was damaged to the tune of 100,000 yuan ($14,500) over the weekend when it was kicked by a donkey being attacked by a French bulldog, Shenyang Evening News reported Monday.

An eyewitness told the paper that a street vendor had been selling fruit from a cart pulled by the donkey when the bulldog attacked, latching onto the donkey’s head and holding on until its owner came after it with a stick. The owner carried the ill-tempered pet away, but by then the damage had been done: During the scuffle, the donkey had kicked a nearby Audi.

The vehicle’s owner told the paper that according to an insurance estimate, repairs would cost around 100,000 yuan. On Monday, Shenyang police said that the dog and vehicle owners had agreed on a settlement. (Image: Weibo user @好司机i)

2 days

Court marshals in Chongqing used an unusual tool to revive an apparently unconscious suspect: their sense of humor.

When the officers confronted the man, surnamed He, for running a factory illegally, he appeared to faint, so they rushed him to the hospital, Xinhua reported Saturday. But the doctor who checked He’s vital signs couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The marshals then hatched a plan — to get their man to laugh himself out of his faux-coma — and it worked like a charm.

He, the owner of a food company, was detained at the hospital on Aug. 8 for continuing to operate his business for years after its property lease had expired. (Image: VCG)

2 days

Human cases of anthrax have been detected in two northern regions of China in the past week.

According to China News Service, Inner Mongolian officials announced Sunday that anthrax — a potentially fatal disease caused by spore-forming bacteria — had infected nine cattle and eight people. The patients are being treated for skin ulcers and are in stable condition. Heilongjiang, meanwhile, saw 14 human infections after an outbreak in livestock resulted in 818 sheep being slaughtered as a precaution. Veterinarians, vaccines, and infectious disease experts were sent to the outbreak area.

Humans can be infected with anthrax from eating or being in close contact with infected livestock. Unseasonably warm weather blanketing parts of northern China may have played a role in the outbreaks. (Image: VCG)

5 days

A Hebei court has overturned its verdict of a life sentence for a man convicted of a double murder in 1999, The Beijing News reported Friday.

The Tangshan Intermediate People’s Court found Liao Haijun guilty of killing two 9-year-old girls when he was 17. In 2003, the court sentenced Liao to life imprisonment despite the defense lawyer’s argument that there was a lack of evidence. Liao’s parents were also given a five-year imprisonment for hiding the crime. Liao was granted a retrial in 2009 and released on bail a year later.

On Thursday, the court declared Liao and his now-deceased parents not guilty for the murder, citing “unclear facts and insufficient evidence.” Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese judges cleared 6,747 cases of wrongful conviction, according to the country’s top court. (Image: VCG) 

5 days

McDonald’s souvenir coins are being sold online at steep prices after they ran out within three hours at its Chinese outlets, The Beijing News reported Friday.

The limited edition “MacCoins” are being traded in e-commerce platforms like Taobao for as high as 1,000 yuan ($145). McDonald’s released 1 million of its 6.2 million “MacCoins” in China on Monday as part of its 50th birthday celebrations. Customers were required to sing happy birthday to receive a coin, which they can exchange for a Big Mac by the end of the year.

China is one of McDonald’s largest international markets, and the company plans to have 4,500 stores across the country by 2022, twice its current number. (Image: VCG) 

6 days

A “comfort women” seminar organized by Shanghai Normal University has been canceled by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyodo News reported Wednesday.

The university gave no explanation for why the event — which was slated to host around 60 scholars and take place on Aug. 10 — was called off, though this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China, a major milestone in Sino-Japanese relations after World War II.

Comfort women — those who were taken as sex slaves during the Japanese invasion — can be a sensitive subject in China. When contacted by Sixth Tone, Su Zhiliang, the professor who organized the seminar and spoke with Kyodo News, would not comment on how or why the event had been canceled. (Image: VCG)

6 days

If Tesla CEO Elon Musk does indeed take his company private, Tencent could be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

The tech exec on Wednesday tweeted his intention to buy back Tesla stock at $420 per share. In a press release sent to Sixth Tone and signed by Musk, the CEO said the move would protect the company from speculators and short-sellers. His current shareholders, he added, would have the option of keeping their stock or accepting his buyback offer.

In March 2017, Tencent bought 5 percent of Tesla for $1.8 billion. If a buyback offer is made and Tencent accepts, the Chinese tech giant would nearly double its $217 per share investment of over a year ago. Tencent had not responded to Sixth Tone’s interview request by time of publication. (Image: LightRocket/VCG)

6 days

A local government on the Tibetan plateau has decided to move a forest of rare trees that would otherwise be submerged by a new hydropower dam.

The Qinghai government said in a press conference Tuesday that an assessment had shown that the tamarisk trees are uncommon, but not unique or a key protected species. It also said they can survive transportation. But environmentalists and botanists disagree. Their concerns over whether the trees, which they argue are of a valuable subspecies that is yet to be studied, could be relocated had halted their removal in 2016.

The hydropower station, Yangqu, dams the upper reachers of the Yellow River and is slated to be completed this year. It had previously been fined for starting construction without approval. (Image: IC)

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