TMCnet News

Kyodo news summary -10-+
[February 03, 2006]

Kyodo news summary -10-+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)NEW YORK, Feb. 3_(Kyodo) _ ---------- Egyptian ferry carrying 1,400 sinks, at least 30 dead

CAIRO - An Egyptian passenger ferry carrying around 1,300 passengers and 100 crew members sank in the Red Sea overnight, and the bodies of at least 30 people were retrieved, Arabic-language satellite TV network Al-Jazeera reported Friday.

The Associated Press separately reported that coast guard vessels rescued 100 survivors and that nearly 200 people may be still alive.

---------- 20 hurt in Hokuriku highway pileup involving 40 vehicles

TOYAMA, Japan - About 40 vehicles piled up on the Hokuriku expressway in Izumi, Toyama Prefecture, on Friday evening, injuring at least 20 people, with at lest two of them seriously, firefighters and police said.

Emergency workers rescued five of the six people trapped in some of the vehicles, firefighters said. There was a report saying that an oil tanker was in the 9:45 p.m. pileup but no fire was reported.

---------- IAEA emergency meeting on Iran nuke issue to resume Saturday

VIENNA - Friday's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss a proposal to report the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council has been postponed until Saturday, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Friday.

The meeting, which began Thursday, will be reopened at 10 a.m. Saturday, the IAEA said.

---------- Dow slips below 10,800 in early trading in New York

NEW YORK - The Dow fell below the 10,8000 level in early trading in New York on Friday, weighed down by growing jitters about inflation.

At 10 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 56.92 points to 10,795.06.

---------- Blair-Bush pact to invade Iraq came before U.N. consultation: book

LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced new allegations Friday that he and U.S. President George W. Bush were set on invading Iraq long before diplomatic efforts by the United Nations had failed.

The claims over the timing of events in the run-up to the U.S.-led war on Iraq came in an updated version of a book by human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, "Lawless World," which caused prior controversy when it was first published in February 2005.

---------- M5.1 quake rattles Kyushu in southwestern Japan

TOKYO - An earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 rocked Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu shortly after midnight Friday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage and there is no danger of a tsunami from the 12:12 a.m. quake.

---------- Dollar rises above 119 yen in early N.Y. trading

NEW YORK - The U.S. dollar exceeded the 119 yen line in early trading in New York on Friday for the first time in about seven weeks, buoyed by renewed expectations of higher interest rates in the United States.

At 9:15 a.m., the dollar was quoted at 119.25-35 yen, compared with the 5 p.m. quotes of 118.49-52 yen in Tokyo.

---------- Central gov't, Okinawa remain apart over Futemma relocation

NAHA, Japan - The central government tried in vain Friday to narrow its gap with the Okinawa prefectural government over a plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futemma Air Station in the prefecture.

Defense Facilities Administration Agency deputy chief Kazuhiro Toda explained details of the relocation plan in a meeting with Okinawa Vice Gov. Hirotaka Makino at the prefectural government office in a bid to win the prefecture's understanding on the plan.

---------- Japan keeps No. 2 rank in patent applications in 2005

GENEVA - Japan remained the world's No. 2 country in terms of international patent applications in 2005 for the third consecutive year, while China and South Korea boosted their standings, the World Intellectual Property Organization said Friday.

The United States kept its position as the world's No. 1 country under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty with 45,111 applications, up 37.9 percent from the previous year, followed by Japan with 25,145 applications, up 24.3 percent.

---------- Farm official pledged checks on U.S. beef before import resumption

TOKYO - A senior farm ministry official pledged to consumers in November that the government would check U.S. beef processors prior to Japan's resumption of American beef imports in December, Kyodo News learned Friday.

The finding follows recent turmoil in the Diet over the government's broken pledge to carry out the checks, which was mentioned in a document submitted to the parliament upon formal Cabinet approval on Nov. 18.

---------- Genetically modified killifish illegally imported, sold in Japan

TOKYO - A fish dealer has illegally imported about 800 genetically modified fluorescent killifish from Taiwan and sold them to tropical fish shops across Japan, the Environment Ministry said Friday.

The ministry has ordered the dealer to stop selling the fish, called "medaka" in Japan, and recall them from the shops, ministry officials said.

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