Beijing levied $40m in pollution fines last year
SHANGHAI • Beijing's environmental watchdog levied fines totalling about 183 million yuan (S$40 million) for violations of pollution laws in the Chinese capital last year, state news agency Xinhua said yesterday.
State media reported last year that the 100 million yuan Beijing collected in pollution fines in the first nine months of 2015 was almost twice the amount collected in the corresponding period in 2014.
Giant Mao statue suddenly demolished
BEIJING • A gargantuan gold-painted statue of Communist China's founding father Mao Zedong has suddenly been demolished, apparently for lacking government approval, state media said yesterday , days after images of it went viral.
Images of the statue of a seated Mao towering some 37m over empty fields in the central province of Henan made worldwide headlines.
But the 3 million yuan (S$653,000) structure has now been destroyed, the People's Net news portal cited local officials as saying, adding the reason was "unclear".
Launch of insurance for India's farmers in April
NEW DELHI • India will launch its first major crop damage insurance scheme for farmers in the fiscal year starting April 1, the federal farm minister said yesterday , in what could be Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first significant move to address the distress plaguing the sector.
The impact of unseasonal rains and two straight years of drought on agriculture that sustains over two-thirds of India's 1.25 billion people has dented Mr Modi's popularity in the countryside.