Huge wind farm turbine snaps

March 16, 2013 - 12:08:16 am


TOKYO: A 38-tonne wind turbine crashed 50 metres (165ft) to the ground in western Japan after the steel column supporting it snapped, officials said yesterday. The Dutch-made turbine atop a Japanese-made steel column, was part of a wind farm in mountains near Kyoto, and was installed in 2001 with an expected life of 17 years. “We are asking experts to look into the cause of the problem. We suspect metal fatigue might have played a role,” said a government official. No one was injured.

Myanmar statute under review

YANGON: Myanmar’s parliament took the first step yesterday towards possible amendments to the constitution drafted under a military regime and bars Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency. The constitution, ratified after a rigged 2008 referendum, disqualifies presidential and vice-presidential candidates whose spouses or children are citizens of a foreign country. Suu Kyi’s late husband, academic Michael Aris, was British, as are their two grown-up sons. The constitution also reserves a quarter of parliamentary seats for military personnel chosen by the armed forces chief. 

Nepal war crimes panel probe set  

KATHMANDU: A truth commission examining Nepal’s civil war will only investigate “serious violations” of rights and could recommend an amnesty for perpetrators, the government said yesterday. According to an ordinance issued by the president’s office, the panel will probe alleged abuses “committed systematically or targeting an unarmed person or community”. The commission aims to help Nepal heal some of the wounds left by the 10-year civil war in which more than 16,000 people were killed.

Missiles test-fired by North Korea  

SEOUL: North Korea’s military fired short-range missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) yesterday, Yonhap. A single unit of the military test-fired the missiles presumed to be KN-02, estimated to have a range of about 120km (74 miles), it added. “The launch was seen as testing its capability for short-range missiles. It seemed to be conducted on a military-unit level, not at a national level,” said a military source.

Japan approves treaty on kids  

TOKYO: Japan moved one step closer to adopting a long-delayed treaty on child abductions yesterday when the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave its approval, a government spokesman said. Japan is the only member of the Group of Eight industrialised nations that has not joined the 1980 Hague Convention, which requires children be returned to their usual country of residence snatched during the collapse of an international marriage.

US lawsuit over Japan disaster  

WASHINGTON: US service members are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. for more than $2 billion on grounds the utility lied about the dangers of helping clean up the nuclear disaster that struck two years ago. The case was filed by nine plaintiffs in December but has now expanded to 26, and another 100 are in the process of joining it, Stars and Stripes newspaper said yesterday.