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Solar Impulse 2 has taken off in its sixth flight from Chongqing in western-central China to Nanjing in the east.

The zero-fuel airplane started to fly around the world in Abu Dhabi, UAE on March 9.

Solar Impulse 2 was only supposed to stay a few hours in Chongqing after arriving from Myanmar (Burma), but poor weather grounded the plane for three weeks.

The team is now confident conditions will remain fair for the Nanjing leg.

Getting to eastern China would set up the project for its greatest challenge yet – a five-day, five-night crossing to Hawaii.

The latest leg saw Solar Impulse 2 leave the runway at Chongqing International Airport at just after 06:00 local time, on April 21. Project chairman, Bertrand Piccard, is again at the controls of the single-seater aircraft.Solar Impulse 2 Chongqing flight


Bertrand Piccard is taking it in turns with CEO Andre Borschberg. But as the engineer in the partnership, Andre Borschberg wants to do the Hawaii leg, so Bertrand Piccard has elected to do both Chinese stages. He brought the plane in from Mandalay, Myanmar, to Chongqing, and is now flying the 1,200km to Nanjing as well. It should take him about 17 hours.

Once in Nanjing, the team will stay put for at least 10 days, carefully checking over the aircraft and running through a training program ahead of the first Pacific leg.

“I think 10 days is the time we need to get ready. Then we need to wait for a good weather window,” explained mission director Raymond Clerc.

“That could be three days; we could have to wait three weeks – because this leg is really the most important and is very complex. To go towards Hawaii could last five days and five nights.”

Nanjing is about 125 miles from the coast, very close to Shanghai. The first Pacific leg would cover a distance of more than 4,950 miles.

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Nanjing’s former mayor, Ji Jianye, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for corruption.

The Chinese court in Yantai found Ji Jianye guilty of accepting 11.3 million yuan ($1.9 million) in bribes between 1999 and 2013, when he was dismissed.

As mayor Ji Jianye was nicknamed “Bulldozer” for his heavy promotion of construction and redevelopment in Nanjing.

Ji Jianye is the latest high profile official to be jailed under President Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.

The court said in a statement that it had been “lenient in meting out punishment, as Ji admitted his guilt and showed repentance”.

Ji Jianye assumed the powerful role of mayor of Nanjing in 2010.Ji Jianye jailed

Nnajing is the capital of Jiangsu province and home to about seven million people.

In January 2013 Ji Jianye was placed under investigation suspected of “severe violations of disciplines and laws”. He was arrested and expelled from the ruling Communist Party in 2014.

The court heard Ji Jianye had received huge amounts of money and gifts from a range of influential people and companies – including construction firms – in exchange for favorable deals and contracts.

As has become common practice, Ji Jianye’s case was heard in eastern Shandong, far from his home province and support base in Jiangsu.

President Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption drive on coming into office in November 2012.

Xi Jinping warned that public anger over corruption threatened the survival of the Communist Party, and promised to pursue “tigers” – top-level officials – as well as “flies”.

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Car maker Ferrari has apologized after one of its cars drove on top of an ancient Chinese monument in Nanjing as a publicity stunt.

Ferrari suggested the incident was the fault of a single reckless employee.

The car was filmed wheel-spinning on top of a 600-year-old Ming-dynasty era wall in the city of Nanjing.

Footage of the screeching vehicle has infuriated China’s online community. It has hit a nerve in a society where such cars are a symbol of privilege.

Car maker Ferrari has apologized after one of its cars drove on top of an ancient Chinese monument in Nanjing as a publicity stunt

Car maker Ferrari has apologized after one of its cars drove on top of an ancient Chinese monument in Nanjing as a publicity stunt

One web user called it a “rude insult” to Chinese tradition and culture.

The stunt, in the run-up to a Ferrari show, left tire marks on the wall.

But most public anger has been directed at city officials after reports emerged suggesting they had agreed to rent the use of the wall to the Ferrari dealership for about $12,000.

City officials have retorted that the car company did not have approval.

“No enterprise or individual is allowed to use the city ramparts in Nanjing for commercial purposes,” Nanjing Cultural Relics Bureau Captain Wu Jing said.

Other than the tire marks, physical damage to the monument does not appear to be substantial.

As a publicity stunt, the incident could not have gone more wrong.

The night-time spin, shortly after the car had been hoisted on to the wall, reportedly led to the cancellation of the event itself, a celebration of 20 years since Ferrari entered the Chinese car market.

The word Ferrari has now been blocked on Chinese microblogs, perhaps as part of an effort to contain criticism of the actions of government officials.

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