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Asia Newswire

Report: Renown Philippine's Dive Destination Apo Island Not Exempt from Terrorists; Firearms Kept Hidden
Apo Island, The Philippines - Sep 7, 2006 19:02 EST

Apo Island's dive site is not exempted from the threat of terrorism, island village chief Mario Pascobello said. Pascobello said issued firearms of police officers are kept inside bags or they cover them in order not to frighten the visitors. Aside from...
 
Report: Divers Illegally Overcrowding Sipadan, Again; Over 200 Visiting the Environmentally Sensitive Island a Day
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Sep 5, 2006 20:04 EST

An increasing number of divers are going to the environmentally sensitive diving haven of Pulau Sipadan, off the east coast of Sabah, illegally. The permitted number of divers per day is 120, but dive operators have been taking as many 200...
 
NBA Star Tracy McGrady Criticized for Eating Shark Fin Soup While in Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Sep 5, 2006 19:57 EST

US basketball player Tracy McGrady was criticized by wildlife campaigners Tuesday for eating shark's fin soup during a visit to Hong Kong. The 26-year-old NBA star, known as T-MAC, reportedly said he had been impressed by the soup - a controversial...
 
Strange Creature Found On Russian Coastline Baffles Locals
Sakhalin, Russia - Sep 5, 2006 19:05 EST

This creature was found by Russian soldiers on Sakhalin shoreline. Sakhalin area is situated near to Japan. It’s the most eastern part of Russia, almost 5,000 miles to East from Moscow. Locals haven't been able to identify the mysterious beast....
 
Taiwanese Girl Critical After Eel Jumps Into Mouth
Taipei, Taiwan - Sep 3, 2006 21:57 EST

Doctors at a Taipei hospital were fighting to save a girl's life after an eel jumped into her mouth and ruptured her oesophagus, media reports said Sunday. A three-year-old girl was attacked by the eel a month ago and has been...
 
Greenpeace: Philippines' Apo Island a 'Ray of Hope' in Marine Protection and Conservation Efforts
Dauin, The Philippines - Sep 3, 2006 21:51 EST

THE international environmental group Greenpeace describes Apo island in the municipality of Dauin as a "ray of hope" in environmentalists' efforts to promote the protection and conservation of the environment worldwide. Captain Pete Boquet, chief pilot of the Greenpeace ship MY...
 
Philippines President: Doomed Oil Tanker Sailed Despite Bad Weather; 'Human Error'
Guimaras, The Philippines - Aug 29, 2006 13:54 EST

President Arroyo said that the sunken Solar 1 tanker in Guimaras was doomed because its crew insisted on sailing despite bad weather, ABS-CBN News reported Tuesday. "So whether or not it was double hull or single hull, double bottom or single...
 
Philippines Authorities Check Report of New Oil Slick; 'It's Not a Threat'
- Aug 27, 2006 21:34 EST

The Philippines was checking reports on Sunday that a new oil slick has formed near the site of the country's worst oil spill, which has wrecked havoc on the environment of a central island. According to the World Wildlife Fund for...
 
Report: Captain, Crew of Ill-fated Oil Tanker Had Expired Licenses; Philippines Locals 'Running Out of Their Patience'
Guimaras, The Philippines - Aug 25, 2006 18:41 EST

The Special Board of Marine Inquiry said the captain and several crew members of the ill-fated M/T Solar 1 have expired licenses and certification papers, Bandila reported Friday. Initial investigations conducted by SBMI showed that certifications of Norberto Aguro, the oil...
 
Oil Company Vows 'Total Cleanup' of Sea, Coastline in Philippines Spill; 'It's a Moral Responsibility'
Manila, The Philippines - Aug 24, 2006 18:18 EST

An official of Petron Corporation on Thursday said the company would not leave the Guimaras area until it completely cleans the sea and coastlines of the bunker oil that is leaking from a chartered tanker that sank off the island...
 
Foundation: Excess Levels of Dioxin Found in Canadian Shark Liver Oil Extract
Taipei, Taiwan - Aug 23, 2006 18:31 EST

An excess level of dioxins has been found in a shark liver oil extract imported from Canada, the Environmental Quality Protection Foundation warned on Tuesday. The foundation, in cooperation with National Tsing Hua University's chemistry department, tested the level of the...
 
Report: Sunken Oil Tanker in the Philippines has New Leak; 300 Kilometers of Coastline Soiled
Guimaras, The Philippines - Aug 23, 2006 17:41 EST

The sunken tanker responsible for the worst oil spill in the nation’s history began leaking more oil on Tuesday, the coast guard said. With clean-up crews already losing the race to contain the massive slick that has washed sludge and dead...
 
Philippines Oil Spill Claims First Life as Fisherman Inhales Fumes; 'Disaster in Progress'
Manila, The Philippines - Aug 22, 2006 22:32 EST

A fisherman died of cardio-respiratory arrest from inhaling the fumes from the oil sludge outside his home in Nueva Valencia, the town worst hit by the oil spill off Guimaras island, ABS-CBN reported on its website yesterday. According to www.abs-cbn.com, Remelio...
 
Indian Scientists: 'Sweet' Seawater No Miracle; Tests Show Pollution, Sewage
Mumbai, India - Aug 22, 2006 22:28 EST

Even as people flocked to the Mahim creek here to drink the Arabian seawater following rumours that it had turned sweet, municipal authorities Saturday said the water was undrinkable. Based on studies by oceanography scientists, the Mumbai municipal authorities stated that...
 
Officials: Indians Still Drinking 'Miraculous Sweet' Seawater Despite Warnings Over Pollution
Mumbai, India - Aug 21, 2006 17:56 EST

Despite several warnings by health officials and police, hundreds of people today continued to flock the Mahim beach in the city and tasted the "miraculous sweet" water of the Arabian sea. "Today being a Sunday, several curious people came to the...
 
Indians Warned Against Drinking Polluted 'Sweet' Seawater; 'Nausea and Vomiting' Likely
Mumbai, India - Aug 20, 2006 18:30 EST

As large crowds continued to throng the Mahim beach to drink sweet seawater for the second day, the Maharashtra government Sunday warned people against drinking the polluted water. Scientists clarified that the seawater had turned sweet due to the natural phenomenon...
 
Brits Arrive to Assess Philippines Oil Spill; 'Huge and Expensive Operation' Need to Clean Up Mess
Guimaras, The Philippines - Aug 18, 2006 18:00 EST

British experts have arrived here to help assess the damage from the country’s worst oil spill, as officials said aid was slow in arriving at the scene. A spokeswoman for Petron Corp., the company that chartered the tanker Solar I, which...
 
Philippines Struggles to Deal with Massive Oil Spill; 19.5 Mile Slick Hitting Coastline, Corals, Mangroves
Nila, Philippines - Aug 16, 2006 15:48 EST

The Philippines Wednesday appealed for urgent help to combat the country's worst-ever oil spill, which has polluted a major marine reserve and threatened the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen. Coastguard officials said that they were struggling to cope with the scale...
 
Malaysian Minister: Controversial Sipadan Clubhouse was Given OK in 2003
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Aug 15, 2006 21:54 EST

The go-ahead for the controversial RM4.5mil clubhouse project on Pulau Sipadan was given by the Federal Cabinet on July 2, 2003, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Karim Bujang. The approval was for Sabah Parks to implement the...
 
Philippines Island Declares 'State of Calamity' After Tanker Sinks, Causes Nation's Worst Oil Spill Ever; 'Environmental Catastrophe'
Guimara, Philippines - Aug 15, 2006 10:07 EST

The island province of Guimaras has declared a "state of calamity" following what authorities have called the country's worst oil spill, as international lobby group Greenpeace urged the government to hold petroleum firm Petron and its partners “accountable” for the...
 
Malaysian Official: Leatherback Turtle Population Down, But Not Extinct; 'We Have Found Five Nesting Places'
Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia - Aug 10, 2006 17:00 EST

There has been a drastic decline in the leatherback population but turtles are not extinct in Malaysia, the Turtle and Marine Eco-system Centre (Tumec) here has assured. Tumec head Kamaruddin Ibrahim said Wednesday that leatherbacks could still be seen landing and...
 
Report: Leatherback Turtles Virtually Extinct in Malaysia; Numbers Down Worldwide
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Aug 8, 2006 21:13 EST

The iconic leatherback turtle is virtually extinct in Malaysia, and there are fears their numbers are on the decline worldwide as habitats vanish, according to a United Nations report. The report released through the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says the population...
 
Minister: Infrastructure Projects On Sipadan Island Cancelled; 'Environmentally Friendly' Projects Considered
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Aug 7, 2006 21:47 EST

In a decision that would bring cheer to divers and environmentalists, the Sabah government has decided to cancel all infrastructure projects on Sipadan island. The projects to be cancelled include the RM4.5 million clubhouse and seafood restaurant. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa...
 
Malaysian Minister Refuses to Rule Out Construction on Sipadan Island; 'Only Light Materials will be Used'
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Jul 29, 2006 16:30 EST

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman has not made any decision yet on when to resume construction of the RM4.5mil clubhouse project on the environmentally-sensitive diving haven of Pulau Sipadan. Musa, however, brushed aside calls to scrap the Sipadan project and...
 
Japanese Chemists Synthesize Ciguatoxin From Scratch, Sparing Four Tons of Moray Eels
Sendai, Japan - Jul 17, 2006 22:11 EST

The synthesis of a little understood toxin found in tropical fish marks an important step in natural product synthesis, report Japanese chemists. The work will not only help to tackle a widespread food-borne illness – it will also spare tonnes...
 
China Launches Biggest-Ever Oceanic Environment Survey
Beijing, China - Jul 16, 2006 17:33 EST

China, hungry for oil and minerals, has launched its fourth and biggest-ever oceanic environment survey to probe the conditions of its vast maritime space. The survey will last two years and cover 1.02 million square kilometres of sea area off China's...
 
Submarine Life: Cramped Quarters, Ardous Hours; 'You Go Without a Bath for Weeks'
Brest, France - Jul 6, 2006 10:23 EST

What is it like, sharing the cramped and stuffy quarters in a submarine with 70 other men? "It is a little uncomfortable at first due to the smaller space compared to that on a surface ship," said Petty Officer Bruce Juhay. "Imagine...
 
Legendary Johnson Wax 'Carnauba' Plane Wreck Located Off Irian Jaya; 'Magical'
Racine, Wisconsin - Jul 5, 2006 22:50 EST

SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson announced success -- the wreckage of the original Carnauba airplane, a 1930s vintage aircraft that is a beloved icon of SC Johnson's early history, has been found off the shores of Manokwari Bay,...
 
Enigmatic Carvings on Underwater Ruins in China Mystify Investigators
Fuxian Lake, Yunnan Province, China - Jul 1, 2006 22:18 EST

In an underwater investigation in Fuxian Lake, Yunnan Province, China, started on June 13, archeologists discovered remains of a group of huge ancient buildings at the bottom of the lake. In the past few days, the investigation team found numerous...
 
Burma Establishes Protection for Unique Human, Dolphin Partnership Site; 'Benefits Both'
Rangoon, Burma - Jun 22, 2006 21:00 EST

The government of Burma has established a protected area for, of all things, a partnership between fishermen and a small, gray beakless dolphin with a knack for herding fish into nets, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Specifically, some...
 
Brits Assured WW II-era Torpedo 'Chariots' Will Not Be Salvaged
Phuket, Thailand - Jun 21, 2006 21:24 EST

The British government has scotched, at least for the time being, a planned attempt by local salvage company East Marine SBS Co to raise two British World War II Chariots from the waters off Phuket. The Military Attaché from the British...
 
Authorities: Sipadan Island Being Closely Monitored; Future Construction Plans Unclear
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Jun 20, 2006 22:06 EST

Diving haven Sipadan Island, which made the news across the globe following the destruction of some of its pristine corals, is being closely monitored by the authorities. According to Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Karim Bujang, a team of...
 
Court: French Travel Agency Ordered to Pay $1.5 Million to Three Kidnapped Off Sipadan Island
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - Jun 14, 2006 23:01 EST

A French court has ordered a total of US$1.489mil (RM5.46mil) to be paid to three of the 21 people who were kidnapped from Pulau Sipadan six years ago. The order, which was made last Wednesday, was made against Paris-based tour agent...
 
Report: Coral Gathering Unabated in the Southern Philippines Despite Ban; 'What the Sea has Belongs to Us'
Zamboanga, The Philippines - Jun 13, 2006 20:54 EST

Fishermen continue to gather and sell sea corals to local collectors and tourists in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga despite a government ban and efforts to stop the illegal activities. Corals are rocklike deposit consisting of the calcareous skeletons...
 
Scientists: The Philippines is the World's 'Center of Marine Biodiversity'; Announce Alarm over Marine Threats
Manila, The Philippines - Jun 8, 2006 18:09 EST

Some 100 scientists have declared the Philippines as the world’s "center of marine biodiversity" — not the Great Reef Barrier off east Australia — because of its vast species of marine and coastal resources, according to the World Bank. However, the...
 
Local Official: People Want Answers About Sipadan Construction Plans; 'I Am Not Pointing Fingers'
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - May 31, 2006 09:49 EST

The people of Semporna, the district in which Pulau Sipadan falls, have their own questions about the rest facilities being built on the island. Semporna MP Datuk Shafie Apdal said: "The State Government asked the operators to vacate the island. Some...
 
Tourism Official: Sipadan to Stay Open; 'I Don't Believe There is a Cover-up'
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - May 25, 2006 23:22 EST

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said there are no immediate plans to close Sipadan pending an emergency meeting by the related committee to determine the next course of action. Sabah Parks would continue to issue permits...
 
Official: State Park 'Not Capable of Looking after Sipadan'; Coral Rehabilitation Urged
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - May 25, 2006 23:16 EST

Sabah Parks should be relieved of its duty of managing dive resort islands as it was found incapable of looking after Sipadan. Part Keadilan Rakyat Sabah deputy chairperson, Christina Liew, in a statement Wednesday, said the Chief Minister, being the...
 
Rubble: Sipadan Contractor Gets Off with Apology and Clean-up After Reef Destruction
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - May 24, 2006 22:05 EST

After all the hue and cry, the contractor who damaged the coral reef off Pulau Sipadan has been allowed to get off with an apology and the cost of cleaning up. The State Government claimed only 372.4 square metres (the size...
 
Minister: Damage To Corals Near Sipadan Island Minimal; Foreign Media Told To 'Stop the Exaggeration'
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - May 24, 2006 20:39 EST

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said Wednesday the damage to corals at Sipadan Island caused by a barge on May 14 was "very minimum" but was blown out of proportion by the foreign media. Speaking to reporters after...
 

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