■ MARSNALL ISLANDS
Stranded tourists evacuated
Foreign tourists will be evacuated from one of the world's most famous nuclear test sites after they were left stranded by the grounding of the Marshall Islands national airline, officials said. Seven international divers from Australia and the US and a Canadian photo journalist were stranded on Bikini after Air Marshall Islands' last operational plane was grounded last Saturday after a mid-air engine failure. The Marshalls Sea Patrol said a patrol boat would depart today for the 36 hour journey to Bikini from the capital Majuro.
Uranium goes missing
Eight kg of radioactive uranium has gone missing, delaying the verdict in a trial of four men charged with attempting to sell it on the black market, state media said yesterday. A court in Guangzhou heard the four tried to sell the material, which can be used in making nuclear weapons, between 2005 and January of this year, the China Daily said. The men were arrested in January after a potential buyer in Hong Kong reported them to the authorities, but "the men claimed [the uranium] had been lost because it had been moved around so much between potential buyers," the paper said. A verdict will not be reached until the uranium is tracked down.
Inmates die from heat
Two inmates in cells without air conditioning or fans have died in a heat wave, which has claimed dozens of lives this month, jail officers said yesterday. A 71-year-old man was found unconscious in his 4m2 cell without air conditioning or a fan at a jail in Saitama Prefecture, where the mercury hit an all-time record 40.9oC last week. The man was sent to hospital, but died two days later, said a jail officer. In Osaka Prefecture, another inmate in his 30s, who was undergoing rehabilitation for drug addiction, suffered a fever and was taken to hospital. A few days later he returned to his cell, but died the next morning, the officer said.
Man cuts off finger in protest
A member of a right-wing group was arrested on Thursday after he sent his severed little finger to the ruling party's headquarters in protest at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's failure to visit a Tokyo war shrine. Abe stayed away from Yasukuni shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of the nation's World War II surrender. The 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making threats after he sent his finger to the Liberal Democratic Party headquarters, said a police official. The envelope also contained a letter of protest and a disk showing images of the man cutting off his finger, the official said. "I thought they would ignore me if I just sent the letter, so I put my little finger in as well," Kyodo news agency quoted the man as telling police.
Man rescued from trash
Refuse collectors rescued a Polish man from the jaws of a rubbish truck after hearing his cries for help, daily Kleine Zeitung reported on Wednesday. The homeless 50-year-old had spent the night in a rubbish container on a housing estate in the town of Arnoldstein. In the morning, refuse collectors came along and emptied the bin into the back of their truck, Kleine Zeitung said. One of the workers heard his cries and stopped the machine when the press in the back of the truck started squashing the rubbish. The man was not hurt but taken to hospital for a check-up.