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Internet Bloggers Were Penalized for “Spreading Rumors” About Earthquake

The authorities have fined and reprimanded 4 persons that were found spreading rumors on the Internet about an earthquake, reported the People’s Daily Online on May 13, 2008. These 4 persons are from the cities of Dalian, Langfang, Yuncheng and Jiaozuo. The report stated that they fabricated stories that there would be a major earthquake in Beijing and that the Sichuan earthquake was the result of human errors, with the purpose to attract online visits to their blogs. “The Public Security Department hopes that the broad masses of the people will not believe rumors, or spread rumors. It will enforce the law and strictly penalize those who deliberately create and spread rumors to confuse the people with the ulterior motive to incite unrest.” reported the People’s Daily Online.

Source: People Daily Online, May 14, 2008
http://society.people.com.cn/GB/41158/7235559.html

Beijing: No Major Earthquakes Despite Jolts

Beijing Seismological Bureau said on May 12 that in the near future, Beijing will not see any destructive earthquakes. Earlier, Beijing residents felt jolted at 14:35 on May 12. The shakes lasted about one minute. Gu Yongxin, Deputy Director of Beijing Seismological Bureau, stated that it was the aftermath of the recent Sichuan earthquake.  Reports of possible earthquakes in Beijing was dismissed as rumors.

Source: Xinhua, May 12, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-05/12/content_8153951.htm

Sichuan Government Dismissed an Earthquake Warning Inquiry as Rumor

On May 9, 2008, three days before the earthquake in Sichuan Province occurred, Sichuan government in its website posted an article reporting that the Earthquake Bureau in Aba Prefecture successfully quelled an earthquake rumor. The article revealed that the bureau received a telephone inquiry asking if it is true that an earthquake was about to occur. The local government immediately identified the source of the rumor and clarified the rumor was a misunderstanding of a telephone conference about geological disasters. The article was removed after the earthquake happened but the picture was captured and circulated on the Internet.

Source: Boxun, May 12, 2008
http://peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2008/05/200805121812.shtml

EV71 Cases on the Rise

Part of two preschools in Beijing were closed after discovery of EV71 cases, according to local authorities on May 6, 2008. EV71 cases in Fuyan City, Anhui Province have increased to 4,496 with 22 deaths. Zhejian Province is reported to have over 1, 198 cases between January and May 4, with one death. Hunan Province reported 368 cases as of May 5, with most patients being children under 5 years old. Guangdong Province has 3 deaths, with 1,692 infections.

Source: Beijing QianLong.com, May 6, 2008
http://beijing.qianlong.com/3825/2008/05/06/ 3562@4427593.htm

Beijing Driving Away Non-local Residents to Boost Olympic Security

An inside source has informed Boxun that in the last few days the authorities have begun forcing non-locals to leave Beijing, including those who hold temporary residence permits. The action was said to be needed in order to ensure the safety of Beijing Olympics. This has caused widespread complaints and anger from the non-locals being affected.

Source: Boxun, May 5, 2008
http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2008/05/200805051207.shtml

Chinese Students Abroad: 1.21 million in 30 Years

According to Ministry of Education, in 1978 there were 860 Chinese students who departed China for education abroad. 30 years later, a total of 1,211,700 Chinese students went overseas for higher education, 319,700 of which have returned to China. 657,200 are currently in various bachelor, master or PhD programs abroad. 

In 2007 alone, 144,000 left China for education abroad.  8,853 of them were sponsored by the State.

Source: Xinhua, April 30, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/overseas/2008-04/30/content_8078255.htm