Shenzhen goes solar
The southern boomtown of Shenzhen has set an example for power-hungry cities in energy saving by mandating the use of solar power in new housing construction, state media reported yesterday. The law, the first of its kind, will require all new residential buildings with fewer than 12 floors to install solar powered water heating systems, the China Daily reported. Taller buildings have been exempted due to technological limitations that cannot guarantee 24-hour hot water supply, it said.
Wolves starving to death
Two Arctic wolves, the first China has imported, have refused to eat since their arrival at a zoo last week, putting the endangered animals' health at risk, state media said yesterday. The wolves have snubbed dishes of beef, pork, fruit and vegetables offered to them since their arrival from Canada on Aug. 3 at the Zoo for Polar Animals in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Xinhua news agency said. They appeared to be starving themselves and had consumed nothing but water since their arrival, Xinhua said, adding experts were perplexed.
■ Hong Kong
Living gets cheaper
Three years ago Hong Kong was ranked as the second most expensive place to live, but three years later falls in the cost of living have pushed the city into 27th place, a media report said yesterday. Oslo, the Norwegian capital, remained the most expensive location out of a survey of 71 cities by investment bank UBS, the South China Morning Post said. The survey excluded rent from its calculations.?
Boy's eye gouged out
A 10-year-old boy was attacked and his eye gouged out by men in Bihar state after his parents refused to vote for a candidate in local elections, news reports said yesterday. A group of men gouged out the boy's left eye with a scythe earlier this week after his parents refused to vote for their chosen candidate in a village-body election in Bihar's Begusarai district, NDTV television channel reported quoting police officials. "They pierced my son's eye because I did not vote for their candidate. They had threatened me not to vote for the candidate I had chosen," said Jago Devi, the boy's mother. The boy was out alone with his grazing cattle when the incident occurred, police said.
Militants kill three
Suspected Islamic militants killed three members of a Hindu family living in a village near the Himalayan frontier dividing India and Pakistan, police said yesterday. The militants entered the family's home in the village of Arra in Indian Kashmir's Udhampur district and fatally shot a woman and two children as they slept, said Police Inspector General S.P. Vaid. Arra is a predominantly Muslim village, 210km northwest of Jammu, the winter capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.
Doctors mull baby's options
Doctors said on Thursday they were unsure whether they would be able to operate on a two-headed baby, who was born earlier this week. The medical team at the Pelni Petamburan Hospital in Jakarta is still deciding how to treat the baby, said hospital spokeswoman Dyah Purwanti. The baby girl was born after a Cesarean operation on Aug. 8 "in a healthy condition ... and with complete organs" said Purwanti. The newborn -- officially called a dicephalus baby -- was formed the same way as Siamese twins but only has one body, one set of organs and two arms and legs, doctors said. Several pairs of Siamese twins born in Indonesia have undergone successful separation.