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NO. 35 SEPTEMBER 3, 2009
Newsletter> NO. 35 SEPTEMBER 3, 2009
UPDATED: August 28, 2009 NO. 35 SEPTEMBER 3, 2009

SHELTERING THE UNFORTUNATE: A complex for orphans and poor children from earthquake-ravaged Sichuan Province is inaugurated in Shuangliu County. The facilities, which include a primary and secondary school, can accommodate 712 orphans and children from poor families (JIANG HONGJING) 

Lonely Seniors

China's aged population over 65 years old is growing at its fastest rate since 1949, the China National Committee on Aging said on August 26.

The country's aged population will increase by 8 million this year, up from a 3.11-million annual increase a decade ago, said Wu Yushao, an official with the committee.

The aged population is expected to grow from 160 million in 2008 to 200 million by 2014, Wu said.

With the rapid expansion of the aging population, China faces challenges in caring for "empty-nest" parents, where one or both parents live by themselves after the children have left the home.

Crackdown on Scalpers

Police launched a crackdown on Internet train ticket scalping as tens of thousands of students prepare to return to school for the fall semester beginning in September.

Ticket scalping, reselling tickets above the ticket's face value, has resurfaced on the Internet. Public security, network supervision and railway police bureaus are cooperating to clamp down on it, the Ministry of Public Security said on August 26.

The ministry ordered network supervision departments to monitor Internet ticket sales 24 hours a day. A hotline for public complaints and tips has also been set up.

Misused Funds

The National Audit Office (NAO) on August 23 announced it found 2.69 billion yuan ($396 million) in funds meant to aid farmers had been misused in Chinese localities.

The office last year launched an audit over the use of farming aid funds for 2006 and 2007 in 10 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Henan, Gansu and Jiangsu.

Some 58.37 million yuan ($8.58 million) of the total misappropriated money was spent on automobile purchases or construction projects, it said.

Two people have been prosecuted so far and 23 others have received administrative or disciplinary punishment by the Communist Party of China.

Prostitution Clampdown

During a crackdown police arrested 3,311 suspects who allegedly forced, abetted, harbored or introduced women to prostitution in July, the Ministry of Public Security said on August 25.

By the end of July, police investigated 2,503 alleged prostitution cases, including 363 involving minors, the ministry said.

A total of 457 criminal gangs were broken up and another 40 suspects were arrested for underage sex offenses during the three-month campaign, which was launched on June 26.

Culture Gala

The second Cross-Straits Cultural Industries Fair will be held from October 28 to November 1 in Xiamen, a city in southeast Fujian Province.

Fair participants will include entertainment, TV and movie companies from Taiwan as well as local opera, stone-carving and paper-cutting companies from Fujian, said Luo Jian, Deputy Secretary General of the Fujian Provincial Government.

The event is the only comprehensive cultural fair being held jointly by the mainland and Taiwan. The first one was organized in November 2008.

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