Briefs, September 29, 2012
The many economical and ecological benefits to using human excrement and urine as fertiliser are not to be sniffed at. Fred Pearce gets to grips with a sorely underused resource.
Minister quits in row over minimum wage
Taiwanese Premier Sean Chen said yesterday he had accepted the resignation of his labour minister after she failed to push through a 1.42 per cent rise in the island's monthly minimum wage. Chen acknowledged Wang Ju-hsuan's performance over the past four years but did not name her successor. Wang stepped down after she failed to convince Chen to raise the minimum monthly wage to NT$19,047 (HK$5,021). However, Chen did give the green light to a separate push by Wang for a nearly 7 per cent increase for workers paid by the hour. Some labour rights groups were furious at her departure, accusing the government of bowing to business groups critical of the pay raise, and vowed mass protests. AFP
Chinese, US militaries wrap up 2-day meeting
The Chinese and US militaries wound up a two-day annual meeting in northern port city of Qingdao , agreeing to enhance contacts and communication to increase mutual trust and co-operation. They exchanged views on maritime security situations of the two countries since 2010 and discussed detailed measures to solve problems in this area. They also agreed to strengthen military-to-military co-operation on anti-piracy and humanitarian aid as well as disaster relief efforts. Xinhua
Death toll in bus crash in Hunan rises to nine
The death toll in a bus accident in Hunan province rose to nine after three people who were seriously injured died in hospital, local officials said. The accident happened at about 1.30pm yesterday in Zhonghuopu village, in Huaihua city's Chenxi county, when a bus ran into a crowd of people after the driver lost control of the vehicle, municipal government officials said. Six people died at the scene and five injured were sent to hospital. Xinhua