Lese majeste trial starts
The trial of a Thai man accused of selling video CDs (VCDs) of an Australian TV news segment about the monarchy has begun in Bangkok. Akachai Hongkangwan was arrested in March last year and charged with lese majeste, the crime of defaming the royal family. The VCDs allegedly sold by Akachai contained a segment from the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s Foreign Correspondent series in 2010 that questioned the future of the monarchy. The segment included footage from a private video of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn with his wife-to-be. Akachai was also charged with violating laws governing the distribution of video recordings. His trial began yesterday.
Fukushima reopens beach
Fukushima Prefecture has opened its first beach to swimmers since last year’s nuclear disaster after judging the water to be safe. About 1,000 people on Monday descended on Nakoso beach, about 65km south of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, where three reactors melted down after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year. The opening was celebrated with beach volleyball games and hula dancers from a nearby spa. Iwaki City official Joji Kimura said negligible radiation was detected in water at the beach. Airborne radiation was measured at 0.08 microsieverts per hour, far below dangerous levels.
Schoolgirl injured by javelin
A schoolgirl was in intensive care yesterday after being speared in the head by a javelin while taking part in track and field training, an official said. The 2.6m javelin became lodged in the 15-year-old’s head after being thrown by a student on campus at Fukuyama Heisei University in Hiroshima Prefecture on Monday, the university official said. The girl was training at the university with a group of fellow high-school students when the incident happened. Rescuers cut the shaft off the 794g javelin before taking her to hospital.
Bus accident kills nine
A bus swerved off a road before dawn on Monday and plunged into a river, killing nine people, police said — the latest in a string of deadly accidents on the country’s highways. Police said Monday’s deaths occurred when the bus fell 200m down a cliff after the driver was thought to have fallen asleep. “A passenger bus on its way to Kathmandu from Katari slipped off the road at Krishnabhir and fell into the river,” police sub-inspector Narayan Prasad Chalise said. “We recovered six bodies from the accident site and three seriously injured died in hospital in Kathmandu. Another 17 people are injured and are undergoing treatment.”
Hunan urges medical checks
Hunan Province urged parents on Sunday to seek immediate treatment for children showing symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease after official figures showed 112 people died from the illness last month. The disease, to which children are especially vulnerable also infected more than 381,000 people, the Ministry of Health reported last week. The province urged parents and teachers to send children to hospital as soon as they showed symptoms of the disease, including mouth sores, skin rashes or fever. Last month, 34,768 cases were reported and 17 people died from the disease in Hunan, the statement said. According to the Ministry of Health, more than 460,000 people were infected in May, leading to 132 deaths.