Principal guilty of poisoning
A kindergarten headmaster and another man were sentenced to death in a poisoning case that left two girls dead, state media reported yesterday. The head of the kindergarten was upset that a rival school had better enrollments and injected rat poison into a bottle of yogurt. He then asked his accomplice to place it on the road in late April last year, China Central Television (CCTV) said. Two sisters died after drinking the yogurt, which was placed with a notebook and a pencil in a plastic bag on the way to the other kindergarten in Pingshan County. Shijiazhuang Intermediate It was not clear if the two will appeal. The supreme court must review all death sentences. Kindergarten management has been problematic, with frequent reports of child abuse. Most recently, several kindergartens were found to be feeding unauthorized drugs to children in order to boost attendance rates.
Men indicted for Iran exports
A Shanghai-based man, an Iranian and two Iranian firms were charged in the US with conspiring to export devices to Iran that can serve to enrich uranium, an indictment unsealed on Friday said. Sihai Cheng, 34, was arrested on Feb. 7 at London’s Heathrow Airport. London’s Metropolitan Police said Cheng had already appeared at a British court in the capital and was awaiting his next appearance. US prosecutors say Cheng conspired with Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili of Tehran and the Iranian companies Nicaro Engineering Co and Eyvaz Technic Manufacturing Co to export US-made pressure transducers. The devices, which are a type of sensor, can be used in gas centrifuges to “convert natural uranium into a form that can be used for nuclear weapons,” the indictment said. Between April 2009 and January 2011, Cheng placed orders for more than 1,000 pressure transducers for a value of more than US$1.8 million.
Quake jolts southwest
A shallow magnitude 5.3 quake struck the southwest yesterday, sending terrified residents running from their homes as dozens of houses collapsed and injured at least 10 people, state media reported. The tremor in Yunnan Province, near the border with Sichuan, hit at 6:40am at a depth of 13km, Xinhua news agency said. Residents ran out of their homes after they were woken up by the quake, which caused 20 houses to collapse, Xinhua reported, adding that two of the 10 people injured were in serious condition. The US Geological Survey put the depth of the quake at 26km with a magnitude of 5.4. Rumors began spreading that the quake was caused by the nearby Xiluodu hydropower station, 15km from the quake’s epicenter, the news agency said.
Drivers’ licenses lure Chinese
In China, would-be drivers can wait up to a year for a license and pay double the US$420 that one costs in South Korea. That has fueled a boom in the number of Chinese visiting to take driving tests and convert their licenses when they get home. Rules for licenses have been eased, cutting the hours of training to 13, including six hours of driving time. That has led nearly 70,000 Chinese nationals to become holders of South Korean driving licenses in the past three years. It takes only one week to get a license at state-appointed driving schools. Applicants can even do their driving tests on rooftop tracks, meaning they have little experience in dealing with actual traffic.