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    Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

    Can Japan find "New Deal" after triple whammy?

    A hydrogen explosion rocked the plant on Monday, sending a huge cloud of smoke over the area while engineers flooded the three reactors in the complex with sea water in a desperate attempt to prevent what was shaping up as the worst nuclear emergency since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. Nuclear fuel rods at one of the reactors may have become became fully exposed raising the risk they could melt down and cause a radioactive leak, Japanese news agency Jiji said. U.S. warships and planes helping the relief efforts have moved away from the coast temporarily because of low-level radiation from the stricken nuclear power plant, the U.S. Navy said on Monday. Singapore said it was checking Japanese food imports for radioactive contamination. The nuclear crisis was a triple whammy for Japan, coming on top of the earthquake -- the fifth strongest ever recorded -- and one of the most powerful tsunami in history, which caused scenes of unimaginable destruction in northeast Japan. Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the country was facing its biggest crisis since the end of the Second World War, which was when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "We're under scrutiny on whether we, the Japanese people, can overcome this crisis," Kan told a Sunday night news conference, his voice rising with emotion. The quake caused Japan's main island to shift 2.5 meters (8 feet) and moved the earth's axis 10 cm (2.5 inches), geologists say. The question now is whether the catastrophe will spur other seismic changes in Japan, which has yet to emerge from its "lost decades" of stagnant growth, aging population, and loss of international prestige following the collapse of the Japanese asset bubble in the early 1990s. At the very least, the drama at Fukushima is bound to shake the faith of many Japanese in the safety of their nuclear plants. The catastrophe will also sorely test Kan's deeply unpopular government. And the immense reconstruction effort that is coming may bring changes to rural Japan, where many of its older citizens live.

    Japan Tsunami Debris Spreading Across Pacific

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the first bits of tsunami debris will make landfall soon on small atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Other pieces were expected to reach the coasts of Oregon, Washington state, Alaska and Canada between March 2013 and March 2014.

    NOAA's tsunami marine debris coordinator, Ruth Yender, told an online news conference Tuesday that agency workers were boarding Coast Guard flights that patrol the Hawaiian archipelago. NOAA also asked scientists stationed at Midway and other atolls to look for the debris.

    Debris initially collected in a thick mass in the ocean after tsunamis dragged homes, boats, cars and other parts of daily life from coastal towns out to sea. Most likely sank not far from Japan's eastern coast.

    In September, a Russian training ship spotted a refrigerator, a television set and other appliances west of Hawaii. By now, the debris has likely drifted so far apart that only one object can be seen at a time, said Nikolai Maximenko, a University of Hawaii researcher and ocean currents expert. CLICK HERE READ FULL STORY

    It'll be wall-to-wall billionaires and bling at this week's Monaco nuptials of Prince Albert to Charlene: The royal wedding that puts Kate's in the shade!

    Good news for those who have been craving some more royal wedding glitter. There’s another one this weekend.
    It’s the event many thought would never happen: the marriage of Prince Albert of Monaco, the 53-year-old bachelor head of state of the tiny but rich principality on the Cote D’Azur, and Charlene Wittstock, a South African Olympic swimmer 20 years his junior.
    Glamour: Charlene Wittstock marries Prince Albert this week in a lavish wedding that is set to make Kate and William's look like a village fete in comparison
    The Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco for more than 800 years, and has featured on the global glamour map ever since Hollywood arrived in the form of the last bride to marry into the family, Prince Albert’s mother Grace Kelly.

    Prince Albert and South African former swimmer Charlene Wittstock in a picture released a year ago to mark their engagementThe state may be small, but the event will be extravagant. This being Monaco, a tax haven where you are practically imprisoned for understated dressing, chances are the guests’ jewellery and couture alone will make the Windsor effort look like the Middletons’ village fete.
    Guests are already docking their yachts in the harbour, and knocking back Cristal champagne on the decks. Those trying to book landing space for private jets at Nice airport have been denied permission unless they can prove they have been invited to the wedding.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

    Back to blonde for Lady Gaga as she ditches the green wig at charity concert in Japan

    She's worn all different colours and shades in her hair since hitting the big time, but Lady Gaga knows deep down that blondes definitely have more fun.
    Having sported an aquamarine wig for the past few weeks, the singer decided to go back to her trademark platinum blonde look.
    The Born This Way singer came on stage at the MTV Video Music Aid Japan at the Makuhari Messe Arena near Tokyo tonight.

    Japan's Tsunami Stranded Ships Being Returned To The Sea

    More than a dozen ships heaved inland by Japan's tsunami in March sit with red bellies and propellers exposed among the demolished houses of this once-bustling fishing town, a jarring daily reminder of the ocean's awesome power.
    The enormous task and cost of moving these out-of-place vessels – and the debris around them – has kept them stranded in Kesennuma for over three months. Many have been propped up with metal beams so they won't topple over.
    Determined to recover, the town has now begun the Herculean job of returning some of the beached ships to the sea. Several ship owners banded together to jointly negotiate a cost with a logistics company to move five of the vessels in a deal that insurers have agreed to cover.
    Even after the group rate, the amount per ship is more than $1 million.
    But putting these vessel back into action is crucial to restarting Kesennuma's fish markets and restoring the community's economy and confidence.
    "This is a fishing town, so if the ships get moving and start catching fish again, we're hopeful that might lead to things picking up here," said Keiko Onodera, 67, whose hillside house overlooking the port survived tsunami waters that reached her front steps.
    All told, authorities estimate that the tsunami swept 17 ships weighing over 20 tons and another 1,000 smaller fishing boats onto land around town. Some of the bigger ships farther from the port will be cut into scrap metal, but vessels closer to the water and with modest damage are being rescued.
    This week, two towering cranes hoisted the 400-ton Akane Maru No. 1, a deep-sea salmon and saury fishing boat, about 10 meters (30 feet) off the ground from where it had been tossed by the wave 100 meters (yards) from the water.
    The cranes gently lowered the ship onto a huge trolley of modular segments in primary colors that looks like a super-sized Lego creation. It was the start of what would be a three-day operation organized by Penta-Ocean Construction Co.

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