At the behest of the Pengshan county government, residents—especially those from in Lianhua village—have begun scouring their homes for evidence of the tomb of Liu Bei, an emperor from the Three Kingdoms Period. This comes after last December's discovery of what may be the tomb of Cao Cao, another Three Kingdoms Period emperor, in Henan province. The tomb has created so much business for the village where it was unearthed that other villages are eager to emulate the discovery. Thirteen farmers recently asked the State Administration of Cultural Heritage to begin excavating a hill in Lianhua, where 80 percent of the residents have the same surname as Liu Bei. Of course the real question is: which one is the rightful heir to the throne?
A week ago Thursday, an army of train-ticket scalpers ambushed six police officers when the officers tried to search a bag belonging to a scalper in a small town in Wusheng county. One of the officers was hit on the head with a steel bar, which fractured his skull. Although railways began an ID-based ticket program this year for Spring Festival in order to prevent scalping, the system is still vulnerable to exploitation; in the scalper's bag, the police (who apparently won the battle, somehow) found 45 ID cards.
The production of bear bile—a substance sometimes used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, whose extraction involves carving permanent holes in the abdomens of enslaved Asian black bears and draining the bile from their gall bladders—has long been decried as an unnecessary cruelty as well as a danger to the people who use the bile as medicine. A recent campaign by Animals Asia's Chengdu Moon Bear Rescue Center has led to 33 Chengdu pharmacies placing stickers on their doors and counters advertising that they no longer sell medicine derived from bears. The campaigners bought any bile remaining in stock and burned it in front of the shops.
"Informants" have accused Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, Ltd. of submitting bogus financial reports for at least the past 12 years, including approximately 5 billion yuan in fake profit. It isn't clear whether or not these informants consist entirely of Fan Dejun, a former sales director for Changhong in Hunan province, who went to jail from 2000 to 2007 for misappropriation and embezzlement. Surprisingly, Sichuan Changhong, one of the country's top producers of television sets and other electronics, has denied any wrongdoing.
When Deng Xiaoye, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, died of a brain infection on Feb 16, her parents made the unusual choice of donating her corneas to the Red Cross Eye Bank of Sichuan. The Eye Bank was founded last March, but so far has only received 27 donations. On the other hand, more than 10,000 people require cornea transplants in Sichuan every year. What remains unexplained is why so few people sign up to donate their corneas.
This week General Motors announced that negotiations to sell Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong failed, and it will begin to "wind down" production of the iconic military-style vehicle.
Compiled by Isaac Myers
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