The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, January 06, 2014, Page Page 2, Image 2

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January 6, 2014
Chinese hospital opens smog treatment clinic
BEIJING (AP) — A doctor says a hospital in southwest China has opened a
clinic for patients who are suffering symptoms related to smog. The clinic
highlights how big a concern pollution has become for Chinese. One public
health expert suggested hospitals may follow suit to cash in on the country’s
notorious smog. Within a week-and-a-half of opening, the clinic at the Chengdu
No. 7 People’s Hospital had already treated more than 100 patients. Doctor
Wang Qixun said they decided to set the clinic up because the hospital had seen
the number of smog-related patients surge. Pan Xiaochuan, a professor at
Peking University’s School of Public Health, suggested it may be a publicity
stunt aimed at increasing the hospital’s coffers.
Inter-Korean factory park a tough sell to outsiders
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The two Koreas have taken an initial step to
open their jointly run industrial park to overseas investors. But foreigners who
toured the complex recently say the compound in North Korea remains a tough
sell despite its cheap labor. The director of the London-based independent policy
institute Chatham House, Paola Subacchi, says North Korea’s government
needs to change to attract overseas investors. The tour occurred a week after
North Korea executed Jang Song Thaek, the powerful uncle of its leader, Kim
Jong Un. The industrial park combines South Korean capital and technology
with cheap North Korean labor. Operations at the Kaesong complex were halted
in April when North Korea withdrew its workers amid tensions over its threats
of nuclear war. The complex reopened in September.
Thailand tops SEA Games medal tally
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)
ended with Thailand topping the medals table with 107 golds, ahead of host
Myanmar with 86. Thailand also earned 94 silver medals and 81 bronze, while
Myanmar’s silver tally was 62 with 85 bronze medals. Vietnam’s 73 golds were
good for third place. Highlights for Thailand included gold medals in football,
futsal, and both men’s and women’s volleyball. Host Myanmar had set an
ambitious target of 100 gold medals, but its 86 represented a huge improvement
over its last outing in the biennial games when it won just 16. Indonesia, the
region’s largest country which topped the medal table when it hosted the last
games, finished fourth with 64 golds, 84 silvers, and 111 bronze medals. The
SEA Games, the region’s largest sporting event, brings together athletes from
11 nations every two years. It was the first time in more than two decades that
Myanmar hosted the event. More than 6,000 athletes took part.
China’s frugality drive now targets fancy funerals
BEIJING (AP) — China’s ruling Communist Party is banning members from
holding lavish funerals for their relatives as part of a drive against waste,
corruption, and pomp. The ban was contained in a party circular that also
forbade members from using funerals to collect condolence money from
attendees. Such gifts are intended to defray costs, but often serve instead as
bribes for favors. Lavish funerals are a way of asserting one’s wealth and social
status in China and often feature paid mourners, uniformed marching bands,
and motorcades of limousines. China’s president and party leader Xi Jinping
has already issued a five-year moratorium on the construction of new
government buildings and the use of public funds for lavish banquets and
expensive gifts such as mooncakes.
Aquino won’t let Philippine energy secretary quit
MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — President Benigno Aquino III has rejected
the Philippine energy secretary’s offer to resign for failing to meet his
self-imposed target to restore power in all typhoon-ravaged towns by Christmas
Eve, an official said. Aquino instead praised Jericho Petilla for “excellent
performance” for re-energizing 317 of 320 towns that lost power after Typhoon
Haiyan (also known as Typhoon Yolanda) hit on November 8, 2013, presidential
spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. It was originally estimated it would take up to
six months to restore power, but Petilla managed to do most of the work in 40
days, he said. Haiyan’s ferocious wind and storm surges knocked down
thousands of transmission towers and electric posts, including in worst-hit
Tacloban city in Leyte province, where a major geothermal plant was damaged.
HISTORICAL RECORD. A guide uses candles to illuminate the interior of a cave that scientists say reveals a history
of ancient tsunamis in Lhong, Aceh province, Indonesia. The cave discovered near the source of the 2004 massive earth-
quake-spawned tsunami in Indonesia contains the footprints of past gigantic waves dating up to 7,500 years ago, a rare
natural record suggesting future generations living in the coastal area must stay prepared because disasters can occur
in relatively short bursts or after long lulls. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)
Cave in Indonesia reveals
history of ancient tsunamis
By Margie Mason
The Associated Press
AKARTA, Indonesia — A cave dis-
covered near the source of Indonesia’s
massive earthquake-spawned tsunami
contains the footprints of past gigantic waves
dating up to 7,500 years ago, a rare natural
record that suggests the next disaster could be
centuries away — or perhaps only decades.
The findings provide the longest and most
detailed timeline for tsunamis that have
occurred off the far western tip of Sumatra
island in Aceh province. That’s where 100-foot
waves triggered by a magnitude-9.1 earth-
quake on December 26, 2004 killed 230,000
people in several countries, more than half of
them in Indonesia.
The limestone cave, located within a couple
hundred yards of the coast near Banda Aceh, is
about three feet above knee-high tide and
protected from storms and wind. Only huge
waves that inundate the coastal area are able
to gush inside.
Researchers in 2011 uncovered seabed sand
deposits that were swept into the cave over
thousands of years and neatly layered between
bat droppings like a geological cake.
Radiocarbon analysis of materials, including
clamshells and the remains of microscopic
organisms, provided evidence of 11 tsunamis
before 2004.
The disasters were by no means evenly
spaced, said lead researcher Charles Rubin
from the Earth Observatory of Singapore. The
last one occurred about 2,800 years ago, but
there were four others in the preceding 500
And it’s possible there were others.
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Beijing bun shop gets China’s president as diner
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping dropped in unexpectedly at a
traditional Beijing bun shop, where he queued up, ordered, and paid for a simple
lunch of buns stuffed with pork and onions, green vegetables, and stewed pig
livers and intestines. Such visits are extremely rare — if not unheard of — for
top Chinese leaders, who are usually surrounded by heavy security and are not
known for mingling with the public other than at scheduled events. After
spotting Xi, fellow diners took photos of the president and shared them on
China’s social media. State media reposted the photos on their microblog
accounts, and the official Xinhua News Agency reported about Xi’s lunch on its
Chinese-language news site. “Had it not been for the photos, it would be
incredulous to believe Xi, as a dignified president and party chief, should eat at a
bun shop,” author Wu Xiqi wrote in an editorial carried by the ruling Communist
Party’s official news site. “Xi’s act has subverted the traditional image of Chi-
nese officials, ushering a warm, people-first gust of wind that is very touching
indeed.” The manager of the dumpling shop, who gave only her family name, He,
said Xi and a small entourage arrived at the no-frills eatery in western Beijing
without prior notification. She said Xi paid 21 yuan ($3.40) for his lunch.
Researchers know, for instance, that there
were two mammoth earthquakes in the region
around 1393 and 1450. Rubin said a big
tsunami could have carried away evidence of
other events through erosion.
The scientists are still working to determine
the size of the waves that entered the cave.
“The take-home message is perhaps that the
2004 event doesn’t mean it won’t happen for
another 500 years,” said Rubin, who added
that the cave was discovered by chance and not
part of planned field work. “We did see them
clustered together closer in time. I wouldn’t
put out a warning that we’re going to have an
earthquake, but it shows that the timing is
really variable.”
The quake that triggered the 2004 tsunami
surprised scientists because the fault that
unleashed the megathrust temblor had been
quiet for hundreds of years. And since the last
big earthquake had struck more than 500
years earlier, there was no surviving oral
history that could have helped people
understand the risk.
Since 2004, much research has been done to
try to learn about the area’s past by examining
sand deposits, uplifted coral, and GPS data.
“The findings are very significant,” Katrin
Monecke, a geosciences professor at Wellesley
College in Massachusetts wrote in an e-mail.
She worked on tsunami sand deposits
discovered in marshes in the area, but was not
involved with the cave research, which was
presented at an American Geophysical Union
conference in San Francisco. “The sand sheets
in the cave cover a very long time span and give
an excellent idea about earthquake frequen-
Continued on page 9
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