Uranium reserve to be set up
The government plans to set up a national strategic uranium reserve as part of its five-year plan for the nuclear industry, the semi-official China News Service reported yesterday. Beijing would encourage careful exploitation of domestic uranium deposits and the stockpile would include both Chinese and imported uranium, the report said. It also suggested it would be linked up with a commercial stockpile system to ensure an adequate fuel supply for electricity generation. China plans a rapid expansion of its nuclear power plants to 40 gigawatts -- around half the UK's entire capacity -- by 2020, from under 10 gigawatts at present.
Luxurious buildings banned
Communist leaders have banned the building of luxurious government buildings with such things as indoor fountains, soaring atriums and dance stages in a bid to curb waste and corruption, state media reported yesterday. Xinhua news agency said a circular from the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council said that government buildings could not have lobby areas higher than a single story, meeting rooms equipped with simultaneous translating facilities, indoor gardens or atriums.
Artificial snow created
China has created artificial snow for the first time in Tibet, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday, months after experts warned of melting glaciers and drought in the Himalayan region. The Tibet meteorological station had performed a "successful artificial snowfall operation" last week in northern Tibet, about 4,500m above sea level, the agency said. "The first artificial snowfall proves it is possible to change the weather through human efforts on the world's highest plateau," it quoted Yu Zhongshui, an engineer with the meteorological station, as saying.
Right-wing activist arrested
Police arrested a former right-wing activist in Tokyo yesterday for allegedly throwing a gasoline bomb at a newspaper building last year protesting an exclusive report on the wartime emperor's decision to stop visiting a Tokyo war shrine. Motohide Hiraoka, 42, was arrested on suspicion of lobbing a wine bottle filled with gasoline at the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese business daily Nikkei last July, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol. The bottle did not catch fire, and there were no injuries or major damage. News reports said Hiraoka was angered by a Nikkei report from July 20 saying that wartime Emperor Hirohito stopped visiting Yasukuni shrine out of displeasure over its 1978 decision to honor executed war criminals.
Removal of judge protested
Nearly 1,000 lawyers and opposition supporters held fresh protests yesterday against the removal of the country's top judge by President Pervez Musharraf. Crowds shouted "Go Musharraf, Go" outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad, where suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was to appear before a judical council hearing misconduct charges against him. Police arrested scores of opposition activists in the capital and nearby Rawalpindi late on Tuesday, with newspapers saying up to 250 were detained.
Man falls under train
A drunken man who fell under a city train after being jolted out of a nap at a station emerged unhurt from beneath the train. The 19-year-old had fallen asleep on the station platform in Cologne but was startled by the incoming train. Losing his balance, he fell in front of the train, police said. "According to the man, he fell exactly between the two tracks and just felt a light knock on the head," Cologne police said. The shocked train driver pulled the emergency brakes only to see the man emerge unaided from under the engine.