Workshop blast kills 6 in Changde Six people were killed on Saturday after a fireworks workshop explosion in Changde, local authorities said. The blast happened at around 7 am at the illegal workshop. The blast killed five villagers who were believed to be workers manufacturing the fireworks powder, the Changde government said in a statement. The explosion flattened a nearby house, killing an elderly man inside, the statement said.


Battery removed from child's throat A toddler underwent surgery in the Chengdu Women and Children Central Hospital on Saturday to have a button battery removed from his esophagus. The 18-month-old swallowed the battery by mistake. Although the alkaline liquid from the battery corroded his esophagus, he was saved after an operation that lasted 40 minutes.


Water quality info available online A monitoring program for the capital's drinking water went online on Sunday, where citizens can track the quality of their drinking water through a website. The program has 20 monitoring spots, providing real-time information on five water-quality indicators, including hydrogen, electrical conductivity and chloride concentration.

$95,000 for a space trip in 2014
A commercial space trip program, initiated by tourism companies from China and the Netherlands, will be launched next year. Space enthusiasts can pay $95,000 for a one-hour trip 60 km into outer space. People younger than 60 years old with no cardiovascular diseases are eligible. Candidates need three days of training and then will be shot into space from the Caribbean island Curacao.

'Happiest' cities named in report
Hangzhou, Chengdu and Nanjing have been named the happiest Chinese cities with the best images in 2013, Xinhua News Agency reported. The rankings were included in a report on China's happiest cities published in Beijing on Saturday. The evaluations were based on 13 factors, including economic development, globalization, legislation and cultural life.

Game players spend $13.69b Players spent more than 83 billion yuan ($13.69 billion) on games, including Web games, social networking games and mobile games, in 2013, according to the 2013 Chinese Game Industry Report released on Saturday. The number of players in China reached 490 million, up 20.6 percent year-on-year. The sales revenue of the country's game market increased by 38 percent from last year, the report said.

Beijing-to-Bali direct flights scheduled
China Eastern Airlines will have direct flights from Beijing to the Indonesian resort island of Bali from Dec 31 to Feb 27, the company announced on Sunday. Shanghai-based China Eastern will have three Beijing-to-Bali flights a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, departing Beijing at 3:30 pm local time and arriving at 10:30 pm local time. The return flight departs at 11:40 pm local time and lands in Beijing at 6:50 the next morning.

School offers class to cope with smog
Beiijng Jingshan School plans to suspend classes on heavy smog days and will launch distance teaching lessons via the online chatting tool QQ. The school tested its distance education system based on QQ on Saturday. Teachers can share the studying materials for the class through the system with students while delivering lectures. Students can also have discussions using the system. The school is the first in Beijing to launch such a system to cope with smog days.


Scavenger mails back documents A waste collector mailed back at his own expense more than 1,000 lost documents and credentials he found on streets. Qiu Shenghuan started his business in 1997 after retiring from a factory in Xinyang. Over the past eight years, Qiu spent more than 2,000 yuan ($330) mailing back identification cards, papers, wallets and invoices he found during his scavenger hunts.


Port throughput passes 500m tons
Tianjin Port said on Sunday its annual cargo throughput surpassed 500 million metric tons for the first time, while remaining as the world's fourth-largest harbor by cargo throughput. The port follows the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the Port of Shanghai and the Port of Singapore in terms of cargo throughput volume. It has established trade ties with more than 500 ports in 180 countries and regions around the world.


Officer suspended for firing shots
A police director has been suspended for a month for firing shots at a residential apartment, reported on Sunday. Hu Linghai, director of a police station in Lingshui county, and five officers were trying to catch a suspect who had been at large for more than a year but did not find the suspect. Hu fired three shots "to vent his anger", according to a witness. The Linshui Public Security Bureau said Hu misused his weapon while enforcing the law.


Boss rewarded his staff with gold bars
A company boss in Shenyang spent more than 1 million yuan ($165,000) purchasing more than 100 gold bars to reward his employees as year-end bonuses. The bars weighed 20, 50 and 100 grams, China Business Morning View reported.


Illegal temples, guides punished
Ten illegal temples on Wutai Mountain have been closed to protect the interests of visitors, reported on Sunday. Shanxi province has been cracking down on illegal tour guides and temples on the Wutai Mountain scenic area since September. The guides colluded with the temples in deceiving tourists with fortune-telling and incense burning. A total of 148 illegal tour guides were punished.


Reward for woman missing for 18 years
Police offered 10,000 yuan ($1,640) for clues on a woman who was taken from her parents 18 years ago when she was a baby. Police said they will try to find out what happened 18 years ago. The girl was born in Anxin county in breach of the family planning policy, and was taken away 11 days after her birth by two unknown women. Her parents have sued the local country government for not disclosing enough information on their daughter.


21 men arrested after attack on bar
Twenty-one men were detained by police on Saturday for fighting at a bar in Nanning, and their knives and self-made guns were seized, reported on Sunday. The men attacked the bar and smashed cars in the bar's parking lot because of a quarrel. They also fired gunshots into the air to frighten people.


Fog disrupts flights, strands thousands

Thousands of passengers were stranded at an airport on Sunday as heavy fog disrupted air services. A total of 106 flights were canceled and hundreds more delayed at the airport in Kunming, an airport official said. Heavy fog has affected flights at the airport for three straight days.


'Oldest' bronze containers found
A pair of bronze grain containers, which were discovered on Saturday in an ancient tomb in Baoji, are believed to be the oldest bronze grain containers ever unearthed, Chinese Business Gazette in Shaanxi reported on Sunday. The containers were made sometime between the late Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC) and early Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC), and are older than other bronze grain containers that have been unearthed. 


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