January 6-13, 2006

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"The most important characteristic of a chief executive of any region is that he or she should be a noble person."

- Li Ka Shing, business tycoon from Hong Kong, on the topic of the special administrative region's future chief executive. see more

Arabian delights

CHEF Tarek Mouriess carried about 10 kinds of ingredients in his suitcase on his flight to Shanghai to host an Arabic Food Promotion at the Hilton Shanghai.
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Hard reservation

By Lu Chang

Although restaurants in Shanghai have scheduled two seatings for Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, it’s still hard to get a reservation for China’s most important meal of the year.

“We have time slots that night ?one is from 5 pm to 6:45 pm, and the other is from 6:45 pm until late in the evening,?said a worker at the Little Country Restaurant. “But we have only a few tables in the earlier period available.?

Gao Yanna, an employee of the Yuxiang Renjia Restaurant, said the eatery started booking reservations for the New Year’s Eve dinner two months ago. “All 50 chefs we have will have to work in the kitchen all that night to cook for so many guests,?she added.

Western restaurants have to give way to Chinese ones on that special night.

The Shang Ding Gourmet Co Ltd owns one Western and three Chinese restaurants . Yang Jing, a spokesperson for the company, said all but the Western venue have reservations for the New Year Eve dinner.

Vegetarian restaurants have been booked for the first day of Chinese New Year. “Many people will go to temples to worship on the first day of the year, so they would choose to eat vegetarian,?a staff surnamed Lin of the Vegeatery restaurant told China Daily Shanghai & Delta.

Those who dine at home on New Year’s Eve usually are busy preparing food all day for the family’s reunion dinner.

“My mom and aunties cook a whole day for about 10 of us in the family and after the dinner they have to do the dishes for hours,?said Ji Lei, a local resident. “But we prefer this traditional way because we can really feel the atmosphere of a holiday at home. The restaurants are too noisy. And we will not miss the Spring Festival Gala Show on China’s Central Television Station, which has been part of our festival for years.?

Frozen and pre-cooked food sold in supermarkets have become popular among Shanghainese. A source at Carrefour said the company has planned to stock more pre-cooked dishes during the Spring Festival in its eight outlets in Shanghai.

Since migrant “ayis?(maids) usually return to their hometowns to celebrate the festival, Shanghainese families compete for the few local nannies to cook the dinner, at much higher prices than normal.

“Our company has only four maids during that holiday and the two-week salary for them will be at least 2,000 yuan (US$247),?said an employee surnamed Hu of Shanghai Tianyuan Home Services Company. In other months of the year, the average monthly salary for an ayi is about 1,200 yuan (US$148).

In order to save time and energy, some families choose to eat simply at home.
“We usually have hot pot at home on New Year’s Eve. It is easy to prepare and we can still enjoy the cozy festive atmosphere at home in this way,?said Maggie He, a white-collar worker.


Cai Shaoyao

Balance public opinion and judicial independence



End of the Dream
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Auto fans melt away
With the approach of the Formula One Grand Prix, Yu Zhifei, deputy general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, was worried about how to attract enough spectators to the circuit and rev up sluggish fan interest in the event.
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Under artificial eyes

FOR most customers, CCTV (closed-circuit television) surveillance cameras installed in shops, banks, buses or metro stops and many other places, merit little attention. But for Xiao Gang, such cameras have become an agonizing and confusing problem.

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