The latest figures from the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan at noon on Thursday Beijing time are 68,516 dead, 365,399 injured and 19,350 missing.
According to the State Council Information Office, about 15.15 million people affected in the quake zones have been relocated.
Draining quake lake
Hundreds of soldiers and engineers are using excavators and bulldozers to dig a diversion channel to prevent a quake lake in Beichuan from bursting its banks.
So far one-third of the sluice is finished, and the channel is expected to be completed by June 5.
A 6.4 magnitude aftershock jolted Qingchuan county of Sichuan Province last Sunday afternoon. 8 people died and hundreds were injured.
Other big aftershocks included a 5.7 magnitude tremor centering on Ningqiang County of Shaanxi Province, and a magnitude 5.4 jolt which struck Qingchuan County, both on Tuesday.
Olympic torch relay update
These past few days, the Olympic torch is in Anhui Province.
It was in Hefei, Huainan and Wuhu. Today it goes to Jixi and Huangshan.
After Anhui the torch will head to Hubei Province.
Canadian FM quits over papers
Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier resigned Monday after it emerged he had left classified documents in the apartment of his former girlfriend who has links to organized crime.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper accepted his resignation just before Bernier’s ex-girlfriend’s taped TV interview.
Nepal gets rid of monarchy
On Wednesday Nepal ended 239 years of royal rule with the swearing in of 575 lawmakers, with another 26 to be appointed later.
The republic has given King Gyanendra two weeks to vacate his royal palace in Kathmandu before it is turned into a national museum.
Hu talks with KMT chairman
President Hu Jintao met with Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung this Wednesday.
It was the first and also the highest-level contact across the Straits in six decades.
Hu pledged to resume cross-Straits dialogue at the earliest date. He also hoped the two sides would make efforts to build mutual trust, set aside disputes, seek consensus and jointly create a win-win situation.
The president added priority should be given to starting weekend passenger charter flights and allowing mainland tourists to visit Taiwan after the talks resume.
Russian President visits China
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a speech at Peking University during his visit to China.
He said China-Russia relations are a major factor in global security. He added the two countries should jointly pursue technological innovation to help ease global challenges, like affordable energy resources, stabilizing financial markets and food security.
After his speech, Medvedev jokingly hoped Russian and Chinese athletes would win all the medals at the Olympics.
Russia will study the Beijing Games to prepare for the 2014 Winter Games to be held in Sochi.
ROK leader visits China
Earlier in the week President Hu Jintao also met up with his counterpart from the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak.
Lee was in China for a four-day visit.
During the 80-minute meeting, the two sides agreed to upgrade their relationship to a “strategic cooperative partnership”.
Beijing and Seoul also plan to increase cooperation in security, trade and people-to-people exchanges, including a strategic dialogue between the two foreign ministries.
The two countries also agreed to enhance collaboration in sectors ranging from telecommunications and logistics, to energy and environmental protection.
Lee will go to the quake-hit area this afternoon, accompanied by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Lee is the first foreign head of state to visit the disaster zone.
Weather satellite launched
China launched a second weather satellite for the Olympic Games on Tuesday in Shanxi Province.
The Fengyun-3 will work with the existing Fengyun-2 to ensure timely weather forecasts during the Games in August.
The FY-3 will send back images of spatial resolution of 250 meters and its temperature sensitivity will be in the region of 0.1 degree Fahrenheit. Both indices are close to the most advanced satellites in the world.
The satellite will provide medium-range forecasts of 10 to 15 days.
French win at Cannes
The classroom drama Entre Les Murs, or The Class, was the first French victory at the Cannes Film Festival in 21 years with the Palme d’Or for best picture.
Benecio del Toro won best actor as Ernesto “Che” Guevara and best actress went to Sandra Corveloni in Linha de Passe.
Pandas arrive in Beijing
Eight pandas from the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center arrived in Beijing last Saturday on a flight from Chengdu.
They will meet visitors in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, and stay in the capital until November.
Pictures from Mars
Images sent back by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander show the terrain of Mars as relatively flat with polygon-shaped patterns in the ground. They were likely caused by the expansion and contraction of underground ice.
Phoenix is on a three-month mission to excavate the soil using a robotic arm.
（英语点津 Helen 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.