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Kunming news roundup

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One dead, three injured in airport brawl
An argument at a ticketing counter at Kunming Wujiaba International Airport late Monday night ended in bloodshed when a man who was pushed to the ground got up and stabbed four people before being arrested. 41-year-old Wang Wenyan died on Tuesday morning from injuries sustained in her fight with Liu Yong, who has reportedly confessed to stabbing Wang and three others. Both Wang and Liu had allegedly been drinking Monday night.

City address parking problems with new garages
The Kunming municipal government is seeking investors to help build 26 multi-story parking garages throughout the city to alleviate traffic problems related to insufficient parking spaces. The garages will be spread out over the city's four main urban districts: Guandu (two garages), Panlong (nine), Wuhua (seven) and Xishan (eight).

Contracts for five garages have already been signed, with an investment of 100 million yuan. These first garages will add 1,000 new parking spaces to the city and will be located at or near First People's Hospital of Yunnan, Green Lake View Hotel, the Ark Building, Kunming Zoo and Luosiwan wholesale market.

Kunming has one of the highest car ownership rates in China – in 2008 the number of registered automobiles in the city surpassed the one million mark. It took 43 years for the city to register its first 100,000 cars – now it takes around half a year.

Kunming drivers offered subsidies for fuel-efficient cars
Kunming residents shopping for new automobiles are being offered a government subsidy of 50,000 yuan (US$7,300) to purchase fuel-efficient cars including hybrids, electric cars and cars powered by fuel cells under a new Finance Ministry scheme.

The program is also being implemented in 12 other cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Changchun, Dalian, Hangzhou, Jinan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Hefei, Changsha and Nanchang. Such energy-efficient cars are performing poorly in the Chinese market due to high price tags.

Under the scheme, Chinese city governments are also being encouraged to switch to fuel-efficient buses, taxis and postal and urban sanitation vehicles. Details of how cities will be encouraged to do so have not been released.

Yu'an Mountain fire
Just before noon on Wednesday, a portion of Yu'an Mountain (玉案山) caught fire, threatening to spread quickly across the mountains in Kunming's western suburbs with the aid of dry conditions and strong winds. More than 300 firefighters were dispatched to put out the blaze, which was extinguished early afternoon, saving the mountain's forests and the Bamboo Temple. Officials reportedly suspect the fire was started by two children.

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