Mar 26 2011

Six In The Morning

Fear and devastation on the road to Japan’s nuclear disaster zone

Daniel Howden travels through a post-tsunami wasteland to the gates of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power station

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Once this road was thronged with traffic: an expressway, one of the arteries of a nation’s economic life, as familiar and modern a sight as you would find anywhere in Japan. The only barriers on the route to Fukushima Daiichi were the other people heading in the same direction.

Today the journey is different. It is a journey to the heart of a catastrophe. About 10 kilometres beyond the half-deserted city of Iwaki, the coastal road is blocked not by commuters but by landslides; the satellite navigation system that might once have flashed up traffic jams shows clusters of red circles that denote barred roads.

Libya rebels ‘recapture key town’

Libyan rebels backed by allied air raids say they have seized control of the frontline oil town of Ajdabiya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

The BBC  26 March 2011

The BBC’s Ben Brown in Ajdabiya says there are scenes of jubilation among the insurgents.

Gaddafi loyalists seized the town last week as they advanced east to quell an uprising now in its fifth week.

Saturday’s breakthrough came after a seventh night of bombardment by allies enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone.

There were a series of massive coalition air strikes around Ajdabiya overnight, targeting Gaddafi forces.

Gaddafi ‘promotions’

Our correspondent counted about 20 Libyan government tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces which have been either abandoned or destroyed.

20 reported killed as Syrian troops open fire on protesters

The Irish Times – Saturday, March 26, 2011


SHOTS WERE fired yesterday in the southeastern Syrian city of Deraa after funerals of people killed on Wednesday passed off peacefully. Security forces reportedly shot at youths trying to set fire to a statue of former president Hafez al-Assad. In nearby Sanamein village a witness told al-Jazeera 20 people were killed when villagers tried to reach Deraa.

In Damascus, Hama and Homs security forces broke up protests while pro-government demonstrators brandishing portraits of current president Bashar al-Assad rallied.

Rescuers battle to reach Burma quake areas

 March 26, 2011 – 5:00PM

Rescuers today struggled to reach remote Burmese towns hit by a powerful earthquake that killed 75 people as rare images from the area showed roads torn apart and wooden homes reduced to piles of timber.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the east of the country near the borders with Thailand and Laos and was felt as far away as the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

The towns of Tarlay, Tachileik and nearby villages in Burma’s Shan state appear to have been most severely affected by the quake, which flattened hundreds of houses and toppled monasteries and government buildings.

Madonna’s Malawi charity ‘squandered millions’

Mar 26 2011 07:02

The damning audit came as Raising Malawi confirmed it has scrapped plans for a $15-million elite academy for girls.

The charity’s executive director Philippe Van den Bossche, the boyfriend of Madonna’s former trainer, left in October after criticism of his management style and spending at the school, according to the New York Times.

“These included what auditors described as outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars, office space and a golf course membership, free housing and a car and driver for the school’s director,” the paper said.


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