China’s Minister of Agriculture Sun Zhengcai said wealthy nations should not be blaming the developing world for the global rise in food prices.
Sun was speaking at the World Food Security conference in Rome.
He blamed rising oil prices, climate change and speculation for the current food crisis.
Finalists chosen to host 2016 Games
On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee announced Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio as finalists for the 2016 Olympics.
Eliminated from the race were Doha, Prague, and Baku. The 2016 Olympics host city will be decided at the 2009 Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen.
Ban on plastic bags begins
Starting on June 1, supermarkets, department stores and other retail outlets are banned from giving out free plastic shopping bags.
The government order is a bid to reduce the number of plastic bags used in China each day.
Customers must carry now their own bags or buy them from the shops.
College Entrance exams
Students and their parents are anxious this weekend.
Tomorrow starts the national college entrance exams, which will determine if the students are eligible for post secondary education.
The exams in quake-hit areas will be postponed to a later date yet to be announced.
Designer Yves St Laurent dies
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has died at the age of 71.
He was hailed as a 20th century innovator who revolutionized the way women dressed.
Saint Laurent made the trouser suit a staple, and the tuxedo an elegant option. He also popularized safari jackets and thigh-high boots.
Regulations on post-quake reconstruction
On Wednesday, the State Council passed a draft regulation on post-quake restoration and reconstruction.
The regulation says related departments should properly arrange the location of temporary houses and their supporting facilities, and distribution of funds and materials.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development stressed in a circular that infrastructure restoration was a priority after the May 12 quake.
Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school.
Quake lake update
Premier Wen Jiabao landed on the dam of Tangjiashan quake lake on Thursday as water flowed into a sluice that was built a few days ago.
The presence of the premier on the dam allayed fears somewhat that the quake lake was about to burst its bank.
Emergency teams had hoped to drain the quake lake on Thursday, but fresh landslides and higher than expected rainfall complicated matters.
More than 600 police and soldiers are digging a 475-meter channel to divert water from the lake in Beichuan County, Sichuan.
Looking for relief helicopter
The possibility of finding 19 people still alive after a helicopter went missing on Saturday is fading, according to the Chengdu Military Area Command.
Military sources said many aftershocks occurred in the suspected crash site in the past few days, causing landslides and altering terrain.
The military official said the search continues.
The helicopter went missing May 31 as the crew, led by Senior Colonel Qiu Guanghua, was undertaking its 64th mission since the May 12 quake.
Obama seals Democratic nomination
Barack Obama took a giant step forward to being the US’s first ever black president.
On Tuesday night (Wednesday night Beijing time), Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
He won on the promise of hope and change attracting the support of Americans weary of recent economic turmoil and years of war.
Obama’s victory sets up a November election contest with Republican nominee John McCain.
The 46-year-old Obama, opposes the Iraq war, while McCain, 71, is a staunch supporter of continued US involvement in the region.
Fire at Universal Studios
A fire that burned through parts of the Universal Studios back lot during the weekend was accidentally sparked by workers using heating tools, officials said on Monday.
Sunday’s fire destroyed the courthouse square from Back to the Future. Damage is estimated to be into the millions.
Bolt strikes down 100m record
Usain Bolt is now officially the world’s fastest man.
The Jamaican sprinter set the world record with a time of 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix last Saturday, 0.02 seconds faster than the old record held by his countryman, Asafa Powell.
Dragon Boat Festival (flights to Taiwan)
Sunday marks the Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu. This year it is a three-day holiday and direct flights from the mainland to Taiwan started earlier this week.
To mark the festival, many people eat zongzi, or rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.
The event commemorates the poet and patriot Qu Yuan, who drowned in the Miluo River, and the villagers raced in their dragon boats to try to save him.
（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.