Tokyo tap water declared unsafe for babies



Tokyo residents were told yesterday that their tap water was unsafe for babies to drink, after radioactive iodine was detected at more than double the recommended maximum level.

The news came as the United States announced it was blocking the importation of food from districts near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant after a series of contamination scares.

Water at a purification plant that serves the Japanese capital was found to contain radioactive iodine at more than twice the safe level for infants.

Officials insisted the water was fine for older residents to drink, but parents were cautioned against giving it to children less than 12 months old.

The Japanese government's chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, urged residents not to hoard bottled water. His comments follow multiple reports since the disaster began that shops have been running out of provisions because of panic buying.

Radiation has also been found in produce from districts around the Fukushima plant. The US Food and Drug Administration has now banned the importation of fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and milk products from four prefectures and other countries have stepped up the testing of food imports.

Mr Edano asked foreign countries not to overreact to radiation concerns. "We will explain to countries the facts and we hope they will take logical measures based on them," he said.

Japan has restricted the sale of certain foodstuffs because of radioactivity worries. Vegetables and untreated milk products from four districts around the plant can no longer be sent to market, and inspection regimes have been stepped up in other areas, including parts of greater Tokyo.

Levels of radioactive caesium in one vegetable were 164 times the permitted maximum. Eating it every day for 10 days would expose an individual to six months' worth of radiation under normal conditions.

Radioactivity has spread internationally from Fukushima, with particles found in Iceland, although experts have emphasised the low concentrations there pose no health risks.

There was another setback yesterday in the battle to stabilise the Fukushima plant, scene of the world's most serious nuclear incident for a quarter of a century, after cooling to reactors and spent fuel pools was disabled by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Black smoke billowed from the No 3 reactor, which has been the focus for concern since the crisis developed because its fuel mix contains highly toxic plutonium as well as uranium. Workers were forced to evacuate the plant temporarily when the plume developed, and a spike in radiation levels forced engineers to stop testing electrical systems at reactor No 2.

Only a day earlier hopes were raised that an end to Japan's nuclear crisis might be on the horizon when engineers completed the task of reattaching power cables to all six reactors.

The Japanese government yesterday released its first estimate of the cost of the earthquake and tsunami, putting the damage at 16 to 19 trillion yen (Dh0.73 trillion to Dh0.86 trillion). The cost, including repairs to damaged buildings and infrastructure, is expected to exceed that of any previous natural disaster.

As more mass burials took place, the death toll mounted, reaching 9,452. The total number missing was put at 14,671. Police have said the final death toll is likely to be around 18,000 although others have suggested it could rise higher.

ABU DHABI TRIATHLON

For more information, and to enter the race, please visit www.abudhabi.triathlon.org.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Founder: Ayman Badawi

Date started: Test product September 2016, paid launch January 2017

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Software

Size: Seven employees

Funding: $170,000 in angel investment

Funders: friends

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
India squad

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.

TO CATCH A KILLER

Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

The biog

Name: Ayisha Abdulrahman Gareb

Age: 57

From: Kalba

Occupation: Mukrema, though she washes bodies without charge

Favourite things to do: Visiting patients at the hospital and give them the support they need.
Role model: Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

AUSTRALIA SQUAD

Tim Paine (captain), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg

Roma 4
Milner (15' OG), Dzeko (52'), Nainggolan (86', 90+4')

Liverpool 2
Mane (9'), Wijnaldum (25')

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The Al Barzakh Festival takes place on Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30pm in the Red Theatre, NYUAD, Saadiyat Island. Tickets cost Dh105 for adults from platinumlist.net

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside