Welcome to China Daily Video News. I’m Bernice Chan.
And I’m Jonathan Stewart.
Snow blankets China before Festival
As the country gears up for its New Years festivities, China has a lot to celebrate this year. However, terribly timed snow storms have cancelled thousands of flights and killed as many as 48 people. More on Chinese New Year and the snow coming up.
Rocky Ride on Stockmarket
The Chinese stock market had a rough ride earlier this week.
On Monday the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 7.1 percent to close at 4,419.29, the lowest since August 2.
The Shenzhen Component Index fell 6.45 percent. Stocks were still mixed on Thursday despite stronger foreign markets.
French trader walks free
Jerome Kerviel walked free after speaking with authorities on the trades he made cosing his employer Societe General $7.2 billion.
Although the 31-year-old Frenchman claimed he did not profit from his trades, Kerviel became the biggest rogue trader after British trader Nick Leeson brought down Barings in 1995.
Suharto Laid to Rest
A state funeral was held for Indonesia’s former president Suharto on Monday.
The 86-year-old died last week of multiple organ failure.
Tens of thousands of people came out to the streets to watch the funeral procession.
While some praised Suharto as a visionary who helped modernize the country, others criticized him for widespread corruption and human rights abuses.
Gandhi goes to the Sea
Some of the ashes of the Indian independence leader and peace icon Mohandas Gandhi were scattered at sea by his great-granddaughter on Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of his assassination.
And now for more news in depth:
Water Cube Opens
The National Aquatic Center was opened to the public earlier this week.
It’s nicknamed the Water Cube for its bubble-like padding made of ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene plastic pillows.
Completed after four years of construction, the venue will host the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events at the upcoming Olympics.
The venue cost 1.02 billion yuan to build, with funding coming mainly from wealthy Chinese living outside the mainland.
Storms Paralyze China
Snowstorms blanketed parts of China this week, at a time when over 200 million people are planning to return home for the holidays.
Seventeen provinces were affected. Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Anhui and Hunan provinces were the hardest hit.
The snowfall in Shanghai was the heaviest in 17 years, causing buildings to collapse and leading to power outages.
While train service is slowly coming back on schedule in some areas, there are still hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded. Over 5,000 flights have been delayed and some 3,200 cancelled.
Government Takes Steps to get back on Track
On Thursday President Hu Jintao visited a coal mine in Datong, Shaanxi Province. He urged miners to produce as much coal as possible to help provide more fuel for the country.
Earlier this week Premier Wen Jiabao went to Hunan and Guangdong provinces to help local authorities make contingency plans.
Using a megaphone, the premier made announcements at railway stations, reassuring people the government is trying repair power grids and get trains moving.
The government is also trying to keep food prices in snow-hit areas under control and make sure basic necessities are transported properly and timely.
Holiday Travel Warnings
In Guangdong, home to some 19 million migrant workers, the Guangzhou Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army provided free food for thousands of people stranded.
Government officials are trying to persuade migrant workers not to return home for the holidays to alleviate strains on the transport system.
The forecast this week is for more snowstorms in much of central and southern China for the next three days.
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.
Jonathan Stewart is a media and journalism expert from the United States with four years of experience as a writer and instructor. He accepted a foreign expert position with chinadaily.com.cn in June 2007 following the completion of his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics.