Thu, Aug 09, 2018 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Typhoon to hit Tokyo

The nation yesterday braced for heavy rains and high winds as a strong typhoon was forecast to make landfall near Tokyo overnight. Typhoon Shanshan was a category 2 typhoon, but was expected to weaken slightly as it moves closer to the eastern part of the main island of Honshu, drawing near to Tokyo in the early hours of today and possibly snarling the morning rush hour. Tokyo and surrounding areas could get as much as 350mm of rain in the 24 hours to noon today, with winds gusting as high as 180kph, the Meteorological Agency said. Shanshan is expected to move extremely slowly, perhaps as slow as 15kph, meaning intense rain might fall in one area for an extended period. The storm is expected to rake the northeastern part of Honshu before weakening to a tropical storm and heading out into the Pacific. The nation’s west, the site of deadly floods last month, is forecast to be spared.

ROMANIA

Ancient fortress found

Local and German archeologists have discovered a prehistoric fortress dating back as far as 3,400 years in the nation’s west. The find represented “one of the biggest prehistoric fortresses in Europe in the Bronze Age,” archeologist Florin Golgatan told reporters. The team used specialized archeological magnetic equipment to take underground measurements, said Golgatan, a researcher at the Archeology Institute in Cluj. Last week, they completed a dig uncovering 55 hectares of the 80 hectare site, built between 1,400BC and 1,200BC, near the town of Santana, and plan to continue next year. Local archeologists first began to excavate the site in 2009.

UNITED STATES

NASA to launch solar probe

NASA is poised to launch a US$1.5 billion spacecraft on a brutally hot journey toward the Sun, offering scientists the closest-ever view of the star. After the Parker Solar Probe blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, tomorrow, it would become the first spacecraft ever to fly through the Sun’s scorching atmosphere, known as the corona. Understanding how the corona works would help scientists anticipate dangerous space weather storms, which can disrupt the power grid on Earth. “It’s of fundamental importance for us to be able to predict space weather much the way we predict weather on Earth,” NASA solar scientist Alex Young said.

CHINA

Airbnb axes Wall sleepover

Home rental Web site Airbnb has scrapped a contest offering a chance to spend the night at a section of the Great Wall after an online backlash from people worried it could damage the site. News of the “Night At The Great Wall” contest lit up Chinese social media, with critics calling it a publicity stunt that lacked respect for the monument. “No matter how they dress it up, this doesn’t hide the fact that this contest is by a private company that will undeniably cause damage to an ancient artifact,” one person wrote on Sina Weibo. Officials from Yanqing District — home to the section that was to host the sleepover — said in a statement that it had not been notified about the event and that no approval was given. Launched last week, the contest invited users to write about breaking down cultural barriers and building new connections. Four winners would get the chance to spent the night in a customized bedroom built in an ancient watchtower of the wall, which Airbnb said was done in consultation with conservation experts so that “not a single nail” would need to be moved.

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