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China releases blogger on bail, jails another amid rumor crackdown

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese-American venture capitalist known for his controversial blogs has been released on bail after nearly eight months in detention because of a "serious illness", Beijing police said amid a crackdown on online dissent. Charles Xue, also known as Xue Manzi, was detained in August on a charge of visiting prostitutes, an accusation that activists said stemmed from China's efforts to rein in social media.

Senior official from China's Sichuan under graft probe: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A senior government official in China's Sichuan province is under investigation for "severe discipline violations", which is often a euphemism for corruption, state media said. Zhao Miao, a senior official in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, was taken away on Thursday for questioning by anti-corruption investigators, the Xinhua news agency said late on Saturday.

Man confesses in first public trial in China's rumor crackdown: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - A popular internet microblogger confessed in court to spreading rumors about the Chinese government, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, in the first public trial since China began cracking down on online rumors last year. Rights advocates say China's campaign to quash online rumors, which began last summer, is tantamount to crushing free expression. The government says the crackdown is necessary to preserve social stability.

China recruits 'guardian angels' to protect embattled doctors

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's capital Beijing is taking a novel approach to protecting doctors from growing levels of violence from angry patients: volunteer "guardian angels". The campaign will recruit students, medical workers and other patients to act as middlemen between doctors and those in their care to defuse disagreements and smooth over tensions, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Chinese ship searching for missing Malaysia plane detects signal

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese patrol ship searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz per second in the south Indian Ocean on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua reported. 37.5 kHz per second is currently the international standard frequency for the underwater locator beacon on a plane's "black box".

China toddler started fire which killed 12

Investigators in China have accused a three-year-old girl of playing with a cigarette lighter and starting a workshop fire which killed 12 people, state media reported. "Many others" were injured in the blaze at a clothing workshop in Junbu in the southern province of Guangdong last week, the official Xinhua news agency said late Wednesday. The workshop owner's toddler ignited a stack of sponges while playing with a lighter, the report said, citing local investigators.

Mining tycoon stands trial in China on allegations of running gang that gunned down rivals

BEIJING, China - A mining tycoon, his brother and 34 associates stood trial Monday on allegations of running a vast criminal gang in China's Sichuan province that gunned down rivals, maintained fleets of Ferraris and bribed police to avoid prosecution. The trial centres around Liu Han, former multimillionaire chairman of energy conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group, with stakes in Australian and U.S. miners, in a case that has exposed ties between organized crime and Chinese officialdom.

Families of some Chinese passengers on missing plane receive insurance payouts

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese insurance companies have started paying compensation to the families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday. The families of seven passengers received 4.17 million yuan ($671,600) in compensation on Tuesday, China Life, the country's largest insurance company, was quoted by Xinhua as saying. China Life said it has 32 clients on board the flight and estimated its total compensation at around 9 million yuan.

Six stabbed to death in family dispute in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - Six people in Beijing were stabbed to death over a family property dispute by a man with a history of mental illness, the city's police said on Thursday, while seven others were stabbed in a separate incident in the south of the country. China is still jittery after a mass stabbing at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming earlier this month left 29 people dead and about 140 injured.

Chinese ships looking for floating object spotted by plane in jet search

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two Chinese ships are together looking for a 2-meter floating object spotted earlier in the day by an aircraft searching for a missing Malaysian jet, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee)
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