>Top court, procuratorate help contain virus
The annual work reports from China's top court and top procuratorate were submitted to the ongoing fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress, the country's top legislative body, for deliberation on Monday.
Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, said while delivering the top court's work report to national legislators that a total of 6,443 people in 5,474 criminal cases were penalized for pandemic-related crimes in 2020. The report also said courts nationwide issued 34 influential cases involving the pandemic last year, handing down tougher punishments to cheating medical workers who aided hard-hit Hubei province, using fake charity institutions to get donations, or creating or spreading pandemic-related rumors.
The work report of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, which was delivered by Zhang Jun, SPP procurator-general, shows that prosecutors across the country also made great efforts in fighting COVID-19, with 11,000 people charged and 7,227 people approved for arrest in pandemic-related crimes.
>Sharp drop in Spring Festival travel
China's passenger trips declined significantly during this year's Spring Festival travel rush, official data showed Monday. During the travel rush, spanning from Jan 28 to March 8 this year, an estimated 870 million trips were made nationwide. It plunged by 40.8% from the previous year, according to the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19. The figure was also 70.9% less than in the 2019 Spring Festival travel rush.
China's railways, however, handled 220 million passenger trips, up by 3.5% from last year's travel rush.
Trips via roads were down by 50.2% to 600 million.
Passenger trips via waterways amounted to 15.34 million, up by 24.5% from the 2020 travel rush, while air trips dropped by 8.5% to 35.37 million.
Many Chinese people opted to stay put during the Spring Festival holiday this year in response to the government's call to avoid unnecessary gatherings as part of anti-epidemic measures.
>Women suffered more from pandemic
Speaking at a press conference to mark International Women's Day on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said women across the world had been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen "appalling increases in violence against women".
Since the pandemic broke out, countries have seen a surge in reports of domestic violence after populations were ordered to stay at home.
He also said that employment losses had been higher for women than for men, and that they had also borne a disproportionate burden of care for children and older people.
He added that, all the while, women had been at the forefront of the response, making up 70% of health workers globally.
"They have played a key role in delivering care and saving lives, but although they make up the majority of the global health workforce, women only hold 25% of leadership roles in health," he said.
>China's changes 'unprecedented'
Erik Solheim, the former United Nations under-secretary-general and former executive director of the UN Environment Program, has visited China many times since 1984 to witness the "unprecedented" changes in human history.
These include what he called "a sea change" in China in the last five to 10 years on the environment and climate change front.
The Norwegian politician said he wanted to tell the deputies and members to the ongoing annual sessions of the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee that the environment and climate fight will be a win-win-win.
He elaborated that the triple wins mean winning ecologically, winning economically, including creating jobs, and winning socially now that people bid farewell to pollution and live better lives.
The former senior UN official believes it's possible for major global players, such as China, the US and the European Union, to work together on climate change.
He said that such cooperation will benefit everyone and that no area is more ripe for cooperation than on environment and the climate.
Find more audio news on the China Daily app.