On Thursday, the Olympic torch arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, on its second stop of its 130-day global relay.
On Tuesday it was in the Kazak capital Almaty which was once a main trading post along the ancient Silk Road.
Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev was delighted to be one of the torchbearers.
Heathrow airport in chaos
Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 5 has dealt a blow to Britain’s national pride.
After the terminal opened earlier this week, some 300 flights were cancelled and tens of thousands of luggage were not reunited with their owners.
British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh apologized to affected passengers.
UBS writes $11.9 billion Q1 loss
UBS AG is yet another victim of the US subprime mortgage crisis, reporting a first quarter loss of $11.9 billion.
Since the third quarter of 2007, the investment bank has written off almost $38 billion on debt securities.
It follows the announcement that Chairman Marcel Ospel will be stepping down.
Life sentence cut to 5 years in faulty-ATM case
A migrant worker sentenced to life for withdrawing 175,000 yuan ($24,400) from a malfunctioning ATM had his term reduced to five years.
The case was retried because of lack of evidence and facts were unclear.
Xu Ting was also fined 20,000 yuan and ordered to return the money.
Premier Wen at Third GMS Summit
Premier Wen Jiabao called for greater efforts to develop transport corridors linking all Greater Mekong Subregion countries.
Speaking at the third GMS summit in Laos, Wen said China will work closely with Thailand and the Asian Development Bank to speed up construction of a Thai-Lao bridge along the Kunming-Bangkok Highway.
Wen and his counterparts officially opened the Kunming-Bangkok Highway in Laos on Monday, linking China, Laos and Thailand.
Beijing welcomes Olympic flame
On Monday President Hu Jintao lit a cauldron officially launching the torch relay for the Beijing Olympics.
He then handed the torch to gold medal hurdler Liu Xiang who ran across the Golden Water Bridge in front of Tiananmen Square.
Thousands of spectators gathered to watch the ceremony, which included Peking Opera, acrobats and dancers.
Vice-President Xi Jinping said the torch relay releases the passion of the Chinese people for the Olympic Games.
US Treasury Secretary in China
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is in Beijing for a two-day trip.
He met with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, talking about the China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue and bilateral economic ties.
This is Wang’s first meeting with Paulson after taking office.
Paulson will also meet with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior officials.
China and the United States will hold the fourth round of SED talks in Washington this June.
Smoking ban in most public places in Beijing
Beijing is set to ban smoking in most public places commencing on May 1, in its bid to host a smoke-free Olympics.
The new rules prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, Internet cafes, hotels, offices, holiday resorts, and all indoor areas of medical facilities.
Institutions that fail to comply could face fines of up to 5,000 yuan or $713. There are proposals to fine individual smokers up to 200 yuan.
News on a lighter note:
Switching off for Earth Hour
Some 30 million people around the world participated in Earth Hour last Saturday.
They turned off all electrical appliances for 60 minutes to show their concern for global warming.
Some people ate dinner or played cards by candlelight, others looked at the stars.
This Friday is Qingming Festival, or Tomb-Sweeping Day.
It is a time when people clear family graves, touch-up tombstone inscriptions, burn incense and offer sacrifices to the dead.
It is the first time this traditional Chinese festival has been made into a public holiday.
Calligraphy inspires couture
Chinese calligraphy was the theme of the opening show for China’s International Fashion Week in Beijing.
Thirty young designers from 16 countries presented their creations.
For seven days, nearly 40 collections were presented at the Beijing Hotel and DPARK Beijing House in the 798 art district.
（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.
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.