News Headlines - 14 February 2019

EU adds Saudi Arabia to dirty-money blacklist, upsetting Britain - Japan Today

The European Commission added Saudi Arabia, Panama, Nigeria and other jurisdictions to a blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering, the EU executive said on Wednesday.
The move is part of a crackdown on money laundering after several scandals at EU banks but has been criticised by several EU countries including Britain worried about their economic relations with the listed states, notably Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela’s Top Diplomat Enlists Support From Dozens of Nations to Counter U.S. - The New York Times

Venezuela’s foreign minister said Thursday that a new coalition of nations would fight what he called an illicit, American-led effort to topple his government, and he accused the United States of using sanctions and emergency aid as political weapons against Venezuelans... He was flanked by ambassadors of several countries that have joined the group, which includes China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia and Syria. Diplomats said the group totaled about 50 nations.

‘From Philippines to Maharlika? Referendum needed’ | Philstar.com

In a speech delivered in Maguindanao last Monday, Duterte said former president Ferdinand Marcos was right in calling for a change in the country’s name to Maharlika, noting that the name “Philippines” has colonial origins.
He said Spanish colonizers had named the country after King Philip II who also financed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition to the Philippines.

JAL introduces wearable robot for baggage handlers - NHK WORLD

Men and women workers wearing the gear could be seen putting passengers' luggage into containers at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Tuesday.
Officials of its maker say the powered device weighs about four and a half kilograms. They say a motor reduces the burden on a worker's back by about 10 kilograms, improving efficiency by more than 20 percent.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has tripled in the last five years. Workloads for airport baggage handlers have been increasing, because the number of workers has hardly changed.

Gay couples sue Japan over right to get married - BBC News

Thirteen same-sex couples across Japan are taking legal action on Thursday against the government, demanding the right to get married.
They are suing for symbolic damages, arguing that being barred from marriage violates their constitutional rights.
Should the courts agree, it would mean same-sex unions will have to be permitted in future.








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