News Headlines - 08 June 2019

Taiwan put on US defence department list of ‘countries’ in latest move likely to goad China | South China Morning Post

The Trump administration’s move to include Taiwan on a list of “countries” in a US Department of Defence report is the latest in a series of provocative moves that appear aimed at confronting China, and putting it on notice.
The wording, an apparent break with long-standing US adherence to a one-China policy, is contained in the 55-page “Indo-Pacific Strategy Report” released on Saturday. The language is part of a section detailing US efforts to strengthen partnerships with democracies in the region; the section cites Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand and Mongolia.

Bernie Sanders Confronts Walmart Over ‘Starvation Wages’ at Shareholder Meeting

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke at Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday and directly told the company that it pays “starvation wages” to many of its staffers.
While appearing at the annual summit in Rogers, Arkansas, the 2020 Democratic candidate introduced a proposal on behalf of an employee to raise the company’s hourly wages to $15 and to allow for workers to be on the company's corporate board.

Gov't council says pensions inadequate in aging society - Japan Today

Japan's public pension system is not enough to sustain people's livelihoods anymore in a rapidly aging society, a government report said Monday.
A council at the Financial Services Agency estimated that a couple who will live until 95 years old will need at least 20 million yen ($184,700) after retirement, more than their pension benefits can cover... The new call means that individuals will take on more risk than in the past when planning their financial future, including potential loss of principal when investing.

Japanese journalist kidnapped twice in Syria and Iraq 'banned from leaving country'

Jumpei Yasuda, 45, who returned to Japan last year after more than three years held as a hostage by a Syrian terror group, has been trying to obtain a new passport for five months... Yasuda wished to obtain a new passport in order to travel to India with his family in May and Europe in June, according to local media.
However, despite the passport issuing process normally taking from as little as one week, five months on he told media he has been informed that his application is still “under examination”.

How Illinois became the first state legislature to legalize marijuana sales - The Washington Post

Ten states have legalized recreational marijuana use, most through ballot initiatives. On Friday, Illinois took things one step further, becoming the first state legislature to pass a bill legalizing the sale and possession of it. (In 2018, Vermont lawmakers legalized possession only.)
The Illinois bill is notable for its attempts to wrap in significant criminal justice reform. Karen O’Keefe, with the Marijuana Policy Project, says it has a “very broad” component expunging people’s criminal records for doing what will soon be legal in Illinois. Additionally, would-be marijuana vendors in high-poverty, high-conviction neighborhoods will get preference in their applications. Proceeds from taxes and revenue will be reinvested in communities hit hard by marijuana convictions. (Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is expected to sign the bill, making Illinois the 11th state where marijuana is legal for recreational use.)







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