Double-quake survivor and Sichuanese chef Liu Anhua serves free dinners to hungry people in Yushu. See below.
A majority of representatives said at a public hearing on Wednesday that they were opposed to government restrictions on the issuing of new vehicle license plates. The plan to curb car growth was announced earlier this month and widely debated online. But of the 19 representatives who attended the meeting, eight disapproved of the initiative. Only four were in favor, while seven partially supported it. Those opposed said that caps would punish only future car owners, not existing ones, who are major contributors to traffic and pollution problems Chengdu faces, and that emphasis should be placed on improving and promoting public transportation. But those in support were adamant:
"The government set a goal of 315 good air-quality days in Chengdu for 2010, but there have been 23 polluted days already this month," said Wang Anbin, a researcher from the Chengdu Environmental Protection Bureau.
Pollution from motor vehicles is not the only pressing environmental concern China is facing: the China Electricity Council warns that there "may" be power cuts in central and southwest China during peak hours this summer. Ever-increasing power consumption, the severe drought in southwest China this year, and a considerable price hike on coal have all created a strain on the power department's ability to provide uninterrupted electricity to residents. Considering that we can't remember a summer when there weren't power cuts, and that the city's central power grid was already at near-maximum capacity last summer, we're interpreting that "may" be as a "most definitely will be." Let's just hope that after the unseasonably cold spring, we're not facing an extraordinarily sweltering summer. Get ready to bust out the hand-powered fans and sweat.
First there was the story of double-quake survivor Wang Chongchong; now, there's Liu Anhua, who moved to Yushu to set up a restaurant after his house in his native Beichuan collapsed in the 2008 earthquake. Since the Yushu quake, Liu, who knows what it's like to survive on instant noodles and bottled water, has been digging into his savings in order to cook up and serve free dinners to quake survivors—sometimes up to 500 at a time—at his makeshift, street-side tent restaurant. See more pictures here and here.
Lastly, in perhaps the oddest news yet to come out of Sichuan this year, doctors found a 50-centimeter-long eel inside the corpse of a 59-year-old chef. The man had allegedly passed out after drinking, and then his "friends" decided to "play a prank" by inserting the eel into the man's rectum, after which the eel devoured the man's bowels. Something sure smells fishy about this.