2019.12.13

News Headlines - 13 December 2019

Honda to debut Japan's first 'eyes-off' self-driving car next year - Nikkei Asian Review

Honda Motor will release a car next summer that can pilot itself with a driver's hands off the wheel and eyes off the road -- a first for a Japanese automaker, Nikkei has learned.
The partial self-driving technology will be incorporated into the Legend, Honda's flagship luxury model. The car is expected to retail for around 10 million yen ($91,000), which would make it 40% more expensive than the standard model.
With Level-3 autonomy, the car can drive itself for extended periods, although the car warns the driver to take over when necessary. Under normal conditions, the person sitting in the driver's seat of the new Legend will not need to keep an eye on the road, leaving the "driver" free to fiddle with a smartphone or watch TV. That level of automation is categorized as Level 3 on a five-tier scale. Level 5 translates to fully autonomous driving.

Japan's dispatch of helicopter carrier to Middle East set for Cabinet approval on Dec. 23 | The Japan Times

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party endorsed a draft plan Friday for an independent mission to the Middle East for Self-Defense Forces ships, including one of its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers, paving the way for Cabinet approval later this month.
The draft, which is likely to be approved Dec. 23 by the Cabinet, stresses the importance of ensuring the safety of navigation for Japan-related vessels operating in the Middle East and stipulates the dispatch of a helicopter carrier and patrol aircraft as well as some 250 SDF personnel to boost intelligence gathering in the region.

Russia Aircraft Carrier Fire: Latest Mishap for Admiral Kuznetsov - Bloomberg

A fire broke out on Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, injuring as many as 12 crew members and killing at least one person, in the latest mishap to plague the Soviet-built vessel.
The blaze started in the ship’s power plant while the vessel was moored at the Arctic port of Murmansk for an overhaul. The fire spread to an area of as much as 600 square meters (6,500 square feet), Russian media reports said.

Labour's 'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner loses seat to Conservatives after 49 years - Derbyshire Times

Labour veteran Dennis Skinner has lost his seat to the Conservatives after almost half a century in last night’s Tory landslide.
The 87-year-old was dealt a devastating blow after 49 years at Westminster as his 5,288 majority was wiped out by the national Tory surge... Mr Skinner saw his vote share drop 16 percentage points as the Conservatives and the Brexit Party picked up huge gains in a 11.4 per cent swing to the Tories.
It means Mark Fletcher has become the first Conservative MP, and only Bolsover's third member of parliament since the seat was created in the 1950s.

8-year jail term sought for ex-top bureaucrat for murdering son

Prosecutors on Friday sought an eight-year jail term for a former top bureaucrat at the farm ministry for killing his socially reclusive son in his high-profile trial in Tokyo... The defense team sought a suspended term, saying the defendant had supported his eldest son with a development disorder for a long time and committed murder to save his own life after his son had threatened to kill him.

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