News Headlines - 17 December 2019

Open-ended questions for Japan's new university entrance exams scrapped | The Japan Times

The government Tuesday decided against adding open-ended questions for Japanese and math to the country’s new standardized university entrance exams due to start January 2021.
Education minister Koichi Hagiuda said issues such as the potential for errors to be made by private-sector graders, which includes student part-timers, and the difficulty for test-takers to be able to self-assess answers to open-ended questions could not be overcome.

2 Major Opposition Parties to Start Merger Talks | Nippon.com

The leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People agreed Tuesday to launch talks to merge the major Japanese opposition parties.
The negotiations may be tough, however, as the CDPJ aims to absorb the DPFP, while the DPFP calls for talks on an equal footing to work out details, such as the new party name and envisaged posts.

First made-in-China aircraft carrier, the Shandong, officially enters service | South China Morning Post

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier was officially commissioned by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday as Beijing flexed its military muscles.
The new warship will be called the Shandong and its formal entry into service is a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to build up its naval power.

Woman killed on NYC sidewalk by falling building facade

A woman was killed in a freak accident Tuesday when a chunk of building facade fell off a Midtown tower and struck her, according to police.
Architect Erica Tishman, 60, of the Upper East Side, was walking on 49th Street near Seventh Avenue around 10:45 a.m. when she was hit, according to cops, who said she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan sentences former ruler to death for high treason | The Guardian

Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military leader who seized power in a coup, has been sentenced to death for high treason and subverting the country’s constitution.
The ex-president was on trial in absentia over charges relating to his suspension of the constitution in 2007 as he attempted to hold on to power... Defying multiple orders, Musharraf, 76, was not present in court to hear the verdict. He was allowed to leave Pakistan in 2016 for medical treatment in Dubai and has remained there since.







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