The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, December 01, 2014, Page Page 2, Image 2

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December 1, 2014
Philippine court convicts nine Chinese of poaching
MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — A Philippine court has convicted nine
Chinese fishermen of poaching and taking hundreds of endangered giant sea
turtles from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea. The fishermen were fined
nearly $103,000 each, but imposed no jail term. They were arrested in May at
Half Moon Shoal and their boat and catch of 555 endangered sea turtles
were seized. The arrests sparked another spat between the Asian neighbors
in the increasingly volatile South China Sea. Judge Ambrosio de Luna of the
regional trial court in western Palawan province found them guilty of
violating the country’s fisheries code, ordering them to pay a fine of
$100,000 each for poaching in Philippine waters plus $2,666 each for taking
Elderly South Korean man gets 20 years in jail for arson
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — An elderly dementia patient in South Korea has
been sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting a fire at a hospital for the elderly
in southern South Korea in May that killed 22 people. The 81-year-old man was
convicted of arson and manslaughter, according to Gwangju District Court
spokesman Han Ji-hyeong. The man denied responsibility for the fire, but the
court gave weight to security camera footage and the testimonies of hospital
employees to establish that he set the fire in a hospital room, Han said. The
incident raised concerns about lax fire regulations because it happened when
the country was undergoing soul searching over public safety following April’s
ferry sinking that killed more than 300 people. After investigating the fire,
police concluded that the death toll rose because the hospital did not have
sprinklers and did not have enough employees on night duty at the time of the
incident. The South Korean government in August announced tightened safety
rules for senior facilities, requiring hospitals to install sprinklers within the
next three years and strengthen personnel on night duty and on weekends and
Smuggled medicine floods Afghan market
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A new report says half of all medicine available
on the Afghan market has either been smuggled into the country or made under
sub-standard conditions in neighboring Pakistan. The Independent Joint
Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee said in a recent report
that up to 300 companies in Pakistan are producing poor quality drugs
exclusively for Afghanistan because their products do not meet Pakistani
government standards. The report says that since there is no Afghan
government regulation of pharmaceuticals, the medicine can be sold in
Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s pharmaceuticals market is worth up to $800 million
a year. But the quality of drugs available in the country is so poor that many
Afghan people are forced to travel abroad for medical treatment.
U.S. to open Peace Corps program in Myanmar
NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — The United States will start sending Peace
Corps volunteers for the first time next year to Myanmar. The White House says
the first volunteers will arrive in late 2015. They’ll train for three months in
Myanmar’s language, culture, and technical needs. Then they’ll volunteer at
sites in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for two years. Deputy national security
adviser Ben Rhodes says Myanmar’s government formally invited the Peace
Corps to open a program last year. He says the Peace Corps is ideally suited to
help the country as it transitions to democracy and works to promote economic
prosperity. Rhodes says the program also shows the U.S. commitment to
Myanmar and its people.
Bangladesh man gets death penalty for war crimes
HOLY MACKEREL! Scientist Goro Yamazaki, right, looks on as his colleague, Ryosuke Yazawa, collects mackerel fry
to be used as surrogates to produce tuna at a lab of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology in Tateyama,
southeast of Tokyo. The researchers are fine-tuning a technology to use mackerel surrogates to spawn the bluefin, a pro-
cess they hope will enable fisheries to raise the huge, torpedo-shaped fish more quickly and at a lower cost than conven-
tional aquaculture. The aim: to relieve pressure on wild fish stocks while preserving vital genetic diversity. (AP Photo/Elaine
Surrogate sushi: Japan
biotech for bluefin tuna
By Elaine Kurtenbach
AP Business Writer
ATEYAMA, Japan — Of all the
overfished fish in the seas, luscious,
fatty bluefin tuna are among the most
threatened. Marine scientist Goro Yamazaki,
who is known in the seaside community of
Tateyama as “Young Mr. Fish,” is working to
ensure the species survives.
Yamazaki is fine-tuning a technology to use
mackerel surrogates to spawn the bluefin, a
process he hopes will enable fisheries to raise
the huge, torpedo-shaped fish more quickly
and at a lower cost than conventional aqua-
culture. The aim: to relieve pressure on wild
fish stocks while preserving vital genetic
Yamazaki, 48, grew up south of Tokyo in the
ancient Buddhist capital of Kamakura, fishing
and swimming at nearby beaches. His
inspiration hit 15 years ago while he was out at
sea during graduate studies at the Tokyo
University of Marine Science and Technology,
and a school of bluefin tuna streaked by.
“They swam just under the boat, and they
were shining metallic blue. A beautiful
animal,” Yamazaki said. “Before that, tuna
was just an ingredient in sushi or sashimi, but
that experience changed bluefin tuna into a
wild animal to me.”
An animal, that like so many other species,
is endangered due to soaring consumption and
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A special tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced
a collaborator of the Pakistani army to death for his role in killings during the
country’s 1971 independence war. Mobarak Hossain, a former commander of a
collaborators’ group, was given the death penalty after being convicted of killing
33 civilians in the eastern Bangladeshi district of Brahmanbaria. He was also
separately sentenced to life in prison on a charge of abducting and killing a man
during the war. In 1971, Hossain was a member of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist
party, Jamaat-e-Islami, which openly campaigned against the creation of
Bangladesh, then the eastern wing of Pakistan. Bangladesh blames Pakistani
soldiers and local collaborators for the deaths of 3 million people during the
nine-month independence war against Pakistan.
Asian Currency
Exchange Rates
Units per U.S. dollar as of 11/30
Two endangered elephants found dead in Indonesia
JAMBI, Indonesia (AP) — Two endangered Sumatran elephants have been
found dead in western Indonesia and authorities believe they were killed by
poachers. Krismanko Padang, head of the nongovernment group Indonesia
Elephant Conservation Forum, said carcasses of the two male elephants were
discovered near a palm oil plantation in the Tebo district of Jambi province on
Sumatra island. Their skulls were found without tusks, Krismanko said. He
added that police who were investigating discovered some bullet shells near the
scene. He urged the police to thoroughly investigate to find the perpetrators or
their masterminds. He quoted villagers as saying a group of about 30 elephants
had been wandering around the region in recent weeks. In September, three
elephants were found poisoned in Aceh in northern Sumatra. Fewer than 3,000
Sumatran elephants are left in the wild. Environmentalists say they could be
extinct within three decades unless they are protected.
aggressive modern harvesting methods that
have transformed the bluefin, also known as
honmaguro and kuromaguro, from a delicacy
into a commonly available, if pricey, option at
any sushi bar.
Experts in charge of managing Atlantic
bluefin met recently in Italy and raised the
quota for catches of Atlantic bluefin tuna by 20
percent over three years. Stocks have
recovered somewhat after a severe decline
over the past two decades as fishermen
harvested more to meet soaring demand,
especially in Japan.
But virtually in tandem with that, the Inter-
national Union for Conservation of Nature put
Pacific bluefin tuna on its “Red List,” desig-
nating it as a species threatened by extinction.
About a quarter of all tuna are consumed by
the Japanese, according to the United Nations
Food and Agricultural Organization. They
gobble up most — between 60 percent and 80
percent — of all bluefin. Rosy, fatty chu-toro
from the upper part of bluefin bellies, is
especially prized for sushi and sashimi.
Out at his seaside lab in Tateyama, on the
far northern rim of Tokyo Bay, Yamazaki and
other researchers are hoping their latest
attempt to get mackerel to spawn bluefin will
prove a success. An earlier attempt failed due
to what he thinks was a problem with the
water temperature.
Yamazaki’s technique involves extracting
Continued on page 4
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