Front Page of the Day

"You are safe now."

Front Page of the Day is a daily review of the news on the front page of one Chinese newspaper. Today's cover was taken from the newspaper's website.

All sixty-nine miners who were trapped in a flooded coal mine in Shanxian, Henan Province, for more than three days were rescued yesterday. Many newspapers ran this as a cover story today.

Southern Metropolis Daily's front page picture shows Xu Guangchun, party secretary for Henan Province, telling one victim: "You are safe now!"

The miner is blindfolded to shield his eyes from light after 3 days in total darkness.

The second headline reports that after the Shanghai Composite Index reached a new record high of 4,502.30 yesterday morning, it plummeted to 4,284.87 today, a decline of 3.81%.

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In the summer of 2001, I was sitting with my son on the curb one morning, both eating our 2 RMB hefty "dan bing" for breakfast in Beijing, watching workers descend through manholes to do some sort of cable work below the street. Suddenly, after about 8 men had descended and 10 minutes had uneventfully passed, smoke started rising. Thick, thick, black smoke. We had almost finished eating and were washing it down with "dou jiang," when the smoke made us move to the side, but we were transfixed on this potential disaster. One man climbed out of the hole, coughing, followed quickly by a few others. It took more time for the remaining two workers to climb/be pulled out, and they were covered in black soot. Surprisingly (to us, anyway), no ambulance or other form of assistance was summoned. The men lay on the ground, in a busy street, gasping and wiping themselves off, and drinking water. Bravely, they went back down after another 20 minutes.

Brave, tough guys all.

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