2020.03.01

News Headlines - 01 March 2020

Japan’s school closures gives parents a headache | Financial Times

In Japan, the measure has fuelled parental desperation in a country with little culture of nannies and babysitters, exposing inflexible work practices and gender inequality, as well as social gaps created by the rise of single parents and families with two earners.
Experts have decried the decision as politically motivated and some municipalities have refused to close their schools after the sudden move by Mr Abe, who is desperate to stave off any threat to the Tokyo Olympics, and has come under criticism for his handling of the coronavirus.

NASA images show a decrease in China's pollution related to coronavirus - CNN

Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency reveal that air pollution over China has gone down since the coronavirus outbreak... From January 1 to 20 the images show higher levels of nitrogen dioxide over China, but from February 10 to 25, traces of the gas are hardly visible. Nitrogen dioxide is a yellow-brown gas emitted by motor vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities. It can cause respiratory problems like coughing, asthma, and difficulty breathing.

Transportation, tourism sectors hit hard by new virus outbreak

The number of passengers between Feb. 1 and 19 of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line connecting Tokyo and Osaka fell 8 percent from a year earlier, its operator Central Japan Railway Co. said, adding that of those who used other express trains plunged 15 percent.
The pace of decline was the almost same level as was in May 2011, when the nation's economy faced a downturn in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe that March in northeastern Japan.

Malaysia swears in new prime minister as Mahathir forced out - Reuters

Malaysia’s Muhyiddin Yassin, a Malay nationalist politician backed by the corruption-tarnished former ruling party, was sworn in as prime minister on Sunday after the king picked him to replace 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad... Mahathir promised to seek a vote in parliament to challenge Muhyiddin’s support, but conceded he might not win.
Muhyiddin, 72, was sworn in at a palace ceremony in front of Malaysia’s king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, and promised to fulfil his duties as prime minister.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce they are engaged and expecting a baby in early summer | London Evening Standard

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have announced their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.
The PM has been dating Carrie Symonds, 31, since early 2019 and made history as the first unmarried couple to live in Downing Street after moving in last July... Ms Symonds, a conservationist and former Conservative Party communications chief, first made headlines when she was romantically linked to Mr Johnson early last year... Earlier this month, a court heard that the Prime Minister and his estranged second wife Marina Wheeler were preparing to end their marriage after reaching an agreement over money.

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