Panel faults ex-premier
A panel investigating Japan’s nuclear disaster said Saturday that former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his aides caused confusion at the height of last year’s nuclear crisis by heavily interfering in the operation of a damaged and leaking plant. A member of the parliamentary panel said that Kan’s aides made numerous calls to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, often asking basic questions and distracting workers, thus causing more confusion. They did not follow the official line of communication — through the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency — under the country’s nuclear disaster management law, the panelist said.
Earthquake rattles island
A powerful earthquake struck off Taiwan’s northeastern coast early today, but there were no reports of casualties or damage. The Central Weather Bureau said the quake registered at magnitude-6.5 and was felt throughout the island.
Pride march unhindered
Riot police watched as several hundred people, including some government ministers, marched unhindered through the town of Split on Saturday, many carrying flags and banners reading “Gay is OK” and “We are all equal.” Authorities had pledged to secure the pride event as a sign of determination to protect gay and other human rights ahead of joining the European Union in 2013.
Crew locates helicopter
Rescue specialists on Saturday located the wreckage of a helicopter that went down in a snowy part of the southeastern Andes with 14 people aboard, including eight South Koreans and three Europeans, Peru’s police chief said. Police Gen. Raul Salazar told the Radioprogramas radio station that “presumably there would be no survivors.” He said searchers had climbed up to the aircraft on the Mama Rosa mountain. “There are some parts of the helicopter that have been scattered up to 200 meters by the force of impact,” he said.
Compiled from wire reports.