After six years of captivity, Ingrid Betancourt, Colombia’s former presidential candidate, has been freed.
The military operation by Colombia’s special forces rescued Betancourt, 3 US nationals and 11 other hostages on Wednesday.
Betancourt was the most well-known hostage of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, considered a terrorist organization by the United States.
Man bulldozes 3 dead in Jerusalem
A Palestinian killed at least three Israelis and wounded 45 after he rammed a bulldozer into cars, buses and pedestrians on a busy Jerusalem street, before being shot dead by a security officer.
Wednesday’s violence was the first major attack in Jerusalem since March, wreaking havoc on Jaffa Road, a main thoroughfare in the city.
Final checks for Shenzhou VII
Final tests have begun on Shenzhou VII, China’s third manned spacecraft, at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in north-west Gansu Province.
Shenzhou VII is scheduled to carry three astronauts and blast off atop the Long March-2F rocket in October.
One of the astronauts will be the first Chinese to walk in space.
Taiwan RMB money change
Taiwan will allow 14 banks to offer exchange services in renminbi, to tap an expected surge in demand after the signing of a landmark tourism deal with the Chinese mainland.
Also included in the scheme are more than 40 of the island’s hotels and 15 department stores, which can only buy renminbi in exchange for the Taiwan currency.
Security stepped up in subway stations
The Beijing subway system has tightened its security leading up to the Olympics and Paralympics.
More than 2,000 security guards have been deployed and 200 X-ray baggage machines have been installed at the capital’s 93 subway stations.
The security checks began last Sunday and will continue until September 20.
Zheng Jie misses out at Wimbledon
China’s Zheng Jie lost out to Serena Williams last night this morning Beijing time at Wimbledon.
The 24-year-old was the first wild card to reach the last four in the Wimbledon women’s singles and the first Chinese in a Grand Slam semifinal.
The hard fought battle with Williams saw Zheng beaten 6-2, 7-6.
Zheng has so far won more than $300,000 in the tournament and plans to give part of the prize money to her home province of Sichuan.
Williams will play her sister Venus in a true test of sibling rivalry at the final on Saturday.
UN Chief in Beijing
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ended his three-day visit to Beijing this week.
While stay in the Chinese capital, Ban met with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and held talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Ban made a speech at the China Foreign Affairs University, praising China for its handling of the quake relief efforts. He promised the UN’s full assistance in building a “bigger and better” home for those affected by the disaster.
He also urged China to take a bigger role in fighting such global challenges as rising food and fuel prices; climate change and reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Rice meets quake victims
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was impressed by China’s relief efforts in areas hit by the May 12 earthquake.
She met with quake survivors and toured a relief camp in Dujiangyan, one of the worst-hit areas, during her four-hour visit to Sichuan Province.
The US government has offered cash and materials worth $2.6 million in quake relief, according to the Foreign Ministry.
During the two-day visit, Rice also met with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Qingdao goes green
The coastal city of Qingdao has gone green, but not voluntarily.
An outbreak of bright-green algae has covered the city’s shoreline.
Experts say the algae originates from a central region of the Yellow Sea and has no effect on the water quality of the sea off the Qingdao coast.
Qingdao has mobilized more than 10,000 workers and more than 1,000 vessels to clean up the algae.
Officials estimate it will take two weeks to clear up the shoreline.
Torch relay finds revolution
The Olympic torch is now in Xianyang, its second stop in central Shaanxi Province.
Earlier in the week it was in Yan’an, considered the “cradle of the revolution”.
From 1935 to 1948 Yan’an was the headquarters of the Chinese Communist revolution.
Liu Tianyou, a 93-year-old veteran of the Long March started the torch relay from the site of the Zaoyuan Revolution.
Exams for Sichuan students
Some 120,000 students from quake-hit Sichuan are taking their national college entrance exams, or gao kao, almost a month after the rest of the country.
Following the May 12 quake, students received food, clothing, textbooks as well as psychological counseling, which helped them prepare for the annual exams.
South China Tiger remains a myth
It’s official. The pictures of the so-called South-China Tiger are fake.
54-year-old farmer Zhou Zhenglong, was arrested for alleged fraud.
Police seized the old tiger photograph, which Zhou used to fudge his photos, as well as a tiger paw made of wood, which he used to create footprints in the snow.
Thirteen government officials were punished for the scandal.
（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.
" style="WIDTH: 120px; HEIGHT: 153px" title=""> Marc Checkley is a freelance journalist and media producer from New Zealand. Marc has had an eclectic career in the media/arts working on various projects in theatre, television, online, radio, print and film. Marc spent three months with the China Daily last year leading the online video news initiative. In December he left for Singapore where he is currently based to work on an online TV science series for kids and some work with MediaCorp Studios, the national broadcaster. Marc returns to chinadaily.com.cn as Senior Editor and Producer for the website’s Olympic media news coverage.