New law requires visits
The government has passed a new law stipulating that family members should pay regular visits to their elderly relatives, according to the government’s official Web site. The ruling, approved by China’s National People’s Congress on Friday, is part of a package of amendments to the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly legislation and will come into force on July 1 next year. “Family members who live separately from the elderly should visit them often,” the law says, adding that “employers should guarantee the right to home leave in accordance with relevant regulations.” The law mentions no specific penalties for those who fail to visit frequently, nor elaborates on what “often” means. However, it does state that if the rights and interests of the elderly are violated, they or someone on their behalf can seek official help or file a lawsuit.
Explosion caught on video
Dramatic video footage has captured the moment a 30-tonne shark tank exploded in a Shanghai shopping center, engulfing onlookers in a torrent of water and glass and injuring 15 people. The clip from closed circuit television footage at the Orient mall, which shows the wall of the aquarium shattering and water gushing over bystanders, has been widely viewed all over the world with more than 600,000 hits on YouTube. Seconds before it explodes, four people are shown standing meters away from the tank, one of them taking a photo. As the aquarium breaks, the bystanders try to jump out of the way as water surges towards them. One apparently injured person is carried from the debris of a cosmetics counter which collapses as a result of the explosion, and fish are seen flipping about amid the broken glass from the tank. The Xinmin newspaper said 15 shoppers were taken to hospital with “minor injuries” after they were showered with glass. Three sharks, dozens of turtles and other marine life died, the paper said.
Toxic cough syrup kills 16
At least 16 people, mostly drug addicts seeking a fix, have died after drinking toxic cough syrup, officials said yesterday. The deaths started occurring Wednesday in Gujranwala, police and doctors said. “We have received 54 patients at hospital who said their condition deteriorated after taking cough syrups and 16 of them have died,” hospital chief doctor Anwar Aman told reporters. Senior police official Azam Mehr confirmed the toll and said samples of cough syrups available at local pharmacies have been collected and sent to laboratories.
Inmates seek prior notice
Death row inmates want to be told of their execution in advance, instead of on the day they are to be hanged, a lawmaker’s survey said. A majority of those sentenced to die would also like the present method of administering punishment to be reviewed, with the largest bloc saying their preferred choice would be lethal injection. The survey was carried out by Mizuho Fukushima, deputy chairwoman of the nonpartisan Parliamentary League for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, between September and last and was published on Friday, Kyodo News reported. It covered 133 people on death row, two of whom were executed at the end of September, taking this year’s total to seven. Of the 78 who replied, 51 said they wanted to know ahead of time that they would be put to death, with opinions varying from a day to a month in advance.