Archive | February, 2013

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In Japan idled Boeing 787 pilots lose pay

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

The grounding of Boeing’s global fleet of 787 Dreamliners due to battery problems is taking its toll on the hundreds of pilots trained to fly the high-tech plane. In Japan, the 350 or so pilots at All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), who operate around half the 50 787s delivered, have been at home since the planes were idled in mid-January – an enforced rest period that is beginning to grate.

“For the first two weeks after the grounding, the 787 was in my dreams. It’s the first time I haven’t flown for this long,” one ANA 787 captain told reporters. He asked not to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media. “It’s like I’m rehearsing for retirement. My family teases me, saying I’m unemployed.”

Without planes to fly, the pilots – who have had up to three months training for the 787 – expect their monthly pay to fall by as much as 30 percent. They have mostly been assigned “blank” days – an industry term for pilots who are not on duty, staff at the airlines said. ANA has told its 787 pilots they will undergo simulator refresher training next month, the pilot said.

Air safety investigators don’t yet know what caused lithium-ion batteries to overheat on two 787s last month. ANA has said it plans not to use the plane until the end of May, while JAL has for now said it won’t fly the Dreamliner until Marchಞ.


Feb 28
Kuroda nominated for Bank of Japan Japan has nominated Asian Development Bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda as the next governor of the Bank of Japan, a key post in Tokyo’s bid to overhaul the economy. (news.com.au )
Feb 28
Woman stabbed to death in Tokyo’s Kichijoji area A Ƕ-year-old woman was stabbed to death while walking home in Tokyo’s Kichijoji area early Thursday morning, police said, adding that a 17-year-old foreign male has been taken into custody. (Japan Today )
Feb 28
Japan updates post-Fukushima crisis disaster mitigation guidelines Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday revised its nuclear disaster mitigation guidelines compiled in the wake of the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant by adding a set of criteria for evacuation and other protective actions against radiation exposure. (Kyodo )
Feb 28
In Japan, roundabouts hit the streets Roundabout intersections, a common sight in Europe, the United States and even New Zealand, are gaining attention in Japan as means of cutting costs and emissions, as well as boosting traffic safety and facilitating smooth evacuations during disasters. (stuff.co.nz )
Feb 28
Ministry decides standard for PM2.5 pollution alert The Environment Ministry decided Wednesday it would ask local governments to issue public alerts to stay indoors if the density of PM2.5 particulate matter exceeds 70 micrograms per cubic meter of air. (Yomiuri )
Feb 28
Beijing restaurant removes ‘racist’ sign after fury A defiant Beijing restaurant manager refused to apologize Thursday despite removing a “racist” sign barring citizens of states in maritime disputes with China, along with dogs, following an international outcry. (abs-cbnnews.com)
Feb 28
Ono city proposes ban on wasting welfare benefits on gambling The city government of Ono in the western Japan prefecture of Hyogo on Wednesday presented to the city assembly a draft ordinance that calls for banning welfare benefit recipients from wasting the money on gambling. (Jiji Press )
Feb 27
Japan’s Okawa recognized as world’s oldest woman A 114-year-old Japanese woman, Misao Okawa, was recognized as the world’s longest-living woman on Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Feb 27
Guam rampage suspect pleads not guilty due to mental illness The 21-year-old suspect in the Feb. 12 rampage on the Pacific island of Guam that left three dead and several others injured on Wednesday pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. (Kyodo )
Feb 27
Japanese among 19 dead as hot air balloon explodes over Luxor British, French, Hong Kong and Japanese nationals are among 19 tourists reportedly killed in a hot air balloon crash near the Egyptian city of Luxor. (BBC )
Feb 27
Osaka maid cafes raided for improper licensing Osaka Prefectural Police on Tuesday raided two maid cafes in the Nipponbashi area of Osaka for licensing violations. (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 27
Man stabbed on station platform after pushing dispute Police said Wednesday that a man in his 30s was stabbed in the back on the platform at JR Kinshicho Station in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Japan Today )
Feb 27
Police sergeant arrested on underage sex charge A 54-year-old police sergeant in Kanagawa Prefecture has been arrested for paying a 16-year-old girl for sex. (Japan Today )
Feb 27
AKB48′s new single becomes 10th straight million-seller Japanese idol group AKB48′s new single “So long!” became its 10th consecutive first-week million-seller CD, a music market research company said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Feb 27
New Kabuki-za theater, tower completed in Tokyo A ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the new Kabuki-za theater and an adjacent office building called Kabuki-za Tower in the Higashiginza district of central Tokyo. (Japan Times )

Article source: http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/101218.php

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Paris’s Best New Boutiques

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

Good news for fashionable travelers: the mid-winter doldrums haven’t dampened the Paris fashion spirit. Spring is just around the corner, and these brilliant new openings herald a scintillating roster of exciting new things to come.

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Chloé’s glamorous new Saint-Honoré flagship, opened just in time for the fashion house’s 60th anniversary, is also the new world headquarters. Softly feminine and elegantly modern, the store’s creamy marble floors and signature rosy beige walls are the perfect backdrop for Clair Waight Keller’s fluid, layered designs. Visitors are met with the kind of sincere attention that’s all but extinct in most high-end Paris shops, as Chloé has set out to revolutionize customer service: whether you want a handbag or a whole new wardrobe, VIP rooms and professional stylists are available to anyone who calls for an appointment.

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This spanking new concept store’s all-black facade, minimal interior, and smoky glass walls etched with the designer’s unmistakable profile are pure Karl Lagerfeld. And it doesn’t end there: Mr. Lagerfeld’s immutable getup is a running theme through the iconic designer’s two new collections, available only here. The Karl line, overwhelmingly black, white, and grey with a few splashes of crimson, sky blue, and a brightly fetching floral, targets a youthful crowd—lots of cropped jackets, peek-a-boo tops, hot pants, minis, and skintight jeans. The more sophisticated KLP label has enough of a range to appeal to stylish men and women of all ages and shows that inimitable (except by himself) Lagerfeld elegance.

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Fauré Le Page, arms-maker to 18th and 19th century French royals, nobility, and revolutionaries, is the latest—and one of the best—to ride the recent mania for resurrecting ancient pedigreed French companies and elevating them to luxury status. Like well-known 19th-century luggage-makers Goyard and Moynat, whose prestige bags bear the marks of their legacies via logos, hardware and function, Fauré Le Page’s distinctive bags and maroquinerie (small leather goods) refer to their unique place in French history. Take the pochette gun, a tiny pistol-shaped purse modeled after a 19th-century design. These superb bags and accessories are sure to be instant classics.

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How fitting that Lancaster chose the posh rue Saint-Honoré for their first dedicated boutique. A futuristic interior all in black, chrome, and mirrors, the undulating space provides the perfect backdrop for Lancaster’s brilliant palette, as seen in the classic Versailles bag, which comes in 15 shades of patent leather or cowhide. Other bags, like the jaunty InÃ�s Sixties bag, in velvety calf with a mod chain handle, go seamlessly from day to evening, and the Exotic tote in burgundy or black faux croco is Lancaster’s spin on the Birkin bag. The range of styles is impressive, from tiny evening bags and clutches to oversized satchels and totes, including a selection of limited-edition models with reptile insets available only in the boutique.

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With zillions of perfume brands out there, who has the time or stamina to make the switch from the old tried and true to something new? The partners behind Nose, Paris’s new fragrance concept store, have brilliantly tackled this dilemma with a personalized service designed to identify your ideal aroma. The bright, 2,000-sqare-foot loft space just off the rue Montorgeuil is a world away from hectic department store counters. Cozy up to the zinc bar for a complementary coffee, tea or mineral water while a bilingual specialist takes you through a seven-step diagnostic to determine your olfactive profile and give recommendations from the store’s 60 niche fragrances. There’s also a line of body lotions and bath gels and a home-fragrance bar.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fodors/travel-news/~3/KM9J28m9Vy4/best-new-shops-paris-6516.html

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Expatriate Tales: Living in Namibia

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

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Isabel Sterne considered it a blessing in disguise when her department at Condé Nast Traveler was terminated, therefore eliminating her job as editorial associate. This savvy New Yorker pulled a true travel journalist move and took the opportunity to pack up and head to Africa. Joining the Peace Corps early last year, Isabel brought two pieces of luggage to serve in the Sub-Saharan African country of Namibia. She hoped to immerse herself in a new culture while giving back to the community and enjoying a less hectic life. A day in the life? Eating zebra schnitzel, living in a nurse’s dorm, and wearing convertible pants in public.

What was your impression of Namibia before moving, and what’s it like now?

When I got my invitation to volunteer in Namibia all I knew was that it is in Sub-Saharan Africa. My initial impression of this region was stereotypical: I imagined thatched-roof mud huts, malnourished infants and child militia on flatbed trucks. Wikipedia research revealed Namibia to be the second least densely populated country after Mongolia, replacing any initial images with one of an endless empty desert.

When I arrived here, I saw how safe and geographically diverse the country is. The north, where the majority of the population lives, is lush and rich in tribal culture. The south, where I live, has wide-open sandy spaces and a stark beauty comparable to the American Southwest.

namibia-landscape.jpg

What are the challenges of living in Namibia?

Lack of entertainment. Before Namibia, I lived in New York City and was spoiled by the endless options for entertainment. Keetmanshoop, Namibia isn’t exactly a fun hub unless you are into Lang arm (traditional Afrikaans dance), beauty pageants or church.

Extreme weather is another challenge. The southern part of Namibia can get above a hundred degrees in the summer and below freezing in the winter. On top of this, sporadic strong winds cause me to have at least one layer of dirt-sand on my skin at all times.

Oh, and in a nation of meat eaters, I had to abandon my vegetarian ways to eat goat, zebra schnitzel, alligator and attend chicken-decapitation parties.

Is it easy getting around?

Well, getting transportation is tricky. I don’t have a car, so most of the time I rely on other people for transportation. Some locals get by with donkey-drawn carriages. Unfortunately, there is no stable at the nurse’s dorm, where I live.

What are some shocking things you’ve discovered in Namibia?

Drinking is a very big problem. It isn’t uncommon for me to walk outside on a Sunday and see one or two people passed out on the side of the road after a long night of partying. Actually, it’s not so surprising considering the lack of entertainment and high unemployment rate there.

On a less serious note, I’ve been surprised at the anything-goes fashion sense. Tough Namibian men walk the streets in colorful Kentucky Derby-esque sunhats. Herero tribe women sport five layers of Victorian-style dresses and hats made to resemble cow horns in hundred-degree weather. The upside is it takes the pressure off getting dressed in the morning—I never feel self-conscious about wearing my convertible pants out in public.

What are some striking cultural differences in Namibia?

The focus on race. Apartheid ended in Namibia recently, in 1990, so while the country has come a long way, racist attitudes still pervade not only between whites and blacks, but also between different tribes, and people of various mixed races.

The retro attitudes on gender roles are also striking. Some men in Namibia still view women as second-class citizens and will carry on relationships with five or more different women at the same time.

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What are some great attractions tourists may miss?

Most tourists skip the southern part of the country completely, opting instead for a more central or northern Namibian adventure. Tourists go straight for the dunes of Soussusvlei, the German seaside town Swakopmund, or for safari in Etosha National Park, but if you are looking for a more unconventional Namibian holiday the south also has much to offer. The Quiver Tree Forest, 10 miles outside Keetmanshoop, looks right out of a Dr. Seuss book. Tourists can pitch a tent for the night, grab a six-pack, and watch the sun set over a forest of ancient spiky trees. If that gets boring, there are also a couple of caged cheetahs on the premises, which tourists can feed every evening.

To the south is Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon). Book in advance and you can get a permit for a 5-day self-guided hike. For the more “urban”-inclined tourists, there is also the quaint southern seaside town Luderitz, known for its world-class oysters, ghost town Kolmanskop, and penguin colonies just a short boat ride away.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant?

Namibia is not exactly a foodie destination. The specialty here tends to be boiled game meat and mayo-heavy macaroni salad. If you find yourself hungry in Southern Namibia, I suggest making the haul over to Luderitz’s Shearwater Oyster Bar. The excellent restaurant is tucked away at the top of a staircase in the oyster-processing facility.

Anything new and noteworthy in Namibia?

The place to find the “new and noteworthy” is definitely the capital Windhoek. Windhoek offers all the comforts of urban civilization: restaurants, museums, music clubs, etc. Be sure to check out the calendar at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) for the latest in cutting-edge documentary films and art exhibitions.

What is the best souvenir to bring home?

Springbok horn bottle opener, hands down. They sell these things at almost every craft stand you will encounter. Be sure to barter if you want a good price!

Jimmy Im is a freelance travel writer based in LA. He’s hosted programs on the Travel Channel and LOGO, and makes regular appearances on morning news shows as a “travel expert.” He teaches travel writing courses and is also cofounder of OutEscapes.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dieselmad.

Photo credits: Namibia landscape via Shutterstock; Quiver Tree Forest via Shutterstock

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fodors/travel-news/~3/XawhmTr6HAk/expatriate-tales-living-in-keetmanshoop-namibia-6517.html

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Billionaire Clive Palmer Unveils Titanic II Designs

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

vintageTitanic.jpg

Last year we reported on Australian billionaire Clive Palmer’s plans to build a life-sized replica of the Titanic, named Titanic II, on his Blue Star Line. At the time we thought he might, you know, give up for pretty much any of the common sense reasons that come to mind. Alas, he is pressing on. Points for going big, Palmer.

At a recent press conference aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Palmer displayed the blueprints for what he calls “the ship where dreams come true,” reports USA Today.

The ship will be built by a state-owned Chinese company and will embark on its maiden voyage in the third quarter of 2016. Palmer claims that some 40,000 people have already registered for tickets aboard the Titanic II, which at 883 feet will be three inches longer than the original. According to USA Today, the ship will house an old-timey gym, Turkish baths, a swimming pool, theater, and a squash court, among other amenities, but no TVs and most likely no Internet. The ship is going to be so popular, claims Palmer, he’ll have to build the Titanic III.

While we’re moments away from booking our own swanky first class cabin on the Titanic II, we also see that this ship, as a floating memorial to its predecessor, could easily go one of two ways. Hopefully it will go the way of a tasteful remembrance of the ill-fated ship that came before and not just a display of enormous wealth. But when Palmer dropped this on the Associated Press, we cringed more than a little: “One of the benefits of global warming has been there aren’t so many icebergs in the North Atlantic these days.”

What do you think? Is the Titanic II an homage to an important part of history, or a flashy (and disrespectful) cash cow?

Photo Credit: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/fodors/travel-news/~3/D1CDu1v9cX0/billionaire-clive-palmer-unveils-titanic-ii-designs-6518.html

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Floods submerge five villages in Indonesia’s Gorontalo

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

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Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/5򅜪/s/2909bd15/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0CFloods0Esubmerge0Efive0Evillages0Ein0EIndonesias0EGoront0E433530Bhtml/story01.htm

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Jakarta student traumatised by teacher’s behaviour

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

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Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/5򅜪/s/2909bd16/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0CJakarta0Estudent0Etraumatised0Eby0Eteachers0Ebehaviour0E433510Bhtml/story01.htm

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Fire kills 20 in Kolkata market

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

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 JAKARTA: Jakarta to join global Earth Hour

 NEW DELHI: India sets up body to probe chopper scam

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Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/5򅜪/s/2909bd17/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0CFire0Ekills0ᬈA0Ein0EKolkata0Emarket0E0E43350A0Bhtml/story01.htm

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India sets up body to probe chopper scam

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

» Other News

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 BANGKOK : Thailand agrees to talk peace with Muslim rebel group

 TAIPEI: Taiwan premier reassures public over pork fears

● VIENTIANE: Laos, Thailand hold border talks

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 TOKYO: 2 months on, Abe Cabinet ratings flying high

â—� ISLAMABAD: Pakistan official denies reports of US compound at Karachi airport

 JAKARTA: Jakarta to join global Earth Hour

 TAIPEI: Stiffer DUI fines to hit Taipei roads

 TAIPEI: Taiwan premier reassures public over pork fears

 DHAKA: 3 newspapers abusing press freedom: Bangladeshi minister

� 

� Most Viewed

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Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/2909be0d/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0CIndia0Esets0Eup0Ebody0Eto0Eprobe0Echopper0Escam0E433610Bhtml/story01.htm

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Pakistan Defence Secretary denies reports of US compound at Karachi airport

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

» Other News

 LAHAD DATU: No change in Sabah standoff amid reports of imminent attack

 KATHMANDU: Nepal anti-corruption crusader vows to continue fast

 DEPOK, Indonesia: Housewives call for fair health access in Java

 JAKARTA: Indonesia to take part in Ferrari Challenge

 BANGKOK : Thailand agrees to talk peace with Muslim rebel group

 TAIPEI: Taiwan premier reassures public over pork fears

● VIENTIANE: Laos, Thailand hold border talks

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 TOKYO: 2 months on, Abe Cabinet ratings flying high

â—� JAKARTA: Jakarta to join global Earth Hour

� NEW DELHI: India sets up body to probe chopper scam

● TAIPEI: Stiffer DUI fines to hit Taipei roads

�Â TAIPEI: Taiwan premier reassures public over pork fears

�� DHAKA: 3 newspapers abusing press freedom: Bangladeshi minister

 

» Most Viewed

 SINGAPORE: Squeeze on S’pore’s 70,000 mid-skilled foreigners

 LAHAD DATU : M’sia police ready to end standoff

 SEOUL: UN inching closer to N. Korea human rights probe

 GENEVA: Vietnam affirms policy of upholding human rights

 LOS BANOS, Philippines: Philippine journalist killings a concern: EU envoy

 MANILA : Sulu sultan defies Aquino

 KATHMANDU: Nepal’s oil corporation warns of dwindling supplies

� VIENTIANE: Laos to host regional summits in March

�Â JAKARTA: Asia-Pacific to lead global market: Airbus

â�� SINGAPORE: Singapore acts to curb hiring of unskilled foreigners

 DHAKA: Swiss stores remove Bangladeshi shoes over toxic fears

 BANGKOK: Ethnic tensions as fragile as ever in Myanmar

 TOKYO: Japanese businesses have high hopes for Kuroda

 SEOUL: N. Korea seeks nuclear power status

 LAHAD DATU: No change in Sabah standoff amid reports of imminent attack

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/2909be12/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0CPakistan0EDefence0ESecretary0Edenies0Ereports0Eof0EUS0Eco0E433580Bhtml/story01.htm

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Stiffer DUI fines to hit Taipei roads

Posted on 28 February 2013 by admin

Publication Date : 28-02-20ǭ

 

It’s about to get more expensive to drink and drive in Taipei.

Starting tomorrow, the maximum fine for driving under the influence (DUI) is up from 60,000 to 90,000 (US$3035) Taiwan dollars, according to the Taipei City Police Department Traffic Division.

Police will mete out the maximum penalty to repeat offenders and to drivers who refuse a breathalyser test, said division chief Chang Mang-ling.

Drivers who do submit to the test will be fined based on the result, he said, adding that the graduated penalty scheme will jump as well.

The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.25 mg per litre. The maximum fine for BAC over 0.25 mg per litre goes up from 19,500  to 29,000 Taiwan dollars on March 1 in all cases involving passenger vehicles.

For BAC between 0.4 and 0.55 mg per litre, the maximum fine is adjusted from 34,500 to 51,500 Taiwan dollars.

For BAC over 0.55 mg per litre, the maximum fine is up from 49,500 to 74,000 Taiwan dollars.

Chang added that the Taipei City Government is rolling out a “zero-tolerance” campaign alongside the stiffer penalties. The campaign urges drivers not to touch the steering wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol, he said.

Prison and Bikes

Also starting March 1, drivers registering a BAC of 0.25 mg per litre could receive prison time under Taiwan’s criminal code.

Under current law, DUI cases are sentenced according to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act. If BAC exceeds 0.55 mg per litre, the driver can also be prosecuted according to the Criminal Code.

The minimum BAC for criminal liability drops to 0.25 mg per litre tomorrow, said the Taipei City Police Department.

According to Article 185 of the Criminal Code, drivers under the influence can be sentenced up to two years of imprisonment and fined up to 200,000 Taiwan dollars. If the offense results in death, the offender can be imprisoned between one and seven years.

Chang also said law enforcement is set to strengthen patrols on motor vehicles and bicycles.

Many members of the public believe that they cannot be ticketed for operating a bicycle when intoxicated, but the offense can be punished as “dangerous driving,” he said.

*US$1=29.65 Taiwan dollars

 

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