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TAIPEI: International experts will run safety checks on Taiwan’s three nuclear power plants as parts of efforts to reassure the public following Japan’s nuclear meltdowns two years ago, officials said yesterday.
Six experts from the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) arrived yesterday at the invitation of Taiwan’s nuclear regulator.
“They will visit the three nuclear power plants while browsing the related documents,” Peng Chih-wei, an official from Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council, said, adding that a draft report is expected to be completed by March 15.
“They will serve as an independent and unbiased third party in our efforts to enhance nuclear safety in Taiwan.”
Peng said the stress tests would assess a range of issues including the plants’ ability to withstand earthquakes and the capability of technicians to respond to major natural disasters.
Japanese father dies sheltering girl from blizzard
TOKYO: A father froze to death while sheltering his nine-year-old daughter from severe weekend blizzards that swept northern Japan, two years after her mother died, reports said yesterday.
Mikio Okada died as he tried to protect his only child Natsune against winds of up to 109 kilometres (68 miles) per hour, as temperatures plunged to minus 6 Celsius (21 Fahrenheit).
Okada was one of at least nine people killed in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across Hokkaido island, police said yesterday.
The latest confirmed victim was the 76-year-old, Kuniko Jingi, who was found lying on the street late Saturday.
As with many others, she appeared to have perished after leaving her stranded car, a local police officer said.
Mikio Okada’s body was uncovered by rescuers looking for the pair after relatives raised the alarm. Natsune was wearing her father’s jacket and was wrapped in his arms, newspapers and broadcasters said.
China grave robbers sell dead brides
BEIJING: Four people have been jailed in China for digging up corpses to sell as brides for traditional “ghost marriages” -- where dead single men are buried with a wife for the afterlife -- local reports said.
Marriage is an important part of Chinese society and, while the practice is increasingly rare, it is still kept up by some families whose young adult sons pass away before having a chance to wed.
Normally it is agreed between the families of the dead, but the Xian Evening News stated that the group “stole female corpses and after cleaning them, fabricated medical files for the deceased and sold them for a high price”.
A court in the northern province of Shaanxi sentenced the four to terms between 28 and 32 months, it said.
“Took advantage” of the “bad tradition” of ghost marriages in parts of Shaanxi and neighbouring Shanxi province, they added.
Citing the court, the report said the gang made a total of 240,000 yuan ($39,000) from the sales of 10 corpses.
Filipinos opt for stem cell therapy
MANILA: More Filipinos are opting for the expensive stem cell therapy to fight diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Christian Emmanuel Mancao, an official of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine, yesterday said they perform a number of stem cell treatments daily.
“In my clinic alone, I do about two to three stem cell therapy procedures everyday,” Mancao said.
Stem-cell therapy is an intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury.AGENCIES