News Headlines - 18 June 2011

▽Toxic truth about Japan's 'miracle': Post-tsunami harmony is a myth and the reality is startlingly different - Daily Mail
It is further proof, we are reminded, that Japan is a society of immeasurable strength. And for this it can thank 'wa', or harmony. This is a collective feeling close to a sense of perfection. It ensures everyone knows their place and acts accordingly. Or so the Japanese like to tell themselves – and the outside world.
Yet post-tsunami Japan is far from harmonious. The bullet trains may be running, but in the fishing villages and tiny ports that litter the jagged coastline north of Sendai, thousands are surviving on aid handouts. The emergency cash promised by the government is yet to arrive.

▽100 days on, Japan crisis lingers - The Hindu
On a related front, the International Atomic Energy Agency intensified preparations for the June 20 global ministerial conference on nuclear safety in the specific context of the Daiichi disaster. In a preliminary report on the disaster, the IAEA praised Japan's overall response as “exemplary” but pointed out that the country had “under-estimated … the tsunami hazard” in respect of several nuclear sites.

▽Chemical Suicides, Popular in Japan, Are Increasing in the U.S. - New York Times
In Japan it is known as detergent suicide, a near-instant death achieved by mixing common household chemicals into a poisonous cloud of gas.
By some counts, more than 2,000 people there have taken their own lives, inhaling the gas — in most cases hydrogen sulfide — in cars, closets or other enclosed spaces. The police now say they are seeing an increasing number of similar suicides in the United States, inspired by Web sites that carry recipes for the chemical mix as well as detailed instructions on how to use it.

▽US is in 'brotherly' talks with the Taliban, says Karzai - The Independent
The United States has opened peace talks with the Taliban, it was announced yesterday, just hours before insurgents killed nine people in a suicide attack at a police station in Afghanistan.

▽Greece expected to default even after a second IMF/EU bailout - The Independent
Ben May, a European economist at Capital Economics, warned: "Weaknesses and divisions with the ruling party [Pasok] have been exposed, casting doubt over its will and ability to take the further measures that will be required of it. We think there will be a default, whether involuntarily or with the consent of Europe, in the coming months."







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