NZ@9am: 18/03/11: Most read stories online on Friday

By PETER FOWLER

The most read stories online on Friday are all about earthquakes including the "suicide mission" in Japan as 180 workers battle to avert the Japanese nuclear crisis, more coverage of the Ken Ring earthquake prediction circus, and a story which says Christchurch was very unlucky with the earthquake that hit last month.  Prince William's visit to Christchurch and the West Coast to console disaster victims are among the top stories along with extensive coverage of the on-going nuclear crisis in Japan.
The Google News New Zealand lead headline is from stuff.co.nz "Scott Guy's wife wants torment to end." It says Kylee Guy still finds life a struggle eight months on from the brutal murder of her husband. It carries a BBC story which says engineers at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant have successfully connected a power line to reactor 2, the UN's nuclear watchdog reports. And it carries another BBC story which says the UN Security Council is expected to vote on whether to authorise a no-fly zone in Libya within hours. The most popular story from The Sun has the headline "SUICIDE MISSION:Hero nuke workers risk 'death sentence'" and says the 180 workers bravely battling to avert the Japanese nuclear crisis are being hailed as the heroes in the stricken nation.
The nzherald.co.nz lead headline online says "Prince William brightens rainy day."  The web site says somehow it seems quite normal to have the second in line to the throne walking through the rain with no tie and no umbrella in a pretend West Coast town from the goldrush days.

It says a last ditch attempt to prevent a massive radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant by pouring seawater on its overheated reactors is set to step up today. And it says celebrities who plug investment products might face stiff penalties under new laws if they are found to have misled mum and dad investors. The most read story says following yesterday's explosion at Fukushima Daiichi's unit 2 reactor, a decision was made by a manager on site to evacuate staff working in the area.  But around 50 employees - dubbed the Fukushima 50 - have remained at the site working tirelessly around the clock.
The Stuff.co.nz top headline says "Growing nuclear alarm after Japan earthquake, tsunami."  It says a Russian expert says attempts to use helicopter water drops to cool reactors at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear are pointless, as the crisis created by last week's huge quake and tsunami deepens.  The web site says Christchurch might be one of the world's unluckiest cities, scientific investigations into last month's earthquake show. And it says in the days and nights following the death and destruction, Christchurch's Hagley Park became a sanctuary of relief for thousands of people seeking food, water, shelter and medical help. The most read story says violent, unprecedented ground-shaking, unusually high levels of energy release, a fault pointing at the city like a loaded gun and trampoline-like bouncing of ground layers under Christchurch combined over about 20 seconds on February 22 to cause the earthquake disaster.
The Radio New Zealand lead headline online says "Water cannon joins cooling attempt at nuclear plan."  The web site says a renewed attempt is being made to cool reactors at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, and avert a nuclear crisis. It says tens of thousands of people are expected to be at Hagley Park for the National Christchurch Memorial Service on Friday. And it says the families of the Pike River Coal mine workers say their spirits have been boosted by the visit to Greymouth of Prince William on Thursday.
The 3 News top story online has the headline "Nation stops to grieve with Christchurch."  The web site says the country will stand still for two minutes at 12:51pm today to mark the time which the 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch almost a month ago. It says emergency workers frantic to regain control of Japan's dangerously overheated nuclear complex turned to increasingly elaborate methods Thursday to cool nuclear fuel rods at risk of spraying out more radiation. And it says Prince William has another busy day ahead, with a visit to one of the worst hit suburbs in Christchurch as well as speaking at the National Memorial Service.  The most read story says can earthquakes be predicted? Astrological weather forecaster Ken Ring believes they can.
The One News lead headline says "Workers rushing to avoid nuclear catastrophe."  The web site says Japanese engineers worked through the night to lay a 1.5 km electricity cable to a crippled nuclear power plant in the hope of restarting pumps desperately needed to pour cold water on overheating fuel rods and avert a catastrophe. It says in the most read story Prince William will continue his tour of quake damaged areas of Christchurch before attending the Earthquake Memorial Service in Hagley Park.
The Newstalk ZB lead headline says "Prince William to wear Maori cloak."  The web site says Prince William will wear a traditional Maori feathered cloak during today's national memorial service. The web site says alarm over Japan's nuclear disaster grew on Thursday with more foreign governments advising citizens to flee Tokyo as army helicopters dumped water on the overheating plant at the centre of the crisis. It says the final death toll of the Christchurch earthquake is expected to be around 182. The most read story says three New Zealand children were abused as part of the largest international paedophile ring ever uncovered.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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