Posts tagged ‘Death’


Why is Kite Flying a Deadly Hobby in India? – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s capital has banned killer kite string after three people died this week from injuries and accidents caused by string that has been fortified for kite fights.

The weeks around India’s Independence Day—Aug. 15—are peak kite flying and fighting season. Kids and adults fly kites high in the air and try to maneuver them so their lines cut those of other kites as part of a traditional and usually harmless competition.

To better their chances of surviving longer and cutting competitors, many people use extra strong string and nylon lines and even lines encrusted with ground glass. When those sharp lines fall across roads they are a hazard to two-wheeler riders who can’t see them. Hitting one of the lines at high speed can knock bikers off their vehicles and slit their throats.

While there are injuries and deaths caused by kite strings every year, this year was particularly tragic as two of the victims were under the age of five.

A three-year-old girl died, while traveling in a car Monday with her head sticking out of the sun roof. She sustained a neck injury and was taken to a hospital where she died, said Vijay Singh, deputy police commissioner for northwest Delhi.

In another incident the same day in west Delhi, a four-year-old boy died also while looking out of a sun roof and becoming entangled with a string hanging from a tree. He was taken to a hospital and died, Pushpendra Kumar, deputy police commissioner for west Delhi said.

Also Monday, a man traveling in west Delhi on a motorbike became entangled with a kite string and crashed his motorbike, sustaining head injuries. He was also declared dead at hospital, Mr. Kumar said.

Chandraker Bharti, Delhi’s secretary of environment and forests, on Tuesday banned the sale, production, storage and supply of kite flying thread “that is sharp or made sharp such as being laced with glass, metal or other sharp objects.”

Source: Why is Kite Flying a Deadly Hobby in India? – India Real Time – WSJ


Why Delhi Doesn’t Have a Beijing-Style Response to Pollution – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The cities of Delhi and Beijing share a dubious honor as the world’s most-polluted capitals. But their response to dangerous levels of air pollution separates them.

Earlier this week, Beijing for the first time issued a red-alert for pollution, triggered when authorities forecast air-quality levels above 300 for at least three consecutive days.

On China’s government index, a measure of overall air quality, the maximum reading of 500, is described by the government as “severely polluted.” The Chinese administration immediately sent cars off the roads, shut factories and urged schools to close.

In Delhi, where air was similarly dirty, life went on as normal. The starkly different responses prompted some in the Indian capital to question why their government wasn’t taking Beijing-style measures to combat the smog. For sure, plans are underway in India to tackle the capital’s filthy air.

On Friday, Delhi’s government announced it would impose restrictions on the number of cars on its roads from Jan.1. Residents in the Indian city can look up air-pollution data on the website of The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, known as Safar, which uses data collected at 10 locations in the city. On that index, air quality in the city regularly hits “very poor” conditions when levels of PM 2.5 — insidious particles in the air including dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets — spike.

These tiny particles are thought to be particularly dangerous because they can lodge deeply in the lungs and cause inflammation, infection and lead to diseases including cancer. Readings on the Safar monitor are calibrated from “good” to “severe.” The Delhi Pollution Control Committee also publishes raw pollution data but doesn’t give qualitative readings alongside.

The U.S. Embassy, which measures pollution on monitors at its compound in the capital and around the country, warns the very young and elderly to remain indoors whenever air quality becomes what it calls hazardous. But none of the readings currently trigger alerts, or responsive action, by Delhi’s government. That’s because India is a democracy, said Ashwani Kumar, chairman of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, an arm of the state government.

China, of course, is a one-party state. The idea that alerts should tell people to stay indoors when smog hits was  “absurd,” Mr. Kumar added, and people “should decide for themselves what to do with the pollution information.” However, he said the Delhi Pollution Control Committee does plan to introduce an app so that information is available to residents with smartphones. Less than 10% of Indians own a smartphone. It also proposes to install around 70 big screens in strategic locations around the city advising residents what they can do to reduce pollution, Mr. Kumar added. The idea of an environmental alert system is not alien to India.

Source: Why Delhi Doesn’t Have a Beijing-Style Response to Pollution – China Real Time Report – WSJ


China to phase out outdated regulations – Xinhua |

China has announced a new drive to phase out outdated rules.

The State Council, the country’s cabinet, said on Tuesday that it will put all government rules and regulations since the founding of the New China under scrutiny.

A statement from the State Council said the new undertaking, which will take approximately three years, is crucial to cutting red tape and devolving power while improving regulation, and to building a law-based government.

In particular, authorities will focus on removing obsolete government regulations that now run counter to the Constitution and laws, impede deepening reform and opening up, and those that infringe on citizens’ rights and interests.

The government should make sure that “anything the law does not authorize is not done, while all duties and functions assigned by law are performed”, the statement said, adding that details of rules to be abolished will be made public and that the campaign will be based on “scientific evaluation”, so as not to leave room for “regulation vacuums”.

via China to phase out outdated regulations – Xinhua |


The Chinese Military’s Response to Unannounced Drones: Blow ‘Em Out of the Sky – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Earlier this year, a court in suburban Beijing said it was preparing to try employees of a Chinese drone company on charges of “negligently endangering public safety” after an unmanned aircraft disrupted commercial flights and led the air force to scramble helicopters in response.

The drone flight in question happened on Dec. 29, 2013, in the eastern Beijing suburb of Pinggu. Operated by employees of Beijing UAV Sci-Tech Co., the drone forced several commercial flights to alter their flight paths and caused others to be delayed. According to reports in October, the People’s Liberation Army dispatched helicopters to force the drone down.

In Sunday’s report, the People’s Liberation Army Daily said the drone was in fact shot out of the air.

The shooting came after an unidentified object showed up on military radar, according to the report. Air force commanders ordered several regiments to prepare for battle and dispatched six ground teams to the area where the object was detected. Minutes later, the air force identified the object as a small aircraft and immediately notified the Beijing Military Area Command, as well as the public security bureaus in Beijing and neighboring Hebei province.

A military helicopter was dispatched to investigate further. “The drone continued to ignore warnings and fly in the direction of  Beijing Capital Airport,” the newspaper said. “The Beijing Air Force commander made a firm decision: Avoid densely populated areas and use a shotgun to bring the target down.” (It wasn’t clear from the report what sort of weapon that would be, leaving China Real Time to wonder whether they used a shotgun-like weapon attached to the helicopter or whether a crewmember popped off a 12 gauge through an open window.)

After the helicopter opened fire, the drone fell. As the helicopter descended to check on the drone, it discovered the three operators next to a car. The trio and their car were immediately taken into custody, the newspaper said.

via The Chinese Military’s Response to Unannounced Drones: Blow ‘Em Out of the Sky – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


The Mystery Shrouding China’s Communist Party Suicides – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Being a government official in China is not for the faint of heart, the thin-skinned or the fragile of mind.

A recent state media report has reverberated online and in the Communist Party press by revealing that at least 54 Chinese officials died of “unnatural causes” in 2013, and that more than 40 percent of those deaths were suicides (in Chinese).

For some, those numbers raise questions about the burden placed on officials as a result of the Party’s anti-corruption crusade. But others see the recent rash of suicides as further evidence of the lack of political openness in China.

The latest victim was Xu Ye’an, the deputy chief of China’s national-level Bureau for Letter and Calls—the agency that handle petitions from disgruntled citizens. According to local media reports (in Chinese), Xu killed himself in his office, those the circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Then there was Zhou Yu, a senior police official in Chongqing and a major player in the anti-gang crackdown there a few years ago. He was found in a hotel room having apparently hanged himself (in Chinese).

There was also the deputy director of a neighborhood construction management office in a small city in Zhejiang province, who was responsible for overseeing building inspections at a time when an entire apartment building collapsed, was reported to have committed suicide in disgrace (in Chinese).

That Chinese officials have had to deal with pressure is nothing new.

A survey in 2009 found that more than 80% of Party officials reported psychological fatigue and mental imbalance (in Chinese). High-level officials even went so far then to tell the Party-run People’s Tribune about the “five ways to death” facing those who worked in the government: “without fortitude, you’ll scare easily; without a good physique, you’ll die from overwork; without capacity for liquor, you’ll die from drink; without a good disposition, you’ll be worried to death; without a good heart, you’ll die from being angry.”

What is different is that these strains on the rank-and-file appear to have gotten even more oppressive amidst Beijing’s demands that cadres labor harder, govern more effectively, and behave better. As one essay last week noted (in Chinese), the emphasis for officials these days is on “‘work, work, work,’ ‘assessment, evaluation, assessment,’ ‘management, management, management’.” Cadres, according to the author, now resemble “men used as beasts.”

via The Mystery Shrouding China’s Communist Party Suicides – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta

India is 4th most dangerous country for journalists in 2013: Report – The Times of India

One hundred and thirty-four journalists and media support staff were killed while on reporting assignments last year, with India fourth on the list of countries with the most number of deaths, the London-based International News Safety Institute (INSI) said on Tuesday.

Most of those killed were targeted deliberately.

Of these, 65 died covering armed conflicts – primarily in Syria, where 20 were killed, and Iraq, where the death total was 16 – while 51 were killed in peacetime covering issues like crime and corruption, and 18 died in accidents.

After Syria and Iraq, cited by the institute as the most dangerous countries for journalists last year, came Philippines with 14 deaths, India with 13 and Pakistan with 9.

via India is 4th most dangerous country for journalists in 2013: Report – The Times of India.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India