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Nanjing news roundup: April 11

  • Written by Jimmy Olsen
This week's report features drag racing on city streets, the 'Xinjiekou Cat lady', a lack of mosquitoes, a couple of beatdowns, a rat poisoned toddler and loads more. Click 'read more' to access the report.

Expect a cold and dreary week

The next few days in Nanjing will feature cool and wet weather, according to forecasts. Until Wednesday at least, the temperature will decline and it is exepcted to rain every day in the southern Jiangsu region. Experts advise that citizens should consider it still winter time in Nanjing, and thus sweaters and heavy winter coats are recommended.

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Students earn commission teaching bargaining skills

In a new trend, 'bargaining groups' have appeared on local campuses, which involve students helping their peers negotiate lower prices on goods in exchange for a consulting fee.

Last week, reporters followed a bargaining group to the Zhujiang 4 Mall, where the goal was to help a student on his purchase of a Macbook Pro. The asking price was 11,500. Negotiator Xiao Wu countered: "Boss, this model is not new, it came out six months ago, plus the configuration is not the highest."

After a 3-minute 'war of words', the price dropped to 9,800 RMB. Xiao Wu was paid 85 RMB for his efforts.

He told reporters: "I charge bargain consultancy fees, my specialty is digital products, the cost is 5% of the amount I bargain off the asking price." He also helps girls purchase clothing, at a rate of 1% of the discount amount.

About his long-term plans, Xiao Wu said: In Beijing there is a famous magazine shopping guide. We could do the same on campus – give shopping recommendations and report on trends and so on."

According to experts, students generating innovative businessideas is not ideal, as their focus should be on study. Thus, university and community officials should help guide such endeavors towards standardization.

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Man dumped in river over unpaid loan

A man who was unable to pay back a 30,000 RMB loan was dumped into a river and barely escaped with his life. The victim (pseudonym 'Wang') borrowed the money in 2008 for his clothing business, but he squandered it all within 6 months. Then, the creditor (pseudonym 'Shuai') hatched a plan of murder.

Mr. Shuai lured him to a quiet spot, smashed his skull, stomped his face and thew him into the river to die.He told Mr. Wang that he had raised some more money that he could borrow. He drove to Mr. Wang's house and asked him to get on his motorcycle to go to the bank.

On the outskirts of town, Mr. Shuai smashed Mr. Wang with weights tied to a rope. Then he stomped his head, and finally dragged his body to the riverside and threw him in.

Miraculously, only the upper half of Mr. Wang's body fell into the river – his lower half remained on the riverbank. The next morning, he managed to drag himself onto the road where passersby discovered got him to the hospital.

Mr. Shuai laid low in seedy Internet cafes until he was captured in October 2009 and charged with attempted murder.

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Trapped in pyramid scheme, woman escapes confinement

A young woman trapped in a fraudulent pyramid scheme was held against her will for two weeks before being rescued by police. The victim Li Zhao came to Nanjing from Guizhou and soon took up work selling Chinese health foods. However, instead of getting paid, she was told that she had to pay them 3,000 RMB.

When she refused, her cell phone and ID card were confiscated and she was locked in a small room with sealed windows.

After two weeks, she managed to slip a small note out of a crack in the window, which read: "I am trapped on the second floor, please help me!" A passerby found the note and alerted police, who rushed to the scene and rectified the situation.

Police charged the leader of the scheme and his cronies with the crime of 'unlawful deprivation of personal freedom'. The courts sentenced the leader to 10 months in jail, and his cronies to lesser time.

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Gambling loser punches machine, suffers a beating

A man who lost money street gambling punched the machine in frustration, leading to him getting beaten down with bricks and knives.

On April 8, reporters visited the Pukou District Hospital to meet the victim Mr. Pu, who was wrapped in bloody gauze and badly battered. With the help of his girlfriend, he removed his clothes to show reporters the multiple stab wounds on his back and limbs.

Mr. Pu told reporters that he was playing slot machines at a local shop when he lost 2,000 RMB. In anger, he punched the machine, shattered the screen and left. Later the shop owner called him and ordered him to return to address the damage. Mr. Pu showed up with 3 friends and an argument broke out.

Suddenly, a group of more than 20 men showed up and began attacking Mr. Pu with bricks and knives. The gang then dispersed and Mr. Pu was rushed to the hospital, where docters deemed his injuries not life-threatening.

Police have closed down the shop and are currently investigating the matter.

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Grandma errs, feeds child rat poison

A woman accidentally fed her grandson rat poison, but after several days of severe deterioration, the youngster finally recovered.

After midnight on April 3rd, the 50-year-old woman rushed into the Nanjing Children's hospital with her grandchild, shouting "Please help me, I accidentally gave him rat poison!"

On the day of the poisoning, the grandmother was playing cards with her friends while the boy was off playing by himself. Later, he told his grandmother that he didn't feel well. The boy then began to vomit up red rice, and the grandmother knew that something was wrong.

She ruefully told reporters: "A few days ago I had bought a bottle of rat poison, mixed it with some rice and then placed some under the bed and cupboard. I specifically scattered the rice so my grandson couldn't reach it, but obviously, I made a mistake, the blame is mine."

In the hospital, the boy suffered 10 hours of twitching and weakness before doctors performed emergency techniques (fluid infusion, diuretics etc) to flush out his system. 5 days later, his condition finally stabilized.

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No mosquitoes in sight

Experts at various monitoring points in Nanjing have found that no mosquitoes are around at a time when they are usually rife, which might mean a summer with less mosquitoes than usual.

"It might have something to do with the weird weather we are having..."The Nanjing CDC Division of Vector Control Environmental Health conducted mosquito density tests at various points in the city.

Mosquito specialist Zheng Yiping told reporters that this year is really strange: "We did not catch even one mosquito. By this time in previous years, there is usually a lot of first generation ones already, it might have something to do with the weird weather we are having in recent times."

He theorized that once the daily average temperature reaches 26 degrees C the first generation of mosquitoes for the year will appear, probably in a few weeks.

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Cat lady ditches husband for pets

The 'Xinjiekou Cat Lady' has taken in 10 stray cats over the past three years, causing her husband to leave her and her neigbors to question her actions. Nonetheless, her passion for cats has not waned.

Reporters visited her home and found that the cats were in charge – everything was scratched up and in disarray and there were catprints everywhere. The Cat lady explained that she took in her first cat three years ago, but then it had babies, and they began to multiply. "I wanted to find good homes for them, but most people who wanted them had no cat experience, and some did not have the time to take care of them properly."

The cat lady spent half of her total income on the cats, including buying the most expensive carp on the market for them to feed on. "Cheaper fish have too many small bones for these cats."

Her husband complained and eventually they separated, but the cats remain her priority.

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Drag racing on the streets of Nanjing

Recently, many citizens have complained about drag racing in the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center North Gate area, involving a group of "rich second generation" owners.

One reporter investigating the case wrote: "Yesterday, I drove to Olympic Center, and I found a quiet road with few pedestrians. Suddenly I heard a deafening noise and I saw four unlicensed cars – black, red, yellow and silver luxury sports cars, having a drag race."

Local resident Mr. Xu told reporters that one night, the cars suddenly appeared and raced just a few centimeters away from him, causing him to fall and badly bruise his body. Mrs. Zhang, 7 months pregnant, commented: "It is horrible, so dangerous, I do not dare go out at night. Now I get bad headaches and I can't sleep at night. I am worried about the impact this will have on my baby."

Last week, reporters found 4 luxury sports cars in the area. The owners of the cars, all wealthy young men, were hanging around smoking. The rich guys bragged about their wealth to reporters and claimed that they were above the law.

The rich guys lost their bluster, apologized, and claimed they were just out to 'test' the cars.Reporters called the cops who found a host of possible infractions: driving without a license, suspicion of speeding, failure to conduct annual safety inspections, and so on.

At this point the rich guys lost their bluster and began to apologize. One of them told officers that all of the cars were purchased through legal channels, and they had just come out onto a quiet road to 'test' them. Police detained the group for 20 minutes to check their records and then released them pending further investigation.

Yesterday, Nanjing traffic police issued a statement that the phenomenon of drag racing at the Olympic Sports Center area will be eliminated via increased surveillance and heavy fines for offenders.

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