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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China earthquake: Horror of entire towns flattened

Posted by Author on May 15, 2008

John Garnaut and Francois Bougon in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, from Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, May. 14, 2008-

THE full horror of the devastating earthquake in China began to emerge yesterday as rescuers discovered whole towns all but wiped off the map, pushing the death toll beyond 20,000.

Military and police teams punched into the heart of the disaster zone, with 100 troops parachuting into a county that was previously cut off, while planes and helicopters dropped emergency supplies.

But the message from this mountainous corner of south-western Sichuan province was that town after town was flattened by Monday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake.

“The losses have been severe,” said Wang Yi, who heads an armed police unit sent into the epicentre zone. “Some towns basically have no houses left. They have all been razed.”

At least 7700 people died in the small town of Yingxiu alone. Only 2300 survived there.

Across Sichuan, countless thousands more people are missing or buried under the rubble of homes, schools and factories.

The Premier, Wen Jiabao, said 100,000 military personnel and police had been mobilised. “Time is life,” he told rescuers.

Hundreds of survivors were pulled from rubble in Beichuan county yesterday, including five kindergarten children who were carried up the mountain road towards the city of Mianyang.

The road into Beichuan is blocked by boulders the size of houses and it takes would-be rescuers one hour to walk three kilometres.

Hardly a building remains untouched, and many have been buried beneath avalanches from the towering mountains on either side.

“Every hour we carry out between 10 and 20 people still alive,” said Luan Dongmo, a police officer from Chongqing. “Of course I have let some tears fall.”

Directly above the city an avalanche has sliced a third of the mountainside away……. (more details from Sydney Morning Herald)

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