Rabu, 6 November 2013

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Swiss 'Jetman' takes joyride around Mount Fuji


TOKYO: Swiss aviator Yves "Jetman" Rossy, whose jet-engine powered wings have taken him over some of the world's most awe-inspiring places, has added another - Japan's Mount Fuji.

"It's a fantastic privilege to be a little mosquito flying in front of that big mountain," the 54-year-old former Swiss air force pilot said Wednesday.

Rossy, with a 60-kilogram (132-pound) kit strapped on his back, circled the country's highest and most revered mountain nine times over one week until last Sunday.

In each flight lasting about 10 minutes, he dived from a helicopter, soared as high as 3,657 metres (12,000 feet) and parachuted back to earth from an altitude of around 800 metres.

Rossy designed and built his own jetman system - a backpack with carbon-fibre wings spanning about two metres, powered by four attached jet engines modified from large model aircraft engines.

It can reach speeds of 300 kilometres (185 miles) per hour.

The seasoned aviator, currently a captain with Swiss International Air Lines on sabbatical leave, said the 3,776-metre Mt Fuji had been an awe-inspiring location.

"It's really impressive. It's a perfect form, a huge mountain, a huge volcano, a presence that you can feel on ground and also in the air."

In previous stunts Rossy has crossed the English Channel, flown over the Grand Canyon and soared above the scenic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as flying in formation with jet airplanes and a Spitfire fighter. -AFP

UN nuclear inspectors in Japan as China demands openness


TOKYO: Inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog arrived in Tokyo Wednesday to monitor marine pollution near Fukushima as China demanded Japan provide "accurate" information on how it is handling the crisis.

China told the UN General Assembly it was worried about radioactive water leaks from the Japanese plant, which went into meltdown after being hit by a tsunami in March 2011.

"China follows closely the countermeasures to be adopted by Japan," China's deputy UN ambassador Wang Min told a debate on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We urge the Japanese side to spare no effort in minimising the subsequent impact of the accident and provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to the international community," Wang added.

China and Japan have a series of bilateral disputes, and the new comments are certain to annoy the Japanese government, which is already under major domestic pressure over Fukushima, diplomats in New York said.

Wang said the 2011 disaster had "sounded the alarm bell for nuclear safety" even though China "firmly" supports the use of nuclear power.

South Korea also said it was worried about the radioactive leaks but gave more support to Japan.

Fukushima "continues to be a source of serious concern, especially to adjacent countries, because of the spillage of contaminated water into the sea," said South Korea's deputy UN ambassador Sul Kyung-Hoon.

South Korea "appreciates the Japanese government's efforts to share relevant information with the international community," Sul added, while calling on the IAEA to strengthen assistance to Japan.

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said the UN atomic watchdog "has recommended that Japan establish an effective plan and mechanisms for the long-term management of contaminated water.

"The announcement by the Japanese government of a basic policy for addressing this issue was an important step forward," Amano added.

The first batch of IAEA experts arrived in Japan on Wednesday at the invitation of the Japanese government as it looks to bolster its credibility.

The two researchers from the Environment Laboratories in Monaco are planning to analyse sea water near Fukushima, the agency said.

Their analysis will contribute to the IAEA-led international peer review of Tokyo's roadmap towards decommissioning the destroyed reactors, it said.

"One of the focuses of the mission is the contaminated water issue," the agency said.

The experts are David Osborn, director of Environment Laboratories in Monaco, and Hartmut Nies, head of the Radiometrics Laboratory, it said. -AFP

Indonesian plotted on Facebook to attack Myanmar embassy


JAKARTA: A suspected Indonesian extremist plotted with other Islamic militants on Facebook to bomb the Myanmar embassy to avenge the deaths of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, a court heard Wednesday at the start of his trial.

Separiano, 29, is accused of planning to attack the mission in Jakarta in May as anger grew in Muslim-majority Indonesia at persecution of the Rohingya in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

Police arrested the accused, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, after foiling the plot when they caught two men on motorbike carrying pipe bombs the night before the planned attack.

Prosecutor Susilo told the South Jakarta District Court that Separiano had been radicalised over several years after attending sermons by an extremist preacher at a central Jakarta mosque.

The suspect, who had studied bomb-making on the Internet and had bought materials to makes bombs, met other extremists on Facebook, the prosecutor said.

Among those he met was the alleged mastermind of the plot, Sigit Indrajid who leads the Negara Islam Indonesia group, which translates as the Islamic State of Indonesia.

In April the defendant often logged on to "his Facebook account and chatted with Sigit, who posted a lot of news about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which attracted a lot of comments saying there should be retaliation against the infidel Buddhists", the prosecutor said.

At one point Indrajid posted on Facebook that people should target "the Myanmar embassy to avenge the slaughter of Muslims in Myanmar.

"We will set off our explosion as a surprise for the embassy" ahead of a demonstration by a radical group, Susilo said.

In response, Separiano replied: "Yes, OK."

When police arrested him, they seized chemicals and instructions for bomb-making that had been bought by the defendant and several others accused over the plot.

Separiano, who appeared in court wearing an orange top with "detainee" written on it, is charged under two anti-terrorism laws.

He is accused of attempting to commission an act of terrorism or assisting in the commission of such an act; and plotting to commit a terrorist act that could result in victims or damage to buildings.

Sigit and another man meanwhile have also been apprehended and are due to stand trial.

The plot to attack the embassy followed several outbreaks of anti-Muslim unrest in Myanmar, which have exposed deep fractures in the formerly junta-run country and cast a shadow over political reforms.

But it has been the fate of the stateless Rohingya that has attracted particular sympathy in Indonesia. -AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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