The operator of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will have to dump huge quantities of contaminated water from the site directly into the Pacific Ocean, Japan’s environment minister has said – a move that would enrage local fishermen. More than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant since it was struck by a tsunami in March 2011, triggering a triple meltdown that forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has struggled to deal with the buildup of groundwater, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores from melting. Tepco has attempted to remove most radionuclides from the excess water, but the technology does not exist to rid the water of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Coastal nuclear plants commonly dump water that contains tritium into the ocean. It occurs in minute amounts in nature. Tepco admitted last year that the … [Read more...] about Fukushima: Japan will have to dump radioactive water into Pacific, minister says
The Solomon Islands’ government has voted to sever its longstanding ties with Taiwan and take up diplomatic relations with Beijing. The move is a huge blow to self-ruled Taiwan, which has lost six allies since 2016, and to Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is seeking re-election in January amid rising tension with China. It has sparked protests in the Solomon Islands, according to local media. The Solomon Islands, a country of about 600,000 people in the south Pacific, is the latest country to switch allegiance to China since Tsai came to office in 2016, following Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama and El Salvador. Taiwan announced it was severing ties with the Solomon Islands immediately after learning the Pacific nation had decided to switch diplomatic recognition to China, which it said was “extremely regrettable”. “We sincerely regret and strongly condemn their government’s decision to establish … [Read more...] about China extends influence in Pacific as Solomon Islands break with Taiwan
Tse Chi Lop (pictured), a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate 'Asia's El Chapo' is a 'Canadian born in China who once lost $66million in a night at a casino and is protected by Thai kickboxers'. Tse Chi Lop is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate - dubbed 'The Company' - formed out of an alliance of five of Asia´s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. Police, in a nod to one of Tse´s nicknames, have called it Sam Gor, Cantonese for 'Brother Number Three.' The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funnelling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific. But meth - a highly addictive drug with devastating physical and mental effects on long-term users - is its main business, they say. In what it calls a conservative estimate, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime … [Read more...] about The hunt for Asia’s El Chapo: Leader of vast multi-national drug syndicate is ‘Canadian born in China who once lost $66m in a SINGLE NIGHT at a casino and is protected by Thai kickboxers’
A leading professional gamer from Hong Kong who was expelled from an international esports tournament after showing support for the city’s protest movement has said he has no regrets. Chung Ng Wai, who represents the Asia-Pacific region under the name Blitzchung, had just won a crucial match at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament hosted in Taipei when he exclaimed in Mandarin “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during a live-streamed interview. Hearthstone is a hugely popular online card game in which two opponents take turns to deploy different characters with different abilities to try to defeat each other. The 21-year-old university student, who was wearing eye goggles and a gas mask – equipment frequently used by protesters in Hong Kong – pulled down his respirator to broadcast his message. The online stream was cut off mid-interview shortly afterwards and the video has since been taken down. Chung told AFP he was not surprised at being … [Read more...] about ‘No regrets’: Hong Kong Hearthstone gamer banned over pro-democracy support
Similar to the hype surrounding the release last year of Crazy Rich Asians, the first Hollywood romcom to feature an all-Asian cast, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, made for a far more modest $3m, has also generated a great wave of goodwill since its premiere at Sundance in January. The Farewell is a welcome addition to a new canon that depicts the contemporary Asian-American experience. As a mixed-race woman who was not born or raised in her parents’ home country/culture, I found the depiction of the complex east-west family dynamics highly resonant, particularly around the themes of belonging and not belonging. I also shed quite a few tears in the process. The Farewell reaches cinemas as the US-China trade war continues to send shockwaves through the global economy; it is far more political than I could have imagined. Starring Crazy Rich Asians alum Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who discovers her grandmother, or nai nai in Mandarin, has terminal lung cancer and … [Read more...] about Is The Farewell the olive branch the US-China culture war needs?