Quake city replaced
Work on building a new town called ※Eternal Prosperity§ will begin next month to replace one of the cities destroyed in last year＊s Sichuan earthquake, state media reported on Monday. Billions of dollars will be spent on the new seat of Beichuan County that will be built 23km from the old town and well away from geological fault lines, Xinhua news agency said, citing one of the planners. Beichuan was one of the worst-hit towns in the May 12 quake because it lay at the juncture of two fault lines. Roughly half of Beichuan＊s 26,000 residents died during the May 12 quake.
Prince to visit Vietnam
Crown Prince Naruhito will make a week-long visit to Vietnam next month to promote bilateral ties while his sick wife stays at home, officials said yesterday. The prince will leave Tokyo on Feb. 9 for Hanoi and return on Feb. 15, the imperial household agency said. His first trip to Vietnam marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. During his stay the prince will make a courtesy call on Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet in the capital.
Two HIV drugs rolled out
Beijing will provide two imported HIV drugs to patients who develop resistance to cheaper, domestic alternatives, state media said on Monday, going some way to meeting a key demand of AIDS treatment activists. The decision to hand out the new drugs means that nine of 20 drugs to combat AIDS are now available to patients, the China Daily said. Treatment with Tenofovir, marketed by Gilead Sciences Inc under the brand Viread, and Kaletra, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, cost over US$1,500 a year each. Other drugs already available cost as little as US$730.
Men survive 25 days in box
Two men from Myanmar told rescuers they survived for 25 days floating in a large icebox in waters off the north coast after their fishing boat sank, authorities said yesterday. The men were spotted in the cooler on Saturday by a routine aerial border patrol over the Torres Strait off Cape York, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The men described seeing the other 18 crew members on board the Thai boat go into the water without life vests or any flotation devices as it sank, she said. There was no chance they could have survived until now and the agency had decided no search would be launched, Jiggins said.
Beijing blocks more porn
Authorities have blocked 244 new pornographic Web sites over the last week, Xinhua news agency said, bringing the total number of sites shut down in a campaign against ※vulgar§ content to over 700. Many of the targeted Web sites were unregistered and broke laws about distribution of sexual content, the report said. China promised last week that the campaign, which Xinhua said was scheduled to last a month, would be no ※flash in the pan.§ It has been extended to cover content in mobile phone games, online novels and radio programs.
China free trade talks start
China and Costa Rica on Monday began talks for a free trade treaty under which the Central American nation hopes to export meat, plants, fruit and coffee to the Asian giant, officials said. Chinese President Hu Jintao (?党啈) announced the talks in November, during the 〝highest-level visit by a Chinese official to Costa Rica, a little over a year after San Jose gave up six decades of ties with Taiwan. The first round of talks in San Jose are due to end today and the process is due to end before President Oscar Arias leaves office in May next year.