Tickets for the Beijing Paralympic Games went on sale today, with about 830,000 now available.
Prices range from 30 yuan to 80 yuan and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
People can book through the official website at tickets.beijing2008.cn from today until September 14.
Sichuan reopens for tourists
Earlier this week Sichuan reopened 12 cities and one prefecture to tourists to revive its once booming tourism industry.
Chengdu is partially opened to tourists, although several major attractions were damaged in the quake.
The quake cost the province’s tourism sector more than 50 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) in losses.
Gas and diesel cost more
From today gasoline will cost 0.8 yuan, and diesel 0.2 yuan more per liter.
The price of aviation fuel has also risen by 1,500 yuan per ton.
The government was forced to raise oil prices from midnight last night, the first time in eight months, because of the soaring price of crude on the international market.
China loses 2010 World Cup bid
China was eliminated from the 2010 World Cup after losing to Iraq 2-1.
In the first 33 minutes of the game China scored its only goal, only to have the score evened out eight minutes later.
The final goal was scored in the second half of the match, upsetting Chinese fans.
Remembering Charisse and Russert
Two giants in their respective fields passed away this week.
Actress and dancer Cyd Charisse died on Tuesday aged 86.
She was famous for her pairings with Hollywood dance greats Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
Elsewhere Tim Russert, who hosted NBC’s Meet the Press died of a heart attack.
The 58-year-old became a legend due to his unrelenting questioning of the powerful and influential.
4th Strategic Economic Dialogue a success
The United States and China wrapped up two days of talks during the fourth Strategic Economic Dialogue, or SED in Annapolis, Maryland.
Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson co-chaired the meeting.
China and the US signed a 10-year agreement on energy and environmental protection, as well as 71 deals worth $13.6 billion.
China will buy soybeans, energy-saving equipment, telecom products, and aviation engines from the US.
The two sides also announced they will hold talks on an investment treaty that could increase opportunities for American companies in China.
First Chinese tour group in US
On Tuesday the first US-bound Chinese leisure tour group arrived in Washington to be greeted by jazz music and smiles.
Their 11-day tour marked the implementation of a memorandum of understanding allowing ‘outbound tourist group travel’ from China to the United States that was signed last December.
The groups’ arrival is considered a milestone in the history of US-China tourism and economic cooperation.
During their 10-day voyage, the Chinese tour group will be greeted by tourism officials and representatives from each stop on their trip.
The US department of Commerce estimates the number of Chinese tourists could reach 579,000 by 2011.
Xi Jinping visits North Korea
Vice-President Xi Jinping says China will continue to play a constructive role in the Six-Party Talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
At a meeting with Kim Jong-il, leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Xi said China is willing to strengthen the exchange of opinions and cooperation with the DPRK to promote the Six-Party Talks.
Xi expressed hope that the six parties will work together for the full and balanced implementation of the second phase of the action plan so as to push the talks forward.
Xi was in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a three-day visit to the DPRK.
Flooding in South China
As of Thursday, heavy rains and floods have claimed 176 lives in southern China, in what is being referred to as some of the worst rains to have hit the region in decades.
More than 43 million people in 20 provinces have been affected, and about 2.3 million hectares of farmland have been submerged.
Direct economic losses are estimated at 27.7 billion yuan, according to the office of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Rain remained heavy in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and potential floods are still threatening cities in the lower reaches of the Pearl River, like Macao, Zhuhai and Zhongshan.
Torch relay in Xinjiang
The Olympic torch is now on its way to the Tibet Autonomous Region. It just finished its tour through Xinjiang.
The torch passed through Shihezi City, Urumqi, Kashgar and Changji.
The torch bearers include people from the Hazak, Korean, Russian and Xibo ethnic groups to show Xinjiang’s cultural diversity.
After its one-day trip to the Tibet Autonomous Region tomorrow, the flame goes to Qinghai Province.
Gore endorses Obama
Former US Vice-President Al Gore pledged to help elect senator Barack Obama to the White House.
The support from the Nobel Laureate could bolster Obama’s campaign as he tries to win over Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton.
So far in the polls, Obama has a narrow lead over Republican John McCain, by 48 percent to 42 percent.
Celtics win NBA title
Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in a convincing 131-92 victory Tuesday (Wednesday Beijing time).
It was the first time the Celtics won the NBA championship since 1986.
Paul Pierce was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, averaging 21.8 points and 6.3 assists in the series.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
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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.