News Headlines - 18 January 2020

Shinjiro Koizumi becomes first Japanese cabinet minister to take paternity leave | The Independent

Japan’s environment minister has been praised for announcing his decision to take paternity leave, making him the first cabinet minister to do so in the country.
Shinjiro Koizumi, who is expecting his first child with wife Christel Takigawa, revealed in a staff meeting earlier this week that he will take two weeks off following the birth later this month.
The 38-year-old explained that he hoped his decision would encourage other new fathers to follow his example and also take paternity leave.

‘Chibanian’ wins recognition as Japan’s first geological age:The Asahi Shimbun

For the first time, Japan has carved out a spot for itself among the hundred or so geologic ages recognized by scientific organizations.
The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) on Jan. 17 chose “Chibanian,” or Chiba age, for the period between about 129,000 and 774,000 years ago.
The name stems from the discovery of the geological strata defining the boundary on the international geologic time scale in the city of Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture.

Kobe marks quarter-century anniversary of massive quake disaster - The Mainichi

The western Japan city of Kobe and its vicinity on Friday marked the 25th anniversary of the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that claimed the lives of 6,434 people.
Local residents and victims' families observed a moment of silence at 5:46 a.m., the moment the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the port city in Hyogo Prefecture and neighboring areas on Jan. 17, 1995.

No Brexit Day plan for Big Ben as countdown clock to light up No 10 - BBC News

The clock will tick down to 23:00 GMT, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a "special" address to the nation in the evening, the government said.
A special 50p coin will also enter circulation to mark the occasion.
But the plans do not include Big Ben chiming, after Commons authorities said the cost could not be justified.A campaign to find the £500,000 needed to make Big Ben ring when the UK leaves the EU has raised more than £200,000, but the House of Commons Commission cast doubt on whether it was permitted to use public donations to cover the costs.

US prison guards request clemency for death row inmate

Nick Sutton, 59, was sentenced to death for the January 1985 murder of another prisoner, Carl Estep, while he was already serving a life sentence for killing his grandmother in 1979.
Sutton, who was also convicted over two other murders, is to be executed on February 20.
But his attorneys, with the backing of at least seven current and former prison officials and some relatives of his victims, have submitted a petition for clemency to Republican Governor Bill Lee... In 1994, he helped a prison guard who had fallen and lost consciousness by alerting other personnel.
Sutton also helped save the lives of two inmates, his lawyers say.







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