Category Archives: English news

Mission to Mercury


Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system. It is also the closest to the sun. ESA (the European Space Agency) and Japan want to study the planet.

They build a spacecraft. Its name is BepiColombo. People move it to South America. There is a European spaceport there. BepiColombo will leave to space in October from there.

Going to Mercury is not easy. It will take seven years. It is even harder than going to Pluto. The sun is the problem. Its gravity is very powerful.

Difficult words: will (in the future), gravity (the power of planets and stars, the power which pulls things to the planets and stars), powerful (strong).



Urgent : Strong quake hits Japan, several feared dead, no tsunami risk

Several people were feared dead, including a nine-year-old girl, after a strong quake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, local media reported on Monday.

Public broadcaster NHK and private station TV Asahi both reported “several” deaths, with the Kyodo news agency saying a nine-year-old girl had been trapped by a damaged wall in a swimming facility north of Osaka city.

Local police said they could not confirm the reports.

A strong quake hit western Japan early Monday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or risk of tsunami waves, officials said.

The 5.3-magnitude quake struck at a depth of 15.4 kilometres (10 miles) at 7:58 am (2258 GMT Sunday) near Osaka, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There was no risk of tsunami from the tremor, the Japanese meteorological agency said, putting itsmagnitude at 5.9, and the epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was “working united, with its first priority on saving people’s lives.”

Abe said he had instructed his staff to “swiftly collect information on damage, make utmost efforts in rescuing and saving lives… (and) provide timely and appropriate information to the public.”



Local police also told AFP that they had not received reports of substantial damage, and the Nuclear Regulation Authority said it had detected no abnormalities at its facilities after the quake.

The tremor caused a blackout for thousands of houses and suspended train operations during the morning commuting hours.

Private broadcaster TV Asahi showed firefighters responding to a blaze that broke out after the quake at a house north of Osaka city.

Television footage also showed a “shinkansen” bullet train stopped on the railway.

The quake registered a lower six on the Japanese Shindo scale of up to seven, meaning it is hard to stay standing.

Pictures posted on Twitter showed signs at a train station that had fallen down and books thrown off shelves at a store.




Police arrested four ‘free running’ posters

Police on Thursday afternoon apprehended four young men who had filmed themselves performing a “free-running” show by jumping and running on the hoods of vehicles stuck in Bangkok traffic.


The four “Youtubers” – identified as Suphot Sakobkaew, 20, Wanchalerm Premkasem, 19 and two other boys aged 18 and 16 (names withheld due to their age) – were arrested from a computer game cafe in Samut Prakan’s Phraek Sa area. Each of them were fined at Bt1,000 over the charge of causing a public disturbance per each stunt carried out at jurisdiction areas of Thong Lor and Lumphini precints.

Earlier on Thursday, Pol General Chalermkiart Sriworakhan, deputy police commissioner general, had ordered Metropolitan Police chief Pol Lt-General Charnthep Sesawej to locate and investigate the four “Youtubers”after Facebook user Wanchalerm Permasem on Wednesday shared a YouTube clip of the four to criticise them for their “inappropriate action”.

The four were apparently seeking YouTube fame by shooting clips of themselves free running in various places and then editing and joining the clips.

Among other things, they were seen sliding down an escalator rail, jumping on the roof of a subway station, jumping on a sidewalk fence, as well as jumping on and running along the hoods of vehicles stuck in traffic. 

Most Facebook users criticised them for causing a nuisance and damaging other people’s cars.



Workers from Laos to upgrade skills in Japan

LAOS’ Employment Service Centre, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, will send local workers to Japan to upgrade their skills through the Japanese Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP).

The Employment Service Centre officially announced the scheme earlier this month, highlighting how Lao workers could enhance their skills under the programme. Applicants need to be in good health and able to participate in training according to the procedures of the TITP. The training will be in agriculture, livestock and fisheries and other industries. Director of the Employment Service Centre, Khamsene Xayavong, told Vientiane Times last week about the importance of the training to help technical interns gain skills in Japan to improve their career prospects after returning home or continuing to work in Japan. “Those interested can register at the centre until July 5 and take part in a selection process on July 7 when there will be interviews by company representatives from Japan. Applicants will know the test results the same day,” he said. If successful, they will participate in Japanese cultural and language training before departing for Japan.

The centre noted that under the TITP, Japan accepts young people and middle-aged workers from various countries including Laos, and fosters talented individuals who can contribute to the development of industries in their countries through the transfer of Japanese industrial and vocational skills, techniques, and knowledge.