Headlines

2018.07.16

News Headlines - 16 July 2018

Pompeo: N. Korea hiding N-facilities / Regime accused of enriching uranium - The Japan News

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused North Korea of operating secret facilities for the enrichment of uranium when he met senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol during his July 6-7 visit to the country, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Elon Musk calls British diver in Thai cave rescue 'pedo' in baseless attack | The Guardian

Elon Musk came under fire on Sunday after launching an extraordinary attack on a British diver who helped rescue the boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand, baselessly calling him a “pedo” on Twitter and then doubling down.

Biggest UK auditors hold secret talks to avert watchdog probe | Financial Times

Britain’s nine largest accounting firms held an unprecedented private meeting to discuss tactics to prevent the UK competition watchdog from launching a full investigation of the market that could result in a break-up of the biggest firms.
Ideas discussed in a meeting on Friday included the Big Four firms — KPMG, PwC, EY, and Deloitte — lending staff, software or expertise to their smaller rivals.
The talks came a day after industry body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, met with officials at the Competition and Markets Authority to discuss a potential investigation of the audit market.

Boko Haram overruns Nigeria military base in second attack in days | AFP.com

Boko Haram jihadists overran a military base in northeast Nigeria after a ferocious firefight, security sources said Sunday, the second major assault on the country's forces in two days.
The militants invaded a base holding hundreds of soldiers in Yobe state -- where they abducted over 100 girls from a school earlier this year -- in an hours-long onslaught Saturday night, a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Russia: Remains of the murdered Romanovs ′authentic′ | DW

New DNA tests on bones of Russia's last czar, Nicholas II, and his family confirm they are authentic. Researchers exhumed Nicholas's father Alexander III — himself assassinated in 1881 — to prove "they are father and son."
The test results could lead to the Russian Orthodox Church recognizing the remains for a full burial. It said it would consider the findings and commended the progress of the investigation.

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2018.07.15

News Headlines - 15 July 2018

Boys rescued from cave mourn diver who died | Bangkok Post

The 12 boys and their coach rescued from a Thai cave mourned the death of an ex-Navy Seal who died while taking part in the mission, the Public Health Ministry said on Sunday... Lieutenant Commander Saman was widely hailed as a hero but the boys, aged 11 to 16, were only told about his death on Saturday after a medical team said they were strong enough mentally to handle the news, though many wept after hearing it.
"All cried and expressed their condolences by writing messages on a drawing of Lieutenant Commander Saman and observed one minute of silence for him," Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk, permanent secretary for public health, said in the statement.

Pompeo: Talks with North Korea on returning war dead ‘productive and cooperative’ | TheHill

The United States secured "firm commitments" from North Korea on Sunday in efforts to negotiate the return of the remains of U.S. service members killed in the Korean War, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Pompeo's statement came as U.S. officials held general-level talks with the North — the first such talks since 2009. He said that the discussions were "productive and cooperative and resulted in firm commitments" from North Korean officials on the return of the remains.

Korean Air, Asiana workers rally against leaders - NHK WORLD

Workers of 2 leading airline companies in South Korea have staged a joint protest to demand that their scandal-hit leaders step down.
About 100 workers from Korean Air and Asiana Airlines joined the rally in Seoul on Saturday.
It was the first joint protest organized by the 2 companies' labor unions. The protestors hid their faces with sunglasses and masks.

May warns rebels - Back me or risk 'no Brexit at all' | Reuters

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned her divided party on Sunday that there may be “no Brexit at all” if they wrecked her plan to forge a close relationship with the European Union after leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Israel deals 'hardest blow' to Hamas since 2014 Gaza war - BBC News

Israel has carried out its biggest attack against Hamas militant targets in Gaza since the war in 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.
The raids were a response to rockets fired into Israel, he said. Hamas said a truce had been agreed, but further exchanges have been reported.
Palestinian health officials said two people were killed and 12 injured in an air strike in Gaza City on Saturday.

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2018.07.14

News Headlines - 14 July 2018

12 Russian Intelligence Officers Charged Over 2016 Hacking | Time

The Justice Department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and state election systems, as part of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

US regulator to examine auditors’ ‘going concern’ reporting | Financial Times

The US accounting watchdog has promised to examine whether market intervention is necessary to strengthen investor confidence in auditors’ “going concern” statements — crucial judgments that indicate whether a company is viable for the next 12 months... These criticisms have undermined investor trust in the financial statements signed off by the four — Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG. These firms are responsible for auditing the vast majority of the world’s largest companies.

Dutch city to unveil world's first 3D-printed housing complex | AFP.com

The southern Dutch city of Eindhoven plans to unveil the world´s first 3D-printed housing complex next year, which its inventors believe could revolutionise the building industry by speeding up and customising construction.
Printed in concrete by a robotic arm, the project backed by the city council, Eindhoven Technical University and several construction companies aims to see its first three-bedroomed home go up by June 2019.

Scarlett Johansson Withdraws From 'Rub & Tug'

After drawing intense criticism for accepting a role in the movie Rub & Tug, by her Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders, Scarlett Johansson has withdrawn from the movie, she told Out in an exclusive statement today. “I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” she said. “While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film.”

France celebrates Bastille Day, awaits World Cup final - France 24

Security has been tightened ahead of a weekend that France hopes will bring back-to-back celebrations of Bastille Day on July 14 and a victory in the 2018 World Cup final, with 110,000 members of the security services deployed across France.

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2018.07.13

News Headlines - 13 July 2018

Talking heads

Ahead of the first official summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, see which foreign leaders the two men have each spoken to and met with most frequently since January 2017.

Donald Trump meets Britain's Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle | Reuters

Donald Trump met Britain’s Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on Friday but the 92-year-old monarch was forced at one point to walk around the U.S. president after he halted abruptly during a ceremonial inspection of the guard.
Trump’s first visit to Britain as president was not the full state visit he was originally promised, but he was heralded by military bands on his arrival at Windsor, before he and First Lady Melania went into the castle for tea with the queen.

Walmart Says It Hasn't Made a Decision to Sell Japanese Unit - Bloomberg

Walmart Inc. said it’s committed to building its Japanese business, downplaying media reports that the retailing giant will sell its Seiyu chain.

Mastung massacre: 128 martyred, over 200 injured in suicide blast claimed by Islamic State | The Express Tribune

A suicide bomber targeting a political rally of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on Friday killed at least 128 people and injured over 200, the deadliest in a string of attacks on electioneering that have heightened security fears ahead of the elections.
Among those slain was the candidate for PB-35 (Mastung) Siraj Raisani, whose elder brother Nawab Aslam Raisani had served as the Balochistan chief minister from 2008 to 2013.

Huge iceberg off Greenland sparks flooding fears | AFP.com

A massive iceberg drifting off Greenland has triggered fears of flooding if it breaks up, leading the authorities to evacuate a high-risk zone.
The authorities have urged residents of the Innaarsuit island settlement with houses on a promontory to move away from the shore over fears that the 100-metre (over 300 feet) high iceberg, which was spotted on Thursday, could swamp the area.

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2018.07.12

News Headlines - 12 July 2018

North Korea a No-Show for Talks With US on Korean War Dead

North Korea failed to show up Thursday for talks with U.S. officials on returning the remains of American war dead from the Korean War in the early 1950s, a new sign of tension between the two countries.

Trump Tweets 'Very Nice Note' From North Korea's Kim Jong Un | Time

President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted a letter to him from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un heralding “epochal progress” in U.S.-North Korea relations, despite signs that path-finding diplomacy between the adversaries is running into problems... The letter is dated July 6. That’s when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang and seemingly made little progress in fleshing out details of North Korea’s commitment for “complete denuclearization.”

Thailand's Tham Luang cave to become museum to showcase boys' rescue - Channel NewsAsia

A cave complex in Thailand where 12 schoolboys and their football coach were trapped for more than two weeks before they were safely brought out will be turned into a museum to showcase the rescue, the head of the operation said on Wednesday (Jul 11).

91-year-old man beaten with brick, told 'go back to Mexico' - CNN

Tears glistened on the black and purple bruises covering 91-year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez's face as he described being attacked by a group of people while going for a walk on the Fourth of July... He'll be turning 92 in September, Rodriguez said, and he's never been hurt like this before, in a life working the fields with cattle and corn.
He had traveled from Michoacan, Mexico, to visit his family in Willowbrook, California, a city in Los Angeles County, his grandson Erik Mendoza said.

Japan population declines at fastest pace yet, with only Tokyo seeing significant growth | The Japan Times

According to the census released Wednesday by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the country’s population as of Jan. 1 declined from a year earlier at its fastest pace since 1968, the year the survey began.
The population, excluding foreign residents, stood at 125,209,603, a record drop of 374,055 from a year earlier and the ninth straight year of decline. The number of registered foreign residents, however, rose to 2,497,656, up 174,228 from 2017.

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2018.07.11

News Headlines - 11 July 2018

Thai cave rescue draws attention to country's 'stateless' children | Reuters

The rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded Thai cave, which gripped the country and the world, has also drawn attention to the plight of “stateless” children in the country.
At least three of the boys, as well as their coach, are refugees. Like tens of thousands of others who sought refuge in Thailand, they have few rights and legal protections, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, campaigners said.

Woman arrested in Iran over Instagram video of her dancing | The Guardian

Iran has arrested a number of people over videos that were posted on Instagram, including a young woman who filmed herself dancing to music.
According to activists, Maedeh Hojabri was one of a number of users behind popular Instagram accounts who have been arrested. The identities of the other detainees have not been confirmed.

Original Winnie-the-Pooh map sets world record at auction | The Guardian

The original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by the artist EH Shepard has set a world record for a book illustration sold at auction, selling for £430,000.
The 1926 sketch, which was privately owned and had been unseen for nearly half a century, introduced readers to the world of Christopher Robin and his friends in the original book.

Meteorologists just found the coldest natural temperatures on the planet | Popular Science

The coldest place on earth sits atop the Eastern Antarctic Plateau, two miles above the sea. It’s not just one spot: across an area the size of Indiana, the chilliest air in the world pools in slight valleys. The skies must remain clear, calm, and dry for at least four days for temperatures to dip below -130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a paper published last week in Geophysical Research Letters.

World Cup semi-final: England lose 2-1 to Croatia in extra time - BBC Sport

England's bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came to an agonising end as they lost in extra time to Croatia in Moscow... England - in their first World Cup semi-final since they were beaten on penalties by West Germany at Italia '90 - were given the perfect start through Kieran Trippier's 20-yard free-kick after only five minutes, but Perisic's 68th-minute equaliser sent the match into extra time.

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2018.07.10

News Headlines - 10 July 2018

Cave rescue: Elation as Thai boys and coach freed by divers - BBC News

Joy and relief have greeted the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand after divers completed a daring operation to bring them out.
Seventeen days after they got trapped underground, the last five members of the group emerged on Tuesday.

Japan struggles in the wake of worst flooding in decades | Al Jazeera

The death toll from Japan's worst flooding in nearly four decades has reached 127, with authorities struggling to restore utilities and bring relief to the victims... Torrential rains unleashed floods and landslides in western Japan last week, killing 127, with 63 missing, public broadcaster NHK said.

Japanese nurse investigated over 20 killings at end of shifts to avoid 'nuisance' of telling families of deaths

A nurse suspected of killing at least 20 elderly patients in a hospital in Japan has told investigators that she added disinfectant to their intravenous drips shortly before finishing her shifts because it was “a nuisance” to explain to relatives when a person had died during her working hours.

Australia monster croc caught after eight-year hunt - Channel NewsAsia

An elusive monster saltwater crocodile weighing 600kg has finally been caught after an eight-year hunt in Australia, officials said on Tuesday.
The 4.7-metre beast was found in a trap downstream from the northern outback town of Katherine after first being spotted in 2010.
Authorities had tried in vain for years to bag the croc, which is estimated to be 60 years old.

Ethiopia's Abiy and Eritrea's Afewerki declare end of war - BBC News

The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a declaration saying that the state of war between the two countries is over.
A peace deal ending the 1998-2000 border conflict has never been fully implemented and there has been tension between the neighbours ever since.
The countries have also agreed to re-establish trade and diplomatic ties.

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2018.07.09

News Headlines - 09 July 2018

Deadliest rainfall in 35 years kills 110; dozens remain missing - The Japan News

The death toll from record rainfall, which has caused widespread flooding and landslides in the central and western part of Japan, has risen to 110 as of 4 p.m. Monday, according to calculations by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Abe cancels trip to Europe, Middle East to deal with rain disaster - The Mainichi

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East to oversee the government response to the devastation caused by torrential rain in western Japan over recent days.

Thailand cave rescue: Reports an eighth boy has emerged from complex

A team of 12 young footballers and their coach were trapped in a dark, flooded chamber on June 23 and have been imprisoned for more than two weeks in Chiang Rai province, in the country’s mountainous north.
Four boys were extracted on Sunday and four on Monday, and the eight were evacuated to hospital. That leaves just four boys and their 25-year-old coach deep within the tunnels.

Malaysia halts a big China-backed rail link project

The suspension of the East Coast Rail Link is a signal Malaysia's new leader, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is making good on his promise to rein in China's influence.
And it comes just over a month after Mahathir said he was ditching a planned $17 billion high-speed rail link with Singapore, saying it cost too much and likely wouldn't benefit many commuters.

Nissan admits to more testing misconduct for cars sold in Japan | Reuters

Nissan Motor said on Monday it had improperly measured exhaust emissions and fuel economy for 19 vehicle models sold in Japan, the second case in less than a year where misconduct has been discovered in its inspection processes.

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2018.07.08

News Headlines - 08 July 2018

Thai cave rescue: Four boys freed but rest must wait - BBC News

Four boys have been brought above ground so far in good health, rescuers say.
The mission has now been paused for at least 10 hours as air tanks need to be replaced... The next phase would begin on Monday morning, after relaying "all of the air tanks and all systems along the way", Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said.

Latin American Herald Tribune - At Least 145 Politicians Killed in Run-Up to Mexico Elections

At least 145 politicians, including 48 candidates and pre-candidates, were murdered across Mexico during the election process, according to a study by Etellekt, a risk-analysis firm.
The firm said that 627 incidents of violence against politicians were registered since the campaign season began on Sept. 8, 2017, until June 30, a day before election day.
Besides the murders, the firm said that 206 threats and intimidation, 85 physical attacks, 57 firearm assaults and 52 attacks against family members that caused 50 fatalities were added to the total number of violent incidents against politicians and candidates across Mexico.

Asiana Flights Go Without Meals After Food Caterer Swapped - Bloomberg

Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s second-biggest carrier, said its struggle to provide in-flight meals to passengers departing Seoul continued for a fourth day after a caterer was unable to deliver the food on time.
About seven out of 79 flights were expected to depart Wednesday from Incheon airport, which serves Seoul, without any food for passengers, a spokesman for the airline said. The carrier is working to resolve the issue and providing small meal boxes on some flights, he said.

Toyota Will Reveal New Supra at Goodwood Festival of Speed - The Drive

Toyota Europe confirmed via Twitter on Thursday that the fifth-generation Supra will be formally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which starts Thursday, July 12, and runs through Sunday, July 15.
The A90 generation of the Supra follows the A80, which was produced between 1993 and 2002, and popularized by its appearance in The Fast and the Furious. The new Supra was co-developed with BMW on a platform to be shared with the next Z4, and is expected to enter production alongside its Bavarian brother in Q4 of 2018 in as many as four flavors.

UK heatwave: Photos show dramatic impact on River Teme - BBC News

Water in part of a river straddling England and Wales has all but disappeared due to the heatwave.
Parts of the upper River Teme in north Herefordshire have completely dried out in the space of just a few days.
More than 500 salmon and trout have been rescued by the Environment Agency, which has worked on sections of the river for more than a week.

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2018.07.07

News Headlines - 07 July 2018

Theresa May gains backing for ‘soft Brexit’ plan | Financial Times

Theresa May won approval at an all-day Chequers summit for a pro-business plan to keep Britain intimately bound to the EU single market and customs union, beating back Eurosceptic cabinet opposition to her new “soft Brexit” strategy.
Mrs May challenged critics including Boris Johnson, foreign secretary, to back the plan for a “UK-EU free trade area” in a confrontation seen by senior Tories as a decisive moment in the tortuous Brexit process.
Mr Johnson and five other cabinet ministers met on Thursday night at the Foreign Office to plan a counter-attack to try to preserve a clean Brexit, but they eventually concluded they could not stop Mrs May’s plan.

Ahead of NATO and Putin summits, Trump’s unorthodox diplomacy rattles allies - The Washington Post

This report is based on interviews with U.S. and European officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations and Trump’s interactions with world leaders. The core of Trump’s freewheeling approach has been in place since his earliest days in the White House. Shortly after he took office, Trump began passing out his personal cellphone number to a handful of foreign leaders, and in April 2017, White House aides were startled when officials in Canada issued a standard summary of a conversation between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump... No one at the White House was aware the call had taken place. “We had no idea what happened,” a senior U.S. official said... In this instance, U.S. officials had to rely on Trump’s memory. A terse public readout described “a very amicable call.”

North Korea Criticizes ‘Gangster-Like’ U.S. Attitude After Talks With Mike Pompeo - The New York Times

North Korea accused the Trump administration on Saturday of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization” and called it “deeply regrettable,” hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his two days of talks in the North Korean capital were “productive.”
Despite the criticism, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, still wanted to build on the “friendly relationship and trust” forged with President Trump during their summit meeting in Singapore on June 12. The ministry said Mr. Kim had written a personal letter to Mr. Trump, reiterating that trust.

Under pressure from US, Japan′s Shinzo Abe ′cancels Iran trip′ | DW

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly canceled a trip to Iran. He would have been the first Japanese leader to visit Tehran in 40 years, but he chooses the US security umbrella over the need to secure oil supplies.

TASS: England through to FIFA World Cup semifinal after hammering Sweden 2-0

The national team England has defeated Sweden 2-0 in a quarterfinal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Samara on Saturday.
The score was opened in the first half of the match (in the 30th minute) with Harry Maguire’s bullet header. In the 59th minute, Dele Alli’s second header carried England past Sweden into the soccer World Cup semifinals, for the first time since 1990... England will now take on the survivor in the Russia vs Croatia quarterfinal, scheduled for 21:00 Moscow time on Saturday in Sochi. The semi-final takes place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

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2018.07.06

News Headlines - 06 July 2018

Japan executes leader, six followers, of sarin attack doomesday cult | Reuters

Japan executed on Friday the former leader of a doomsday cult and six other members of the group that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 13 people and shattering the country’s myth of public safety.
The Aum Shinrikyo, or Aum Supreme Truth cult, which mixed Buddhist and Hindu meditation with apocalyptic teachings, staged a series of crimes including simultaneous sarin gas attacks on subway trains during rush hour in March 1995. Sarin, a nerve gas, was originally developed by the Nazis.

Japanese Journalist, Missing in Syria Since 2015, Appears in New Video - The New York Times

A Japanese journalist who went missing in Syria three years ago and who is believed to be a hostage of terrorists appeared in a new video aired on Japanese television on Friday... Nippon News Network said it had obtained the video from a person connected to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, whom it would not name, who told the network that it had been recorded by the group that captured Mr. Yasuda.

Hundreds of thousands evacuated in Japan as 'historic' rain falls; four dead | Reuters

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued its strongest possible warning about the “historic” rainfall and said more was set to batter already saturated areas through Sunday, raising the danger of more landslides and major damage.

Rescuer dies during dive in flooded Tham Luang cave | Bangkok Post

A former Navy seal taking part in the rescue of 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai passed out during a dive and died early on Friday morning.
Naval Special Warfare Command chief Apakorn Yukongkaew said Petty Officer 1st class Saman Gunan, 37, who was a security officer at Suvarnabhumi airport, lost consciousness as he was returning used air tanks to Chamber 3 about 1am.

China hits retaliation button, launching tariffs as trade war with US starts | South China Morning Post

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said China had imposed countermeasures after America’s tariffs came into force.
Lu Kang, a spokesman for the ministry, said China’s tit-for-tat measures “had taken effect immediately after the implementation of the US tariffs”.
Lu was speaking after Washington’s 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods came into force earlier in the day.

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2018.07.05

News Headlines - 05 July 2018

Trump’s Trade War With China Is Officially Underway - The New York Times

A trade war between the world’s two largest economies officially began on Friday morning as the Trump administration followed through with its threat to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, a significant escalation of a fight that could hurt companies and consumers in both the United States and China.
The penalties, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m., prompted quick retaliation by Beijing, which said it immediately put its own similarly sized tariffs on American goods. Previously, the Chinese government had said it would tax pork, soybeans and automobiles, among other products

British PM May admits to World Cup penalty nerves | AFP.com

England's World Cup penalty shootout win against Colombia proved to be almost as nerve-wracking for British Prime Minister Theresa May as for Gareth Southgate's players in Russia... "She did see some of (the match)," said a Downing Street spokesman. "She actually said earlier, she struggles to watch penalties because it's a nerve-wracking time." May appeared buoyed by the team's victory at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.

Japan-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro honored by the prefecture and city of his birth | The Japan Times

Japan-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, 63, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, was named an honorary citizen by the Nagasaki prefectural and city governments in a ceremony in London on Tuesday.

Bombardier and Hitachi in joint bid to build HS2 trains in UK

Train building rivals Bombardier and Hitachi will join forces to bid for a £2.75bn contract to build high-speed trains in the UK.
They had previously submitted separate bids for the contract.to design, build and maintain at least 54 new high-speed trains.
The trains will be used for phase 1 of the £55.7bn high-speed (HS2) railway, which will link London and Birmingham from December 2026.

Trophy hunting: Outrage after American woman kills 'rare' giraffe

Photos of an American hunter posing with the dead body of a "rare" black giraffe she had just killed during a hunt in South Africa have sparked outrage.
The pictures emerged after they were posted on Twitter by the South Africa-based AfricLand Post website. Accompanying the post, which shows two pictures of Tess Thompson Talley of Kentucky, were the words: “White american savage who is partly a neanderthal comes to Africa and shoot down a very rare black giraffe courtesy of South Africa stupidity. Her name is Tess Thompson Talley. Please share”.

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2018.07.04

News Headlines - 04 July 2018

Senior Japanese education official arrested for allegedly accepting bribe - Xinhua

A high-ranking official of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology was arrested Wednesday for allegedly accepting a bribe in exchange for a personal favor, Tokyo prosecutors said... Sano allegedly received the bribe from the university in May 2017, the special squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office said... In return for helping the university to be selected for the ministry's aid program to support private universities, the university allegedly added points to his child's entrance exam.

Former Malaysian leader arrested, to be charged with graft - The Japan News

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested Tuesday by anti-graft investigators and will be charged over his alleged role in the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund, officials said.
A government task force probing alleged theft and money laundering at the 1MDB state investment fund said Najib’s arrest was linked to the suspicious transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million) into his bank account from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, using multiple intermediary companies.

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi got a ransom demand for his kidnapped father hours before a World Cup game - CNN

Nigeria football captain John Obi Mikel has expressed his gratitude to the Nigeria Police Force following the rescue of his father from kidnappers on Monday... ... Obi received a call demanding a ransom a few hours before Nigeria faced Argentina in a crucial World Cup match in St. Petersburg, Russia, police said in a statement... It is the second time Pa Obi has been kidnapped and rescued. The first incident was in 2011 when he was abducted from his home in Jos in Nigeria's central region. He was rescued days after.

Teen who died on overnight school trip suffered from toxic shock syndrome, coroner says | Fox News

A coroner’s report has confirmed that a Canadian teen who died during an overnight school trip suffered from toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Sara Manitoski, who was on an outdoor education trip on Hornby Island, near Vancouver Island, was found lifeless in bed in March 2017... Now, more than a year later, the BC Coroners Service confirmed a strain of staphylococcus aureus on a tampon, as well as other symptoms consistent with TSS, were discovered, CTV News reported. TSS is a dangerous, sometimes fatal illness caused by bacterial toxins. It’s primarily linked to menstruating women who use super-absorbent tampons, but the infection can affect people of all ages, including men, children and postmenopausal women.

How England ended their penalties curse

Yet before England defeated Colombia 4 - 3 on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the Three Lions hadn't won a shoot-out in a major tournament since 1996 - and never in a World Cup.

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2018.07.03

News Headlines - 03 July 2018

Boys and coach found alive in cave | Bangkok Post

The 12 missing boys and their football coach have been found in Tham Luang by a British cave explorer - all alive and apparently safe.
A dramatic video stream from the Pattaya Beach area deep inside the cave indicated an English cave explorer was the first to reach the boys.

Gunmen assassinate Philippine mayor in second murder in two days | South China Morning Post

Motorcycle-riding gunmen on Tuesday assassinated a mayor in a town north of the Philippine capital, the second such killing of an official in two days, police said... Ferdinand Bote, 57, became the 12th elected local official murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a deadly anti-narcotics campaign after coming to power two years ago, although Bote was not linked to the drug trade.

U-boat given to Japan during WWII found in sea after 72 years:The Asahi Shimbun

A German U-boat that was gifted to the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II has been discovered intact off Kyoto Prefecture more than 70 years after it was scuttled by the Allies in 1946... The 77-meter-long U-511 was built in 1941 by Nazi Germany. It was later renamed the Ro-500 when it was given to the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943 after it was used to transport confidential documents to Japan.

Japan leaves spotless locker room, thank-you note - CNET

The Samurai Blue of Japan were eliminated from World Cup play on Monday. But the crushing defeat by Belgium didn't stop the Japanese national team from cleaning their locker room until it was spotless, and leaving behind a note thanking Russia for hosting them.
A tweet from sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri showing Japan's immaculate locker room and a one-word thank you note has gone viral, with more than 12,000 likes and 6,000 retweets as of Tuesday morning. Palmeri noted that the photo was uploaded by a delegate from FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup.

Japan's 'psychic' octopus killed and 'sent to market' - BBC News

An octopus, who correctly predicted all of Japan's World Cup results, has been killed and turned into sashimi... Rabio - a giant Pacific octopus - predicted Japan's win against Colombia and their draw with Senegal by moving to different parts of a paddling pool... Rabio was sent to market before Japan lost 1-0 to Poland on 28 June.

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2018.07.02

News Headlines - 02 July 2018

Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: Left-leaning populist elected

Left-leaning populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador easily won Mexico’s presidential election Sunday, in a victory that upends the country’s political order... Mexico's electoral authority gave López Obrador, who is also known as AMLO, between 53% and 53.8% of the vote — the highest total for a Mexican presidential candidate since 1982, when one-party rule was the norm.

Philippine mayor known for parading drug suspects shot dead by sniper in front of horrified employees | South China Morning Post

A Philippine provincial city mayor known for parading drug suspects in public but also alleged to have drug ties himself was shot and killed Monday during a flag-raising ceremony in front of horrified employees.
Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan city in Batangas province south of Manila was shot by a still-unidentified attacker and died while being taken to a hospital.

Hello Kitty-themed bullet train debuts in Japan - Xinhua

A Hello Kitty-themed bullet train began service in Japan on Saturday, drawing hundreds of fans to celebrate its debut.
The specially painted pink and white eight-car bullet train, or "shinkansen" in Japanese, is emblazoned with the world famous character from flooring to seat covers and windows.

Princess Ayako says she and fiance Kei Moriya hit it off from the start | The Japan Times

Princess Ayako, a daughter of a late cousin to Emperor Akihito, said Monday she hit it off with her husband-to-be Kei Moriya from the time they first met last December at the introduction of her mother, Princess Hisako.

Japanese Emperor Akihito resting due to cerebral anaemia | Reuters

Japanese Emperor Akihito cancelled his public duties after suffering dizziness and nausea due to cerebral anaemia, a condition caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain, a palace official said on Monday.

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2018.07.01

News Headlines - 01 July 2018

Girl dies as car driven by 13-yr-old crashes in western Japan - The Mainichi

A car carrying five 13-year-old students crashed in the western Japan city of Okayama on Sunday morning, leaving one of them, a girl, dead and the other four seriously injured, police said.
The police are investigating who was behind the wheel when the car carrying the junior high school second-graders hit a pole on the median strip of a four-lane road around 4:55 a.m. An empty can of "chuhai" low-alcohol beverage was found in the backseat of the car.

BP to acquire Chargemaster, the UK's largest EV charging network - Roadshow

BP announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster. Chargemaster is the UK's largest public EV charging network, comprising some 6,500 charging points. But it's not just public installations -- the company also builds and sells chargers for home use.

Govia Thameslink could be stripped of franchise due to sustained disruption | The Independent

The crisis-ridden rail operator Govia Thameslink could be stripped of its franchise to run commuter trains in southern England if the service does not rapidly improve.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is understood to have given the parent company of the Thameslink and Great Northern routes two weeks to make changes otherwise the government will take control.

Ukraine's Roma under attack in wave of hate crimes | AFP.com

More than a dozen Roma people were forced to flee the camp outside the city of Lviv after about 10 masked assailants armed with batons and knives attacked them late Saturday.
They killed one and injured four, including a child, officials said.
It was the latest in a string of brutal attacks against Ukraine's 260,000-strong Roma community over recent months. But it was the first such fatal attack. The 24-year-old man died from stab wounds.

How many children does Cristiano Ronaldo have, what are their names and who are each of their mums?

The Portuguese star has four children.
His first son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, 7, lives with the Real Madrid striker and grandmother Dolores in Madrid... And the Portugal captain announced in June 2017 that he had fathered twins via a surrogate mother in the United States... Ronaldo confirmed in an interview on July 18, 2017 that he and Spanish girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez were expecting their first baby together.

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2018.06.30

News Headlines - 30 June 2018

Privately backed Japanese rocket a fireball soon after launch:The Asahi Shimbun

A start-up backed by Internet entrepreneur Takafumi Horie failed for a second time June 30 to launch an inexpensive rocket into outer space.
Momo No. 2 barely lifted off before plummeting back to Earth and erupting in a fireball... "We have never seen a failure like this," Horie, the well-known founder of Internet company Livedoor Co., told reporters.

Headquarters of G5 Sahel anti-terror force attacked in central Mali - France 24

A car packed with explosives detonated at the headquarters of a new, five-nation West African counterterror force in Mali, setting off a gun battle that killed two soldiers, a civilian and two attackers, officials said Friday.

Spanish doctor stands trial over Franco-era 'stolen babies' | The Guardian

The first trial in Spain over thousands of suspected cases of babies stolen from their mothers during the Franco era has opened in Madrid as an 85-year-old former doctor appeared in the dock.
About 50 demonstrators protested outside the court as Eduardo Vela, who worked as a gynaecologist at the now-defunct San Ramón clinic in Madrid, arrived in court... Vela is accused of taking Inés Madrigal, now 49, from her biological mother in 1969, and giving her to another woman he falsely certified as her birth mother.

A lost cat has finally been reunited with his owners after ten years missing | Metro News

Harry the white and ginger cat vanished from his home in Great Yarmouth, Suffolk, in 2008, when he was a kitten.
His owner Mark Salisbury, 39, thought he’d never see Harry again – but never gave up hope of finding him, and kept his details up to date on Harry’s microchip... Mark was shocked when he was told that the cat had been found after being taken to the Blue Cross animal charity 50 miles away in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Though Harry had run away, he hadn’t been a stray. He’d actually been taken in by an elderly owner who had sadly passed away.
It was when Harry was rescued and had a microchip scanner used on him that he was traced back to Mark.

British royals to move out of Buckingham Palace wing for repairs | Reuters

Britain’s royal family are to move out of the famous front wing of London’s Buckingham Palace later this year as part of a multi-million pound building repair project, palace aides said on Thursday.
The royal household will “decant” from the east wing of the palace, the public facade which houses the balcony on which Queen Elizabeth and her family appear for significant events, as part a program of urgent work to replace aging electrical wiring and heating systems.

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2018.06.29

News Headlines - 29 June 2018

5 Must-Read Articles About Mexico's 2018 Election

The importance of Mexico's July 1, 2018 presidential election cannot be over-stated. The election is a critical turning point for Mexico and may mark the start of a new chapter of uncertainty and political risk in the U.S.'s southern neighbor. Some critics, especially among Mexico's wealthy entrepreneurs and professionals see front-runner (and likely winner) Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as a potentially mortal threat to the tenuous gains Mexico has achieved over the last twenty years. Others see him as the only politician in Mexico capable of confronting corruption head on and kickstarting meaningful economic growth in the parts of the country that have been left behind during the era of globalization.

Deutsche Bank’s US unit fails Fed stress test | Financial Times

Deutsche Bank has failed the US Federal Reserve’s latest stress test and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been ordered to strengthen their balance sheets by freezing dividends and share buybacks... The Fed gave 22 of the country’s largest listed lenders a green light for about $168bn worth of payouts over the coming year, an increase of more than a fifth from last year, according to RBC Capital Markets calculations.
However, it rejected Deutsche’s plans to transfer cash from the US subsidiary that was tested to its Frankfurt headquarters.

Turkey elections impacted by restrictions on freedom, says OSCE | DW

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded on Monday that opposition parties were denied equal conditions for campaigning in Turkey's election race.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated victory as his main rival accepted the official results of Sunday's election despite complaints over how the campaign was conducted. The vote was the first held under a new system which gives the president expansive powers.

BBC Two - Japan's Secret Shame

This film tells the moving story of 29-year-old Japanese journalist Shiori Ito, who in May 2017 shocked Japan when she went public with allegations that she was raped by a well-known TV journalist.

Fifa World Cup fair play farce embarrasses Japan fans as social media users slam ‘anti-football’ tactics | South China Morning Post

Japan lost 1-0 to Poland in Russia on Thursday in a match that ended in farce as the Samurai Blue ran down the clock knowing unless they picked up a pair of yellow cards or Senegal equalised against Colombia in the other group H game, they would go through... Another blamed football’s governing body for introducing the rule.
“I doubt Fifa expected to see their fair play rule being used so unfairly”, he tweeted a little after the final whistle sounded at around 1am local time.

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2018.06.28

News Headlines - 28 June 2018

Airbus plans UK job cuts amid fears of hard Brexit impact | The Guardian

Airbus has confirmed it is considering cutting thousands of jobs in the UK as it starts to “press the button on crisis actions” over concerns about Brexit.
The company said it could ditch plans to build aircraft wings in British factories over concerns that EU regulations will no longer apply from March 2019 and uncertainty over customs procedures, instead opting to transfer production to North America, China or elsewhere in the EU.
Airbus, which directly employs 14,000 people at 25 sites in Britain and supports more than 100,000 jobs in the wider supply chain, also said a no-deal scenario would lead to “catastrophic” consequences , which could cost the company billions of pounds in delays. The firm also said it was considering stockpiling billions of pounds of parts to prepare for Brexit disruption.

Shoe camera explodes, foiling man's plans to take videos up women's skirts | host.madison.com

A man who was planning to take videos up women’s skirts had his plans go up in smoke when the battery in his shoe camera exploded, Madison police said.
The 32-year-old man wanted to turn himself in to Madison police on Tuesday and showed up at the West District station, but he wasn’t arrested because he hadn’t taken any videos before the battery fizzled, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said in his daily report.

India most dangerous country for women, US ranks 10th in survey - CNN

The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues, finding India to be the most dangerous nation for sexual violence against women, as well as human trafficking for domestic work, forced labor, forced marriage and sexual slavery, among other reasons.

Honda's Asimo robot bows out but finds new life - Nikkei Asian Review

Honda Motor has stopped development of its humanoid Asimo robot, a symbol of Japan's advances in robotics technology along with Sony's Aibo robot dog... The original Asimo appeared in 2000 as the first robot to walk on two legs. But development started back in 1986. That was the year the automaker opened a research facility in Saitama Prefecture to begin research on what would become Asimo.

World Cup kicks off a £2.5bn betting splurge | The Times

The World Cup is sending Britain into an unprecedented betting frenzy as England’s winning start and a surge of gambling adverts on TV encourage viewers to bet record amounts.
Industry figures seen by The Times suggest that up to £2.5 billion will be wagered on the tournament, an increase of almost 50 per cent on the last World Cup, with a huge rise in the number of female gamblers. Almost £500 million has been bet in the past week with four out of five bets made during matches.

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2018.06.27

News Headlines - 27 June 2018

Uber gets new 15-month license to operate in London | Euronews

It's after Transport for London refused to give the Silicon Valley taxi firm a five-year operating license last September saying there were failings in its approach to report serious criminal offenses and to background checks on drivers.
But now the judge, Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates Court ruled they can have a 15-month permit subject to strict conditions.

Five Charity Workers Kidnapped and Gang-Raped in East India | Time

In the latest sexual assault scandal to hit India, five charity workers in the country’s remote east were kidnapped and gang-raped at gunpoint.
The women said they abducted while putting on a play about human trafficking in the largely tribal Khunti district of Jharkhand state, AFP reports.
The women, who were working for a non-governmental organization called Asha Kiran supported by a local Christian missionary group, were reportedly video-taped and warned not to go to the police.

Donald Trump to meet the Queen during working visit to UK, says US ambassador

Donald Trump will meet the Queen when he visits Britain next month, the US ambassador to the UK has told Sky News.
The president is due in Britain for a working visit on Friday 13 July... It is not a state visit with all the pomp and ceremony that comes with that, so the pair would not necessarily need to meet.
But ambassador Robert Wood Johnson said that while plans have not yet been finalised, they will involve the president meeting Her Majesty.

China zoo criticized for worsening panda's health - NHK WORLD

A zoo in central China has been criticized for its poor management that has negatively affected a giant panda's health condition.
Chinese media say Wei Wei, a giant panda in Wuhan City Zoo of Central China's Hubei Province, is in poor health. Its nose has been found to have turned whitish and a part of its body hair has been lost.

Flood waters hamper efforts to rescue boys missing in Thai cave | The Guardian

Rising waters have forced rescuers to suspend the search for 12 boys and their football coach missing for two days in a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand, but officials have said they believe they are still alive.
The boys, aged 11-15, are believed to have entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province with their 25-year-old coach late on Saturday afternoon... The rising waters frustrated efforts on Monday by the rescuers, including navy Seal divers, to move farther into the cave complex, which is thought to be about four to five miles (6-8km) long and contain large chambers.

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2018.06.26

News Headlines - 26 June 2018

British Queen approves Brexit law that will end membership of EU | Reuters

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth granted royal assent to Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship Brexit legislation on Tuesday, ending months of debate over the legislation that will formally end the country’s European Union membership.

Japanese blogger stabbed to death after internet abuse seminar | The Guardian

One of Japan’s most prominent bloggers has been stabbed to death minutes after giving a seminar on how to resolve personal disputes on the internet.
Media reports said Kenichiro Okamoto, better known by his blogger name Hagex, died on Sunday evening after reportedly being attacked by a man he had argued with online.

Japan pull off greatest offside trap in history against Senegal | JOE.co.uk

An example of such an offside trap came on Sunday during Japan's 2-2 draw with Senegal, where the Samurai Blue sprinted in perfect unison away from the goal they were defending. As a precaution, two Japan defenders ran the other way, just in case the assistant referee decided not to give it or they somehow managed to balls it up.
Japan's left-back, Yuto Nagatomo, collected the ball in the box, but the referee flagged for offside anyway. It's a risky tactic, but when it works well, it's foolproof.

German FA suspend two staff members over spat with Swedish bench | Sky Sports

The German Football Association [DFB] has suspended two of their backroom staff following an angry exchange with the Swedish bench.
The pair will not be at Wednesday's crunch World Cup clash against South Korea due to their actions during Saturday's 2-1 win over Sweden.

Worst VAR decision of World Cup 2018 awards Iran late penalty but Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo survive

But it was done without any meaningful contribution from Cristiano Ronaldo, the man who defines them. Indeed, not only did Portugal’s captain and talisman have a penalty saved, he should have been sent off after the VAR noticed that he had thrust a sly elbow into the face of Morteza Pouraliganji. But, after consulting his pitchside screen, the referee flourished only a yellow card.

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2018.06.25

News Headlines - 25 June 2018

Mike Pompeo reportedly joked with Kim Jong-un about killing him during meeting prior to Singapore summit | The Independent

Mr Kim then confronted Mr Pompeo about his comments when he visited Pyongyang in April, according to a former staffer for the then-CIA director who spoke with Vanity Fair... ”The CIA director joked that he was still trying to kill him, this former staffer said, and both men laughed.”

Award-winning Wild West End garden opens in central London | The Guardian

An award-winning garden aiming to bring peace, tranquility and improve air quality for London shoppers, opens on Monday off Oxford Street as part of a major project to green the West End.
The Wild West End garden, which won a gold medal at the Chelsea flower show last month, has been transplanted into the busy retail heart of the capital.
Designed by award-winning designer , the green oasis features many garden plants chosen for their contribution to air purification.

Supreme Court Sides With American Express In Antitrust Case : NPR

The Supreme Court has ruled that American Express can force restaurants, dry cleaners and other businesses to agree that they won't try to get their customers to pay with other credit cards. American Express is historically known for charging retailers higher fees to use their cards. The court was divided, but more conservative justices won out in a 5 to 4 vote.

Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Headaches Include Outcry From Its Own Fans - Bloomberg

After a poor performance by “Solo: A Star Wars Story” -- a movie poised to become the first money-losing film in the series -- Disney faces criticism over how it’s managing one of Hollywood’s most lucrative franchises. The company is dealing with reports that its next stand-alone “Star Wars” movie may be delayed and an effort by one faction of fans to remake “The Last Jedi,” which came out in December.

Kawashima's error raises questions for Samurai Blue | The Japan Times

Japan manager Akira Nishino said he will analyze goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima’s situation after the FC Metz custodian made an error that led to Senegal’s first goal in the teams’ 2-2 Group H draw on Sunday.
Speaking at the post-match news conference at Ekaterinburg Arena, Nishino said the situation Kawashima found himself in that led to Sadio Mane’s first goal was not “anything difficult, but he made that (error of) judgment, which is regrettable.”

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2018.06.24

News Headlines - 24 June 2018

UK unveils post-Brexit EU citizen settlement scheme | The Guardian

The government has promised to fast-track the registration process for EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit, with decisions on applications to remain in the country reduced from six months to “a matter of days”.
Unveiling details of the “settlement scheme” for EU citizens, the Home Office promised that the application process would be “short, simple and user friendly” with a default position of accepting rather than rejecting applications.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders booted from Red Hen, a Virginia restaurant

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia Friday night by the business owner because of her connection to President Donald Trump, Sanders acknowledged Saturday on Twitter.

Detroit Rejoices Over Ford's Deal For Abandoned Train Station While Shareholders Wait And Wonder

The people of Detroit are absolutely euphoric about Ford Motor’s acquisition of one of the city’s biggest eyesores, the abandoned Michigan Central Station, and the company’s promise to turn it into a vibrant hipster heaven that will attract high-tech workers to the Motor City to develop the future of transportation.

Google's Street View cars will monitor London's air quality

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has made it one of his missions to curb pollution and improve air quality in the capital. Data plays an important role, and as part of a new project, two Google Street View cars will begin pulling double duty as mobile air quality monitors next month. The vehicles have been fitted with sensors that will measure pollutant levels, as well as temperature, humidity and pressure, once every 30 meters as they wind their way around London. This data will be used to complement readings from another 100 static sensors dotted around the city. London has several veteran sensor networks and is no stranger to shorter-term monitoring projects, but this new initiative is said to be on a different scale, capable of painting a near real-time, "hyperlocal" picture of air quality across the capital.

After Macau closes Asia’s only greyhound racing facility, what will happen to its 500 dogs? | South China Morning Post

Dwindling attendances, the transformation of the city around it and, above all, changing public attitudes towards the treatment of animals meant when the official announcement came in January that the Macau Canidrome was to close its doors on July 21, it was hardly a surprise.

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2018.06.23

News Headlines - 23 June 2018

Argentina gets first 15 billion USD from IMF to stabilise economy- The New Indian Express

Argentina on Friday received $15 billion, the first tranche of a $50 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilize its fragile economy, the South American nation's central bank said... On Wednesday the Washington-based IMF approved the $50 billion aid package. It said the first $15 billion will contribute to budget support while the $35 billion balance will be "precautionary."

U.S. Military Prepares to Receive Soldier’s Remains from North Korea - The New York Times

More than six decades after the end of the Korean War, the American military is preparing for the remains of some of its soldiers killed in the conflict to finally return home.
On Saturday, the United States military in South Korea said it had moved 100 wooden coffins and American flags to the border with North Korea to prepare for the repatriation.
North Korea is expected to hand over the remains — believed to belong to some 200 to 250 American servicemen — following President Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

Brexit march: Tens of thousands take to London streets to demand new referendum on terms of EU departure | The Independent

Tens of thousands of pro-EU protesters have taken to the streets of London to demand a referendum on the terms of Brexit, two years on from the vote... The protest is the biggest since the 2016 vote to leave the EU, with organisers saying more than 100,000 people attended.

'Disastrous' copyright bill vote approved - BBC News

A committee of MEPs has voted to accept major changes to European copyright law, which experts say could change the nature of the internet.
They voted to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content.
Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.

Switzerland's Xhaka and Shaqiri charged by Fifa over Serbia goal celebrations | The Guardian

Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri after they celebrated their goals during a 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia in Kaliningrad by performing an Albanian nationalist symbol.
Xhaka and Shaqiri, who are of Albanian-Kosovan heritage but were raised in Switzerland, put their hands together to form what looked like a double-headed eagle similar to the one on the Albanian flag. The gestures risked inflaming political tensions in the Balkans among Serbian nationalists and ethnic Albanians. Kosovo is a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s independence and relations between the two countries remain tense.

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2018.06.22

News Headlines - 22 June 2018

The American products set to become 25% more expensive from today | The Independent

From today the European Union has imposed tariffs on US goods, in retaliation to Donald Trump imposing tariffs on EU steel and aluminium importers.
The tariffs are almost all 25 per cent – meaning anyone who wants to import these products from the US to the EU will have to pay a 25 per cent tax.

French fighter jets go quiet for school exams - DAWN.COM

France’s cutting-edge Rafale military planes will be flying on adjusted schedules this week in a bid to minimise disruption for the students, the commander of a military base told AFP on Tuesday.
Commander Cedric Gaudilliere said his base at Mont-de-Marsan in southwest France had “adapted its take-off and landing procedures” so as not to bother the 3,773 students taking their exams nearby.

Spencer Tunick's nude photoshoot In Melbourne supermarket car park given go ahead by Woolworths - CNN Style

Hundreds of naked people are set to gather on a chilly rooftop in Australia in July after a supermarket dropped its objections to a mass nude photo shoot by renowned New York artist Spencer Tunick.
Woolworths had refused permission due to fears that a photo shoot in its rooftop car park would disrupt its busy Saturday morning trade, but gave the go-ahead after organizers changed the date.

Italy's Salvini causes outrage over Roma census plan | Al Jazeera

Human rights activists and politicians in Italy and abroad have slammed Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister, after he announced plans to count the country's Roma community with an eye to expelling those who do not have Italian nationality.

Almost half of Germans want Merkel to resign, poll shows - The Local

A survey carried out by YouGov and published on Friday shows that 43 percent of Germans want Merkel to leave office.
The survey also revealed that 42 percent of respondents wanted the veteran Chancellor to stay on as head of government, while 15 percent did not give a response either way... The survey also showed that most Germans don’t believe that the coalition will collapse over the current dispute between Merkel and the CSU... Nonetheless half the respondents said that they did not believe that the coalition would make it to the next scheduled national elections in 2021.

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2018.06.21

News Headlines - 21 June 2018

TASS: Tokyo expresses regret over Russian missile-firing exercise due on Iturup Island - paper

The Japanese government has expressed its regret over Russia’s upcoming military exercise, scheduled as reported on Iturup Island (part of the Southern Kuril Islands challenged by Japan), Japan’s Yomiuri daily said on Sunday, adding that the Russian Foreign Ministry had been notified via the Japanese Embassy in Moscow.
According to this report, the Russian side has dismissed Tokyo’s statement, stressing that the exercise is held within Russia’s borders.

Cryptocurrency Tumbles After $32 Million South Korea Hack | Fortune

Bithumb, ranked No. 7 globally by traded value on Coinmarketcap.com, said on Wednesday that hackers stole about 35 billion won ($32 million) and that Ripple was among the coins taken. The exchange halted cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, said it will compensate victims and moved investor assets to a so-called cold wallet, which is disconnected from the Internet and less vulnerable to theft.

Race to succeed SoftBank's Son takes off - Nikkei Asian Review

Nearly two years to the day SoftBank Group's one-time heir apparent Nikesh Arora stepped down as second-in-command, the Japanese technology and investment conglomerate officially installed a triumvirate of executive vice presidents now seen as front-runners to replace Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.

Japan and Senegal fans hailed for cleaning up stadiums after World Cup games | London Evening Standard

Football fans from Japan and Senegal were hailed after cleaning up the World Cup stadiums in Russia after the teams won their latest matches.
Both countries won their first group games on Tuesday at the tournament in Russia and were later pictured cleaning up while celebrating.
It is not the first time the Japanese fans, known as the Samurai Blue, have been spotted tidying up after the football.

Japan worker's pay docked for taking lunch 3 mins early

A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours -- but only for around three minutes to buy lunch... The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.

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2018.06.20

News Headlines - 20 June 2018

North Korea's Kim hails 'unity' with China in new visit - Channel NewsAsia

Kim Jong Un wrapped up on Wednesday (Jun 20) his third visit to China this year, declaring North Korea's unstinting "friendship" with Beijing in a show of loyalty to his main ally following a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump.
The two-day visit was designed to reassure Beijing that Pyongyang will not neglect its interests as Trump and the young autocrat move into uncharted diplomatic terrain.

21st Century Fox Agrees to Higher Offer From Disney - WSJ

Walt Disney Co. raised its offer to purchase most of 21st Century Fox to more than $70 billion in cash and stock, topping an unsolicited offer from rival Comcast Corp. as the bidding war for the coveted media properties escalates.
Disney’s new offer is far higher than the price of its original deal, $52.4 billion in stock, and surpasses Comcast’s all-cash offer of roughly $65 billion. Disney will pay Fox shareholders roughly 50% in cash and 50% in stock.

Sony pays Hirai $25m for final year as CEO - Nikkei Asian Review

Sony's Kazuo Hirai received a company record 2.7 billion yen ($24.5 million) in compensation for his final year as president and CEO, the annual securities report shows, reflecting the best-ever operating profit booked by the Japanese group during the year ended in March... Hirai took in about 2.07 billion yen in base salary and performance-based pay for fiscal 2017. He also received a 200,000-share stock option and 50,000 shares of restricted stock.

Canada's Senate passes marijuana bill but legalization delayed

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government had hoped to make pot legal by July 1, but the government has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales. Trudeau's government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September.

Terror trial told of plot to take Theresa May’s head off | The Times

A suspected terrorist inspired by Isis hoped to “take the head off” Theresa May in a bomb and knife attack on Downing Street, his trial at the Old Bailey was told.
Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, intended to carry out a “full frontal assault” on the gates and the door of No 10 and expected to die in the attack, it is claimed. The alleged plot was uncovered by MI5 officers posing as Islamic State operatives online.

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2018.06.19

News Headlines - 19 June 2018

GE Drops Out of the Dow After More Than a Century - WSJ

General Electric Co. will drop out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average next week, a milestone in the decline of a firm that once ranked among the mightiest of blue-chips and was a pillar of the U.S. economy.
It will be replaced by drugstore retailer Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the latest sign of the rise of the global consumer economy and the postcrisis boom in debt issuance that has fueled a worldwide deal-making frenzy.

Antarctica's Ice Sheet Is Melting 3 Times Faster Than Before | Time

The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study... From 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost nearly 84 billion tons of ice a year (76 billion metric tons). From 2012 to 2017, the melt rate increased to more than 241 billion tons a year (219 billion metric tons), according to the study Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Berlin's SPD wants to fund porn to fight sexism | DW

Berlin's SPD has come up with a scheme to publicly fund feminist porn and distribute it for free via public broadcasters. The party wants to cater to teens who look for porn online, but don't always like what they find.

Meghan and Harry to join Queen at Royal Ascot - ITV News

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join the Queen for a day of racing at Royal Ascot, a place the monarch has described as “this wonderful racecourse”.
Meghan and Harry will take part in the popular carriage procession that – with the Queen at its head – signals the start of each day of the event.

Japan sink 10-man Colombia in historic win for Asia | Reuters

Japan upset 10-man Colombia 2-1 in a dramatic match on Tuesday to become the first Asian side to beat South American opponents at the World Cup.

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2018.06.18

NewsHeadlines18

At least 3 dead in Osaka quake - NHK WORLD

At least 2 elderly men and a little girl are dead in Osaka from a magnitude 6.1 earthquake... The strong earthquake struck before 8 am in northern Osaka. It's categorized as a six-minus on a scale of zero to seven on Japan's seismic intensity scale.

N.J. shooting: 1 dead, several wounded at cultural event

A dispute between rival gang members was the probable cause behind a shooting that erupted in the early morning hours of a popular all-night arts festival in Trenton, killing one, injuring 22, and leaving New Jersey's capital in a state of shock on Father's Day.

FARC peace deal at risk as conservative Duque wins Colombia presidency

Conservative Ivan Duque won Colombia's presidential election on Sunday, June 17, after a campaign that turned into a referendum on a landmark 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels that he pledged to overhaul.
Duque, 41, polled 54% to his leftist rival Gustavo Petro's 42% with almost all the votes counted, electoral authority figures showed.

Loch Ness Monster: Scientists hunt for Nessie DNA in Scottish loch | Express.co.uk

Myths and legends of giant monsters lurking in the murky water of Loch Ness date back more than 15 centuries.
But an academic from the University of Otago in New Zealand is ready to figure our whether there is any grain of truth to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
Dr Neil Gemmell plans to collect and scan 300 DNA samples from the Scottish loch to prove or disprove Nessie’s existence.

Football: Small earthquake detected in Mexico after fans celebrate World Cup goal against Germany - The Straits Times

At approximately 11.30 am Sunday, seismic sensors in Mexico City detected a small earthquake. But it was triggered in an "artificial manner," according to the group monitoring the gauges... Moments before, the Mexican national football team had scored a goal against powerhouse Germany in their group-stage match in the World Cup in Moscow.

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2018.06.17

News Headlines - 17 June 2018

Taliban rules out extension of Afghanistan Eid festival ceasefire - BBC News

A widely welcomed three-day ceasefire between security forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan appears to be over.
The Taliban said its militants had been ordered to take up arms again on Sunday night - now the Eid festival had ended.

Guatemala ends search for people buried by volcano eruption | FOX2now.com

Guatemalan authorities have ended the search for people buried by the eruption of the Volcano of Fire two weeks ago.
The country’s disaster agency said Sunday it suspended searches in San Miguel Los Lotes and El Rodeo because the area is “uninhabitable” and high risk.

Argentine peso plunges against U.S. dollar to new low - Xinhua

Argentina's peso tumbled to a record low Thursday, dropping 1.70 pesos to close trading at 28.20 to the U.S. dollar on the retail market, according to the state-run Banco Nacion (National Bank).
While the currency accelerated a downward slide that began earlier this year, the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) refrained from selling dollars, as it has done in the past, to shore up its own currency.
A newly-acquired 50 billion U.S. dollars loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bars the government from intervening in the exchange rate.

Kushner helped open up back channel with North Korea

Jared Kushner opened up the back channel that led to US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s secret trip to Pyongyang and the breakthrough summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
A senior North Korean official who wanted to push for a shift in relations with Washington sought contact with Mr Kushner last summer, two people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.
The revelation underscores the highly unorthodox nature of Mr Trump’s White House, where family and personalised ties have shaped US foreign relations as part of the president’s desire to chart an unconventional path in a bid to pull off big-ticket deals.

The Times is the most trusted national newspaper | The Times

The Oxford University research found that only 23 per cent of people around the world trusted news on social media, compared with 44 per cent who trusted news overall. The proportion of people who used Facebook as a source of news dropped to 27 per cent in the UK, down two percentage points in a year. In the US, it was down nine points to 39 per cent. Researchers suggested that consumers were eschewing Facebook because of concerns about unreliable news and “toxic” political debates.

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2018.06.16

News Headlines - 16 June 2018

Theresa May 'disappointed' as Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope blocks upskirting bill

The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped in its tracks when Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to it being given a second reading in parliament.
The bill, which was proposed by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse and supported by ministers, was expected to get the nod through the Commons on Friday.

Dixons Carphone admits huge data breach - BBC News

Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records... There was "an attempt to compromise" 5.8 million credit and debit cards but only 105,000 cards without chip-and-pin protection had been leaked, it said.

Stephen Hawking's Voice Is Being Broadcast Into Space : NPR

The voice of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking is to be broadcast into space after his memorial service on Friday, according to British media outlets.
Specifically, it will be directed toward the nearest black hole. Hawking, who died in March, revolutionized the scientific understanding of black holes — and won the hearts of people across the world with his tireless scientific advocacy.

Harvard Study Found Asian-American Admissions Bias, Suit Claims - Bloomberg

Harvard University’s own researchers found statistical evidence that its undergraduate application process discriminated against Asian-American applicants, yet its admissions officials ignored the results and took no action, a group suing for bias claimed.
In 2013, the Harvard Office of Institutional Research said that Asian-Americans should comprise 43.4 percent of the admitted class if they were judged purely on their academic merit, the organization, Students for Fair Admissions, said in a federal court filing Friday.

Netflix film crew are ‘banned from staring, flirting and hugging’ under barmy new rules

NETFLIX has banned film crews from looking at anyone for over five seconds in barmy no-flirting rules.
Others include no asking for workpals’ phone numbers — and urging staff feeling pestered to yell: “Stop! Don’t do that again!”
The blitz follows the Harvey Weinstein and Me Too sex abuse storms. One of the first shows hit is sci-fi series Black Mirror, being shot in West London and on location.

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2018.06.15

News Headlines - 15 June 2018

Afghan Taliban Begin 3-Day Cease-Fire For Eid Al-Fitr : NPR

The Afghan government and the Taliban have begun a rare three-day cease-fire in honor of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
The cessation in hostilities is actually two separate, unilateral cease-fires — one by the government, which began earlier this week and is expected to last about a week, and an overlapping three-day cease-fire by the Taliban.
According to the Agence France-Presse, this is the first cease-fire the Taliban have announced since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Taliban leader who ordered attack on Malala is killed in U.S. drone strike, officials say

A U.S. drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Mullah Fazlullah, the elusive militant who ordered the assassination attempt on then-schoolgirl and future Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Afghan and Pakistani officials said Friday.

Japanese brewery gave donation to Myanmar army chief during Rohingya crisis | The Guardian

The Japanese government has been urged to investigate “immoral” payments, made by a subsidiary of one of the country’s most popular breweries, that appear to have gone to Myanmar’s military.
Kirin Holdings Company has admitted its offshoot, Myanmar Brewery, made a payment late last year, during the height of the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya population in Rakhine state.

New York Attorney General Sues Trump Foundation After 2-Year Investigation - The New York Times

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
The lawsuit, which seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar President Trump and three of his children from serving on nonprofit organizations, was an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president. The attorney general also sent referral letters to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action, adding to Mr. Trump’s extensive legal challenges.

Grenfell Tower one year on: Country falls silent to mark first anniversary of tragedy which claimed 72 lives - Mirror Online

The country fell silent at midday today as people paused to remember the 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire one year on since the tragedy.
Bereaved families and community members - many dressed in green in a tribute to the victims - gathered at St Helen's Church for a memorial service.

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2018.06.14

News Headlines - 14 June 2018

Japanese utility eyes scrapping 2nd Fukushima nuclear plant - The Washington Post

The operator of a nuclear power plant in northeast Japan that suffered meltdowns seven years ago said Thursday for the first time publicly that it will start making concrete plans to decommission another plant in Fukushima that narrowly escaped the crisis.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings said it will decide on the timeline and other details before formally announcing the dismantling of four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ni, or No. 2, plant, which has never restarted since the 2011 disaster.

Toyota to cut advisers from 60 to 9 as part of governance reform - The Mainichi

Toyota Motor Corp. will slash the number of its advisers to nine from the current 60 or so in July as part of governance reform, sources close to the matter said Thursday... Advisers stepping down in July will include former presidents Hiroshi Okuda and Katsuaki Watanabe, while Fujio Cho will stay on to continue supporting productivity improvements at factories, the sources said.

Bullet train suspected to hit a person - NHK WORLD

A railway company in western Japan has partially suspended operations on a Shinkansen bullet train line, after finding evidence that one of its trains hit a person.
West Japan Railway says the driver of a bullet train on its Sanyo Shinkansen line reported seeing a major dent in the nose of another train as they passed each other.

No nukes, no sanctions for North Korea, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells China | South China Morning Post

The US’ top diplomat stressed on Thursday that North Korea would not gain any sanctions relief until the country had completely abandoned its nuclear weapons, pushing back against suggestions from China that tough United Nations-led penalties would soon be eased.

Two Norwegian Lawmakers Nominate Trump for Nobel Peace Prize - Bloomberg

The U.S leader was nominated by two members of Norway’s governing Progress Party, according to state broadcaster NRK. The deadline for this year’s prize passed in January, so this nomination would make him eligible for next year. It is unclear whether he was nominated for this year’s prize, but he was also put forth as a candidate in 2016 and 2017.The U.S leader was nominated by two members of Norway’s governing Progress Party, according to state broadcaster NRK. The deadline for this year’s prize passed in January, so this nomination would make him eligible for next year. It is unclear whether he was nominated for this year’s prize, but he was also put forth as a candidate in 2016 and 2017.

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2018.06.13

News Headlines - 13 June 2018

Trump-Kim Summit Creates New Anxieties for Asian Allies - The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s surprise declaration during a news conference after the meeting that he would suspend military drills between the United States and South Korea — and that he hoped eventually to pull some 28,000 American troops off the peninsula — blindsided American allies, including South Korea itself. Even the Pentagon was caught off guard.

Japan's defense minister says U.S.-South Korean military drills 'vital' | Reuters

Japan’s defense chief said on Wednesday the U.S. military’s presence in South Korea and joint military exercises were “vital” for East Asian security after President Donald Trump’s surprise statement that he would halt war games with the South.

Netizens criticise RADWIMPS’ new song “HINOMARU” for being nationalistic | SBS PopAsia

Japanese rock band RADWIMPS have been enjoying quite a bit of success over the last few years, thanks to their own albums and their work on the film Your Name. That positive image was challenged recently after the release of the group’s newest single. Specifically, the number “HINOMARU” was accused of being nationalist by some online, prompting lead singer and songwriter Yojiro Noda to tweet a clarification... “HINOMARU” refers to the national flag of Japan — you know, white background, red sun — and the lyrics centre around a narrator looking at a flag fluttering in the wind and getting nostalgic for the past. There is talk of a “kingdom,” and of “protecting” it. Noda uses a lot of old Japanese words throughout, vocabulary tied to a time now long passed.

U.S. ITC says probing Toyota, others in patent infringement case | Reuters

The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Thursday it would investigate Toyota Motor Corp, Panasonic Corp and other companies for alleged patent infringement in certain infotainment systems, components and automobiles containing such systems.

Julen Lopetegui sacked by Spain as Fernando Hierro takes over | The Guardian

The Spanish national team has been plunged into crisis after the coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days before their opening World Cup game against Portugal in Sochi, with director of football Fernando Hierro named as his replacement.

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2018.06.12

News Headlines - 12 June 2018

Full text of the Trump-Kim summit agreement

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement at the conclusion of Tuesday's historic summit. Here's what it says, according to a photo of Trump's signed document:

Tesla Cutting About 9% of Global Workforce - WSJ

Tesla Inc. on Tuesday said it will cut about 9% of its workforce in an effort to deliver its first profit during a make-or-break period of building a mass-market electric car.
The layoffs of about 3,500 employees come as Chief Executive Elon Musk reorganizes Tesla's management structure to make it flatter, and as the company tries to ramp up production of the all-electric Model 3 compact sedan.

Daimler Gets Slapped With Recall, But Avoids Risk of Fines - Bloomberg

With a government order to recall 774,000 vehicles in Europe, Daimler AG stands accused of having used illegal defeat device in its engines, while escaping the crushing cost of fines.
The move follows consultations with the German government in Berlin on June 11, which Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche called “constructive.” Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer for his part didn’t mince his words by ordering “an immediate formal recall because of prohibited shutoff devices.”

The death of the art gallery? Japan's new digital museum may offer a glimpse of the future

Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless, which opens June 21, fortunately has a concept which is a bit catchier than its name: the world’s first digital museum of its scope and scale, it's a new generation showcase of immersive, interactive digital art created by teamLab, a fast-growing Tokyo collective of so-called “ultra technologists”.

Real Madrid announce Julen Lopetegui as new coach | MARCA in English

Real Madrid have made the surprise announcement on Tuesday afternoon of Julen Lopetegui's appointment as their next coach.With Spain currently preparing for their World Cup opener with Portugal on Friday, it had been expected that the 51-year-old would sign a new contract to lead La Roja into the subsequent European Championship.

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2018.06.11

News Headlines - 11 June 2018

Russia's Putin would be ready to host G7 in Moscow | Reuters

Russia did not choose to leave the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia should have been at its latest meeting... Russia was pushed out of the then G8 due to its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea four years ago... He, however, added that the combined purchasing power of the Russia and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a meeting of which he was attending in China, outstripped the G7.

Apple bans cryptocurrency mining on the iPhone and iPad

Apple has added new language to its App Store review guidelines related to cryptocurrency. Under the Hardware Compatibility section, Apple now states that "apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining."

Pot of gold found in abandoned French house - The Local

At the house in the Brittany town of Pont-Aven the workers found a lead container that they initially took for a World War II artillery shell... Inside, they found 600 Belgian gold coins dating to 1870 and stamped with the effigy of King Leopold II, who reigned from 1865 to 1909... Under French law, the proceeds should be divided 50-50 between the finders and those who own the land where it was found.

Emmanuel Macron uses ‘les Bleus’ as a political football

The feel-good effect lasted for a few years, as France went on to win the European Championship in 2000. But reality intruded soon enough. In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen, then the leader of the far-right National Front, unexpectedly made it to the second round of the presidential election. In 2005, riots in the Parisian banlieues highlighted the challenge France faces in integrating the second and third generations of immigrants. And in the final of the 2006 World Cup, Zidane was sent off after headbutting Marco Materazzi of Italy.

Tennis: Japanese pair beaten in French Open women's doubles final - The Mainichi

Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya fell short Sunday in their bid to become the first all-Japanese pair to win a Grand Slam women's doubles title, losing the French Open final in straight sets to the Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova... The Japanese duo had also been aiming to become the first all-Japanese Grand Slam doubles winners since 1955. Kosei Kamo and Atsushi Miyagi accomplished the feat that year by winning the men's doubles crown at the U.S. National Championships, now the U.S. Open.

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2018.06.10

News Headlines - 10 June 2018

G7 summit ends in disarray as Trump abandons joint statement - BBC News

The G7 summit has ended in acrimony, with US President Donald Trump lashing out at host Canada and retracting his endorsement of the joint statement.
He accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of acting "meek and mild" during meetings, only to attack the US at a news conference.
The summit was dominated by disagreements, notably over trade.

Trump: Kim has a 'one-time shot' - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump sounded an optimistic note Saturday morning about his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but called the meeting a "one-time shot" for Kim... Trump was speaking from the G7 summit in Canada ahead of his trip to Singapore for the planned sit-down with the North Korean dictator. Calling his trip "a mission of peace," the US President framed the meeting as a rare opportunity for Kim and said the US was going in with a positive outlook.

Trump-Kim summit: Kim Jong Un believed to be on Chinese private jet to Singapore - The Straits Times

A Chinese private jet was spotted leaving Pyongyang on Sunday morning, just an hour after it landed in the North Korean capital, according to a flight route-tracking website.
Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the plane, operated by Air China, was detected at the airport by Flightradar24 at 8.30am (7.30am Singapore time). It had arrived at the same airport at 7.20am local time, after leaving Beijing leaving Beijing Capital International Airport at 4.18am.

Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore for historic summit; meets Singapore PM - CNN

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday, hours after arriving in Singapore and ahead of an historic summit with US President Donald Trump. Lee will have a separate meeting with Trump on Monday.

Trump-Kim summit: South Korea sends President Moon Jae In's aide to Singapore - The Straits Times

South Korea's President Moon Jae In is "highly unlikely" to travel to Singapore to join the Trump-Kim summit, an official with his office said on Sunday (June 10).
Instead, Seoul is dispatching Mr Nam Gwan Pyo, a deputy director of the Moon administration's National Security Office and other senior officials to Singapore, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

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2018.06.09

News Headlines - 09 June 2018

1 killed, 2 injured in stabbing incident on Japan's Shinkansen bullet train - Xinhua

A man was killed and two others were injured in a stabbing incident on a Shinkansen bullet train in Japan Saturday night, local police said... The seriously-wounded man was later confirmed dead and the situation of the two other injured was not revealed.
The police detained the 22-year-old male stabber on suspicion of attempted murder and are now investigating the case.

Toyota To Build Ultra-Compact 2 Seat EV, Priced From $12,500 in Japan

Toyota is building a ultra-compact electric vehicle priced at less than ¥1 million yen (or abotu $12,600USD). The is vehicle is based off another ultra-ultra compact, the COMS single-seater which was sold from 2000 to 2011. The new COMS EV seats 2, or 100% more really small people.

Despite good faith on Singapore meeting, discord remains between U.S., Japan - Xinhua

Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday struck a positive tone towards the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Singapore.
However, his whirlwind trip to White House failed to get the two nations to meet each other halfway on issues such as Korean Peninsula denuclearization, the abduction of Japanese citizens and the trade wrangle between them.

Tracking the man behind the myth of Kim Jong-un | Asia Times

Falletti, Asia correspondent for Le Figaro, has been sifting through Kim-related rumor, hearsay and fact in locations spanning the China-North Korea border, Guam, Osaka, Pyongyang, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Washington, interviewing everyone from defectors, wonks, intelligence agents and officials. With North Korea being Asia’s biggest news story, Falletti sought to penetrate the mystery. As a result, Kim has “hijacked my existence” the author said.

Iraqi migrant accused of raping and killing teen girl to be returned to Germany

The rejected asylum-seeker suspected of raping and murdering a 14-year-old German girl was expected to arrive back in Germany on Saturday after being extradited from Iraq.
Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, was arrested in northern Iraq on Friday night, 24 hours after German police named him as the prime suspect in the killing of German-Jewish teenager Susanna Feldman.

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2018.06.08

News Headlines - 08 June 2018

Honda, GM to jointly develop next-gen EV battery system - The Japan News

Honda Motor Co. and General Motors Co. said Thursday that they will jointly develop a next-generation battery system for electric vehicles.
The smaller-sized, larger-capacity battery system will be mounted on the two automakers’ future electric vehicle models to be released mainly in the North American market, according to the announcement.
The new initiative comes on top of the establishment of a joint venture between the Japanese and U.S. automakers to produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system from around 2020.

Anime adaptation of 'Young Again in Another World' canceled after offensive tweets by author Mine | The Japan Times

The anime adaptation of Mine’s “Nidome no Jinsei o Isekai de” (“Young Again in Another World”) was scheduled to premiere in October, but producers decided Wednesday to cancel it in view of the gravity of the situation surrounding the remarks by the author, who uses a pen name.
The novel’s publisher Hobby Japan Co. also said Thursday it decided to halt shipments of the book... Four main voice actors and actresses for the series all announced their resignations Wednesday from their respective roles in the series.

2 South Korean media personnel arrested for trespassing home of North Korean envoy in Singapore - Channel NewsAsia

Two South Korean men were arrested on Thursday (Jun 7) for allegedly trespassing at the home of the North Korean ambassador in Joo Chiat.
The men, aged 42 and 45, are working for South Korean broadcaster KBS News, said the Singapore police in a news release on Friday, adding that they were alerted to the case at about 3.50pm.

Democrats Childishly Resist Trump’s North Korea Efforts - The New York Times

Shock! Horror! President Trump is actually doing something right.
Sadly, Democrats in Congress are responding in a quite Trumpian way: They seem more concerned with undermining him than supporting a peace process with North Korea. They are on the same side as National Security Adviser John Bolton, quietly subverting attempts to pursue peace.

Shohei Ohtani: Angels starter to miss at least a month with UCL sprain

The Los Angeles Angels placed Shohei Ohtani on the disabled list with a grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to miss at least a month, the team announced on Friday.
He had an injection of platelet-rich plasma and stem cells on his elbow on Thursday with Dr. Steve Yoon in Los Angeles and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

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2018.06.07

News Headlines - 07 June 2018

Google braced for Brussels penalty over abuse of market dominance

Brussels is preparing to hit Google next month for abusing its dominance through the Android mobile operating system, concluding the most important of a trio of EU antitrust investigations into the company... A penalty is expected in the Android case, but its size is unclear. The commission is empowered to impose fines of up to $11bn — which is 10 per cent of the global turnover of Google’s parent company Alphabet — but typically decisions are at the lower end of the range.

Morinaga Milk customer data stolen after website hacking - The Japan News

Morinaga Milk Industry Co. said Monday that personal data on up to 92,822 customers may have been stolen as its health food shopping website was hacked.
Announcing the results of an external investigation of the unauthorized access case, the major Japanese dairy products maker said that credit card information belonging to up to 29,773 of the affected customers was leaked and that around 300 cases of illicit use of the information, involving some ¥20 million, have been confirmed so far.
Morinaga will pay compensation to those whose credit card information was abused.

Spain's ousted PM Rajoy says he plans to quit politics entirely - The Local

Spain's Mariano Rajoy, who is to stand down as head of the conservative Popular Party after being ousted as prime minister last week, said Wednesday he plans to quit politics altogether.

3 deaths, an economic boost and melting traffic lights from heat wave

Parts of Mexico continue to swelter in a record-breaking, prolonged heat wave that has caused at least three deaths, given a boost to the economy and even caused traffic lights to melt in two northern states... According to the National Meteorological Service (SMN), temperatures of up to 49 are expected to continue in the north of the country until next Tuesday, June 5... He added that several states broke temperature records for the month of May, which in two cases go back more than 50 years.
Hidalgo exceeded its previous May record, set in 1964, Chihuahua broke its 1978 mark and Sinaloa beat the high recorded in 1961.

Japan's World Cup preparations under intense scrutiny

Four years ago, 700 fans saw Japan off at Tokyo's Narita Airport. Last weekend, the squad departed for the 2018 World Cup and only 150 made the trip to farewell the Samurai Blue.
Confidence that the team can get out of what should be a passable group with Colombia, Senegal and Poland is low.

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2018.06.06

News Headlines - 06 June 2018

HondaJet to be sold in Japan - NHK WORLD

The HondaJet has already been sold mainly in the United States and Europe, where demand for jets has been increasing among business owners. Last year, Honda delivered 43 of the aircraft -- twice the figure for the previous year -- putting the plane in first place among small business jets. Japan's business jet market is small, with only about 90 planes in operation. About 13,000 operate in the United States.

Teen Girl Guilty of Plotting a Terrorist Attack in London | Time

An 18-year-old girl has been found guilty of planning, alongside her mother and sister, an attack on the British Museum in London, in what is being called the U.K.’s first all-female, ISIS-related terrorist plot.

Michael McIntyre robbed by moped muggers on school run with children

Michael McIntyre, the comedian, was robbed by a gang of hammer-wielding thieves on mopeds while he waited to pick up his children from school on Monday... McIntyre had been waiting in his vehicle to collect his sons in Golders Green, in north London, when he was attacked by two males.

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre to step down in November | The Independent

Paul Dacre will stand down as editor of the Daily Mail in November, ending an era that saw him become one of the most influential editors in Fleet Street history, not to mention a figure of significant power across British politics. Mr Dacre, who has been at the helm of the newspaper since 1992, will take a “step back” to serve as chairman and editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail.

North Korea Razing Key Missile Test Stand | 38 North

New commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea is razing the missile test stand at the Iha-ri Driver Training and Test Facility north of the city of Kusong in the wake of Kim Jong Un’s April statement announcing a unilateral suspension of ballistic missile and nuclear tests... It is unclear whether the destruction of the stand is an indication that the North is suspending this portion of its missile program or that Pyongyang plans to erect other similar facilities in the future.

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2018.06.05

News Headlines - 05 June 2018

Guatemala volcano eruption: Thousands displaced wait for word about loved ones - CBS News

The death toll continues to rise in Guatemala following a devastating volcanic eruption. At least 69 people are dead, the government says. An unknown number of people are missing and believed to be buried in the ash.
About 30 miles from Guatemala City, the nation's capital, the Volcan de Fuego, or "volcano of fire," erupted Sunday sending a dark mix of ash, rock and gas into the air and lava flowing down its sides.

Shocking moment man poses for a SELFIE in front of badly-injured woman hit by a train

THIS is the shocking moment a man took a selfie as a woman lay critically injured on train tracks behind him.
The bloke posed on the platform as paramedics desperately treated the victim, who had been hit by a train at Piacenza station in northern Italy.

Sharp to buy Toshiba PC business, issue $1.8 billion in new shares | Reuters

Japan’s Sharp Corp said it will buy Toshiba Corp’s personal computer business and issue $1.8 billion in new shares to buy back preferred stock from banks, highlighting a swift recovery under the control of Foxconn.
The acquisition of the PC business for $36 million marks a return by Sharp to a market it quit eight years ago, even if its comparatively low cost underscores dwindling demand in a world where many consumers spend more money on their smartphones.

Grenfell Tower Residents Wrongly Told to Stay Put During Fire - Bloomberg

Residents of London's Grenfell Tower were wrongly told to stay in their apartments as fire raged through the high-rise building nearly a year ago, aided by flammable external cladding and a host of fire-safety failings, an expert report said Monday.
Fire-safety engineer Barbara Lane said the fire department's "stay put" policy was shown to have "effectively failed" barely half an hour into the fire. But residents of the 25-story building weren't warned to evacuate until more than an hour after that, at 2:47 a.m., Lane said.

Tiananmen Square massacre: what happened 29 years ago? | The Week UK

A protest, a government crackdown and one of history’s most iconic photographs, the events of June 1989 were a turning point for China

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2018.06.04

News Headlines - 04 June 2018

Howard Schultz to step down as Starbucks executive chairman

Schultz is seen as the architect of the modern Starbucks, having overseen its expansion from a single coffee shop that opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971. He joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing. Over time he grew it into the iconic brand it is today, with more than 28,000 locations globally.
Schultz's latest leadership transition sparked speculation about his potential political plans: He has been a supporter of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during her bid for president. Some have already questioned whether he would pursue his own presidential run.

UniCredit seeks merger with SocGen

Italy’s UniCredit is plotting to merge with French rival Société Générale in a bold move that would see two of Europe’s big banks join forces, leading the way for an expected round of banking mergers on the continent... Senior figures on both sides stressed discussions were at an early stage and Italy’s volatile political situation had pushed back the timetable for a deal from the original plan of 18 months.

U.N.'s poverty and human rights special rapporteur finds U.S. policies reward wealthy, punish poor

Philip Alston, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, published a damning report this week on poverty in the United States, condemning President Trump’s administration for exacerbating the problem of inequality by rewarding the rich and punishing the poor... Alston, who toured the United States at the end of last year, condemned the “dramatic change of direction” in U.S. policies as the Trump administration pursues high tax breaks for the rich and slashes welfare benefits for the poor.

3 astronauts, including Japan's Kanai, return from ISS after nearly 5-month mission - The Mainichi

Three crew members of the International Space Station returned to Earth on Sunday after completing a five-and-a-half month mission, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration said... A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and Scott Tingle of NASA landed in the Kazakhstan countryside around 6:40 p.m., three-and-a-half hours after detaching from the station.

Free New Pokemon Game For Switch, Pokemon Quest, Now Available - GameSpot

The Pokemon Company has announced a new game for Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Quest, and it's out now. The spin-off game, which is free to start, features a blocky art style and top-down, real-time action-RPG gameplay in which "face off against wild Pokemon and embark on many exciting expeditions," according to the company. You can download it for free right now on the Eshop.

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2018.06.03

News Headlines - 03 June 2018

U.S. seeks discreet way to pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during Trump-Kim summit - The Washington Post

The prideful but cash-poor pariah state requires that a foreign country foot the bill at its preferred lodging: the Fullerton, a magnificent neoclassical hotel near the mouth of the Singapore River, where just one presidential suite costs more than $6,000 per night... When it comes to paying for lodging at North Korea’s preferred five-star luxury hotel, the United States is open to covering the costs, the two people said, but it’s mindful that Pyongyang may view a U.S. payment as insulting. As a result, U.S. planners are considering asking Singapore, the host country, to pay for the North Korean delegation’s bill.

Qatar 'stronger than ever' one year after blockade: Deputy PM

A year into an economic and transport blockade led by its neighbors, Qatar has emerged "stronger than ever," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah said on Sunday.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates implemented a land, sea and air blockade on the gas exporting nation that restricted travel and imported goods... But one year later, the economy is thriving, according to Al Attiyah, with the manufacturing of national products, including medicine and foods, having grown - although the minister did not elaborate further on how much production has increased.

Vogue Arabia cover featuring Saudi princess sparks backlash - CNN Style

The June issue, which claims to be "a celebration of the trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia" features Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah al-Saud, the daughter of the late King, pictured glamorously on the front cover. It was intended to mark the end of a ban on female drivers.
Critics, however, have accused the title of being tone deaf, pointing out that at least 11 activists have been arrested since May 15, most of whom are women who have fought for the right to drive.

Tanzanian conjoined twins Maria and Consolata die aged 21 - BBC News

Tanzanian conjoined twins Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti have died at the age 21 after suffering respiratory complications at a local hospital... They were admitted to hospital in December due to issues relating to heart disease but died on Saturday.

Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’ auctioned for record ¥1 bil. - The Japan News

“Weeping Woman,” an oil painting by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), has sold for ¥1 billion in Tokyo, setting a new national record for a winning bid at a domestic company’s art auction.
According to iArt Co., which organized the Saturday auction, the previous record was ¥360 million for an oil painting titled “Reiko in a Woolen Shawl” by Ryusei Kishida, at an art auction in Tokyo organized by Shinwa Auction Co. in 2000.

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2018.06.02

News Headlines - 02 June 2018

Toshiba withdraws from South Texas nuclear power plant project | Reuters

Toshiba Corp said on Thursday it was scrapping a plan to build two nuclear reactors at a U.S. power plant after long delays in which it failed to find investors because of sharply lower electricity rates and increased global regulation.

4 Japanese, 13 Filipinos arrested for illegal mining » Manila Bulletin News

Four Japanese and thirteen Filipinos yesterday were detained at the San Antonio Police Station after excavating the renowned Capones Island in Barangay Pundakit here.

Japanese whale hunters kill 122 pregnant minke - BBC News

Japanese hunters caught and killed 122 pregnant minke whales as part of its Antarctic summer "field survey".
A report sent to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) reveals hunters caught 333 minkes in total.

Sex on Mars is ‘titanic challenge’ that could lead to NEW species of ‘Martians’, say scientists

Researchers from top universities in Florida, Poland and Brazil have talked up the importance of making babies in space in the June issue of the Futures journal... The paper describes some of the big issues with love-making on Mars.
For instance, the Martian atmosphere is about 1% as thick as Earth's, which means it gets bombarded by solar radiation.
Aside from just damaging brain cells and increasing the risk of cancer, this radiation can also significantly reduce sperm count.
Studies have also shown that living in low gravity (as future Mars colonists would be doing) can lead to a weakened immune response.
Pregnant women already have weaker immune systems, which could pose major problems.

World Cup 2018: Nigeria kit sells out after three million pre-orders - BBC Sport

Three million people pre-ordered replica shirts, according to the Nigeria Football Federation, and shoppers queued outside Nike's flagship store in London on Friday to try to get their hands on the clothing.
The home and away shirts, priced at £64.95, were sold out on the sportswear giant's website soon after they were released.

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2018.06.01

News Headlines - 01 June 2018

Trump says Singapore summit with Kim is back on - CNNPolitics

A week after abruptly scrapping his prized summit with Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump buoyantly announced on Friday the historic talks were back on for June 12 in Singapore.
His reversal came after receiving a letter from Kim, hand delivered to the White House by the dictator's top envoy. Trump initially told reporters the missive was "very interesting." But he later acknowledged he hadn't read it yet... He said harsh statements from the North lampooning Vice President Mike Pence and threatening nuclear war were a thing of the past.

Ex-MOF exec Sagawa not to be indicted - The Japan News

The Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office said Thursday that it has decided not to indict former Ministry of Finance official Nobuhisa Sagawa over the falsification of documents on the controversial state land sale to Moritomo Gakuen.
The prosecutors also decided not to indict other former and current officials who faced allegations of inflicting financial damage on the state through the huge discount sale.

Police launch murder probe after real estate mogul found dead with drugs in body - The Mainichi

Police have launched a murder probe after a real estate mogul dubbed the "Don Juan of Kishu" was found dead on May 24 with a large amount of stimulants in his body, investigative sources disclosed on May 31.

Canada to impose tariffs on U.S., challenge at WTO | Reuters

Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) worth of U.S. exports and challenge U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization (WTO), Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday.

German zoo′s ′escaped′ animals didn′t actually escape, just hiding | DW

But the mayor of Arzfeld, Andreas Kruppert, told reporters that the lions, tigers and jaguar had in fact never left their enclosures. Officials had lost track of them during the storm, he added, but later found them with the help of aerial drones after the water had receded... The only animal to actually escape was the bear, which was able to leave after flooding broke down the fence around its enclosure. Officials later shot the bear after finding him on one of the zoo's public paths.

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2018.05.31

News Headlines - 31 May 2018

North Korea Summit: Kim Yong Chol Meets Pompeo in New York | Time

A senior North Korean official and the top U.S. diplomat had dinner in New York as President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un try to salvage prospects for a high-stakes nuclear summit. It’s the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years.

Russia enters North Korean diplomatic fray as Lavrov calls for phased lifting of sanctions on visit

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday on a mission to get Moscow back into the diplomatic fray surrounding North Korea and, ultimately, boost Russia’s economic and security standing in the region.
Mr Lavrov is paying his first visit to North Korea since April 2009 and was due to hold talks with Ri Yong-ho, his local counterpart, over bilateral relations and ongoing developments on the Korean Peninsula.

EU takes Trump to WTO over steel tariffs and hits back with countermeasures on American goods | The Independent

The European Union will impose countermeasure tariffs against US trade in response to Donald Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminium exports, Brussels has said... The bloc is also taking the US to the World Trade Organisation’s ‘trade court’ – officially known as the dispute resolution mechanism – to get Mr Trump’s policy declared illegal.

Marchionne's Finale Entails Expanding Jeep, Shrinking Fiat - Bloomberg

Sergio Marchionne’s last hurrah as chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV entails betting the carmaker’s future on Jeep SUVs and Maserati luxury cars while downsizing its namesake brands, according to people familiar with the matter.
Under the plan, the company is considering ending sales of Fiat cars in North America and China in the coming years, while mostly confining Chrysler to the U.S., said the people, who asked not to be identified before Marchionne unveils the strategy on Friday at the Balocco test track outside Turin.

Original Winnie-the-Pooh map to be auctioned in London | Reuters

The original map of the Hundred Acre Wood from the Winnie-the-Pooh children’s stories is set to go under the hammer, with an estimate price tag of up to $200,000.
The ink sketch drawn by E.H. Shepard in 1926 lays out the much-loved fictional world created by A.A. Milne, depicting characters Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet and Eeyore.

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2018.05.30

News Headlines - 30 May 2018

Israel and Gaza trade heaviest fire since 2014 war | The Guardian

Israel’s army and militants in Gaza have engaged in their heaviest attacks since the 2014 war in an escalation of violence that followed weeks of bloodshed at Palestinian protests along the frontier.
On Tuesday morning, militants fired close to 30 mortar shells into Israel’s south, the largest such assault since 2014.

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center; Possible Preparation for Reprocessing Campaign in Early May? | 38 North

Commercial satellite imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center from May 6 indicates activity around the Radiochemical Laboratory’s Thermal Plant that could be early signs of a possible reprocessing campaign. However, it remains unclear if that is the case since there is no sign of the specialized railcars that are usually associated with this process.

Bayer's $66 Billion Takeover of Monsanto Wins U.S. Antitrust Approval | Fortune

Bayer AG won U.S. antitrust approval for its $66 billion takeover of Monsanto Co., clearing the last major regulatory hurdle along a nearly two-year path toward forming the world’s biggest seed and agricultural-chemicals provider.
The companies reached a settlement with the Justice Department that resolves the government’s concerns that the merger as initially structured would harm competition that benefits consumers and farmers, the U.S. said in a statement Tuesday. The agreement requires the largest sale of assets in a U.S. merger enforcement case, the government said.

HP CFO Cathie Lesjak to Retire in Early 2019 - WSJ

Cathie Lesjak, a Hewlett-Packard veteran who as chief financial officer helped steer the company through one of the largest corporate breakups, plans to retire from HP Inc. in early 2019... The executive changes were disclosed Tuesday as HP raised its annual guidance forecast following strong results in the most recent quarter, and said it expected to book up to $200 million more in restructuring costs as it increased the number of workers that it plans to lay off.

National Reconciliation Week | Reconciliation Australia

This year during National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.

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2018.05.29

News Headlines - 29 May 2018

EU ends antitrust case against Gazprom without fines | Reuters

Russian gas giant Gazprom clinched a deal with EU antitrust regulators on Thursday to reform its pricing structure and allow rivals a foothold in eastern Europe, avoiding fines in a case that has dragged on for seven years... The EU’s decision to accept Gazprom’s offer has allowed it to escape fines of as much as 10 percent of its global turnover - an outcome that has angered Poland and eastern EU countries which have sought a tougher line from Brussels.

'Independent Scotland will keep the pound' First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says country would not join euro - Daily Record

Nicola Sturgeon has said an independent Scotland would not join the euro currency as there is 'absolutely nothing' stopping the country keeping the pound.
Speaking today at an event hosted by the Politico news website in Brussels, the First Minister said "It is not my party's position to go into the euro and I do see that changing.

Liege shooting: Two police officers and civilian dead in Belgium - BBC News

A man has shot dead two female police officers and a civilian in the eastern Belgian city of Liège.
The gunman also took a female cleaner hostage at a school before being killed by police. Four other police officers were also injured.

Ivan the Terrible painting 'seriously damaged' in pole attack | The Guardian

One of Russia’s most famous and controversial paintings, which depicts Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son, has been badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole in a Moscow gallery... In a video released by the interior ministry, the unnamed suspect appears to confess, saying he went to see the painting before drinking vodka and becoming “overwhelmed by something”.

Hurricane Maria killed 4,600 in Puerto Rico, 70 times official toll: study | AFP.com

Hurricane Maria, which pummeled Puerto Rico in September 2017, is likely responsible for the deaths of more than 4,600 people, some 70 times more than official estimates, US researchers said Tuesday.

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2018.05.28

News Headlines - 28 May 2018

More than a dozen killed by outbreak of rare nipah virus in India

At least 13 people have died in India after an outbreak of a rare disease that health officials warn could cause a global epidemic.
Emergency measures have been imposed across the southwestern state of Kerala following the emergence of the nipah virus, which causes flu-like symptoms leading to an agonising brain-swelling condition known as encephalitis.

Ex-IMF official Carlo Cottarelli asked to be Italy's new prime minister

Carlo Cottarelli was summoned by President Sergio Mattarella to his official Rome residence on Monday morning, in the latest attempt to solve Italy's political crisis.
He has accepted a mandate to form a technocratic and politically "neutral" government before new elections can be held by the beginning of next year.
However, Italians could be asked to return to the polls as soon as August if Mr Cottarelli does not win parliamentary support for his interim administration, the prime minister-designate admitted.

Spanish prime minister to face confidence vote on Friday | Reuters

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will face a vote of confidence in his leadership on Friday as corruption convictions handed down to dozens of people linked to his center-right People’s Party (PP) threatened his six-year rule.
Spain’s parliament agreed on Monday that the debate and vote would take place on Thursday and Friday, although the opposition Socialists who proposed the vote may struggle to garner enough support in the fragmented legislature to unseat Rajoy.

EU challenges UK to 'race to the top' on plastics reduction | The Guardian

Brussels has challenged the UK’s environment secretary, Michael Gove, to try to outdo it in an environmental “race to the top” as it proposed a ban on plastic straws, cutlery, plates, cotton buds and balloon sticks.
Frans Timmermans, the European commission’s first vice-president, directly addressed Gove, a fervent Brexiter, as he unveiled details of the planned prohibition, along with measures designed to reduce the use of plastic takeaway containers and drinking cups.

Paris 'spiderman' scales building to rescue dangling toddler - The Local

A young Malian man was hailed a hero on Sunday after he sprang into action to save a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony by single-handedly scaling the facade of the building and hauling the youngster to safety.

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2018.05.27

News Headlines - 27 May 2018

U.S. and North Korean Officials Race to Resurrect Trump-Kim Meeting - The New York Times

In a tweet Sunday night, President Trump confirmed the meetings in the North Korean part of Panmunjom, a “truce village” in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. He also expressed his administration’s newfound optimism about the meeting, further embracing the conciliatory language both sides have used since he canceled the planned meeting in a bitterly worded letter to Mr. Kim on Thursday.

GDPR: LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Instapaper Go Dark in Europe | Fortune

Europeans hoping to read the Los Angeles Times this mornings were out of luck. So were those who peruse the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, and Baltimore Sun... It was all due to the launch of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an EU initiative aimed at giving citizens more control over their personal information.

Iranian Cyber Attack on New York Dam Reveals Future of War | Time

On Thursday, the Justice Department claimed Iran had attacked U.S. infrastructure online, by infiltrating the computerized controls of a small dam 25 miles north of New York City, heralding a new way of war on American soil.

Parents told to change their baby's name because 'it is not gender appropriate' - or have one chosen by the court - Mirror Online

Two parents who gave their daughter a unique name have been told they must change it - or have judges choose a new one for her.
Stunned mum and dad Vittoria and Luca named their daughter Blu, unaware they were going to fall foul of the Italian court system.

Loris Karius apologises to Liverpool for Champions League horror show: 'my mistakes lost us the final' | The Independent

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has apologised for the mistakes that handed Real Madrid a third consecutive Champions League title.
The German goalkeeper had a disaster in Kiev, throwing a ball at Karim Benzema to hand Madrid a second-half lead and then letting a simple save through his hands later in the game to kill off all hope of a Liverpool comeback.

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2018.05.26

News Headlines - 26 May 2018

North and South Korean leaders hold surprise meeting - CNNPolitics

The leaders of North and South Korea held a surprise meeting Saturday, their second in a month, two days after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un... The two "exchanged their opinions" on among other things successfully carrying out a future US-North Korea summit, according to the statement.

Putin To Hold Talks With Japan's Abe On North Korea, Disputed Islands

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are due to meet in Moscow on May 26 to hold talks that are expected to focus on North Korea, the disputed Kurile Islands, and economic cooperation... Abe and Putin are also expected to decide on accelerating preparations for joint economic projects on the Russian-administered Kurile Islands, an archipelago also claimed by Japan, which calls them the Northern Territories.

Netflix Surpassed Disney in Market Cap—For a Few Hours | Fortune

Netflix passed Disney in market value Thursday, just one day after its stock surge pushed it higher than Comcast’s valuation. But the victory was a short one, with Disney’s $152.03 billion value barely edging out Netflix’s $151.85 billion worth, when the markets closed.
Finishing with a record high stock price for a second straight day, Netflix closed up 1.34 % at $349.33 per share. That coincided with an 0.87% dip in Disney stock leaving it at $102 a share.

Assange's refuge in Ecuadorian embassy 'in jeopardy' - CNNPolitics

Julian Assange's nearly six-year refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London is in danger, opening the WikiLeaks founder to arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US, multiple sources with knowledge tell CNN.

Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks - BBC News

Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved... Mr Cohen denies the allegation.

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2018.05.25

News Headlines - 25 May 2018

Trump says North Korea summit talks continue: 'Could even be the 12th' - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday he remains open to holding a summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on June 12... Earlier Friday morning, Trump also hailed North Korea's statement that its leader, Kim Jong Un, is still willing to meet Trump "at any time" despite the President's cancellation of an historic summit between the two leaders.

US Congress bans Trump from declaring war on Iran - Mehr News Agency

The US House of Representatives has unanimously added an amendment to the US 2019 National Defense Budget, in which any declaration of a war on Iran has been banned without the Congress’s approval.

Porsche Issues Recall On Toy Cars For Choking Hazard - The Drive

Porsche recalled one of its branded toys, named 'My First Porsche,' according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Wednesday.
The toy, a wooden car based on the company's iconic 911 sports car, was manufactured in Poland by wooden toy producer Bajo. More than 2,000 have been sold for approximately $25 online or through Porsche dealerships in the United States and Canada, with about 1,700 and 330 purchased in each respective market.
Return of the toy is advised due to the risk of the wheels and axles detaching, which presents a risk of choking for small children. No deaths have been reported.

Nintendo 64 Classic may be on its way, trademark reveals - CNET

So what's next for the company's Classic Edition line up?
The Nintendo 64. Probably. A few days ago, JapaneseNintendo spotted a trademark application that covers both the controllers and software for the 1996 game console. Actually, it's technically the second 64-bit console trademark the company's filed recently -- last summer, Nintendo filed a graphical trademark for an icon depicting the N64's iconic three-pronged controller in the same style as the NES Classic logo.

Ronaldinho ‘set to marry two women at same time after living with them at his £5m Rio mansion’

The two women are said to have been living 'harmoniously' with the former Barcelona star since December at his £5million Rio de Janeiro mansion.
Ronaldinho, who is claimed to be “adept at polygamy”, started dating Beatriz in 2016 but continued his relationship with Priscilla, which began several years earlier.

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2018.05.24

News Headlines - 24 May 2018

Trump cancels Singapore summit in letter to Kim Jong Un - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump will not meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit, he announced in a letter to Kim released by the White House Thursday morning.

North Korea blows up tunnels at Punggye-ri nuclear test site | FOX2now.com

North Korea appeared to destroy at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Thursday, in a process observed by invited international journalists.
A CNN crew at the remote mountain site in the country’s north witnessed explosions at nuclear tunnels 2, 3 and 4, from observation decks about 500 meters away.

Poll shows support for EU at 35-year high across bloc | Reuters

Support for European Union membership has hit a 35-year high across the bloc, with a strong majority of citizens saying it has been a force for good in their country, even in Britain which is set to leave next year.
The Eurobarometer survey commissioned by the European Parliament showed that 67 percent of EU citizens thought that membership had benefited their country, the highest level since 1983. Just 23 percent took the opposite view.

China fines Muji for packaging that lists Taiwan as a country | Reuters

Japanese retailer Muji has been fined 200,000 yuan (23,445 pounds) in Shanghai for using packaging that lists Taiwan as a country, underscoring China’s growing sensitivity to how companies refer to the self-ruled island.
This marks the second time Muji has been hit by such criticism from China this year, and comes after a number of foreign firms including Delta Air Lines and Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) have apologized for similar actions.

Fired Japan football coach Halilhodzic sues JFA - for one yen - Channel NewsAsia

Lawyers for sacked Japan football coach Vahid Halilhodzic filed a legal claim against his former employers on Thursday (May 24) claiming "damage to reputation and honour" and seeking compensation - of one yen.

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2018.05.23

News Headlines - 23 May 2018

Trump Administration Looks Into New Tariffs on Imported Vehicles - WSJ

The Trump administration is using national-security laws to consider imposing new tariffs on vehicle and auto-parts imports, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
President Donald Trump is asking for new tariffs of as much as 25% on automobile imports, according to those familiar with his request, after he repeatedly signaled his intention to impose such tariffs.

Malaysia says private search for missing flight MH370 to end next week

The search by a private US company for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will end next week, Malaysia's transport minister has said, while families of those who died onboard urged the government to review all matters related to the jet's disappearance four years ago.
Malaysia signed a "no cure, no fee" deal with Texas-based Ocean Infinity in January to resume the hunt for the plane, a year after the official search in the southern Indian Ocean by Australia, Malaysia and China was called off.

Royal wedding 2018: Meghan Markle's Givenchy dress in detail - BBC News

The pure white, boat neck gown was designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy... The designer, Clare Waight Keller, was appointed the first female artistic director at Givenchy in 2017 and presented her debut collection for spring/summer earlier this year.
Ms Markle, who met Ms Waight Keller this year, chose to work closely with her on the design because of her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour", Kensington Palace said.

Why birds don't have teeth | AFP.com

Why did birds lose their teeth? Was it so they would be lighter in the air? Or are pointy beaks better for worm-eating than the jagged jaws of dinosaur ancestors?
Actually, birds gave up teeth to speed up egg hatching, a research paper published Wednesday suggests, challenging long-held scientific views on the evolution of the toothless beak.

Sweden votes in law to make sex illegal without consent · PinkNews

This makes Sweden the tenth country in the world to legislate that sex without consent is rape... As it stands, The UK — including the courts of Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales — Belgium, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Iceland, Ireland and Germany define non-consensual sex as rape.

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2018.05.22

News Headlines - 22 May 2018

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak questioned over 1MDB graft

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was today being questioned by anti-corruption police about a graft scandal that could lead to criminal charges against him.
He was summoned nearly two weeks after the defeat of his long-ruling coalition in national elections, a loss partly due to public anger over alleged corruption at the 1MDB state investment fund that Mr Najib set up. US investigators say Mr Najib’s associates stole and laundered $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which landed in Mr Najib’s bank account.

Venezuela expels two U.S. diplomats after election sanctions - UPI.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Tuesday he is expelling two top U.S. diplomats in response to U.S. sanctions... The decision follows the United States' issued sanctions against Venezuela for holding what it deemed a "sham" election, in which Maduro won another term as president.

South Korea's Moon heads for Trump talks to try to keep summit on track | The Guardian

The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, is due to hold talks in the White House with Donald Trump on Tuesday amid growing uncertainty over Trump’s planned North Korean summit in Singapore next month.

Sony in $2.3 billion deal for EMI, becomes world's biggest music publisher | Reuters

Sony Corp said on Tuesday it would pay about $2.3 billion to gain control of EMI, becoming the world’s largest music publisher in an industry that has found new life on the back of streaming services.

The Football Hit Felt All Over Japan - The New York Times

The violent hit to the defenseless quarterback came from behind, after the first play of a game between two storied college football teams. Ordinarily, the illegal tackle would have simply drawn a severe penalty.
But it happened in Japan, where the play — and what led to it — has touched off nationwide examination of deep-rooted cultural dynamics, including what the Japanese call “power hara,” or harassment by those in power who force underlings to do things against their will.

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2018.05.21

News Headlines - 21 May 2018

Climber Nobukazu Kuriki dies on Mt. Everest - NHK WORLD

Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has died while attempting to scale Mount Everest. He was 35.
A Nepalese mountaineering association says Kuriki was found collapsed near a camp on the mountain at an altitude of 7,400 meters on Monday morning.

Malaysia to introduce sales and service tax after effectively scrapping GST | Reuters

Malaysia said it will introduce a sales and service tax (SST) to partly offset the shortfall in revenue from effectively scrapping a goods and service tax (GST) from June... In a statement on Thursday, the ministry of finance said the shortfall in revenue will be supported by specific revenue and expenditure measures that will be announced soon, including the reintroduction of the SST.

Mother of student killed at Santa Fe High School says suspect pursued her daughter for several months | abc13.com

Rodriguez said Dimitri Pagourtzis had pursued her daughter for several months, but Shana rejected his advances.
"He had dated her friend before and then turned to her. She wanted nothing to do with him," she said, but the unwanted attention continued.

Ex-Chelsea youth alleges racial abuse - BBC Sport

An ex youth team player has become the first alleged victim of racial abuse at Chelsea to reveal his identity and talk publicly about "internal racism and bullying".
Speaking exclusively to BBC Sport, Damien Wynter claimed that ex-coach Gwyn Williams labelled him the 'brother' and "did nothing" to stop what Wynter says he experienced.

Syrian Military Retakes Full Control Of Damascus : NPR

According to government reports, the Syrian army had driven ISIS out of the rebel group's last remaining strongholds in southern Damascus; this marks the first time that President Bashar al-Assad's government has total control of the capital since the rebellion began in 2011.

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2018.05.20

News Headlines - 20 May 2018

Seoul Refutes Reports About Offer to US on Removal of Nukes From North Korea - Sputnik International

The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in has denied reports that Seoul allegedly made an offer to the United States to take out North Korea's nuclear weapons and transfer them to another country, the Yonhap news agency reported... the presidential administration was considering a response to Asahi's false reports.

Greek mayor hospitalised after 'far-right' attack | AFP.com

The mayor of Greece's second city Thessaloniki was hospitalised early Sunday after an assault by suspected far-right members at a rally, officials said.
Yiannis Boutaris, 75, had to be escorted from the event on Saturday commemorating the massacre of Black Sea Greeks in Turkey during and after World War I when members of the crowd turned violent.

Palestinians recall envoys in Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria | Reuters

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it was recalling for consultations Palestinian ambassadors in Romania, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic, citing those EU nations’ participation in an official Israeli celebration of the U.S. Embassy’s move to Jerusalem.

Ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged after poisoning - BBC News

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal has been discharged from hospital, two months after being poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury.
The 66-year-old was found slumped on a park bench in the city on 4 March, with his daughter Yulia.

College football coach in Japan to quit over ugly tackle

The head coach of a Japanese college football team says he will quit after a dangerous tackle by one of his players left an opponent in the hospital.
Nihon University head coach Masato Uchida said he would resign to take responsibility for the hit in which one of his players tackled Kwansei Gakuin’s quarterback from behind long after he had released the ball.

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2018.05.19

News Headlines - 19 May 2018

‘Stand by Me’: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Married - The New York Times

It was an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, of centuries of history and up-to-the moment flourishes. Oprah was here, and so was Meghan’s mother, an African-American social worker who wore a conventional mother-of-the-bride outfit and also a nose stud... Chosen to give the address to the congregations, Bishop Curry, who is African-American, quoted Martin Luther King. His voice rising and falling with emotion, he made a big, generous, impassioned case for love as the most important thing there is, in religion and in life.

U.S. Births Dip To 30-Year Low; Fertility Rate Sinks Further Below Replacement Level : NPR

The birthrate fell for nearly every group of women of reproductive age in the U.S. in 2017, reflecting a sharp drop that saw the fewest newborns since 1987, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 3,853,472 births in the U.S. in 2017 — "down 2 percent from 2016 and the lowest number in 30 years," the CDC said.

Defector says Kim Jong Un is ruthless and quick to anger:The Asahi Shimbun

These anecdotes are from the memoirs of Thae Yong Ho, who served as deputy ambassador to Britain when he defected to South Korea in summer 2016. The title of his book, which is in Korean and released May 15, roughly translates as “Secret code in the general secretary’s office on the 3rd floor.”

Manchester Arena attack: Tree trail to mark first anniversary - BBC News

Twenty-two people were killed by a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May last year.
Members of the public are invited to attach messages to 28 trees planted between Victoria Station - near the concert venue - and St Ann's Square.

Taylor Swift: Man accused of stalking singer jailed - BBC News

A man accused of stalking Taylor Swift and breaking into her apartment block has been jailed for six months.
Mohammed Jaffar pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in the second degree, according to US prosecutors.

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2018.05.18

News Headlines - 18 May 2018

All of Chile’s Catholic Bishops Offer to Quit Over Sex Abuse Scandal - The New York Times

All 34 of Chile’s Roman Catholic bishops offered their resignations on Friday over a child sexual abuse scandal, and asked forgiveness for the “pain they caused the victims, the pope, the people of God, and our country for the grave errors and omissions we committed.”
The mass resignation — the first of its kind, according to the Vatican — came after Pope Francis accused the bishops at an emergency meeting this week of failing to investigate complaints, allowing evidence to be destroyed, and covering up for abusive priests by moving them from place to place. He said the systemic failures had left him “perplexed and ashamed.”

Royal wedding procession route: Windsor map and timings for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's big day | London Evening Standard

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will ride through the streets of Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage and greet thousands of well-wishers after their wedding... The carriage procession after the hour-long ceremony is expected to last 25 minutes.

Mark van Dongen acid attack: 'I realised his skin was melting' - BBC News

Berlinah Wallace has been convicted over an acid attack on her former partner, Mark van Dongen, that left him so badly disfigured he chose to end his life. BBC News examines the extraordinary price he paid for rejecting her.

Belgium migrants: Girl dies after police chase van - BBC News

A two-year-old girl was found with fatal injuries after a van carrying 30 Kurdish migrants was chased by police for an hour in southern Belgium.
Police say the girl died soon afterwards and have revealed that there was a scuffle and shots were fired.

Next Arsenal manager: Mikel Arteta agrees to become new Gunners boss | Goal.com

Mikel Arteta has agreed in principle to replace Arsene Wenger and become the new manager at Arsenal.
Goal understands that, while no contract has yet been signed, the announcement of Arteta's return to the Emirates Stadium will be made in the coming days.

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2018.05.17

News Headlines - 17 May 2018

WHO says Ebola outbreak has spread to DR Congo city | AFP.com

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to a city, the World Health Organization said Thursday, fuelling concern the deadly virus may prove tougher to contain.
The fresh outbreak, publicly declared on May 8 with 23 deaths so far, had previously been confined to a very remote, rural area in Equateur Province in the northwest of the country.

Australia restricts live sheep exports after scandal | DW

Australia is introducing sweeping reforms in its live export trade after footage of dead or dying sheep on ships bound to the Middle East caused a public outcry. The government said the whole industry needed to change.

Royal wedding 2018: Who's paying? - BBC News

So what do we know about the expected cost of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, and how much will the taxpayer be paying towards it?

Meghan Markle confirms her father will not attend the royal wedding | The Guardian

Meghan Markle’s father will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry, Kensington Palace has announced.
In a statement issued on her behalf on Thursday after days of speculation, Markle said: “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.

Third teenager held over hoax school bomb threats - BBC News

An 18-year-old man has been arrested after hoax bomb threats were sent to thousands of schools in the UK and US.
The teenager was arrested in Andover in Hampshire on Wednesday on suspicion of making threats to kill, blackmail and malicious communications.

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2018.05.16

News Headlines - 16 May 2018

Ahead of proposed summit, North Korea lobs barbs at national security advisor John Bolton

After announcing early Wednesday that it was pulling out of high-level talks with Seoul because of a new round of U.S.-South Korean military exercises, the North took aim at Bolton and said it might have to reconsider whether to proceed with the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because it doubts how seriously Washington actually wants peaceful dialogue.

Senate approves bipartisan resolution to restore FCC net neutrality rules - The Washington Post

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that aims to undo a sweeping act of deregulation undertaken last year by the Federal Communications Commission, issuing a rebuke to the Trump administration, which supported the FCC's move.

Senate panel votes to endorse Gina Haspel as first female CIA director

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Wednesday to advance the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA director, setting up a confirmation vote in the full Senate that Haspel is poised to win... The 61-year-old Kentucky native would be the nation's first female CIA director, capping a 33-year career with the agency that has sent her to some of the world's most dangerous places as a covert agent. She became deputy director last year and has been serving as acting director since Mike Pompeo left last month to become secretary of State.

Trudeau uses NYU graduation speech to criticize growth in identity politics | CTV News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first order of business after descending on Donald Trump's hometown Wednesday was to enlist thousands of newly minted American university graduates in the fight against a rising tide of intolerance and nationalism around the world.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Russia qualify after Spain, Belgium and Romania sanctioned - BBC Sport

Romania have now appealed against the ruling, and claim they took all the appropriate steps to determine the availability of Sione Faka'osilea, who has been deemed ineligible after previously representing the Tongan 7s team.
Rugby Romania also say they received assurances directly from the president of the Tongan Rugby Union, Fe'ao Vunipola, the father of England internationals Billy and Mako, that Faka'osilea was eligible to play for Romania.

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2018.05.15

News Headlines - 15 May 2018

Tom Wolfe dies at 88

Tom Wolfe, the innovative journalist and author who wrote such best-selling masterpieces as "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff" has passed away.

Former Taiwan President Ma Found Guilty of Leaking Information - Bloomberg

Ex-Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou was sentenced to four months in jail for leaking details of a criminal investigation while still in office, although the former Kuomintang leader could still avoid jail time by paying a fine or winning on appeal.

Off-duty cop fatally shoots gunman at her kids' school - ABC News

A off-duty police officer waiting to pick up her children at their school in Brazil shot an intruder, who later died at the hospital, officials said.
Katia da Silva Sastre, 42, was waiting for her children at Colégio Ferreira Master school in Sao Paolo when a man dressed in shorts and a dark hooded sweatshirt charged toward her and other parents with a pistol in his right hand.

Picasso 'accidentally' damaged, withdrawn from sale | AFP.com

A Picasso self-portrait estimated to be worth $70 million and due to go under the hammer in New York on Tuesday, has been "accidentally damaged" and withdrawn from auction, Christie's said.
The 1943 masterpiece called "The Marin" or "The Sailor" had been a highlight of Christie's marquee impressionist and modern evening art sale. According to US media, it belongs to former casino magnate Steve Wynn.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao to stand down

Vittorio Colao, who helped build Vodafone into one of the world’s largest telecommunications groups, will step down as its chief executive in October after a decade at the helm.
Nick Read, chief financial officer, has been promoted to the top job having been groomed as the preferred internal candidate. He joined Vodafone in 2001 and, before becoming CFO in 2014, led the UK business and was responsible for Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

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2018.05.14

News Headlines - 14 May 2018

Israeli forces kill 55 in Gaza clashes as US opens Jerusalem embassy | AFP.com

Israeli forces killed 55 Palestinians on the Gaza border in the conflict's bloodiest day in years on Monday as clashes and protests coincided with the deeply controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Hawaii's Big Island residents frantically searching for masks the government says they don't need - CNN

As volcanic eruptions spew toxic gas into the air, some residents of Hawaii's Big Island are frantically searching for masks for protection.
But the Hawaii Department of Health says "no commercial mask sold in stores" would actually do residents any good.

Facebook suspends 200 apps as part of investigation into data misuse | The Guardian

Facebook said it had suspended roughly 200 apps as part of its investigation into the potential misuse of personal data on the social network, the latest fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
In an announcement on Monday, the company also said that it had investigated thousands of apps two months after reporting by the Observer and the Guardian revealed that millions of Americans’ personal data was harvested from Facebook and improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.

Nintendo is making a special edition Famicom Mini loaded with manga games - The Verge

Nintendo is releasing a gold and red Famicom Mini in Japan that comes preloaded with 20 games that are based on manga... The special edition of the Family Computer will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which prints beloved serial manga titles like One Piece and Boruto, the sequel to Naruto. Some of the preloaded games include Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, and Fist of the North Star. Most of these are very old school, from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The console is set to cost \7,980 ($72.80).

Univ. football player accused of dangerous act - NHK WORLD - English

The head of the Japan Sports Agency has accused a university player of American football of carrying out a dangerous tackle and is calling for measures to prevent a recurrence.
The incident occurred during a match between Nihon University and Kwansei Gakuin University held in Tokyo on May 6th.

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2018.05.13

News Headlines - 13 May 2018

Ten dead in Indonesian church bombings

Suicide bombers on motorcycles and including a woman with children have targeted Sunday Mass congregations in three churches in Indonesia's second-largest city, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens in one of the worst attacks on the Christian minority, police said.

Cambodian police arrest teacher, first under new royal insult law | New Straits Times

A 50-year-old teacher has been arrested in Cambodia for allegedly insulting the monarchy in a comment posted on Facebook, police said on Sunday, the first such arrest since the country adopted a royal insult law earlier this year.
Cambodia's parliament unanimously adopted a law in February, that forbids insulting the monarchy.

Deadly Convenience: Keyless Cars and Their Carbon Monoxide Toll - The New York Times

Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage. Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage.
Keyless ignitions are now standard in over half of the 17 million new vehicles sold annually in the United States, according to the auto information website Edmunds. Rather than a physical key, drivers carry a fob that transmits a radio signal, and as long as the fob is present, a car can be started with the touch of a button. But weaned from the habit of turning and removing a key to shut off the motor, drivers — particularly older ones — can be lulled by newer, quieter engines into mistakenly thinking that it has stopped running.

German firms positive about future despite higher risks: DIHK survey | Reuters

Some 40 percent of the 5,100 companies surveyed during March and April by the DIHK Chambers of Commerce and Industry said they expected positive economic developments in foreign markets over the next 12 months, the highest percentage since the survey began in 2015.
Only 10 percent said they expect economic deterioration and 50 percent forecast no change.

Mohamed Salah sets new Premier League goal record, eclipsing Shearer, Ronaldo & Suarez | Metro News

The Egyptian has been in incredible form this season, scoring 42 goals in all competitions, and has now notched his 32nd goal of the Premier League campaign to break the record for a 38-game season. Alan Shearer (1995-96), Luis Suarez (2013-14) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007-08) had all shared the record with Salah, but now he has claimed it outright.

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2018.05.12

News Headlines - 12 May 2018

3 girls, 1 week: Teens raped, set on fire in India - The Washington Post

Over the course of a week, three teenage girls in India have been raped and set on fire — killing two of them and leaving a third in critical condition... The violent attacks are believed to have been carried out by three different groups of men with no connection to each other.

Measles returns – is the anti-vaccination movement to blame?

Cases quadrupled in Europe in 2017 and at least 35 people died, according to the World Health Organisation. The countries worst affected have been Ukraine, Romania and Italy - where poorly funded health systems and cultural beliefs among some groups mean take-up of the vaccine is patchy.
But the modern pace of migration and foreign travel has seen the disease spreading across the continent, including to Belgium, Portugal, France and Germany; measles is also on the rise in the United States and even Australia.

Daimler leads new investors in closing $100bn Vision Fund

Germany’s Daimler is among a group of new international investors who have committed to backing Softbank’s $100bn Vision Fund, allowing Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son to close the world’s biggest technology investment vehicle.
The Mercedes-Benz carmaker will join three Japanese banks — MUFG, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp — Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain to fill the last $7bn needed to reach the fund’s $100bn goal, according to people briefed on the negotiations.

Massive wave in New Zealand biggest ever recorded in southern hemisphere | The Independent

The 23.8m swell was measured off New Zealand’s Campbell Island in the southern ocean, according to the country’s weather authority... The skyscraper eclipses the south’s previous biggest wave – a 22m swell off the Australian state of Tasmania in 2012 – by some distance.

It’s official: The document signed by the Queen allowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry - ITV News

A picture has been released of the document signed by the Queen giving her consent for Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle.
The Queen signed the Instrument of Consent in March – an elaborate notice of approval, transcribed in calligraphy, and issued under the Great Seal of the Realm.

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2018.05.11

News Headlines - 11 May 2018

Shocking footage shows Israeli missile obliterate Iranian defences in blistering retaliation assault | London Evening Standard

Israel has released footage of the moment one of its missiles destroyed an Iranian air defence battery in Syria as part of its retaliation over strikes on Golan Heights... It was released as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran had “crossed a red line” by firing a barrage of 20 rockets across the border overnight.

Uber Finds Deadly Accident Likely Caused By Software Set to Ignore Objects On Road — The Information

The car’s sensors detected the pedestrian, who was crossing the street with a bicycle, but Uber’s software decided it didn’t need to react right away. That’s a result of how the software was tuned. Like other autonomous vehicle systems, Uber’s software has the ability to ignore “false positives,” or objects in its path that wouldn’t actually be a problem for the vehicle, such as a plastic bag floating over a road. In this case, Uber executives believe the company’s system was tuned so that it reacted less to such objects. But the tuning went too far, and the car didn’t react fast enough, one of these people said.

Man, 76, finally meets daughter, who he had with a nun who sexually abused him when he was 12 | Christian Today

A 76-year-old man has finally met his long-lost daughter whose mother was a former Catholic nun. Edward Hayes said that the nun repeatedly sexually abused him when he was serving as a 12-year-old altar boy and she eventually fell pregnant.

Leopard snatches and eats toddler at Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda

Ugandan authorities are hunting for a leopard in Queen Elizabeth National park after it snatched and ate a ranger's three-year-old son.
The toddler had been left in the care of a nanny at the unfenced staff quarters of a safari lodge in the park, when he was taken by the leopard on Friday night.

India girl, 16, burnt alive after Jharkhand rape - BBC News

A 16-year-old girl in India was burnt alive after her parents complained to village elders that she had been raped, according to police.
Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

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2018.05.10

News Headlines - 10 May 2018

Iran military in Syria fire '20 MISSILES' at Israel targets in Golan Heights | Express.co.uk

IRAN MILITARY forces in Syria have fired an estimated 20 missiles at Israel targets in the Golan Heights, according to Tel Aviv military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.

Mahathir-led coalition wins election - The Straits Times

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed victory in Malaysia's general election, as his Pakatan Harapan (PH) made significant gains against the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN), with enough seats to form a majority government.

Trump officials prepare for Singapore summit with North Korea - CNNPolitics

Administration officials have been instructed to move forward with plans to convene a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, according to two people familiar with the plans.
The decision is ultimately up to Trump, who said on Wednesday he would announce the time and location in three days.

Sunken South Korean ferry Sewol lifted at port in Mokpo - Xinhua

The vessel of the sunken South Korean passenger ferry Sewol is lifted upright at a port in Mokpo, some 90 kilometers away from the Jindo Island, South Korea, May 10, 2018. The 6,825-ton passenger ferry Sewol capsized and sank in waters off the Jindo Island on April 16, 2014. It claimed the lives of 304 people, mostly high school students on a school trip.

Italy edging towards coalition government after two months of paralysis

Italy was finally edging towards the formation of a new government on Thursday after the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the hard-Right League said they were making good progress in talks.
Italian politics have been paralysed since an inconclusive general election on March 4 gave Five Star 32 per cent of the vote and a centre-Right coalition that includes The League 37 per cent.

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2018.05.09

News Headlines - 09 May 2018

North Korea releases US prisoners to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump announces in tweet today - CBS News

President Trump announced early Wednesday morning on Twitter that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on his way back to the U.S. from North Korea with three Americans who had been released from prison by the isolated totalitarian state. Mr. Trump had hinted over the past week that the three men would soon be released, but only Tuesday did he announce Pompeo's trip to North Korea -- ostensibly to work out the details of his upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un.

MHI's aviation unit swings to loss with higher MRJ costs

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) aircraft, defense and space unit swung to an operating loss of Y15.1 billion ($138 million) in its 2017 financial year, attributed largely to the increase in research and development costs for its in-development MRJ regional jet.

Seeking IMF Aid Brings Argentina Relief—And Political Challenges - WSJ

Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s decision to turn to the International Monetary Fund has likely bought the country some time to stabilize a growing financial crisis. But the move also comes with a large political cost for Mr. Macri by tying the economy to an institution that is widely disliked here.

Russia commemorates Soviet WWII victory | DW

Russia's military showed off its latest technology during an annual parade commemorating the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. President Putin warned that Russia would not let history be rewritten.

Australia to protect koala population with largest yet financial package

A state government in Australia has come up with A$45 million ($34 million) for a conservation package to protect threatened koala populations in the country's east, with plans for new reserves for the species.

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2018.05.08

News Headlines - 08 May 2018

Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned - The New York Times

President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama, isolating the United States from its Western allies and sowing uncertainty before a risky nuclear negotiation with North Korea.

North Korea's Kim in surprise visit to China for talks with Xi | The Japan Times

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he was committed to giving up his nuclear weapons if security guarantees were met, during a surprise visit to the Chinese port city of Dalian just weeks ahead of a planned summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese state media said late Tuesday.

Square near U.S. embassy in Jerusalem to be named for Trump - Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his intention to formally name the square near the US embassy site the "United States Square in honor of President Donald Trump," the Jerusalem Press Office released on Tuesday.

U.S. oil surges past $70, dollar hits fresh 2018 high | Reuters

The dollar rose to fresh 2018 highs on Monday while oil prices climbed to their highest since late 2014, driven by declining Venezuelan crude production and worries the United States could re-impose sanctions on Iran.

In Japan, Remarks By Finance Minister Spark #MeToo Outrage : NPR

According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, "Under Japanese law, perpetrators of sexual harassment can be charged with crimes such as sexual assault, rape or libel."
Aso's penchant for speaking freely has gotten him into hot water in the past. Last August, for example, he said that while Hitler was "no good ... his motive was right." He later retracted the comment.

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2018.05.07

News Headlines - 07 May 2018

Trump will not come to Israel to open US embassy in Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump will not arrive in Israel for the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, according to a list released by the White House on Monday.
President Trump will be represented by his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kusher.

Boys aged 13 and 15 shot on high street in north-west London

Two boys, aged 13 and 15, have been shot in north-west London, the latest in an outbreak of violent crime to rock the capital... Both boys suffered head injuries but neither is thought to be in a life-threatening condition, police said.

Nike’s C.E.O. Vows Changes After Claims of Workplace Harassment and Bias - The New York Times

The chief executive of Nike told employees that departures related to workplace behavior will be completed in the coming days, a move that sought to reassure a work force jolted by allegations of misconduct and discrimination against women and gain closure on one of the most turbulent periods in the company’s history.

Censored images of 1930s America to go on show in London | The Guardian

Beautiful but mutilated images of rural America by some of the most famous photographers of the 20th century will soon go on display for the first time at the Whitechapel gallery in London.

Kew Gardens: World's largest glasshouse reopens - BBC News

London's Kew Gardens is to reopen its Temperate House - the world's largest Victorian glasshouse - after a five-year restoration.
For the first time in its history, the Grade I-listed structure was "stripped back to bare metal" and modernised.

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2018.05.06

News Headlines - 06 May 2018

How to Change Your Twitter Password Right Now | WIRED

ON THURSDAY, TWITTER chief technology officer Parag Agrawal disclosed in a blog post that the company had inadvertently recorded user passwords, in plaintext, in an internal system. This is not how things are supposed to go! And while Twitter has fixed the bug, and doesn't think any of the exposed passwords were accessed in any way, you should still change your Twitter password right now to make sure your account is secure.

Pakistan's interior minister shot and wounded in 'assassination bid'

Pakistan's interior minister Ahsan Iqbal has been shot in the arm in a suspected assassination attempt at a public meeting in Punjab province but will survive, his aide said on Sunday.

Hawaii eruption destroys 26 homes amid toxic gas, lava

Hawaii officials are evacuating areas of the Big Island following a series of earthquakes and volcanic activity, and at least 26 homes have been destroyed, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno

South African filmmaker killed by giraffe in safari lodge accident

An award-winning South African filmmaker has died after being head-butted by a giraffe while filming at a safari lodge.
Carlos Carvalho was working on a feature film when a bull giraffe named Gerald swung its head at him at the Glen Africa Country Lodge in the North West Province on Wednesday night.

Paris museum opens its doors to nudists | Euronews

A museum in Paris opened its doors to nudist visitors on Saturday. They were granted special visiting hours in a one-off naturist event. Naturists described the move as a breakthrough.

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2018.05.05

News Headlines - 05 May 2018

White House calls China’s threats to airlines ‘Orwellian nonsense’ - The Washington Post

On April 25, the Chinese government sent dozens of international airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don’t change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China, among other things. I have obtained a copy of the letter. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to release a press statement calling the Chinese government’s threats “political correctness” run amok.

Argentina Central Bank Boosts Main Rate to 40% in Third Rise in Eight Days - WSJ

Argentina’s central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates for the third time in eight days Friday in an attempt to prop up its faltering currency, as the country finds itself once again battling a financial crisis.
The central bank raised its main interest rate by 6.75 percentage points, following increases of 3 percentage points on Thursday and last Friday. The moves helped stabilize the peso Friday, but with a policy rate noe at 40%, the prospects for economic growth are more uncertatin.

H&M, Zara ditch mohair wool after animal cruelty expose

H&M, Gap, as well as the parent companies of Zara and Topshop, said they would stop using the material following a report from the animal rights group PETA.
PETA on Tuesday published an expose of alleged animal cruelty at 12 goat farms in South Africa. The country produces more than half of the world's mohair, according to its agriculture ministry.

Tesla shares, bonds drop as CEO Musk bites hand of Wall Street | Reuters

Tesla Inc chief Elon Musk’s refusal to answer “boring” Wall Street questions about finances sent the electric vehicle maker’s shares down as much as 7 percent on Thursday, jarring investors and raising concerns about its ability to raise money in the future... In a conference call on Wednesday, Musk refused to answer questions from analysts on Tesla’s capital requirements, saying “boring questions are not cool.”

NASA launches InSight lander toward Mars - CBS News

In a first for the West Coast, an Atlas 5 rocket boosted a robotic Mars lander into space Saturday, the first step in a six-and-a-half month voyage to the red planet for a two-year, $1 billion mission to monitor marsquakes, probe the temperature of the core and map the planet's hidden interior.

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2018.05.04

News Headlines - 04 May 2018

Russia's 'Nuclear Titanic' Heads West, Raising Fears of 'Chernobyl on Ice'

Russia’s so-called “nuclear Titanic” is moving toward western Europe for a controversial maiden voyage that has alarmed U.S. allies and environmentalists alike.
The vessel, called the Akademik Lomonosov, is Moscow’s first floating nuclear power plant, designed to provide energy to hard-to-reach coastlines such as Russia’s subarctic regions.

Air Force Advances Testing of New Nuclear Gravity Bomb: General | Military.com

The U.S. Air Force has conducted dozens of developmental flight tests of the B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb, intended to be three times more accurate than its predecessors, a top general said Tuesday.

Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Describe Topless Photo Shoot and Uneasy Night Out - The New York Times

For the photo shoot, at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay, some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity. Others wore nothing but body paint. Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators.

Read Stephen Hawking’s final theory on the Big Bang | PBS NewsHour

Before he passed away in March, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had published more than 230 articles on the birth of the universe, black holes and quantum mechanics. It turns out he had one more theory left in the locker.
On Wednesday, the Journal of High Energy Physics published the British scientist’s final thoughts on the Big Bang, the leading theory for how the universe began. The new report, co-authored by Belgian physicist Thomas Hertog, counters the longstanding idea that the universe will expand for eternity. Instead, the authors argue the Big Bang had a finite boundary, defined by string theory and holograms.

Japanese sites get World Heritage recommendation - NHK WORLD

An advisory panel to the United Nations' cultural agency has recommended that places linked to the history of Japan's persecuted Christians be granted World Heritage status.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites gave the highest rating out of its 4-level recommendation scale to the nominated property "Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region."

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2018.05.03

News Headlines - 03 May 2018

Cambridge Analytica and British parent shut down after Facebook scandal | Reuters

Cambridge Analytica, the firm embroiled in a controversy over its handling of Facebook Inc user data, and its British parent SCL Elections Ltd, are shutting down immediately after suffering a sharp drop in business, the company said on Wednesday.

Former CEO of Volkswagen AG Charged with Conspiracy and Wire Fraud in Diesel Emissions Scandal | Department of Justice

An indictment was unsealed earlier today charging Martin Winterkorn, 70, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG (VW), with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s long-running scheme to cheat U.S. diesel vehicle emissions requirements.

Stamford Hill fire: 10 hurt as bonfire 'soaked in oil' explodes at Jewish festival

Ten people were injured when a bonfire lit to celebrate the eve of a Jewish holiday exploded and sent a fireball into a crowd in north London... Video posted to the internet showed dozens of people standing around the bonfire, which was reportedly soaked in oil.

Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski Expelled From the Film Academy - The New York Times

The disgraced comedian Bill Cosby and the director Roman Polanski have been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following a vote by its board of governors on Tuesday night, the organization announced on Thursday.

London Stadium set to host Red Sox-Yankees games next year | The Guardian

Major League Baseball will announce next week that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will play two games at the London Stadium on 29 and 30 June next year, a source has told the Associated Press.

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2018.05.02

News Headlines - 02 May 2018

Spanish Basque separatist group ETA disbands - CNN

ETA, the Basque separatist group that killed around 850 people during its half-century campaign for independence from Spain, announced its full dissolution, Spanish media reported.
The declaration was made in a letter dated April 16 and sent to a number of political institutions, Spanish news agency EFE reported. The announcement had been expected, and came just over a year after the group handed over its weapons, following a 2011 ceasefire.

North and South Korea start to dismantle border speakers, fulfilling summit pledge | Reuters

North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that blared propaganda across their heavily fortified border on Tuesday, South Korea’s defense ministry said, fulfilling a promise made at last week’s historic summit.

Japan fugitive nabbed after massive three-week manhunt - Channel NewsAsia

Japanese police took a fugitive thief into custody on Monday (Apr 30), more than three weeks after he fled an open prison with more than 6,000 officers deployed for the high-profile manhunt.

Mother of singer Hiromi Go conned out of Y2 mil - Japan Today

The mother of popular singer Hiromi Go was conned out of 2 million yen by a man who was posing as a friend of her son, police said... The case came to light after Go visited his mother and heard what happened.

Jackie Chan's gay daughter says she's homeless because of parents' homophobia

Jackie Chan’s 18-year-old daughter has said that she’s been left homeless and living under a bridge with her partner because of her family’s homophobia.
Etta Ng, who is estranged from Chan, posted a video on YouTube with girlfriend Andi Autumn, which was scathing of her friends and family.

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2018.05.01

News Headlines - 01 May 2018

Paris BURNS on May Day as far-left protestors PETROL-BOMB McDonalds and set cars alight | Express.co.uk

Hundreds of hooded protesters caused chaos at an annual May Day demonstration in eastern Paris today, with some smashing the windows of a McDonald's restaurant and hurling petrol bombs inside.
French police warned yesterday of possible clashes with far-left anarchist groups, known as Black Blocs, after a call on social media for a "Revolutionary Day".

Opinion split over Sinn Féin use of 'Londonderry' - BBC News

Despite a deep-freeze in relations between unionists and nationalists since Stormont's power-sharing coalition collapsed last year, the phrases 'reaching out' and 'shared space' are never far away from the political conversations that do occur.
On Monday Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald appeared to break new ground in reaching out to unionists, when she used the word "Londonderry" in a video on social media after a trip to the city to meet Presbyterian minister Rev David Latimer, and members of his church.

Roller coaster stalls, some ride-goers stranded for 2 hours

A roller coaster at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka stalled and left some ride-goers hanging upside down for up to two hours before they all were safely rescued, the movie theme park said Tuesday.
No injuries were reported among 64 passengers on the Jurassic Park-inspired Flying Dinosaur roller coaster after two carriages suddenly got stuck at around 4:45 p.m., the theme park said.

Another Tourist Crashes Real-Life (And Totally Unofficial) Mario Kart In Tokyo

Last night in Tokyo, a 30-something-year-old tourist from Singapore made a wrong turn, driving a rental MariCar (the go-kart company that Nintendo is suing for copyright infringement) up on the sidewalk and crashing it into a restaurant sign. This is not a first.
Previously, Kotaku reported that another tourist crashed a MariCar into a police box. In a separate incident, a Taiwanese national was arrested earlier this year after an alleged hit-and-run while driving a rented go-kart. The injured cyclist needed several weeks to recover.

200-year-old Battle of Trafalgar ship's biscuit to be auctioned - BBC News

A 213-year-old biscuit dating from the Battle of Trafalgar is to be sold at auction.
The biscuit, which belonged to a sailor on board HMS Defence in 1805, is believed to be the oldest surviving ship's biscuit in the world.
It is thought to predate one from 1852 on show at a museum in Denmark.

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2018.04.30

News Headlines - 30 April 2018

5 takeaways on Michelle Wolf's hugely controversial speech at the White House correspondents' dinner - CNNPolitics

Comedian Michelle Wolf's savage takedown of everyone from President Donald Trump to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to the media was -- and will be -- the talk of Saturday Night's White House correspondents' dinner in Washington.
Some -- mostly on the left -- saw it is a speak-truth-to-power moment à la Stephen Colbert's speech at the 2006 White House correspondents' dinner. Others -- mostly on the right -- viewed it as a vile, hate-filled address that was neither funny nor appropriate.

South Korea president says Trump deserves Nobel Peace Prize | Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said U.S. President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said on Monday... “President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries, according to a presidential Blue House official who briefed media.

Bolton says US considering 'Libya model' for North Korean denuclearization - CNN

The White House is looking at Libya as one example of how it will handle potential negotiations with North Korea on dismantling its nuclear program, John Bolton, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, said Sunday... Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to abandon his nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief in the early 2000s. Within years, Gadhafi was overthrown and killed by rebels backed by Washington.

Japanese actress who sued director for sex harassment to use redress to launch Me Too group | The Japan Times

A Japanese actress who won a settlement earlier this month from a director she said sexually harassed her plans to use the money to start a Me Too group for Japan’s entertainment industry.

Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa surfs world-record 80-foot wave in Portugal - CNN

Brazil's Rodrigo Koxa has surfed the biggest wave of the lot with a world-record 80-foot monster at the infamous Nazare break in Portugal... The ride, on November 8, 2017, was deemed to have overtaken Garrett McNamara's record of a 78-foot wave at the same venue in 2011.

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2018.04.29

News Headlines - 29 April 2018

Donald Trump renews criticism of 'lousy' London embassy - BBC News

Donald Trump has again criticised the new home of the US embassy in London, describing the south London location as "lousy" and "horrible"...
The US president, who visits the UK in July, had blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, but the move was agreed during George W Bush's presidency.
The new embassy in Vauxhall cost $1bn (£730m) and holds 800 members of staff.

North Korea to 'unify' standard time with South Korea - UPI.com

North Korea has decided to wind its clock forward half an hour to match its time with the South's, two years and eight months after it decided to adopt its own standard time, News 1 reported... Until 2015, Pyongyang used the same time (135 degrees East) as Seoul but adopted its own standard time 30 minutes behind KST.

Nintendo: New CEO Replacing the One Who Launched the Switch | Fortune

Nintendo appointed Shuntaro Furukawa as its new president, handing the reins to a relatively young and unknown senior executive after reporting that profit is on track to reach the highest since 2010.
He’ll replace Tatsumi Kimishima, a former banker who last year oversaw the debut of the new console, the Kyoto-based company’s biggest bet in years.

Sumo wrestling: The growing sexism problem in Japan's traditional sport - BBC News

Japan's sumo wrestling authority has postponed a decision on the sport's "men-only" policy.
The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) met after a recent string of scandals, including when women were made to leave the ring after stepping in to help a man.

Russian Arctic glacier loss doubles as temps warm | EurekAlert! Science News

Ice mass loss in the Russian Arctic has nearly doubled over the last decade according to Cornell University research published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.
The research focused on Franz Josef Land, a glaciated Russian archipelago in the Kara and Barents seas - among the northernmost and most remote parcels of land on Earth.

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2018.04.28

News Headlines - 28 April 2018

Women colleagues defend Tom Brokaw in a letter: He treated 'us with fairness and respect'

More than 100 women have signed a letter defending former "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw following a sexual harassment allegation by a former colleague.
Among the names defending Brokaw are some high-profile personalities, including MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Mika Brzezinski, White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, and NBC special anchor Maria Shriver.

US fighter jet flies lower than standard in Japan - NHK WORLD

A cockpit video shot from a US Air Force fighter jet has raised eyebrows in Japan. The footage posted to YouTube shows the plane flying at unusually low altitudes over the country's north... Officials at the US Air Force 35th Fighter Wing admitted to NHK the jet flies lower than the 150-meter standard for training flights. They said they will try to make sure all pilots in the unit comply with the regulation.

Who was Alfie Evans and what was the row over his treatment? - BBC News

The tragic case of a 23-month-old boy who died after spending more than a year in hospital attracted widespread media attention.
Alfie Evans's parents had been fighting to take the toddler to Rome for further treatment, but a court ruled his life support could be turned off several days ago.

Fake five-star reviews being bought and sold online - BBC News

BBC 5 live Investigates was able to buy a false, five-star recommendation placed on one of the world's leading review websites, Trustpilot.
It also uncovered online forums where Amazon shoppers are offered full refunds in exchange for product reviews.
Both companies said they do not tolerate false reviews.

Daily Express sorry for article about violence before Liverpool-Roma match | The Guardian

The Daily Express has apologised after it published an “ill-informed and wrong” article suggesting Liverpool fans shared responsibility for violence before a Champions League semi-final match.
The article, which was described as “an appalling slur” by the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, was published on the paper’s website after Sean Cox, 53, a Liverpool supporter, was left seriously injured after an alleged attack by Roma fans before the game at Anfield on Tuesday evening. He is in an induced coma in hospital.

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2018.04.27

News Headlines - 27 April 2018

North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms - The New York Times

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed on Friday to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula and, within the year, pursue talks with the United States to declare an official end to the Korean War, which ravaged the peninsula from 1950 to 1953.
At a historic summit meeting, the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South, the leaders vowed to negotiate a treaty to replace a truce that has kept an uneasy peace on the divided Korean Peninsula for more than six decades. A peace treaty has been one of the incentives North Korea has demanded in return for dismantling its nuclear program.

Why Japan doesn't want South Korea serving Kim Jong-un a map mousse

Amid hurried preparations for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's meetings with the president of South Korea on Friday, even the dessert menu is making Japan nervous.
Upon learning of plans to serve Kim a mango mousse decorated with a map of the Korean Peninsula that includes islands over which Tokyo claims sovereignty, Japan's Foreign Ministry lodged an official complaint with its neighbour.

Huge protests as Spain jails 'wolf pack' gang for sex abuse, but acquits men of rape | The Independent

Protests have erupted across Spain after a court cleared five men of gang raping a teenager at the 2016 running of the bulls festival in Pamplona.
Instead, the court in the northern region of Navarra sentenced the men, who had recorded videos of the attack on their mobile phones and laughed about it afterwards on a WhatsApp group, with the lesser crime of sexual abuse.

Researchers are keeping pig brains alive outside the body - MIT Technology Review

Yale University neuroscientist Nenad Sestan disclosed that a team he leads had experimented on between 100 and 200 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse, restoring their circulation using a system of pumps, heaters, and bags of artificial blood warmed to body temperature.
There was no evidence that the disembodied pig brains regained consciousness. However, in what Sestan termed a “mind-boggling” and “unexpected” result, billions of individual cells in the brains were found to be healthy and capable of normal activity.

Abba announce first new songs for 35 years | The Guardian

Abba have announced that they have written and recorded their first new songs since they split in 1983.
The Swedish four-piece, who had nine No 1 hits in the UK between 1974 and 1980, and who have sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide, announced on Instagram that they had recorded two new songs for a project in which avatars of the band will perform.

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2018.04.26

News Headlines - 26 April 2018

Mike Pompeo meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un

The photo release came hours after the Senate confirmed Pompeo as the next secretary of State.
Over Easter weekend, Pompeo carried out a secret diplomatic meeting in North Korea to help prepare for Trump's summit with Kim.

Golden State Killer: Ex-cop arrested in serial killing case more than 40 years later | FOX59

Joseph James DeAngelo has been identified as the so-called Golden State Killer believed to have committed 12 killings and at least 50 rapes across California from 1976 to 1986, authorities said. The 72-year-old suspect is being held without bail in Sacramento on two murder counts... DeAngelo was arrested after police matched discarded DNA evidence from his Sacramento area home with genetic evidence from the crimes, Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten said.

Bill Cosby, once beloved 'America's Dad,' convicted of sexual assault | Reuters

Comedian Bill Cosby was convicted on Thursday of drugging and sexually assaulting a onetime friend in 2004, marking the first such conviction of a celebrity since the #MeToo movement that has brought down rich and powerful men for their treatment of women.
Cosby, 80, best known as the lovable father from the 1980s TV hit “The Cosby Show,” faces up to 10 years in prison for each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, 45, following a three-week trial at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Video game loot boxes declared illegal under Belgium gambling laws - BBC News

Video game loot boxes are "in violation of gambling legislation", according to the Belgium Gaming Commission.
Loot boxes give random rewards and can be acquired either through gameplay or by spending real cash.
Those that can be bought for real money must now be removed from video games in Belgium.

Nintendo expects 27 pct annual profit jump on strong Switch sales | Reuters

Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd said on Thursday it expects operating profit to rise 26.7 percent in the year through March to a nine-year high, as its Switch games console maintains sales momentum in its second year.
Nintendo estimated profit to reach 225 billion yen ($2.06 billion) from 177.56 billion yen a year prior. If achieved, it would be Nintendo’s highest operating profit since the year ended March 2010.

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2018.04.25

News Headlines - 25 April 2018

Missing Mexican students were killed, dissolved in acid after mistaken identity: authorities

Three Mexican film students who went missing in March in Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, were kidnapped, tortured and killed, and their bodies were dissolved in acid, authorities said Monday.
State prosecutors said criminals had confused them with members of a rival gang.

Allison Mack Arrested for Role in Keith Raniere Sex Cult | Time

A television actress best known for playing a young Superman’s close friend was charged with sex trafficking, after federal prosecutors said she worked as a slave “master,” recruiting unsuspecting women to a cult-like group led by a man who sold himself as a self-improvement guru.

Thailand aims to join TPP trade deal - The Japan News

Thailand is preparing to join the deal, which counts Japan and Australia among its members, after it takes effect. The existing 11 member countries are seeking to have it take effect this year.
Thailand would be the first additional country to join the TPP — a move that could boost the deal’s prospects for further expansion.

Japan's Itochu withdraws from nuclear power plant project in Turkey | The Japan Times

Major trading house Itochu Corp. is backing away from a nuclear power plant project in Turkey because of a surge in safety-related costs, sources close to the matter said Tuesday... Another Japanese company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., will continue participating in the study.

Japan pop star accused of forcibly kissing teen: Reports - Channel NewsAsia

A member of popular Japanese boy band Tokio has been accused of forcibly kissing a high school girl at his apartment, local media said on Wednesday (Apr 25).

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2018.04.24

News Headlines - 24 April 2018

Maltese economy minister ‘met blogger’s murderers in bar’ | The Times

Malta’s economy minister has been seen drinking with men who were later arrested for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist, press reports claim.
Reports allege that Chris Cardona, a Maltese minister who is believed to be close to Joseph Muscat, the prime minister, met the murder suspects before and after the killing of Ms Caruana Galizia last October, according to witnesses interviewed by journalists investigating the blogger’s death.

Mexico murder rate soars; 7,667 people killed in 3 months | New Straits Times

Some 7,667 people were killed in Mexico in the first quarter of 2018, up 20 percent on the same period last year, making it the most violent year in two decades, government figures showed Sunday.

Ignored, humiliated: How Japan is accused of failing survivors of sexual abuse - CNN

But social mores are changing, and much as the #MeToo movement has taken hold in the US, the culture of silence in Japan is also being chipped away, albeit slowly.
Most recently, two senior political figures were forced to resign for sexual misdeeds.

Tokyo 2020 must address questions, says IOC's Coates | Reuters

John Coates, chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, told organizers on Monday that stakeholders may lose confidence in their ability to host the Games if they do not answer questions about preparations.
Speaking at the International Olympic Committee’s Project Review meeting in Tokyo, Coates said there would be no let-up from National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and international sporting federations in the run-up to the Games.

Former coach Halilhodzic says he feels 'dumped' in trash bin:The Asahi Shimbun

An angry and shocked Vahid Halilhodzic, the former head coach of the Japanese men's national soccer team, said he has been treated disrespectfully and feels as if he was "dumped in the trash bin."

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2018.04.23

News Headlines - 23 April 2018

Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to boy - BBC News

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a boy, her third child and second son.
The new arrival, who was born at St Mary's Hospital, London, is fifth in line to the throne and the Queen's sixth great-grandchild.

Four presidents come together to pay tribute to Barbara Bush - CNNPolitics

A touching photograph of several generations of presidents paying tribute to the late Barbara Bush is being warmly and widely circulated on social media.
The remarkable photo features four former presidents -- Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush -- along with first lady Melania Trump and former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Climate change: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m for Paris deal - BBC News

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will pay $4.5m (£3.2m) to cover some of the lapsed US commitment to the Paris climate accord.
He said he had a responsibility to help improve the environment because of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the deal.

London Marathon: huge crowds spur on runners in hottest race ever | The Guardian

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of the capital on Sunday to cheer on friends, family – and complete strangers – who were running in the hottest London Marathon ever.
As the mercury hit 23.2C, runners who had trained throughout Britain’s particularly long and cold winter struggled to cope with the heat.

Playmobil boat ‘Adventure’ sails nearly 3,000 miles across Atlantic Ocean | Daily Mail Online

A tiny toy boat belonging to two British boys has sailed nearly 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean and is set to complete its journey in the Caribbean.
Brothers Ollie and Harry Ferguson, eight and six, had their little Playmobil boat Adventure dropped 100 miles off the coast of Mauritania in Africa.
The toy craft has since travelled 2,800 miles in five months and tackled waves of up to 65ft to come within 100 miles off the coast of Guyana in South America.

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2018.04.22

News Headlines - 22 April 2018

EU rejects Theresa May's Brexit Irish border solution as doubts grow over whether UK can leave customs union

The EU has comprehensively rejected British proposals for avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland in a move which will cast serious doubt on the UK’s ability to leave the customs union, The Telegraph has learned.
Senior EU diplomatic sources said that Mrs May’s plan for avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland was subjected to a “systematic and forensic annihilation” this week at a meeting between senior EU officials and Olly Robbins, the UK’s lead Brexit negotiator.

Leaders approve Prince Charles to succeed queen as Commonwealth head

Britain’s Prince Charles was approved as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a meeting of the group’s heads of government on Friday.

Karl Marx's Hometown Is Selling Commemorative 0 Euro Notes for 3 Euros—And They've Already Sold Out

The German city of Trier is offering commemorative ‘zero euro’ notes to celebrate the upcoming 200th birthday of Karl Marx, its most famous son.
But may not have gone down well with the author of The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital—who died in 1883. Not only do they have to be bought in a store, but they cost three euros ($3.71).

Korean Air 'nut rage' sisters step down - BBC News

The CEO of Korean Air says his two daughters are resigning after separate incidents that led to allegations of abuse of power inside the company.
Police are investigating the younger daughter, Cho Hyun-min, after she allegedly splashed water in a colleague's face.
Her older sister infamously delayed a flight in 2014 over a packet of nuts - and served jail time for the incident.

Thousands of police deployed to tiny Japanese island in hunt for escaped prisoner

More than 6,600 police officers were dispatched to a tiny Japanese island as the authorities faced growing embarrassment over their failure to track down a missing prisoner behind a spate of petty robberies.
Described as a “model inmate”, 27-year-old Tatsuma Hirao walked out of an open prison on the 8.5-square mile Mukaishima island near Hiroshima on April 8 and has evaded all attempts to recapture him since - prompting an apology from Japan's justice minister.

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2018.04.21

News Headlines - 21 April 2018

The Queen celebrates her 92nd birthday with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall

On the day she turned 21, the then Princess Elizabeth pledged to dedicated her life to serving the Commonwealth, in what has become one of the best-known and most moving public declarations of her long reign.
Surrounded by her family, at the close of a week that has cemented her Commonwealth legacy for a new generation, the Queen celebrated her 92nd birthday in some style, with a Royal Albert Hall concert designed to honour all she has done for her country.

Democratic Party suit claims Russia, Trump campaign, WikiLeaks conspired to disrupt election

The Democratic Party on Friday sued President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad illegal conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election.
The multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court says that "In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort" to mount "a brazen attack on American Democracy," which included Russian infiltration of the Democratic Party computer network.

Natalie Portman says to skip Israeli ceremony due to Netanyahu speech

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman said she chose not to attend a ceremony in Israel to accept a million-dollar prize because she did not want to be seen as supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was scheduled to speak at the event... This led many to interpret her decision as connected to the international criticism of Israel for its military response to Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border during the last few weeks, in which 35 Palestinians were killed.

Prince Death Investigation Closed With No Criminal Charges Filed - Rolling Stone

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz announced on Thursday that he would close his investigation into the death of Prince without filing any criminal charges... "That investigation determined that Prince died from taking a counterfeit Vicodin pill that contained Fentanyl, a dangerously powerful opioid. However, investigators were unable to determine how the singer obtained the counterfeit pills, leading Metz to conclude, "we simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince's death."

Ants that 'explode' to fight foes discovered on Borneo | New Straits Times

A species of ant that “explodes” and gives off a toxic, sticky liquid to fight off foes and keep its colony safe has been discovered in the jungles of Borneo island, scientists said Friday.
The creatures, which have the scientific name Colobopsis explodens, were found by a team of researchers in the tiny state of Brunei, which inhabits a sliver of land in the north of the biodiverse island.
When threatened by other insects, worker ants can rupture the wall of their body, which leads to their death and the release of a yellow toxin from their glands that either kills or holds off enemies, according to the study published in journal ZooKeys.

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2018.04.20

News Headlines - 20 April 2018

North Korea’s Kim Strikes Milder Tone on Nuclear Tests, Detainees - WSJ

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would close its nuclear-test site and suspend long-range missile launches but hinted that he didn’t intend to give up his nuclear arsenal—at least not immediately... Mr. Kim’s remarks come after the U.S. made public a visit to Pyongyang by Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, who was given assurances by Mr. Kim that a summit with Mr. Trump could be paired with the release of three detained U.S. citizens, according to people briefed on the meeting.

Syria hands back Assad award to US 'slave' France | Daily Mail Online

Syria returned to France the prestigious Legion d'Honneur it gave to President Bashar al-Assad, saying Thursday he would not wear the award of a "slave" to America... The office of French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that "a disciplinary procedure for withdrawing the Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honour) is underway".

The BBC will now let you download thousands of its sound effects free | Metro News

As long as you agree to a few simple rules, you can visit the BBC’s website and download 16,000 sounds to use as you please. A lot of these old sounds were stored on tape or even records like the one in the video below, but now they are available as high-resolution WAV files for anyone to access.

Cotton buds and plastic straws could be banned in England next year | The Guardian

Cotton buds, plastic drinking straws and other single-use plastics could be banned from sale in England next year in the next phase of the campaign to try to halt the pollution of the world’s rivers and oceans... Cotton buds, often flushed down the lavatory, are one of the most serious sources of marine pollution... Altogether it is estimated that there are 150m tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating or getting tangled up in plastic waste.

Deutsche Bank blames ‘operational error’ for accidental €28bn transfer

Deutsche sent the €28bn to an account at Deutsche Boerse Eurex about a week before Easter, Bloomberg reported on Thursday evening. Deutsche, whose market value is €24bn, had intended to make a much smaller transfer... News of the blunder comes the day after Deutsche’s chief operating office Kim Hammonds, who was responsible for overhauling Deutsche’s creaking IT systems, became the third member of Deutsche’s top executive team to depart in a matter of weeks.

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2018.04.19

News Headlines - 19 April 2018

US PACOM chief nominee warns of China threat - News - NHK WORLD - English

The admiral said that the threat to US forces and bases is substantial and growing, and the US has a long way to go to be able to deter and counter China's ever improving ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons to come.
Davidson suggested that the US military should promptly upgrade its weapons and equipment to counter China.

Syria: Kurds detain German jihadi tied to 9/11 | DW

A Syrian-born German citizen, who is alleged to have helped plan the attacks on September 11, 2001, has been arrested by Kurdish forces in Syria, according to a senior Kurdish commander... Zammar is believed to have been an al-Qaida recruiter and close associate of members of the Hamburg terror cell of Islamic extremists thought to have been important operatives in the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

Airmen fired, demoted over dinosaur puppet video - CNNPolitics

The US Air Force is making it clear that dinosaur puppets have no place in its "time-honored" military traditions -- levying tough punishments against three members of the Tennessee Air National Guard involved in a viral video depicting a reenlistment ceremony.

#MeToo hits Japan as Junichi Fukuda quits over harassment claims - BBC News

A Japanese broadcaster says it will file a complaint against the finance ministry alleging a top official sexually harassed a female journalist... Japan's socially conservative society has so far been slow to join the worldwide #MeToo movement... The allegations that Mr Fukuda, the finance ministry's top bureaucrat, had made sexually suggestive comments to female journalists were first reported by magazine Shukan Shincho earlier this week.

UK temperatures top 29C in hottest April day since 1949 - BBC News

Temperatures have soared to over 29C in parts of London, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years.
The unusually warm weather across the UK is the result of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe drawing in warm air.

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2018.04.18

News Headlines - 18 April 2018

US struck Syria without certainty on sarin - CNNPolitics

Even though US intelligence agencies did not have absolute certainty Syria's regime had used the nerve agent sarin against civilians, the Trump administration still felt there was enough evidence to justify retaliatory strikes last Friday, several intelligence and defense officials tell CNN.
The decision to proceed with military action met a standard of evidence needed that officials felt they could accept, these sources said.

Proof of 'staged' Syria chemical attack is from film

The photos - which show actors covered in dust - were presented by Syrian regime supporters as proof that the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7 was a fake.
But the photos come from the set of a Syrian film called "Revolution Man", supported by the Syrian culture ministry, and were published in February on a Facebook page devoted to the movie.

Top Japan finance official Junichi Fukuda quits after sexual harassment claims - The Straits Times

The top bureaucrat at Japan’s finance minister quit on Wednesday (April 18) following allegations he sexually harassed female reporters, saying he wanted to “clear his name”.

Japanese immigration detainees launch hunger strike over Indian’s death

More than 40 people at a Japanese immigration detention centre are on hunger strike after an Indian detainee committed suicide last week, officials and local media said Tuesday.
The protest began on Sunday, two days after an Indian national in his thirties, who has not been publicly identified, was found hanging in a shower stall at the centre in Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo.

Sitting at desk all day may damage brain and raise dementia risk, study suggests

Sitting at a desk all day or spending hours watching television may damage the brain in a way which is known to increase the risk of dementia, a new study suggests.
While researchers have known for some time that sedentary behaviour is bad for physical health, raising the risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death, it is the first study to show it could also influence mental wellbeing.

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2018.04.17

News Headlines - 17 April 2018

North Korea, China 'discussing Xi Jinping visit to Pyongyang' - The Straits Times

China and North Korea have been holding talks about a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pyongyang, a Japanese newspaper reported on Monday (April 16) as regional leaders step up diplomatic dialogue.
The North is using its Beijing embassy to arrange Xi's itinerary with the international department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting Chinese and North Korean sources.

Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says - Bloomberg

South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
At next week’s summit between South Korea President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbors may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report.

Mike Pompeo, C.I.A. Director, Met With Kim Jong-un in North Korea - The New York Times

President Trump dispatched the C.I.A. director Mike Pompeo to North Korea to meet with its leader, Kim Jong-un, in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump, two people briefed on the secret trip said on Tuesday.

Starbucks to close 8,000 stores for racial-bias education on May 29 after arrest of two black men - The Washington Post

Starbucks will close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon next month to train employees as the company responds to criticism after two black men were arrested while waiting at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia stores last week.
The “racial-bias education” training is scheduled for May 29 for nearly 175,000 employees, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Turkey seeks to extend state of emergency for 7th time - The Washington Post

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is seeking an extension of the state of emergency it declared following a failed coup in 2016.
The government submitted to parliament a motion to prolong it three more months following a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday. A vote is expected Wednesday. It would be its seventh extension.

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2018.04.16

News Headlines - 16 April 2018

Top Japan finance official denies sexual harassment, says to sue publisher

Japan’s top finance bureaucrat denied on Monday a weekly magazine’s allegation that he had sexually harassed female reporters and vowed to sue its publisher for defamation, his ministry said in a statement... Japan has had few reported “#MeToo” cases about sexual harassment involving public figures. In Japan, victims are often reluctant to speak out for fear of being blamed. The identity of the female reporter has not been disclosed.

‘They Eat Money’: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption - The New York Times

In the generation since apartheid ended in 1994, tens of billions of dollars in public funds — intended to develop the economy and improve the lives of black South Africans — have been siphoned off by leaders of the A.N.C., the very organization that had promised them a new, equal and just nation.
Corruption has enriched A.N.C. leaders and their business allies — black and white South Africans, as well as foreigners. But the supposed beneficiaries of many government projects, in whose names the money was spent, have been left with little but seething anger and deepening disillusionment with the state of post-apartheid South Africa.

Korean Air "nut rage" sister Emily Cho suspended over water throwing in ad meeting after Cho Hyun-ah incident - CBS News

Korean Air Lines said Monday it has suspended one of its chairman's daughters from her marketing work after she threw a tantrum at a business meeting, triggering public outrage and a police investigation. The daughter, Cho Hyun-min, also known as Emily Cho, is the younger sister of another Korean Air executive whose onboard "nut rage" outburst delayed a flight in 2014.

Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Following Rule Change – Variety

Ted Sarandos says Netflix won’t be going to Cannes this year.
In an exclusive interview with Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer says that the festival sent a clear message with a new rule that bans any films without theatrical distribution in France from playing in competition. Netflix could screen some of its upcoming movies out of competition, but Sarandos says that doesn’t make sense for the streaming service.

Axing Honda was McLaren mistake - Marko | Wheels24

Dr Helmut Marko says McLaren's 2018 car is obviously "not great".
The British team went into Bahrain targeting the top three teams but was ultimately outpaced even by the newly Honda-powered Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso... So Marko, whose Red Bull outfit is considering switching from Renault to Honda for 2019, joins those who think McLaren made a strategic error late last year.

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2018.04.15

News Headlines - 15 April 2018

Before and after: satellite pictures of airstrikes in Syria | The Guardian

A total of 22 missiles from France, the United Kingdom and the United States hit this site, including eight British Storm Shadow missiles and nine American Tomahawk missiles.
The MoD said the facility was a former missile base, located around 15 miles west of Homs, where the Syrian regime was believed to keep a stockpile of chemical weapon precursors, which can be used to make blister agents such as mustard gas or nerve agents such as sarin.

Japan PM Abe's rating falls in media poll amid scandal woes

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, plagued by accusations of cronyism and cover-ups, fell to 26.7 percent in a survey by private broadcaster Nippon TV released on Sunday, the lowest since he took office in December 2012.

Martin Sorrell quits as head of world's biggest ad group WPP

Martin Sorrell, who built WPP into the world’s biggest advertising agency through 33 years of dealmaking, quit on Saturday after an allegation of personal misconduct.
The departure of the CEO who built a two-man outfit into one of Britain’s biggest companies with 200,000 staff in 112 countries leaves WPP without a boss at a pivotal time for the industry and when the group is under great strain.
WPP stunned the market last week when it said it had appointed lawyers to investigate alleged misconduct by Sorrell.

Starbucks had two black men arrested for doing absolutely nothing wrong - Vox

Two black men were arrested and escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks on Thursday after staff called the police to report they refused to leave; the men hadn’t ordered anything and were reportedly waiting for a business associate to arrive... The saga began when a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday showed police arresting two black men in Twitter for “doing nothing,” in the words of the user who posted the video. Two people — not the men — can be heard protesting as the police remove the men’s chairs and escort them out.

Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health, won't seek additional treatment - CBS News

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health and will not seek additional medical care after a series of recent hospitalizations, a spokesman for the Bush family said Sunday. Bush, 92, will "instead focus on comfort care" for unspecified health complications, according to a statement.

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2018.04.14

News Headlines - 14 April 2018

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden | The Guardian

The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.
About 2km (1.2 miles) of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, but the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion.

Sega announces the Mega Drive Mini - The Verge

Sega is getting in on the nostalgic, miniature console trend. Yesterday at Sega Fes 2018, It announced that it will release the the Mega Drive Mini, a miniature version of the Mega Drive, sometime in 2018. The company also announced that it would be bringing a number of classic games to the Nintendo Switch this summer.

PUBG Ransomware is a real thing

Ehm no, it's not a belated April Fool's Day joke, this actually looks to be a real thing. This PUBG Ransomware does not go in search of your hard earned cash, but rather will decrypt your hijacked files if you play PUBG for an hour... It does however just give you the key to decrypt as well if an hour's worth of PUBG is not your thing. Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, when the PUBG Ransomware is launched it will encrypt a user's files and folders on the user's desktop and append the .PUBG extension to them. When it has finished encrypting the files, it will display a screen giving you two methods that you can use to decrypt the encrypted files.

A broken submarine cable knocked a country off the internet for two days - The Verge

On March 30, the ACE Submarine cable cut out, dropping connectivity for much of West Africa. According to reports, the breach came off the coast of Mauritania, resulting in significant connectivity drops for at least ten neighboring countries. Mauritania itself was offline for nearly 48 hours before connectivity was partially restored. Other countries had enough terrestrial cable and satellite connections to route around the downed cable, but they still saw significant disruptions in internet access for most of the weekend.

U.N. Security Council Rejects Russian Resolution Condemning Syrian Strikes - The New York Times

After a heated two-hour debate, the United Nations Security Council rejected a Russian resolution on Saturday that would have condemned airstrikes carried out hours earlier by the United States, Britain and France against Syria.
Russia, China and Bolivia voted for the resolution, but eight members voted against and four abstained. Even a majority vote would have been largely symbolic, as the three Western powers that carried out the attack hold veto power and would certainly have blocked it.

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2018.04.13

News Headlines - 13 April 2018

Toys R Us in talks to sell majority stake in Asia unit, including Japan business | The Japan Times

A spokeswoman at Toys R Us Japan headquarters in Kawasaki confirmed Thursday that Toys R Us Asia Ltd., its parent, is in talks with multiple entities to sell most of its holdings in Asia.
The Hong Kong-based joint venture with Fung Retailing Ltd. includes over 400 physical stores and eight online stores across Hong Kong, Japan, China, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, according to its website.

Amazon spent nearly $23 billion on R&D last year - Recode

Tech companies claimed the top five spots in the U.S. for research and development spending again last year, investing a combined total of $76 billion. Amazon was at the top of the list, spending $22.6 billion in 2017, 41 percent more than in 2016 (when it also topped the list)... Amazon is followed in R&D spending by Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft and Apple.
Facebook rose from 13th place in 2016 to ninth in 2017 as it increased R&D spending 32 percent to $7.8 billion. Part of the spending jump could likely be attributed to Facebook’s Building 8, the company’s secretive hardware research lab.

North Americans world's biggest TV addicts, watching four hours a day

Eurodata TV Worldwide said that television viewing was holding up despite more and more people watching online platforms like Netflix and Amazon.
Americans and Canadians are the biggest TV addicts, said the report, watching four hours and three minutes on average daily.
European viewers came next watching three hours 49 minutes a day in 2017, just ahead of Russia and Brazil, the data gathered from 95 countries showed.

Queen cracks joke about Donald Trump in David Attenborough TV documentary - CNN

While strolling through Buckingham Palace Garden with naturalist David Attenborough for a TV documentary, the tranquility is shattered by the sound of a helicopter flying above, giving the Queen an opportunity to show off her sense of humor.
"Why do they always go round and round when you want to talk?" she asks. "It sounds like President Trump ... or President Obama."

'Dassai' rice wine becoming a local brew in NY - NHK WORLD

The makers of a famous Japanese sake brand plan to bring their product closer to customers in the US. They've decided to start producing the "Dassai" brand of rice wine at their own facility in the state of New York.
Sake brewer Asahi Shuzo has been exporting the brand from its base in western Japan for more than 10 years.

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2018.04.12

News Headlines - 12 April 2018

Fresh nepotism revelations deepen Shinzo Abe’s woes

Shinzo Abe’s political woes have redoubled after fresh revelations in the second of his two nepotism scandals dragged the prime minister deeper into controversy... The latest evidence shows the closest link yet between Mr Abe and education projects where his associates won dubious public favours. The prime minister has denied any involvement.

Peace in Northern Ireland reaches 20th anniversary but what is the Good Friday Agreement? - ITV News

The architects of the Good Friday Agreement have gathered in Belfast to mark 20 years since the Troubles ended.
But what exactly was the agreement, and why was it so important for Northern Ireland?

Apple reveals truth behind claims it will kill iTunes music downloads | Metro News

In a rare on-the-record statement, the tech giant addressed claims that it will shut iTunes in a bid to push people into signing up for an Apple Music subscription.
An Apple spokesman said: ‘It’s not true.’... But today, Digital Music News said it would be shut down on March 31, 2019.

‘Rampage’ Is Final Film In Brett Ratner Warner Bros. Co-Finance Deal | Deadline

As reported last November following several sexual harassment allegations against filmmaker and producer Brett Ratner, Warner Bros. is no longer in business with his co-financing entity RatPac-Dune Entertainment which co-financed more than 70 titles amounting to a reported $450M in funding across such movies as The Lego Movie, Gravity, American Sniper, Batman v. Superman and more. New Line’s Rampage, opening Friday, is the last of those titles being co-financed by RatPac per the news six months ago. The passive slate financing deal was scheduled to end in March, and it was promptly decided that Ratner’s first look deal would not be renewed.

Roma knock Barcelona out of CL with remarkable comeback | FOX Sports

Roma pulled off an extraordinary comeback to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League on Tuesday, winning 3-0 at home to reach the semifinals by overturning a three-goal deficit from the first leg.
Roma advanced on away goals despite losing 4-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals.

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2018.04.11

News Headlines - 11 April 2018

Trump tells Russia to get ready for US missile strikes in Syria | The Guardian

Donald Trump has warned Russia in an incendiary tweet to “get ready” for US missile strikes in Syria after a UN security council meeting failed to stave off the prospect of military confrontation over a chemical weapons attack on a town outside Damascus at the weekend.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” . “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Britain sends third warship to Asia Pacific to monitor North Korea | The Independent

HMS Albion will join HMS Sutherland and will help enforce UN sanctions against North Korea, as well as take part in joint training and exercises with regional allies.
The Ministry of Defence previously announced that HMS Argyll would also be deployed, arriving in the region later in the year to take part in an exercise with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.

N. Korea told Japan that abduction issue had been resolved

Japan is eager to make progress in the decades-long abduction issue, possibly through a summit like that between North and South Korea on April 27, or the proposed first-ever summit between leaders of the United States and North Korea before the end of May.
But Tokyo appears to be left behind in the recent flurry of diplomatic activity and easing of tension on the Korean Peninsula, with no meeting in sight between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

New book on Meghan Markle says she wants to be like Princess Diana - The Straits Times

Meghan Markle has her heart set on becoming "Diana 2.0", according to a new biography of Prince Harry's fiancee that details her lifelong embrace of good causes but also points to a calculating streak.
The US actress, who is set to marry on May 19, is fiercely protective of "Brand Meghan" and sidelines people as she moves ahead in life, according to people cited in the book.

Cherry blossoms reach their peak in Washington | WPMT FOX43

The blooming of the US capital’s cherry blossoms reached its peak on April 5, two days later than the average peak bloom date... The National Cherry Blossom Festival started on March 17 and runs through April 15... The festival commemorates the 1912 gift from Tokyo of 3,020 cherry trees to Washington.

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2018.04.10

News Headlines - 10 April 2018

Trump's homeland security adviser Bossert resigns on Bolton's request

U.S. President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, has resigned at the request of new national security adviser John Bolton, an administration official said on Tuesday, marking the latest departure from the White House of a senior adviser.

China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications

China has approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific in a globally significant move that could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep.
Fairfax Media can reveal there have been preliminary discussions between the Chinese and Vanuatu governments about a military build-up in the island nation.

Fashion label dies with us, say Dolce and Gabbana - The Straits Times

Italian fashion icons Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said on Thursday that their famed Dolce & Gabbana label would die with them.
"Once we're dead, we're dead. I don't want a Japanese designer to start designing Dolce & Gabbana," Gabbana, 55, said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Hello Kitty Shinkansen will seek to link up regions:The Asahi Shimbun

Hello Kitty fans will be meowing in delight when they spot the new Shinkansen themed on the ubiquitous character.
The special 500 Series Kodama bullet train featuring Sanrio Co.'s beloved feline-like character will run between Shin-Osaka and Hakata stations this summer, West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) announced March 14.

Information on the 88 Site Anime Pilgrimage (2018 edition) available from the new Anime Tourism Information exhibit now open | NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Narita Airport has been selected by the Japan Anime Tourism Association as the gateway Pilgrimage Stop “0” on the Anime Pilgrimage to the 88 sites in Japan that should be visited. Anime Tourism Information recently opened on the 2nd floor of the main building in Terminal 2. The exhibit provides information to anime fans on the 88 Site Anime Pilgrimage with displays that will add to the feeling of anticipation for the journey.

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2018.04.09

News Headlines - 09 April 2018

U.S. denies airstrikes retaliating for Syria Douma chemical weapons attack, as Russia says Israel hit Homs air base - CBS News

Missiles struck an air base in central Syria early Monday, but the Pentagon quickly denied claims from Syrian state media that the strikes were "an American aggression." A war monitoring group said Iranian-backed militia members were killed in the strikes, and Russia and then Syria accused Israeli jets of firing the missiles.

Trump tweets condemnation of Syria chemical attack, saying Putin shares the blame - The Washington Post

The likelihood of a military strike against Syria after a suspected chemical weapons attack increased Sunday as President Trump said there would be a “big price to pay” and officials in France vowed the country would “do its duty” in responding.

Facebook admits 2.7 million EU users′ data possibly shared | DW

A spokesman for the European Commission on Friday said social networking site Facebook had confirmed the data of up to 2.7 million people in the European Union might have been shared with data mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

Bahrain GP: Ferrari mechanic breaks leg in Kimi Raikkonen pit lane accident - BBC Sport

Ferrari mechanic Francesco Cigorini suffered a broken leg when he was run over by Kimi Raikkonen during a pit stop in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ferrari's pit system showed a green light to Raikkonen, indicating he could exit the pits, despite mechanics not having changed his left rear wheel... Ferrari have been fined 50,000 euros by race officials for an unsafe release.

Football: Japan names Akira Nishino as new coach two months before World Cup - The Straits Times

Japan named respected veteran Akira Nishino as their new national football manager on Monday (April 9) after sensationally dumping Vahid Halilhodzic with only two months until the World Cup.
The 63-year-old Nishino boasts an impressive array of domestic silverware and masterminded one of Japanese football's proudest moments: beating a Brazil side containing Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos 1-0 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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2018.04.08

News Headlines - 08 April 2018

Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack - The New York Times

Dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck the rebel-held suburb of Douma, east of Damascus, with aid groups on Sunday blaming President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault and Western governments expressing outrage.
Rescue workers in Syria reported finding at least 42 people dead in their homes from apparent suffocation, and antigovernment activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled out on floors and in stairwells, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils.

Hopping the wall into Trump's US, in under 2 minutes | AFP.com

President Donald Trump's orders to deploy thousands of National Guard troops to secure the US frontier with Mexico did not stop one determined migrant from hopping the border wall on Friday.

UK soft drink sugar tax comes into force | DW

Brits will be paying higher prices for some soft drinks after the country's sugar tax on the sweet beverages came into effect on Friday.
Announced in March 2016, the tax has already seen more than 50 percent of manufacturers modify their products to ensure they are below the levy's sugar limit, Britain's Treasury said.

Samsung Securities mistakenly paid stocks as dividend to employees

Samsung Securities Co. said Friday it mistakenly paid its employees stock dividends, prompting the brokerage's share prices to fall and raising moral hazard concerns.
Under an employee stock ownership plan, Samsung Securities had originally planned to pay dividends of 1,000 won (US$0.93) to its employees. However, the brokerage paid dividends of 1,000 shares after a worker processed the wrong figure.

The world’s longest sea bridge to be constructed in China | Construction Global

In April China plans to open its sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai, as part of its infrastructure scheme to encourage 250mn people to move into its megacities.
The 34-mile-long structure is the largest cross-sea bridge in the world, according to AFP, ahead of China’s 26.3 mile bridge connecting Qingdao and Huangdao.

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2018.04.07

News Headlines - 07 April 2018

Europe's digital clocks back to speed after grid operators fix lag

This was caused by a power shortage lasting from mid-January to March after Kosovo began to use more power than it produced and Serbia, which is in charge of balancing Kosovo’s grid, failed to fill the gap.
The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said on Tuesday that 26 of its members had carried out a compensation scheme to return the mains frequency across Europe to its standard of 50 Hertz (Hz) from 49.996 Hz.

U.S. issues marketing license for Taiwan domestic submarine project | FOCUS TAIWAN

The U.S. Department of State has approved the marketing license needed for U.S. manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that will enable it to build its own domestic submarines, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Saturday.

Former President Park sentenced to 24 years in prison-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

Former President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined 18 billion won ($16.8 million) on Friday, after a Seoul court found her guilty of 16 charges of corruption and power abuse.

Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term - The New York Times

After vowing for months that a conviction on corruption charges would not stand in the way of his bid for a third term as Brazil’s leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surrendered to the police on Saturday evening to begin serving a 12-year sentence.

Russia ends search of missing Argentina submarine - ABC News

Argentina's navy says Russia has ended its help in the search for an Argentine submarine that disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members aboard.
Russia was the last of more than a dozen foreign countries that assisted in searching some 1,500 square miles (4,000 square kilometers) of the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan.

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2018.04.06

News Headlines - 06 April 2018

Syria: government takeover of Eastern Ghouta near complete | Al Jazeera

Syrian government forces are on the verge of recapturing the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, according to state media reports.
A Russian military chief announced on Wednesday that it was only a matter of time until the last rebel "bastion" came under government control, the government affiliated el-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.

Two killed in Germany as van ploughs into crowd in Muenster - BBC News

Two people have been killed in the western German city of Muenster after a van drove into people sitting outside restaurants.
The driver of the vehicle, who has not yet been officially identified, died after shooting himself at the scene.
About 20 people were injured in the incident, six seriously, which occurred near the Kiepenkerl statue in the city's old town area.

Russian spy poisoning: Sergei Skripal 'improving rapidly' - BBC News

Russian former spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in a critical condition after being poisoned by a nerve agent, doctors have said.
Salisbury District Hospital said Mr Skripal is responding well to treatment and "improving rapidly".

Skripal poisoning: Russia claims coverup over ex-spy's dead cat and guinea pigs - The Washington Post

As the Russian U.N. ambassador suggested that the poisoning was a false flag operation to undermine his country, he asked darkly what had become of the victim's pet cats and guinea pigs... He wasn't joking. The same day, a spokesman for Russia's embassy in Britain suggested that Skripal's pets might hold clues to the real culprit behind the attack.

Rabbit-killing virus release planned for south | Otago Daily Times Online News

An initial release of the RHDV1 (K5) rabbit virus on three sites in Southland will be made from next week, if the weather permits... K5 is a virus that could reduce the rabbit population significantly. It is a variant of a virus already present in New Zealand, and only affects the European rabbit.

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2018.04.05

News Headlines - 05 April 2018

Women ordered off stage at sumo contest after trying to help stricken mayor | The Guardian

A number of women ran on to the ring to give emergency treatment, but the sumo judge at the event repeatedly called over the PA system for them to step off the arena. Two of the women could be seen starting to dismount, but then returning to help, in a video broadcast on multiple television networks.
The actions of the judge drew criticism from television commentators and on social media in Japan.

Japan's Abe faces fresh headache over Iraq troop dispatch logs

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government faced criticism on Thursday, after his defense minister said the army last year found activity logs from a controversial 2004 to 2006 deployment to Iraq, but had failed to report them to his predecessor.

Sky News could be sold off to Disney early in bid to push through sale of Sky to US media giant | The Independent

Sky News could be sold off to Walt Disney or ringfenced under concessions put forward by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, as part of the corporation’s efforts to seize full control of the broadcaster Sky.
Fox, which is attempting to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own, faces a number of regulatory hurdles after the UK’s competition watchdog found the £11.7bn deal was not in the public interest.

Amazon Severs Ties With Top Lobbying Firms in Washington - Bloomberg

Amazon ended its relationship with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the law firm that attracts more lobbying revenue than any other K Street operation, and Squire Patton Boggs, last Friday, according to a person familiar with the decisions... In their place, Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc., according to the person. Both formerly worked as outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc. and Oracle Corp. at the defunct Podesta Group, which was once dubbed the "King of K Street," before becoming entangled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Most distant star ever seen spotted by Hubble telescope 9 billion light years away | The Independent

Astronomers have identified a star 9 billion light years from Earth – the farthest individual star ever seen... Previously used to locate planets far outside the Milky Way, lensing involves galaxies within astronomers’ line of sight bending rays of light and effectively magnifying objects in distant parts of the universe.

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2018.04.04

News Headlines - 04 April 2018

Florida School Shooting Suspect Cruz Gets Piles of Fan Mail | Time

The suspect in the Florida high school shooting that killed 17 is getting letters of support in jail including fan mail and pictures of scantily-clad women in addition to hundreds of dollars in contributions to his commissary account.
Teenage girls, women and men are sending letters and photographs of themselves and Facebook groups have been started to discuss how to help Nikolas Cruz, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Elon Musk’s April Fools’ tweets were ‘not a joking matter,’ experts say - The Washington Post

But while his latest prank — a series of April Fools' tweets Sunday joking that Tesla was bankrupt — was funny to many of his followers on Twitter, it also raised questions from some communication experts, Tesla analysts and governance watchers about the timing and the judgment of the tweets... Investors didn't appear in a laughing mood: Tesla shares dropped 5 percent Monday amid a 2.7 percent drop in the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index, though they were up more than 4 percent in trading Tuesday morning after a company statement said it had boosted production of its Model 3 vehicles from the fourth quarter.

Singapore Airlines’ first Boeing 787-10 arrives at Changi Airport | Australian Aviation

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) has unveiled its new cabin products on board its Boeing 787-10 fleet after the first of the type arrived at Changi Airport on Wednesday morning following its marathon delivery flight from North Charleston, South Carolina via Osaka Kansai.

U.S. military announces early deployment of CV-22 Ospreys to Japan's Yokota Air Base | The Japan Times

The U.S. military said Tuesday that five Air Force CV-22 Ospreys will deploy to Yokota Air Base in Tokyo later this week in a move that comes over a year ahead of schedule and despite public concerns over the safety of the tilt-rotor aircraft.
It will be the first deployment of the Osprey to a military base in Japan outside the southern prefecture of Okinawa, where the bulk of U.S. forces in the country are stationed.

Shohei Ohtani homers again in Angels' 3-2 win over Indians

This time, after the count reached 1-1, Ohtani extended his arms and sent a 92-mph fastball on the outside edge an estimated 400 feet to center... Although the moment wasn't as theatrical as Ohtani's career-first homer Tuesday, the impact was more significant, instantly pulling the Angels even 2-2 on a day when Kluber appeared in charge.

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2018.04.03

News Headlines - 03 April 2018

Woman shoots 3, self at YouTube headquarters in possible domestic dispute – The Denver Post

A woman opened fire with a handgun Tuesday in a courtyard at YouTube headquarters, wounding three people before fatally shooting herself in what is being investigated as a domestic dispute, authorities said.
Terrified employees huddled inside, calling 911, as officers and federal agents swarmed the company’s suburban campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Royals attend church without Duke of Edinburgh on Easter Sunday

The Duke of Edinburgh was absent from this year's Easter service at Windsor attended by the Queen... The Queen was joined by members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were there without their children.

Winnie Mandela, controversial ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, dies at 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the controversial former wife of legendary South African President Nelson Mandela, died Monday, her family said. She was 81... The couple separated after Nelson Mandela's release in 1990, and he became president of South Africa in 1994. He accused his wife of infidelity. After the divorce, she kept his name and added her maiden name. Nelson Mandela died in 2013.

German dachshund museum in Passau 'a world first' - BBC News

A new museum in the Bavarian city of Passau celebrates Germany's - and the world's - affection for the dachshund.
More than 4,500 toys and other items showcase the breed popularly called the "sausage dog", a symbol of Bavaria.

French police charge Pippa Middleton's father-in-law with rape of a minor - The Local

The father-in-law of Pippa Middleton, whose sister Kate is married to Britain's Prince William, has been charged in France with the rape of a minor, a legal source told AFP on Friday, as a family spokesperson called the allegation "untrue and scandalous".
David Matthews was taken into custody for questioning last Tuesday by investigators with France's Brigade for the Protection of Minors in a case dating from 1998-99, after a complaint was lodged in 2017, the source said.

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2018.04.02

News Headlines - 02 April 2018

Tiangong 1: Chinese satellite falls to Earth, mostly burns up - CBS News

Tiangong 1, China's defunct and reportedly out-of-control space station, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, Chinese space authorities say. It mostly burnt up on re-entry over the central South Pacific.
The China Manned Space Engineering Office says online that the experimental space lab re-entered around 8:15 a.m. local time Monday. The tumbling spacecraft posed only a slight risk to people and property on the ground, since most of the 8.5-ton vehicle was expected to burn up on re-entry.

NRA board member Ted Nugent: Parkland survivors “have no soul” - Vox

Ted Nugent, a National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and rock musician, became the latest to lob personal attacks at the teenage Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors who organized the March for Our Lives — saying that the kids are “liars,” “poor, mushy-brained children,” and even “soulless” during an interview on March 30 with The Joe Pags Show, a nationally syndicated conservative radio show.

U.S. museum not to host A-bomb exhibit over calls for nuke abolition

The executive director of a museum in the U.S. town of Los Alamos said Friday that it will not host a traveling exhibition focused on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings as planned due to concerns over the exhibitors' position on the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Abe, Trump to meet April 17-18 ahead of U.S.-N. Korea summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will visit the United States between April 17 and 20 for talks with President Donald Trump to coordinate the allies' policies toward North Korea ahead of Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May.

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wins major league debut against A’s

After going 1-for-5 as a designated hitter earlier in the series, Ohtani to be a non-pitcher on Opening Day and then get a starting assignment within the first 10 games of a season since — drumroll please — Babe Ruth in 1919.
With a flood of Japanese media covering the game, there were 240 credentials issued by the A’s, with overflow press seated in in right field. The post-game crush was big enough that Ohtani conducted his postgame interview through an interpreter in the Raiders locker room.

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2018.04.01

News Headlines - 01 April 2018

London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge | The Sunday Times

London overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history in February as the capital endured a dramatic surge in knife crime.
Fifteen people were murdered in the capital, against 14 in New York. Both cities have almost exactly the same population.
London murders for March are also likely to exceed or equal New York’s. By late last night there had been 22 killings in the capital, according to the Metropolitan police, against 21 in the US city.

Van Gogh Never Visited Japan, but He Saw It Everywhere - The New York Times

In the soft, clear light of Provence, France, Vincent van Gogh saw the crisp skies of Japanese woodcut prints. The almond blossoms, gnarled trees and irises that dotted the French landscape reminded him of nature scenes painted in Kyoto. And in the locals who drank in cafes of Arles, he saw resonances with the geishas and Kabuki actors of a country he’d never visited.

South Korean K-pop stars perform for Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang | The Guardian

South Korean K-pop singers have performed in North Korea for the first time in more than a decade, watched by a crowd of hundreds including the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and his wife, Ri Sol-ju.
It was the first time a North Korean leader had attended a South Korean performance in the north’s capital, Pyongyang.

Bahrain strikes its biggest oil field, dwarfing current reserves | The Guardian

Bahrain has discovered its biggest oil field in more than 80 years... The reserves were discovered during the last three months of 2017 after Bahrain intensified its search for new fossil fuel deposits. Further details of the find’s size and extraction viability will be released on Wednesday.

Saudis, SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

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2018.03.31

News Headlines - 31 March 2018

Notice to stakeholders: withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules on .eu domain names | European Commission

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU, and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

Trump tells advisers he wants U.S. out of Syria: senior officials

President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of U.S. troops from Syria, two senior administration officials said on Friday, a stance that may put him at odds with U.S. military officials who see the fight against Islamic State as nowhere near complete.

Destroyed by Islamic State, ancient winged bull rises again in London

An ancient Assyrian winged bull sculpture destroyed by Islamic State (IS) fighters in 2015 and subsequently recast in recycled Middle Eastern food packaging went on display in London’s Trafalgar Square on Wednesday... Rakowitz’s project, made of 10,000 empty Iraqi date syrup cans, mimics the original winged bull known as the Lamassu which stood from about 700 BC on the outskirts of modern-day Mosul, Iraq, until it was destroyed by IS.

Saudi Arabia Agrees to Help Reboot Peace Talks With Taliban - WSJ

Saudi Arabia has agreed to play a leading role in starting a new peace process in Afghanistan, part of the latest U.S.-led strategy to find a political solution to America’s longest war.
The U.S. and Afganistan hope that Saudi Arabia can bring the Talban to the negotating tabel and act as guarantors for a possible peace deal, according to officials involved in the process.

North Korea to take part in Tokyo Olympics, IOC chief says | The Guardian

The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, says Kim Jong-un is committed to having North Korea participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Bach said he had a 30-minute formal meeting with the North Korean leader followed by 45 minutes of casual discussions while watching a football match on Friday at Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium.

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2018.03.30

News Headlines - 30 March 2018

Egypt election: Sisi set to win second term as president - BBC News

State media said Mr Sisi had secured a landslide victory against his sole challenger, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, winning more than 90% of the vote.
But initial estimates placed turnout among the 60 million eligible voters at about 41% - below that seen in 2014.

Malala to return to Pakistan after finishing her studies in Britain

Malala Yousafzai, the women’s education activist and youngest ever Nobel Prize Winner, said yesterday that she plans to return permanently to Pakistan after finishing her studies in Britain.

Toyota to Team Up With Suzuki in India - WSJ

Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. said they would team up in India, swapping models to help each other boost sales in the rapidly growing market.
Toyota said it would provide its locally made Corolla sedan to Suzuki. In return, Toyota will get two of Suzuki’s popular models to sell, the Baleno hatchback and the new Vitara Brezza sport-utility vehicle.

Korean Air's 'nut rage' heiress returns as group company executive- Nikkei Asian Review

The Korean Air Lines scion fired as vice president for delaying a plane's takeoff in New York out of anger over the way staff served her nuts has returned as an executive at another group member, that company said Thursday.
Cho Hyun-ah -- whose father chairs the Hanjin Group conglomerate, the airline's owner -- was chosen as the new president of KAL Hotel Network, a hospitality unit, at a general shareholders' meeting that day.

Russian spy: Yulia Skripal 'conscious and talking' - BBC News

Yulia Skripal, the daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, is improving rapidly and no longer in a critical condition, says the hospital treating her... However Mr Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition, Salisbury District Hospital said.

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2018.03.29

News Headlines - 29 March 2018

Chinese online video platform Bilibili debuts on Nasdaq - Xinhua

Bilibili Inc., a Chinese online platform for animated video, rang the Nasdaq Stock Market opening bell on Wednesday in celebration of its initial public offering (IPO).
Bilibili, trading under the ticker symbol of "BILI", priced its IPO of 42,000,000 American depositary shares (ADSs), at 11.50 U.S. dollars per ADS for a total offering size of approximately 483 million dollars, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs.

Donald Trump's three-front legal war turns on sex, money and Russia - CNNPolitics

A barrage of revelations and court gambits over the last 48 hours has left President Donald Trump and his shrinking legal team fighting an escalating battle on multiple fronts -- involving an explosive triumvirate of sex, Russia and money.

Julian Assange has internet cut at Ecuadorean embassy in London - BBC News

Ecuador has cut Julian Assange's internet connection at its embassy in London, preventing him from communicating with the outside world... It comes after Mr Assange questioned accusations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK on 4 March.

Eighty four harrowing statues depicting male suicide victims appear on ITV's Southbank studios | London Evening Standard

Eighty four life-sized sculptures of male suicide victims have been installed on ITV's central London studios... Project 84 saw bereaved families work with suicide prevention charity CALM to get people talking about the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

Soccer: Argentine prosecutor to widen investigation into alleged sex abuse

An Argentine prosecutor is to widen an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of young players at Argentine top-flight club Independiente, saying she believes such incidents may be happening at other soccer clubs.
Maria Soledad Garibaldi last week opened an inquiry into reports that youth players were forced into prostitution by a 19-year-old player at Independiente, one of Argentina’s most successful clubs.

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2018.03.28

News Headlines - 28 March 2018

With secretive China trip, North Korea's Kim builds bargaining power - Channel NewsAsia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visit to China, countering what had been growing estrangement between the Cold War allies, is likely to bolster Pyongyang's leverage going into a planned summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.
For Chinese President Xi Jinping, the meeting with a long-troublesome neighbour ensures Beijing will not be left out of any deal struck between the United States and North and South Korea, experts said.

Korea, US jointly announce agreement on FTA revision

Korea and the US officially announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement in principle to the revision of their bilateral trade deal, including an exemption of tariffs on Korean steel, ending three months of talks.

Trump, Britain's Theresa May discuss clamping down on Russian spy work | TheHill

President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed ways to clamp down on Russian spy work during a phone call on Wednesday.
"Both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil," the White House said in a readout of the call.

First self-driving train launches on London Thameslink route | The Guardian

Passengers have been carried across London by the first self-driving train on a mainline railway in the UK... Automated operation using a new digital signalling system will allow many more trains to pass through the congested tracks between St Pancras and Blackfriars in central London, giving space for an additional 60,000 passengers to commute at peak hours daily.

Dragon Quest 11: PS4 and PC Release Date Announced, Switch Coming 'Much Later', No 3DS Version - IGN

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age will be released for PS4 and Steam on September 4 in North America and Europe. However, the planned Nintendo Switch version will not be released this year, and the 3DS version released in Japan will not be released in the west at all.
The localised version of the gigantic JRPG comes with a number of additions and improvements, including voiced English dialogue, a Hard Mode option, overhauled menus, a faster dash to speed up exploration, and a first-person camera mode.

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2018.03.27

News Headlines - 27 March 2018

Kim Jong Un Made a Surprise China Visit, Sources Say - Bloomberg

Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to Beijing on his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011, three people with knowledge of the visit said.
Further details of his trip, including how long Kim would stay and who he would meet, were not immediately available.

Japanese official denies Abe pressure in school land deal - ABC News

A former Japanese finance official denied Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or his wife instructed bureaucrats to alter documents in a land scandal that has shaken the government, but left other key questions unanswered.

Former Brazilian President Lula loses appeals, could be jailed | Al Jazeera

An appeals court in Brazil has unanimously rejected the final procedural objections by former President Luiz Inancio Lula da Silva against his corruption conviction.
The decision, handed down on Monday, raises the possibility that the former, leftist president could face prison time.

CNN Poll: 42% Approve of Trump, Highest Since 100 Day Mark - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative.
Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February...

'Appalling' England fans criticised after more than 100 arrests in Amsterdam

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said the arrest of 100 England fans in the Dutch capital on Friday was the most for a single game in "several years" and part of a "worrying trend".
It comes after 25 England supporters were held on Thursday amid ugly scenes before the team's friendly win over the Netherlands.

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2018.03.26

News Headlines - 26 March 2018

U.S., EU to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats over UK nerve attack

The United States said on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow... British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming the show of solidarity, said 18 countries had announced plans to expel Russian officials. Those included 14 European Union countries. In total, 100 Russian diplomats were being removed, the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War.

Syria forces close to gaining full control of Eastern Ghouta | Al Jazeera

Syrian government forces are close to taking full control of Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held area near the capital, Damascus.
Two out of three rebel groups that had been controlling the enclave have already surrendered, with thousands of fighters and their relatives departing for opposition-held areas in the north of the country.
The third rebel group, Jaish al-Islam, which controls the city of Douma, has so far refused to give in.

US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico - CNN

A US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
The deportation follows an earlier decision by US authorities to deny Miguel Perez's citizenship application because of a felony drug conviction, despite his service and the PTSD he says it caused.

Facebook boss apologises in UK and US newspaper ads - BBC News

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has taken out full-page adverts in several UK and US Sunday newspapers to apologise for the firm's recent data privacy scandal.
He said Facebook could have done more to stop millions of users having their data exploited by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

Russia fire: Kemerovo mall blaze kills 64, many children - The Washington Post

At least 64 people, many believed to be children, perished in the Siberian city of Kemerovo as a massive fire swept through a crowded shopping center where fire exits had been blocked, officials said Monday.

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2018.03.25

News Headlines - 25 March 2018

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont held by German police | The Guardian

German police have detained the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont under a European arrest warrant as he crossed from Denmark into Germany.
Puigdemont, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels since October, was travelling in a car on the way from Finland to Belgium on Sunday when he was detained, having visited Finnish lawmakers in Helsinki.
On Friday the Spanish government reactivated an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is wanted on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

Poland puts Berlin's WWII bill at 440 billion euros | The Times of Israel

Polish victims of World War II should be able to claim 440 billion euros ($543 billion) from Germany in World War II damages, the head of a parliamentary commission said Thursday.

Darkness falls on May's Merkel-Macron meeting

The lights went out on Theresa May as the British prime minister hosted her German and French counterparts for a private meeting at a Brussels summit on Thursday... Out of the gloom, came the voice of France’s famously musical leader: “Happy birthday,” he sang. But no cake with candles appeared. Light was restored and media were ushered out.
All three looked grim as they prepared to discuss May’s request for EU support after her accusations that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.

Portuguese pilot held in Germany after being found drunk in cockpit - The Local

The co-pilot of a Portuguese airline was detained in Stuttgart after being found drunk in the cockpit just before take-off, German police and prosecutors said Saturday.
German police entered the cockpit and found the 40-year-old in a "highly intoxicated condition" on Friday evening, a statement said.

Philip Kerr obituary | The Guardian

Berlin held a great fascination for the author Philip Kerr, who has died aged 62 of cancer: it was a place where the impact of evil upon essentially decent people was felt especially keenly. His morally ambiguous fictional private detective Bernie Gunther first appeared in March Violets (1989), set in the city in 1936, after the Nazis’ rise to power, and the first of his Berlin Noir trilogy.

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2018.03.24

News Headlines - 24 March 2018

Strikes in France: 200,000 march through streets to protest Macron's reforms - The Local

Seven unions representing staff in the public sector led strikes and protests, and a third of railway workers walked out to join the demonstrations against 40-year-old Macron's bid to shake up the French state.
Around 200,000 people demonstrated nationwide, according to police figures, including 49,000 in Paris. The CGT union, the biggest in the public sector, estimated the total turnout at over half a million.

Latvia to expel 'one or several' Russian diplomats over spy attack | AFP.com

Latvia's foreign ministry on Friday said the Baltic state would expel "one or several" Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the English city of Salisbury... The leaders of former Soviet bloc EU states the Czech Republic and Lithuania, as well as Denmark and Ireland, have also said they were considering further unilateral steps, including expelling diplomats.

British passports will be navy blue after Brexit, says Home Office | The Guardian

British passports issued after October 2019 will be dark blue and gold, replacing the current burgundy model.
The British passport is redesigned every five years, and the new version will come into production next autumn when the current contract expires, the Home Office has announced.
The return of the navy cover, first used in 1921, is being hailed as a victory by pro-Brexit MPs, who had campaigned for a return to the colour.

Markle's wedding ring expected to follow royal tradition of Welsh gold

When Britain’s Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle in May he is expected to follow a royal tradition started nearly 100 years ago of using a wedding band of Welsh gold.
His great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was the first to use gold from Wales in a wedding ring when, as Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, she married the future King George VI in 1923.
Her example was followed by the current Queen Elizabeth when she married Prince Philip in 1947 and then by royals through to Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton in 2011.

Steven Spielberg Doesn’t Think Netflix Movies Should Qualify for Oscars | Vanity Fair

In an interview with ITV News, the Oscar-winning filmmaker weighed in on the ongoing debate about films that premiere on the streaming platform—and whether they deserve to compete with films that get a proper theatrical release come awards season. Spielberg, a filmmaking giant since the 1970s, thinks that movies that go straight to streaming are “a clear and present danger to filmgoers,” and shouldn’t be permitted to compete for Academy Awards.
“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he declared. A good show might “deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”

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2018.03.23

News Headlines - 23 March 2018

Andrew McCabe: Not in my worst nightmares did I dream my FBI career would end this way - The Washington Post

On March 16, I spent the day with my family waiting to hear whether I would be fired, after 21 years in the FBI and one day before I qualified for my long-planned, earned retirement... Despite all the preparation for the worst-case scenario, I still felt disoriented and sick to my stomach. Around 10 p.m., a friend called to tell me that CNN was reporting that I had been fired. She read me the attorney general’s statement... The president’s comments about me were equally hurtful and false, which shows that he has no idea how FBI people feel about their leaders.

Peru's new president vows to tackle endemic corruption - ABC News

New President Martin Vizcarra promised to fight Peru's corruption head on as he assumed the office Friday vowing to heal the wounds left by a vote-buying scandal that abruptly forced his predecessor from office.

One Month After Abduction, Boko Haram Brings Home More Than 100 Dapchi Girls : NPR

The kidnapping of 110 school girls from a Nigerian school in the northeast town of Dapchi on Feb. 19 came to an abrupt and joyful end for most of the families 30 days later. Early Wednesday, militants from Boko Haram, the same group that snatched the girls, brought back 104 of them, handing them over to federal officials, according to the Nigerian government.

Japan offers $940 million to boost nation's space startups

Japan is offering $940 million to fund space start-ups in a new push to grow the industry, the government announced Tuesday at an event in Tokyo.
The funds will be made available through investments and loans over the next five years, as part of a government-led initiative to double Japan's more than $11 billion space industry. With less than 20 Japanese space start-ups currently operating, many see this as critical to helping new companies cover costs such as research or applying for patents.

World Cup 2018 power rankings: All 32 teams rated and slated as countdown to Russia continues - Mirror Online

1. Germany
2. Spain
3. Brazil
4. Argentina
5. France

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2018.03.22

News Headlines - 22 March 2018

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression

I’ll talk to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and others — great guy, friend of mine — and there will be a little smile on their face. And the smile is, “I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.” So those days are over.

Former South Korean President Lee Faces Arrest for Bribery - Bloomberg

A South Korean court ordered the arrest of former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak over allegations of bribery.
Lee became the second former leader of Asia’s fourth-largest economy to face jail time in just over a year. Park Geun-hye, his successor from the same conservative party, was removed from office last year after being impeached over a corruption scandal that engulfed the entire country from late 2016.

Steve Jobs' pre-Apple job application priced at $174,000 at auction

A one-page job application filled out by Steve Jobs more than four decades ago that reflected the Apple founder's technology aspirations sold for $174,000 at a U.S. auction, more than three times its pre-sale estimate.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist plunges to his death in Florida | Daily Mail Online

A Cirque du Soleil performer has died after falling onto the stage during an aerial routine in Tampa on Saturday night.
Yann Arnaud, 38, died from his injuries at Tampa General Hospital hours after the horrific accident, which occurred during a performance of the touring show VOLTA.

Sin-bins will 'almost certainly' be introduced in football, says Neale Barry | Sky Sports

Sin-bins will "almost certainly" be introduced in English football in the future, says the FA's head of referees Neale Barry.
Local park leagues in Nottinghamshire are already experimenting with sin-bins, whereby players take 10 minutes out of the game if they receive a yellow card, after IFAB (International Football Association Board) gave national associations permission to test the initiative two years ago.

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2018.03.21

News Headlines - 21 March 2018

Tear gas released in Kosovo parliament by opposition party in bid to stop vote | The Independent

Tear gas has been released in Kosovo's parliament by opposition MPs in a bid to stop a vote on a border demarcation agreement with Montenegro.
The Self-Determination Movement party used three tear gas canisters in the Assembly building as the vote was due to start on Wednesday, forcing all politicians to leave the hall.

EU reveals a digital tax plan that could penalize Google, Amazon and Facebook

The European Commission — the executive arm of the European Union (EU) — unveiled plans Wednesday to tax companies where they actually generate business, rather than where they are headquartered.
The proposed changes to how digital businesses are taxed could substantially increase the amount such firms have to pay in taxes. It says those firms with significant online revenues should pay a 3 percent tax, but it would only apply to certain online revenue streams like the sale of user data or online advertising.
According to data from the European Commission, digital companies pay on average an effective tax rate of 9.5 percent — compared to 23.2 percent for traditional businesses.

Hacker Adrian Lamo Has Died at 37 | WIRED

Lamo first gained notoriety online in the early 2000s for hacking companies like Yahoo! and AOL, as well as The New York Times. In 2004, after accepting a plea bargain, Lamo was sentenced for hacking the newspaper, where he had added his name to an internal list of op-ed writers and racked up $300,000 in charges using the organization's subscription to Lexis-Nexis, a pay-per-use search tool.
He was also known for tipping US government authorities about the actions of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who was later sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing Wikileaks with 750,000 classified military cables. (President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017.)

Austin bombings suspect commits suicide as police close in - France 24

US law enforcement officials have identified the Austin bombings suspect as Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, who blew himself up as police closed in on him in an Austin suburb overnight.

Serena Williams beaten by emerging talent Naomi Osaka at Miami Open | The Guardian

Naomi Osaka defeated 23-times grand slam singles champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 in the Miami Open first round on Wednesday, the latest big win for the emerging 20-year-old Japanese player.

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2018.03.20

News Headlines - 20 March 2018

Japanese pension data entry outsourced to Chinese firm - The Mainichi

An information processing firm in Tokyo assigned to process the personal data of around 5 million pensioners outsourced part of the task to a Chinese company in violation of a contract that prohibited subcontracts, according to the Japan Pension Service.
The outsourcing came under the spotlight after it was revealed that around 1.3 million people received lower pension benefits in February than they were entitled to as income tax breaks were not adequately reflected.

US & South Korea announce start date for major military exercise - CNNPolitics

The "Foal Eagle and Key Resolve" drills would begin on April 1 for four weeks, both countries said in a statement. Last year, Foal Eagle began on March 1 and continued until the end of April, lasting a total of two months.

Stephen Hawking’s parting shot is multi-cosmic | The Sunday Times

As his family were coming together to plan the funeral of the “world’s most famous scientist”, his academic colleagues learnt that he has left behind a final groundbreaking research paper — completed on his deathbed — describing how humanity might detect other universes.
The research, submitted two weeks ago, sets out the maths needed for a space probe to find experimental evidence for the existence of a “multiverse”. This is the idea that our cosmos is only one of many universes.

London’s free tap water scheme aims to slash plastic pollution | Euronews

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is trying to encourage more businesses to sign up, says the average adult in the UK capital buys 175 bottles a year.
The scheme encourages people to fill up their bottles instead of buying a plastic one and later throwing it away.

Dublin overtakes London in terms of expense, city report finds

Dublin is ranked 19th out of 133 cities, while London has fallen to 30th place, its lowest ranking in 20 years.
The survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit said the weakening of sterling since the Brexit vote had pushed the UK capital down the rankings.

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2018.03.19

News Headlines - 19 March 2018

Brexit: Transitional period to last until end of 2020

The U.K. will remain in the European Union until the end of 2020, but with restricted powers, officials announced Monday.
The EU and the United Kingdom have agreed to a transition process of 21 months — from 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020 — before the country leaves the member bloc completely.

McDonald’s High-Tech Makeover Is Stressing Workers Out - Bloomberg

McDonald’s Corp. has been updating with new technology, delivery, a revamped menu and curbside pickup. But the chain’s “Experience of the Future” effort could backfire. Employees are handling more tasks, in many cases, they say, without pay raises or adequate staffing. So Dickerson, 23, handed over his spatula for the last time.

65% say Abe's wife should face Diet over scandal: poll | The Japan Times

Amid a deepening scandal linked to the cronyism allegations leveled against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 52.0 percent of the public thinks Finance Minister Taro Aso should resign over the related document-tampering, and 65.3 percent think Abe’s wife, Akie, should be summoned to testify in the Diet, a survey showed Sunday.

Berlin's children pile up teddy bears in solidarity with Syrian refugees

German school children made a giant pile of teddy bears in Berlin on Thursday, to show solidarity with the huge numbers of young Syrians growing up without an education, as the civil war entered its eighth year.

At least eight hurt as ski lift hurtles out of control in Georgia | The Guardian

At least eight people have been injured after a malfunctioning ski lift threw people from their seats at a ski resort in Georgia.
Skiers and snowboarders were forced to jump from the faulty chairlift on Friday as their seats hurtled backwards down the mountain, with some people falling from carriages at speed, in what one witness likened to “a scene from a Final Destination film”.

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2018.03.18

News Headlines - 18 March 2018

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | The Guardian

For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate

Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca to shut down after tax scandal

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal, said on Wednesday it was shutting down due to the economic and reputational damage inflicted by its role in the global tax evasion debacle.

Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog raids Amazon headquarters

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating whether Amazon is forcing sellers to bear all or part of the losses incurred when Amazon offers bargain discounts online... Japan's antitrust watchdog probed Amazon (AMZN) last year, accusing the company of forcing sellers to offer "the lowest price and the richest lineup of goods" on its online marketplace.

Rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in Asia defies stereotypes - Channel NewsAsia

Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion's tolerant image.

Video from controversial 2014 fatal Utah courthouse shooting released, shows man jumping at witness with pen - The Salt Lake Tribune

It took about five seconds from the time Siale Angilau grabbed a pen from his defense attorney’s table for him to run across the federal courtroom floor and sail headfirst into the witness stand, where he was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal.
On Monday, Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court released courtroom video of the 2014 shooting, nearly four years after the 25-year-old defendant was shot four times.

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2018.03.17

News Headlines - 17 March 2018

Syrian civilians flee embattled Eastern Ghouta and Afrin | Al Jazeera

Civilians continue to flee Syria's Eastern Ghouta and Afrin in record numbers as Syrian and Turkish military operations continue against their respective foes.
Roughly 50,000 people have fled the two areas - 20,000 from Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, and 30,000 from Afrin, in Syria's Kurdish-dominated northeast - according to some counts.

Former South African president Zuma facing 16 charges of corruption - Independent.ie

Former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 16 charges of corruption, the director of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said.
Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will face charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Philippines tells UN it will quit International Criminal Court | South China Morning Post

The Philippines said on Friday it had given official notice to exit the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which is examining President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
The move comes days after Duterte announced his nation would quit the court over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his crackdown on narcotics amounts to crimes against humanity.

Xi Jinping gets second term, with ally Wang Qishan as vice-president | South China Morning Post

The political comeback of Wang – who stepped down from the ruling Communist Party’s top echelon and his position as head of its graft watchdog in October – confirmed a South China Morning Post report in December.
A total of 2,969 people voted to elect him vice-president, with only one voting against.
The National People’s Congress also unanimously confirmed Xi’s second term, with 2,970 votes in favour.

Hello Kitty to make bullet train debut in Japan, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Hello Kitty has already found its way onto bus and aircraft services - and is now set to make its debut on Japan's iconic bullet train.
West Japan Railway will launch "Hello Kitty Shinkansen" services on its bullet train line connecting Osaka and Fukuoka later this year, the company said this week.

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2018.03.16

News Headlines - 16 March 2018

Japanese Cabinet's support rate slides below disapproval rate to land at 39% in latest poll | The Japan Times

Public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has plunged 9.4 points since February and now sits at 39.3 percent, leaving it short of the disapproval rate for the first time in five months, an opinion poll showed Friday.
It is also the first time in five months that the support rate has fallen short of 40 percent.
The disapproval rate meanwhile has surged 8.5 points to reach 40.4 percent, according to the poll conducted by Jiji Press over four days through Monday.

US-North Korea meeting: N Korean Minister in surprise Sweden visit - BBC News

North Korea's foreign minister has attended talks in Stockholm with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, ahead of a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

‘I screamed, but no one came’: The horrifying sexual violence facing Syria’s women and girls - The Washington Post

That's the conclusion of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, which just released a new report on the horrific sexual violence facing the people of Syria... The stories in the report, written after interviews with more than 450 people, document a terrifying and systematic pattern of sexual abuse by the government during house raids, at checkpoints and in detention centers.

Florida bridge collapse: Pedestrian overpass collapses at FIU, Miami | The Courier-Mail

FOUR people have been found dead in the rubble of a collapsed pedestrian bridge in South Florida, officials have confirmed.
The partially built 950-tonne pedestrian bridge collapsed over a six-lane highway at Florida International University in Miami, crushing cars underneath it. It is believed that section of the bridge was installed last Sunday.

Trump decides to remove national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and others may follow - The Washington Post

President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up, these people said.

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2018.03.15

News Headlines - 15 March 2018

Amazon's internal numbers on Prime Video, revealed

Amazon.com Inc’s top television shows drew more than 5 million people worldwide to its Prime shopping club by early 2017, according to company documents, revealing for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off.
The documents also show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience.

Toys ‘R’ Us Tells Workers It Will Likely Close All U.S. Stores - WSJ

Toys “R” Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 American jobs in the coming months.
The 70-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, has more than 700 remaining U.S. locations, including Babies “R” Us stores. It would be one of the biggest retail liquidations since Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016 with 14,500 workers and closed more than 460 stores.

Bitcoin Is Worthless, Bubble May Pop Soon, Allianz Global Says - Bloomberg

It’s a matter of when, not if, the Bitcoin bubble will pop, according to Allianz Global Investors.
The cryptocurrency is worthless, even if blockchain technology could bring significant benefits to investors, said the investment arm of Europe’s biggest insurer, which manages almost 500 billion euro.

Russian aeroplane loses gold-silver bars on take-off - BBC News

A plane laden with tonnes of gold-silver alloy was taking off from Yakutsk airport in Siberia when a loading hatch broke off.
Some 200 bars, each weighing about 20kg (44 pounds), were then scattered across the runway.
All of the bars have now been recovered, a spokesman for the Canadian mine owner told news agency Interfax.

Dog mistakenly shipped to Japan via United Airlines - CNN

United Airlines wrongly shipped a Kansas-bound pet dog to Japan, the second embarrassment this week for the airline and a "nightmare" for the Swindle family -- who are moving from Oregon to Wichita with their beloved pet, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo... On Monday, a French bulldog died on a Houston-to-New York flight after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog, in its carrier, in an overhead bin. The airline said it was investigating the French bulldog's death "to prevent this from ever happening again."

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2018.03.14

News Headlines - 14 March 2018

Britain Expels 23 Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning - The New York Times

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

South Korea's former president Lee Myung-bak questioned on graft - Channel NewsAsia

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak reported to prosecutors for questioning in a corruption probe Wednesday (Mar 14) and apologised for the controversy.
Allegations of corruption involving the 76-year-old's relatives and aides during his 2008-2013 presidential term have mounted in recent weeks as prosecutors investigate multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of dollars.

Seven former Aum cult members transferred from Tokyo detention center, suggesting executions near | The Japan Times

The Justice Ministry began transferring seven of the 13 former Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row from a Tokyo detention center to other facilities, sources said Wednesday, likely moving them one step closer to their execution dates.

Tsuburaya sues Chinese firm over 'Ultraman' - NHK WORLD

NHK has learned that a Japanese firm sued a Chinese film company for copyright infringement for using its "Ultraman" character... The Japanese studio, Tsuburaya Productions, filed the lawsuit with a court in Shanghai last September to stop the film's release. Tsuburaya claimed that the Chinese company had infringed copyright by advertising the movie.

Palestinian prime minister survives assassination attempt in Gaza as bomb hits his convoy

The Palestinian prime minister survived an assassination attempt during a rare visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza on Tuesday, putting a fresh strain on the already torrid relations between the two leading Palestinian factions.
Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, had just entered Gaza when a roadside explosive detonated near his convoy. Mr Hamdallah was not injured but seven of his guards and aides suffered slight wounds, according to Palestinian media.

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2018.03.13

News Headlines - 13 March 2018

Trump Fires Rex Tillerson and Will Replace Him With C.I.A. Chief Pompeo - The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday ousted his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, extending a shake-up of his administration, 14 months into his tumultuous presidency, and potentially transforming the nation’s economic and foreign policy.
Mr. Trump announced he would replace Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director and former Tea Party congressman, who forged a close relationship with the president and is viewed as being more in sync with Mr. Trump’s America First credo.

Tillerson sacking: Where it went wrong for Rex - BBC News

For a start, his visit to Vegas was NOT leading the bulletins on cable news channels. But secondly it's what WAS the top story that tipped him over the edge and into a hair-raising (lacquer allowing) rage.
The lead item - with whooshes and flashes and giant straps rushing urgently across the bottom of the screen - was the news that Rex Tillerson had refused to deny that he had called Donald Trump a "moron" (with expletive attached).

Qatar World Cup labourers worked up to 148 days in a row | Daily Mail Online

Migrant labourers in Qatar have worked up to 148 days in a row, a report into conditions faced by workers building stadiums for the 2022 football World Cup has found.
A London-based consultancy firm, Impactt, said long working hours remained a problem for many of the 18,500 workers at projects overseen by Qatar's World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home | The Guardian

A Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his London home, according to friends.
Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was discovered by his family and friends late on Monday night. The cause of death is not yet clear. One of his friends, the newspaper editor Damian Kudryavtsev, posted the news on his Facebook page.

Putin says grandfather cooked for Stalin and Lenin

Vladimir Putin’s paternal grandfather worked as a cook for both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, the president said in a film posted on the internet on Sunday.

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2018.03.12

News Headlines - 12 March 2018

Japan govt altered documents in scandal linked to Abe’s wife - The Washington Post

Japan’s Finance Ministry acknowledged Monday that it doctored documents in a widening scandal linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife that has rattled his government and caused its support ratings to slide.
Abe quickly apologized Monday on behalf of ministry officials but did not mention his wife or her suspected role in the scandal.

Japan’s Finance Minister Under Fire as Abe School Scandal Deepens - Bloomberg

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is coming under pressure to resign as a scandal over alleged favors to a school with connections to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deepened... The Finance Ministry will concede its involvement in the alteration of 14 papers, removing the names of multiple politicians including some with cabinet experience...

Fukushima 360: walk through a ghost town in the nuclear disaster zone – video | The Guardian

What happens to a town that has been abandoned for seven years after a nuclear meltdown? Greenpeace took former residents and a 360-degree camera into the radiation zone north of Fukushima to mark the anniversary of the disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged by a tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake on the afternoon of 11 March 2011. The tsunami killed almost 19,000 people along the north-east coast of Japan and forced more than 150,000 others living near the plant to flee radiation. Some of the evacuated neighbourhoods are still deemed too dangerous for former residents to go back.

Envoys of S. Korean leader head to Japan, China on outcome of N. Korea visit

Special envoys of South Korean President Moon Jae-in were set to leave for China and Japan on Monday to explain to their leaders the outcome of the special envoys' monumental trip to North Korea.
Chung Eui-yong, Moon's top security advisor, was set to embark on a two-day trip to Beijing where he is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Suh Hoon, chief of the state spy agency, was also set to visit Japan later in the day. He will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile asks Chinese President to resolve Tibet issue peacefully | Hindustan Times

Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Saturday urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the issue of Tibet by dialogue.
He also demanded a UNESCO fact-finding mission to visit the holiest Jokhang shrine in Lhasa in Tibet and investigate a fire incident there that destroyed hundreds of Tibetan artefacts a few weeks back.

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2018.03.11

News Headlines - 11 March 2018

Japan marks seventh anniversary of 3/11 with moment of silence | The Japan Times

At 2:46 p.m. on Sunday, Japan observed a moment of silence to mark the seventh anniversary of the mega-quake and tsunami that left about 18,000 people dead or missing while triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
The anniversary of the calamity on March 11, 2011, arrived as about 73,000 people from the disaster-hit areas have yet to return to their hometowns.

Disney's drone flies over Star Wars land as it's being built

Disneyland just released a teaser trailer for its new Star Wars themed area, a flyover of the construction site that offers the first detailed look at what’s rising in a galaxy not far away at all.

Jeff Bezos' Fortune Crosses $130 Billion As Amazon Stock Continues Climb

While Amazon has been trying to figure out what is causing digital assistant Alexa to laugh unprompted, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has been laughing all the way to the bank. His fortune climbed past $130 billion this week.
Bezos became $2.1 billion richer on Friday, pushing his net worth to $130.5 billion, as Amazon's stock continues its relentless ascent. Shares have risen 5% in the past week and 85% in the last twelve months. That has quickly made Bezos the richest person on the planet and the first centi-billionaire in the Forbes Billionaire ranks.

White House plan includes gun training for teachers - The Washington Post

President Donald Trump’s plan to combat school shootings will include helping states pay for firearms training for teachers and a call to improve the background check system.
But Trump’s plan will not include a push to increase the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons or an embrace of more comprehensive background checks, as Trump has at times advocated.

PAOK president takes gun onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee | MARCA in English

The clash between PAOK and AEK had to be suspended due to a pitch invasion by fans and the home side's president Ivan Savvidis also went to remonstrate to the referee with a gun fastened to his belt

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2018.03.10

News Headlines - 10 March 2018

Finance Ministry to admit Moritomo documents were secretly altered | The Japan Times

The Finance Ministry has decided to admit that documents related to the shady 2016 land deal struck with Osaka-based school operator Moritomo Gakuen were secretly revised and that key parts were dropped from the version released to lawmakers last year, informed sources said Saturday.

Trump’s Abrupt ‘Yes’ to North Korea: The 45 Minutes That Could Alter History - The New York Times

While Mr. Chung headed to the driveway, Mr. Trump hurriedly called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to let him know. Mr. Abe has worked assiduously to cultivate a close relationship with Mr. Trump and taken a hard line on North Korea, but he was left out of the loop, a fact that stung.
“I have an impression that the Japanese are not quite well informed,” said Yoshiki Mine, head of a previous Japanese delegation seeking normalized relations with North Korea. “What we have been told is awfully out of tune, I should say.”

Thailand receives Fukushima's first fish export since 2011 nuclear disaster - The Straits Times

Thailand is the first country to receive a shipment of fresh fish from Japan's Fukushima prefecture following the March 2011 nuclear disaster... The fish was meant to be served in sushi and sashimi dishes at 12 Japanese restaurants in Bangkok last Friday.

France′s Macron seeks closer India ties amid global uncertainty | DW

One of the main highlights of this trip will see Modi and Macron co-chairing the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The ISA was a flagship Indian initiative launched by Modi and former French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

Amazon has a fix for Alexa’s creepy laughs - The Verge

Over the past few days, users with Alexa-enabled devices have reported hearing strange, unprompted laughter. Amazon responded to the creepiness today in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

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2018.03.09

News Headlines - 09 March 2018

Tax chief exits as ministry suicide casts pall over Moritomo land scandal | The Japan Times

The head of the National Tax Agency resigned Friday in connection with the sweetheart land deal given to an Osaka-based school operator in 2016 that has been linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife. The de facto sacking of Nobuhisa Sagawa, approved by the Cabinet, was announced as opposition lawmakers resumed their offensive against Abe’s government.

Channel 4 to move hundreds of staff but keep London HQ | The Guardian

Channel 4 has reached a deal with the government to move hundreds of staff out of London and create a new “national HQ” in another city – but it will not be forced to sell its £100m base in London. The broadcaster has laid out a plan to move 300 of its 800 staff out of the capital next year. It currently employs only about 30 staff outside London.

Canada's homeless piano player dies at 46 - BBC News

The death of a homeless man who played piano on the street has left many mourning in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta.
Ryan Arcand was used to the sounds of the city - cars honking, people shouting, the steady hum of traffic - while living on the street.
He died last week at the age of 46 after years of struggling with alcoholism, mental health and homelessness.

North, South Korea won't march together at Paralympics amid flag row

South and North Korea will not march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics, as they did at the Olympics last month, because they cannot agree on a united flag that erases islands disputed with Japan, officials said.

A different side of Ichiro emerges in return to Mariners | The Seattle Times

In a news conference to discuss his one-year contract with the Mariners, Ichiro was more sentimental. The 44-year-old recognizes that his role in the game has changed irrevocably and appears eager to embrace a leadership role. ‘I want to just give it all right here in Seattle.’

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2018.03.08

News Headlines - 08 March 2018

North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees - The New York Times

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has invited President Trump to meet for negotiations over its nuclear program, an audacious diplomatic overture that would bring together two strong-willed, idiosyncratic leaders who have traded threats of war.
The White House said that Mr. Trump had accepted the invitation, and Chung Eui-yong, a South Korean official who conveyed it, told reporters that the president would meet with Mr. Kim within two months.

Trump hints at steel tariff flexibility for 'real friends' | Fox News

President Trump hinted that he would sign controversial tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel Thursday, but also suggested flexibility for “real friends” abroad who treat the U.S. fairly.

French publisher determined to reprint Celine's anti-Semitic tracts - RFI

The head of France's most prestigious publishing house said Sunday he still wanted to reprint a collection of violently anti-Semitic pamphlets by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
Antoine Gallimard declared that he had "not renounced" plans to publish a 1,000-page compendium of the controversial novelist's essays from the late 1930s after an outcry forced him to put the project on ice in January.

March4Women: Thousands rally for gender equality in London

Thousands of people have taken part in a march in London to highlight the fight for gender equality.
The rally coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women being given the right to vote.

Norway boosts whaling quota despite international opposition | The Guardian

Norway has announced a 28% increase of its annual whaling quota to 1,278 whales in a bid to revive the declining hunt amid international controversy.
Whalers have for several years failed to meet the quotas set by Oslo and the number of whaling boats has plunged.

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2018.03.07

News Headlines - 07 March 2018

Allegations of Document Tampering Revive Abe Scandal in Japan - Bloomberg

Allegations that public documents may have been altered have revived a controversy over a heavily discounted sale of public land to a school with connections to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency After Mob Attacks on Muslims - The New York Times

Sri Lanka’s government imposed a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday after mob attacks against the minority Muslim population in a central district, violence that has highlighted the country’s fragility as it tries to recover from decades of civil war.

France to set legal age of sexual consent at 15 - BBC News

France plans to fix the legal age of sexual consent at 15, meaning sex with someone younger than that would be considered rape... Under the existing legislation, if there is no violence or coercion proved, offenders may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor and not rape. This has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£66,000; $87,000).

Billionaire Paul Allen Discovers World War II Era Aircraft Carrier in Australia's Coral Sea

The U.S.S. Lexington has finally been found, decades later and thousands of feet underwater.
The crew of Research Vessel Petrel (R/V Petrel), the exploration ship of billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, discovered the wreckage of the World War II-era aircraft carrier Monday. It was found about two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea and more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.

Video appears to show man with Frances McDormand's stolen Oscar | The Independent

Video footage has emerged of the man accused of stealing Frances McDormand's Best Actress Oscar statuette.
LAPD spokesperson Rosario Herrera said Terry Bryant, 47, was arrested on Sunday evening and is being held on $20,000 bail. A video posted to Bryant's Facebook, now deleted, appeared to show him holding the award aloft.

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2018.03.06

News Headlines - 06 March 2018

Two Koreas Agree to Hold Summit at End of April /KBS World Radio

The first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade will take place next month.
Announcing the outcome of a two-day visit to Pyongyang, South Korea's chief presidential envoy Chung Eui-yong said Tuesday that the two Koreas have agreed on a meeting between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the border truce village of Panmunjeom at the end of April.

After Park, former South Korean President Lee summoned over bribery allegations

South Korean prosecutors have called former President Lee Myung-bak to appear for questioning over allegations he took bribes when in office, a prosecutor said on Tuesday in the latest top-level political corruption scandal to rock the country.

South Africa listeria: Source of 'world's worst outbreak' found - BBC News

South Africa says it has finally traced the source of a listeria outbreak that has killed 180 people in the past year - said to make it the worst in history.
The source is a factory operated by Enterprise Foods in Polokwane in Limpopo.
More facilities are being tested to see if they contributed to the outbreak which infected almost 1,000 people.

Woman in Russian spy mystery is Sergei Skripal's daughter | The Guardian

The second person found unconscious in Salisbury alongside the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is his 33-year-old daughter.
Yulia Skripal was discovered on a bench next to her father on Sunday and is in a critical condition in hospital. She lives in Russia but was visiting the UK, the BBC reported, adding that relatives had not heard from her for two days.

Poisoned umbrellas and polonium: Russian-linked UK deaths | The Guardian

Salisbury’s former spy is not the first Russian to fall ill in Britain in mysterious circumstances
Georgi Markov, September 1978
Alexander Litvinenko, November 2006
German Gorbuntsov, March 2012
Alexander Perepilichnyy, November 2012
Boris Berezovsky, March 2013
Scot Young, December 2014

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2018.03.05

News Headlines - 05 March 2018

Two people critical in Salisbury Hospital after exposure to 'unknown substance'

Two people are in a critical condition in hospital after they were thought to have been exposed to an "unknown substance" at a shopping centre.
Wiltshire Police said officers were alerted to concerns about the welfare of a man and woman at The Maltings in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

S. Korean Envoys Meet N. Korean Leader, Attend Dinner | KBS World Radio

South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom revealed in a media briefing that the special envoys would have a meeting with the North Korean leader and attend a dinner with him from 6 p.m.
The South Korean delegation, led by President Moon's chief security adviser Chung Eui-yong, landed at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport at 2:50 p.m., an hour after departing on their two-day visit from Seoul Airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul.

China proposes to extend Xi Jinping's rule | Al Jazeera

China's governing Communist Party has proposed removing a clause in the constitution which limits presidencies to two five-year terms, which would allow the current President Xi Jinping to remain as leader after he is due to step down.

Fukushima students mark 3/11 with ceremony in New York | The Japan Times

Students from Fukushima Prefecture attended a memorial service in New York on Sunday for victims of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Ichiro Suzuki, 44, Mariners near agreement on contract

Ichiro Suzuki, at 44 years old, is getting closer to continuing his major league career where it all began -- with the Seattle Mariners.
The two sides are nearing an agreement on a major league contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

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2018.03.04

News Headlines - 04 March 2018

Trump says North Korea 'called up,' seeking talks with the United States - Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump said Saturday that North Korea has recently sought talks with the United States and that he "won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un," the North Korean leader.
"Now we're talking. They, by the way, called up a couple of days ago, they said 'we would like to talk,'" Trump said. "And I said, 'so would we, but you have to denuke.'" ... It was not clear whether Trump was describing a direct conversation or messages sent through diplomatic channels.

Bank of Japan governor hints at exit from monetary stimulus

The yen jumped after Haruhiko Kuroda appeared to drop his first hint of Japan’s exit from years of monetary stimulus, as unemployment fell to just 2.4 per cent, the lowest rate in a quarter of a century... Speaking on Friday at a parliamentary confirmation hearing for his second term, Mr Kuroda said: “Of course we will be considering and debating an exit [around fiscal year 2019]”. That fiscal year ends in March 2020.

Cat in blazing Russia building is revived by firefighters | Daily Mail Online

The ginger cat was the last living soul found in the building in the city of Volgograd, in south-western Russia's Volgograd Oblast region, where fire crews fought for four hours to contain the blaze... However, as firemen massaged its chest and then opened the valve on a canister of oxygen close to its mouth, the little animal began to stir.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Invite Members of the General Public to Their Wedding | Teen Vogue

Kensington Palace just announced that the untraditional couple will break custom once more by inviting people from the general public to attend their wedding.
In fact, thousands of members of the British public will score a coveted invitation. According to a new update on the official Royal Family website, "Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle."

Oscars 2018: 'The Shape of Water' wins best picture at Academy Awards

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance The Shape of Water picked up four honors — including the night’s big prize, best picture — at the 90th Academy Awards Sunday night. Del Toro took home best director for his film, which also won for original score and production design.

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2018.03.03

News Headlines - 03 March 2018

Deadly attacks on French embassy and military HQ in Burkina Faso - The Local

Authorities in Burkina Faso were on Saturday hunting for clues about the masterminds behind Friday's deadly twin attacks on the French embassy and the country's military HQ.
The coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, which coincided with a meeting of regional anti-jihadist forces, underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing jihadist insurgency.

Detroit’s Glitzy Car Show Likely Moving to Warmer Month In Bid to Stay Relevant - WSJ

Organizers of Detroit’s auto show likely will move the annual event to October from January in coming years, according to people familiar with the matter. The move would offer visitors a chance to test drive moonshot technologies on actual, ice-free streets and create some distance from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While auto-show attendance during public days is robust, the Motor City’s big event has gone from a must-attend event for car companies to one that an increasing amount of auto makers avoid.
The show’s leadership team has yet to make a final decision, several of the people said. Also known as the North American International Auto Show, the event will take place as originally planned in mid-January of 2019 and likely go to its new October slot after that.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman defends casting couch | The Times

Women who have sex with bosses they find repulsive to advance their careers have made a decision “to do something that is personally offensive” but are not victims of rape, Harvey Weinstein’s defence lawyer has said.
Benjamin Brafman, who has represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z and various mobsters, said the “casting couch” had been around in Hollywood well before Mr Weinstein became a force there.

Film stars protest sexual harassment at 'French Oscars' - France 24

The French film world may be having its #MeToo moment as one after another, stars showed up at the industry's top awards show Friday wearing a white ribbon in a protest against sexual misconduct.

Shivering Europe hopes for weekend respite as deep freeze persists | AFP.com

Europe's deep freeze, which has cost more than 60 lives over the past week, continued to wreak havoc early Saturday as the shivering continent awaited a sliver of weekend respite from a brutal Siberian cold front.

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2018.03.02

News Headlines - 02 March 2018

U.S. steel, aluminum stocks up on Trump's tariffs, but other industries fear price rises

Stock prices of U.S. steel and aluminum makers rose on Thursday after President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on metal imports to protect them from foreign competition, but many other companies saw stock price falls as they may face higher prices for raw materials which will force them to raise prices for consumers.

Taiwan receives direct threats of war from China over US passage of Travel Act | Taiwan News

After the United States Senate unanimously passed the Taiwan Travel Bill on Wednesday, Feb. 28, China has been angered and has sent warnings as well as stated its dissatisfaction with both Taiwan and the United States... In a strong and direct editorial, the state publication China Daily mentions its fear of Taiwan pushing for independence once the bill becomes law, which would then force Beijing to act with force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Improper shaving of frame caused crack in shinkansen: JR West

A probe by the railway operator has found that the steel frame of the undercarriage in question was 4.7 millimeters thick at its thinnest point, undershooting the minimum 7 mm required for the component, JR West President Tatsuo Kijima said at a press conference in Osaka.
According to Kawasaki Heavy, which separately held a press conference in Kobe, workers scraped off the bottom of the undercarriage frame to smooth the surface before welding work, even though scraping was prohibited in the production manual as it could weaken the product strength.

German SPD minister expects 60 percent party support for coalition

Germany’s Social Democrat (SPD) environment minister said on Thursday she expects party members to support a new coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives by a margin of 60 percent.

Exiled Former Catalan President Drops Bid to Return as Leader

The former leader of Spain's separatist-minded Catalonia region unexpectedly announced Thursday that he was dropping his bid to return to his job... He said in a video message posted on a website that under current conditions, standing aside and letting someone else lead Catalonia was the way to get a new government.

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2018.03.01

News Headlines - 01 March 2018

Trump to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminum; stokes trade war fears

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighboring Canada... Trump said the duties, 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, would be formally announced next week, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Hope Hicks to Leave Post as White House Communications Director - The New York Times

Hope Hicks, President Trump’s communications director and one of his longest-serving advisers, said Wednesday that she planned to leave the White House in the next few weeks.
Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood Mr. Trump’s personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico to Quit Amid Tense Relations Under Trump - The New York Times

The United States ambassador to Mexico plans to resign from her post in May, according to a memo circulated on Thursday to embassy staff, the latest in a string of senior diplomatic departures from the region — and more broadly from the State Department.

Macedonia has four options to resolve name dispute with Greece: PM

Macedonia is looking at four options to settle a decades-long dispute with Greece over its name, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday... Macedonia hopes the issue can be resolved in time for an EU meeting in June and a NATO summit in July...

Astronomers detect signal of Universe's first stars

A signal from the Universe's first stars, born a cosmic heartbeat after the Big Bang, has been detected for the first time, astronomers said Wednesday, setting the science world aflutter.
The observation came after a decade-long quest, years earlier than expected, and was described by one excited observer as the biggest astronomical breakthrough since the Nobel-capped detection of gravitational waves in 2015.

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2018.02.28

News Headlines - 28 February 2018

North Korean leaders used Brazilian passports to apply for Western visas - sources

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his late father Kim Jong Il used fraudulently obtained Brazilian passports to apply for visas to visit Western countries in the 1990s, five senior Western European security sources told Reuters.
While North Korea’s ruling family is known to have used travel documents obtained under false pretences, there are few specific examples. The photocopies of the Brazilian passports seen by Reuters have not been published before.

Dodgy data casts cloud over Japan PM's labor reform push

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to revise labor laws, a key part of his economic reforms to boost growth, is facing political headwinds after the government admitted using flawed data to back up its proposals.

Mongolia protests Japanese kids' cartoon mocking Genghis Khan - The Mainichi

Mongolia lodged a diplomatic protest with Japan on Friday after a monthly comic magazine aimed at children included a picture of national hero Genghis Khan with a crude sketch of male genitalia across his forehead.
The comic's publisher Shogakukan Inc. apologized Friday evening in a meeting with Dambadarjaa Batjargal, the charge d'affaires at Mongolia's embassy in Tokyo.

Olympics: Futuristic pointy-eared mascots chosen for Tokyo 2020

Mascot-loving Japan has two new characters to get excited about after two futuristic designs with pointy ears and chequered patterns were unveiled on Wednesday to promote the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Chosen by schoolchildren across Japan and announced before a gymnasium of cheering pupils in Tokyo, the as yet unnamed blue character will be the mascot for the Olympics and the pink cherry blossom-inspired one for the Paralympics.

IOC lifts suspension on Russian Olympic Committee — RT Sport News

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has lifted its suspension on the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which was imposed prior to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

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2018.02.27

News Headlines - 27 February 2018

Kushner loses access to top-secret intelligence - POLITICO

Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded — a move that will prevent him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access.
Kushner is not alone. All White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances — at the Top Secret/SCI-level — were informed in a memo sent Friday that their clearances would be downgraded to the Secret level, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

Trump says he would have run into Florida school without a weapon - NBC News

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would have charged into a Florida school during the shooting there earlier this month even if he were unarmed.

Support for independence drops to four-year low in Catalonia

The number of Catalans in favor of their region becoming independent from Spain has dropped to a four-year low, a survey showed on Friday, casting renewed doubt over the secession campaign just as its leaders disagree on the way forward.

Rome blanketed by snow as Arctic storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' sets records - Chicago Tribune

The Arctic storm dubbed the "Beast from the East" saw temperatures across much of Europe fall Monday to their lowest level this winter and even brought a rare snowstorm to Rome, paralyzing the city and giving its residents the chance to ski, sled and build snowmen in its famous parks and piazzas.

West Ham and Watford enquire about Yuto Nagatomo, summer exit likely

Serie A giants Inter Milan want to sell Galatasaray loanee Yuto Nagatomo with Premier League duo West Ham United and Watford interested.

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2018.02.26

News Headlines - 26 February 2018

Cambodia's ruling party sweeps Senate election after crackdown

Cambodia’s ruling party said on Sunday it had won every seat up for election on the Senate in a ballot held after thousands of opposition lawmakers and local council leaders were stripped of their right to vote.

Diana charity Mines Advisory Group hit by sex scandal claims | The Sunday Times

A landmine charity championed by Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry has apologised for its failure to investigate sufficiently claims that some members of its staff were regularly paying women for sex.
Mines Advisory Group (Mag) is the latest British charity to be drawn into the unfolding sex abuse scandal amid claims it ignored complaints about the “habitual use” of prostitutes by some members of its staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

KFC's apology for running out of chicken is pretty cheeky - BBC News

The fast-food chain took out a full page ad in the Sun and Metro newspapers which shows an empty bucket of chicken with crumbs spilling out.
Instead of having KFC logo on the side, the letters have been switched around to read "FCK".

Madrid local calls police on Puigdemont look-alike comedian | Euronews

Spanish comedian Joaquin Reyes thought it was all fun and games when he was shooting for TV in a park outside of Madrid dressed as exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. But his apparent likeness had one local soon call police.

'Black Panther': The Key Lesson Hollywood Refuses To Learn

Today is the day, barring a fluke, that Walt Disney's Black Panther crosses $500 million worldwide, including well over $200m overseas. And the acclaimed MCU actioner hasn’t even opened in Russia (opening in IMAX today, everywhere in Russia on the 26th), Japan (March 1) and China (March 9).
The lessons of Black Panther are obvious. Big movies with and for black people are not remotely box office poison. Big movies with, for and by black people can absolutely pull in good to great overseas grosses as well. It’s a rebuttal of conventional wisdom. But it’s also a rebuttal of the conventional wisdom that Hollywood has ignored time and time again.

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2018.02.25

News Headlines - 25 February 2018

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ′genocide′ | DW

The Dutch parliament has overwhelmingly voted to recognize the World War I massacre of Armenians as genocide, in a vote that may stoke further tensions with Turkey... As the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey denies that the World War I-era deaths amounted to genocide and has lashed out at countries that have officially recognized the term.

Venezuela Opposition Will Boycott Election, and Maduro Tightens His Hold - The New York Times

Venezuela’s alliance of opposition parties declared on Wednesday that it would boycott the coming presidential election, saying the electoral system was rigged in favor of President Nicolás Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The decision effectively cleared a path for Mr. Maduro’s re-election to another six-year term and threw the future of the nation’s political opposition, deeply weakened by recent election losses and internal fractures, further into doubt.

China will scrap limit on presidential term, meaning Xi Jinping can stay on | South China Morning Post

China will remove the constitutional restriction on the maximum number of terms the president and vice-president can serve, Xinhua reported on Sunday, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to stay on beyond 2023.
In a brief report, the official news agency said the ruling Communist Party had proposed to remove the line that the president and vice-president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the constitution.

North Korea condemns U.S. sanctions as officials gather for Olympic ceremony

North Korea on Sunday accused the United States of provoking confrontation on the Korean peninsula with new sanctions, while South Korean protesters tried to block North Korean officials reaching the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Eve Muirhead devastated as Britain's curlers end up empty-handed | The Guardian

Britain’s skip, Eve Muirhead, has admitted her devastation after missing a makable shot to secure a women’s curling bronze, which would have been Team GB’s sixth medal of the Winter Olympics. Instead she inadvertently pushed Japan’s stone into position to allow her opponents to win 5-3.
It was a nervy and conservatively played affair, with little between the teams going into final end. Japan had a 4-3 lead but that was balanced by Britain having the hammer. With one stone remaining, Muirhead had one in hand – and what looked like a good chance to go for two shots and the victory. Instead she threw it too wide and hard and, as Japan’s curlers shed tears of joy, Muirhead kicked a stone in frustration as she left the ice.

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2018.02.24

News Headlines - 24 February 2018

The Syrian teenager tweeting the horror of life in Ghouta | The Guardian

Muhammad Najem, a​ 15​-​year​-​old ​resident of the ​devastated rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, is using social media to share videos of daily bombardments, and food and medical shortages. With hundreds of civilians killed this week alone, Muhammad's latest posts have called on the international community to take action and accused President Bashar al-Assad of killing his childhood

Nigeria rescues 76 schoolgirls after Boko Haram attack, others missing

The Nigerian military rescued 76 schoolgirls and recovered the bodies of two others on Wednesday, after the students went missing during a Boko Haram attack on a village, three parents, a resident and a local government official told Reuters.

Trump proposes bonuses for teachers who get gun training - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump spent Thursday grappling with how to prevent more school massacres and address the gun debate gripping the country, offering solutions such as giving bonuses to teachers who undergo gun training.

Europe’s first cave artists were Neandertals, newly dated paintings show | Science

Now, archaeologists may have to accept that Neandertals were the original cave artists. A team of dating experts and archaeologists reports that simple creations—the outline of a hand, an array of lines, and a painted cave formation—from three caves in Spain all date to more than 64,800 years ago, at least 20,000 years before modern humans reached Europe.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in anthrax threat terror | London Evening Standard

Scotland Yard is investigating after a letter containing white powder purporting to be anthrax was sent to Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace.
The letter, addressed to her and fiancé Prince Harry and understood to contain a racist message, led to a security scare, with specialists rushed in to check the powder.

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2018.02.23

News Headlines - 23 February 2018

U.S. imposes more North Korea sanctions, Trump warns of 'phase two'

The United States said on Friday it was imposing its largest package of sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, and President Donald Trump warned of a “phase two” that could be “very, very unfortunate for the world” if the steps did not work.

2 Japanese men nabbed for shots fired at defacto N. Korean embassy:The Asahi Shimbun

Police have arrested two Japanese men believed to be right-wing activists for shooting at North Korea's de facto embassy in Tokyo.
Police said Friday that the men fired several shots at the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, a pro-Pyongyang group representing ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Japan welcomes WTO ruling on South Korea Fukushima food row, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Japan on Friday (Feb 23) welcomed a World Trade Organisation ruling that called for South Korea to lift an import ban on Japanese seafood, imposed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
However, the issue is expected to continue after South Korea said it would appeal the WTO’s decision and had no plans to repeal the restrictions.

China seizes control of Anbang Insurance as chairman prosecuted

The Chinese government on Friday seized control of Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd and said its chairman had been prosecuted, dramatically illustrating Beijing’s willingness to curtail big-spending conglomerates as it cracks down on financial risk.

Eastern Ghouta: US accuses Russia of blocking efforts to halt bloodshed - CNN

The United States has accused Russia of blocking efforts to halt bloodshed in Eastern Ghouta as the Syrian regime continues to pound the rebel-held enclave outside Damascus... A draft resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait on Wednesday called for a 30-day halt in the fighting to allow for critical aid deliveries and medical evacuations. The Security Council will meet again Friday to vote on the temporary ceasefire, according to Kuwait, the current Security Council president.

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2018.02.22

News Headlines - 22 February 2018

Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials during the Olympics before last-minute cancellation - The Washington Post

Vice President Pence departed for a five-day, two-country swing through Asia earlier this month having agreed to a secret meeting with North Korean officials while in South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
But on Feb. 10, less than two hours before Pence and his team were to meet with Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, the North Koreans pulled out of the scheduled meeting, according to Pence’s office.

Former vice chairman admits Samsung paid litigation fees for company linked to ex-leader Lee

Lee Hak-soo, a former Samsung Electronics vice chairman, has admitted that the conglomerate paid lawsuit costs for a company linked to former President Lee Myung-bak, prosecution sources said Saturday.
Lee Hak-soo was questioned for 16 hours Thursday by prosecutors who are looking into a raft of corruption allegations surrounding the former leader and his family.

Japan, Finland agree Moomin issue "resolved" after exam furor

Speaking before the press ahead of a dinner meeting in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told Finnish counterpart Timo Soini he understands the issue of the location of "Moominvalley" has been "settled."
"Now we know where the Moomin is, it is in each of our hearts, so we can be very relaxed that this problem is over," Soini replied.

Woman, 26, charged with public order offence after note was left on ambulance windscreen mid-emergency

A 26-year-old woman has been charged with a public order offence in connection with an incident where a foul-mouthed note was left on an ambulance windscreen... They had reported over the weekend that colleagues found a hand-written note from a resident who had complained the vehicle was parked in a resident's parking bay outside their house.

Sheep-Human Hybrids Made in Lab—Get the Facts

Building on a controversial breakthrough made in 2017, scientists announced on Saturday that they have created the second successful human-animal hybrids: sheep embryos that are are 0.01-percent human by cell count.
The embryos, which were not allowed to develop past 28 days of age, move researchers a small step closer to perhaps growing human organs for medical transplant.

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2018.02.21

News Headlines - 21 February 2018

Alberto Fujimori to be tried for death-squad killings despite recent pardon

Just two months after being released from prison on a pardon, former Peru President Alberto Fujimori will be going back to trial, according to a Monday decision. A Peruvian court ruled that the 79-year-old Fujimori will have to stand trial in connection with the 1992 death-squad killings of six farmers in the central Peruvian town of Pativilca.
In December, Fujimori was granted a medical pardon from a 25-year-prison sentence for his role in various human rights abuses, leading to widespread protests throughout the country. Those abuses involved authorizing other death-squad killings as part of the conflict between Fujimori’s administration and left-wing rebels that saw nearly 70,000 people die.

Kim Yo-jong revealed pregnancy during Seoul trip: reports

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is pregnant with her second child, and revealed this to South Korean officials during her visit to Seoul earlier this month, local media reported Tuesday.
According to reports citing unnamed sources, Kim told Seoul’s officials that she was with her second child during her visit to the South between Feb. 9 and 11.

Japanese 'baby factory' man wins custody of 13 kids... | Daily Mail Online

A Japanese millionaire has been awarded legal custody to 13 children he fathered through surrogate mothers in Thailand.
Mitsutoki Shigeta, thought to be 27 years old, caused a 'baby factory' scandal in 2014 after Thai police found nine infants living with their nannies in an upmarket Bangkok apartment... Shigeta, the son of a Japanese tycoon, left the country in the wake of the scandal three-and-a-half-years ago.

Angry mob kill suspects in rape and murder of girl (5) - Independent.ie

Nearly 1,000 people dragged two suspects out of a police station and beat them to death in anger after the rape and killing of a five-year-old girl in India's remote north-east, police said.

Moir hits back at allegations of biased ice dance judging

Canada’s multiple gold medal winner Scott Moir on Wednesday hit back at allegations by a French sports official that judging in the Olympic ice dance event could have been skewed in Canada’s favor.

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2018.02.20

News Headlines - 20 February 2018

TEPCO ordered to pay damages for 102-year-old man's suicide:The Asahi Shimbun

A court here acknowledged that a 102-year-old man took his life rather than endure forced evacuation due to the 2011 nuclear disaster and ordered plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 15.2 million ($142,300) in damages to his family.
The Fukushima District Court said in its Feb. 20 ruling that the planned mandatory evacuation of Iitate was behind Fumio Okubo’s suicide, adding that the prospect of being forced from his home must have triggered "unbearable psychological strain."

Ex-Olympus chief in fresh assault on former board

The legal action, which has been brought by both Olympus itself and a lawyer known for bringing suits of “social purpose” that challenge Japanese corporate behaviour, centres on whether members of the Olympus board were taking their fiduciary duty seriously as evidence mounted of accounting irregularities.

Mitsubishi Corp. to raise Mitsubishi Motors stake to 20%- Nikkei Asian Review

Mitsubishi Corp. held a 9.23% interest in Mitsubishi Motors as of the end of last September. It will spend some 120 billion yen ($1.12 billion) to buy additional shares through a tender offer. An official announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.
Fellow group members Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ -- which own about 8% and 3% of the automaker, respectively -- are expected to participate in the tender offer. Nissan Motor is the largest shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors, with a 34% stake.

Osaka to host G20 summit in 2019 - NHK WORLD

The Japanese government has decided to hold next year's Group of 20 Summit meeting in the western prefecture of Osaka. It will be the first time Japan has hosted the summit.

Fight over man's flatulence forces flight to make emergency landing | Fox News

A pilot made an emergency landing after a fight broke out over a passenger who allegedly refused to stop passing gas.
Two Dutchmen sitting next to the flatulent passenger reportedly asked the man to stop, but he refused and continued to break wind aboard the Transavia Airlines flight from Dubai to Amsterdam Schiphol.

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2018.02.19

News Headlines - 19 February 2018

Australia mulls rival to China's 'belt and road' with US, Japan, India | afr.com

Australia is discussing with the United States, India and Japan the establishment of a joint regional infrastructure scheme to rival China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence.

Where is the Tea Party when you need it?

The Tea Party is dead. Donald Trump just staged the funeral rites. The rebellion against public spending lasted less than a decade. Having repeatedly threatened a US default during Barack Obama’s presidency, Republican hawks have meekly switched to the “deficits don’t matter” school. Democrats lack any such stomach for brinkmanship. They are too ambivalent to stand in the way of Mr Trump’s bonanza. What would liberals call their fiscal rebellion? The soya latte with a dusting of hazelnut party?

Former U.S. presidential candidate Romney announces Utah Senate bid

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, announced on Friday he would run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, confirming months of speculation about a return to national politics.

Two Reuters Journalists Face 14 Years in Burmese Prison After Exposing Massacre of Rohingya Muslims | Democracy Now!

In Burma, two journalists from the Reuters news agency have entered their third month in jail. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested on December 12 and charged with violating Burma’s Official Secrets Act. They have been denied bail and face up to 14 years in jail. At the time of their arrest, they were investigating a massacre committed by the Burmese military targeting Rohingya Muslims in the village of Inn Din in September.

Russian curler fails Winter Olympics drug test | The Guardian

A Russian athlete who won bronze in the mixed curling at the Winter Olympics has failed a preliminary drug test, putting his medal into jeopardy and throwing the spotlight on the decision to welcome 168 Russian athletes to Pyeongchang after the country was nominally banned for state-sponsored doping in Sochi four years ago.
The athlete has not been officially named but sources have confirmed reports in Russia that it is Alexander Krushelnytsky, who was found to have meldonium in his urine after playing in the mixed-curling tournament as a member of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team alongside his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.

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2018.02.18

News Headlines - 18 February 2018

Aseman Airlines plane crash kills 66 in central Iran | Al Jazeera

An Iranian passenger plane with 66 people on board has crashed in central Iran during a flight from Tehran to the city of Yasuj, according to Iranian news media reports.

Angela Merkel's Germany is a 'free rider' and a 'threat to the West' storms Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki as military leaks reveal the country hasn't got enough tanks to send to NATO

POLAND’S PM last night issued a stinging jibe toward Angela Merkel as he hinted Germany was a “free rider” not pulling its weight in NATO... Mr Morawiecki told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper a country that benefits from the defence of the group but didn’t pay its way was “a free rider which threatens the unity of the West”.

Ethiopia's state of emergency to last six months | Al Jazeera

A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia after the resignation of the country's prime minister will last for six months, the minister of defence has said, as the government seeks to stem political unrest amid long-standing demands for greater freedoms.
The measure, which was first announced by state media after a cabinet meeting on Friday, includes a ban on protests and the dissemination of publications "that could incite and sow discord", Siraj Fegessa told reporters on Saturday.

Portugal police 'find cocaine in traveller's padded pants' - BBC News

Police in Portugal have detained a man at Lisbon's international airport accused of carrying 1kg (2.2lb) of cocaine in fake buttocks.

Yuzuru Hanyu makes history with 1,000th gold medal of Winter Olympics | NBC Olympics

Yuzuru Hanyu's latest victory has an extra-special place in Olympics history.
The Japanese figure skater won the 1,000th gold medal since the Winter Games began in 1924, defending his title in the men's individual competition on Saturday. Hanyu was also the first man to win consecutive golds in the event since American Dick Button did it in 1948 and 1952.

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2018.02.17

News Headlines - 17 February 2018

Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too. - The New York Times

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”

Turkish army hit village in Syria's Afrin with suspected gas: Kurdish YPG, Observatory

Syrian Kurdish forces and a monitoring group said the Turkish military carried out a suspected gas attack that wounded six people in Syria’s Afrin region on Friday.

KUNA : N. Korea poses threat to all allies - NATO chief

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that North Korea continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, "which pose a threat to us all.
"All Allies are now within range of North Korean missiles. Pyongyang is closer to Munich than it is to Washington DC and therefore we must put maximum pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme, by political and diplomatic means and, not least, through effective economic sanctions," he said at the opening session of the Munich Security Conference.

Massive Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un floats feature in carnival parade in Nice, France | Globalnews.ca

Carnival joy filled the French Riviera town of Nice on Saturday night as it welcomed the 134th edition of the King’s Carnival with space as its main theme, honouring French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Why Winnie the Pooh is skater Yuzuru Hanyu's lucky charm - CNN

Hanyu's adoring fan club have taken to tossing Winnie the Pooh bears at their hero after he began carrying a tissue box in the shape of the much loved A.A. Milne character back in 2010.

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2018.02.16

News Headlines - 16 February 2018

Oxfam government funding cut off after Haiti scandal | The Guardian

Oxfam has agreed to withdraw from bidding for government funding until the Department for International Development is satisfied that it can meet the “high standards” expected.

Facebook loses Belgian privacy case, faces fine up to $125 mln

A Belgian court threatened Facebook with a fine of up to 100 million euros ($125 million) if it continued to break privacy laws by tracking people on third party websites.
In a case brought by Belgium’s privacy watchdog, the court also ruled on Friday that Facebook had to delete all data it had gathered illegally on Belgian citizens, including people who were not Facebook users themselves.

Steve Bannon met with Mueller multiple times over the past week - NBC News

Steve Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.
Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.

FBI admits failure to act on Florida school gunman, drawing anger

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Friday it had failed to act on a tip warning that the man now accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school possessed a gun, the desire to kill and the potential to commit a school shooting... A person described as someone close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, called an FBI tip line on Jan. 5, weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to report concerns about him, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

A previously unknown language has just been discovered in Southeast Asia

A village in the northern Malay Peninsula has been known to anthropologists for some time, but linguists have just figured out that these settled hunter-gatherers use their very own, previously undocumented language.
Comprising just 280 people, the villagers speak an Aslian language newly named Jedek by linguists at Lund University in Sweden.

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2018.02.15

News Headlines - 15 February 2018

China’s former internet chief Lu Wei charged with taking bribes | The Times

China’s former chief internet regulator, who was once thought of as a potential president, has become the latest senior figure caught in Xi Jingping’s corruption crackdown, charged with taking bribes and abusing his influence to get sex.
Lu Wei, who was director of China’s Cyberspace Administration until 2016, was accused this morning of being “extremely disloyal”. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, portrayed Mr Lu as a brazen abuser of power who lived the high life through corruption.

Uber faces tough new regulations in London

London’s transport authority plans to overhaul regulations for taxis in a move designed to increase oversight of ride-hailing companies such as Uber.
The plans to introduce tougher requirements comes as Transport for London clamps down on companies using technology to disrupt the taxi sector. Uber has appealed a decision by the regulator last year to block the renewal of its its licence to operate in the capital.

Peter Rabbit film producers apologise over allergy scene - BBC News

The makers of the new film Peter Rabbit have apologised after facing a backlash over their depiction of a character's allergy.
A scene in the film shows a character who suffers a blackberry allergy being pelted with them by a gang of bunnies.

South African lions eat 'poacher', leaving just his head - BBC News

A suspected big cat poacher has been eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say.
The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found over the weekend at a game park near Hoedspruit.

Winter Olympics: Jamaica's women's bobsleigh coach Sandra Kiriasis quits - BBC Sport

The Jamaican women's historic Winter Olympics bobsleigh debut is under threat after their coach quit and threatened to take the team's sled.
German Sandra Kiriasis, an ex-Olympic champion, claims she was forced out when her role was changed, and that she is legally responsible for the sled.

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2018.02.14

News Headlines - 14 February 2018

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma resigns - CBS News

South African President Jacob Zuma said he has resigned "with immediate effect." The scandal-tainted leader made the announcement late Wednesday in a televised address to the nation, avoiding his almost certain ouster in a parliamentary vote scheduled for Thursday after years of corruption scandals.

Disgraced top China politician charged with bribery, another to be prosecuted

Chinese prosecutors have charged disgraced senior politician Sun Zhengcai with bribery, state media said on Tuesday, the latest development in a corruption probe into a man once considered a contender for top leadership... Sun was abruptly removed from his post as the ruling Communist Party’s chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing - one of China’s most important cities - in July, and replaced by Chen Miner, who is close to President Xi Jinping.

The FBI, CIA and NSA say American citizens shouldn't use Huawei phones

Top officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the Chinese smartphone makers posed a security threat to American customers.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas asked the group to raise their hands if they would recommend private American citizens use products or services made by Apple competitor Huawei or smartphone maker ZTE. None of them did.

Russia Saratov crash: Ice on sensors 'may be cause' - BBC News

A preliminary analysis of the on-board flight recorder indicated the plane had problems two-and-a-half minutes after it took off, at an altitude of around 1,300m (4,265ft).
The instruments began displaying different speed readings, probably because of iced speed sensors while their heating systems were shut off, the committee said.
When the crew detected the issue, they switched off the plane's autopilot. They eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees.

Isil leader Baghdadi 'alive in Syria but injured and no longer in control'

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, is still alive but injury and poor health has forced him to relinquish control of the terror group, according to an Iraqi intelligence chief and US officials.

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2018.02.13

News Headlines - 13 February 2018

Lotte chief and ex-president's friend jailed in South Korea scandal

The friend of former South Korean leader Park Geun-hye who was at the center of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s business and political elite has been sentenced to 20 years in jail, a Seoul court said on Tuesday.
The court also sentenced the chairman of the Lotte Group, the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate, to two years and six months in prison in the same case.

U.S. to push for 'reciprocal tax' on trade partners: Trump

The United States loses “vast amounts of money with China and Japan and South Korea and so many other countries ... It’s a little tough for them because they’ve gotten away with murder for 25 years. But we’re going to be changing policy,” he said.
Trump said his administration will impose a “reciprocal tax” to charge other countries - “some of them are so-called allies but they’re not allies on trade.”

Facebook personal data use and privacy settings ruled illegal by German court | The Guardian

Facebook’s default privacy settings and use of personal data are against German consumer law, according to a judgement handed down by a Berlin regional court.
The court found that Facebook collects and uses personal data without providing enough information to its members for them to render meaningful consent. The federation of German consumer organisations (VZBV), which brought the suit, argued that Facebook opted users in to features which it should not have.

Julian Assange: Warrant for his arrest upheld by court - BBC News

An arrest warrant for the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been upheld by Westminster Magistrates' Court.
The warrant was issued in 2012 when Mr Assange, 46, breached bail conditions by seeking political refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy... Under the warrant, Mr Assange would be arrested as soon as he left Ecuadorean soil.

A.N.C. Tells Jacob Zuma to Step Down as South Africa’s President - The New York Times

Top leaders of South Africa’s governing party ordered President Jacob Zuma to step down on Tuesday, saying that his continued presence was eroding the “renewed hope” felt since the election of new party leaders in December.
Ace Magashule, secretary general of the African National Congress, said that the party had not given Mr. Zuma a deadline to respond, but added that he was certain that the president would deliver a reply the next day.

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2018.02.12

News Headlines - 12 February 2018

Merkel, SPD under renewed fire over German coalition deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) faced further criticism on Monday from within their own parties over a new coalition deal that must still be approved by disgruntled SPD rank-and-file members.

Takata, injured drivers reach deal to end U.S. bankruptcy

Takata Corp’s U.S. unit reached a settlement with its creditors, lawyers for those injured by its deadly air bags and automakers that smoothes the way to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its viable operations, according to court papers.

London City Airport shut as WW2 bomb found in Thames - BBC News

The airport will be shut all day and all flights cancelled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, a spokeswoman said.
The bomb was discovered at about 05:00 GMT on Sunday at George V Dock during pre-planned work at the airport in east London, the Met Police said.

Graffiti Artists Awarded $6.7 Million for Destroyed 5Pointz Murals - The New York Times

Ruling that graffiti — a typically transient form of art — was of sufficient stature to be protected by the law, a federal judge in Brooklyn awarded a judgment of $6.7 million on Monday to 21 graffiti artists whose works were destroyed in 2013 at the 5Pointz complex in Long Island City, Queens.
In November, a landmark trial came to a close in Federal District Court in Brooklyn when a civil jury decided that Jerry Wolkoff, a real estate developer who owned 5Pointz, broke the law when he whitewashed dozens of swirling murals at the complex, obliterating what a lawyer for the artists had called “the world’s largest open-air aerosol museum.”

AC Milan Officially Cut Ties With Kit Sponsor Adidas in Favour of Long-Term Deal With Puma | SI.com

After weeks of speculation, Serie A giants AC Milan have officially announced they will be cutting ties with kit manufacturer Adidas in favour of a new long-term partnership with Puma.
Effective from July 1, the pairing, which claim this new deal brings together "two of the most passionate, iconic and ambitious brands in football industry", will come together, with the Germany-based company instated as Rossoneri's official partner, global technical supplier and official licensing partner.

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2018.02.11

News Headlines - 11 February 2018

Russia jet carrying 71 people crashes after Moscow take-off - BBC News

A Russian airliner has crashed after leaving Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing all 65 passengers and six crew on board.
The Saratov Airlines jet vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.

Armani uniforms for Tokyo primary school spark fierce debate in Japan | DW

School uniforms designed by Armani and costing more than $700 a pop have caused outrage among parents and even MPs in Tokyo. Taimei Elementary School in the posh Ginza district is to introduce the outfits in April.

NBC apologizes to South Koreans for analyst's remark | joplinglobe.com

"Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technical and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation," Ramo said.
An online petition quickly circulated demanding an apology, and NBC did on its NBCSN cable network Saturday and formally to the Pyeongchang Olympic organizing committee.

Pence: The United States is ready to talk with North Korea - The Washington Post

The frame for the still-nascent diplomatic path forward is this: The United States and its allies will not stop imposing steep and escalating costs on the Kim Jong Un regime until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization. But the Trump administration is now willing to sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing.

French carnival under fire over 'blackface' night - The Local

A carnival in the northern French port of Dunkirk opened Sunday clouded by a controversy over the use of blackface after criticism from anti-racism campaigners.

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2018.02.10

News Headlines - 10 February 2018

Minister orders Oxfam to hand over files on Haiti prostitute scandal | The Times

The government has ordered Oxfam to hand over files on charity staff who paid for sex in earthquake-torn Haiti. The demand follows an investigation by The Times that revealed Oxfam covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers.

Kim Jong Un's Sister Invites Moon Jae-In to North Korea | Time

A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea’s president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty’s southern road tour Saturday, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a “unified” Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

Haruhiko Kuroda likely to win rare second term as BOJ chief: sources | The Japan Times

The government has decided to retain Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda for another term, sources close to the matter say.
The reappointment of the 73-year-old Kuroda, whose five-year term as BOJ chief expires in April, apparently underscores the government’s wish to accelerate efforts to improve economic growth and end decades of deflation.

Unhappy Larry: Mitsubishi boss startles Downing St cat - BBC News

Kazuo Okamoto spotted the cat as he was about to enter No 10 and stopped off to give him a friendly pat.
But Mr Okamoto, chief executive of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe, had to settle for a wave - as Larry ran off to avoid him.

'Monster' Whitechapel fatberg unveiled at London museum - BBC News

The last remaining chunk of a toxic "monster" fatberg found in London's sewers has been unveiled at a museum.
Once weighing 130 tonnes and stretching more than 250m, the mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, nappies, oil and condoms has been conserved by the Museum of London and industry experts.

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2018.02.09

News Headlines - 09 February 2018

The Best Photos From the Olympics Opening Ceremony | Time.com

The 2018 Winter Olympics began in PyeongChang on Friday, as the opening ceremony kicked off the 23rd Winter Games.
Athletes from all 92 countries, including competitors from North and South Korea, were welcomed for the Olympics opening ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium.

Kim Jong Un's Sister Arrives in South Korea for Olympics | Time

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister arrived in South Korea on Friday to begin an unprecedented three-day visit in which she will attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and then sit down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a luncheon at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

North Korea holds military parade ahead of Winter Olympics - BBC News

North Korea has held a military parade attended by leader Kim Jong-un, a day before the opening of the Winter Olympics in the South... This event is usually held in April and moving it had been seen as a setback to the warming of ties over the Olympics.

Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS - WSJ

Amazon.com Inc. is preparing to launch a delivery service for businesses, positioning it to directly compete with United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Giant rhyolite lava dome formation after 7.3 ka supereruption at Kikai caldera, SW Japan | Scientific Reports

Johnny & Associates, Tokyo, Japan
Hideaki Takizawa

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2018.02.08

News Headlines - 08 February 2018

Maldives Declare State of Emergency Amid Political Turmoil | Time

The Maldives government declared a 15-day state of emergency Monday as the political crisis deepened in the Indian Ocean nation amid an increasingly bitter standoff between the president and the Supreme Court. Hours after the emergency was declared, soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building, where the judges were believed to be taking shelter, said Ahmed Maloof, an opposition member of Parliament.
Soon after that, security forces arrested opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on charges that include bribery and attempting to overthrow the government, his lawyer, Maumoon Hameed, said on Twitter. Gayoom was the archipelago nation’s president from 1978 to 2008 and is the half brother of the Maldives’ current president.

Nissan sees China as its top market by 2022

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) expects China to become its biggest market in terms of vehicle sales by 2022, Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa said on Thursday, overtaking the United States where the Japanese automaker is struggling to grow profits.

Companies Everywhere Copied Japanese Manufacturing. Now the Model Is Cracking - WSJ

Japan’s reputation for flawless manufacturing quality and efficiency transformed the country’s postwar economy, changed business practices world-wide and spawned a library’s worth of management manuals and business advice books. Now, the model is cracking.

Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays - The New York Times

For years scholars have debated what inspired William Shakespeare’s writings. Now, with the help of software typically used by professors to nab cheating students, two writers have discovered an unpublished manuscript they believe the Bard of Avon consulted to write “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” “Richard III,” “Henry V” and seven other plays.

Robin Williams' death linked to rise in copycat suicides

Suicide rates in the United States spiked almost 10 percent following the death in 2014 of actor Robin Williams, and spiked even more among men and those who ended their lives, like Williams, by suffocation, according to a study published on Wednesday.

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2018.02.07

News Headlines - 07 February 2018

Facebook hired a full-time pollster to monitor Zuckerberg’s approval ratings - The Verge

Tavis McGinn applied for a job at Facebook last year hoping to work in market research. He had previously spent three years at Google, where he helped large advertisers refine their marketing campaigns across the company’s family of products. But part way through the interview process at Facebook, the recruiter told McGinn the company had something else in mind for him. How would he like to track the public perception of Mark Zuckerberg?

Syria used banned chemical weapons in Sunday gas attack, officials say | Fox News

Amnesty International has accused the Assad regime of showing “utter contempt” of international law following a chlorine gas attack on the town of Saraqib Sunday. This latest chemical attack comes just one day before the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a U.S.-proposed statement Monday condemning the continued use of chemical weapons in the war-torn nation. Russia was blamed by some diplomats for its failure.

Two dead, more than 100 injured in Taiwan earthquake: government

At least two people were killed and more than 100 injured in an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 that hit the coastal Taiwanese city of Hualien late on Tuesday, the government said.

Probe into ex-President Lee expands

The prosecution searched offices of two key aides of former President Lee Myung-bak, Tuesday, over allegations they received hundreds of millions of won from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) while Lee was in office. Investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office searched offices of the university and foundation related to former Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan, confiscating computer hard drives and documents. Investigators also searched the office of Jang Dasaro, a former presidential secretary for general affairs. The search is the latest development of a widening investigation into Lee, whose family members and closest aides are coming under growing suspicion over a wide range of alleged wrongdoings mostly concerning abuse of the presidential office. The search also came two weeks after prosecutors searched the home and office of the former president's brother Lee Sang-deuk in Seongbuk-gu and Yeouido in Seoul over similar allegations.

Norovirus Hit the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games—Here's What That Means

Dozens of Winter Olympics staffers in Pyeongcheng have been quarantined after a wave of norovirus broke out on Sunday. This includes workers, Civil Security Staff, and foreigners. (Related: "There's a Dark History Behind the Glittering Olympic Games")
About 1,200 Olympics staffers have been confined to their rooms while officials conduct testing for norovirus. To compensate, 900 military personnel were deployed on Tuesday to replace the lost workers. The Olympic Games are still on schedule to start on February 9.

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2018.02.06

News Headlines - 06 February 2018

May says Brexit transition deal will be agreed in seven weeks

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that a Brexit transition period will be agreed with the European Union in seven weeks as she tries to ease concerns that a deal may take longer to reach.

Trump Tax Cut, RAV4 Sales Help Toyota Lift Forecast to Record - Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. announced a surprise earnings boost on Tuesday, forecasting record profit, on the popularity of its RAV4 sport utility vehicle in the U.S and thanks to several billion dollars from President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts... Toyota said Tuesday it sees profit rising to 2.4 trillion yen ($22 billion) in the year through March, up from the 1.8 trillion yen it forecast in November. Tax cuts added about 290 billion yen to the bottom line

Samsung scion Lee walks free after jail term suspended, faces leadership challenges

Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to two and a half years in jail on charges including bribery and embezzlement - reducing the original term by half - but suspended the sentence for four years, meaning that he is unlikely to serve any more time in jail.

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket at Cape Canaveral - The Atlantic

On Tuesday, the rocket dreamed up by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stood 230 feet tall, on the famed launchpad at Kennedy Space Center where the Saturn V flew the first humans to the moon. An estimated 100,000 people traveled here to watch the Falcon Heavy power up and rise into the sky.

Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro - CNN

Japan's Princess Mako and her commoner fiance Kei Komuro have postponed their highly anticipated engagement and wedding until at least 2020, saying they were not yet ready for marriage.
The wedding, which had been set for November, was to be a momentous occasion for the country and the Japanese royal family, led by Emperor Akihito, who plans to abdicate in April 2019.

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2018.02.05

News Headlines - 05 February 2018

Dow plunges 1,175 points in worst day for U.S. stocks since 2011 | CTV News

North American stock indexes extended last week's slump, as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 1,600 points during Monday's trading session -- bringing an end to a period of record-setting calm in the market.
In New York, the Dow finished the day down 1,175.21 points to 24,345.75, or 4.6 per cent, erasing its gains for the year. The S&P 500 index fell 113.19 points to 2,648.94 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 273.42 points to 6,967.53.

Japanese Apache helicopter crashes in residential area of Saga Prefecture | The Japan Times

A Ground Self-Defense Force attack helicopter crashed Monday in a residential area in Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, setting at least one home on fire and possibly killing the chopper’s two crew members, officials said.

Incumbent Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine falls in closely watched Okinawa election | The Japan Times

In a political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a defeat for anti-U.S. base forces in Okinawa, incumbent Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine failed in his re-election bid Sunday night, losing to a candidate strongly backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

PyeongChang volunteers struggle with crude working conditions

With PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics kicking off Friday, many volunteer workers have voiced their frustration over crude working conditions, igniting a controversy in the online community.
Around 15,000 volunteers have signed up to help out with the Winter Games and an additional 6,600 workers will assist at the Paralympics. But even before the Olympics starts, the Korean organizers have come under fire for its treatment of staff, with some of its volunteers suddenly quitting.

How we BBC bosses allowed the gender pay gap to happen

I am liberal. I support the #metoo and #timesup campaigns. At North London dinner parties I even describe myself as a “feminist”.
I was also a manager at the BBC and I paid women less than men. Not all women, but some. I am deeply ashamed. Yet if managers — men and women — at the BBC were truthful they would admit that they all have stories of doing the same. I have two that show how managers end up doing bad things.

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2018.02.04

News Headlines - 04 February 2018

North Korea 'uses Berlin embassy to get missile parts' - BBC News

North Korea has been acquiring technology for its nuclear and weapons programmes through its Berlin embassy, Germany's head of intelligence says.
Hans-Georg Maassen told NDR TV that many of these activities had been thwarted, but not all were detected.

Renault to reappoint Carlos Ghosn as CEO

Renault will reappoint Carlos Ghosn as chief executive later this month, despite expectations the long-serving boss would step down when his mandate expires in June, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The carmaker will also name a permanent deputy, as it resettles its leadership team amid often-cool relations with the French government that holds 15 per cent of its shares.

Heaviest snowfall on record blankets Moscow - BBC News

Moscow has seen its heaviest snowfall in a day since records began, with more than 2,000 trees brought down and air travel disrupted, officials say.
More than half the monthly average snow - 38cm (15 inches) - fell on Saturday, beating the previous record from 1957.

Manchester Art Gallery's #MeToo-inspired removal of nude Nymphs painting branded a 'pathetic stunt'

A celebrated painting JW Waterhouse has been removed from display at the Manchester Art Gallery, in an act the museum says aims to "challenge this Victorian fantasy" of "the female body as either a 'passive decorative form' or a 'femme fatale'"... Clare Gannaway, the museum's curator of contemporary art, has called the In Pursuit of Beauty collection a cause for "embarrassment." Gannaway told the Guardian that recent anti-sexual harassment campaigns such as Time's Up and #MeToo had an influence on the decision to remove the painting.

Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water - Investigator calls new witnesses "very credible" - CBS News

This week, "48 Hours" first reported that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had talked for the first time about their investigation into the drowning death of iconic actress Natalie Wood 36 years ago. They are now calling her husband, actor Robert Wagner, a person of interest.

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2018.02.03

News Headlines - 03 February 2018

Syrian Kurds outraged over mutilation of female fighter | The Guardian

Syrian Kurds have accused Turkish-backed rebels of mutilating then filming the body of one of their female fighters after a video emerged of her corpse... The Kurds blamed the “terrorist allies of the enemy Turkish state” for mutilating the body of Kobani, who was a member of the all-female Kurdish Women’s Protection Units.

82-year-old programmer speaks at UN - NHK WORLD

An 82-year-old Japanese software programmer has given a speech at the UN in New York on the merits of digital technology for senior citizens.
Masako Wakamiya on Friday described to members of the conference a game app for smartphones she developed for the elderly.

Louvre displays Nazi-looted paintings in bid to find rightful owners of 2,000 unclaimed artworks

The Louvre Museum has put on display 31 paintings looted by the Nazis during the Second World War in the hope that surviving relatives of their original owners will come forward to claim them.
The paintings, recovered in Germany after the war, were among about 100,000 works of art looted by the Nazis during their occupation of France.
More than 45,000 have been handed back but more than 2,000 remain unclaimed, including 296 paintings stored at the Louvre.

Watch Nicole Kidman Snack on Four Bowls of Bugs | PEOPLE.com

In the latest installment of Vanity Fair‘s “Secret Talent Theatre,” Kidman takes on a four course meal of bugs with a pair of chopsticks and a smile. Somehow, she approaches each dish—which look like something out of an episode of Fear Factor—like they’re bowls of candy.

Glee Actor Mark Salling Found Dead After Child Porn Charges | Time

Mark Salling, who played bad-boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the hit musical-comedy “Glee,” died of an apparent suicide Tuesday, weeks after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. He was 35.

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2018.02.02

News Headlines - 02 February 2018

Dow plunges in biggest drop in years | New York Post

Stock markets had their worst day on Friday since the dawn of the Great Recession, as fears mounted that the Federal Reserve may be forced to act more aggressively to cool down an economy that’s heating up faster than investors expected.

Trump plan calls for new nuclear weapons - POLITICO

The Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review, the first since 2010, calls for a "lower-yield" option — with less powerful explosive capacity — for ballistic and cruise missiles launched from submarines.
It also says that nuclear weapons could be used to respond to “extreme circumstances,” including non-nuclear attacks.

Sony Chief Hands Over Reins After Resurgence - WSJ

Sony Corp. is getting a new boss after a turnaround that took it from a string of losses to the biggest expected profit in its history.
Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai picked a day on which Sony again upgraded its profit forecast to announce that he was stepping down after six years and handing the reins to Kenichiro Yoshida, who had helped him trim costs as chief financial officer.

Coincheck to be sued over digital currency theft - NHK WORLD

The team of 5 lawyers says about 10 customers of the Tokyo-based company have consulted them. The lawyers say they will file a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court as early as mid-February.

Grammy Awards draw 19.8 million viewers on CBS, a nine-year low

The CBS telecast of the 60th Grammy Awards was watched Sunday by 19.8 million viewers, a staggering 24% decline from last year's show... The decline in viewership is the latest indication of how awards shows are grappling with dwindling audiences as younger audiences consume highlights online. Other big awards events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes have seen losses among younger viewers in recent years as well.

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2018.02.01

News Headlines - 01 February 2018

Trump falsely claims his address was the most viewed of all time

On Thursday morning the president said the 45.6 million people who watched Tuesday's State of the Union was "the highest number in history."
That's not true. And it left observers wondering where he came up with such a claim.

Lord Bates's resignation over lateness rejected by PM - BBC News

Lord Bates stunned colleagues in the House of Lords by stating his intention to resign after the "discourtesy" of arriving late to a session.
A spokesman for Number 10 said the resignation was "unnecessary" and he had decided to continue in his role.

Scottish island on sale for same price as one-bed London flat | The Independent

A Scottish island on sale for the price of a one-bed flat in London is attracting a “lot of interest” according to its estate agents... Vaila Sound is an island on the western side of the Shetland Isles – meaning it is technically closer to Norway than Scotland – with just two dilapidated, abandoned cottages that can be yours for £250,000.

How Sanchi's spill could spread

The worst tanker oil spill in decades is unfolding across hundreds of miles of the East China Sea after an Iranian oil tanker carrying more than 100,000 tonnes of toxic oil collided with a freighter and exploded, killing all 32 crew onboard. The ship burned, spewing its cargo, for more than a week before sinking in the waters between China, Japan and South Korea.

Muji pulls catalog in China that left disputed islands off map:The Asahi Shimbun

Japan's Muji retail chain was forced to pull a catalog in China that left the disputed Senkaku Islands off a map after receiving a complaint from Chinese authorities... Beijing took exception to the map included in Muji's furniture catalog for autumn and winter 2017.
The catalog was distributed in China by Muji stores, operated by Ryohin Keikaku Co. in Tokyo.

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2018.01.31

News Headlines - 31 January 2018

U.S. dubs Hamas chief Haniyeh as specially designated global terrorist - Jerusalem Post

The United States government has become the first country outside of Israel to categorize Hamas Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, told The Jerusalem Post.

Iconic Ancient Temple Is Latest Victim in Civil War

Much of the magnificent 3,000-year-old temple of Ain Dara, with its mysterious and massive footprints and a structure that provides clues for understanding the biblical temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, has been destroyed in a Turkish airstrike.... A Turkish airstrike destroyed much of the temple on Friday during an attack on the Kurdish-held area south of the city of Afrin, according to the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Photos and video from the Syrian Observatory and Hawar News confirm that more than half of the temple is gone, including many of the sculptures that ringed the site.

Ryanair in ‘historic’ deal to recognise British pilots’ union

Ryanair has reached its first union deal in its 33-year history, agreeing to recognise Britain’s pilot group as it attempts to resolve a long-running battle with cockpit crews over wages and conditions.
Europe’s biggest budget airline on Tuesday said it had signed an agreement with the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) that will see the union represent about 600 UK pilots directly employed by Ryanair.

Simple blood test spots dementia protein

Scientists in Japan and Australia have developed a blood test that can identify people who have high levels of a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease. If confirmed by further research, this long-sought test could help in the increasingly desperate search for therapies that halt the progression of dementia, which affects tens of millions of people worldwide.

Truck driver arrested for damage to Peruvian archaeological site - UPI.com

Peruvian authorities arrested a truck driver they said drove his vehicle through the Nazca Lines, partly damaging the protected archaeological site.
Peru's Ministry of Culture announced Monday that Janier Jesus Flores Vigo will face charges for ignoring signs indicating the location of the sacred site and driving a cargo truck through it.

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2018.01.30

News Headlines - 30 January 2018

First Trump State of the Union Address Makes Appeal for Unity - The New York Times

He said he would bring Republicans and Democrats together around a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan to “give us the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.” And he dared Democrats to reject what he called a “down-the-middle compromise” on immigration where “nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.”

Saudi Arabia is handing out cash from anti-corruption drive

Saudi Arabia is using cash recovered from officials and princes arrested in a corruption crackdown to ease the pain of austerity... Speaking earlier at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Al Jadaan said some of the cash recovered will be used to fund handouts for the 70% of Saudi nationals who are state employees.

Mitsubishi Aircraft receives first MRJ cancellation | The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has received its first order cancellation for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, informed sources said Friday.

CAPCOM | Monster Hunter: World Ships 5 Million Units!

Capcom Co., Ltd. today announced that Monster Hunter: World for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One*1 has shipped 5 million units worldwide (including digital download sales). A PC version is to be released at a later date.

Cleveland Indians Will Abandon Chief Wahoo Logo Next Year - The New York Times

The Cleveland Indians will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019, according to Major League Baseball, which said the popular symbol was no longer appropriate for use on the field.
The logo has long been the source of anguish and frustration for those who consider it offensive, outdated and racist, but for many of the team’s fans it is a cherished insignia — a divide that has played out at all levels of sports in recent years with teams featuring such nicknames and insignias. Most universities have stopped using Native American nicknames, while other teams, like the Washington Redskins in the N.F.L., have resisted growing pressure to do so.

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2018.01.29

News Headlines - 29 January 2018

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down - NBC News

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has been attacked by President Donald Trump, stepped down Monday, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News... McCabe has been at the center of ongoing tensions between the White House and the FBI and has reportedly been under pressure to quit from Trump, whose presidential campaign is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

Donald Trump says he might sign back up to a revamped Paris accord | The Guardian

President Donald Trump would be willing to sign the US back up to the Paris climate accord, but only if the treaty undergoes major change, he has said in comments published on Sunday.

Brexit: Britons favour second referendum by 16-point margin – poll | The Guardian

The ICM survey, conducted as part of a Guardian reporting project, found 47% of people would favour having a final say on Brexit once the terms of the UK’s departure are known, while 34% oppose reopening the question.
Excluding the roughly one-fifth who do not have a view gives a lead of 58% to 42% for a second referendum, showing rising interest in the idea as concern grows over the direction of recent negotiations.

Industrial strikes loom as talks with German union collapse - The Local

Germany's metalworkers' union said Saturday that it will intensify its campaign for better pay and conditions, threatening 24-hour "warning strikes" after talks with industry representatives fell apart.

Nearly 1,500 evacuated in Paris region as rising Seine poses flood risk

Nearly 1,500 people have been evacuated from homes in the Paris region, with authorities on alert for any major flood risk after the levels of the swollen River Seine rose further on Sunday.

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2018.01.28

News Headlines - 28 January 2018

Holocaust Day marked at Auschwitz - NHK WORLD

A memorial service was held on Saturday to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Some 60 survivors attended the ceremony, which took place at the site where at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were slaughtered by Nazi Germany during World War Two.

German far-right to launch parliamentary football team - The Local

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Saturday announced it was launching its own parliamentary football team, after four of its members were barred from entering the official squad.

Hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange to repay owners $425 million

Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck said on Sunday it would return about 46.3 billion yen ($425 million) of the virtual money it lost to hackers two days ago in one of the biggest-ever thefts of digital money... Coincheck said in a statement it would repay the roughly 260,000 owners of NEM coins in Japanese yen, though it was still working on timing and method.

NY museum offered used, solid-gold toilet to Trumps - The Washington Post

Donald and Melania Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from a New York museum for their White House private quarters. Instead, The Washington Post reports , the Guggenheim Museum’s chief curator came up with a pointedly satirical counter-offer: a working solid-gold toilet made by an Italian artist.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad dies in Sweden at 91 - BBC News

The Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at the age of 91, the company has announced... The billionaire, who was born in 1926 in Småland, founded Ikea at the age of 17... In the later years of his life, Mr Kamprad faced questions over his past links to fascist groups - something he admitted, but said was a "mistake".

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2018.01.27

News Headlines - 27 January 2018

Political storm in Hong Kong as activist Agnes Chow banned from by-election over party’s call for city’s ‘self-determination’ | South China Morning Post

Hong Kong election authorities sparked a political storm on Saturday by banning a pro-democracy activist with strong youth support from running in a Legislative Council by-election in March.

Coincheck Says It Lost Crypto Coins Valued at About $400 Million - Bloomberg

After hours of speculation Friday night, Coincheck Inc. said the coins were sent “illicitly” outside the venue. Co-founder Yusuke Otsuka said the company didn’t know how the 500 million tokens went missing, and the firm is working to ensure the safety of all client assets. Coincheck said earlier it had suspended all withdrawals, halted trading in all tokens except Bitcoin, and stopped deposits into NEM coins.

Air Force One's new refrigerators cost $24 million - CNNPolitics

Air Force One is primed to receive an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost American taxpayers nearly $24 million.
The US Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.6 million contract in December to replace two of the five "cold chiller units" aboard the aircraft used by President Donald Trump.

Use of sand vests to calm children with ADHD sparks concern | The Guardian

erman schools are increasingly asking unruly and hyperactive children to wear heavy sand-filled vests in an effort to calm them and keep them on their seats, despite the misgivings of some parents and psychiatrists.
The controversial sand vests weigh between 1.2 and six kilograms (2.7 – 13Ib) and are being used by 200 schools across Germany.

UK sandwich eating produces same CO2 as 'millions of cars' | AFP.com

Around 11.5 billion sandwiches are consumed each year in Britain, half of which are homemade and half bought, according to the British Sandwich Association (BSA).
This annual consumption "generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq., equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars," said Adisa Azapagic, professor at Manchester University, which produced the study.

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2018.01.26

News Headlines - 26 January 2018

Tory MPs considering coup against May as frustration builds | The Guardian

Conservative MPs are considering another attempt at ousting Theresa May if the local elections go badly, as disillusionment with her leadership bubbles up among backbenchers once again.

How Workers in Europe Earned Money for North Korea—Until Now - WSJ

A few days before Christmas, Poland’s parliament quickly convened to put an end to an untenable arrangement: Hundreds of North Koreans working in Poland under slave-like conditions to earn money for their nuclear-armed pariah state.

Nutella price cut sparks fights between shoppers in supermarkets across France | Euronews

A 70 per cent price cut on 950-gram jars of Nutella has sparked violent scenes in supermarkets across France as customers jostled to grab a bargain.
The promotion was launched on Thursday (January 25) by the supermarket chain Intermarché and is due to run in stores until Saturday.

Donald Trump calls report he ordered Robert Mueller's firing 'fake news' | CBC News

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed as "fake news" a New York Times report that he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but backed down after White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to resign.

US Olympic team doctor sentenced to 175 years in prison | Radio New Zealand News

US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to at least 175 years for the sexual abuse of more than 150 victims.

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2018.01.25

News Headlines - 25 January 2018

Mount Kusatsu-Shirane: Japanese soldier killed by falling rocks after volcano erupts - CNN

A 49-year-old man has died, and at least 10 others are injured, after a volcano erupted near the popular Japanese ski resort of Kusatsu, shooting flaming rocks into the sky... The man, a member of Japan's Self Defense Force (SDF), was killed by falling volcanic rocks while participating in a training exercises on the mountain at the time of the eruption, the SDF confirmed.

Kyoto University says researcher at iPS institute falsified data for paper - Japan Today

Kyoto University said Monday a researcher at its iPS institute headed by Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka has engaged in "falsification and fabrication" in a paper published last year in scientific journal Stem Cell Reports.

Abe Will Go to PyeongChang, Despite Japan-South Korea Tensions | The Diplomat

Despite ongoing difficulties in the Japan-South Korea bilateral relationship, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will travel to PyeongChang next month for the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Abe confirmed on Wednesday that he would attend the opening ceremony of the games on February 9... Abe said that he would seek to “firmly convey Japan’s position” on the issue while in South Korea.

German rapper-turned-jihadi Denis Cuspert reportedly killed in Syria | DW

Renowned German jihadi Denis Cuspert has been killed in Syria, at least according to a pro-"Islamic State" propaganda news site. He's been reported dead before. But the site posted photos purporting to show his corpse.

Aum trials leave many questions unanswered | The Japan Times

Despite the massive amount of time spent in courtrooms and convictions that led to 13 Aum members being put on death row, however, much about the cult’s unprecedented crimes remains a mystery — such as the exact motives behind the subway gas attack and how and why the Aum followers, including highly educated youths with promising career prospects, had been drawn to the cult and came to commit the heinous crimes upon the orders of its founder and guru, Shoko Asahara.

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2018.01.24

News Headlines - 24 January 2018

Militants Attack Afghan Offices of Children's NGO, Killing 4 | US News

Militants stormed the offices of Save the Children in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four people and triggering a shootout with police that lasted almost 10 hours, provincial officials and the organization said.

Kentucky school shooting: 2 students killed, 18 injured - CNN

Another high school has turned into a scene of carnage, this time in western Kentucky... A 15-year-old male student was arrested at the scene, Gov. Matt Bevin said. On Wednesday he was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault, Marshall County Assistant Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters.

Jeff Sessions Interviewed By Special Counsel Robert Mueller In Russia Inquiry : NPR

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sessions is the first member of President Trump's Cabinet known to have been questioned by the special counsel's office in its investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

White Moose Cafe owner sends YouTuber Elle Darby invoice for publicity | Metro News

Paul Stenson, who owns the White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge in Dublin, has previously offended vegans, people suffering from coeliac disease, breastfeeding mothers and people from Brazil. Melania Trump 'shuns the White House to spend the night at D.C. hotels' His latest public spat, this time with bloggers, was sparked after YouTuber Elle Darby emailed him asking for a free stay.

Paris flooded as Seine bursts its banks after days of heavy rain

Some areas of Paris are under water after the River Seine burst its banks following days of heavy rain... Water levels rose at least 3.3m above normal levels after heavy rains lashed the country over the past few days.

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2018.01.23

News Headlines - 23 January 2018

Rescuers in rebel-held Syrian area accuse government of gas attack

Rescue workers in a Syrian rebel-held enclave east of Damascus accused government forces of using chlorine gas during bombardment of the area on Monday, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 people had suffered suffocation.

Judge refuses to re-issue Carles Puigdemont arrest warrant

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena refused the arrest warrant request, arguing the politician's strategy was to "provoke this arrest abroad" so he could blame Spain for missing an upcoming vote in the regional parliament to elect a new leader.

President Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims in his first year - The Washington Post

One year after taking the oath of office, President Trump has made 2,140 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of nearly 5.9 claims a day.

Jailed German serial killer charged with 97 new counts of murder | DW

The nurse has already been sentenced for killing six patients by injecting them with drugs and then trying to revive them. If convicted, Niels Högel will be one of the most prolific serial killers in German history.

East Asia's baby eel catch plunges to record low- Nikkei Asian Review

Grilled eel is a staple of Japanese cuisine, but it might soon become something of a rarity -- this season's catch of juvenile eels is at a record low, and prices have more than trebled.

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2018.01.22

News Headlines - 22 January 2018

Pence says US embassy to open in Jerusalem by end of 2019 - CNNPolitics

The US will open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence said Monday in Israel's parliament, confirming that the controversial move is speeding up after officials earlier said it could take three to four years.

NY Gov. Cuomo to keep Statue of Liberty open during shutdown - CNNPolitics

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will use state funds to keep the Statue of Liberty open to visitors during the federal government shutdown during a press conference on Sunday.

Germany: SPD narrowly backs coalition talks with Merkel | Al Jazeera

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) have narrowly approved the start of formal coalition negotiations with Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.
At a special congress held in Bonn on Sunday, 362 out of 642 delegates voted to approve a preliminary coalition deal

Tokyo hit by heaviest snow since 2014 | The Japan Times

Tokyo saw its heaviest snow in four years on Monday, with authorities urging evening commuters to hurry home and prompting those behind the wheel to brace for traffic disruptions.

Philippine volcano explodes, villagers flee back to shelters - ABC News

The Philippines' most active volcano ejected a huge column of lava fragments, ash and smoke in a thunderous explosion Monday, sending thousands of villagers back to evacuation centers and prompting a warning that a violent eruption may be imminent.

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2018.01.21

News Headlines - 21 January 2018

Turkey defies US and launches Syria attack

Turkish fighter jets bombed a Kurdish enclave in north-west Syria on Saturday, defying calls from the US for restraint and injuring at least six people, two of them children... Mr Erdogan said on Saturday that the assault would “destroy the terror corridor” along its border formed by members of the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey views as a big threat.

At least five killed in Kabul hotel siege that trapped hundreds of guests - The Straits Times

Afghan Special Forces ended an overnight siege at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday (Jan 21), killing the last gunman from a group of three attackers who stormed the hotel, taking hostages and battling security forces for hours.
Two gunmen were killed on Saturday night. It was initially reported that four gunmen had attacked the hotel.

Trump says position on border wall 'has never changed or evolved' - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he has remained consistent in his plans for a border wall, a day after his chief of staff, John Kelly, told Fox News he has "changed his attitude" on it.

Europe readies riposte to Trump's 'America First' push in Davos

European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his “America First” message.

China's 2017 GDP growth accelerates for first time in seven years

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, as an export recovery helped the country post its first annual acceleration in growth in seven years, defying concerns that intensifying curbs on industry and credit would hurt expansion.

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2018.01.20

News Headlines - 20 January 2018

Macron to restore 'conscription' system - NHK WORLD

French President Emmanuel Macron says he plans to restore compulsory military service as part of efforts to deal with the threat of terrorism.
Macron addressed military personnel on board a ship off the naval base in the southern city of Toulon on Friday.

Toyota to invest 40 bil. yen in Yaris-producing plant in France - The Mainichi

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to invest 40 billion yen ($360 million) to modernize a plant in France's Valenciennes to produce its mainstay Yaris compact car likely to be fully renovated in 2019, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

Trump ex-aide Bannon agrees to Mueller probe interview, avoiding grand jury

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has reached agreement with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators rather than appearing before a grand jury, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Bannon, who was a close adviser during President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and in his first months in office, had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Mueller’s probe of links between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year

President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the controversial move to happen by then.

Toronto makes cut of top 20 cities vying to be Amazon's 2nd headquarters - CBC News

Toronto has made the cut of the top 20 cities that e-commerce giant Amazon is considering for its second headquarters.
Toronto is the only Canadian city to make the short list that also includes 19 U.S. cities, mainly concentrated along its East Coast and Midwest regions.

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2018.01.19

News Headlines - 19 January 2018

U.S. government shutdown begins as spending bill fails in Senate

The U.S. government shut down at midnight on Friday after Democrats and Republicans, locked in a bitter dispute over immigration and border security, failed to agree on a last-minute deal to fund its operations.

Syria Turkey and Russia blast US-backed Kurdish border force as "terrorist army" - CBS News

Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria's international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq... According to the coalition, the core of the force is to be made up of fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the coalition's main ally in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. The SDF currently controls nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.

Russia says North Korea summit undermines U.N., aggravates situation

Russia hit out on Wednesday at a U.S.-led effort to increase international pressure on North Korea, saying it was making the situation worse and undermining the United Nations.
Twenty nations hosted by the United States and Canada in Vancouver agreed on Tuesday to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Sacked Catalan leader to travel to Denmark from Belgium - The Local

Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont, who led a failed attempt to break from Spain, will attend a conference in Copenhagen on Monday in what will be his first public trip since fleeing to Belgium in October.

Rolls-Royce considers sale of commercial marine unit

Rolls-Royce will consider selling its lossmaking commercial marine business as chief executive Warren East launches a new round of cost-cutting in a bid to accelerate his shake-up of the blue-chip engineer.

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2018.01.18

News Headlines - 18 January 2018

The Highly Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards | GOP

2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.
Below are the winners of the 2017 Fake News Awards.

Toshiba is Selling its Westinghouse Nuclear Unit Assets | Fortune

Toshiba Corp. has agreed to sell claims in its Westinghouse U.S. nuclear unit to bolster its capital by 410 billion yen ($3.68 billion) by March, helping it to erase negative shareholder equity and avoid being delisted... The sale will end the Japanese conglomerate’s troubled foray into overseas nuclear power, which started with the $5.4 billion acquisition of Westinghouse in 2006.

Emirates Airlines helps to rescue Airbus with substantial order - France 24

Emirates Airlines said Thursday it has struck a €13 billion deal to buy 36 Airbus A380 superjumbos just days after the European manufacturer said it would have to halt production without new orders.

Minister for loneliness appointed to continue Jo Cox's work - BBC News

A minister for loneliness, a project first started by the late MP Jo Cox, has been announced by Downing Street... The Commission on Loneliness was first set up by Ms Cox, who was killed before the EU referendum.
A 2017 report said loneliness was as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Belgian radio host quits live on air after rape debate | Daily Mail Online

A controversial Belgian radio presenter quit his popular talk show live on air on Monday after causing an outcry by hosting a phone-in debate about whether women can have orgasms when they are raped.
Benjamin Marechal, whose daily show on the French-language RTBF broadcaster is known for its contentious style, resigned after the station received a number of complaints.

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2018.01.17

News Headlines - 17 January 2018

PLO leaders threaten to freeze Oslo accords - NHK WORLD

Palestinian officials have threatened to freeze the historic Oslo peace accords in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel... Delegates agreed to freeze the Oslo peace accords unless Israel recognizes a Palestinian state with borders based on the lines set before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

European Car Sales Rise to 10-Year High on Peugeot, Renault SUVs - Bloomberg

Registrations in 2017 increased 3.3 percent to 15.6 million vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said Wednesday in a statement. The figure was the highest since a record 16 million autos were delivered in 2007.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton clings to job but not girlfriend after her racist Meghan Markle comments | DW

Henry Bolton has ended the "romantic element" of his ties to a young model after her headline-inducing comments about Meghan Markle. But the scandal surrounding the leader has opened the lid on deeper UKIP struggles.

Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash for #MeToo op-ed - BBC News

Author Margaret Atwood has sparked a Twitter storm after a provocative column on the Me Too anti-sexual harassment movement.
Her op-ed published in the Globe and Mail newspaper questioned the impact of the movement against inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Ms Atwood called the movement a "symptom" of a broken legal system.

Arrest warrants issued for former Blue House officials in bribery case : The Hankyoreh

Prosecutors requested arrest warrants on Jan. 14 for Kim Baek-joon and Kim Jin-mo in connection with their investigation into illicit National Intelligence Service (NIS) payments to the Blue House under former President Lee Myung-bak (2008–13). Kim Baek-joon, 78, is a former Blue House general affairs and planning secretary popularly known as Lee’s “steward,” while Kim Jin-mo, 52, is a former Seoul Nambu District Prosecutors’ Office chief who served as Blue House second civil affairs secretary during the Lee administration.

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2018.01.16

News Headlines - 16 January 2018

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigns | DW

Prime Minister Mihai Tudose has been forced out by the PSD as he lost a power struggle with the party boss. Liviu Dragnea rules over the party but is barred from political office because of a criminal conviction.

Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch

Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

SoftBank says listing of mobile unit an option

SoftBank is in discussions to list the shares of its Japanese telecoms business in Tokyo as billionaire founder Masayoshi Son seeks to further boost the technology group’s investment clout, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

N. Korea to send orchestra to S. Korea during Winter Olympics

North Korea agreed Monday to send a 140-member orchestra to South Korea during next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympics and hold concerts in Seoul and a sub-host city of the games.
The North's tentatively-named Samjiyon Orchestra will perform in the capital and Gangneung, 240 kilometers east of Seoul, South Korea's unification ministry said after inter-Korean talks on the North's plan to dispatch an art troupe to the South. Gangneung will host ice sports during the Winter Games.

13 Siblings, Some Shackled to Beds, Were Held Captive by Parents, Police Say - The New York Times

A 17-year-old girl who said she was being held captive by her parents in her home about two hours southeast of Los Angeles escaped on Sunday and alerted the authorities, who then rescued her 12 siblings — several of whom were found shackled to their beds and malnourished — the authorities said on Monday.

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2018.01.15

News Headlines - 15 January 2018

London's January air quality 'best in 10 years' - BBC News

London's air quality is within legal limits in mid-January for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said.
The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by 6 January every year for the last decade, Mayor Sadiq Khan said.
So far this year, London's NO2 has not exceeded limits - although it is likely to later this month, Mr Khan admitted.

London's crime is out of control – and it's strategy, not police cuts, that are to blame

For the first time in the 18 years I have lived in London, I feel scared to walk home. My borough, Islington, is now the second worst affected by moped crime in the city.

Over 24,000 attempts to access porn sites from parliamentary computers since election, data confirms | The Independent

More than 24,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites in the Houses of Parliament since the general election, according to official data.
The figure of 24,473 attempts represents around 160 requests per day on average from computers and other devices connected to the parliamentary network - which is used by MPs, peers and staff - between June and October last year.

London rape trial collapses after phone images undermine case | The Guardian

A rape trial has collapsed after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence when it emerged that images from the defendant’s phone of him in bed with his alleged victim had not been disclosed.
The failure of the case at Snaresbrook crown court, east London, is the latest example of crucial digital evidence contained on a mobile either not being found or not being handed over to defence solicitors.

Rape victims’ clothing goes on display in Belgium to show it’s not about what you wear | Metro News

Clothing worn by victims of rape at the time they were attacked has gone on display at an exhibition in Brussels... The clothing was loaned by the victim support group CAW East Brabant and includes tracksuite bottoms, pyjamas and dresses.

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2018.01.14

News Headlines - 14 January 2018

Iran Says Over 400 Protesters Still Detained, 25 People Killed

Iran's judiciary says that about 465 people are still being detained across the country for taking part in a wave of antigovernment protests that began nearly three weeks earlier.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni-Ejei also acknowledged that 25 people were killed in violence surrounding the protests that began on December 28.

Turkish passenger plane goes off runway metres away from sea | AFP.com

The Pegasus Airlines flight had taken off smoothly from the capital Ankara and landed in Trabzon, but skidded off the runway in the northern airport. No one was injured or killed in the landing.

London's Heathrow Airport hits new record of 78m passengers for 2017 despite capacity crunch | City A.M.

Heathrow said today a record 78m passengers travelled through the airport last year, marking a 3.1 per cent rise on 2016, despite its capacity headaches as it waits to expand.

Meghan Markle's Marks & Spencer jumper is a sell out | Daily Mail Online

In a further sign of how Meghan Markle has thrown herself into British life since moving to London ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry, the royal bride-to-be wore Marks & Spencer for the couple's visit to Brixton on Tuesday.
Meghan, 36, wore a £45 black jumper with bell sleeves from the high street stalwart to visit the studio of Reprezent 107.3 FM in south London, teaming it with black trousers by the British label Burberry and a coat from the Canadian brand Smythe.

Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse | The Guardian

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has revealed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

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2018.01.13

News Headlines - 13 January 2018

Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star’s Silence - WSJ

A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

Doctors want President Donald Trump's head examined - CNN

President Donald Trump is "in excellent health," White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, said following his physical Friday... Jackson received an urgent letter from dozens of doctors and health professionals Thursday urging him to perform basic mental health tests on the President... this letter points out that mental evaluations are routine during physicals, particularly for patients who are 66 or older. Trump is 71.

H&M stores in South Africa trashed over 'racist' hoodie - BBC News

South African police have used rubber bullets to disperse a mob trashing H&M stores in and around Johannesburg, after the brand used a controversial picture of a black child.
The protests were organised by the radical Economic Freedom Fighters' party (EFF).

All jewels from Paris Ritz heist recovered: source

French police have recovered all the jewels that a gang of thieves attempted to snatch from a store in the upscale Paris Ritz hotel, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday.

EU plastics tax could help plug Brexit blackhole | Euronews

Plastic could be fantastic for the EU, as it looks for ways to plug a future gaping hole in its budget, left by Brexit.
Plans have been announced for a new bloc-wide tax on plastics, extra revenue to top up the Brussels bank balance. Although how it would work is unclear right now.

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2018.01.12

News Headlines - 12 January 2018

Iran deal: Trump issues warning but continues to honor deal - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the US lifted as part of the deal.
But Trump warned Friday in a statement that the waiver -- which must be issued every 120 days to keep the sanctions from kicking back in -- will be the last he issues and he delivered a stark ultimatum to European allies on Friday: "Fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw."

Donald Trump cancels February visit to UK - BBC News

The US president tweeted he was not a "big fan" of the new embassy - which is moving from Mayfair to south London.
He blamed Barack Obama's administration for a "bad deal" despite the fact the move was agreed under George W Bush.

Trump UK visit: who really sold the US embassy? - BBC News

The claim: The Obama administration sold the US embassy in London for "peanuts".
The verdict: President Trump is right that the sale did take place during the Obama administration. The final amount was not disclosed but estimates of its value varied between £300m and £500m. However, the decision to move was taken when George W Bush was in the White House.

Abe not to attend PyeongChang Olympic opening ceremony: Japanese daily : The DONG-A ILBO

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided not to attend the opening ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on February 9, right-wing Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun reported on Thursday, citing multiple Japanese government sources.

Alabama incentives for Toyota-Mazda factory top $700 million - CBS News

Alabama's total incentive package to Toyota and Mazda will top $700 million after local incentives are added to what the state offered to land the companies' new U.S. factory.
The Huntsville City Council on Thursday approved a $320 million local incentive package. That is in addition to $380 million announced by the state in tax abatements, investment rebates and the construction of a worker training facility.

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2018.01.11

News Headlines - 11 January 2018

First Time, Myanmar Army Admit Killing Rohingyas And Confirm Existence Of Mass Grave

Myanmar security forces for the first time admitted taking part in a massacre of 10 Rohingyas in September and confirmed the existence of mass grave in Rakhine.
According to a statement posted on Facebook by Myanmar's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the massacre took place on September 2 in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine state after tensions escalated pitting Rohingya against security forces and ethnic Rakhine locals following the killing of a Rakhine man.

EU to meet Iran to back nuclear deal in message to Trump

European powers will reaffirm on Thursday their support for the Iran nuclear deal that Donald Trump has rejected, EU diplomats said, on the eve of a deadline for the U.S. president to decide whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the agreement.

Islamic State retreats online to 'virtual caliphate' - Channel NewsAsia

Back in 2015, when the militants held territory the size of Italy, they also commanded a huge digital presence, flooding the web with slick propaganda lionising their fighters and romanticising life under their rule.
Today, with many of the top IS leaders either dead or on the run, what remains of the group's once-sophisticated propaganda machine is also a shadow of its former self.

Nepali woman suffocates in 'menstruation hut' - Channel NewsAsia

A young Nepali woman has died of suspected smoke inhalation while she was banished to a shed for menstruating under an ancient tradition banned more than a decade ago, police said Wednesday (Jan 10).
Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home, a practice known as chhaupadi.

Japan rejects South Korean call for extra steps over 'comfort women'

Japan said on Tuesday it can “by no means” accept South Korea’s call for more steps to help “comfort women”, a euphemism for girls and women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels, a divisive issue that Japan says was resolved with a 2015 deal.

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2018.01.10

News Headlines - 10 January 2018

US welcomes meeting between North, South Korea on Olympics security- Nikkei Asian Review

The U.S. State Department welcomed Tuesday's meeting between North and South Korean officials aimed at ensuring a safe Winter Olympics, and said it would work with Seoul to ensure North Korea's participation does not violate U.N. sanctions.

China puts senior general on trial for bribery

One of China’s most senior military officers is to be prosecuted for bribery, as President Xi Jinping ramps up his half-decade-old anti-corruption drive.
General Fang Fenghui, who sits on China’s central military commission, which oversees the People’s Liberation Army, was transferred to military prosecutors for investigation on Tuesday, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

Kodak joins cryptocraze with digital photo licensing site

The 130-year-old company said Tuesday it has used blockchain, the technology underpinning popular digital currencies such as bitcoin, to create a new platform for digital photography with its own digital currency, called KodakCoin... Shares of Kodak more than doubled Tuesday, closing at $6.80. They were also trading 5.8 percent higher in the after-market.

Australia to Allow Export of Cannabis-Based Medicines

Australia is to become the fourth country in the world to allow exports of cannabis-based therapies. The federal government hopes the reforms will help Australia become a world leader in the medicinal cannabis market.
Laws to allow exports of Australian cannabis-based therapies will come into force in February, according to the federal health minister.

Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Mexico, other coastal countries - CNN

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast of Honduras.

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2018.01.09

News Headlines - 09 January 2018

North and South Korea Meet, Agree to Future Talks

North and South Korean officials met Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom. They agreed to hold military talks in an effort to improve relations.
Officials in Seoul and Pyongyang were able to watch the meeting through a closed circuit television connection.

Thai foreign minister says fugitive former PM Yingluck in London

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled the country to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that lost billions of dollars, is in Britain, Thailand’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Venezuela's annual inflation at more than 2600%, says opposition

Prices in Venezuela, which is believed to have the world's highest inflation, jumped 2616 per cent last year, the country's opposition-led National Assembly said, as millions suffer from food and medicine shortages during a severe economic crisis.
Opposition politicians, whose numbers are broadly in line with analysts' estimates, on Monday put December's inflation figure alone at 85 per cent, well into hyperinflation territory for which the benchmark is usually 50 per cent.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Haggis accused of rape, sex assault

A civil lawsuit charging Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis with raping a publicist has prompted three additional women to come forward with their own sexual misconduct accusations, including another publicist who says he forced her to perform oral sex, then raped her.
One of the other women speaking out told The Associated Press that Haggis tried to sexually assault her. “I need to be inside you,” she recalled him saying, before she managed to run away.

Ex-Google engineer fired over gender memo sues for discrimination

A former Google engineer fired after he asserted in a memo that biological causes were behind tech industry gender inequality sued his former employer on Monday, saying he was discriminated against as a white man with conservative political views.

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2018.01.08

News Headlines - 08 January 2018

FBI investigating Clinton Foundation corruption claims - LA Times

The FBI is investigating whether the Clinton Foundation accepted donations in exchange for political favors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, two people familiar with the probe confirmed Friday. The revelation comes as President Trump and congressional Republicans have been urging the Justice Department to look into corruption allegations involving the foundation.
It is unclear when or why the probe began, but the sources told the Associated Press it has been ongoing for several months, with prosecutors and FBI agents taking the lead from their offices in Little Rock, Ark., where the foundation has offices.

Trump Tower on fire in Midtown Manhattan - NBC News

Fire Department of New York Chief Roger Sakowich told NBC New York that the fire started in a cooling unit that contains heaters for use during this time of year, and said flames came out a vent just before 7 a.m. on Monday. The fire was reported after Secret Service agents noticed smoke.
The president was not in the building when the fire erupted.

JFK Airport: Water leak floods baggage claim, forces evacuation - CNN

A water main break flooded a baggage claim area at JFK International Airport in New York on Sunday afternoon, compounding flight cancellations and other headaches caused by the cold wave.
Water flowed into Terminal 4, soaking stranded travelers' luggage and forcing a partial evacuation of the terminal, the major arrival point for international travelers. Incoming flights to Terminal 4 were shut down for several hours.

BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits post in equal pay row - BBC News

Ms Gracie said she left her role as editor of the corporation's Beijing bureau last week, but would remain with the BBC.
She said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".

Bangladesh records lowest temperature in 5 decades, 12 cold-related deaths reported - Xinhua

Bangladesh Monday recorded the lowest temperature in five decades as mercury dipped to a chilling 2.6 degrees centigrade... The severe cold wave sweeping through Bangladesh brought the normal life and businesses to almost standstill, particularly in the country's northern region facing the Himalayan mountains... Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) says the previous lowest temperature recorded 2.8 degrees centigrade in 1968.

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2018.01.07

News Headlines - 07 January 2018

Stockholm metro explosion: Man killed after picking up suspected hand grenade | The Independent

A man died after he picked up a suspected hand grenade and it detonated, killing him and injuring his companion, Swedish police said.
The blast took place on Sunday at about 1100 local time [1000 GMT] just outside the Varby Gard subway station in Huddinge, a residential district in greater Stockholm, said regional police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson.

UK car sales see first drop for six years - BBC News

New car sales fell for the first time in six years last year, with demand for diesel cars plunging by almost a fifth... The figure was down 5.7% from 2016, while diesel sales fell 17.1% as higher taxes and pollution fears hit demand.

Nintendo Switch Is Now The US's All-Time Fastest-Selling Console (Through 10 Months) - GameSpot

According to Nintendo, the system has now broken another record in the United States: Through its first 10 months on the market, Switch is now the fastest-selling home console.
In those 10 months, which cover the period from launch in March 2017 through the beginning of this month, Nintendo has sold 4.8 million Switch units in the US. That figure tops the mark set by any previous home console in its first 10 months on the market, including the record set by the Wii, which sold 4 million units in the US in a comparable span of time. Through September, Switch sales stood at 2 million units.

Why Is Everyone Wearing Black Dresses on the 2018 Golden Globes’ Red Carpet?

Women in the entertainment industry made a statement at the 2018 Golden Globes on Sunday by wearing all-black dresses on the red carpet... Earlier in the week, the hashtag #WhyWeWearBlack started to go viral as Hollywood’s A-list stars wrote on social media about the #MeToo movement.

'Hottest' Ashes Test day on record as Australia swelters | AFP.com

Australia's largest city recorded its hottest day since 1939 as the mercury rose to 47.3 degree Celsius (117.14 degrees Fahrenheit) in the western suburb of Penrith.
More than 200 weather records were broken nationwide during the last summer, with intense heatwaves, bushfires and flooding plaguing the December 2016-February 2017 season.

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2018.01.06

News Headlines - 06 January 2018

Five severed heads left on hood of taxi in Veracruz

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is believed to have been responsible for leaving the severed heads of five men on the hood of a taxi in Veracruz yesterday.

U.S. helicopter forced to land on small island in Okinawa:The Asahi Shimbun

A U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing on Ikeijima island here on Jan. 6... Local fire department officials said the pilot made the emergency landing in the Agarihama district. It was not clear what the problem was as no smoke was found coming out of the aircraft.

Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda dies at 88 | The Japan Times

Tatsuro Toyoda, the former Toyota Motor Corp. president who led the company’s ascent to one of the world’s top automakers, has died. He was 88.

Largest known prime number discovered with over 23 million digits | The Independent

M77232917 was discovered on a computer belonging to Jonathan Pace, an electrical engineer from Tennessee who has been searching for big primes for 14 years.
Mr Pace discovered the new number as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a project started in 1996 to hunt for these massive numbers.

Residents of Bell End call for change to their 'embarrassing' street name

Fed up with being the butt of puerile jokes a number of families have asked Sandwell Council to rename their street as Bell Road, with councillors now set to discuss the request.

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2018.01.05

News Headlines - 05 January 2018

Spotify touts 70m subscribers as it prepares for public listing

The streaming-music service said in a tweet on Thursday that it now has 70m subscribers, passing the 60m milestone it reached in July.
The announcement comes after the revelation that it has filed paperwork to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. That could make the Swedish group the first large, well-known market debut of 2018.

Trump Breaks With Bannon, Saying He Has ‘Lost His Mind’ - The New York Times

While Mr. Trump had remained in touch with Mr. Bannon after pushing him out of the White House over the summer, the two now appear to have reached a breaking point. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Mr. Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Russia suspected of Syria bombing that killed 30 civilians - Jerusalem Post

At least 30 civilians were killed early on Thursday when jets dropped bombs on a residential area in a besieged rebel enclave east of Syria's capital, a war monitor said, identifying the planes as Russian.
At least four bombs flattened two buildings in the Eastern Ghouta town of Misraba, in an attack that killed around 20 and wounded more than 40 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and civil defense sources said.

Samsung pushes aside Intel, snaps up top spot in memory market: Gartner | ZDNet

On Thursday, research firm Gartner released the results of preliminary research into the memory industry and how it performed over the course of 2017.
According to the agency, worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $419.7 billion, an increase of 22.2 percent from 2016... However, the booming business has been good news for players in the semiconductor field, despite supply problems. Gartner says that for the first time since 1992 Intel has toppled from its perch as the top supplier worldwide, to be overtaken by Samsung.

Chinese netizens furious at racist French nursery rhyme | South China Morning Post

The song, titled Zhang, my little Chinese, was taught at an unnamed school in Aubervilliers, a northeastern suburb of Paris, for more than a decade, China News Service reported on Monday... It was not clear who had produced the video. Nonetheless, the furore that followed prompted France’s education authorities to ban the song, the Chinese report said, without elaborating.

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2018.01.04

News Headlines - 04 January 2018

When a North Korean Missile Accidentally Hit a North Korean City | The Diplomat

On April 28, 2017, North Korea launched a single Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province (the Korean People’s Army’s Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 447 in Ryongak-dong, Sunchon City, to be more precise)... According to a U.S. government source with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat, the missile’s first stage engines failed after approximately one minute of powered flight, resulting in catastrophic failure. The missile never flew higher than approximately 70 kilometers. The location of the missile’s eventual impact was revealed exclusively to The Diplomat and evidence of the incident can be independently corroborated in commercially available satellite imagery from April and May 2017.

Joshua Boyle, former Canadian hostage, faces 15 criminal charges - CBC News

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held captive in Afghanistan for five years with his wife, has been charged with several criminal offences in Ottawa, including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats, CBC News has confirmed.

Tamil film star Rajinikanth to enter politics in India's 'Detroit'

A big star of India’s Tamil-language movies, Rajinikanth, said on Sunday he is launching a political party, adding drama to a heated political scene in a state with a history of film stars becoming chief ministers... Tamil Nadu, which accounts for the bulk of India’s automobile exports, has been in political limbo since the death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Jayalalithaa was a popular actress before joining politics.

Ryanair passenger takes emergency exit - BBC News

A Ryanair passenger, fed up with waiting to leave a plane in Spain, got in trouble after taking the emergency exit and waiting on the wing... He was later arrested by airport security.

Japanese Comedian Who Used Blackface Comes Under Fire Online - The New York Times

A Japanese comedian is facing criticism for performing in blackface in a widely viewed television show, a move that has outraged many and highlighted the regular appearance of performers in similar makeup on mainstream media outlets in Japan.

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2018.01.03

News Headlines - 03 January 2018

Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’: Inside Trump’s White House

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.
There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

Hatch announces retirement, Romney likely to run - POLITICO

Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator, announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in November. The move sets the stage for a likely run for his Utah seat by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney... President Donald Trump tried aggressively to persuade Hatch to seek another term, orchestrating a visit to Utah in which the president lavished praise on Hatch and had the senator accompanty him on Air Force One.
Trump’s move was aimed in no small part at keeping Romney out of the Senate. During the 2016 campaign, Romney emerged as a de facto leader of the “Never Trump” movement, calling then-candidate Trump a “fraud” and “phony” who was unfit to serve.

North Korea to open hotline with South to discuss Winter Olympics - CNN

North Korea says it will open its hotline to South Korea for the first time in almost two years on Wednesday, a major diplomatic breakthrough following a year of escalating hostility that could path the way for future talks.

'My button is much bigger': Trump threatens North Korea with nuclear war

In a tweet on Wednesday, the US President responded to a speech made by the North Korea leader in which he said "a nuclear button is always on my desk"... "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

UK looks to join Pacific trade group after Brexit

Britain has held informal talks about joining a flagship Pacific trade group, in an audacious bid to kick-start exports after Brexit.
The proposal, being developed by Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade, would make the UK the first member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that does not border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea.

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2018.01.02

News Headlines - 02 January 2018

Japan Emperor Greets Cheering Crowd at Palace for New Year

Japan's Emperor Akihito, who is handing the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son next year, was showered with cheers from tens of thousands of New Year's well-wishers Tuesday at the Imperial Palace.

Kim Jong Un highlights his 'nuclear button,' offers Olympic talks - NBC News

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used his New Year’s Day address to warn the U.S. not to test him while striking a softer tone with South Korea, including the possibility of sending a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics.

North Korea Will Launch First Missile of 2018 Soon, U.S. Reports Say

Exactly one year since then President-elect Donald Trump vowed North Korea would never test a missile capable of hitting the U.S., military officials told NBC News on Tuesday that North Korea's first ballistic missile launch of 2018 could occur in a matter of days, with one official describing the timeline as "short-term." While the details of the potential test remained unclear, it would follow North Korea's latest, highest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in late November, a milestone that likely put the entire U.S. within range of the reclusive, militarized state's growing arsenal.

Iran death toll rises as protests continue | Al Jazeera

A number of Iranians have died amid ongoing nationwide anti-government protests that began last week in various cities across Iran.

YouTuber Logan Paul apologizes for showing dead body in Japan’s ‘suicide forest’ - The Washington Post

Logan Paul, one of YouTube’s biggest stars, treated a video he uploaded over the weekend as the equivalent of a TV sitcom’s “very special episode.” To indicate the seriousness of the matter to his young fans, Paul posted a warning at the beginning, telling viewers who are having thoughts of suicide or self harm to seek help. He also demonetized the video so that he would not earn advertising money off its views.
The now-deleted video was titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest . . .”, and that is, more or less, exactly what the vlog showed — complete with extended footage of the body of an apparent suicide victim.

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2018.01.01

News Headlines - 01 January 2018

Pope Francis prints pictures of Nagasaki atomic bomb victims in warning over 'fruit of war' | The Independent

Pope Francis has issued a card showing a 1945 photo of victims of the Nagasaki nuclear bombing in a stark New Year warning over the threat of global conflict.
The Vatican is to print and distribute copies of the image, which shows a young Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders to a cemetery, with the words ”the fruit of war” written on the back.

What next for Brexit in 2018? - BBC News

The only predictable thing is unpredictability. And among both arch-Brexiteers, and ardent Remainers, there is a sense that it is still all to play for... First of all, the joint EU-UK report on "sufficient progress" needs to be turned into a legal text that will form the basis of a formal withdrawal agreement. And there are still plenty of details that remain unresolved.

Set Brexit aside – here are the political issues you mustn’t lose sight of in 2018 | The Guardian

As we go into 2018, Brexit is set to be the all-consuming story of the year once again. But important as it is, at a time when unprecedented government cuts are taking hold we can’t take our eyes off what is happening elsewhere.
Homelessness
Social care
Universal credit
Personal independence payments
Child poverty

US study finds 1 in 10 youth experience some form of homelessness | The Guardian

One in 10 young adults aged 18 to 25 in the US have slept on the streets, in shelters, run away, been kicked out of home, or couch-surfed in the past year, according to a national survey.
The study, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found that at least one in 30 adolescents aged 13-17 experienced some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the same period.

Niagara Falls becomes ice-covered spectacle - BBC News

Temperatures are predicted to remain below minus 10 degrees Celsius for the next week.
The last time the waterfall froze over completely was in January 2014, when temperatures reached minus 19 degrees Celsius.

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2017.12.31

News Headlines - 31 December 2017

Two reportedly killed after Iranian forces 'open fire on protestors' as demonstrations continue for third day

Two people are understood to have been killed after Iranian security forces reportedly opened fire on anti-government demonstrators on Saturday as the largest protests seen in the country since 2009 continued for a third day.

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt - The New York Times

If Mr. Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and is now a cooperating witness, was the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration, his saga is also a tale of the Trump campaign in miniature. He was brash, boastful and underqualified, yet he exceeded expectations. And, like the campaign itself, he proved to be a tantalizing target for a Russian influence operation.

Margaret Thatcher refused to fly with panda, documents show - CNN

The former British Prime Minister once refused to share a flight to Washington with a giant panda on an official visit, according to official documents declassified on Friday ... Thatcher was not impressed. "I am not taking a panda with me," she wrote in blue felt-tip pen on the document containing the request. For emphasis, she double-underlined the words "not" and "me."
"Pandas and politicians are not happy omens!" she wrote.

People we've lost in 2017

A look back at notable people who have died in 2017.

Wenger 811: The Arsenal manager's most memorable moments | FourFourTwo

Arsene Wenger will surpass Alex Ferguson's record number of Premier League matches when he leads Arsenal for the 811th time at West Brom on Sunday.
The Frenchman took over at Highbury in 1996 and has won 10 major trophies during his time at the club, most recently lifting last season's FA Cup... Here, we look at five of the best moments from Wenger's reign.
THE DOUBLE
SIGNING THIERRY HENRY
OLD TRAFFORD WIN SEALS SECOND DOUBLE
THE INVINCIBLES
FA CUP WIN ENDS NINE-YEAR TROPHY DROUGHT

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2017.12.30

News Headlines - 30 December 2017

Saint Petersburg supermarket attack suspect arrested | AFP.com

Russian investigators on Saturday arrested a suspect behind the Saint Petersburg bomb attack which tore through a supermarket this week, wounding 18 people.

Call of Duty player’s prank results in deadly police shooting

A feud between two Call of Duty players led to the death of a 28-year-old Kansas man, who was shot and killed by police after a fraudulent 911 call sent a SWAT team to the man's private home. The news was first reported by local newspaper The Wichita Eagle, which cites numerous now-deleted tweets in which Call of Duty players take responsibility for participating in or observing the intended prank.

She Broke Japan’s Silence on Rape - The New York Times

Elsewhere, her allegations might have caused an uproar. But here in Japan, they attracted only a smattering of attention.
As the United States reckons with an outpouring of sexual misconduct cases that have shaken Capitol Hill, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the news media, Ms. Ito’s story is a stark example of how sexual assault remains a subject to be avoided in Japan, where few women report rape to the police and when they do, their complaints rarely result in arrests or prosecution.

Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest under new rules - BBC News

Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.
The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world's highest peak without a valid medical certificate.

New Year Honours 2018: Barry Gibb, Ringo Starr and Darcey Bussell head list - BBC News

Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr have been knighted, and Strictly judge Darcey Bussell made a dame, in the New Year Honours.

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2017.12.29

News Headlines - 29 December 2017

Gunmen launch deadly attack on Coptic church near Cairo | The Guardian

At least two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire outside a Coptic church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest attack on the country’s Christian minority... One of the gunmen was killed after an exchange of fire with security forces, while another was arrested as he tried to escape to a narrower street across the road from the church, interior ministry sources told the Guardian.

Trump says East could use some 'global warming' this weekend | Fox News

Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday, "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record." He added: "Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"

Malcolm Turnbull slapped with $250 fine over missing life jacket - The Australian

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been issued a $250 fine by NSW Maritime Services this afternoon after he failed to don a life jacket on Sydney Harbour this week.
An investigation was launched into the Prime Minister after The Australian reported he had breached local waterway regulations, which dictate that anyone boating alone in a vessel less than 4.8m long must wear a life jacket or face fines.

Bono calls on Suu Kyi to quit over deadly campaign against Rohingya Muslims - Geo.tv

U2 frontman Bono, a leading campaigner for Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi when she was under house arrest, has called on her to resign over the deadly campaign against Rohingya Muslims.
The singer -- who championed Suu Kyi in the 2000 U2 song "Walk On," with fans encouraged to wear masks of the then opposition leader when the band played it live -- said he felt "nauseated" by images of the bloodshed and refugee crisis.

Top court finds ex-Aum fugitive not guilty in 1995 bombing:The Asahi Shimbun

The Supreme Court upheld a not guilty verdict for a former Aum Shinrikyo member who eluded police for 17 years following the cult’s deadly crime spree, including the 1995 nerve gas attack in Tokyo.
Naoko Kikuchi, 46, had been charged with aiding in an attempted murder in connection with a parcel bomb that seriously injured an official at the Tokyo metropolitan government building in May 1995.

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2017.12.28

News Headlines - 28 December 2017

Putin says St. Petersburg supermarket bombing was terrorism

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a bomb blast in a St. Petersburg supermarket on Wednesday was an act of terrorism, and that security forces whose lives were threatened by terrorist suspects should shoot to kill if necessary.

70 Venezuela media outlets closed in 2017, attacks on journalists rose as Maduro worked to 'silence' discontent: union | The Japan Times

Venezuela saw almost 70 newspapers, TV and radio stations close in 2017 while attacks on journalists rose, the main union representing the media said Wednesday, accusing the socialist government of trying to “silence” the press.
The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) said 46 radio stations, three television channels and around 20 newspapers had been shuttered in the past year.

Ex-footballer George Weah to become Liberia's president | The Guardian

The former footballer George Weah has won Liberia’s presidential election, defeating vice-president Joseph Boakai in a runoff with 61.5% of the vote.
Thursday’s announcement by the country’s election commission chair, Jerome Korkoyah, means Weah will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s president next month, in what will be the country’s first democratic transition since 1944. It follows two devastating civil wars.

Video gaming: WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018 - CNN

In 2018, playing video games obsessively might lead to a diagnosis of a mental health disorder.
In the beta draft of its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization includes "gaming disorder" in its list of mental health conditions. The WHO defines the disorder as a "persistent or recurrent" behavior pattern of "sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning."

US weather latest: Record-breaking cold snap as Minnesota hits -37C | The Independent

A record-breaking cold snap has taken hold of much of the northern United States, with temperatures in Minnesota plunging to an unprecedented -37C... The National Weather Service reported International Falls, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, plunged to -37C on Wednesday, breaking the old record of -32C set in 1924. Hibbing, Minnesota, hit -28C, breaking the old record of -27C set in 1964.

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2017.12.25

News Headlines - 25 December 2017

Queen Elizabeth praises husband's humor in Christmas message

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will pay tribute to her husband Prince Philip in her Christmas message, and praise his “support and unique sense of humor”.
The 96-year-old prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been at the queen’s side throughout her 65 years on the throne, and has regularly grabbed the headlines with his off-color comments.

Jerusalem: Guatemala follows US in planning Israel embassy move - BBC News

Guatemala says it plans to move the country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following a similar announcement from Donald Trump... It was one of only nine nations to vote against a UN resolution effectively repudiating the US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Medical pardon for Peru ex-president Fujimori sparks protests - CNN

Peru's President on Sunday pardoned former leader Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison for human rights abuses, citing the failing health of the ex-president.
The Christmas Eve pardon was met with street protests and condemnation from some lawmakers, who questioned whether there was a political deal behind what current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's office described as a humanitarian gesture.

Comiket 98 in 2020 to be Held During Golden Week at Tokyo Big Sight - Anime News Network

The official website for the Comic Market (Comiket) event announced on Saturday that the seven organizations behind the event still plan to hold Comic Market 98 in 2020 at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. The announcement stated the plan is to hold the convention during the Golden Week holidays in April and May instead of during the summer. The event will mark the first time that Comiket will be held during Golden Week. The event will utilize the Tokyo Big Sight's West Hall, South Hall, Aoumi Exhibition Hall, and Conference Tower.

Wagamama apology for 'don't be sick' staff notice - BBC News

Restaurant chain Wagamama has apologised after a manager warned workers they face disciplinary action for calling in sick over Christmas.
A note on a rota at one of its London branches said it was the responsibility of ill staff to find colleagues to cover shifts.

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2017.12.24

News Headlines - 24 December 2017

'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays'? Everyone has Trump on the brain - Chicago Tribune

Donald Trump promised to bring "Merry Christmas" back and on his first Noel as president he seems to have done that — and more.
Americans were already in a longstanding debate about whether there was a war on Christmas, but Trump's presidential battle cry about the greeting appears to have made people even more deliberate about what they say in December.

Snowden's new app protects your physical security - CNET

Haven, an app backed by Edward Snowden, turns an Android device into something like a baby monitor on steroids, or the world's most paranoid nanny-cam.

Sweden plans change in law to require explicit consent before sexual contact | The Guardian

Sweden is moving closer to making changes to its rape laws that would require people to get explicit consent before sexual contact... Under current Swedish law someone can be prosecuted for rape only if it has been proved that they used threats or violence. Under the proposal, rape could be proved if the accuser hadn’t given their explicit verbal agreement or clearly demonstrate their desire to engage in sexual activity.

Let me come back, Catalan leader tells Spain

Catalonia’s separatist leader Carles Puigdemont called on Spain’s government on Saturday to allow him to return home in time for the opening session of the Catalan parliament so that he can become the region’s next president.

Russian president, Vladimir Putin plays an ice hockey match in the Red Square | Euronews

Russian president, Vladimir Putin has played an ice hockey match in the Red Square, alongside the country's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The Kremlin announced the game of the Night Hockey league on its official website, however it was unclear how many goals the Russian leader managed to score.

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2017.12.23

News Headlines - 23 December 2017

10,000 killed in China's 1989 Tiananmen crackdown: British archive - France 24

At least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, according to a newly released British secret diplomatic cable that gives gruesome details of the bloodshed in Beijing.

YouTuber who insulted Mexican drug lord found dead with 15 gunshot wounds | Metro News

A YouTuber who insulted a notorious Mexican drug lord was found dead with 15 gunshot wounds. Juan Luis Lagunas Rosales shared a video mocking Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as El Mencho, a cartel boss with links to drugs baron Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Woman pleads guilty in fatal shooting of boyfriend in failed YouTube stunt - NBC News

A Minnesota woman has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting her boyfriend in a videotaped stunt they planned to post on YouTube.
The Star Tribune reports that 20-year-old Monalisa Perez pleaded guilty last week to second-degree manslaughter in the June death of 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III.

TASS: World - Russian experts resume search for missing Argentine submarine

The Islas Malvinas vessel of the Argentine Navy, carrying Russian experts and a remote-controlled submersible, has returned to the area where search for Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine continues, the Argentine Navy’s press service said on Tuesday.

Argentina submarine: Police raid navy and German company offices | DW

Argentine police searched through navy headquarters and state-run shipyard offices on Wednesday in a bid to investigate the disappearance of a submarine last month.
A judge ordered the searches to help probe alleged irregularities with repairs on the German-built submarine.

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2017.12.22

News Headlines - 22 December 2017

Logs of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Yukawa show clues on wartime nuke research - The Mainichi

Journals kept around the end of World War II in 1945 by Japan's first Nobel Prize winner, physicist Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), were released by the Kyoto University Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics on Dec. 21.

Kansai Electric decides to scrap 2 reactors at Ohi - NHK WORLD

Kansai Electric Power Company has officially decided to decommission 2 aging reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast... Kansai Electric President Shigeki Iwane met Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa and explained the plan to scrap the No.1 and No.2 reactors.

Norwegian herder ordered to put down dozens of reindeer in controversial cull | The Guardian

The supreme court in Oslo rejected an appeal by Jovsset Ante Sara, a small reindeer herder from the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic, ruling he must comply with an earlier order to cull 41 of hi