Headlines

2018.11.13

News Headlines - 13 November 2018

Trump Targets French President Macron In A Series Of Angry Tweets : NPR

This morning, French President Emmanuel Macron was the latest target of a series of angry tweets from President Donald Trump. Trump highlighted Macron's recent statement calling for a European army to help protect the continent. He also cited Macron's low popularity with French voters, and he complained about the high tariffs France has imposed on American wine.
This all follows President Trump's visit to Paris over the weekend, where he joined other world leaders to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Italy defies EU request to present revised budget | The Guardian

The Italian government has defied a request to present a revised draft budget for 2019 to the European commission, as it pursues its big-spending strategy.
Luigi Di Maio, the deputy prime minister and leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is ruling in coalition with the far-right League, said the government was committed to maintaining its deficit target of 2.4% but it would move forward with plans to cut taxes, introduce a universal basic income and lower the retirement age.
Italian leaders had until midnight on Tuesday to respond to the commission, which last month took the unprecedented step of asking a member state to revise its draft budget.

Oldest known cave painting of animal found in Borneo, Indonesia, bolstering new theory on human ancestors - CBS News

Scientists have found the oldest known example of an animal drawing: a red silhouette of a bull-like beast on the wall of an Indonesian cave.
The sketch is at least 40,000 years old, slightly older than similar animal paintings found in famous caves in France and Spain. Until a few years ago, experts believed Europe was where our ancestors started drawing animals and other figures.
But the age of the drawing reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, along with previous discoveries in Southeast Asia, suggest that figurative drawing appeared in both continents about the same time.

Roborace DevBot 2.0 Will Be Driven By Human-Machine Teams | Digital Trends

Roborace wants to take the human element out of racing. It hopes to launch the world’s first race series using self-driving cars, but it’s taking a gradual approach to reaching that goal. Roborace just unveiled its latest prototype, dubbed DevBot 2.0, and the car still features a cockpit for a human driver.
For its first season, called Season Alpha, Roborace will have humans and machines work together. Cars will set lap times both with human drivers and autonomously, and these times will be compared to those of other teams to determine a winner. So cars won’t race wheel to wheel, as they do in more conventional race series.

MLB's Velazquez apologizes over inappropriate video about Hiroshima

Boston Red Sox pitcher Hector Velazquez apologized Tuesday over video footage posted on his Instagram account that showed images of a building that has become symbolic of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima along with a graphic of a bomb and subtitles that read "Atomic bomb!"
At a press conference held before Game 4 of the Japan MLB All-Star Series at Mazda Stadium in the western Japan city, Velazquez bowed his head and said he was regretful of his action.

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2018.11.12

News Headlines - 12 November 2018

Dow Jones falls 600 points as tech stocks slip

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points Monday as major tech stocks faltered... Apple drove the decline in the tech sector after one of its key suppliers, Lumentum, said it would cut its outlook for the second quarter of 2019 due to lower predicted production volume for one of its major clients.
Concern over demand for Apple's iPhone line caused the company's stock to fall 5 percent Monday.

Exposure of Israel special forces unit in Gaza turns deadly - The Washington Post

Israel’s military said it had rushed extra infantry troops and air defenses to the border with Gaza as at least 300 projectiles were launched toward Israeli territory on Monday. Several rockets hit residential buildings, while an antitank missile struck a bus transporting soldiers, the military said, critically injuring a 19-year-old.

US jet crashes in 2nd accident involving US carrier in month - The Washington Post

A U.S. combat jet from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines on Monday, but its two pilots were rescued safely.
The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said the F/A-18 Hornet had a mechanical problem during routine operations in the Philippine Sea... The crash was the second involving aircraft belonging to the USS Ronald Reagan in less than a month.

Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, Gerard Butler among those to lose homes in California wildfires - CNN

The deadly wildfires ripping through California have forced hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate, including some celebrities whose homes have been lost to the blazes.
Neil Young, Robin Thicke, Gerard Butler and Miley Cyrus are among those whose houses were ravaged by the Woolsey fire raging north of Los Angeles in Southern California, according to the entertainers' respective online posts.

Japanese shot in Malate | Philstar.com

A Japanese man who was accused of estafa was shot in front of the Ambassador Hotel in Malate, Manila before noon Thursday.
Masato Ogushi, 67, had just boarded a pedicab in front of the hotel, where he was billeted, when he was shot in the neck by motorcycle-riding assailants along Mabini street at around 11:40 a.m.
The pedicab driver took the victim to the Ospital ng Maynila, where he was reported to be in critical condition.

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2018.11.11

News Headlines - 11 November 2018

Hometown urging search for missing French woman - NHK WORLD

Hundreds of people in the French town of Poitiers held a march on Saturday to press authorities do more to find a local woman who went missing while sightseeing in Japan.
36-year-old Tiphaine Veron was last seen leaving her accommodation in Nikko, north of Tokyo, on July 29th. Police in Japan are still searching for her.
Around 450 people turned out for a march organized by Veron's family to urge French police to send officers to Japan to help find Tiphaine.

Croydon bus crash: Driver arrested on suspicion of drug driving after collision leaves 15 year-old in 'critical condition' | The Independent

A 15-year-old girl is in critical condition after a double decker bus crashed into a bus shelter in south London in a suspected drug-driving incident on Sunday.
Police and emergency services were called to the scene in Station Road, Croydon shortly before 12.30pm following reports of a collision involving another bus and a car at West Croydon Bus Station.
The teenage girl – a passenger on the 198 bus – was taken to a local hospital by air ambulance and is now fighting for her life.

Topless Woman Tries to Charge Trump's Paris Motorcade | PEOPLE.com

A protester made her opinion of President Donald Trump crystal clear when she ran towards his car sans shirt in Paris during his trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice.
Trump’s motorcade was on the famous Champs-Élysées en route to the Arc de Triomphe when the woman approached. The words “fake peacemaker” were written on her body.

Douglas Rain, Stratford Festival actor and voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, dies at 90 | CTV Kitchener News

Douglas Rain passed away Sunday morning at the age of 90.
The actor, one of the pioneers of the Stratford Festival, is best known for his role in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Rain was the voice of the sentient computer HAL.

ATP Finals: Roger Federer beaten by Kei Nishikori in opening group match - BBC Sport

Roger Federer paid for his errors as he lost to Japan's Kei Nishikori in his opening group match at the ATP Finals.
The Swiss, chasing a 100th career title at the season-ending event, lost 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to the world number nine.

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2018.11.10

News Headlines - 10 November 2018

German conservatives back Merkel protege for new CDU leader: poll | Reuters

Some 35 per cent of members of the two conservative parties in Germany's ruling coalition favour Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, to replace her as leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), a poll showed on Friday (Nov 9).
Some 33 per cent backed businessman Friedrich Merz while 7 per cent favoured Health Minister Jens Spahn, according to the poll of 1,200 people that Mannheim-based Forschungsgruppe Wahlen carried out for broadcaster ZDF between Nov 6 and 8.

Macron and Merkel lay wreath at WW1 armistice site - The Local

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday laid a wreath and unveiled a ceremonial plaque at a war memorial in eastern France where the armistice was signed ending World War I.
In a highly symbolic ceremony, Macron and Merkel met in a forest clearing near Compiègne, where Germany officially surrendered at dawn on November 11, 1918, bringing to a close more than four years of slaughter on the Western front.

Trump in Paris: Skips WWI battlefield commemoration with eye on political fights at home - The Washington Post

Early Saturday, the White House announced Trump and the first lady had scuttled plans, due to bad weather, for their first stop in the weekend’s remembrance activities — a visit to the solemn Aisne Marne American Cemetery, marking the ferocious Battle of Belleau Wood.
It was not completely clear why the Trumps were unable to attend. The cemetery is 50 miles from Paris.

London violent crime could take 'a generation' to solve - BBC News

It could take a generation to solve London's violent crime problem, the city's mayor has warned.
Two teenage boys and two men have been stabbed to death in the city in the last five days, including 15-year-old Jay Hughes.
Mayor Sadiq Khan told the BBC's Today programme to "really make significant progress can take up to 10 years"... There have been 118 homicides in the capital this year, including 73 stabbings and 12 shootings, compared to 116 for the whole of last year.

Congo Ministry: Ebola Outbreak Worst in Country's History

Congo's latest Ebola outbreak is the worst in the country's recorded history with 319 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said.
The deadly virus has killed about 198 people since the outbreak was declared Aug. 1 in the volatile east, the ministry said. Those dead include 163 confirmed Ebola cases, with 35 probable deaths. Nearly 100 people have survived Ebola.
This is Congo's 10th outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified in Yambuku, in the Equateur province, the ministry said.

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2018.11.09

News Headlines - 09 November 2018

Disney's new Netflix rival will be called Disney+ and launch late 2019

Disney’s new streaming service will be called Disney+ and launch in late 2019, CEO Bob Iger announced on the company’s earnings call Thursday.
The company announced in August 2017 it would pull all its movies from Netflix in 2019, and start its own streaming offering for its past titles. Disney also purchased Fox for $71.3 billion in cash and stock, further bolstering its library.

May and Macron pay tribute to war dead at Somme ceremony | The Guardian

Theresa May has paid tribute to first world war soldiers who died at the Somme, as she joined the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on his armistice commemoration tour, where he warned that Europe must stick together as nationalism threatens the continent’s fragile peace.

Kyoto team uses iPS-derived cells to battle Parkinson's in world first - The Mainichi

In a global first, Kyoto University Hospital doctors injected neural progenitor cells created from iPS cells into the brain of a Parkinson's disease patient to ease his symptoms of the devastating nervous system disorder, the university said on Nov. 9.
The iPS cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells, are capable of turning into any type of cell, including neural progenitor cells. In the latest clinical trial started by the hospital, the cells injected into the patient's left brain are expected to grow into neurons and release dopamine to send signals to other nerve cells. Parkinson's disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine, causing symptoms such as tremors, slowed movement and dementia.

Meet adorable Zippy, Britain's second ever zonkey who was born on a Somerset farm - Somerset Live

Zippy, Britain's second ever Zonkey (an adorable cross between a zebra and a donkey), has been born in Somerset.
He is an ultra-rare Zebra-Donkey crossbreed who was born on October 2 on Kristine Turner’s 55-acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset... There is thought to be only one other zonkey in Britain, called Zambi, which lives on a donkey sanctuary in Shropshire.

BTS' Canceled Gig Underlines Japan & Korea's Awkward K-Pop Relationship | Billboard

On Friday (Nov. 9), headlines ran across both mainstream and music news outlets about BTS being dropped from a Japanese TV show over member Jimin wearing a T-shirt in 2017 that depicted the atomic bomb drop on Japan, among text celebrating Korea's liberation from Japanese rule during World War II. Fashion taste aside, what the stories are largely failing to recognize is the ongoing, politically driven tension that has plagued Korean acts in Japan for years, with this being the latest stumble in an already awkward relationship.

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2018.11.08

News Headlines - 08 November 2018

Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Japanese Reporter: ‘Say Hello to Shinzo, I’m Sure He’s Happy About Tariffs on His Cars’

During a press conference on the midterm elections results, President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon told a Japanese reporter to say hello to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and remind him that their trade deal is unfair to the U.S.
The reporter with a Japanese accent asked, “Mr. President, how you focus on the economic...”
"Where are you from, please?" Trump cut in.
The reporter answered, "Japan."
"Say hello to Shinzo," Trump said, drawing some giggles from other media in the room.

Helge Ingstad: Norway's warship collides with tanker in fjord - BBC News

Norway has evacuated all 137 crew from one of its warships after it collided in a fjord with a Maltese oil tanker.
Eight people were lightly injured in the collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen. The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate has been listing dangerously.
The warship had been returning from Nato military exercises. The tanker, the Sola TS, was slightly damaged and it appears that it did not spill oil.

Grenade-shaped belt buckle prompts evacuation of Spanish rail stations | The Guardian

Police evacuated the main railway stations in Barcelona and Madrid during Wednesday morning’s rush hour after a belt buckle in the shape of a hand grenade triggered a security alert.
The incident, which turned out to be a false alarm, appears to have been caused by a woman carrying the belt buckle on to a train from Barcelona to Madrid.

Green slime and Rubik's cubes among the highlights on Guinness World Records Day - ITV News

From solving Rubik's cubes simultaneously with both hands and feet to lengthy green slime - countries around the world have showcased their best talents to celebrate Guinness World's Record Day.

Oscar-winning Love Story composer Francis Lai dies at 86 - BBC News

Oscar-winning French composer Francis Lai has died at the age of 86.
He was best-known for winning the prize for composing the memorable piano theme to the 1970 film Love Story.

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2018.11.07

News Headlines - 07 November 2018

Former Nazi SS camp guard, 94, goes on trial in Germany

A 94-year-old former SS enlisted man went on trial Tuesday in Germany, facing hundreds of counts of accessory to murder for alleged crimes committed during the years he served as a guard at the Nazis’ Stutthof concentration camp.

Who Steals Portable Toilets? German Court Renders Verdict - The New York Times

Two men in Germany have been convicted of stealing more than 100 portable toilets... Both men worked for a waste disposal company from whose premises the toilets — worth nearly 70,000 euros ($79,700) in all — gradually disappeared... The men admitted having sold the toilets to a company in the Netherlands via a go-between.

Woman who spent £16m in Harrods arrested - BBC News

A woman who spent £16m at Harrods and became the subject of the UK's first Unexplained Wealth Order has been arrested and faces extradition.
Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, is the wife of an ex-state banker who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for embezzlement in their home country of Azerbaijan.
Mrs Hajiyeva, who lives in a £15m house near the London store, became the first person to be served a UWO by the National Crime Agency last month... The UWO means she has to explain the origin of her fortune.

IT venture firm head detained for assault allegations

Police detained the head of a local online storage service company on Wednesday over multiple alleged assaults and violent acts toward his employees.
Police apprehended Yang Jin-ho, chief of WeDisk and also of robot developer K-Technology, in a residential building and took him into custody, the Gyeonggi police agency said.

Grenfell tower effigy: Sixth man arrested over video showing model being burned on a bonfire | The Independent

The 19-year-old was detained on suspicion of a public order offence after handing himself in to a police station in south London.
Five men – two 49-year-olds and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 – were arrested on Monday night.
All have since been released under investigation, the Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday evening.

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2018.11.06

News Headlines - 06 November 2018

Iran Accused of Plot to Assassinate Dissident in Denmark - The New York Times

Iran tried to assassinate an Arab separatist leader living in Denmark, the Danish authorities claim, adding that a suspect in the “unusual and very serious” plot was in custody.
The accusations have set off anger and concern in Denmark, a nation that has experienced little political violence in recent years. Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen called the plot “totally unacceptable,” Denmark recalled its ambassador to Iran, and potential joint European action is on the agenda for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Nov. 19.

Russia Reports Computer 'Malfunction' On International Space Station

Russia's Roskosmos space agency says one of the computers on the International Space Station (ISS) has malfunctioned, but it gave assurances that the defect has no impact on the safety of the crew.
Roskosmos said Russian flight controllers plan to reboot the faulty computer -- one of the three in the station's Russian module -- on November 8.

Deutsche Post profit hurt by restructuring costs at parcel business | Euronews

Deutsche Post DHL Group reported a sharp fall in operating profit on Tuesday, hurt by costs to restructure its troubled post and parcel division.
The German postal and logistics group is grappling with spiralling transport and staff costs at its Post - eCommerce - Parcel (PeP) division, and the group issued a profit warning for 2018 in June and started a restructuring programme.
It spent 392 million euros (342 million pounds) in the third quarter on restructuring measures at the PeP division which include splitting its post and parcel delivery division into a German and an international unit.

Japanese victims reportedly stalked - NHK WORLD

Guatemalan police investigating an attack on 2 Japanese women on Sunday say the victims had told their neighbors that they were being stalked and had been assaulted.
The Japanese Embassy in Guatemala says a Japanese woman is dead and another in a hospital with serious injuries.

Sexual Violence Routine in North Korea | Time

North Korean refugees say sexual violence against women in their former homeland is part of daily life. But a new report suggests there’s little chance that abused women in the North will get to say “MeToo” anytime soon.

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2018.11.05

News Headlines - 05 November 2018

Even Fox News Stops Running Trump Caravan Ad Criticized as Racist - The New York Times

NBC and Facebook, both of which had run the ad over the weekend, reversed course after a backlash on Monday and announced that the commercial would be removed, saying it fell short of their in-house advertising standards. CNN had refused to air the ad from the start, calling it “racist.”
Even Fox News, which has made warnings about the migrant caravan a staple of its prime time coverage of the midterms, felt compelled to distance itself from the ad.

Major new Brexit poll shows voters swinging towards Remain – Channel 4 News

Most UK voters would vote Remain if the EU referendum were held again, according to a major new poll from Channel 4 and Survation.
Some 54 per cent of people said they would stay in the EU if the 2016 referendum were held tomorrow – when those who refused to vote or answered “don’t know” were removed.

New £50 note will feature a British scientist - BBC News

The new £50 note will feature a prominent British scientist, the Bank of England has announced, with the public being asked for nominations.
In addition to the Queen, the note will include the portrait of an eminent late scientist from fields such as biology, astronomy and medical research.

Muji and Sensible 4 design Gacha, an autonomous shuttle bus for Finland

Japanese brand Muji has revealed designs for an autonomous shuttle bus built for all weather conditions, set to hit the roads in three Finnish cities by 2020.
The public shuttle bus, called Gacha, is designed in collaboration with Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4. According to Muji, it is the first autonomous bus in the world that is suited to all types of weather.

Sam Ballard dies eight years after being paralysed by garden slug

A promising young rugby player left paralysed after eating a garden slug as a dare, has died after an eight-year battle.
Sam Ballard was in a coma for 420 days after eating the slug at a party on Sydney’s north shore in 2010 when he was 19... He was later diagnosed with eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis contracted from rat lungworm which is usually found in rodents by snails and slugs can also be infected when they eat rat faeces.

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2018.11.04

News Headlines - 04 November 2018

As Trump restores sanctions, Iranians rally to mark anniversary of U.S. Embassy takeover

Thousands of Iranians rallied in Tehran on Sunday to mark the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover, as Washington restored all sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal.
The crowd chanted "Down with U.S." and "Death to Israel" during the rally in the capital, and state TV said similar demonstrations were held in other cities and towns.

Heather Nauert is Trump's leading choice for UN ambassador - CBS News

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is President Trump's leading choice to take over the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a senior administration official and another administration official with knowledge of the matter tell CBS News.
The post will be vacated current U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley at the end of the year. The president has told White House advisers that he continues to be impressed by Nauert, a former Fox News host before joining the State Department. The president met with Nauert this week in the Oval Office, and may formally offer her the position as early as next week. CBS News had previously reported that Nauert was under consideration for the role.

German state Hesse to finally scrap death penalty - The Local

The western German state of Hesse has voted to finally scrap the death penalty, referendum results have shown, fixing a historical oddity given that the punishment has been illegal in Germany for nearly 70 years.
Results from a Sunday referendum showed that 83.2 percent of voters in Hesse, home to finance hub Frankfurt, were in favour of changing the state constitution written in 1946 that allowed capital punishment.
Just three years later, Germany's new post-war constitution, known as the "Basic Law of 1949", formally abolished the death penalty.

Man gets life in prison for killing Japanese woman in Canada | The Japan Times

A man convicted of murdering a Japanese woman in Vancouver in 2016 received a life sentence Friday with no chance of parole for 14 years, Canadian media reported.
The ruling by a Vancouver court came after William Schneider, 50, was found guilty of murder last month over the death of Natsumi Kogawa, then a 30-year-old student at a language school.

French poet Baudelaire suicide letter fetches €234,000 at auction - BBC News

A letter by the French 19th-Century poet Charles Baudelaire announcing he would kill himself has sold at auction for €234,000 (£204,000; $267,000).
The note, dated 30 June 1845, was addressed to Baudelaire's lover Jeanne Duval.
The poet, who was 24 years old at the time, attempted to commit suicide on the same day - but survived.

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2018.11.03

News Headlines - 03 November 2018

Muji misses out in removing some disputed trademarks, caught by Chinese owners - Global Times

Japanese retail chain Muji's removal of the wuyinliangpin characters from trademarks on some of its products after it lost a lawsuit to a Beijing-based company won't affect the company's reputation or popularity, a consumer said.
But experts noted that overseas companies should register sufficient trademarks related to their brands to guard against possible infringement as they develop their businesses in China.
Wuyinliangpin is the Chinese name for Muji meaning "good products with no signs."

Toyota to launch 'subscription' car service in January - Nikkei Asian Review

Toyota Motor will next year launch a service that will allow customers to try various car models for a fixed monthly fee in Japan. The new offering is part of the company's efforts to explore new business opportunities that do not depend on new car sales alone.
Toyota will become the first Japanese automaker to launch such a "subscription" service, envisioning cases where customers could, for example, use its Lexus sedan for a certain period of time and then switch to an SUV.
The company will consider introducing the scheme overseas as well, including in Asia.

Two men arrested after stabbing at Sony Music's London HQ | The Guardian

Two men have been arrested after a stabbing incident at Sony Music’s headquarters in west London.
The Metropolitan police said two men were being treated for non-life threatening injuries after being found with stab wounds at the scene in Kensington. Both were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm before being taken to hospital.

Apple Reports Record Results but Weak Revenue Outlook - WSJ

Apple Inc. reported its fourth consecutive quarter of record revenue and profit, as the combination of higher iPhone prices and strong app-store sales propelled the technology giant to its best year ever.
But the world’s most valuable company offered guidance for the current period that disappointed many investors, and said it would stop reporting unit sales for its products—a measure closely watched by investors—raising questions about the prospects for strong sales of new gadgets it has unveiled in the past two months.

Andres Iniesta shows he's still a genius as outrageous 'scoop pass' up Lukas Podolski goal for Japanese club Vissel Kobe

Few stars, past or present, would have conceived the option of the 'scoop pass' Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta saw for ex-Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski.
Fewer still could have delivered it so outrageously.
Nowadays the setting for these two over-30s is exotic rather than exalted.

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2018.11.02

News Headlines - 02 November 2018

Japan aims to open door wider to blue-collar workers | Reuters

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved draft legislation on Friday to open the door to more overseas blue-collar workers in sectors grappling with labor shortages, a controversial policy shift in immigration-shy Japan... Immigration has long been taboo as many Japanese prize ethnic homogeneity, but the reality of an aging, shrinking population is challenging such views.
Despite misgivings in Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), parliament is likely to adopt the revisions in the face of intense pressure from businesses battling the tightest labor market in decades, although opposition parties could delay.

2 ASDF fighters make contact midair, causing minor damage - The Mainichi

Two Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jets came into contact midair Friday over the sea off southwestern Japan, the ASDF said, but despite suffering minor damage both aircraft managed to return to base.
The incident between the fighter jets, which fly out of the Tsuiki Air Base in Fukuoka Prefecture, occurred about 200 kilometers west of the base at around 3:55 p.m.

Japanese journalist apologizes, recounts days as hostage in Syria | Reuters

Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese journalist held by militants in Syria for more than three years, said on Friday he told his captors to deafen him if they suspected he was eavesdropping on their conversations.
Yasuda, 44, said it was one of the darkest moments before his release last month, ending what he called 40 months of physical and psychological “hell”.

Khashoggi murder: Body 'dissolved in acid' - BBC News

A top Turkish official, presidential adviser Yasin Aktay, has said he believes Jamal Khashoggi's body was dissolved in acid after being cut up.
The "only logical conclusion", he said, was that those who had killed the Saudi journalist in Istanbul had destroyed his body "to leave no trace behind"... No forensic evidence has been provided to prove his body was dissolved.

Football: Documents Show Secret Plans for Elite League of Top Clubs - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Today, in November 2018, the Super League idea appears to have fresh impetus: According to the draft of a confidential term sheet that Real Madrid received just a few days ago from a consulting firm, 16 top clubs are to sign a document to establish such a league. According to the document, the league would begin operating in the 2021 season. One of the 16 clubs named in the document is FC Bayern Munich.

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2018.11.01

News Headlines - 01 November 2018

U.K. Expects Brexit Deal With EU by November 21, Dominic Raab Says - Bloomberg

British and European officials hailed progress in Brexit negotiations on Wednesday, with U.K. lead negotiator Dominic Raab predicting that a deal on the divorce will be finalized by Nov. 21.
In a letter to Parliament’s Brexit select committee sent Oct. 24 -- and published Wednesday -- Raab said “a great deal of progress” had been made in recent weeks, thanks in part to new British proposals for resolving the disagreement over the future of the Irish border.

Pound jumps on May’s Brexit deal on financial services | The Times

The pound jumped this morning after The Times revealed that Theresa May has struck a deal with Brussels that would give UK financial services companies continued access to European markets after Brexit.
British and European negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on all aspects of a future partnership on services, as well as the exchange of data, government sources said.

Download Free Digitized Art Through the Art Institute of Chicago Website

Chicago is a city steeped in art and culture. In addition to its iconic public sculptures, it boasts one of the oldest and largest museums in the country: the Art Institute of Chicago. While a real-life visit to this historic institution should be on all art lovers’ lists, a recent website redesign has made it easy to experience its collection with the click of a mouse.
The museum has reproduced thousands of high-resolution images of its art and released a substantial amount into the public domain. This means that, under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, students, educators, and even everyday art lovers can download this digitized art for free.

BBC - The 100 greatest foreign-language films

One statistic we noted was that a quarter of the films on our list were East Asian: that is, 25 of them were made in Japan (11), China (6), Taiwan (4), Hong Kong (3) or South Korea (1). And the winning film, Seven Samurai, by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, was loved by critics everywhere – everywhere, that is, except for Japan. The six Japanese critics who voted didn’t go for a single Kurosawa film between them.

Football's lawmakers to discuss overhaul of handball rules while penalty rebounds could also be eliminated

Football’s lawmakers are expected to discuss a radical change to the handball rule to clarify it and take out the word “deliberately”.
The International FA Board (Ifab) advisory panels will also examine a raft of other potential measures, including altering the way penalties are taken.
A surprising proposal is expected to be put up for discussion which would mean that penalties are “one shot” – and that there will be no rebounds if the kick is saved or strikes the goal-frame and bounces back into play.

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2018.10.31

News Headlines - 31 October 2018

New 50 pence coin to commemorate Britain's Brexit day | Reuters

Britain will mint a new 50 pence ($0.6) coin to commemorate leaving the European Union in spring 2019, the finance ministry said on Monday.
The departure is one of a series of historic moments such as the 2012 Olympics, the decision to join the European Economic Community, the predecessor to the EU, in 1973, and the centenary of the First World War, it said.

Russian suicide bomb kills one and injures three in FSB offices | The Guardian

A suicide bombing in the offices of Russia’s Federal Security Service in Arkhangelsk in northern Russia has left three injured.
Investigators said a 17-year-old local male had been carrying the bomb in a bag and detonated it on Wednesday shortly after entering the FSB’s offices in the city, which is just south of the Arctic circle.

Town assembly on tiny Okinawa island finally elects speaker after 99th vote - The Mainichi

The municipal assembly on Japan's westernmost island of Yonaguni, Okinawa Prefecture, finally elected its speaker in its 99th vote on Oct. 31 after those elected in the previous processes had declined to take the post.
Both pro- and anti-mayor members had refused to take the post of speaker because the camp from which a speaker is elected would become a minority in the assembly that is evenly split into the ruling and opposition camps.

Mitsubishi Heavy to provide \220 billion to aid struggling aircraft unit | The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Wednesday it will provide \220 billion ($1.94 billion) to its struggling aircraft subsidiary to bolster its capital and help its long-delayed development of a regional passenger jet.
Mitsubishi Heavy said it will increase the capital of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. by \170 billion and also cancel \50 billion of the total debt owed by the subsidiary, as the aircraft company continued to have a negative net worth at the end of fiscal 2017.

Ford and Baidu will develop self-driving cars together in China - CNN

Ford and Baidu are teaming up to develop self-driving cars in China.
The US automaker and Chinese internet company said Wednesday they plan to start testing autonomous vehicles together on Beijing roads by the end of the year.
The project combines Baidu's (BIDU) "technological know-how and understanding of China together with Ford's vehicle expertise," said Zhenyu Li, head of Baidu's Intelligent Driving Group.

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2018.10.30

News Headlines - 30 October 2018

South Korea court orders Japan firm to compensate wartime forced labourers - The Straits Times

South Korea’s top court ruled on Tuesday (Oct 30) that Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp should compensate four South Koreans for their forced labour during World War Two, when Japan occupied Korea, Yonhap reported... The court ruled that the former labourers’ right to reparation was not terminated by a 1965 treaty normalising diplomatic ties, rejecting the claim by Tokyo, Yonhap said.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday that the South Korean court’s order was “unthinkable”, and the ruling overturned the legal basis for bilateral friendship since 1965.

Sony forecasts big jump to record annual profit on winning gaming strategy | Reuters

Japan’s Sony Corp boosted its annual profit outlook by 30 percent to a record level after a strong second-quarter, propelled by popular game titles like “Marvel’s Spider-Man” as well as growing demand for its online gaming services.

Twitter to remove 'like' tool in a bid to improve the quality of debate

Twitter is planning to remove the ability to "like" tweets in a radical move that aims to improve the quality of debate on the social network.
Founder Jack Dorsey last week admitted at a Twitter event that he was not a fan of the heart-shaped button and that it would be getting rid of it “soon”.
The feature was introduced in 2015 to replace “favourites”, a star-shaped button that allowed people to bookmark tweets to read later.

NASA Solar Probe Becomes Closest Spacecraft to the Sun - Geek.com

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe now holds the record for closest approach to the Sun by a human-made object.
The spacecraft on Monday passed within 26.55 million miles of the Sun’s surface, beating the previous achievement, set by the German-American Helios 2 in April 1976.
Expect a lot more broken records as the Parker Solar Probe mission continues, prepared to make a final close approach of 3.83 million miles from the Sun’s surface in 2024.

Police rescue animals from 'hellish' Albanian zoo | The Japan Times

Albanian police on Sunday broke open cages at a private zoo and removed 11 animals including three lions and a bear being kept in “hellish” conditions, animal welfare workers said.
After the owner of the zoo at Fier, around 100 km (60 miles) south of the capital Tirana, allegedly refused to cooperate, officers forcibly entered areas where the animals were kept to allow vets access, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

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2018.10.29

News Headlines - 29 October 2018

Indonesian Lion Air plane crashes into sea with 188 passengers, crew | AFP.com

An Indonesian Lion Air plane carrying 188 passengers and crew crashed into the sea Monday, officials said, moments after it had asked to be allowed to return to Jakarta.
The jet vanished from radar just 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, plunging into the ocean.

China's yuan sinks to 10-year low against dollar

China’s yuan sank to a 10-year low against the dollar on Monday, coming close to breaking the politically sensitive level of seven to the U.S. currency.
The yuan declined to 6.9644 per dollar at midday, passing its most recent low in 2016 before recovering slightly. It was the lowest level since May 2008.
The currency’s weakness is one of a series of elements fueling Washington’s trade complaints against Beijing. The U.S. Treasury Department declined this month to label China a currency manipulator but said it was closely watching Beijing.

Sweden closer to election as Lofven drops bid to form government | Reuters

The failed attempt brought the prospect of a snap election closer, though the speaker of parliament said he would try to avoid that at all costs.
The Sept. 9 vote gave the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power, but neither Lofven’s center-left bloc nor the center-right group of parties has been willing to give them a say in policy due to their white supremacist roots.

Georgia presidential election poised for runoff | Reuters

Georgia’s presidential election looked likely to go to a second round as early official results on Sunday showed neither of the frontrunners with enough votes to secure victory.
French-born ruling party candidate Salome Zurabishvili had 43.2 percent of the vote and her opposition rival Grigol Vashadze won 34.7 percent based on results from 28 percent of the polling stations, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said on its website.

Powerball results: 2 winners will split $687 million jackpot - CNN

It's a split! Players in Iowa and New York will share Saturday's massive Powerball jackpot.
Two tickets matched all winning numbers on Saturday and the winners will split the estimated $687.8 million jackpot or a one-time cash option of $396.2 million -- the fourth largest in US lottery history... It's still unclear how many people won Powerball's top prize.

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2018.10.28

News Headlines - 28 October 2018

Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil’s Presidency, in a Shift to the Far Right - The New York Times

Brazil on Sunday became the latest country to drift toward the far right, electing a strident populist as president in the nation’s most radical political change since democracy was restored more than 30 years ago.
The president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, has exalted the country’s military dictatorship, advocated torture and threatened to destroy, jail or drive into exile his political opponents.

Malaysia issues permanent ban on import of plastic waste | The Star Online

Malaysia has issued a permanent ban on the import of plastic waste effective Friday (Oct 26), says Zuraida Kamaruddin.
The Housing and Local Government Minister said the country would also be phasing out the import of other types of plastic within three years.

Flipping marvelous: Balkan chefs break pancake record | Reuters

A team of Balkan chefs rustled up a world record number of a pancakes on Friday, making 14,186 in eight hours at Sarajevo’s tourist fair.
Using 300 liters of oil, 600 kilograms of flour and 400 liters of milk, the 140 cooks from Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia kept the frying pans turning in an improvised open-air kitchen under autumn sunshine as 15 judges looked on.

Christie's auctions painting made by AI for $432,500.

Renowned auction house Christie's sold the first piece of art created by an algorithm for $432,500.
The painting, titled "The Portrait of Edmond Belamy," was completed by artificial intelligence managed by a Paris-based collective called Obvious, Christie's said.
According to an online catalog on Christie's website, the painting had been estimated to go for $7,000-$10,000.

Real Madrid: Lopetegui will be sacked today: Conte on the way | MARCA in English

lorentino Perez is set to discuss the Real Madrid coaching situation with his directors in the coming hours and it is looking increasingly likely that Julen Lopetegui will be replaced by Antonio Conte next week.Five goals conceded at the Camp Nou appear to have sealed Lopetegui's fate and the Italian could arrive as early as Monday.If not, Santiago Solari will take temporary charge of the first team for Wednesday's Copa del Rey game against Melilla.

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2018.10.27

News Headlines - 27 October 2018

Megyn Kelly's NBC show cancelled after blackface controversy | The Guardian

Megyn Kelly has been officially dropped by NBC after only one year of her three-year contract.
The ex-Fox News host was under fire this week after defending blackface in a controversial segment. After outcry, new episodes of Megyn Kelly Today were temporarily replaced with repeats while talks were held.

London forex traders found not guilty in U.S. rigging case | Reuters

Three former London-based currency traders were found not guilty on Friday of U.S. charges that they schemed to rig benchmark exchange rates, the latest verdict to emerge from a U.S. probe into the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market.

Porsche to pay fine over involvement in pollution scam | DW

A regional court in Stuttgart on Wednesday told German carmaker Porsche it would need to pay a total of some €47 million ($54 million) in damages for what judges felt was its faulty information policy surrounding the Volkswagen Group's large-scale emissions-cheating scandal that broke in 2015.
The court, whose verdict is not yet final, found that Porsche as Volkswagen's largest shareholder was in breach of its obligation to publicly disclose information with a potential to influence the carmaker's share price.

Single-use plastics ban approved by European Parliament - BBC News

The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.
MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.
The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups.

Halloween comes early for the animals at London Zoo | Metro News

Halloween came early at London Zoo as its giraffes, squirrel monkeys and gorillas enjoyed some special treats in carved-out pumpkins. With days to go until the Oct. 31 celebration, the animals didn’t even have to go trick or treating as they were delivered to their enclosures. The animals soon got into the fiendish swing of things and had their very own pumpkin party.

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2018.10.26

News Headlines - 26 October 2018

How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ - The New York Times

Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, a hero’s farewell when he left the company in October 2014... What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge of the episode. Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible, said the people... Mr. Rubin was notified, they said, and Mr. Page asked for his resignation.

Japanese gov't orders Facebook to improve data protection - Japan Today

The Japanese government on Monday ordered Facebook Inc to improve protection of users' personal information following a series of incidents including a massive data breach earlier this year that impacted 87 million people around the world, a commission said.
It is the first time the Japanese government's Personal Information Protection Commission has issued this kind of warning to the U.S. social media giant.

Qatar 'provided information' to help free Yasuda - NHK WORLD

A senior Qatari government official says his country provided information that helped to secure the release of Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda... He explained that Qatar and Turkey provided Japan with intelligence through diplomatic routes and counterterrorism agencies.

Hawaiian island erased by powerful hurricane: ‘The loss is a huge blow’ | The Guardian

A piece of the United States has been dramatically wiped off the map after an island in Hawaii was washed away by a powerful hurricane.
East Island, a remote spit of gravel and sand that sat atop a coral reef, has vanished after having this misfortune to come into contact with Hurricane Walaka, an intense storm that surged past Hawaii earlier this month.
Scientists have confirmed the disappearance of the 11-acre island after comparing satellite images of the surrounding French Frigate Shoals, part of an enormous protected marine area in the north-western Hawaiian Islands.

‘French Spiderman’ Alain Robert illegally climbs City of London's tallest tower (without a harness) | The Independent

A French free climber known as the "Human Spider" scaled London’s Heron Tower without a harness, only to be arrested shortly afterwards.
Alain Robert has previously completed death-defying ascents of New York’s Empire State Building, and the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The 56-year-old successfully reached the top of the 662ft (202m) Heron Tower, the tallest building in The City, after less than an hour of climbing.

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2018.10.25

News Headlines - 25 October 2018

Tohoku Electric to scrap aging No. 1 unit at Onagawa nuclear plant | The Japan Times

Tohoku Electric Power Co. said Thursday it will scrap the idled No. 1 unit at its Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, more than 30 years after it started operations.
The company cited difficulties in taking additional safety measures as well as the relatively small output of the reactor that made it unprofitable.

Taiwan train driver failed to report switch-off - NHK WORLD

Taiwanese rail authorities say the driver of a train that derailed, killing 18 people, failed to report to controllers that he had turned off its control system before the accident... The driver admitted that he switched off the automatic control system because of trouble with the power system.
Authorities told reporters on Wednesday that any train driver is required to report to a control center when turning off the safety system.

Japan to end ODA funding to China, now an economic titan:The Asahi Shimbun

Japan has decided to scrap official development assistance to China now that it is the world's second-largest economy.
When Japan started providing ODA to Beijing 40 years ago, China was still a developing country.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will visit China from Oct. 25, will officially announce the decision the day after he arrives during meetings in Beijing.

Belgian robbers asked to come back - and arrested on their return - BBC News

Six people entered Didier's shop in the suburbs of Charleroi in daylight with the intent to rob him.
The salesman told the group to return at the end of the day, when he could give them more money. In the end though, he got them arrested instead.

World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea | The Guardian

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.
The 23-metre (75ft) vessel, thought to be ancient Greek, was discovered with its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct just over a mile below the surface. A lack of oxygen at that depth preserved it, the researchers said.

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2018.10.24

News Headlines - 24 October 2018

Jumpei Yasuda finally free after 3 years held by Syria terrorists:The Asahi Shimbun

The Japanese government confirmed that missing freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda is once again a free man after being held for more than three years by a terrorist group in Syria.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with reporters in the early evening of Oct. 24 and said that Japanese Embassy officials in Turkey met with Yasuda, 44, at a Turkish immigration facility in Antakya close to the border with Syria, and confirmed his identity.

FBI Investigates Bomb Found In George Soros's Mailbox | Fortune

A bomb was found in a mailbox at George Soros’s home in Bedford, N.Y. A police bomb squad blew it up, and the FBI’s anti-terrorism unit is now investigating... one of Soros’s employees found a suspicious package in the mailbox and opened it, finding the explosive device. They then put the package in the woods and called the cops, who sent a bomb squad to safely detonate it. Soros himself was not at home at the time... The billionaire investor has long backed liberal, pro-migrant and pro-democracy causes, and last year made his Open Society Foundations one of the biggest non-profits in the world, by donating $18 billion to the NGO.
As such, Soros has become a favorite boogeyman for the far right in the U.S. and parts of Europe.

When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn - The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones... Mr. Trump’s use of his iPhones was detailed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss classified intelligence and sensitive security arrangements.

Smoking Marijuana Is Legal in Canada, Unless You’re South Korean - The New York Times

Recreational cannabis use may now be legal in Canada, but South Koreans visiting the country who are tempted to smoke up risk facing punishment back home, their government warned on Tuesday... South Koreans have known for decades that they can be prosecuted at home for using drugs overseas, even in countries where consumption is legal.

Giant 1,000m spider web covers Greek lake | The Independent

A lake in northern Greece has been transformed into a scene out of horror movie after it was cloaked in a 1,000-metre web spun by a huge swarm of spiders.
Eerie pictures of Lake Vistonida show roadside bushes, fences and small trees completely covered by the cobwebs.
Experts say that the rare phenomenon was a result of hundreds of thousands of Tetragnatha, known as stretch spiders, gravitating to the area in unseasonably warm weather.

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2018.10.23

News Headlines - 23 October 2018

What can be learned from feverish nation-building of Meiji Restoration? - The Japan News

Tuesday marks the passage of 150 years since an Imperial edict was issued to change the name of the era to “Meiji” on Oct. 23, 1868. The government will hold a commemorative ceremony... Society, however, seems not to be as interested as it was back in 1968, when the passage of 100 years was marked. Five decades ago, when the nation was in a period of rapid economic growth, people could have found something in common with the time of the Meiji Restoration, when the nation was steadily developing.
At present, when Japan is ever more swiftly becoming an aged society with a low birthrate, and economic growth remains at low levels, it has become difficult even to imagine the energy for reform felt at the time of the Meiji Restoration.

Spain beats Japan to longer life expectancy - but did UK make top 10? | Express.co.uk

The Mediterranean country has overtaken Japan in the top spot for the first time in many years, according to a new study.
Spaniards will live for an average of 85.8 years by the year 2040, the recent statistics show, while Japanese people will have an average lifespan of 85.7 years
A report by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) published in the journal The Lancet unveiled the new findings.

Turkey to host four-nation summit on Syria crisis | The Japan Times

A summit between the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Russia will be held in Istanbul this month to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts for a lasting solution to the war in the Arab country, a Turkish official said Friday.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, in a written statement said the summit will take place on Oct. 27.

German foreign minister: U.S. should consider consequences of leaving nuclear treaty | Reuters

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the United States should consider the consequences, both for Europe and for future disarmament efforts, of pulling out of an international treaty aimed at eliminating a class of nuclear weapons.

Russian woman charged with interference in 2018 midterms

A Russian woman has been charged with trying to interfere and “sow discord” in the American political system, including in the 2018 midterm elections as part of a conspiracy that exploited thousands of social media accounts and emails that claimed to be owned by U.S. residents, authorities said.
Elena Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, Russia, is accused of participating in a conspiracy engaged in “information warfare against the United States” that aimed “create and amplify divisive social media and political content.”

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2018.10.22

News Headlines - 22 October 2018

Japan ministries counted dead and retired people in totals to meet legal quotas for disabled employment, panel says | The Japan Times

Ministries and agencies “arbitrarily interpreted” guidelines for employing disabled people and counted people who were retired or even dead among their numbers in an attempt to meet legal quotas, an investigative panel said Monday... The government has said the percentage of people with disabilities in national office workforces as of June last year was actually 1.17 percent, instead of the 2.50 percent figure previously announced. Japanese law requires public institutions to meet the 2.5 percent quota, while the quota for the private sector is set at 2.2 percent.
After recognizing 3,700 people had been inappropriately included in the total workforce reported for 28 of the 33 national administrative entities it surveyed, the investigative panel said in its report that the situation was “extremely serious.”

Desperate Central American refugees cross into Mexico from river | The Guardian

A growing number of refugees from Central America have resumed their advance towards the US border in southern Mexico, despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border with Guatemala.
The “caravan” swelled to about 5,000 overnight and they set out walking at first light on Sunday toward the Mexican town of Tapachula, 10 abreast in a line stretching back approximately a mile.
About 2,000 people had gathered on the Mexican side on Saturday night.

Egypt denies alleged organ theft after British tourist's death - The Straits Times

Egyptian authorities on Sunday (Oct 21) denied reports of alleged organ theft after the body of a British tourist who died suddenly while on holiday was returned home without some organs.
Mr David Humphries, 62, died in the seaside resort of Hurghada on the shores of the Red Sea on Sept 18.
His body was returned to Britain where a second postmortem ordered by a coroner discovered that his heart and some other organs had been removed, a British media outlet said in a report.

Stephen Hawking's motorized wheelchair is up for auction - CNET

Proceeds from the wheelchair's sale will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation. It's estimated to sell for $13,000-$19,000 (£10,000-15,000, AU$18,000-$27,000).
Other items related to Hawking that will be part of the sale include one of five copies of his Ph.D. thesis, a script from an episode of The Simpsons that he appeared in, a personalized bomber jacket, and a copy of his bestseller A Brief History of Time, signed with Hawking's thumbprint.

How image of 'headless chicken monster' sea cucumber may help Antarctic conservation - CNN

The sea cucumber, which has only ever been filmed before in the Gulf of Mexico, was discovered using an underwater camera system developed for commercial long-line fishing by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
It is hoped that the pioneering Australian camera technology that captured the rare footage of the organism, Enypniastes eximia, may help the long-running push for the creation of a new Antarctic conservation zone.

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2018.10.21

News Headlines - 21 October 2018

UK, Germany, France condemn writer’s killing - The Washington Post

Britain, Germany and France have issued a joint statement condemning the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi, saying there is an “urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened.”

‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration - The New York Times

The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.

Racist incident filmed on Ryanair flight | The Guardian

A man on a Ryanair plane has been filmed calling a woman sitting in the same row an 'ugly black bastard', and shouting 'don’t talk to me in a foreign language' when she spoke to him in English with a Jamaican accent. The airline, criticised for not removing the abusive passenger, has referred the incident to Essex police

At least 18 dead, 175 injured after Taiwan train derails - Channel NewsAsia

At least 18 people have died after an express train derailed and flipped over on a popular coastal tourist route in Taiwan on Sunday (Oct 21), the island's worst rail accident for more than 25 years.

It's a Long Way Down for China Stocks Channeling Past Traumas - Bloomberg

Three years after China’s equity bubble burst, the country’s investors are once again reeling from losses.
More than $3 trillion has been wiped out since January, all of France’s stock market capitalization and then some, as Chinese shares tumble the most in the world. Private companies are struggling with liquidity concerns, the economic outlook is slowing as a trade war with the U.S. deepens, and a weakening yuan is starting to prompt capital outflows.
History suggests it’s not over. While the Shanghai Composite Index is now down 28 percent since this year’s high, the gauge almost halved as the 2015 boom turned to bust.

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2018.10.20

News Headlines - 20 October 2018

John Kelly, John Bolton get into 'intense' argument at White House

Two of the president's closest advisers got into an intense shouting match Thursday at the White House over immigration policies, two officials said.
Bloomberg and CNN first reported the heated exchange between Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton... Earlier in the day the president blasted a caravan of Honduran migrants trekking to the border to apply for asylum in the U.S.

SoftBank's CEO, Saudi's Prince and a $22 Billion Test of Values - Bloomberg

Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. plummeted the most in more than two years on Monday after Saudi Arabia came under fire for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The kingdom is the biggest outside investor in SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, which has backed Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork Cos., Didi Chuxing and Slack Technologies Inc.

Japan, N. Korea intelligence officials held secret meeting in Oct. - The Mainichi

A top Japanese intelligence official close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a secret meeting with North Korean counterparts in early October in Mongolia, sources familiar with bilateral ties said Thursday.
The meeting in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator could be consistent with Abe's stated desire to arrange a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after he receives assurances about progress on the long-standing issue of abductions of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s.

Pope Francis willing to meet Kim Jong Un in North Korea, Vatican official says

Pope Francis is considering an unprecedented visit to North Korea, according to a Vatican official.
An invitation from Kim Jong Un was relayed to the Pope by South Korea President Moon Jae-in during a meeting in the Vatican on Thursday.
It would be the first visit by a Pope to the reclusive East Asian state, which is known for severe restrictions on religious practice and does not allow priests to be permanently stationed there.

IT repairman seeks home for Apple collection, possibly world's largest | Reuters

An Austrian computer repairman has amassed what he believes could be the world’s biggest collection of old Apple computers, but it might all soon be destroyed unless someone can take it off his hands... Over the years since he began working for a company that repaired Apples in Vienna in the 1980s, Roland Borsky’s collection has grown to roughly 1,100 computers, he says - far more than the 472 items at Prague’s Apple Museum, which says it is the world’s biggest private collection of Apple products.

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2018.10.19

News Headlines - 19 October 2018

Britain’s ‘moment of truth’ postponed – POLITICO

With an accord on divorce terms still out of reach, EU officials said Tuesday that they are not inclined to call a special Brexit summit in November — meaning the next opportunity for EU leaders to affirm a Brexit agreement may not come around until December.

Please, no Brexit talk: Merkel, Macron hit the bar for beer and fries | Reuters

Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Belgium and Luxembourg surprised late-night drinkers by dropping by a Brussels bar for beer and fries after an evening of summitry on Brexit with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

UK – Graduate unemployment rate falls to lowest level in 39 years

The unemployment rate for graduates six months after leaving university fell to 5.1% this year, the lowest since the 1979 survey when it was 4.9%, according to a study from Prospects, a provider of skills, education, care and support.
Prospects’ data also found that employment increased from 74.2% to 76.6% (184,295) as 4,540 more graduates found jobs compared to last year. The proportion of employed graduates in professional-level roles also increased, from 71.4% to 73.9%.

Marie Antoinette's jewels on display ahead of Sotheby's auction - France 24

Marie Antoinette's dazzling diamonds and pearls, unseen in public for two centuries, went on display in London on Friday before going on sale next month in one of the most important royal jewellery auctions in history.
The treasures were secretly whisked out of Paris in 1791 in the aftermath of the French Revolution and have been privately owned by relatives ever since.
The collection, held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma, is being sold by Sotheby's auction house in Geneva on November 14.

In Haruki Murakami’s New Novel, a Painter’s Inspiration Is Supernatural - The New York Times

In “Killing Commendatore,” the narrator’s dreaminess mainly feels unfocused, and a story that might have been engaging at 300 or 400 pages is drawn out to almost 700... The narrator enjoys listening to Mozart, Beethoven and other greats of the Germanic classical repertoire. “Their music was deep, amazing and gorgeous,” he informs us, sounding like an online review.
And what about the narrator’s wife? In these 700 pages, we don’t find out too much about her, or indeed about any of the women who float like shades through the novel... “Killing Commendatore” is a baggy monster, a disappointment from a writer who has made much better work.

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2018.10.18

News Headlines - 18 October 2018

Trump Hints Pentagon Chief Mattis May Be Planning to Quit - Bloomberg

President Donald Trump hinted that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis may be planning to quit his administration, and described the former U.S. Marine Corps general as “sort of a Democrat.”
In an excerpt from a “60 Minutes” interview that will air in full Sunday on CBS, Trump talked about the level of turnover in his administration after almost two years, and suggested there could be more to come.

Fed points to more rate hikes amid criticism from Trump

A summary of the Sept. 25-26 Federal Open Market Committee session reflected both confidence in the rate of economic growth and some hesitancy over the impact that tariffs might have on the future path.
Ultimately, the committee unanimously voted to approve a quarter-point hike to its benchmark rate target, with members indicating that more increases are on the way. The increase took the Fed’s overnight target to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

Europe's top bankers shun Saudi investment conference | Reuters

The bosses of some of Europe’s biggest banks and finance firms have pulled out of a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia, joining a growing list of business chiefs to abandon the event amid widespread concern about the fate of a journalist.

UK pay growth rises to 3.1%, the highest in almost a decade | The Guardian

Britain’s workers have started to repair the damage from a lost decade of wage growth after increased competition for workers pushed the government’s preferred measure of pay to its highest level since the UK was deep in recession a decade ago.
The latest health check on the labour market from the Office for National Statistics showed that regular pay – which excludes bonuses – was 3.1% higher in the three months ending in August than in the same quarter a year earlier.

Germany and France start to draw up no-deal Brexit contingency plans | Politics | The Guardian

Germany and France are starting to step up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit even though both publicly insist an agreement with the UK over the terms of its departure from the EU can still be achieved.
Angela Merkel revealed for the first time on Wednesday that Germany was drawing up contingency plans, saying the government had started making “suitable preparations” for the possibility of Britain leaving with no accord... France has published a draft bill that would allow the government to introduce new legal measures to avoid or mitigate the consequences of a hard Brexit by emergency decree, as opposed to parliamentary vote, within 12 months of the law being passed.

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2018.10.17

News Headlines - 17 October 2018

Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says - The New York Times

Saudi agents were waiting when Jamal Khashoggi walked into their country’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. Mr. Khashoggi was dead within minutes, beheaded, dismembered, his fingers severed, and within two hours the killers were gone, according to details from audio recordings described by a senior Turkish official on Wednesday.

Stephen Hawking: 'There is no God,' says physicist in final book - CNN

There is no God -- that's the conclusion of the celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking, whose final book is published Tuesday.
The book, which was completed by his family after his death, presents answers to the questions that Hawking said he received most during his time on Earth.
Other bombshells the British scientist left his readers with include the belief that alien life is out there, artificial intelligence could outsmart humans and time travel can't be ruled out.

‘Dead’ Ukrainian Found Living in Castle Arrested in French Probe - Bloomberg

French police arrested an unnamed “high-profile” Ukrainian who allegedly used forged death certificates to evade the authorities and now faces possible extradition to his home country.
The fugitive, identified only as the “King of the Castle” by the European Union’s law-enforcement agency Europol, was detained on Oct. 5 near Dijon, according to a Tuesday statement. Officers recovered 4.6 million euros ($5.3 million) of property, including a 12th-century feudal castle, a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom, jewelry and three works of art by Salvador Dali.

Swiss city bans display of human bodies, fearing they were Chinese convicts and Falun Gong members | South China Morning Post

A controversial exhibition which includes preserved human bodies was banned on Tuesday by the Swiss city of Lausanne over fears that the remains of tortured and executed Chinese prisoners were on display.
The cancellation of the “Real Human Bodies” display – already shown in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Swiss capital Bern – followed a complaint by the Action by Christians Against Torture group (ACAT), the city authorities said in a statement.

Sony claims bug that allowed message to crash PS4 consoles is now fixed - The Verge

Sony has announced that it’s fixed a bug that was causing PlayStation 4 consoles to crash if they received a specific message. Writing on Twitter in response to a comment pointing out the bug, an official PlayStation support account said, “We’ve since fixed the issue” before offering a solution to anyone who’s been affected by the issue.
Sony hasn’t issued an press release or blog about the fix, but then again nor has it officially acknowledged the issue in the first place.

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2018.10.16

News Headlines - 16 October 2018

The Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince - The New York Times

One of the suspects identified by Turkey in the disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman... Three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince’s security detail.
A fifth is a forensic doctor who holds senior positions in the Saudi Interior Ministry and medical establishment, a figure of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority.
If, as the Turkish authorities say, these men were present at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where Mr. Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2, they might provide a direct link between what happened and Prince Mohammed.

German prosecutors fine Audi 800 million euros for diesel violations | Reuters

German premium car brand Audi, a division of Volkswagen, said it was fined 800 million euros (703.40 million pounds) on Tuesday for violations tied to heavily polluting six- and eight-cylinder diesel engines.

Police start arrests in land scam of Sekisui House developer:The Asahi Shimbun

Police on Oct. 16 began arresting 12 people connected to a land fraud ring that cost a major housing developer billions of yen.
Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested Masami Haketa, 63, and others on suspicion of using counterfeited personal documents and attempting to include false information into public electronic records.
Arrest warrants have been obtained for 12 people, who are being sought by police.

China’s Growing Influence on Hollywood

For years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been using a variety of methods to infiltrate the Hollywood film industry. In the remarks U.S. vice president Mike Pence delivered on Oct. 4, he gave two examples about Hollywood films having been revised in order to pass the CCP’s censorship so that they could enter the huge Chinese market.
Pence explained how the CCP tries to penetrate the United States in all aspects.

Winamp returns in 2019 to whip the llama’s ass harder than ever | TechCrunch

Winamp was the MP3 player of choice around the turn of the century, but went through a rocky period during Aol ownership (our former parent company) and failed to counter the likes of iTunes and the onslaught of streaming services, and more or less crumbled over the years. The original app, last updated in 2013, still works, but to say it’s long in the tooth would be something of an understatement (the community has worked hard to keep it updated, however). So it’s with pleasure that I can confirm rumors that substantial updates are on the way.

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2018.10.15

News Headlines - 15 October 2018

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish and Saudi officials enter consulate to investigate disappearance of journalist two weeks after he vanished | The Independent

Dozens of Turkish and Saudi officials have entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to begin a joint investigation into the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, nearly two weeks after he vanished from the facility.
The visit to the consulate came amid claims the Saudis could admit in a report that Mr Khashoggi was killed in the consulate during an interrogation and rendition attempt that went wrong. CNN cited an unnamed source as saying the Saudis would claim the operation was carried out “without clearance or transparency” and that those involved would be punished

Russian Orthodox Church cuts ties with Constantinople | The Guardian

The Russian Orthodox Church has announced it will break off relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in a religious schism driven by political friction between Russia and Ukraine.
The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church elected on Monday to cut ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is viewed as the leading authority for the world’s 300 million Orthodox worshippers.

McDonald's refuses to give free drinks to firefighters tackling blaze | Metro News

According to a Facebook post that was uploaded in a local group, some of the group walked a mile to the fast food chain for a refreshment break.
They asked for free drinks as they do not carry money in their equipment, but were turned down.
Fortunately, a kind-hearted member of the public overheard what happened and stepped in to buy hot drinks for the firefighters.

Abe says he's going ahead with Japan's consumption tax hike in October 2019 | The Japan Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the government will raise the consumption tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent as scheduled in October 2019 to help finance ballooning social security costs after twice delaying the hike... The last time the consumption tax was raised — to 8 percent from 5 percent in 2014 — Japan went through a brief recession, but the government sees another hike as indispensable to pay for growing medical and nursing care costs due to the rapidly graying population.

Women taking on more frontline roles in Japan's Self-Defense Forces - The Mainichi

A growing number of women in Japan's Self-Defense Forces are entering formerly male-dominated fields, with one recently becoming the country's first-ever female fighter jet pilot... The 26-year-old Matsushima, who stands just 159 centimeters tall, had dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot ever since watching the hit movie "Top Gun" starring Tom Cruise, portraying young naval aviators, when she was in elementary school.

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2018.10.14

News Headlines - 14 October 2018

Revealed: leaked emails show DUP ready for no-deal Brexit | The Guardian

Theresa May has been told that the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, is now “ready” to trigger a no-deal Brexit and regards this as the “likeliest outcome” following a “hostile and difficult” exchange with the EU’s chief negotiator, an explosive set of leaked government emails reveal.

Transgender prisoner sexually assaulted inmates at all-female prison | Daily Mail Online

The prison service has apologised after a transgender sex offender was placed in an all-female prison and went on to sexually assault two women inmates.
Karen White was born a man but - despite having a history of sex attacks - was placed in women's prison HMP New Hall after telling authorities of his identification as a woman.
While in the women's prison, 'predator' White sexually assaulted two female inmates.

U.S. charity school in Liberia in rape scandal storm | The Japan Times

An acclaimed U.S. charity operating in Liberia has admitted to major failings after girls at a school set up to save them from a life of sexual exploitation were systematically raped.
“We are profoundly, deeply sorry,” the charity More Than Me said on its website Saturday after U.S. investigative media said girls at a pioneering school in a slum had been repeatedly abused by the charity’s co-founder, Macintosh Johnson.
Johnson eventually died of AIDS and there are fears that he infected some of his victims — who were as young as 10 — with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, the investigative site ProPublica said in a lengthy investigative piece co-published with Time.

Steinhoff Ex-CEO Told Friends to Sell Stock Before Collapse - Bloomberg

Former Steinhoff International Holdings NV Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste advised friends to sell the South African retailer’s shares days before the stock collapsed, according to a mobile phone text message seen by Bloomberg.
The message, sent around Nov. 30 to at least two people, told recipients there was impending, unspecified bad news coming... South Africa’s financial regulator has been made aware of the message...

Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League win against Red Star Belgrade centre of match-fixing probe

Liverpool’s Champions League group is the centre of a match-fixing probe after French police confirmed they had launched an inquiry into the game between Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade.
They acted after a warning from Uefa of possible manipulation of the result of the game which PSG won 6-1.
A report in the French newspaper L’Equipe alleged that a senior figure at Red Star attempted to bet almost €5 million on the Serbian champions losing the game by five goals.

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2018.10.13

News Headlines - 13 October 2018

BOJ Bond-Buying Set for Slowest Pace in Kuroda Era, Goldman Says - Bloomberg

If the Bank of Japan’s “stealth tapering” of its asset purchase program were to continue at the current pace, it would need to revise its monetary easing policy within the next two years, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
By the end of 2019, the pace of growth of the central bank’s bond purchases is on track to fall to levels not seen since before the appointment of governor Haruhiko Kuroda in March 2013...

Japanese Firms to Change Their Long-held Recruitment System - NHK WORLD

The Chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, announced the organization will abolish its guidelines of how firms recruit new graduates.
The rules had created a traditional job-hunting schedule for students. But the system has become outdated as the country struggles with a labor shortage and global competition becomes increasingly fierce.

Uniqlo's Yanai promotes sons to board - Nikkei Asian Review

The founder of the casual clothing chain Uniqlo said Thursday that his two sons will be promoted to company directors, though he denied speculation that they will eventually take over at the top... The charismatic founder has single-handedly overseen company operations. But with Yanai soon turning 70, the age at which he has said he would hand over the reins, the move is seen as ensuring the founding family's control in the post-Yanai era.

High-speed German train bursts into flames between Cologne and Frankfurt - The Local

A fire in an ICE train on the Frankfurt-Cologne high-speed railway line has triggered a major rescue operation and led to the closure of one of the most important arteries in German rail traffic.
The fire broke out on the train, which was reportedly travelling from Cologne to Frankfurt, early on Friday morning, beside the town of Dierdorf near Montabauer in Rhineland-Palatinate. Police said the train was halted and emergency crews managed to evacuate all 510 people on board.

Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown | The Guardian

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses... The new research, published in the journal Nature, is the most thorough to date and combined data from every country to assess the impact of food production on the global environment. It then looked at what could be done to stop the looming food crisis.

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2018.10.12

News Headlines - 12 October 2018

Crown prince sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, U.S. intercepts show - The Washington Post

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.
The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

New York City creates gender-neutral 'X' option for birth certificates | Reuters

People who were born in New York City and do not identify as male or female can now opt for a third gender category of X on their birth certificates.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the provision into a law on Tuesday, making New York City the fifth place to do so after California, Oregon, Washington state and New Jersey. Three states and Washington, D.C., also allow gender-neutral driver licenses.

Christian bakers in 'gay cake' row did not discriminate against same-sex marriage activist, Supreme Court rules

The Christian owners of a bakery have won an appeal at the UK's highest court over a finding that they discriminated against a customer by refusing to make a cake decorated with the words "Support Gay Marriage".
Five Supreme Court justices allowed a challenge by the McArthur family in a unanimous ruling in London on Wednesday in what has become widely known as the "gay cake case".

Maryse Conde wins alternative award to Nobel literature prize | DW

The New Academy Prize in Literature goes to Maryse Conde, the Swedish organization announced on Friday.
Kim Thuy and Neil Gaiman were also on the shortlist, as was Haruki Murakami before he withdrew his nomination, claiming he needed to focus on writing.
The New Academy is a provisional self-organized group of over 100 volunteers that emerged to provide an alternative global literature prize this year, after the Swedish Academy decided it would postpone its 2018 award.

Free at Last: Andrew Brunson Released by Turkey After Two Years | Christianity Today

American pastor Andrew Brunson has been released after being detained for two years in Turkey.
At a hearing this morning, a Turkish court freed him from judicial control, which lifts his house arrest and travel ban.
Despite a guilty verdict sentencing him to 3 years, 1 month, and 15 days in prison, Brunson may return home to the United States as soon as today due to good behavior and time already served.

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2018.10.11

News Headlines - 11 October 2018

BMW to raise stake in China joint venture to 75% in €3.6bn deal | Financial Times

BMW will pay €3.6bn to increase its stake in a Chinese joint venture to 75 per cent by 2022, following Beijing’s relaxation of investment restrictions in the automotive sector, which will hand foreign companies more control in the world’s largest car market. In April, Beijing announced it would ease decades-old restrictions — requiring foreign vehicle manufacturers to form joint ventures with Chinese partners and capping ownership at 50 per cent — by the year-end for electric vehicles, and by 2022 for others.

Peru Opposition Leader Keiko Fujimori Held on Graft Charges - Bloomberg

Peruvian opposition leader Keiko Fujimori was arrested by police Wednesday on allegations she received illicit campaign financing, marking an unexpected turn in a year-long probe of the two-time presidential candidate... The decision marks the second high-profile judicial move against Peru’s influential Fujimori family in a week, and yet another twist to a tumultuous year for the country. Last Wednesday, a court ordered the imprisonment of autocrat Alberto Fujimori, Keiko’s father, after overturning a political pardon.

First tuna auction at Japan's 'new Tsukiji' market in Toyosu - The Straits Times

The cries of the raucous pre-dawn tuna auction rang out for the first time at Tokyo's new fish market on Thursday (Oct 11), just days after the world-famous Tsukiji site closed the door on its 83-year history.
The location may have changed but the ritual remained the same: Huge frozen whole tuna laid out on the ground, bells tolling to sound the start of the auction and a loud and bewildering system of bidding understood only by those taking part.

Rare White Tiger Kills Zookeeper in Japan - The New York Times

A zookeeper in Japan died after being mauled by a rare white tiger, his supervisor said on Tuesday.
The zookeeper, Akira Furusho, was found bleeding from the neck in a cage at the Hirakawa Zoological Park in the southern city of Kagoshima on Monday evening... No one was around at the time of the episode, “and we cannot imagine what happened,” Akinori Ishido, the zoo’s director, told reporters on Tuesday.

Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the continental US since Andrew - CNN

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle with frightening fury. The Category 4 storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph as it made landfall near Mexico Beach.
In terms of wind intensity, that made it much stronger than Hurricane Florence, which had winds of 90 mph when it blew ashore in North Carolina last month.

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2018.10.10

News Headlines - 10 October 2018

Brexit: Thirty Labour rebels prepared to defy Corbyn and back Chequers deal | The Times

A group of about 30 Labour MPs would be prepared to defy Jeremy Corbyn and endorse a Chequers-style deal at the eleventh hour to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Senior MPs have told The Times that a group of between 30 to 40 backbenchers would break with the leadership unless it ultimately backed a negotiated exit agreed with Brussels.
The group is made up of those who both oppose a second referendum on the terms of Brexit, or believe that the proposal cannot command the support of a majority of MPs in the House of Commons without their support.

UK would be welcomed to TPP ‘with open arms’, says Shinzo Abe | Financial Times

Japan would welcome Britain to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal “with open arms”, said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as he urged a compromise to avoid a no-deal Brexit.Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times at his official residence in Tokyo, Mr Abe said the UK would lose its role as a gateway to Europe after Brexit, but would still be a country “equipped with global strength”.

MPs invite robot to give evidence on AI | The Independent

A robot is set to become the first non-human to appear as a witness before the UK Parliament.
The Commons Education Select Committee invited Pepper the robot from Middlesex University to give evidence at a hearing taking place next week about artificial intelligence, robotics and the fourth industrial revolution.

Merrill Lynch Japan at root of Tokyo Stock Exchange system glitch, informed sources say | The Japan Times

The Tokyo Stock Exchange said it suffered a trading system glitch Tuesday morning that left some brokerages unable to make orders through the bourse.
According to sources close to the matter, an extraordinary amount of data erroneously sent by Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co. caused the trouble.

Japanese actor Jun Kunimura faces criticism at home for siding with Koreans over flag dispute - The Straits Times

Japanese actor Jun Kunimura faces mounting criticism in his country after suggesting that Japan understand Koreans' sentiment towards the controversial Rising Sun Flag, given the two countries' thorny history.
During the Busan International Film Festival last Friday (Oct 5), the actor said he thinks Japan should understand the way Koreans feel about the flag, when asked about the controversy surrounding the flag being flown at a naval event in South Korea.

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2018.10.09

News Headlines - 09 October 2018

What does 10,000,000 percent inflation look like? See Venezuela | ABS-CBN News

After seeing prices surge an already-unthinkable 1,000 percent last year, hyperinflation in Venezuela's imploding economy is set to hit nearly 1.4 million percent this year, the International Monetary Fund forecast in its World Economic Outlook released Monday.
But in 2019 that hyperinflation is expected to leave earth's orbit, hitting 10 million percent, a figure so large and improbable, readers of the report had to count the zeroes to make sure they had the correct number.

Russian girl made to eat a human by cannibal paedophile 'boyfriend' | Daily Mail Online

A schoolgirl at the centre of an horrific paedophile cannibal murder in Russia has told detectives how she used a frying pan to cook and eat the heart of the man she allegedly killed along with her 22-year-old 'boyfriend'.
The 12-year-old identified only as 'Valeria', reportedly told investigators the victim's heart was 'too sweet', but that his brains 'turned out to be much more tasty'.
Valeria had run away from home with Arkady Zverev, 22, and has admitted to taking part in the murder and dismembering of their landlord Alexander Popovich, 21, say police.

Meningitis scare at renowned Berlin sex club KitKat

Visitors to a famous sex club in Berlin have been urged to seek medical treatment after a clubber was taken ill with bacterial meningitis.
The KitKat Club said the man was in a serious condition in hospital after attending a party on Saturday night.

David Beckham’s son accused of racism by Chinese internet users | South China Morning Post

David Beckham’s eldest son Brooklyn has provoked a furious backlash among mainland Chinese internet users by posting a “racist” Instagram photo to his 11.6 million followers while on holiday in Venice.
The now-deleted post from the 19-year-old shows Chinese tourists in a gondola as well as in a local supermarket, with the caption “No place like Italy innit”.

Thousands pay respects to former Okinawa governor - NHK WORLD

Thousands of people have paid their respects to former Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga, who died of cancer at the age of 67 in August... Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga read a letter of condolence from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In the letter, Abe says he respects Onaga, who gave his life for Okinawa's development, and that the central government is determined to ease Okinawa's hosting burden.
Some attendees shouted "liar" and "go home."

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2018.10.08

News Headlines - 08 October 2018

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right presidential candidate wins first round of election - CNN

Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro pulled off a thumping win in the first round of Brazil's presidential election following one of the most polarizing campaigns since the country returned to democracy three decades ago.
Bolsonaro won Sunday's poll with 46% of the vote, ahead of left-wing ex-Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad on 29%, according to tweets from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal's official Twitter account.
Bolsonaro's lead, in a field of 13 candidates, left him just short of the 50% needed to win outright and unable to avoid a runoff against Haddad, from the Workers' Party, on October 28.

Japan pulls out of naval drills over demands it remove 'rising sun' flag | The Guardian

Japan has withdrawn from an international fleet review this week after rejecting demands that its warship take part without its “rising sun” flag ensign – regarded by many Koreans as a symbol of Japanese militarism and colonial rule.
South Korea – the host nation – had asked all 14 countries sending vessels to the five-day event, which begins on Thursday at a naval base on the island of Jeju, to ensure they display only their national flags and the flag of South Korea.
The rule – in effect a demand for Japan to remove the kyokujitsuki flag from a destroyer due to take part in the exercise – was introduced amid simmering bilateral disputes over Japan’s use of Korean sex slaves during the second world war and ownership of a group of islets called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.

Toys R Us reopening? Group of investors planning comeback for the toy chain brand and Geoffrey the giraffe - CBS News

There may be a second act for Toys R Us, which shut down hundreds of stores over the summer. A group of investors said in a bankruptcy court filing Tuesday that it's scrapping an auction for Toys R Us assets. The investors believe they'll do better by potentially reviving the toy chain, rather than selling it off for parts.
The investors said they'll work with potential partners to develop new ideas for stores in the U.S. and other countries "that could bring back these iconic brands in a new and re-imagined way."

More than 250 people have died taking selfies in recent years

The study by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi found 259 people died while attempting to take a selfie between October 2011 and November 2017.
Researchers pulled together a list of English newspapers worldwide and performed a comprehensive search of key words or phrases such as "selfie deaths" or "selfie accidents." They then attempted to cross-match those search links with links from their list of newspapers.
The results found selfie deaths rose from two reported in 2011 to 98 in 2016. The number of selfie deaths last year dipped to 93, said the study.

Tropical cyclone heads towards Oman, forecasters warn of 135 kph gusts

Forecasters say a tropical depression 1,040 km off the coast of southern Oman has developed into a tropical cyclone.
But the India Meteorological Department warned it could develop into a severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting to 135 kph. They still do not know where it will make landfall.
Approximately 1,000 km off the coast of Oman and traveling at 20 kph, forecasters have named the storm Luban – the Arabic word for or “frankincense.”

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2018.10.07

News Headlines - 07 October 2018

Missing toll soars to 5,000 in engulfed Indonesia quake neighbourhoods | AFP.com

The number of people believed missing from the quake and tsunami that struck Indonesia's Palu city has soared to 5,000, an official said Sunday, an indication that far more may have perished in the twin disaster than the current toll.

South Korean Ex-Leader Lee Gets 15 Years for Corruption | Time

South Korea’s former President Lee Myung-bak was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday in a corruption case badly tainting his status as the country’s first leader with a business background who once symbolized the country’s economic rise.

30 years after conjoined twins surgery - NHK WORLD

Thirty years ago, a major surgical operation was conducted in Vietnam to separate a pair of conjoined twins.
One of the twins, Nguyen Duc, recently commemorated the success of the operation with his family and those involved in the surgery... Sadly, Viet remained bed-ridden due to a brain disorder and died in 2007.

For the first time since WWII, Japanese soldier dies on Philippine soil

A serving Japanese soldier has died on Philippine soil for the first time since World War Two.
The country’s military confirmed today (Sunday, October 7) that one of its sevicemen was killed in a car crash during joint exercises with US and Filipino troops.

Sayonara Tsukiji! Relocation of Tokyo's famed fish market begins, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Hundreds of fishmongers on forklifts and trucks rose before dawn in Tokyo on Sunday (Oct 7) to join a mammoth exodus of vendors as the world-famous Tsukiji market relocates to a new site.
In small vehicles and the market's famed "turret trucks" - one-man flatbeds with a barrel-shaped steering column at the front - they drove out of the Tsukiji site one last time, headed for Toyosu, the market's new home.

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2018.10.06

News Headlines - 06 October 2018

French police probe Interpol chief's disappearance on China trip | Reuters

French police are investigating the disappearance of Interpol chief, Meng Hongwei, who was reported missing after travelling from France to his native China, while his wife has been placed under police protection after receiving threats.

Saudi journalist 'killed inside consulate' – Turkish sources | The Guardian

Turkish officials believe that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and his body later driven from the compound.
Authorities say they believe Khashoggi’s death was premeditated and that Saudi officials had travelled to Istanbul from Riyadh after receiving word that the high-profile critic of the current Saudi leadership planned to visit the consulate.

First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years - BBC News

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years.
Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963.

Banksy auction stunt leaves art world in shreds | The Guardian

Banksy has played what could be one of the most audacious stunts in art history, arranging for one of his best-known works to self-destruct after being sold at auction for just over £1m.
Girl With Balloon was the final item in an auction at Sotheby’s in London on Friday night and its sale price equalled the artist’s previous auction record of £1.04m.
Shortly after the hammer came down on the item, however, the canvas began to pass through a shredder installed in the frame.

Manchester United No.7 shirt 'cursed' since Cristiano Ronaldo left and could explain why Alexis Sanchez is suffering

Wearing the iconic number seven shirt at Manchester United undoubtedly brings another dimension of pressure for stars when they arrive at Old Trafford.
With George Best, David Beckham and Eric Cantona wearing the number with such distinction, players in recent years have failed to deliver with it on their back.
After originally rejecting the number when he joined in 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo reached global superstar status and made the shirt his own.
However, since then, five players have worn No.7 and scored just 13 Premier League goals between them in nine years.

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2018.10.05

News Headlines - 05 October 2018

Nobel Peace Prize for anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege - BBC News

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has gone to campaigners against rape in warfare, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege.
Ms Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi who was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants and later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people.
Dr Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist who, along with his colleagues, has treated tens of thousands of victims.

Ex-German Chancellor Schroder to marry Korean girlfriend on Oct. 5

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, 74, will marry his South Korean girlfriend Kim So-yeon, 47, at a hotel in Berlin on Oct. 5, reports say.
The couple will hold a wedding reception in Seoul on Oct. 28, according to the reports.
If the wedding takes places, Kim will become Schroder's fifth wife. Schroder ended his 19-year fourth marriage in 2016.

Amazon to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for All U.S. Workers - The New York Times

Amazon said on Tuesday that it would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for its United States employees, a rare acknowledgment that it was feeling squeezed by political pressure and a tight labor market. The raises apply for part-time workers and those hired through temporary agencies... The new wages will apply to more than 250,000 Amazon employees, including those at the grocery chain Whole Foods, as well as the more than 100,000 seasonal employees it plans to hire for the holiday season. The change will not apply to contract workers. It goes into effect on Nov. 1.

Scientists Have Connected The Brains of 3 People, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts

Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game. The team thinks this wild experiment could be scaled up to connect whole networks of people, and yes, it's as weird as it sounds.

Fan Bingbing: Missing Chinese actress fined for tax fraud - BBC News

Chinese mega star Fan Bingbing has been fined around 883 million yuan ($129m; £98.9m) for tax evasion and other offences, authorities said Wednesday... Ms Fan, who is one of China's highest paid actors, will escape criminal charges if the fines are paid on time, said state news agency Xinhua.

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2018.10.04

News Headlines - 04 October 2018

Toyota, SoftBank in first-ever alliance, target self-driving car services | Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp and SoftBank Group Corp are teaming up to develop self-driving car services, signaling deepening alliances between top automaker and tech firms as the global race to develop autonomous cars intensifies.

Nissan becomes latest manufacturer to warn against hard Brexit | The Guardian

The Japanese carmaker Nissan has warned the government that serious disruption will be caused to its huge manufacturing operation in the north-east of England if the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU that avoids a hard Brexit.
Carlos Ghosn, the chair of Nissan, has described its British operations as “a European investment based in the UK”, which employs almost 8,000 people, mostly at its factory near Sunderland. A further 30,000 people are employed in UK companies supplying Nissan.

Fujimori Is Ordered Back to Prison in Peru, Angering Supporters - The New York Times

Alberto Fujimori, the former Peruvian dictator imprisoned for human rights abuses but then pardoned last year, was ordered back to prison on Wednesday, reigniting debate over the fate of one of the region’s most contentious figures.
Human rights advocates hailed the ruling, but Mr. Fujimori’s defiant supporters and his politically powerful daughter, Keiko, gathered outside his house on Wednesday to condemn it.

Hollywood and Capcom Lining Up For Mega Man To Grace The Silver Screen

Mega Man first arrived on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1987 (after releasing as Rockman in Japan earlier that year on the Famicom) making the character over 30 years boasting 32 million worldwide sales. Mega Man isn’t just the star of Capcom’s video game lineup either as he’s appeared in all kinds of mediums from comic books to animated series, not to mention the countless numbers of spinoffs to the series. At this point in time, the movie is simply being called MEGA MAN and will be written and directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. This writer/director duo’s previous credits include Catfish, Paranormal Activities 3 and 4, as well as Nerve the 2016 Emma Roberts and Dave Franco film. This film will be distributed by 20th Century Fox and has Masi Oka, Hiro from the TV series Heroes, as a producer.

Utah suspect arrested for allegedly sending ricin to Donald Trump

A former Navy sailor was taken into custody in Utah on Wednesday on suspicion of mailing envelopes filled with a suspicious substance to top federal officials, including President Trump.
The man, identified as William Clyde Allen III, 39, was taken into custody in Logan about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City, according to local FBI spokesman Doug Davis.

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2018.10.03

News Headlines - 03 October 2018

Abe picks 12 new members, one woman, in Cabinet reshuffle:The Asahi Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Oct. 2 rewarded supportive party factions in his largest-ever Cabinet reshuffle but appointed only one woman and one member of the ruling coalition partner.
Twelve new ministers were included in the new administration.

FSA to issue partial business suspension order to Suruga Bank:The Asahi Shimbun

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) decided to issue a partial business suspension order to Suruga Bank over its systemic practice of falsifying documents for improper lending in a “share house” investment scheme.
The order, which could come as early as this week, will prohibit the bank from extending new loans to investors in real estate for a certain period. The FSA will also issue a business improvement order to the bank, based in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Rising Sun flag puts Korean, Japanese navies on collision course | South China Morning Post

South Korea and Japan are on a collision course over an upcoming international naval forces event at which a Japanese warship is to fly the controversial Rising Sun flag, which is seen by many across Asia as a painful reminder of the nation’s imperial past.
South Korea is to host the International Fleet Review over four days from October 10 at Jeju Island, with warships from 15 nations, including China and the United States in addition to Japan, taking part.

UN court rejects Bolivia's bid for sea access via Chile

he International Court of Justice on Monday rejected a bid by landlocked Bolivia to force Chile to the negotiating table for access to the Pacific Ocean in a row dating back to the 19th century.
Bolivia lost its route to the sea in a 1879-1883 war with Chile, and Santiago has rejected every attempt since then by its smaller and poorer neighbour to win it back.

Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 1,234 after dozens of students found dead in church | The Independent

Indonesia’s death toll from the earthquake and tsunami which struck on Friday has risen to 1,234, according to officials.
The figures come after the bodies of 34 students were found in a destroyed church which was hit by a landslide during a bible camp in the mountainous Sigi Biromaru region.
The Indonesian government has begun mass burials for victims – most found in the city of Palu.

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2018.10.02

News Headlines - 02 October 2018

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father - The New York Times

Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.
But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show.

EU council allows removal of VAT from e-books | The Bookseller

The EU's Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) today (2nd October) agreed on a proposal which will allow all member states to give e-books and audiobooks the same VAT-free status as printed books. The UK Publishers Association has immediately called for the UK government to use the new powers.
The new rules don't force EU member states to align the rates, but allow them to.

Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia suspended after comments - BBC News

A senior scientist who said physics "was invented and built by men" has been suspended with immediate effect from working with the European nuclear research centre Cern.
Prof Alessandro Strumia, of Pisa University, made the comments during a presentation organised by the group... Cern said on Monday it was suspending Prof Strumia pending an investigation.

Russian woman squirts liquid on manspreaders on public transportation | The Independent

In a video, created by Anna Dovgalyuk from Russia, and viewed more than 1.5 million times, a woman brazenly walks up to seated passengers on the St Petersburg subway system and douses them with a clear liquid from a bottle.
Dovgalyuk claimed the substance was a strong bleach solution, used because it “eats colours in the fabric in a matter of minutes”, leaving “indelible stains” on the clothes of manspreaders.
However many internet viewers expressed doubt, suggesting that it was more likely to have been water.

Outcry over 'sexualised' photos of young girls in Ukrainian lingerie | Daily Mail Online

Police in Ukraine have vowed to charge the parents of six young girls who took part in a 'lingerie for children' fashion shoot.
The girls, aged eight to 14, were photographed wearing lacy underwear and shawls as part of a promotional campaign for fashion label Alla Frenkel's new line.
Frenkel's, which is based in Odessa, published the images on its website where they were branded 'sickening' for sexualising children.

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2018.10.01

News Headlines - 01 October 2018

Japan's Abe suffers Okinawa election defeat over new US base

An opponent of the construction of a new US Marine base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa won election as governor on Sunday, beating a candidate backed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition.
Denny Tamaki, the son of a US serviceman and a Japanese mother, claimed victory over Atsushi Sakima in the closely fought race, Kyodo news agency reported. Tamaki opposes a government plan to build a new military facility, enabling the closure of the Futenma Marine base in the centre of a densely populated city.

3 charged after murder of Slovak journalist and his girlfriend | Euronews

Three people in Slovakia have been charged with the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancée. The killings had sparked nationwide protests that brought down the government.
The 27-year-old journalist, Jan Kuciak, had been investigating links between top government officials and the mafia.
The suspects were among eight arrested in a house raid on Thursday. Five others in the same raid have since been released.

Frenchman in Nobel scandal jailed for 2 years for rape | AFP.com

A Swedish court on Monday sentenced a Frenchman at the heart of a Nobel scandal to two years in jail for rape in a scandal that emerged during the #MeToo campaign.
An influential figure in Stockholm's cultural scene, 72-year-old Jean-Claude Arnault went on trial last month on two counts of rape relating to incidents dating back to 2011.

Charles Aznavour, the 'Frank Sinatra of France', dies aged 94 | The Guardian

The French singer Charles Aznavour – often hailed as his country’s Frank Sinatra – has died at the age of 94, French media have reported, citing his spokesman.
Aznavour, who was born Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, sold more than 100m records in 80 countries and had about 1,400 songs to his name, including 1,300 he wrote himself. He was sometimes described as the French Sinatra because of his stirring, melancholic style.

Wembley stadium sale to Shahid Khan on course after FA board gives backing | The Guardian

The Football Association board has approved in principle the sale of Wembley stadium for £600m to the Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan. The proposal, with protection for England, FA Cup and other prestige football matches to be played there, preservation of its name without a sponsor and reassurances that the proceeds will be spent on grassroots facilities, will next be presented to the FA council on 11 October.

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2018.09.30

News Headlines - 30 September 2018

At least 832 dead in Indonesia quake-tsunami disaster: Official - Channel NewsAsia

The death toll from Indonesia's quake and tsunami disaster has soared to 832 and could climb higher, the disaster agency said on Sunday (Sep 30).
So far, it said, almost all the deaths had been recorded in Palu, two days after waves 1.5 metres (five feet) high slammed into the city of 350,000 on Sulawesi island... Earlier reports said 400 people were killed as hospitals struggled to cope with hundreds of injured and rescuers scrambled to reach the stricken region.

Typhoon pummels Japan, flights canceled, trains shut down - The Washington Post

A powerful typhoon ripped through Japan on Sunday, forcing cancellations of flights and trains, including in the Tokyo area as authorities warned of strong winds and torrential rain.
Farms and homes in Miyazaki on the southern main island of Kyushu were flooded as Typhoon Trami swept across southwestern Japan. Evacuation orders were issued for tens of thousands of people over a widespread area, including more than 250,000 people in the city of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku, the national broadcaster NHK reported.

Latam nations, Canada ask ICC to probe Venezuela government | Reuters

A group of Latin American countries and Canada said on Wednesday they had asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela’s government over allegations of crimes against humanity in using force to repress political opponents... The presidents of Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday signed a letter and sent it to the court based in The Hague on Wednesday, Peruvian foreign minister Nestor Popolizio said.

Gay penguin couple in zoo video 'kidnapped' chick to become parents

A zookeeper in Denmark said two male penguins recently "kidnapped" a penguin chick from its parents.
Odense Zookeeper Sandie Hedgegard Munck said the zoo's male penguins, who she said are gay, took the chick while its parents where away, Denmark's broadcaster DR reports. The chick's mother was allegedly bathing at the time.
Munck told the station the male couple could have thought the chick's parents were neglectful and believed they could be better parents. So, the same-sex couple nestled the chick and cared for it as if it were their own.

Joe Masteroff, story writer for the musical 'Cabaret,' dies at 98

Joe Masteroff, the Tony Award-winning story writer of the brilliant, edgy musical "Cabaret" and the touching, romantic "She Loves Me," has died. He was 98.
Masteroff died Friday at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey, said The Roundabout Theatre Company, which produced recent revivals of his best-loved shows.

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2018.09.29

News Headlines - 29 September 2018

7.5 magnitude earthquake rocks Indonesia, USGS says

A powerful earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi Friday, triggering a 10-foot-tall tsunami that an official said swept away houses in at least two cities. It was the latest in a series of quakes that killed nearly 500 people in the country last month.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.5 quake was centered at a depth of 6 miles, about 35 miles northeast of the town of Donggala. Earlier Friday, the same area was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that killed one person, injured 10 and damaged dozens of houses.

Osaka fugitive caught in Yamaguchi - NHK WORLD

A 30-year-old fugitive who escaped from a police station in Osaka Prefecture in August has been recaptured in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan... The man was finally apprehended after he was caught shoplifting in Yamaguchi Prefecture on Saturday.

Japan's Hopping Rovers Capture Amazing Views of Asteroid Ryugu

Two tiny, hopping rovers that landed on asteroid Ryugu last week have beamed back some incredible new views of the asteroid's rocky surface.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa2 sample-return mission dropped the two nearly identical rovers, named Minerva-II1A and Minerva-II1B, onto the surface of Ryugu on Sept. 21. In a new video from the eyes of Minerva-II1B, you can watch the sun move across the sky as its glaring sunlight reflects off the shiny rocks that cover Ryugu's surface.

Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against Tokyo ‘Mario Kart’ Tourist Attraction – Variety

Tokyo District Court ruled in Nintendo’s favor on Thursday in its lawsuit against MariCar, a Japanese company that lets tourists drive through the city in “Mario Kart”-style vehicles and costumes, according to Kotaku.
MariCar, which is now called Mari Mobility Dev., must pay \10 million (nearly $89,000 USD) in compensation and stop using Nintendo-related cosplay in its tourist attraction, The Wall Street Journal’s tech reporter, Takashi Mochizuki, reported on Twitter earlier today. Nintendo reportedly filed the lawsuit because it said MariCar was damaging its “Mario Kart” franchise.

Nike CEO Feels `Very Good and Proud' of Kaepernick Campaign - Bloomberg

Nike Inc.’s controversial ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick debuted three days after the end of the company’s first quarter, but that didn’t stop executives from discussing the impact of the campaign during a first-quarter earnings call.
“We feel very good and proud of the work that we’re doing,” Chief Executive Mark Parker said. His comments were some of his first public remarks on the campaign, and he didn’t mention Kaepernick by name. “It’s driving a real uptick in traffic and engagement, both socially and commercially.”

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2018.09.28

News Headlines - 28 September 2018

Mike Pompeo keeps North Korea negotiations going with prospect of declaration ending Korean War before Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit - CBS News

Given the Trump administration's goal of a complete, verifiable denuclearization of North Korea during President Trump's first term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is eager to maintain U.S.-North Korean engagement. As he prepares for upcoming discussions with the North Koreans, he is leaving one tool conspicuously on the table: the prospect of an official declaration to end the Korean War... By leaving open the possibility, Pompeo is affirming that the U.S. is open to some form of negotiation with the North Koreans to achieve denuclearization -- and he's showing up armed with more than just demands. The Trump administration, which argues its efforts have averted war, insists it will press forward with the conversations with North Korea after a late summer stall in the dialogue.

Japan to give up on daylight saving time for 2020 Olympics: report - Japan Today

Japan will not introduce daylight saving time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo because public opinion is against the proposal, the Asahi Newspaper reported on Thursday.
Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics originally floated the idea of setting clocks back one to two hours after scorching heat this summer killed at least 120 people, raising concerns about the safety of athletes, particularly marathon runners.
The Games will be held in late July and early August, Japan's hottest, most humid months.

Mystery behind France's 'Origin of the World' painting is revealed - France 24

The identity of the model who posed for one of the most controversial paintings of the 19th century, Gustave Courbet's "L'Origine du monde" (The Origin of the World), has finally been revealed, according to experts... The canvas has never lost its power to shock – even bringing out the prude in Facebook, which censored the profiles using it as late as 2011 in a case that ended up in the French courts.
For decades, art historians have been convinced that the naked torso and genitalia it depicts belonged to Courbet's lover, Irish model Joanna Hiffernan.

French rap video calling for 'whites to be hanged' outrages political class - The Local

There has been an outcry among French politicians over a song by a little-known French rapper which calls for whites to be killed in a video depicting a white man being tortured, shot and hanged from a tree.
The song at the heart of the outrage is called Pendez les Blancs in French ('Hang the Whites').
The video by Nick Conrad -- which controversial black comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala , a convicted anti-Semite, linked to on his Facebook page on Saturday -- was viewed thousands of times on YouTube before being taken down on Wednesday.

'Spiderman' balcony rescue: Father of dangling child given suspended sentence - BBC News

The father of a child who was dramatically rescued after dangling from a Paris balcony has been given a three-month suspended sentence.
Convicted of neglecting his parental responsibilities, the man has also been ordered to take a course in being a better parent.

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2018.09.27

News Headlines - 27 September 2018

French far-right symbol Jean-Marie Le Pen in hospital - France 24

The founder of France's far-right National Front, 90-year-old Jean-Marie Le Pen, was hospitalised Tuesday with a persistent fever, his entourage told AFP.
The measure was taken to prevent potential complications, it said in a statement, and though Le Pen was "not in danger", he has cancelled the majority of his appointments for the coming days, his office said in a statement.
The increasingly frail Le Pen, who co-founded the National Front in 1972 and built it into a major force in French politics, turned 90 in hospital in June, when he was treated for a "dangerous pulmonary complication" resulting from a bout of flu.

Japan, US, EU agree to co-sponsor proposal to reform WTO, China in sight - The Mainichi

Trade ministers from Japan, the United States and the European Union agreed Tuesday to co-sponsor a proposal to reform the World Trade Organization as part of an effort to prevent Chinese industrial subsidies from distorting the global market.
The proposed change concerns the notification system for domestic industrial subsidies and strengthening the activities of the regular committees of the WTO, according to a joint statement issued after a trilateral meeting in New York.

Before 'Wild Boars' rescue mission, four others were saved from Thai cave: Reports - Channel NewsAsia

Two British divers who helped rescue a Thai youth football team from a flooded cave had earlier saved four adults also stranded in the complex, according to a new report on a mission that gripped the world... They had been trapped for around 24 hours and their situation was desperate, according to the caving news website Darkness Below in an article summarising Stanton's presentation.

Pret baguette inquest: Plea for help after allergic reaction - BBC News

A 15-year-old girl who died after a severe allergic reaction to a baguette from an airport Pret a Manger said "Daddy, help me" as she struggled to breathe, an inquest has heard.
Natasha Ednan-Laperouse became ill on a flight to Nice on 17 July 2016.
Despite her father administering two EpiPen injections, Natasha died in a hospital in Nice within hours, West London Coroner's Court heard.

Man Utd 2-2 Derby County (Derby win 8-7 on penalties) - BBC Sport

Derby County beat Manchester United 8-7 in a dramatic penalty shootout to settle a pulsating Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford and send the Championship club through to the fourth round.
After 15 successful penalties, Rams goalkeeper Scott Carson saved Phil Jones' effort low to his left to secure a famous victory for Frank Lampard's side.

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2018.09.26

News Headlines - 26 September 2018

German chancellor hit by ‘uprising’ as she losing key CDU vote | Express.co.uk

MPs from her Christian Democrat party (CDU) rejected her chosen candidate as their parliamentary leader and voted instead for a challenger who had promised to be more independent.
The defeat, her first since taking power, was a body blow to Mrs Merkel’s authority and leaves her facing a backbench rebellion as she tries to get her coalition’s legislative programme through parliament.

Pope Francis writes a letter to Chinese Catholics on trust and reconciliation | America Magazine

Pope Francis has written a very personal and important message to “the Catholics in China and to the universal church” regarding the recent agreement signed by the Holy See and China on the appointment of bishops, the new situation they now find themselves in and the horizons the agreement opens up for achieving reconciliation and unity in the church and the evangelization of people in that vast country.
Pope Francis urged Chinese Catholics on Wednesday to trust God and make concrete gestures of reconciliation following the landmark deal that is aimed at ending years of antagonism between Beijing and the Vatican.

China complains to Sweden over 'racist TV news show that outrageously insulted' country | The Independent

China has complained to Sweden over a satirical TV show it said was “racist and xenophobic”, in the latest escalation of an unlikely diplomatic row.
The programme Svenska Nyheter (Swedish News) was broadcast in the wake of an incident that saw police remove three Chinese citizens from a Stockholm hotel during a heated argument over check-in times.

Twitter's new content policy takes aim at 'dehumanizing speech'

Though Twitter has a policy against hateful conduct, which prohibits threats of violence against others based on factors like their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, the platform has come under frequent criticism for what it still allows on its site. But the company is now considering a new policy and before it's implemented, Twitter is asking users what they think. The new policy addresses dehumanization and it says users can't "dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm," and Twitter is asking you to weigh in on the proposed rule.

Instagram Founders Exit Facebook as Zuckerberg Tension Grows - Bloomberg

The founders of Instagram are leaving Facebook Inc. after growing tensions with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the photo-sharing app, people familiar with the matter said.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who have been at the company since Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012, had been able to keep the brand and product independent while relying on Facebook’s infrastructure and resources to grow. Lately, they were frustrated with an uptick in day-to-day involvement by Zuckerberg, who has become more reliant on Instagram in planning for Facebook’s future...

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2018.09.25

News Headlines - 25 September 2018

Rod Rosenstein’s Job Is Safe, for Now: Inside His Dramatic Day - The New York Times

When Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, headed to the White House on Monday morning, he was ready to resign and convinced — wrongly, it turned out — that President Trump was about to fire him. Top Justice Department aides scrambled to draft a statement about who would succeed him.
By the afternoon, Mr. Rosenstein was back at his Pennsylvania Avenue office seven blocks away, still employed as the second-in-command at the Justice Department and, for the time being at least, still in charge of the Russia investigation.

Bill Cosby, in cuffs, imprisoned for up to 10 years for sexual assault | Reuters

Cosby, 81, was found guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand, a former Temple University administrator, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.
He is the first celebrity to be convicted of sexual abuse since the start of the #MeToo movement, the national reckoning with misconduct that has brought down dozens of powerful men in entertainment, politics and other fields.

Japanese Magazine Suspends Publication amid LGBT Controversy - JIJI PRESS

Shinchosha Publishing Co. said Tuesday that it will suspend the publication of a monthly magazine at the center of a controversy over articles related to lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender, or LGBT, people.

Former top-ranked sumo wrestler resigns following scandal | Reuters

Former sumo wrestler Takanohana, who held the top rank of ‘yokozuna’, handed his resignation to the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) on Tuesday, according to local media, in the latest twist in a scandal that rocked the sport last year.
Takanohana failed to report that a wrestler he coached named Takanoiwa had been beaten by grand champion Harumafuji, who was forced to retire last November after taking responsibility for injuring the junior wrestler.

Fan Bingbing, Chinese actress disappears after role in "X-Men" movie after vague claims of tax fraud in China - CBS News

X-Men star Fan Bingbing's Beijing management office is dark and abandoned. Her birthday passed almost unremarked in China's hyper-adrenalized social media environment.
For one of China's best known stars and a rising Hollywood actress, Fan's vanishing is stunning, coming amid vague allegations of tax fraud and possibly other infractions that could have put her at odds with Chinese authorities... Yet for nearly three months, Fan hasn't been seen or heard from in public in any verifiable way.

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2018.09.24

News Headlines - 24 September 2018

Cabinet backs Canada-style Brexit deal as Hunt urges PM to drop Chequers

A majority of the Cabinet now supports moving towards a Canada-style trade deal with the EU following the outright rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan, the Prime Minister will be told today.
Mrs May will be urged to rethink her approach to the Brexit negotiations by favouring a free trade agreement that would represent the “clean Brexit” that Leave supporters voted for.
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has emerged as a key figure in the Brexiteers’ fight to convince Mrs May to change tack. A former Remain campaigner, Mr Hunt is now squarely in the Leave camp and has publicly indicated that he is open to the idea of a Canada-style deal.

Researchers say they're closing in on HMB Endeavour, Captain Cook's lost ship - CBS News

Researchers say they've identified a site off the coast of Rhode Island where they think the ship that 18th-century explorer Capt. James Cook used to sail around the world may be located. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the search effort, and the Australian National Maritime Museum identified the site in the harbor near Newport, Rhode Island.

JAXA confirms tiny robots from Hayabusa2 landed on asteroid | The Japan Times

A pair of tiny robots released by the Hayabusa2 space probe touched down Saturday on an asteroid 300 million km from Earth, JAXA said.
The cylinder-shaped Minerva-II1 explorers will take photos and temperature readings on the asteroid Ryugu before the main probe lands, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

Japan to demo self-driving tech - NHK WORLD

Japanese firms are planning to roll out self-driving vehicles ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Ten companies including automakers will carry out a joint test of their products on public roads to show off the new technology... The driverless autos will carry passengers from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to nearby facilities. They'll also take riders on expressways to central Tokyo.

Bond 25: True Detective's Cary Fukunaga replaces Danny Boyle as director

The latest director to take on the forthcoming James Bond film has been announced as Cary Fukunaga, an American filmmaker who made his name by directing HBO crime series True Detective.
Bond executive producers Michael G Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig announced the news on Thursday morning, adding that filming will begin at Pinewood Studios on March 4 2019 and the film will be released on February 14, 2020.

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2018.09.23

News Headlines - 23 September 2018

Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from the Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years, by His Yale Classmate Deborah Ramirez | The New Yorker

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer.

Russian Opposition Candidate On Track To Win In Gubernatorial Runoff

A Russian opposition candidate is on track to win one of the gubernatorial runoffs that have left the ruling United Russia party scrambling to avoid defeat for its pro-Kremlin candidates.
In the September 23 runoff in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk region, partial results showed Governor Vyacheslav Shport of the ruling United Russia party trailing 40 percentage points behind opposition candidate Sergei Furgal, with 90 percent of the votes counted.

No-deal Brexit would have limited impact on German labor market: Der Spiegel | Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government expects the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the labor market in Europe’s biggest economy would be “relatively small”, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday.
Around 41,000 British people were employed in Germany in December 2017 and that number is insignificant for the labor market overall, the magazine cited a government response to a request for information from the far-left Linke party as saying.
There were around 44.8 million people employed in Germany in total in the second quarter of 2018, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office.

Nazi war crimes suspect, 94, faces German youth court trial | The Guardian

A 94-year-old German man is to go on trial in a juvenile court accused of being an accessory to hundreds of murders in a Nazi concentration campduring the second world war.
The man, who has not been named for legal reasons, will be tried in a juvenile court because he was under 21 at the time of the alleged crimes.

Croydon Cat Killer: London Police Solve a Mystery - The New York Times

For years, people in and around London suspected that a deranged sadist was behind hundreds of cat mutilations, the grisly evidence strewn around their streets and yards.
But after a three-year investigation, the police revealed on Thursday that the likely culprits behind these inhuman acts were, in fact, inhuman: foxes.

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2018.09.22

News Headlines - 22 September 2018

Iran Military Parade Terror Attack Kills at Least 29, Officials Say | Fortune

Gunmen opened fire at a military parade in Iran’s southern city of Ahvaz on Saturday, killing at least 29 people in one of the worst militant attacks in the country’s modern history.
Fifty-seven people were wounded, according to the semi-official Fars News agency, which cited a lawmaker. Islamic State militants and an Arab group in the area claimed responsibility for the attack.
Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and civilians, including a child and a journalist, were among those killed, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing the deputy governor of Khuzestan, Hossein Hosseinzadeh.

Ministers to demand Brexit 'Plan B' from Theresa May at Cabinet showdown over Chequers deal

Theresa May is heading for a showdown with her Cabinet next week when ministers will call for a “Plan B” alternative to her Chequers Brexit deal.
The Cabinet meeting on Monday, which was due to discuss migration policy, will now be dominated by Mrs May’s Salzburg humiliation... One source said: “Monday is the crunch point. That’s when every Cabinet minister will have to look again and reassess like Boris [Johnson] and David Davis did.”

Vote Leave data firm hit with first ever GDPR notice - BBC News

A Canadian analytics firm that worked for Vote Leave has received the UK's first formal notice under a key data law, the UK's data protection watchdog has confirmed.
AggregateIQ (AIQ) was accused of processing people's data "for purposes which they would not have expected".

13-year-old schoolboy with dairy allergy died after 'cheese was thrown down t-shirt', inquest hears - ITV News

A 13-year-old boy with a severe allergy to dairy died after he was "chased with cheese and had it thrown down his t-shirt" at his school, an inquest heard.
Karanbir Cheema, known as Karan, suffered a serious allergic reaction and was left "gasping for air" in Greenford, West London, in June last year.

Shark attack in Queensland Australia is second in 24 hours - CNN

Two people, including a young girl, have been attacked by sharks in separate incidents in the same harbor in Australia's Whitsunday Islands in the past 24 hours.
Both attacks occurred in Cid Harbour, a picturesque bay surrounded by beaches in a popular tourist area on the north coast of Queensland.

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2018.09.21

News Headlines - 21 September 2018

Rod Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment - The New York Times

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.

Moon: North, South aim for declaration this year to end Korean War:The Asahi Shimbun

North Korea's Kim Jong Un wants a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump soon to hasten denuclearization, but a key goal is declaring an end this year to the 1950-53 Korean War, the South's President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday.
Moon said he and Kim spent most of a three-day summit discussing how to break an impasse and restart nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington, which are at odds over which should come first, denuclearization or ending the war.

PlayStation Classic, a $100 mini PS1 with 20 games, coming in December - Polygon

Sony is following in Nintendo’s footsteps with its own miniaturized throwback console: the PlayStation Classic, a new version of the original PlayStation that you can hold in your hand and easily connect to a modern television... There will be 20 games in all, but Sony only announced five of them today: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms. “All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format,” the company said in an announcement post on the PlayStation Blog.

Sky takeover: Comcast-Fox battle could end in a one-day auction on Saturday

Sky has been the subject of an extended fight between Comcast and Fox — now backed by Disney, which is in the process of acquiring most of Rupert Murdoch's entertainment assets... It's rare for a UK takeover to be decided by auction but the process is designed to produce final bids from each suitor that can then be evaluated by shareholders.
The regulator said the auction would consist of up to three rounds. The lower bidder -— currently Fox — would be able to bid during the first round, and Comcast would counter in the second. Both hopefuls would be able to bid in the third and final round.

Jack the Ripper’s victims were not prostitutes

It remains one of the most enduring mysteries in British criminal history with budding detectives desperate to unveil the true identity of Jack The Ripper.
But less is known about the serial killer's victims, who were assumed to have been prostitutes targeted by the Ripper, because many became so fascinated with the perpetrator.
Now historian Dr Hallie Rubenhold has gone back to the archives to uncover the true biographies of the women killed in 1888, which reveal they had varied lives, from working in a coffee shop to living with a friend of the Prince of Wales.

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2018.09.20

News Headlines - 20 September 2018

Bumpy road ahead for Japan's Abe following rank-and-file backlash in LDP leadership vote - Xinhua

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, winning the ruling party's leadership election Thursday, will likely to become Japan's longest-serving leader, but underwhelming support shown by rank-and-file party members may spell difficulties ahead for both party and president, political analysts said... While Abe won 329 out of ballots cast by Diet members, and 224 by rank-and-file members, Ishiba secured 73 votes from legislators but an unexpected 181 votes from ordinary members, who closely reflect public opinion.

Fulfilling a dream, South Korea's Moon visits sacred North Korean mountain with Kim | Reuters

After the two leaders pledged new steps aimed at salvaging nuclear talks on Wednesday, Moon and Kim decided to use the final day of their three-day summit to go up the symbolic mountain on the Chinese border together.
Moon is known for his love of mountain climbing and has trekked in the Himalayas at least twice.

Alibaba's Jack Ma says U.S.-China trade war ends 1 million U.S. jobs promise: Xinhua | Reuters

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said the company can no longer meet its promise to create 1 million jobs in the United States due to U.S.-China trade tensions, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday... Ma has already warned that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies could last decades and that China should focus exports on the “Silk Road” trade route, citing Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Toyota's Zero Emissions Trucks Program Gets Boost From CARB, UPS, Shell, and Others | Torque News

Toyota and its partners will soon be adding ten more working trucks to the Port of Los Angeles. Torque News has been following Toyota's progress as it went from the alpha to beta stages, and now to this stage with ten more zero-emissions drayage trucks hauling freight out of the port of Los Angeles. The ten new trucks are enabled by a partnership between Toyota, Shell, Southern Counties Express, and United Parcel Service. The California Air Resources Board (CARB)is providing about $41 million in matching funds derived from cap and trade CO2 taxation.

Mexico official fired over odyssey of truck with nearly 300 bodies

A state government in Mexico has fired a prosecutor over a spectacle in which a fetid-smelling tractor trailer carrying 273 bodies was driven around aimlessly for lack of room in the morgue... The bodies were in the refrigerated truck because the morgue in Mexico's second-largest city was full.
Officials originally put the number of bodies at 157 but on Wednesday they raised it to 273.

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2018.09.19

News Headlines - 19 September 2018

Toyota to replace side-view mirrors with cameras in new model - Nikkei Asian Review

Toyota Motor will introduce a digital alternative to side-view mirrors in a revamped Lexus sedan due out in late October, becoming the world's first automaker to adopt such a device in a mass-produced vehicle.
The "digital outer mirror" system, announced Wednesday, features small cameras in place of side-view mirrors and display monitors inside the vehicle on both sides.

Sega pushes the Mega Drive Mini global release to 2019 - The Verge

Sega announced on its Twitter account today that the release of its Mega Drive Mini, a miniature version of its classic console, would be delayed until sometime in 2019. The Mega Drive Mini’s release was originally slated to coincide with the console’s 30th anniversary in Japan, but its global availability was unknown. Now, the company has confirmed that the miniature console will be released as the Mega Drive Mini in Japan and Europe and as the Genesis Mini in North America.

The truth about false assault accusations by women - BBC News

Either Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford is lying. We don't know which one... According to various academic studies over the past 20 years, only 2-10% of rape accusations are fake (Prof Ford's lawyer says she believes this was attempted rape).
Two to 10% is too many, but it is not a big proportion of the total. Fake rape accusations get a lot of attention.

Paul McCartney uses song on new album to attack Donald Trump: ‘We’ve got a mad captain sailing this boat’ | The Independent

Sir Paul McCartney has revealed he lambasted Donald Trump in his new solo album – branding the US president a "mad captain" in one of the songs.
The Beatles star said he had climate change deniers such as Mr Trump in his mind when penning a song called “Despite Repeated Warnings” on Egypt Station, his 18th solo album which was released earlier this month.

French bookshops revolt after prize selects novel self-published on Amazon | The Guardian

French booksellers have called on literary judges to “defend books and not those who threaten them”, after one of France’s most prestigious prizes selected a self-published novel available only via Amazon.
Among the 17 titles in contention for this year’s Prix Renaudot is Marco Koskas’ Bande de Français, which was self-published on Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. According to the Syndicat de la librairie française, which represents French booksellers, the jury have put them in an impossible position.

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2018.09.18

News Headlines - 18 September 2018

Syria accidentally shot down Russian military plane, Kremlin admits | The Independent

A Russian reconnaissance plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean with 15 crew aboard was shot down in error by Syrian forces, the Kremlin has admitted as it blamed Israel for putting the aircraft in the firing line.
Russia said its Il-20 military aircraft was preparing to land at Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province when, at about 8pm GMT on Monday, it disappeared from radar some 20 miles off the Syrian coast... Later on Tuesday morning the Kremlin said allied Syrian forces had inadvertently downed the plane, but heaped the blame on Israel for “irresponsible actions” – saying the country had launched air strikes by four F-16 jets with just one minute’s warning, triggering the defensive response.

Florence death toll rises to 32 as flooding continues - BBC News

As flooding continues to inundate North Carolina, the death toll from Florence has risen to at least 32, with 25 deaths confirmed in North Carolina.
The state's governor, Roy Cooper, said on Monday that the "epic storm" was still an immediate danger as rivers reach major flood levels.

German Car Giants Face EU Probe Into Suspected Collusion - Bloomberg

Germany’s beleaguered car industry faces another regulatory tangle, as the European Union opened a probe into Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG over suspected collusion that could have delayed clean-emissions technology for cars.
The investigation, which could lead to heavy fines, focuses on joint technical talks to develop selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce nitrogen-oxides emissions from diesel cars and "Otto" particulate filters for gasoline engines.

Ireland collects disputed Apple taxes in full ahead of appeal | Reuters

Ireland has fully recovered 13.1 billion euros in disputed taxes from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plus interest of 1.2 billion which it will hold in an escrow fund pending its appeal against an EU tax ruling, Ireland’s finance minister said on Tuesday.
The European Commission ruled in August 2016 that Apple had received unfair tax incentives. Both Apple and Dublin are appealing against the original ruling, saying the iPhone maker’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law.

Thai cave rescue diver sues Elon Musk for defamation over repeated ‘pedo’ comments | The Independent

A British rescue diver who was instrumental in the rescue of 12 children trapped in a Thailand cave is suing Tesla CEO Elon Musk for defamation.
Vernon Unsworth and his attorneys filed their lawsuit on Monday, arguing that the businessman had crossed a line by repeatedly insisting that Mr Unsworth is a paedophile and “child rapist”. Musk did not substantiate his claims against the diver.
They are seeking $75,000 over the claims made by Musk. Mr Unsworth has also filed lawsuits in English and Welsh courts.

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2018.09.17

News Headlines - 17 September 2018

Brexit: Carney warns no-deal could see house prices plunge - BBC News

The Bank of England's governor has warned the cabinet that a chaotic no-deal Brexit could crash house prices and send another financial shock through the economy.
Mark Carney met senior ministers on Thursday to discuss the risks of a disorderly exit from the EU.
His worst-case scenario was that house prices could fall as much as 35% over three years, a source told the BBC.

Coca-Cola, Aurora Cannabis in Talks About CBD Oil Soda - Bloomberg

Coca-Cola says it’s monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in drinks infused with CBD -- the non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that treats pain but doesn’t get you high. The Atlanta-based soft drinks maker is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop the beverages, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television.

Strawberry needle contamination sparks federal investigation - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

As the strawberry contamination scandal spreads across the country the fallout for the industry continues with Health Minister Greg Hunt ordering a federal investigation into the matter.
At least seven brands of strawberries are now caught up in the scandal including: Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Mal's Black Label strawberries.

Mine museum being guarded, Phnom Penh Post

Guards have been placed around the recently shuttered Cambodian Landmine Museum in Siem Reap after its founder Aki Ra was arrested late last month for illegal weapons possession.
Many shops and vendors adjacent to the former tourist destination have also ceased operations due to a loss in customers.
A dozen soldiers have been on round-the-clock guard at the premises. A poster on the facade says that it is temporarily closed but will reopen later.

Sean Penn says spirit of much of #MeToo movement is to ‘divide men and women’

Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn has opened up about the #MeToo movement, saying it divides men and women and "it's too black and white."
Penn, 58, and actress Natascha McElhone, 48, who co-star in the new Hulu show "The First" about a dangerous mission to Mars, had a frank discussion about the movement empowering women, with Natalie Morales on TODAY Monday.

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2018.09.16

News Headlines - 16 September 2018

The people must have another vote – to take back control of Brexit | The Guardian

So, after a lot of careful consideration, I’ve decided the people must get a final say. This means a public vote on any deal or a vote on a no-deal, alongside the option of staying in the EU.
As mayor, I wouldn’t be doing my job standing up for Londoners if I didn’t say now that it’s time to think again about how we take this crucial decision.

Philippines death toll rises to 59 as Typhoon Mangkhut barrels towards China - Channel NewsAsia

Typhoon Mangkhut killed at least 59 people in the Philippines as it smashed homes and left behind torrents of floodwater, and is now on course to plough into China's coast.
The number of people killed by the typhoon increased as more landslide victims were discovered, said police.

Abe, Ishiba clash over prime minister’s style of management:The Asahi Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his leadership abilities while Shigeru Ishiba took jabs at scandals that have roiled the government as the two squared off on Sept. 14 in the ruling party’s presidential election.
The debate between the only candidates in the Liberal Democratic Party’s election scheduled for Sept. 20 was held at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.

California professor who accused Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault goes public | National Post

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

NASA launches laser device into space to measure Earth's polar ice - CNN

NASA on Saturday launched its most advanced laser device into space to measure changes in the heights of Earth's polar ice, as well as other topographical features.
The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, launched shortly after 9 a.m. ET from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California.

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2018.09.15

News Headlines - 15 September 2018

Hudson's Bay, Signa form European retail, real estate joint venture | Reuters

Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC) and Signa Holding agreed on Tuesday to merge Germany’s Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt chains to form Europe’s third-biggest department store chain as they battle online rivals, sending HBC shares surging.
The combined group will have annual sales of around 5.4 billion euros ($6.3 billion), putting it behind Spain’s El Corte Ingles and Britain’s Marks and Spencer, market research provider Euromonitor International data shows.

BMW's Vision iNext previews EV flagship

BMW's Vision iNext crossover concept showcases the automaker's ideas about how autonomous, connectivity and electric drivetrain technologies will be integrated into a flagship car planned to launch in 2021.
BMW released pictures and details of the Vision iNext on Sunday after taking the concept on a global preview tour for the media earlier this month aboard a Lufthansa Boeing 777F cargo plane that stopped in Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.

Woman says Samsung Galaxy Note 9 burst into flames inside her purse

Samsung’s highly touted and supposedly fireproof Galaxy Note 9 cellphone spontaneously combusted inside a Long Island woman’s purse, she charges in a lawsuit.
In what could be the first report of a Note 9 catching fire, real estate agent Diane Chung’s legal claim recalls the South Korean company’s 2016 disaster with the Galaxy Note 7, which ignited so often Samsung had to dump 2.5 million devices.

Mum claims son, 6, is banned from lessons over his mohawk - 'because it might poke another child in the eye'

But mum Kirstie-Lea Day, 26, from Milton Keynes, claims she was called by the school on Friday and told her son’s hairstyle was not acceptable and he would not be allowed in class until he changed it.
Stay-at-home mum Kirstie, alleges when she brought Charlie back to school this week, she was told she should shave her son’s head or take him home.
And she said the school's eventual solution to allow Charlie back into class was to put water on his hair to flatten his treasured mohawk down.

Police probe K-pop star Koo Ha-ra over 'boyfriend assault'

Gangnam police have launched an investigation into K-pop singer Koo Ha-ra after her boyfriend called them over her alleged violence against him.
They said the boyfriend, a hair designer, called them at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, claiming the violence started after he suggested they break-up. The alleged incident happened at Koo's house in Gangnam, southern Seoul.
Koo claims her boyfriend assaulted her. Further details are unknown.

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2018.09.14

News Headlines - 14 September 2018

Prince William confuses Japan and China in latest royal gaffe - CNN

Britain's Prince William is following in the footsteps of his gaffe-prone grandfather, Prince Philip, confusing Japanese food with Chinese food during a public appearance on Thursday... "Have you guys had much Chinese food?" he asked them, only to be met with an awkward pause... It's the second time in six weeks that a British representative has confused the two countries... In July, newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tried to impress officials in Beijing by talking about his Chinese wife, only to accidentally call her Japanese, in an embarrassing slip-up on his first mission abroad.

Japanese doctor wins Ig Nobel for self-colonoscopy - NHK WORLD

A Japanese doctor has won this year's Ig Nobel Prize for Medical Education for his research into what has been described as do-it-yourself colonoscopy... Horiuchi wrote a report titled "Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned from Self-Colonoscopy", which concludes that based on his experience, the task is both easy and effective.

Jeff Bezos Starts $2 Billion Day One Fund to Help Homeless, Kids - Bloomberg

Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, launched a $2 billion fund to help homeless families and create a network of nonprofit preschools in low-income communities.
The move catapults the world’s richest person into a rarefied group of billionaire megadonors at a time when his company, Amazon.com Inc., faces growing scrutiny over its rising power and impact on the economy.

Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10 - gHacks Tech News

When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.
The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.
Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.

Six held in France over vegan attacks on Lille shops - BBC News

Six people have been held this week over a string of vegan activist attacks in the city of Lille, officials said.
Nine businesses, including a butcher, fishmonger, cheese shop and a McDonald's, have had windows smashed and fake blood thrown on their walls in recent months... Five of the six detained people have since been or will now be released.
However, the Lille prosecutor's office set a court date in December for a detained 21-year-old woman.

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2018.09.13

News Headlines - 13 September 2018

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max, XR test the limits of your budget - CNET

Apple's standout feature in its new lineup of iPhones isn't an upgraded camera or even new design. It's a higher price tag.
The company on Wednesday launched a trio of phones -- the iPhone XR, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max -- in its most important product event of the year. But regardless of which iPhone you choose, you'll end up paying more than ever. The starting price for the iPhone XR, which uses cheaper parts like an aluminum body and LCD display, is $749. That's up $50 from last year's $699 for the iPhone 8, itself a bump from 2016.

VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES BEETLE FINAL EDITION - Volkswagen Media Site

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019. To celebrate the Beetle’s rich heritage, two special models will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL... “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it.

Donald Trump to postpone Ireland visit, Taoiseach confirms | BreakingNews.ie

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that US President Donald Trump has postponed his visit to Ireland.
There was uncertainty over his visit to Dublin after a Washington official said they was still finalising whether Ireland would be a stop on the President’s itinerary in Europe, where he is due to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Nobel laureate Ishiguro receives Japan citation - The Japan News

An award ceremony was held in London on Wednesday to bestow the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star on Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro.
The winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, who won the Japanese order this spring, said at the ceremony that he has long wanted to become a bridge of friendship between Japan and Britain.

Undersea eruption detected at Iwo Jima as seawater is sent shooting into the air | The Japan Times

Signs of undersea volcanic eruptions were detected at Iwo Jima, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II, meteorological and defense officials said Wednesday... The island, which has been renamed Ioto, has been showing increased volcanic activity since the weekend, the agency said, warning of more eruptions. The island is 1,250 kilometers (780 miles) south of Tokyo.

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2018.09.12

News Headlines - 12 September 2018

Brexit: Barnier says agreement possible by early November - BBC News

The EU's chief negotiator said if both sides are "realistic" there could be an agreement on the terms of the UK's exit by early November.
His comments come amid unconfirmed reports a one-off summit of EU leaders could be convened in the middle of November to sign off the agreement.

Hungary Censured as European Showdown Over Populism Takes Shape - Bloomberg

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban received an unprecedented European Union censure as a looming showdown over the bloc’s rising nationalism took shape... The recommendation now goes to EU governments, which are likely to spare Hungary the most serious sanction of suspending the country’s vote in the bloc as that would require unanimity and Poland has pledged to shield Orban.

Norway builds world's tallest timber tower - THE BUSINESS TIMES

NORWAY has completed the frame of the world's tallest timber building, which is being lauded for being environmentally friendly and fire-resistant.
The Mjos Tower, which is situated near and named after a lake located about 100km north of the capital Oslo, saw its last beam hoisted by a crane this week. At 85.4 metres, it has 18 floors.

Waterstones buys Foyles 'in face of Amazon's siren call' | The Guardian

Waterstones is buying the historic family-owned book chain Foyles in a surprise deal billed as an antidote to the “siren call” of online rival Amazon.
The sale brings down the curtain on the independence of one of Britain’s best known bookselling dynasties, with Foyles most famous for its Charing Cross Road branch in London.

Newspaper Sparks Further Debate Over Serena Williams Cartoon By Republishing It On Front Cover

Mark Knight's drawing, which was published in Australian newspaper the Herald Sun on Monday, portrayed the tennis superstar throwing a tantrum next to a smashed racket and a baby's dummy during the final against the tournament winner, Naomi Osaka... The image, which was shared by Knight on Sunday, has been slammed by many on social media, including JK Rowling and American civil rights activist the Rev Jesse Jackson, plus several female sports journalists and broadcasters.

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2018.09.11

News Headlines - 11 September 2018

As Sweden swings right, Bannon's anti-EU crusade looks north | Reuters

Having found an ally in the south and an admirer in the east, Donald Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon is now looking north for recruits in his crusade to undermine the European Union.
And he believes the timing is perfect after famously liberal Sweden voted in record numbers on Sunday for a far-right party that wants a referendum on leaving the 28-nation bloc.

Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping make pancakes together

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping buttered each other up Tuesday — tossing pancakes on the sidelines of an economic forum.
Donning blue aprons, the two leaders were photographed pouring batter, flipping Russian pancakes — called blini — and consuming them with caviar and a shot of vodka in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.

Renesas to Buy Chip Maker Integrated Device Technology for $6.7 Billion - WSJ

Renesas Electronics Corp. said it would buy California-based Integrated Device Technology Inc. for $6.7 billion, a move by the Japanese chip maker to add to its portfolio of devices for smartcars.
If the deal is approved by shareholders and antitrust authorities, Renesas would pay $49 a share, a 30% premium over IDT's stock price as of Aug. 30, when the Japanese company initially said it was considering the acquisition.

Pioneer to receive loans from Hong Kong fund amid business turnaround | The Japan Times

Pioneer Corp. plans to receive tens of billions of yen in loans from the Hong Kong-based investment fund Baring Private Equity Asia as it seeks to turn around its business, a source close to the matter said Tuesday.
The electronics manufacturer is seeking the assistance as it faces a deadline of the end of this month to pay back debts of \13.3 billion.

Florence likely 'the storm of a lifetime' for Carolinas: National Weather Service - ABC News

Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 storm moving closer to North and South Carolina, will bring wind and waves that may be "nothing like you’ve ever seen," North Carolina Gov. Ray Cooper said Tuesday.

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2018.09.10

News Headlines - 10 September 2018

Death of pig in central Japan blamed on hog cholera - The Mainichi

A pig that died at a farm in central Japan's Gifu Prefecture was confirmed Sunday as having been infected by the swine fever virus, also known as hog cholera, which is contagious but does not affect humans.
While hog cholera is endemic in Asia, it is the first time an infection has been recorded in Japan since an outbreak in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1992 when five pigs were infected. Japan declared the virus eradicated in 2007.

Hackers Can Steal a Tesla Model S in Seconds by Cloning Its Key Fob | WIRED

A team of researchers at the KU Leuven university in Belgium on Monday plan to present a paper at the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems conference in Amsterdam, revealing a technique for defeating the encryption used in the wireless key fobs of Tesla's Model S luxury sedans. With about $600 in radio and computing equipment, they can wirelessly read signals from a nearby Tesla owner's fob. Less than two seconds of computation yields the fob's cryptographic key, allowing them to steal the associated car without a trace.

Saudi princess reports theft of €800,000 worth of jewels at Paris Ritz - The Local

A member of the Saudi royal family has reported the theft of hundreds of thousands of euros' worth of jewellery from her hotel room at the Ritz hotel in Paris, police sources said Monday.
The person, who was not identified by name, said the theft... took place on Friday afternoon.
The jewels, worth an estimated 800,000 euros ($930,000), were not in a safe when they were taken and there was no sign of forced entry, the source said, confirming a report on France Info radio.

Dallas officer faces manslaughter charge for shooting man in apartment she thought was hers, police chief says | Dallas News

A Dallas officer faces a manslaughter charge after she fatally shot a 26-year-old man whose apartment near downtown she apparently mistook for her own... Officer Amber Guyger has not been officially named in connection with the shooting, but a source within the Dallas Police Department has identified her.

Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong - The New York Times

Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished — and not just in tennis.
But in her protests against an umpire during the United States Open final on Saturday, she also got part of it wrong. I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of “If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.” Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?

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2018.09.09

News Headlines - 09 September 2018

North Korea holds military parade without showing intercontinental ballistic missiles | South China Morning Post

North Korea did not display intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target the United States at a military parade on Sunday, signalling leader Kim Jong-un’s desire to refrain from provoking US President Donald Trump for the resumption of denuclearisation talks.
At the parade staged on the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding, North Korea also emphasised its friendship with China, with many political analysts saying Kim is willing to ensure support from Beijing to promote negotiations with Washington.

Canadian military to severely curtail use of recreational marijuana | CBC News

The Canadian military will severely restrict — and in some cases prohibit — the use of recreational marijuana once it becomes legal this fall.
National Defence released its formal policy on Friday along with the accompanying regulations, which impose limits on cannabis use that are more wide-ranging than those governing alcohol.

German former ′Pop Idol′ star missing after ′jumping into sea′ | DW

German singer and reality TV star Daniel Küblböck was reported missing from a cruise ship on Sunday morning after a cabin check and loudspeaker announcements.
The 33-year-old is believed to have jumped into the sea. "This is our suspicion," said a spokesman for Aida Cruises who operates the cruise from which Küblböck disappeared.
The assertion that Küblböck went overboard was supported by an eyewitness cited in Bild newspaper who said that the entertainer reportedly jumped from deck five.

Serena: 'I am not a cheat', accuses tennis of 'sexism' | AFP.com

Serena Williams insisted she was not cheating in the US Open final on Saturday before accusing the sport which has made her a global icon of sexism... She was handed a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling umpire Carlos Ramos a "liar and a thief" and insisting "you owe me an apology"... Williams said women players are treated differently to their male counterparts in the sport.

Novak Djokovic defeats Juan Martin del Potro, wins mens U.S. Open final - CBS News

Novak Djokovic won his 14th Grand Slam title and second in a row by getting through a key 20-minute game to beat 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final. The victory Sunday comes a year after Djokovic sat out the tournament at Flushing Meadows because of an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery.
Djokovic collects $3.8 million and his third U.S. Open championship.

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2018.09.08

News Headlines - 08 September 2018

Japan's crown prince opens France trip with children,... | Daily Mail Online

Crown Prince Naruhito, Japan's next emperor, has met with Japanese schoolchildren and toured a world-renowned textile museum during a nine-day goodwill visit to France.

Panel finds systematic misconduct at Suruga Bank - NHK WORLD

The panel on Friday published their findings on Suruga Bank, which is based in the central Japan's Shizuoka prefecture.
Their report says the bank provided loans to unqualified candidates for a shared housing scheme. It says documents were altered to ease the loan screening process.
Loans of more than 100-million yen, or 910,000 US dollars, were given to owners of share houses. Most of them are salaried workers whose loan applications were found to have been altered.

Burberry to stop burning unsold goods, removes real fur from collections

British luxury brand Burberry said it would no longer burn millions of pounds worth of unsold goods or use real fur in its collections in a bid to improve its socially responsible credentials... Burberry came under fire earlier this year after it admitted burning and destroying unsold clothes and accessories to protect the brand and prevent them from being sold cheaply.

Trump wants Sessions to investigate New York Times op-ed - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump said Friday he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate and uncover the identity of the senior administration official who penned an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times this week.

Williams argues with chair umpire; Osaka wins US Open final | The Kansas City Star

Serena Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument as the U.S. Open women’s final descended into chaos, with fans booing and play delayed before Naomi Osaka wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 victory for her first Grand Slam title.
The biggest issue for Williams on the scoreboard Saturday was that she was outplayed by a younger version of herself in Osaka, a 20-year-old who is the first player from Japan to win a major singles tennis title and idolizes the 36-year-old American.
During the trophy ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium, thousands of fans jeered repeatedly, and both Osaka — the champion — and Williams — the runner-up in her bid for a record-equaling 24thth Grand Slam trophy — cried.

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2018.09.07

News Headlines - 07 September 2018

Chinese President to Skip North Korean Anniversary Event

Chinese President Xi Jinping's decision to turn down a reported invitation to attend a military parade in North Korea and celebrations marking 70 years since the founding of the isolated state may have helped him dodge problems on several fronts.
Were Xi to attend this weekend's events, as had been widely speculated in the South Korean media, analysts say that not only could it have fed into Washington's frustrations over a lack of progress toward denuclearization on the peninsula, but it could have heightened already tense relations on the trade front as well.
And if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rolls out new military hardware as some expect — particularly weapons of mass destruction such as an ICBM — Xi's attendance could have sent other messages as well.

The PlayStation 2 is officially dead as Sony pulls repair support | London Evening Standard

This week, Sony Japan revealed it would no longer be repairing the devices, offering customers a final chance to have their PlayStation 2 fixed one more time.
The console, launched in 2000, is still the best-selling games console of all time, with Sony selling more than 155 million units around the world.
Back in 2012, Sony announced it would end production of the console, to make way for its next-generation devices like the PS4.

Thai cave rescue hero could sue Elon Musk in three countries over 'child rapist' slurs | The Independent

Elon Musk is facing legal action in three countries over his groundless claims that a British caver who helped rescue 12 boys in Thailand is a “child rapist”.
Vern Unsworth is preparing to sue the Tesla founder for defamation in London and New York after the billionaire inventor repeatedly alleged he was a paedophile in a string of attacks.
He is also understood to be considering taking the case to courts in Thailand, where libel is a criminal offence punishable with a lengthy jail term and severe financial penalties.

Brazil Museum Fire Destroyed 700 Ancient Egyptian Artifacts

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says a preliminary report shows that the fire that engulfed Brazil's National Museum destroyed all of its artifacts including those in the pharaonic hall, which contained 700 pieces.

Mass graves with at least 166 bodies found in eastern Mexico | Reuters

The bodies of at least 166 people have been found in the Mexican state of Veracruz, prosecutors said on Thursday, the latest in a string of grim discoveries made in the eastern region in recent years.

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2018.09.06

News Headlines - 06 September 2018

Japan earthquake hits Hokkaido, leaves dead and missing under landslides on main island - CBS News

A powerful earthquake Thursday on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido triggered dozens of landslides that crushed houses under torrents of dirt, rocks and timber, prompting frantic efforts to unearth any survivors. At least nine people were killed, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. Officials said at least 366 were injured, five of them seriously, and about 30 people were unaccounted for after the magnitude 6.7 earthquake jolted residents from their beds at 3:08 a.m.

Japan nuclear plant's power restored after quake triggers Hokkaido blackout | Reuters

Power was restored to a nuclear energy plant in Hokkaido, northern Japan on Thursday after a strong earthquake left it relying on emergency generators for 10 nervous hours, but it may be a week before lights are back on all over the major island... Though Tomari was shut down after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, it needs electricity to keep fuel rods cool, and had to rely on back-up diesel generators that kicked in after the quake until power was restored to all three reactors by 1 p.m. local time.

Japanese utilities ended funding for nuclear fuel reprocessing in 2016, putting MOX program in doubt | The Japan Times

Utilities that operate nuclear power plants stopped funding the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in fiscal 2016, their financial reports showed Sunday, a step that may affect resource-scarce Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling policy.
The 10 utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and Japan Atomic Power Co., apparently halted allocating reserve funds for reprocessing costs due to the huge expenses linked to building the reprocessing facilities, sources said.

Employee of broadcaster TBS arrested on suspicion of kidnapping teenage girl - Japan Today

Police in Sapporo on Sunday arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of kidnapping a teenage girl in Shizuoka... The girl’s parents filed a missing person’s report after she did not come home. A nationwide alert was issued and police found the couple walking together along a street in Sapporo’s Kita Ward at around 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Taiwan to make English an official language next year, says official | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Taiwan is to make English an official language next year, Premier William Lai announced on Monday. The Ministry of Education has been discussing the proposal since last October.
The move aims to improve English language proficiency and help Taiwanese people pursue opportunities abroad, Lai said in an interview with United Daily News. It includes establishing bilingual schools across the country, with English being taught to pupils from an early age.

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2018.09.05

News Headlines - 05 September 2018

Opinion | I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration - The New York Times

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

Typhoon leaves major airport closed and destruction in Japan - The Washington Post

One of Japan’s busiest airports remained closed indefinitely, a day after the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in at least 25 years flooded a runway, toppled huge cranes, flipped cars on their side, damaged historic shrines and caused at least 11 deaths as it swept across part of Japan’s main island.

Govt. recognizes radiation death of plant worker - NHK WORLD

Japan's government has acknowledged that a worker at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant died of cancer triggered by exposure to radiation. The health and labor ministry recognized the man as eligible for workers' compensation.
The duties of the man, who was in his 50s, included measuring radiation levels at the plant immediately after the severe nuclear accident following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
He worked there until 2015, but was later diagnosed with lung cancer and died

19 People Confirmed Sick on Emirates Flight to JFK After 100 Report Feeling Ill - NBC New York

At least 19 people have been confirmed sick after a plane landed at John F. Kennedy Airport Wednesday morning with dozens on the packed international flight reporting feeling ill... The vast majority of the symptomatic passengers was cleared of illness and allowed to continue on the remaining legs of their trips. The office of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said 10 people -- seven of them crew members and three passengers -- were taken to hospital, while another nine were sick but declined medical attention.

Many US Facebook users have changed privacy settings or taken a break | Pew Research Center

Just over half of Facebook users ages 18 and older (54%) say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Around four-in-ten (42%) say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while around a quarter (26%) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone. All told, some 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year.

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2018.09.04

News Headlines - 04 September 2018

Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post

The dramatic and previously untold scene is recounted in “Fear,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward that paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency, based on in-depth interviews with administration officials and other principals.

Donald Trump to visit Ireland in November, says White House

The White House confirmed on Friday that US president Donald Trump is to visit Ireland in November.
Mr Trump is expected to visit Ireland as part of his planned trip to Europe in November, when he is due to attend the Armistice commemorations in Paris on November 11th.

Goldman Sees Yuan Gaining in Reserves at Cost to Dollar, Yen - Bloomberg

China’s currency is set to take an increasing share of world foreign-exchange reserves, with the dollar and yen having to make the most room proportionally for the newcomer on the block, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
An acceleration in foreign inflows into Chinese fixed income in recent months -- despite a tumble in the yuan -- has showcased the power of allocation demand for the world’s No. 3 bond market. Central banks will probably account for $250 billion of an estimated $1 trillion of net inflows into Chinese bonds in the five years through 2022, Goldman analysts said.

Husband dies after wife puts eye drops in water, police say

A South Carolina woman has been charged with murder after killing her husband by putting eye drops into his water for several days, according to authorities.
York County deputies said 52-year-old Lana Clayton confessed to investigators after an autopsy uncovered a high amount of tetrahydrozoline in her husband's body.
The chemical is found in over-the-counter eye drops such as Visine.

Two Malaysian women caned under Islamic law for lesbian sex - The Straits Times

Two Malaysian women were caned on Monday (Sept 3) for having lesbian sex, in violation of strict Islamic laws, despite an outcry from activists at the "cruel and unjust" punishment... Campaigners said it was the first time that women in Malaysia have been caned for violating a syariah regulation which forbids same-sex relations.

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2018.09.03

News Headlines - 03 September 2018

Argentina unveils 'emergency' austerity measures, grain export taxes | Reuters

Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday announced new taxes on exports in the world’s third-biggest soy producer and steep cuts to spending in an “emergency” bid to balance next year’s budget, as his center-right government aims to persuade the IMF to speed up a $50 billion loan program.

Xi announces 60 billion USD of financing to Africa - Xinhua | English.news.cn

China will extend a total of 60 billion U.S. dollars of financing to Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Monday... Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The financing includes 15 billion U.S. dollars of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, 20 billion U.S. dollars of credit lines, the setting up of a 10-billion-U.S. dollars special fund for development financing and a 5-billion-U.S. dollars special fund for financing imports from Africa. Chinese companies are also encouraged to make at least 10 billion U.S. dollars of investment in Africa in the next three years.

Myanmar court jails Reuters reporters for seven years in landmark secrets case | Reuters

A Myanmar judge on Monday found two Reuters journalists guilty of breaching a law on state secrets and jailed them for seven years, in a landmark case seen as a test of progress toward democracy in the Southeast Asian country.

Boy, 17, killed in police chase after mistaken identity report:The Asahi Shimbun

A 17-year-old boy mistakenly identified as a dangerous fugitive was killed after crashing his scooter during a police chase in Osaka’s Nishi Ward on the night of Aug. 30... The youth was mistaken for Junya Hida, a 30-year-old rape suspect who escaped from the detention facility of a police station in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, on the night of Aug. 12. Hida fled after breaking an acrylic partition separating him and his lawyer in the visitor’s room following their meeting.

U2 cancel concert in Berlin after Bono loses his voice | The Guardian

The Irish band were playing in Berlin on Saturday but had to stop after only a few songs as their lead singer struggled on stage.
The band said in a statement: “We’re so sorry for tonight’s cancellation. Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show, and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice. “We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice.

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2018.09.02

News Headlines - 02 September 2018

1 killed, 15 injured in Isulan town’s second bombing in 5 days | MindaNews

Five days after an improvised bomb killed three persons and injured 30 others along the highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province, another bomb exploded Sunday night in an internet cafe in the same town, leaving one teenager dead and 15 others injured, four of them in critical condition, according to Isulan Mayor Marites Pallasigue.

Amsterdam knife attacker had ′terrorist motive,′ say officials | DW

The man alleged to have stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam's busy central train station was motivated by extremism, officials in the Netherlands said Saturday... Police shot and detained 19-year-old Jawed S. immediately after Friday's attack. He is currently being held in hospital with injuries to his lower body and is expected to be arraigned at a closed-door hearing on Monday. Officials say he is an Afghan citizen who holds a German residency permit.

Ukraine Separatist Leader Killed in Bombing in Donetsk Cafe - Bloomberg

The head of one of Ukraine’s two breakaway republics was killed in a bombing, highlighting the persistent tensions in a conflict that’s now in its fourth year.
Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, was the most senior official of the two breakaway regions formed with Russian support after the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. He died after a bomb went off in a cafe Friday afternoon in central Donetsk.

Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers - The New York Times

Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.
The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report published in JAMA in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury.

Skin Bleaching In Africa: An Addiction With Risks — The Guardian

But evidence from the range of products, suppliers and services points to a continent-wide market that may number tens of millions of people and possibly more.
In Nigeria alone, 77 per cent of women — by extrapolation, more than 60 million people — are using lightening products on a “regular basis”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in 2011... Ingredients may include hydroquinone, steroids, mercury and lead — the same element that, at high doses, poisoned Elizabethan courtiers who powdered their faces ivory white... The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stresses that it has not given approval for any of the injections on the market today.

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2018.09.01

News Headlines - 01 September 2018

Work starts to decommission problem-plagued Monju reactor:The Asahi Shimbun

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on Aug. 30 started work to decommission the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture, a once-promising project that struggled with problems, even in preparations for its dismantlement.
The work started a month later than scheduled because of a series of equipment trouble. The JAEA workers also face an enormous challenge because Japan has no experience in decommissioning a fast-breeder reactor.

Panasonic to move European headquarters out of UK - Nikkei Asian Review

Panasonic will move its European headquarters from outside London to Amsterdam in October to avoid potential tax issues linked to the U.K.’s scheduled exit from the European Union.
Japan could treat the U.K. as a tax haven if it lowers its corporate rate, Laurent Abadie, CEO of Panasonic Europe, told Nikkei here, referring to the country's attempt to lure businesses with low levies... Given various business implications from Brexit, the company has been considering the relocation for 15 months, he added.

Irish foreign minister urges UK to clarify its Brexit stance | Reuters

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday that more clarity was needed about Britain’s stance regarding its planned departure from the European Union... With little more than seven months to go until it leaves the EU on March 29, Britain has yet to reach an agreement with the bloc on the terms of its departure.

Donald Trump confirms Star story on his secret bombshell remarks about Canada | The Star

High-stakes trade negotiations between Canada and the U.S. were dramatically upended on Friday morning after inflammatory secret remarks by President Donald Trump were obtained by the Toronto Star.
Trump’s comments were viewed by Canadian negotiators as evidence for their suspicions that the U.S. was not making a legitimate effort to compromise. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s officials confronted the president’s officials with the leaked quotes at a high-level meeting on Friday morning.

Trump told Kim Jong Un in Singapore he’d declare end to Korean War - Vox

President Donald Trump told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their Singapore summit in June that he’d sign a declaration to end the Korean War soon after their meeting, according to multiple sources familiar with the negotiations.
But since then, the Trump administration has repeatedly asked Pyongyang to dismantle most of its nuclear arsenal first, before signing such a document.
That decision is likely what has led to the current stalemate in negotiations between the two countries — and the increasingly hostile rhetoric from North Korea.

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2018.08.31

News Headlines - 31 August 2018

Facebook removes accounts associated with Myanmar military | The Guardian

Facebook has removed 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the Myanmar military, including the page of its commander-in-chief, after a UN report accused the armed forces of genocide and war crimes.
In an unusually prompt move, the pages and accounts of the Mynamar military, known as the Tatmadaw, were deleted just minutes after the UN fact-finding mission released its damning report.
Facebook, which is a highly popular source of information in Myanmar, has come under criticism for giving a platform to vitriolic posts aimed at stirring up and spreading hatred against the minority Muslim Rohingya population.

Japan Protests China's Ban on Sankei Shimbun Coverage | JAPAN Forward

Chinese government authorities on Wednesday, August 29, refused to let The Sankei Shimbun participate in pool media, leading the the Japan Press Association in Beijing — comprised of reporters from major Japanese newspapers and news agencies based in China’s capital — to boycott the news-gathering activities at the outset of the Wan-Akiba talks.
The association declared it could never accept the Chinese act of depriving a specific news organization of a reporting opportunity. Japanese TV crews in Beijing followed suit.

Residents blast water-discharge method at Fukushima plant:The Asahi Shimbun

Fishermen and local residents on Aug. 30 vehemently opposed the government’s plan to discharge radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, saying the measure will damage a number of industries.
During a public hearing on the measure, they also blasted the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., for “misleading” the public by failing to disclose that radioactive substances, such as strontium, remained in the water to be discharged.

Puerto Rico revises Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975 after study - CNN

Puerto Rico's government raised its official Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975 on Tuesday in the wake of a new estimate from researchers.
The new figure is 46 times larger than the previous toll the Puerto Rican government released in December 2017, when officials said 64 people had died as a result of the storm.
It comes on the same day researchers from George Washington University revealed findings from a study on storm-related deaths commissioned by the US commonwealth's government.

Mystery woman in Texas security video with wrist restraints is safe: police | Reuters

A partially dressed woman who briefly appeared in security camera footage approaching a home in a suburban Houston subdivision with what appear to be broken restraints dangling from her wrists has been found and is safe, police said on Wednesday.
The woman, 32, was the girlfriend of a man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and has been confirmed to be the person in the security video footage, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.

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2018.08.30

News Headlines - 30 August 2018

Argentina Boosts Interest Rate to 60%; Peso Sinks

Argentina's Central Bank on Thursday increased its benchmark interest rate to 60 percent — the world's highest — in an effort to halt a sharp slide in the value of the peso, which plunged to a record low.
The peso fell more than 13 percent against the dollar, closing at an all-time low of 39.2 per greenback, after slipping about 7 percent the day before.

Chemnitz, Saxony and Germany grapple with far right | DW

Chemnitz, Freital, Heidenau: For many people in Germany, these places are inextricably linked not only for being in the eastern state of Saxony but also by the far-right extremists who have, sometimes violently, voiced their hatred there.
The death of a 35-year-old German man in the early hours of Sunday — allegedly at the hands of two asylum-seekers — sparked two days of protests in Chemnitz, with more planned for Thursday, that shocked many and led to another round of soul-searching over the reach of xenophobia in Saxony and the rest of Germany.

Morocco arrests 12 suspects over teen's 2-month torture | Al Jazeera

Moroccan authorities have arrested 12 suspects and are hunting three others after a 17-year-old girl told police she was gang-raped, tortured, and held against her will for two months.

Controversial Fukushima statue of child in radiation suit to be removed | South China Morning Post

The city of Fukushima in Japan will remove a statue of a child clad in a protective suit over criticism that it misleads the public into believing that local people, hit by a nuclear crisis in 2011, need to wear such gear, according to its mayor.
“We set up the statue as a symbol of people striving for reconstruction but have come to judge that the statue is not accepted by many citizens,” mayor Hiroshi Kohata said on Tuesday.
The city, which erected the 6.2-metre statue dubbed Sun Child near Fukushima Station on August 3, will stop displaying it as soon as possible and consider what to do with the work of art, the mayor added.

Ghost hunter claims image shows '6ft hooded monk holding crucifix' on paranormal investigation at ruined abbey

Paranormal investigator Kyle Thompson was stunned when he went through footage from his visit to Roche Abbey in Maltby, South Yorks, because he believes he caught the towering apparition on camera.
The figure is difficult to spot but can be found in a shadowy doorway near the back of the picture.
The ghost hunter claims the picture shows a 6ft tall cloaked and hooded figure holding a large cross – similar to ones used during mass celebrations.

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2018.08.29

News Headlines - 29 August 2018

This man could be Florida's first black governor

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won an upset victory in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary. If he wins the general election, he will be the first African-American governor of the state.

Malaysia says committee to study Forest City project | Reuters

Shares in Hong Kong-listed Country Garden, China’s largest property developer by sales, fell as much as 3.5 percent in early trade on Tuesday following Mahathir’s announcement... In a statement on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office said purchase of properties by foreigners in Malaysia does not guarantee automatic residency in the country... Since becoming prime minister in May, Mahathir has put the brakes on China-backed projects worth over $20 billion, including a massive rail project.

Japan must look into the suspicious fall of journalist investigating links between Prime Minister and mafia | RSF

RSF calls on Japanese authorities to shed light on the suspicious fall of a journalist, who is known for his investigation in the supposed links between the prime minister and the mafia, that caused him to be hospitalized... The independent journalist, who investigated possible links between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Japanese mafia, claims that he has received numerous threatening letters and faced an attempted fire at his house over the past years.

12-month tournament bans for four Japan basketball players caught buying sex in Indonesia | South China Morning Post

Four Japanese basketball players kicked out of the Asian Games for paying sex workers for sex will be suspended for a year, officials said Wednesday.
Japan Basketball Association chief Yuko Mitsuya told reporters the players would be barred from official tournaments for a year, adding their action “damages the honour and trust of Japan’s sporting world”.

Activists urge killer robot ban 'before it is too late' | AFP.com

Countries should quickly agree a treaty banning the use of so-called killer robots "before it is too late", activists said Monday as talks on the issue resumed at the UN.
They say time is running out before weapons are deployed that use lethal force without a human making the final kill-order and have criticised the UN body hosting the talks -- the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) -- for moving too slowly.

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2018.08.28

News Headlines - 28 August 2018

Mattis says no more halt to U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises - CBS News

There are no future plans to halt joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises in the Korean Peninsula, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Tuesday. This is a departure from the announcement in June that he had "indefinitely suspended" military exercises with South Korea after President Trump said at his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that the U.S. would stop its "war games" with South Korea.
Facing a standstill in diplomatic efforts with the North Koreans, this is the latest indication that the Trump administration is not willing to give concessions to Kim without tangible steps on denuclearization.

‘I remember Pearl Harbor’: Inside Trump’s hot and cold relationship with Japan’s prime minister - The Washington Post

Trump then launched into a blistering critique of Japan’s economic policies, according to people familiar with the conversation. He railed against the U.S. trade deficit with Japan and urged Abe to negotiate a bilateral trade deal that is more favorable to U.S. exporters of beef and automobiles.
The meeting, which left Abe exasperated, epitomized the paradoxical nature of Trump’s closest relationship with a foreign leader.

Japan government apologises for ‘inexcusable’ padding of disabled staff numbers by nearly 3,500 - The Straits Times

The Japanese government has been found to have inflated the number of disabled people under its employment by 3,460 to meet a legal quota, in a damning probe released Tuesday (Aug 28) that has stoked domestic furor.
The data padding had been done at 27 out of 33 government entities, the labour ministry said.
It added that the government’s employment ratio of those with disabilities stood at 1.19 per cent in June last year – way below the earlier reported 2.49 per cent, and under the legal threshold at the time of 2.3 per cent.

French Bonds Feel the Blues on Fear of Japanese Bidding Sayonara - Bloomberg

French bond investors are now more fixated on what their counterparts from Japan are up to than developments in their own region, and for a good reason. France ranks No. 2 among the $2.4 trillion of global debt owned by buyers from the Asian nation, and that makes the securities particularly vulnerable to the risk that rising yields in Tokyo could lure some of that money back home.
The yield premium on French 10-year bonds over German equivalents has climbed from a three-year low in April amid concern Japanese investors will pull funds to invest more in their own country.

Sexually frustrated dolphin named Zafar terrorises tourists on French beach

A seaside village in Brittany has banned swimming on its beach because a dolphin in heat has been scaring tourists and locals by approaching them and trying to rub up against them.
The dolphin has even tried to prevent several swimmers from getting back to the beach at Landévennec, using its nose to push one woman out of the water and up into the air.

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2018.08.27

News Headlines - 27 August 2018

Why Trump cancelled Pompeo’s trip to North Korea - The Washington Post

Pompeo received the letter from Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee, on Friday morning, and showed it to Trump in the White House, two senior administration officials confirmed. The exact contents of the message are unclear, but it was sufficiently belligerent that Trump and Pompeo decided to call off Pompeo’s journey, where he was set to introduce his newly announced special envoy, Stephen Biegun, to his North Korean counterparts.

North Korea expels detained Japanese tourist as neighbors' hot-and-cold relationship continues | The Japan Times

North Korea has expelled a Japanese man detained for allegedly breaking the law during a recent tour of the country, state-run media and a diplomatic source in Japan said as the two neighbors continue their hot-and-cold relationship.

Four Toyota units to form joint venture to develop self-driving technology | The Japan Times

Denso Corp., Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., Jtekt Corp. and Advics Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Aisin, said they plan to set up a joint venture next March to develop software that can control key components for automated driving, such as sensors, brakes and steering, in an integrated manner.

The money and politics behind the Notting Hill Carnival

But behind the scenes, the mostly volunteer-managed event has struggled with its finances, governance and safety, with a steep rise in arrests for violent crime since 2010 and collapsing safety barriers and four near-fatal stabbings in 2016... Earlier this year, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ended its financial support for the London Notting Hill Carnival Trust (LNHCT), which had organised the event since 2012 under the leadership of Pepe Francis, the 75-year-old president of the British Association of Steelbands... “There were a lot of problems with LNHCT,” admitted Mr Francis... He said he supported the appointment of this year’s organiser, Carnival Village Trust, an arts agency that runs two venues in west London, including the Tabernacle.

Manga Author Momoko Sakura, Creator of 'Chibi Maruko Chan,' Dead at 53

One of Japan's most-famous manga creators, Momoko Sakura, who was best known for her series Chibi Maruko-chan, is dead. She had breast cancer and died on August 15 at the age of 53.
Her staff confirmed the news in a statement posted on her official website Monday. The statement said a funeral ceremony had been held "only by relatives and close relatives due to the will of the bereaved families."

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2018.08.26

News Headlines - 26 August 2018

Abe declares candidacy in 2-way race with Ishiba to lead LDP - Japan Today

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he will run in the Liberal Democratic Party's leadership contest next month, setting the stage for an expected two-horse race with former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba... With official campaigning starting on Sept 7, the ruling party will hold the leadership election, which will effectively decide Japan's next prime minister, on Sept. 20.

Emperor Hirohito in anguish in final years over blame for war

Emperor Hirohito said during his final years that he did not wish to live much longer as he would only experience more anguish at sad events and being blamed for his role in war, the diary of a close aide obtained by Kyodo News for the first time showed Wednesday.
The diary kept by late chamberlain Shinobu Kobayashi revealed the aging emperor was haunted by talk of his wartime responsibility following the Sino-Japanese War and World War II.

Gun-maker Kalashnikov wants to take on Tesla with retro-styled EV - Roadshow

Arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is best known for its AK-47 assault rifle, often called the world's most popular gun. Now the Russian company is heading in a decidedly different direction, showing off an electric concept car called the CV-1 -- and boldly claiming that it will take on electric-car giant Tesla.

Jacksonville shooting suspect identified as David Katz, gamer who had lost in Madden NFL tournament

The finalists in Sunday’s regional video game tournament would proceed to the Madden Classic in Las Vegas, where the top prize is $25,000. David Katz, a slender 24-year-old who nicknamed himself “Bread,” had traveled from Baltimore to compete — only to be eliminated, witnesses said.
But Katz wasn’t done. As his competitors continued to game Sunday, Katz got a handgun and opened fire in the pizzeria. Horrified fans watched the violence unfold on a livestream online.
The shooter “targeted a few people” before killing himself, according to Stephen “Steveyj” Javaruski, one of the gamers, who took shelter in a bathroom.

Emma Watson Replaces Emma Stone in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ – Variety

Emma Watson is set to join Greta Gerwig’s star-studded remake of “Little Women.”
Sources say Watson is playing the part originally intended for Emma Stone, who was unable to join the project because of promotional obligations for the Fox Searchlight film and award season contender “The Favourite.” With production expected to start next month, Sony moved quickly to approach Watson.

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2018.08.25

News Headlines - 25 August 2018

John McCain, maverick of the Senate and former POW, dies at 81 | The Seattle Times

Sen. John McCain, who faced down his captors in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp with jut-jawed defiance and later turned his rebellious streak into a 35-year political career that took him to Congress and the Republican presidential nomination, died Saturday after battling brain cancer for more than a year. He was 81.

People forced to eat rotting meat as Venezuela economic crisis gets worse | Metro News

In a city once called the Saudi Arabia of Venezuela for its vast oil wealth, residents of Maracaibo now line up to buy spoiled meat as refrigerators fail amid nine months of rolling power outages that recently got worse. Some people fall ill eating the rotten beef, but at bargain prices, it’s the only way they can afford protein as the country’s crisis hits bottom.

Spain to dig up Franco's body after government passes decree | The Independent

Franco, who ruled for nearly 40 years, was buried at the Valley of the Fallen monument to the victims of the Spanish Civil War following his death in 1975.
Proposals to remove his body from the site – which is marked by a 152m cross on a mountainside near Madrid – have been discussed for years but faced opposition from his descendants and supporters.
The decree, which amends Spain’s Historical Memory Law of 2007 to grant the government power to dig up Franco’s body, was passed during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Russian opposition leader Navalny detained in Moscow over rally | Reuters

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained in Moscow over his participation in an anti-government protest earlier this year, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Lindsay Kemp, performer and Bowie mentor, dies at 80 - BBC News

Kate Bush has paid tribute to ground-breaking dancer, mime artist and choreographer Lindsay Kemp, who has died aged 80... He collaborated with David Bowie as he invented theatrical personas such as Ziggy Stardust.
Kemp died suddenly in Italy, where he lived, on Friday evening.

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2018.08.24

News Headlines - 24 August 2018

Huawei banned from 5G mobile infrastructure rollout in Australia - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Federal Government has banned Chinese-owned tech giant Huawei from taking part in the rollout of 5G mobile infrastructure over national security concerns.
The Government said it would be interpreting rules announced last year as disqualifying any company that was "likely subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law".

Apple Is Said to Plan Revamped Low-Cost Macs to Ignite Sales - Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will release a new low-cost laptop and a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac mini desktop later this year, ending a drought of Mac computers that has limited sales of the company’s longest-running line of devices, according to people familiar with the plans.

North Korean defectors sue in Japan, alleging rights abuses | Fox News

She was one of the more than 90,000 Koreans and their relatives in Japan who went to North Korea decades ago seeking what the country promised: "paradise on earth."
As North and South Korea make reconciliatory gestures and hundreds of war-separated relatives are reunited, Eiko Kawasaki and others like her feel forgotten... She and four other defectors filed a lawsuit against North Korea's government this week in Tokyo District Court, demanding 500 million yen, or about $5 million, in damages for human rights violations.

Legendary T-34 tank falls from platform during Kursk victory parade - Daily Sabah

The T-34 tank was among the centerpieces in the parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk, in which the Red Army routed the Wehrmacht. With their firepower, armor and engine durability, T-34's showed better performance in general than their peers, helping the Soviet Union to halt the offensive of the largest invasion force in history, which was also famous for its Panzers and Blitzkrieg tactics.
After the parade, one of the T-34's fell from a trailer that had arrived to bring the veteran tank back to the barracks. The tank almost overturned but was stopped by its turret. Luckily, soldiers waiting next to another trailer were quick to escape and no one was injured.

Tourists complain French cicadas are 'too loud' | AFP.com

It is the quintessential sound of the Mediterranean in summer, but for some French tourists the cicadas of Provence are just too noisy.
Several have complained to the mayor of the picturesque village of Beausset in the southeastern Var region that the insects are ruining their holiday lie-ins.

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2018.08.23

News Headlines - 23 August 2018

U.K. Warns No-Deal Brexit to Raise Prices, Burden Pensioners - Bloomberg

Britons face higher prices when buying from the European Union unless the government can secure a Brexit deal, while retirees in countries like Spain risk losing access to pensions paid into U.K. banks.
That’s according to 25 technical notes released Thursday by Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab setting out how businesses and citizens should prepare for the possibility of talks with the bloc collapsing.

Trump Complains About Powell's Rate Hikes to Hamptons Donors - Bloomberg

President Donald Trump said he expected Jerome Powell to be a cheap-money Fed chairman and lamented to wealthy Republican donors at a Hamptons fundraiser on Friday that his nominee instead had raised interest rates, according to three people present.
The Federal Reserve has raised rates five times since Trump took office, including twice this year under Powell... The private remarks to donors are the most personal criticism of Powell’s performance to emerge so far.

Aramco IPO halted, oil giant disbands advisers - sources | Reuters

Saudi Arabia has called off plans for the domestic and international listing of state oil giant Aramco, billed as the biggest stock flotation in history, four senior industry sources said on Wednesday.
Financial advisers working on the planned listing have been disbanded as Saudi Arabia shifts its attention to a proposed acquisition of a “strategic stake” in local petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp, two of the sources said.

NASA Confirms The Existence Of Water On The Moon

On Tuesday, NASA officials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) confirmed the first definitive evidence of water on the surface of the Moon, settling a decades-long debate about whether the substance was ice or simply hydrogen. This discovery has wide-reaching implications for future lunar settlements and exploratory missions in addition to some unexpected results for lunar astronomers.

Danny Boyle leaves new Bond film due to 'creative differences'

Danny Boyle is stepping down as director of the 25th Bond film, four months before the film was due to go into production.
A shock statement posted to the franchise’s official Twitter account on Tuesday evening declared: “Michael G Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25”.

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2018.08.22

News Headlines - 22 August 2018

North Korea is still developing nuclear weapons, says IAEA | The Guardian

North Korea is continuing to develop its nuclear weapons programme, according to a report by the UN atomic watchdog, raising questions over the country’s commitment to denuclearisation.
In one of the most specific reports on Pyongyang’s recent nuclear activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency observed actions consistent with the enrichment of uranium and construction at the country’s main nuclear site.

Xi Jinping to visit Pyongyang for North Korea's 70th anniversary celebrations - The Straits Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Pyongyang next month as ties between China and its close neighbour North Korea improve and as Beijing and Washington are locked in escalating trade tensions.
The Straits Times understands that Mr Xi will attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding on Sept 9 at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, barring last-minute changes.

Malaysia Can’t Afford $22 Billion Beijing-Backed Projects, Mahathir Tells China - WSJ

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he plans to defer or cancel some $22 billion worth of Chinese-backed infrastructure projects, after explaining his objections to China’s leaders.

Researcher at the center of an epic fraud remains an enigma to those who exposed him | AAAS

The first thing that went through Alison Avenell's head when she heard Yoshihiro Sato had died was that it might be a trick. It was March 2017, and in the previous years, Avenell, a clinical nutritionist at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, had spent thousands of hours combing through Sato's papers, together with three colleagues in New Zealand. They had discovered that Sato, a bone researcher at a hospital in southern Japan, had fabricated data for dozens of clinical trials published in international journals... Her second thought was that Sato might have killed himself. "We have no indication that he committed suicide, but it concerns us," Avenell said when I met her at her office in late 2017. Three years earlier, Japanese stem cell scientist Yoshiki Sasai had hanged himself in the stairwell of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe after he was caught up in a stem cell scandal. "We were aware of the culture in Japan and the dishonor something like this could bring," Avenell said.

U.S. Inmates Launching Nationwide Strike to 'End Prison Slavery'

ncarcerated Americans across the country are set to go on strike Tuesday in what could become the largest industrial action by inmates in the history of the United States.
The strike, which is supposed to last until September 9—the anniversary of the 1971 Attica Prison uprising in upstate New York—calls for an "end to prison slavery" and for a number of prison reforms.
For 19 days, inmates across at least 17 states plan to refuse to work, with some also refusing to eat, to draw attention to poor conditions and what advocates have called exploitative labor practices in the prison system.

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2018.08.21

News Headlines - 21 August 2018

Venezuela issues new currency Bolivar Soberano amid hyperinflation and social turmoil - CNN

Venezuela issued a new currency Monday in an attempt to bolster its crumbling economy as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that inflation could hit one million percent this year.
The move, part of a dramatic raft of measures aimed at halting runaway hyperinflation, comes as thousands of Venezuelans continue to flee across the border into neighboring countries amid food and medicine shortages, political turmoil and soaring crime rates.

South Koreans enter North to meet relatives separated decades ago by war | CBC News

Dozens of elderly South Koreans crossed the heavily fortified border into North Korea on Monday for heart-wrenching meetings with relatives most haven't seen since they were separated by the turmoil of the Korean War... The temporary reunions are highly emotional because most participants are elderly people eager to see their loved ones once more before they die. Most of their families were driven apart during the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still in a technical state of war.

Water at Fukushima nuclear plant still radioactive even after treatment | South China Morning Post

Radioactive substances have not been removed from treated but still tritium-containing water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company have faced the pressing need to dispose of such treated water now kept in tanks. One option is to dump it into the sea, as tritium is said to pose little risk to human health.

175 former security officials join criticism of Trump, as he taunts former CIA chief John Brennan

ore than 175 former US security officials have joined criticism of Donald Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.
In a letter released on Monday, the former national security officials said the US president's actions represented a "political litmus test" that "weakened" the country.

George Washington gold coin sells for $1.7 million | Reuters

An 18th century gold coin featuring the likeness of first U.S. President George Washington sold for $1.7 million at auction on Thursday, with the net proceeds going to charity, the auction house said.
The 1792 Washington President gold eagle coin was never circulated as money but is instead thought to have been presented to Washington when post-Revolutionary War plans were being drawn up for the first U.S. Mint, according to Heritage Auctions.

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2018.08.20

News Headlines - 20 August 2018

Venezuela cuts five zeros from currency as economic plan sows confusion | Reuters

Venezuela on Monday slashed five zeros from prices as part of a broad economic plan that President Nicolas Maduro says will tame hyperinflation but critics call another raft of failed socialist policies that will push the chaotic country deeper into crisis... The price change comes with a 3,000 percent minimum wage hike, tax increases meant to shore up state coffers and a plan to peg salaries, prices and the country’s exchange rate to the petro, an elusive state-backed cryptocurrency.

US refuses to give Turkish bank relief in exchange for detained pastor’s release

The Trump administration rejected a proposal from the Turkish government that would free a detained American pastor in exchange for relief of one of its largest banks, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The report, which cites a senior White House official, said Turkey asked the U.S. to drop an ongoing investigation into Halkbank, one of the biggest state-owned Turkish banks. Halkbank faces major fines for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.
In exchange, the Turkish government would release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who has been detained in Turkey since 2016.

Japan ministries may have fiddled numbers of disabled employees: media | Reuters

Several ministries in Japan may have been inflating for decades the number of disabled people they employ in order to meet quotas, media said on Friday, even as the government imposes levies on private companies that fail to meet theirs... Government agencies reported in June that disabled employees made up 2.5 percent of their workforces — above the 2.3 percent target — but the real number might be less than half that, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said.

Spanish police treat attempted knife attack as terrorist act | Reuters

A man, wielding a knife and uttering the word “Allah” lunged at an officer in a police station near Barcelona, Spain, on Monday in what police said was a terrorist act, and was shot dead.

Endangered baby gibbon introduced to Prague zoo | Euronews

An endangered Silvery Gibbon was introduced to the public at Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic Tuesday.
The Silvery Gibbon is one of the world's rarest primates and native to the island of Java in Indonesia, with less than 4,000 of the species living in the wild.

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2018.08.19

News Headlines - 19 August 2018

British war graves desecrated by Chinese pirates plundering Second World War shipwrecks | Daily Mail Online

Ten British ships sunk during the Second World War and designated as war graves have been plundered for scrap metal by Chinese pirates, an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found.
Vessels that provide the final resting place for more than 1,000 sailors have been smashed to pieces and looted by greedy salvagers. Last night Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson demanded an immediate investigation.

Pentagon says it's postponing Trump's military parade

The Pentagon said in a Thursday statement that it would "explore opportunities" in 2019 for President Donald Trump's military parade that originally had been set for November of this year... The parade, originally slated for Nov. 10, had been estimated to cost $92 million, the official said. The figure consisted of $50 million from the Pentagon and $42 million from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security. An initial estimate last month pegged the prospective cost for the parade at $12 million.

Free fish for forex: Istanbul restaurant joins currency campaign | Reuters

Istanbul’s beloved fish sandwiches, a staple street food in the Bosphorus city, are being offered for free to Turks who heed President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to sell their dollars for lira.
The offer is just one of many by vendors across Turkey who are backing Erdogan’s appeal to nationalist sentiment, giving out anything from orchids, petrol or a three-day hotel stay for those who show dollar exchange receipts.

Crop marks unveil 'unusual' ancient remains dating back thousands of years - Derbyshire Live

Structures and buildings including a probable burial pit thought to date back up to 4,000 years to the Bronze Age have been unearthed in Scropton - thanks to the summer heatwave.
Pictures taken from the skies above the South Derbyshire village have revealed strange outlines and circles uncovered in green grass in a field running alongside the Derby to Uttoxeter railway line.

Buddha statue stolen from India 57 years ago to be returned - Metropolitan Police

A 12th century Buddha statue stolen from India 57 years ago is to be returned to the Indian High Commissioner by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)... The Buddha, a bronze statue with silver inlay, is one of 14 statues stolen in 1961 from the Archaeological Survey of India site museum in Nalanda in the eastern part of India.
The statue changed hands several times before eventually being delivered to a London dealer for sale. Once the dealer and the owner were made aware the Buddha was the same one that had been stolen from India, they co-operated fully with the Met’s Art and Antiques Unit and agreed for the piece to be returned to India.

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2018.08.18

News Headlines - 18 August 2018

Turkey secures $15 billion investment from Qatar amid US trade tensions

Turkey has secured a $15 billion investment from Qatar that could bolster its economy amid a widening dispute with the United States.
The pledge was announced Wednesday after a meeting between Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Qatari state media said the money would go toward economic projects, investments and deposits.

Venezuela slams Japan foreign minister's remarks as interference - The Mainichi

Venezuela has slammed Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono over his remarks on the Latin American country's democracy as meddling in domestic affairs, the Venezuelan foreign minister said Wednesday.
The protest came after Kono said Tuesday during a press appearance in Peru with Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio that they had agreed to continue calling for Venezuela to restore democracy with the participation of a wide range of citizens.

Okinawa to hold special election Sept. 30 in wake of anti-base governor’s death - Stripes

A special election to choose a replacement for anti-U.S. base Gov. Takeshi Onaga has been set for Sept. 30.
Onaga, 67, died suddenly of pancreatic cancer on the evening of Aug. 8, less than two hours after officials said he would be stepping down temporarily over health concerns.

Melting Ice Uncovers 1946 Wreckage of U.S. Plane in Swiss Glacier - The New York Times

After an emergency landing on a Swiss glacier, the group of 12 Americans drank melted snow and survived on rations of one chocolate bar a person until daring pilots shuttled them to safety after five days marooned on the ice.
Relics of that harrowing adventure and the successful rescue of all those onboard, including an 11-year-old girl and the captain’s mother, resurfaced after more than 70 years this month when scorching summer temperatures in Europe caused the glacial ice to recede.

Elephants Hardly Ever Get Cancer, And We May Finally Know Their Secret

But when comparing animals of different species, the concept falls down. There is zero correlation between the volume of an animal's body or its relative lifespan and the chance of cancer popping up among all those cells... Elephants are a textbook example. In 2015, researchers estimated their cancer mortality rate stood at just under 5 percent, compared with the 11 to 25 percent for the relatively puny human body.
That study also found a potential clue to the elephant's anti-cancer superpower in the form of a gene called TP53. Like most anti-cancer genes, it makes a product that detects DNA damage and tells the cell to either fix it or close shop.

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2018.08.17

News Headlines - 17 August 2018

China’s stock market nears low of 2015 crash after drug makers slide amid Beijing crackdown on industry | South China Morning Post

China’s stocks dropped for a fifth day, nearing the low of the 2015 market rout, as Beijing vowed to clean up the health care sector in the wake of a vaccine scandal and concerns deepened about a slowdown in growth... That is just 0.5 per cent shy of the nadir set in January 2015 after the rout that erased US$5 trillion in market value.
In contrast, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose for the first time after five days of losses, ending up 0.4 per cent.

Value of BOJ assets exceeds Japan’s GDP - The Japan News

The total value of Bank of Japan-owned assets, mainly Japanese government bonds, has exceeded the country’s annual nominal gross domestic product for the first time ever, a central bank report showed on Tuesday... The Bank of Japan’s balance sheet is expected to expand even further as the central bank is continuing with its massive asset purchases to meet its inflation target of 2 percent.
The total Bank of Japan assets swelled 3.3-fold from the end of March 2013, just before the bank embarked on massive monetary easing in April that year.

NYU Medical School Plans Free Tuition For Those Studying To Be Doctors : NPR

In a move it said was to address the large cost of entering a career in medicine, New York University's School of Medicine said Thursday that it will offer full scholarships to all current and future students in its doctor of medicine program.
NYU said it was the "only top 10-ranked" medical school in the U.S. to offer such a generous package.

Should Tesla investors worry about Elon Musk's 'stability?'

Are Tesla investors concerned about CEO Elon Musk’s “stability?”
That question reverberated Friday as the electric carmaker’s stock price fell nearly 9 percent following an interview in which Musk cried and bemoaned his “excruciating” year.
In the interview with the New York Times, published late Thursday, Musk sounded more like a man on his last lap than the visionary leader of one of the most iconic companies in business today. Even for a man who compulsively over-shares — about his relationships, his challenges, his opinions of others — the content of the interview was remarkable.

Police use Taser on 87-year-old woman cutting dandelions with a knife - CNN

An 87-year-old grandmother using a knife to cut dandelions in the woods near her rural Georgia home last week was taken down by a police Taser and arrested, according a police report.
Martha Al-Bishara was arrested for criminal trespass and obstruction of a police officer, according to the report. Chatsworth Police said Al-Bishara did not drop a steak knife despite several commands and a demonstration by officers. At one point, she walked toward officers with the knife, police said.

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2018.08.16

News Headlines - 16 August 2018

These are the newspapers telling Trump that journalists are not the enemy - CNNPolitics

About 350 newspapers in the United States had editorials Thursday decrying President Donald Trump's description of the media as the "enemy of the people."
Here are some of the newspapers blasting Trump's anti-press rhetoric.

Trump responds after hundreds of newspaper editorials criticize his attacks on the press

However, some newspapers decided not to run editorials on the issue, including The Washington Post. This newspaper’s editorial board has previously responded to Trump’s attacks on news organizations, but Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt said Saturday that the board would not participate in the organized response.
Neither did the Los Angeles Times.
Or the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle’s editorial page editor, John Diaz, wrote that “It’s not that we take issue with the argument that Trump’s assault on the truth generally, and his efforts to diminish the free press specifically, pose a serious threat to American democracy.” But, he said, the newspaper values independence - a sentiment that was shared by the Los Angeles Times.

Japan must act to protect Fukushima clean-up workers: U.N. experts | Reuters

Japan must act urgently to protect tens of thousands of workers laboring to clean up the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station from reported exploitation and exposure to radiation, U.N. human rights experts said on Thursday.

China’s vaccine scandal: firm made 500,000 substandard doses, twice as many as first thought, state media says | South China Morning Post

A Chinese drug company produced nearly 500,000 substandard vaccines for babies, roughly double an earlier estimate by authorities investigating a safety scandal, Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
China’s drug regulator in July accused Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology of selling 252,600 doses of ineffective DPT vaccines to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.
Further investigations found that the company had produced an additional substandard batch of DPT vaccines, raising the total to 499,800 doses, the report said.

Ebola Kills 41 in ‘Very Dangerous’ Outbreak as World Health Organization Calls for End to Violence in Congo

he World Health Organization asked on Tuesday for violence to end in the war-torn northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 100 armed groups and military forces are fighting, so that health workers can combat an Ebola outbreak that has killed 41 people... Areas where an internal conflict has made it impossible for rescuers to access those affected have been labeled as “red zones.” These swathes of territory contain a large number of people, which the World Health Organization says leads to more difficulties in trying to eradicate the virus.

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2018.08.15

News Headlines - 15 August 2018

Japan emperor expresses 'deep remorse' over war; PM sends offering to shrine | Reuters

Emperor Akihito, in his last appearance as reigning monarch at an annual ceremony marking Japan’s World War Two surrender, expressed “deep remorse” on Wednesday over the conflict, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed no repeat of the horror of war.

Missing toddler found safe after 3 days on western Japan island

Yoshiki Fujimoto of Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was found by a search volunteer on a mountain in the town of Suo-Oshima on Yashirojima, according to the police. The site was only 560 meters from his great-grandfather's house where he had been visiting for the summer.
The volunteer, Haruo Obata, had been calling out Yoshiki's name at around 6:30 a.m. when he heard a voice reply, "I'm here." The 78-year-old found the boy barefooted and sitting near a stream, and wrapped him in a towel before carrying him down to his family.

Vermont Nominates First U.S. Transgender Candidate for Governor - Bloomberg

A former Vermont utility executive on Tuesday became the first transgender candidate from a major political party to be nominated for governor, and she'll face the Republican incumbent, who survived a bitter backlash from his base over gun restrictions he supported.
GOP Gov. Phil Scott defeated a challenge from Springfield businessman Keith Stern in his quest to win a second term. He will face Christine Hallquist, who won the Democratic primary to run for the state's highest office in November, when she would become the nation's first transgender governor if elected.

Trump revokes former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance

President Donald Trump has withdrawn ex-CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance, in a move hitting one of the administration's most vocal critics.
The action, announced Wednesday by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, appears to be more of a political than practical move. Brennan and most other prominent former White House officials do not use their clearances to consult with the Trump administration, and the move may not prevent them from speaking out publicly now.

Asian gaming stocks tumble as China halts license approvals | Reuters

Shares of Asian video game companies such as Tencent Holdings, Nexon and Nintendo tumbled on Wednesday due to concerns over delays in new games releases in China, as Beijing halted approvals for game licenses.
Many firms have been awaiting games sales licenses since March after Beijing reformed and reorganized the government bodies that oversee the sectors earlier this year, industry executives told Reuters on Tuesday.

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2018.08.14

News Headlines - 14 August 2018

Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences - BBC News

A man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament.
The vehicle swerved into cyclists and pedestrians shortly after 07:30 BST, injuring three people.
The 29-year-old suspect is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, and is not co-operating with officers. Searches are taking place in Birmingham and Nottingham.

Germany lifts total ban on Nazi symbols in video games - BBC News

Nazi symbols can now appear in video games in Germany, ending a long-running and frequently ridiculed censorship... The change means Nazi symbols used in an artistic way will be allowed.
Until now, using banned symbols would prevent a video game from being considered for a compulsory age rating - essentially banning it from being sold in stores.

Koala gets own seat on flight to Scotland

Plane passengers flying to Edinburgh had a surprise Antipodean traveller in their cabin - a koala heading for the city's zoo.
The 19-month-old Queensland koala had his own seat on the flight as the sensitive animals cannot be placed in the hold.

Meghan Markle's mum Doria Ragland prepares to MOVE to UK to be close to daughter | Express.co.uk

Doria Ragland – the only member of Meghan’s family at her wedding – is said to be “beside herself with excitement” at becoming neighbours of Harry and Meghan.
One friend said yesterday she could make the move as soon as next month, in time to celebrate her 62nd birthday in Britain.
Doria is said to have been deeply impressed by the Royal Family, including the Queen, during and after Meghan’s wedding.

Liga announces landmark free-to-air deal with Facebook in India | Reuters

Spain’s top flight soccer division La Liga announced on Tuesday a landmark deal with Facebook which will allow viewers in the Indian sub-continent to watch every game over the next three seasons for free on the social network.
A statement from La Liga said all 380 league matches for the new season, which begins on Friday, would be available to viewers in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

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2018.08.13

News Headlines - 13 August 2018

Asia markets decline; Turkish lira on the back foot while yen firms

Asian markets slid on Monday as investor sentiment took a knock amid the renewed slump in the Turkish lira.
The Nikkei 225 slid 1.98 percent, or 440.65 points, to close at 21,857.43 as the yen firmed amid uncertainty in Turkey. The safe-haven currency traded at 110.30 to the dollar at 2:45 p.m. HK/SIN, compared to levels around 110.90 seen on Friday.

China’s Giant Banks Top This Ranking. And That’s a Cause for Concern - Bloomberg

In 1988, 9 of the 10 largest banks in the world were Japanese. Three years later the country’s financial system, along with its lenders, collapsed, sending Japan into its infamous lost decade (or three, considering the country is still struggling to escape deflation and low growth)... By 2007 all of the top 10 slots were filled by U.S. and European lenders. A year later the subprime mortgage meltdown hit the U.S. The sovereign debt crisis followed in Europe... U.S. and European economies, like Japan’s, have contended for most of the past decade with low growth.
It’s 2018, and the rankings teem with Asian banks again. This time the top four by assets are Chinese. Of course, this may not be a sign of where the next financial crisis will erupt. But in light of the recent precedents, it’s a cause for concern.

Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world - BBC News

The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is home to 10 million people but it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If this goes unchecked, parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050, say researchers. Is it too late?
...It's already happening - North Jakarta has sunk 2.5m in 10 years and is continuing to sink by as much as 25cm a year in some parts, which is more than double the global average for coastal megacities. Jakarta is sinking by an average of 1-15cm a year and almost half the city now sits below sea level.

Awa Odori festival kicks off - The Japan News

The Awa Odori festival began in Tokushima on Sunday, organized for the first time by a committee led by the Tokushima municipal government after it was revealed that one of the previous organizers had incurred huge debts... The Awa Odori festival was co-organized by the Tokushima city tourism association and The Tokushima Shimbun local newspaper until last year. However, it was found that the association had racked up a cumulative deficit of over \400 million, prompting the Tokushima municipal government, which had covered the tourism organization’s losses, to seek court-led bankruptcy proceedings.

Man escapes from Osaka police station after meeting with lawyer - The Mainichi

Junya Hida was found missing from the interview room at Tondabayashi Police Station at around 9:45 p.m. Hida, who was additionally served with an arrest warrant on suspicion of attempted rape and other charges on Aug. 8, had been in an interview with his lawyer from around 7:30 p.m. In the meeting room, the acrylic plate dividing the suspect and the lawyer was broken, police said.
It is not clear when the lawyer left the room. No officers at the station witnessed Hida's escape, and no one was injured.

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2018.08.12

News Headlines - 12 August 2018

Boston Globe, US newspapers to run editorial calling for end to 'dirty war' on press

The Boston Globe has been contacting newspaper editorial boards and proposing a "coordinated response" to President Trump's escalating "enemy of the people" rhetoric.
"We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration's assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date," The Globe said in its pitch to fellow papers... As of Saturday, "we have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days," Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe's deputy editorial page editor, told CNN.

Pioneer seeks lifeline with tie-up - The Japan News

Struggling car electronics maker Pioneer Corp. said Thursday it is in talks with companies including automotive parts maker Calsonic Kansei Corp. to seek a tie-up.
Pioneer made the comment after media reports said it has approached Calsonic Kansei and others in hopes of forming a capital and business alliance to secure product development funds and rebuild its operations.

In Pursuit of Civility by Keith Thomas review – manners in early modern England | The Guardian

In truth, of course, standards of civility are changeable. As Keith Thomas points out in his wonderfully entertaining history, according to Giovanni della Casa, the 16th-century authority on polite behaviour, it was perfectly proper for the master of a household to relieve himself in front of his servants and inferiors. When King James I went out hunting all day, he similarly didn’t bother getting out of the saddle to answer calls of nature; and when parliament met in Oxford in 1665-6, Charles II’s courtiers left behind “their excrements in every corner, in chimneys, studies, coal-houses, cellars”.

Pink seagull spotted sitting above a shop in Barnstaple, Devon | Metro News

This bizarre pink bird isn’t some kind of new species, or a tropical bird that’s somehow ended up lost in Britain.
In fact, it’s actually a seagull that appears to have been spray painted a bright shade of pink.

Daddy Yankee: Despacito rapper 'robbed by impersonator' - BBC News

A thief impersonating Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee has reportedly stolen 2 million euros ($2.3m; £1.8m) worth of jewels from his hotel room in Spain.
Spanish paper Las Provincias reports a man posing as the performer, real name Ramon Luis Ayala, phoned staff at his Valencia hotel to open the room's safe.

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2018.08.11

News Headlines - 11 August 2018

Stolen Plane Crashes After Airline Employee Takes Off From Seattle Airport - The New York Times

An airline employee took off in a stolen plane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night in an episode that frustrated stranded travelers, riveted witnesses and ended with the plane crashing about 30 miles from the airport, the authorities said.
The man, a 29-year-old who acted alone, was thought to be suicidal, said officials in Pierce County, where the plane crashed. No one else was believed to be on the 76-seat plane or injured on the ground.

Gunma copter crash kills all nine crew members and passengers | The Japan Times

All nine passengers on a rescue helicopter that crashed on a mountain near the border of Gunma and Nagano prefectures on Friday died, Gunma Prefectural Government officials confirmed on Saturday.
The helicopter, which was checking a mountain trail ahead of its opening to climbers, went down near the prefectural border Friday morning.

North Korea detains Japanese man, casting cloud over abduction negotiations | The Japan Times

A Japanese man has recently been taken into custody in North Korea, government officials said Saturday as Tokyo tried to obtain information on the case.
According to informed sources, the man, in his 30s, was visiting the communist regime on a package tour organized by a foreign tourist agency. He was in Nampo, a port town in the western part of the country, the source said.

Wild Boars boys, coach receive Thai citizenship | Bangkok Post

Three Wild Boars footballers and their coach have received Thai citizenship amid cheers from their parents... The three boys were granted Thai citizenship under the terms of the Citizenship Act for those migrating to the country. The coach received Thai nationality as he was born at Mae Sai hospital.

Iniesta scores first goal for Japanese side Kobe - Channel NewsAsia

Andres Iniesta scored his first goal for J League side Vissel Kobe in their 2-1 victory over Jubilo Iwata on Saturday.
The great Spanish midfielder, who moved to Japan following an illustrious career with boyhood club Barcelona, scored a sensational goal to open his account, assisted by former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski.

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2018.08.10

News Headlines - 10 August 2018

Colombia to withdraw from Unasur; South America split over Venezuela

Colombia’s foreign Minister Carlos Holmes announced Friday that his country is withdrawing from Unasur, the union of South American countries after months of division between member states.
The country suspended its membership in April after months of infighting on the worsening situation in neighboring Venezuela and the succession of Colombian ex-President Ernesto Samper as the South American union’s president.
The bloc was founded in 2008 to promote regional integration and diminish US influence in South America. Political divisions, however, had virtually paralyzed the organization.

Turkish lira hits record lows as Turkey-U.S. concerns weigh | Reuters

Turkey’s lira tumbled to another record low against the dollar on Thursday after a Turkish delegation returned from meeting U.S. officials in Washington with no apparent solution to a diplomatic rift that has opened up between them... The lira stood at 5.5575 against the dollar at 1724 GMT, down 5 from the previous day’s close and after sliding to an all-time low of 5.5690. It was headed for its biggest one-day drop since 2008.

Ryanair strike hits 55,000 passengers across Europe | Reuters

Ryanair endured its worst one-day strike on Friday after a walk-out by pilots in five European countries disrupted the plans of an estimated 55,000 travelers with the budget airline at the height of the summer holiday season.
Ryanair, which averted widespread strikes before last Christmas by agreeing to recognize unions for the first time in its 30-year history, has been unable to quell rising protests over slow progress in negotiating collective labor agreements.
In response to unions serving strike notices, Ryanair had announced the cancellations of 250 flights in and out of Germany, 104 to and from Belgium and another 42 in Sweden and its home market of Ireland, where around a quarter of its pilots were staging their fifth 24-hour walkout.

Michael Moore's Trump Documentary 'Fahrenheit 11/9' Due in September: Watch the Trailer | Billboard

Michael Moore’s Donald Trump critique Fahrenheit 11/9 will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting theaters September 21.
Moore unveiled the first look at this latest documentary Thursday, releasing a trailer online. The title is an inversion of his 2004 George W. Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, which became the highest grossing documentary ever with $222.4 million in worldwide box office. The date refers to when Trump was declared winner of the 2016 election: November 9th.

Taiwan’s Quemoy island begins importing water from mainland China amid rising cross-strait tensions | South China Morning Post

Taiwan-controlled Quemoy island has started importing water from nearby Fujian province to ease its shortage, despite rising tensions across the strait.
Also known as Kinmen, officials from the island – which is just 2km from the mainland Chinese city of Xiamen and was a flashpoint during the cold war – signed an agreement with Fujian in 2015 to provide water for 30 years to resolve the problem.

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2018.08.09

News Headlines - 09 August 2018

Nagasaki remembers atomic bomb victims 73 years on | DW

Survivors and dignitaries honored the 74,000 victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki at the 73rd anniversary ceremony on Thursday. Around 5,800 people gathered to observe a minute's silence at 11:02 local time, the exact moment when US bombers dropped the "Fat Man" nuclear device on the Japanese port city in 1945.
The attack came three days after a nuclear strike on Hiroshima that killed 140,000. Less than a week after Nagasaki, Japan announced itssurrender, which officially ended World War II.

Japan's crippled Fukushima plant stops selling souvenirs - Channel NewsAsia

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said it had pulled the plastic folders decorated with six photos of the battered nuclear plant from the shelves of an on-site store... But the firm suspended sales of the folders on Wednesday as critics said it was inappropriate to sell a souvenir at the site of the worst nuclear accident in a generation.

Berlin airport evacuated after police mistake sex toy for a grenade | The Independent

Security staff at German airports are under fire for a third evacuation in 10 days - the latest triggered by a sex toy.
A screening team at Berlin’s Schonefeld Airport, one of the six busiest in Germany, mistook an Ann Summers vibrator for a hand grenade and ordered an evacuation of part of the terminal.
The offending item was identified during an X-ray at the outsize baggage check-in area on Tuesday.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 price and release date: Samsung’s first £1,000+ smartphone has arrived | London Evening Standard

The new Samsung phone has finally been launched in all its glory: the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
At an event in New York, Samsung’s CEO DK Koh took to the stage to unveil the new phone that he has been slyly using for the past few months.

Amazing Moomin themed MoominValley Park in Japan will soon be ready – grand opening date now released! : Moomin

Hooray, now it is confirmed – the MoominValley Park in Hanno, Saitama, Japan will open on 16th March 2019!
The brand new MoominValley Park will be part of a park facility called Metsä comprising of two areas. Metsä Village, opening in November 2018, allows visitors to experience the Scandinavian and Nordic atmosphere and lifestyle and enjoy the rich nature whilst MoominValley Park is to discover the world of the Moomins.

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2018.08.08

News Headlines - 08 August 2018

Colombia's new leader plans changes to FARC peace deal

The right-wing Duque, who is just 42 years old, succeeds Juan Manuel Santos -- and could work to undo the deal his predecessor reached with leftist FARC guerrillas to end a half-century of conflict... In his inaugural address, he said he would take steps to fix "structural flaws" in the deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), without offering concrete details.

Chicago shootings in one weekend: 66 shot, 12 fatally, police say - CNN

During the weekend in Chicago, 66 people were shot, 12 of them fatally, between Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
"It's no secret that we had an unacceptably violent weekend," Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said... "These shootings are not random, they're fueled by gang conflicts. We know who they are and we continue to send a message that it's OK to commit these crimes by not doing anything as a community. We are all supposed to be on the same side. CPD can be better, but this city can be better," Johnson said.

German court rejects 'Nazi grandma' appeal, as it rules Holocaust denial is not covered by free speech

German holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison after the country's highest court ruled that denying the mass murder of Jews during Nazi Germany is not covered by the right to free speech and "threatens public peace".

Huawei Withdrawing From US Market After Surpassing Apple Global Smartphone Shipments?

Huawei is reportedly withdrawing its business from the U.S. market amid restrictions imposed by the Trump administration. The news comes after second-quarter global shipments data revealed that the Chinese company is now the second largest smartphone vendor next to Samsung Electronics.
A mobile carrier official familiar with Huawei’s plans disclosed to Etnews Monday that the Chinese brand is entirely withdrawing from the United States. The company is reportedly removing all of its three offices from the country, with preparations underway since the second quarter.

Boxing: Japan amateur chief resigns over allegations of misconduct - The Mainichi

Japan Amateur Boxing Federation President Akira Yamane announced his resignation Wednesday following multiple allegations of misconduct, including pressuring referees to fix matches and misuse of grant money.

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2018.08.07

News Headlines - 07 August 2018

UK plans warrants to extradite Russian poisoners over Salisbury novichok case | The Times

Britain is making plans to seek the extradition from Russia of two suspects identified as the perpetrators of the Salisbury poisonings.
Scotland Yard detectives are understood to be confident that they have identified the would-be assassins and an extradition request is part of the plan to renew pressure on the Kremlin over the nerve agent attack.
It would reignite the diplomatic row that erupted after the poisoning in March of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia, 33.

Japanese police seek clues on French woman who vanished in Nikko in July | The Japan Times

A French woman who visited the popular tourist destination of Nikko has been missing since late last month, the Tochigi Prefectural Police announced Sunday.
Tiphaine Veron, 36, was last seen on the morning of July 29, when she left her lodging facility there, they said. The manager of the facility called the police the next day after she failed to return for her suitcase.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Japan debates daylight saving to avoid heat - BBC News

Japan is considering adopting daylight saving time next year so that athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games can compete in cooler hours, reports say.
The proposal to bring clocks forward by two hours has received major opposition on social media with many worried it would result in longer working hours... The government says it is yet to decide on the move but does want to limit the effect of summer heat on the athletes.

Thai cave boys complete novice monkhood at Buddhist temple | TVNZ

With their heads bowed and wearing orange robes, the members of the boys' soccer team rescued from almost three weeks trapped in a cave in northern Thailand on Saturday completed their time as novice Buddhist monks... The July 25 ordination of 11 boys of the Wild Boars soccer team along with the 25-year-old coach was especially dedicated to a former Thai navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died while diving during a volunteer mission to supply the cave with oxygen tanks essential to a successful rescue. A twelfth boy did not go through the religious ritual because he isn't Buddhist.

Shock and anger in Hamilton after province says it'll cancel the basic income project | CBC News

Recipients and anti-poverty activists say they're shocked by Tuesday's announcement from Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. MacLeod says she's cancelling the three-year pilot a year into it... About 4,000 people were involved across the communities of Thunder Bay, Lindsay, Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County.
Of those, 2,000 got a basic income every month. The other half didn't get the monthly money, but would be compensated for filling out surveys for research purposes... Under the program, recipients received up to $16,989 per year for a single person, less 50 per cent of any earned income, and $24,027 for a couple. People with disabilities received an additional $6,000.

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2018.08.06

News Headlines - 06 August 2018

Hiroshima remembers atomic bombing on 73rd anniversary

Hiroshima marked the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city with a somber ceremony Monday to remember those killed and injured and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons amid hopes of denuclearizing North Korea.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui opened his speech by describing the hellish scene of the blast that morning 73 years ago and the agony of the victims, telling the audience to listen "as if you and your loved ones were there." Then he raised concerns about the global rise of egocentrism and tensions, and urged Japan's government to take more leadership toward achieving a truly nuclear-free world.

North Korea foreign minister to visit Iran on Tuesday - Channel NewsAsia

North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho is due to visit Iran on Tuesday (Aug 7), Iranian media reported on Saturday.
Ri is set to jet in as the United States reimposes sanctions on Iran following Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 deal to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

London cab drivers plan legal action against Uber - BBC News

A group of London black cab drivers has planned legal action against Uber in an effort to claim "millions of pounds in lost earnings".
The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA) and 11 other organisations hired solicitors to determine if they have a case against the ride-hailing app.
The LTDA claims its drivers, who have average annual earnings of £50,000, have each lost £10,000 a year since Uber began operating in London in 2012.

Actor Steven Seagal appointed Russian ministry's 'special representative' - CNNPolitics

Russia appointed actor Steven Seagal as a "special representative" on US-Russian humanitarian ties, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement on its official Facebook page Saturday.
According to the statement, the action star's role will be to promote US-Russia relations "in the humanitarian sphere," adding that the role will include collaboration "in the sphere of culture, public and youth exchanges."

US man loses legs, arms and nose after being licked by his dog | Newshub

A US man lost both his legs, most of his nose and some of his arms after contracting a rare bacterial infection from his affectionate dog.
Wisconsin native Greg Manteufel went to the emergency room with what he thought was a cold. But his symptoms, which included bruising all over his body, turned out to be something far more serious.
The 48-year-old had contracted sepsis, a dangerous infection of the bloodstream - and his beloved pit bull was to blame. It's believed the bacteria capnocytophaga was passed to Mr Manteufel when the dog licked him.

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2018.08.05

News Headlines - 05 August 2018

Venezuela braces for possible crackdown after apparent drone attack on Maduro - The Washington Post

The Venezuelan government made more arrests Sunday in connection with an apparent assassination attempt on President Nicolás Maduro, as the crisis-plagued South American nation braced for a possibility of wider crackdown on dissent.
Interior Minister Néstor Luis Reverol said six “terrorists” were detained Sunday, a day after the government said drones carrying explosives targeted Maduro in the midst of a nationally televised address.

M7.0 quake strikes off Indonesia's Lombok island, causes small tsunamis

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7 struck the popular tourist island of Lombok on Sunday, triggering small tsunami waves, according to the government.
Indonesia's meteorological and climatological agency said some damage was reported in buildings in Lombok and neighboring Bali.

Road safety demo continues for sixth day | The Daily Star

The road safety protesters again came under attack in the capital yesterday, a day after the students had been attacked by police and “ruling party men” in Mirpur... Sadaat Mahmood, one of the victims, said they rushed to Science Laboratory intersection after hearing the news of an attack on students. But when they returned to the campus, they found some people dragging one of the students who were controlling traffic.

Cultivated Areas in Iraq Halved due to Drought | Asharq AL-awsat

Areas under cultivation in Iraq have halved this summer compared to last year due to a drought wave and reduced water levels of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the Ministry of Agriculture revealed... This had led the government in June to suspended farming of rice, corn and other cereals that require major irrigation.
Losses for workers dependent on these productions will reach up to 34 million euros ($39 million) this year, according to authorities.

Scattered protests in Iran as U.S. sanctions loom | Reuters

Sporadic protests broke out in several cities in Iran for a fifth night on Saturday, a day after demonstrators attacked a Shi’ite seminary, according to Iranian news agencies and social media, as Iranians brace for a return of U.S. sanctions.
Hundreds rallied in cities including Tehran, Karaj, Shiraz, and Qom, according to videos posted on social media, to protest against high inflation caused in part by a collapse in the rial currency over fears of the reimposition of crippling sanctions on Aug. 7.

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2018.08.04

News Headlines - 04 August 2018

Despite tensions, Russia seeks U.S. help to rebuild Syria | Reuters

Russia has used a closely guarded communications channel with America’s top general to propose the two former Cold War foes cooperate to rebuild Syria and repatriate refugees to the war-torn country, according to a U.S. government memo.
The proposal was sent in a July 19 letter by Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, to U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the memo which was seen by Reuters.

Monju reactor fuel removal faces delays as monitoring cameras fog up in tests - The Mainichi

The removal of fuel from the prototype reactor in Fukui Prefecture must be carried out remotely, because there are some areas that human workers cannot enter. Fuel rods will be removed from the reactor vessel and from a spent fuel pool, both filled with sodium -- a material that is difficult to handle because it reacts with water and air -- using special equipment.
Before extracting the fuel, staff tested their removal technique up until July 26 by attempting to take control rods out of the spent fuel pool. However, two cameras near a special receptacle for the rods and at an enclosed intermediate monitoring area fogged up, preventing workers from properly checking the work, the agency said.

Tokyo Medical University lowered grades of women to limit number of female doctors - The Washington Post

One of Japan’s top medical universities has been systematically blocking female applicants from entering the school for at least eight years, local news agencies reported on Thursday.
Tokyo Medical University, a private institution consistently ranked among the country's best for clinical medicine, has been automatically lowering the entrance exam results of female applicants for the past decade, an attempt to keep the ratio of women in each class of students below 30 percent, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported. A specific coefficient was reportedly applied to the scores of all female applicants, lowering them by 10 to 20 percent.

Man with Down's Syndrome shot dead by Swedish police after running away from home with toy gun

A man with Down’s Syndrome has been shot dead by Swedish police after running away from home in the middle of the night carrying a toy gun.
Eric Torell, 20, who was autistic and was described by his family as being severely disabled, was fatally shot by police who erroneously believed he was carrying a real weapon in the early hours of Thursday morning in downtown Stockholm.

Federal Judge Halts Release of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints | Time

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns, saying they could end up in the wrong hands.
The company behind the plans, Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allows it to make the plans for the guns available for download on Wednesday.

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2018.08.03

News Headlines - 03 August 2018

At Least 200 IS Fighters 'Surrender' In Afghanistan

Dozens of Islamic State (IS) fighters have surrendered to Afghan forces, amid intense fighting between followers of the extremist group and the Taliban in the northern province of Jawzjan, an official says.
Provincial police chief Faqeer Mohammad Jawzjani told RFE/RL on August 1 that at least 200 militants had surrendered in Darzab district since late on July 31.

TSA considering eliminating screening at smaller airports - CNNPolitics

The Transportation Security Administration is considering eliminating passenger screening at more than 150 small and medium-sized airports across the US, according to senior agency officials and internal documents obtained by CNN.
The proposal, if implemented, would mark a major change for air travel in the US, following nearly two decades of TSA presence since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and comes as the Trump administration has stepped up screening measures for items such as laptops and tablets.

Zimbabwe election results: Emmerson Mnangagwa declared winner of country’s first post-Mugabe poll as opponent Nelson Chamisa rejects vote | The Independent

The historic elections in Zimbabwe officially finished in the early hours of Friday morning with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ally turned enemy of Robert Mugabe, declared the winner by a narrow margin.
But the outcome leaves an already fractured country with bitter divisions and an uncertain future with the fallout from the bitterly disputed polls due to continue.
The opposition immediately refuted the result and warned of widespread protests, raising fears of further violence after troops shot six people dead and injured more than 30 in clashes with protesters on Wednesday.

Ebola is back in Congo. This time it may be harder to fight.

The Ebola virus has popped up again in the Democratic Republic of Congo, days after another outbreak was declared over — but this time it may be harder to fight.
The new outbreak is across the vast Central African nation from the last one, 1,500 miles away and in an area disrupted by conflict and teeming with refugees, aid workers say. It will be difficult and dangerous to track down cases to isolate and treat them.

Renault F1 team gets suspended fine for rare Hungary tyre error - Autosport

The Renault Formula 1 team has been hit with a suspended €10,000 fine for a rare tyre error during Hungarian Grand Prix practice on Nico Hulkenberg's car.
Hulkenberg used three tyres from a set that Renault had nominated to return after first practice, which breached F1's sporting regulations.
The team was summoned to the stewards, who dished out a €10,000 fine that is suspended until the end of the season providing Renault does not commit another tyre usage violation.

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2018.08.02

News Headlines - 02 August 2018

Japan's massive health and labor ministry targeted for breakup - Nikkei Asian Review

The Japanese government is considering splitting the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, concluding that the mammoth bureaucracy with an extensive portfolio is incapable of responding to the complex needs of an aging society.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will submit a proposal as early as this month recommending a split, which will be part of a broader government review of its 13 agencies and ministries created through a reorganization 20 years ago.
The goal is to break up the ministry into two entities by 2020, with one covering health- and welfare-related duties and the other handling labor ministry matters.

Abe keeping a tight lid on who he meets, even if just for drinks:The Asahi Shimbun

He still seems to be smarting from a public backlash over a Twitter post in early July that was accompanied by a photo showing him relaxing over drinks with a large group of lawmakers from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, just hours after the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a landslide alert July 5 about torrential rains in western Japan. The deluge went on for days and claimed more than 200 lives.
Stung by the reaction and fearful of inviting more criticism if he was seen having a good time with colleagues, Abe and his close aides did everything possible to keep the wraps on a meeting held on the evening of July 25 at the prime minister's official residence.

Where is Merkel? Germany hunts chancellor after holiday no-show | Reuters

Where is Angela Merkel? That question is preoccupying German media after the chancellor’s husband was spotted on holiday in northern Italy without his wife... The couple, who have been married for 20 years, were last seen in public together on July 25 for their traditional appearance at the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria, a must for fans of composer Richard Wagner.

Merkel’s conservatives at record low, far right at record high: poll – POLITICO

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives fell to a record low while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) rose to a record high in a new poll out Thursday.
Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc fell to 29 percent support in the DeutschlandTrend survey — the first time the alliance has ever fallen below the 30 percent mark in the poll by public broadcaster ARD.

Aeroméxico crash: How everyone aboard jet survived

Passengers who walked away from the fiery Aeroméxico crash are thankful to be alive but a safety expert on Wednesday said it was “no accident” that everyone aboard the jet survived.
The aircraft attempted to take off in heavy rain during a storm Tuesday afternoon in Durango, Mexico, but crashed into grass near the runway and skidded to a stop before catching fire.
None of the 103 people on board — 99 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants — was killed.

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2018.08.01

News Headlines - 01 August 2018

U.S. lawmakers demand tech firms to do more to fight election interference | Reuters

U.S. lawmakers demanded that technology firms do more to fight “shocking” foreign efforts to influence U.S. politics on Wednesday, a day after Facebook Inc identified an influence campaign tied to November’s elections and despite President Donald Trump’s denunciation of the issue as a “hoax.”
... Senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said... the committee had called executives of Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to testify on Sept. 5 “to hear the plans they have in place, to press them to do more, and to work together to address this challenge.”

Japanese bond yields rise sharply after tweaks to BoJ policy

Japan’s 10-year government bond yield was poised on Wednesday to record its steepest jump in two years, following the Bank of Japan’s decision to tweak its stimulus programme to allow more flexibility in the fixed income market.
The yield jumped 6.8 basis points in recent trading to 0.124 per cent. It would mark the biggest rise since August 2016 for the paper, which has faced a significant jolt of volatility over the past two weeks.
The BoJ said on Tuesday that it would double the range it allows yields on the10-year Japanese government bond to move to 20 bps on either side of zero. Bonds initially rallied on the news, sending the yield on the 10-year down on Tuesday by the widest margin in more than two years.

Japan, Russia at odds over Tokyo's missile defense plan - The Mainichi

In response to Russia's deep-seated concern about the deployment, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said it is "purely for national defense."
The friction over the installation of two land-based Aegis Ashore stations, which Japan sees as necessary to protect its territory from North Korean ballistic missile strikes, re-emerged as Onodera and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met their Russian counterparts Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda appeals for help in new video after abduction in Syria | South China Morning Post

Japan’s government said Wednesday it’s doing its utmost for the rescue of a Japanese journalist believed to be held in Syria after a video of a man appearing to be him was posted on the internet.
Freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda was last heard from in Syria in June 2015.
It is thought he is being held by the Al-Nusra Front, a former al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

England's Freemasons to allow women - if they were once male | Reuters

England’s Freemasons are to admit women to their secretive society - but only if they were previously male masons... The all-male United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has published a new gender reassignment policy which states that “a Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason.”... A woman who becomes a man will also be allowed to apply to become a Freemason, the policy said.

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2018.07.31

News Headlines - 31 July 2018

Almost Every Single Taxi Driver in Spain Is Currently on Strike | Fortune

A taxi strike began in Barcelona last week after a regional judge rejected local rules that would have limited the number of licenses for cars from ride-hailing services like Uber and Cabify.
The strike spread, and over the weekend taxi drivers in Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Alicante, Málaga, Zaragoza and La Rioja began to turn off their engines in solidarity.
Not only are the drivers not offering rides but they have been blocking major avenues such as the Gran Via in Barcelona and the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid by parking their taxis mid lane to stop traffic flow, with some drivers even spending the night in tents beside their vehicles.

Brexit: UK warns EU of tit-for-tat measures over financial services | The Guardian

UK negotiators have told their counterparts in Brussels that about 7,000 European-based investment funds that rely on British clients for their cash and profits will be hit by regulators unless the EU changes its position on the City of London after Brexit... A section of a UK presentation made to the European commission’s negotiators last week, and seen by the Guardian, says that unless Brussels allows all UK sectors of the City of London to continue to operate after Brexit as they do today, at least initially, obstacles to European financial interests operating in the UK could also be put in place.

Japan pledges to reduce plutonium, but doesn’t say how:The Asahi Shimbun

Japan's nuclear policy-setting panel on Tuesday approved revised guidelines on plutonium use, putting a cap on its stockpile and pledging to eventually reduce it to address international concerns, but without giving a specific timeline or targets... Despite security concerns raised by Washington and others, the stockpile isn't decreasing due to difficulties in achieving a full nuclear fuel recycling program and slow restarts of reactors amid setbacks from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Japan Amateur Boxing Federation denies financial fraud allegations | The Japan Times

The Japan Amateur Boxing Federation has responded to allegations of fraud, including the misuse of federal grant money, saying “a lot of” the accusations made by regional federation executives and former boxers are false.
On its website late Monday evening, the JABF apologized for disappointing fans, athletes and sports officials following media reports about the complaint against the governing body of amateur boxing filed through the Japanese Olympic Committee.

French World Cup glory costs China firm $9 mn and counting | AFP.com

A Chinese kitchen appliance maker said Monday it has so far made refunds worth nine million dollars, fulfilling a costly pledge to reimburse customers if France won the World Cup... According to Vatti's latest figures, the Chinese firm has made refunds -- either in cash or gift cards -- of more than 62 million yuan... The total payout over the marketing stunt will amount to nearly $12 million.

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2018.07.30

News Headlines - 30 July 2018

No Plane. No Remains. And Now, No Real Answers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. - The New York Times

The long-awaited report offered no conclusion on what caused the plane with 239 people aboard to veer off course, cease radio communications and vanish.
The head of the safety investigation team, Kok Soo Chon, said the available evidence — including the plane’s deviation from its flight course, which tests showed was done manually rather than by autopilot, and the switching off of a transponder — “irresistibly point” to “unlawful interference,” which could mean that the plane was hijacked.
But he added that the panel found no indication of who might have interfered or why, and that any criminal inquiry would be the responsibility of law enforcement authorities, not safety investigators.

U.S. spy agencies: North Korea is working on new missiles - The Washington Post

U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.
Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence.

Some Amazon Reviews Are Too Good To Be Believed. They're Paid For : NPR

NPR spoke with several people who write Amazon reviews for pay, from a college student in Puerto Rico to a stay-at-home mother in the Midwest. Such reviews are a problem on e-commerce sites, outside auditors say, and they proliferate in online channels set up for this purpose... According to outside auditors like Fakespot and ReviewMeta, more than half the reviews for certain popular products are questionable. Amazon disputes those estimates.

Sir Paul McCartney 'misremembers' writing 'In My Life' – it was really John Lennon, says Harvard analysis

It has been a long and winding road, but academics may have finally solved the dispute over who wrote the melody for The Beatles’ song ‘In My Life.’...Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard University, and Jason Brown, Professor of Mathematics at Dalhousie University, created a computer model which broke down Lennon and McCartney songs into 149 different components to determine the musical fingerprints of each songwriter.
And they discovered that, stylistically, there is less than one in 50 chance of Sir Paul having written the music to ‘In My Life.’

Haruki Murakami 'cannot oppose' death penalty for doomsday cult killers | The Guardian

In a rare essay, published in the Mainichi Shimbun on Sunday, Murakami said that “as a general argument, I adopt a stance of opposition toward the death penalty”, pointing to the number of wrongful convictions which mean that “the death penalty, literally, can be described as an institution with fatal dangers”.
But the author, who interviewed survivors and cult members about the sarin attack for his 1997 non-fiction book Underground, said that after speaking to those who were injured and those who lost loved ones, “I cannot publicly state, as far as this case is concerned, ‘I am opposed to death penalty.’”

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2018.07.29

News Headlines - 29 July 2018

Venting about press, Trump has repeatedly sought to ban reporters over questions - The Washington Post

President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials, according to several current and former administration officials.
At various moments throughout his presidency, Trump has vented angrily to aides about what he considers disrespectful behavior and impertinent questions from reporters in the Oval Office and in other venues. He has also asked that retaliatory action be taken against them.

North Korea returns potential remains of 55 U.S. Korean War troops

North Korea turned over what are believed to be the remains of 55 U.S. service members who were killed during the Korean War of the 1950s on Friday local time, the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting, the United States and the United Nations said.
A U.S. cargo aircraft flew to Wonson, North Korea, to receive the remains and returned to Osan Air Base, South Korea, the unified U.N. Command for Korea and U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement.

China dials down Xi's personality cult as criticism mounts - Nikkei Asian Review

Chinese authorities have started to take down posters of President Xi Jinping in certain parts of the capital, in what is seen to be an attempt to tone down the cult of personality, as party elders raise alarm over his authoritarian flair amid escalating tensions with the U.S.
The move comes ahead of the annual Beidaihe meeting held at the seaside resort town in Hebei Province, where past and present leaders of the Chinese Communist Party meet to discuss the direction of national policies.
Former President Jiang Zemin and other party elders are rumored to have sent a lengthy letter to Xi, urging him to reconsider his diplomatic and economic policies. There is growing sentiment within the party that Xi should pay more respect to past leaders who reformed China and propelled it to the world's second-largest economy.

Paul McCartney secret gig setlist: A Beatles-filled show at Liverpool's Cavern Club | The Independent

Paul McCartney performed a secret gig at the iconic venue which introduced The Beatles to the world over 50 years ago.
Tickets were handed out to the show at Liverpool's Cavern Club on a first come, first served basis with the 350-capacity venue filling up immediately.

UK voters back Brexit deal referendum as May's ratings plunge: polls | Reuters

When voters were asked in a YouGov poll whether there should be a referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal, 42 per cent said there should be a fresh vote while 40 per cent said there should not. The rest did not know.
The poll of 1,653 adults in the United Kingdom was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday this week, The Times said.

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2018.07.28

News Headlines - 28 July 2018

Chicago could launch basic income, here are other global experiments - Business Insider

In Chicago, alderman Ameya Pawar has proposed a bill to provide 1,000 families with $500 a month in a pilot that would make Chicago the largest US city to try a basic income program. In an interview with The Intercept, Pawar said he introduced the bill because he is worried that automation could leave millions of people without jobs.
Beyond Chicago, a number of cities and countries around the world are running their own experiments.

Arson Arrest Made In Fast-Moving Southern California Fire : NPR

A California man has been taken into custody on suspicion of arson, as firefighters have contained just 5 percent of the blaze that started Wednesday in the Idyllwild area in Riverside County.
The Cranston Fire has destroyed five homes and forced some 3,200 people to evacuate. The fire spread very rapidly, expanding to 4,700 acres in just a few hours.

South Korea to cut 17% of generals, merge Army commands in military reform

South Korea will reduce the number of general-grade officers by about 17 percent over the next four years, in line with the overall troop drawdown scheme, as part of a new defense reform initiative aimed at creating a slimmer yet stronger military.

Pilots suspended after fight breaks out in the cockpit mid-flight | Metro News

A fight broke out between a pilot and his co-pilot as they flew a jet with 150 passengers on board. Despite the pilot hitting his colleague as they argued over a food tray, the co-pilot claimed, they managed to successfully land the plane in Baghdad, Iraq. But the two men have since been suspended by Iraqi Airways, which has warned they face strict punishments.

Medicinal cannabis products to be legalised - BBC News

Specialist doctors in the UK will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products by autumn, the home secretary has announced... Their advice was part of a review into medicinal cannabis launched by the home secretary following an outcry over Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley being denied access to cannabis oil... The Home Office recently granted them licences to access the treatments.

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2018.07.27

News Headlines - 27 July 2018

Baby saved from Laos dam disaster by Thai cave rescue volunteers - The Straits Times

The rescue of a baby boy, terrified and hungry after days without food, has been captured in a viral video showing the infant survivor of a dam collapse in southern Laos being carefully carried through swirling flood waters and waist-high mud.
Footage of volunteers from Thailand rescuing 14 people, including the baby, went viral when it was released on Friday (July 27) as an increasingly international relief mission scrambles to save lives in a disaster that has left scores dead and missing.

After Floods and Heatwave, Japan Braces for Typhoon Jongdari - Bloomberg

The typhoon was located off Chichijima, an island in the Pacific about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) southeast of Tokyo, as of 2 p.m. Japan time Friday. Carrying sustained winds of 144 kilometers (89 miles) per hour, it’s expected to speed up and maintain its intensity as it nears the mainland on Saturday afternoon, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Japanese politician under fire for claiming LGBT couples are 'unproductive' | The Independent

A Japanese politician has come under fire for calling LGBT+ couples “unproductive” and so potentially unworthy of investment from the taxpayer.
Mio Sugita wrote in a magazine article that a society accepting of same-sex relationships risked greater levels of unhappiness and potential collapse if it was “deprived of common sense and normalcy”.
Ms Sugita, 51, a member of prime minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), argued that “these men and women don’t bear children – in other words, they are ‘unproductive’”.

Food shop owner suspected of $1 mil. tax evasion - NHK WORLD

The Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau has filed a complaint with local prosecutors that Tatsuko Utsunomiya, has been hiding roughly 330 million yen, or about 3 million dollars, in income.
Her food shop is located in the Osaka Castle Park, near a gate leading to the castle tower. Its main food item is takoyaki octopus dumplings. A set of 8 dumplings is priced at 600 yen, or about 5 dollars... They say her business posted sales of more than 4.5 million dollars over the 3 years through 2016, but she has never reported them to the tax bureau.

New Video Shows Man Believed to be Last of His Amazon Tribe | Time

No one knows his name. No one knows the name of the people he came from. And he appears to have lived alone in Brazil’s Amazon for 22 years.
Video released for this first time this week by Brazil’s Indian Foundation shows rare images of a so-called uncontacted indigenous man who is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. The footage was shot in 2011, though a team that tracks him says it last saw evidence he was alive in May.

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2018.07.26

News Headlines - 26 July 2018

Japan sends last six Aum death row inmates to the gallows | The Japan Times

The six remaining Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row were executed Thursday morning, the Justice Ministry said, with all 13 of the cult members sentenced to death now having been hanged over the span of three weeks.
The executions followed the hanging of Shoko Asahara, the founder of the doomsday cult, and six former senior members of the group on July 6.

Official arrested as ministry is rocked by 2nd bribery scandal:The Asahi Shimbun

The education ministry is reeling from the arrest of a second high-ranking bureaucrat this month in another suspected bribery case involving the same alleged "fixer."
Investigators with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on July 26 arrested Kazuaki Kawabata, 57, director-general for international affairs at the education ministry, on suspicion of accepting bribes in the form of wining and dining when he was assigned to work as a vice president at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) between August 2015 and March 2017... Also arrested on July 26 was Koji Taniguchi, 47, a former executive with a medical care consulting company in Tokyo. He is suspected of providing lavish meals and drinks totaling about 1.4 million yen ($12,600) that constituted the bribe.

Toyota to double production in China to 2 mil. units in early 2020s - The Mainichi

Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to double its annual production in China to around 2 million units in the early 2020s in an effort to catch up with its rivals in the world's largest auto market, a source close to the matter said Wednesday.
Toyota manufactured 1.14 million cars and sold 1.29 million units in China last year, lagging behind Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co., which sold 4.18 million and 1.51 million cars, respectively.

North Korea to transfer remains of U.S. soldiers from Korean War on Friday: Yonhap | Reuters

North Korea will transfer the remains of an unspecified number of soldiers killed in the Korean War on Friday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, after accepting about 100 wooden caskets sent by the United States.

Maduro slashes five zeros from the bolivar to curb hyperinflation. It won't work. - The Washington Post

On Wednesday night, President Nicolás Maduro announced his plan to tame Venezuela’s brutal hyperinflation, which the International Monetary Fund says is on track to top 1 million percent this year. The president announced that our nearly worthless currency, the bolivar, is to shed five zeroes. From September, Venezuelans will get a new “sovereign bolivar” for each 100,000 of their old bolivars.

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2018.07.25

News Headlines - 25 July 2018

At least 26 dead in Laos dam collapse; dam failed after desperate 24-hour fight to avert disaster - The Straits Times

Rescuers recovered 26 bodies and over a hundred remain missing after a dam collapse swamped several villages in southern Laos, as survivors Wednesday (July 25) questioned why they got little warning of the deluge.
Two South Korean contractors said they reported damage a day before parts of the Xe-Namnoy dam gave way Monday and unleashed a wall of water.

Thai Cave Boys Ordained As Buddhist Novices : NPR

Eleven of the boys who were rescued from a cave in Thailand earlier this month — an international mission that captivated the world — have been ordained as Buddhist novices in honor to the volunteer diver who died during the harrowing ordeal... In a separate ceremony, the group's 25-year-old soccer coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, was ordained a monk. The twelfth member of the team is not Buddhist and did not participate in the religious event.

Japanese city blames bogus NPR report for wannabe ninja problem

A city in Japan has been bombarded with inquiries from aspiring ninjas, the country’s famed feudal mercenaries and spies, after a news report on city tourist promotions was mistaken for a “ninjas wanted” advertisement... But a program aired last week on National Public Radio about Iga’s ninja-centered town promotion effort set off a frenzy of internet interest after its host said the city faced a shortage of ninja performers and even quoted potential salaries, giving the impression it might be hiring.

Revenue Shortfall Wipes Out Facebook’s Year-to-Date Gain - Barron's

The bad news finally caught up with Facebook (FB).
A data-analytics dustup that dominated much of the year and lingering questions about how it handles misinformation dinged the social-networking juggernaut on Wednesday, sending its shares into a tailspin in late trading... The proximate cause was the company's disclosure its revenue rate growth will slow precipitously in the current quarter and the next one.

Trump and EU officials agree to work toward 'zero tariff' deal | The Guardian

Donald Trump and European Union officials on Wednesday stepped back from a trade war as they struck a deal to work towards “zero” tariffs, barriers and subsidies.
The EU also agreed to buy billions of dollars worth of American exports, including soya beans and natural gas, and work to reform international trade rules.

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2018.07.24

News Headlines - 24 July 2018

BOJ overstates household investment trust assets by staggering 30 trillion yen - The Mainichi

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) mistakenly recorded the amount of assets households held in investment trusts, producing a staggering figure 30 trillion yen (approximately $270 billion) higher than the actual amount, it has emerged.

Yamato says it overcharged corporate moving service clients by \1.7 billion | The Japan Times

Yamato Holdings Co. said Tuesday it has overcharged corporate moving service clients by \1.7 billion over the 24 months through June.
During the period the group handled 124,000 moves. Inappropriate charges were found for nearly 40 percent of the total, or about 48,000 cases, according to Yamato.

IOC preparing 'detailed heat countermeasures' for Tokyo 2020 as deadly temperatures hit Japan - CNN

With exactly two years to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan continues to swelter under searing heat... Temperatures have been almost 11 degrees hotter than the average at this time of year — the mercury rising to over 41 degrees (105.8F) in the city of Kumagaya, a short drive from the capital... The heatwave has prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to outline the "detailed heat countermeasures" it's planning to protect athletes, fans and the workers who will put on the Games.

Ex-Foreign Minister Kishida not to run in LDP leadership race - The Mainichi

Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday he will not run in the upcoming Liberal Democratic Party leadership race, but instead will support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to win another term as LDP president that would make him Japan's longest serving prime minister.

Green Light for Japan Casinos Offers Jackpot to Businesses - Bloomberg

Now that Japan has passed a law outlining a road map for casino resorts, foreign operators from Las Vegas Sands Corp. to MGM Resorts International can start to seek out partners in their bid to tap a gaming market that may be worth as much as $25 billion. It could also be a boon for Japanese industries -- from companies that oversee a resort project to construction giants building infrastructure.
There is still a long road ahead, but talks between Japanese companies and Western operators will become more serious now that the government has given the green light. Local municipalities will eventually start requesting proposals from consortium groups that want to pitch their plans.

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2018.07.23

News Headlines - 23 July 2018

North Korea Begins Dismantling Key Facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station | 38 North

In an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong Un at the June 12 Singapore Summit, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012) indicates that the North has begun dismantling key facilities. Most notably, these include the rail-mounted processing building—where space launch vehicles are prepared before moving them to the launch pad—and the nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.

Tojo was convinced of victory before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, newly unearthed memo shows | The Japan Times

It was just hours before Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In Tokyo, Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo was “perfectly relieved” and “tipsy,” convinced Japan would win any conflict with the United States after having finished all the administrative procedures to wage war against American and British forces in Hawaii and Asia.

Indian woman allegedly raped by 40 men over four days | New Straits Times

Indian police have arrested the owner of a guesthouse and its manager after a woman alleged she was drugged and raped by some 40 men over four days, an official said Friday... In a complaint to the police, the 22-year-old woman said she was promised a job at the guesthouse in the northern state of Haryana by a person known to her.
But she was instead held captive, drugged and raped by various men over four days, senior police officer Rajendar Kumar Meena told AFP, citing the written complaint of the victim.

Idiot biker films himself driving one-handed at almost 200mph on stolen motorbike and doing wheelies on British motorway

A RECKLESS biker who filmed himself driving one-handed at almost 200mph and doing wheelies on a stolen motorbike has been jailed for 21 months.
Adam Campion, 26, was seen recklessly riding on the wrong side of the road at 189mph - believed to be the highest speed ever clocked by a motorbike on British roads.

John Lennon’s killer coming up for parole for a 10th time | HeraldNet.com

For Chapman, it will be the 10th time he’s been eligible for parole. The previous nine he’s been rejected.
But this year, the Parole Board has been more willing to place heavier emphasis on an inmate’s behavior behind bars than simply focus on the severity of the crime. Several cop killers and other notorious murderers who had been long denied parole were set free in recent months.

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2018.07.22

News Headlines - 22 July 2018

Turkey, Netherlands agree to normalize ties | Reuters

Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalize ties, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Friday, restoring relations that have been strained since a 2017 diplomatic row.

21 killed in Vietnam floods - CNN

Extreme weather is striking parts of Asia with deadly flash-flooding in Vietnam, a tropical storm prompting evacuations and disrupting travel in China and an ongoing heat wave in Japan.
In Vietnam, 21 people have died and more people are missing after Tropical Depression Son Tinh triggered flash floods and landslides, submerging villages in the northern provinces of Thanh Hoa and Yen Bai, state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported Sunday... Meantime, Tropical Storm Ampil is bearing down on eastern China -- impacting the area from Shanghai to Jiangsu Province.
More than 190,000 people have been evacuated to "safer" places in Shanghai as Ampil makes landfall, bringing with it heavy rain and strong winds, Chinese state media Xinhua reported on Sunday.

Tokyo 2020 introduces Olympic, Paralympic Games mascots - CNN

Japan has unveiled the names of its mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Blue and white checked character "MIraitowa" (pronounced miray-towa)-- combining the two Japanese words of "Mirai"(future) and "towa" (eternity) -- will appear at the Olympic Games.
The Paralympics' pink and white "Someity" (pronounced soh-may-tee) is named after the cherry blossom variety "Someiyoshino," with Games organizers saying the name echoes "so mighty" in English.

Neymar breaks his silence on diving criticism | Metro News

Neymar has responded to the criticism directed towards him with regards to diving and believes people ‘will never understand’.
The Brazilian was under scrutiny at the World Cup for his over-the-top reactions to tackles with suggestions he was diving and faking pain rather than actually being fouled.
However, he’s fired back at critics and tried to explain why he’s often seen on the floor and on the receiving end of many fouls.

Iniesta, Torres on losing sides in J-League debuts - The Mainichi

Former Spain internationals Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres were each on the losing side Sunday in their anticipated J-League debuts.
Iniesta received a hero's welcome from Vissel Kobe fans at Noevir Stadium, but Shonan Bellmare spoiled the party by running away 3-0 winners.
Torres, meanwhile, delighted traveling Sagan Tosu fans at Best Amenity Stadium but could not stop a 1-0 loss to Vegalta Sendai.

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2018.07.21

News Headlines - 21 July 2018

London museums are looking to acquire the Trump Baby Blimp | London Evening Standard

The British Museum and the Museum of London have both reportedly expressed an interest in obtaining the massive inflatable likeness of the US President, for use either as part of specific exhibitions or within its permanent collection.
Kevin Smith, one of the project’s “Baby Sitters”, told the Standard that they were in discussion with the British Museum about linking the blimp to an exhibition about political satire curated by Private Eye editor Ian Hislop.

Keita Asari, founder of Shiki Theater, dies in Tokyo at age 85:The Asahi Shimbun

Keita Asari, founder of the famed Shiki Theater that features adaptations of long-running Broadway and West End musicals, has died at age 85, his company announced... Shiki Theater has enjoyed huge success since the 1970s with “Cats,” “The Lion King,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and other extravagant productions.

Hong Kong tribunal gives Haruki Murakami's latest novel an 'indecent' rating | The Japan Times

The latest work by novelist Haruki Murakami was banned from Hong Kong’s annual book fair after it was deemed “indecent” by the Obscene Articles Tribunal, local media reported Friday.
“Killing Commendatore,” a multivolume work that went on sale last year, has been temporarily classified as “Class II — indecent materials,” along with a pornographic magazine, according to a notice issued by the tribunal last week.
The classification means the book can now only be sold in bookstores after being wrapped with a warning sticker attached.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: 4.0 trailer appears with release date window - Polygon

The Neon Genesis Evangelion reboot’s fourth and final film will come to theaters in 2020, according to a teaser that debuted in Japan on Friday. That means Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 will premiere just five years later than planned.
Studio Khara, which is producing the movie, has yet to release an official version of the teaser, but Japanese fans made sure to record their own off-screen footage, although Studio Khara is quickly pulling those uploads offline. (Check out the embed below while you can.) The short clip is attached to the theatrical release of another big film, Mirai of the Future from director Mamoru Hosoda. Mirai opened on July 20

Olympics-Faster, Higher, Hotter - Tokyo weather prompts 2020 fears | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

As the two-year mark approaches for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan is being scorched by an intense heatwave that has prompted fears of similar extreme weather when the sporting showpiece takes place in the country.
More than a dozen people have died as temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for the first time since 2013, and the thermometer hit 43 Celsius during an Olympic Stadium media tour on Wednesday... Earlier this year, experts warned of the risks of heatstroke at the Games, which runs until Aug. 9, with conditions reaching levels at which sporting activities would normally be halted.

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2018.07.20

News Headlines - 20 July 2018

Mark Zuckerberg clarifies his Holocaust comments

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to clarify his controversial comments about Holocaust deniers Wednesday afternoon, hours after he was quoted saying some deniers who post on Facebook aren't "intentionally getting it wrong."

24% of Tesla Model 3 orders have been canceled, analyst says

Cancellations for Model 3 orders have picked up in recent weeks. Refunds now outpace deposits for Tesla's new mass-market electric car, according to Needham & Co. analyst Rajvindra Gill. Tesla disputes that.
In an analyst note delivered to clients Thursday, Gill cited extended wait times for the car, the expiration of a $7,500 tax credit, and the fact that Tesla has not yet made the $35,000 base model of the car available for purchase yet.
About one in every four Model 3 orders is canceled, Gill said, double the rate from a year ago. Customers have to put down a refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve a Model 3, then pay another $2,500 to choose their specific version. They pay the rest when the car is delivered.

Burberry burns bags, clothes and perfume worth millions - BBC News

Burberry, the upmarket British fashion label, destroyed unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth £28.6m last year to protect its brand.
It takes the total value of goods it has destroyed over the past five years to more than £90m.
Fashion firms including Burberry destroy unwanted items to prevent them being stolen or sold cheaply.

He’s Supposed to Marry a Japanese Princess. Just Don’t Call Him Her Fiancé. - The New York Times

Ordinarily, Fordham University Law School in New York does not publicize an incoming student who is about to matriculate.
But Kei Komuro is no ordinary student. He is the fiancé of Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Japan’s Emperor Akihito, head of the world’s oldest monarchy... On Thursday, in response to a request by Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, which oversees the ceremonial functions and protocols of the royal family, Fordham removed a phrase from a news release that had trumpeted Mr. Komuro, a paralegal in Tokyo, as the “fiancé of Princess Mako of Japan.”

Kazakhstan detains suspect in murder of Olympic figure skating medalist | Reuters

Authorities in Kazakhstan said on Friday they had detained a suspect in the murder of Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, who won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games.
Ten, 25, was knifed during a struggle with two men he had caught trying to steal the mirrors on his car in the Kazakh city of Almaty on Thursday.

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2018.07.19

News Headlines - 19 July 2018

“No Way to Run a Superpower”: the Trump-Putin Summit and the Death of American Foreign Policy | The New Yorker

...But the real scandal of Helsinki may be only just emerging.
On Thursday, Putin gave a public address to Russian diplomats in which he claimed that specific “useful agreements” were reached with Trump in their one-on-one meeting at the summit, a private meeting that Trump himself insisted on. Putin’s announcement came a day after his Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said that Trump had made “important verbal agreements” with Putin on arms control and other matters. The Russians, Antonov said, were ready to get moving on implementing them. The White House, meanwhile, has said nothing about what the two men may have agreed to in private, although Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he and Putin had discussed everything from nuclear proliferation to Syria, Ukraine, and trade, and that he looked forward to a second meeting with the Russian President soon, to follow up.

On Centenary, Russian State and Orthodox Church at Odds Over Romanovs

The group of Russian Orthodox nationalists had congregated to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the murders of the tsar, his wife and their five children. Made saints by the Church in 2000, the Romanov family — part of a dynasty that ruled Russia for 300 years — has since become a fulcral symbol of traditional Orthodox values... While Vladimir Putin aspires to project the imagine of a strong leader and admires some of the Romanovs like Alexander Nevsky or Alexander III, she said, the president thinks of Nicholas II’s rule as unsuccessful and his end weak. “Putin sees Nicholas and his family essentially as having laid down and waited to die,” Luchenko said.
The difference in views has been most publicly seen through an impasse over the authenticity of the remains of the family’s bodies. Although the question had been considered settled by the state after a 14-year investigation, the Church in 2015 pushed for the investigation to be re-opened.

Rolls-Royce unveils hybrid flying taxi at Farnborough - Japan Today

British engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed plans this week to develop a hybrid electric vehicle, dubbed the "flying taxi", which takes off and lands vertically and could be airborne within five years.
The London-listed aerospace giant, which is based in Derby in central England, showed off the plans at the Farnborough Airshow for the first time, as other players also rush into the market segment.

Dozens dead in Japan from record-setting, long duration extreme heat event - The Washington Post

Early in the month, more than 200 people died in its worst flood in decades, spurred by up to 70 inches of rain. Since then, dozens more have perished from an extended period of scorching heat, which has shattered records throughout the country.
Kyodo News reports the death toll from heat has risen above 30 since July 9. On Thursday alone, 10 people died and 2,605 people were hospitalized in the sweltering conditions, the Japan Times wrote.

Thailand boys stuck in cave gave cutest answers during press conference | Metro News

But aside from the cheeky confessions, the children managed to steal the hearts of those at a press conference with numerous cute answers to questions.
Here are our top five:
What is the first thing you want to do when you get home?
Would you ever go back to the cave?
What do you want to be when you’re older?
What is the first thing you want to say to your parents?
How did you feel when you were rescued?

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2018.07.18

News Headlines - 18 July 2018

Thai cave rescue: Boys and football coach tried to dig their way out and will be ordained as monks in diver tribute

But before they were allowed to taste their long-awaited favourite pork dishes, the young team spent more than an hour answering questions – vetted by a psychologist – describing the terror of their ordeal, their hopes for the future, and how the experience had changed their lives.

Owners of Mandalay Bay Sue Victims of Las Vegas Massacre in Federal Court | Inside Edition

The corporate owners of the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas are suing victims of October’s mass shooting.
MGM Resorts International, which owns Mandalay Bay, went to federal courts in Nevada and California and took on more than 1,000 shooting victims, claiming it has no liability for the massacre, according to a published report on Monday.
The company is asking for the claims against them to be dismissed.

Jeff Bezos Becomes the Richest Man in Modern History, Topping $150 Billion - Bloomberg

Bezos, 54, also has topped Gates in inflation-adjusted terms. The $100 billion mark that Gates hit briefly in 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom would be worth about $149 billion in today’s dollars. That makes the Amazon chief executive officer richer than anyone else on earth since at least 1982, when Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking.

Former UK PM Tony Blair calls for 2nd vote to fix Brexit 'mess' - Daily Sabah

Blair left office in 2007 and spent many of the following years abroad, including as an international envoy to the Middle East.
But these days he is more often found in London, where he has plunged back into British politics.
"I'm passionately opposed to Brexit and I still believe it can be changed," the 65-year-old told AFP in the offices of his non-profit organization, the Institute for Global Change.

100,000 Pilgrims March in Memory of the Romanovs on the Centenary of Their Execution

Early in the morning of July 17, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia led a 22-kilometer procession in honor of the Romanov royal family on the 100th anniversary of their murder. Law enforcement agencies reported that over 100,000 pilgrims participated. Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra Fyodorovna, their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei, along with physician Yevgeny Botkin and three servants, were executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries on July 17, 1918.

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2018.07.17

News Headlines - 17 July 2018

Trump-Putin summit: After Helsinki, the fallout at home - BBC News

The Helsinki summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump is over, and after nearly two hours behind closed doors and another hour in front of the press, there's plenty of material to sort through.

While Trump meets Putin, China is reaching out to Europe

The spotlight might be on Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Monday as they hold their first summit; but investors will also monitor a meeting between the EU and China with both looking to fend off U.S. tariffs.
The EU and China launched negotiations for an investment agreement in 2013, but the ongoing threats and new trade tariffs imposed by the United States seem to have added a sense of urgency to those talks. Beijing and Brussels exchanged some market access offers during the meeting on Monday to speed up the negotiations of the investment agreement. In a statement, China and the EU agreed that fostering their trade links was a top priority.
An investment agreement makes it easier for domestic companies to invest abroad, in this case it could help European firms to operate in China and vice-versa. Such agreements tend to be more limited in scope to free-trade arrangements.

April Tinsley cold case: Genealogy tests lead to arrest in 1988 child murder - CNN

For three decades, the abduction, rape and murder of 8-year-old April Tinsley in April 1988 had frustrated Indiana investigators.
The mysterious killer's taunting messages admitting to the crime, scrawled on a barn door and on paper notes threatening to kill again, only added to the desire to solve the cold case. Still, no suspect could be found.
But thanks to advances in genealogy and DNA technology, the suspected killer was arrested and then confessed to the crime on Sunday -- more than 30 years after April's death.

Lava Bomb Hits Tourist Boat in Hawaii, Injuring 23 - The New York Times

A basketball-size chunk of molten rock, known as a lava bomb, crashed into a tourist boat off Hawaii’s coast this week, injuring 23 people who were there to watch lava flow off the Big Island, officials said.
The Coast Guard has opened an investigation into whether the boat was in a restricted zone when the lava struck.
The boat was touring near a lava flow around 6 a.m. on Monday in Kapoho Bay, on the island’s east coast, when molten lava showered down on the vessel’s metal roof, leaving a gaping hole, according to a statement from Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.

This Was Ötzi the Iceman's Last Meal

And now, after putting the stomach contents through a battery of tests, the researchers determined the ice mummy's final meal: dried ibex meat and fat, red deer, einkorn wheat, and traces of toxic fern. The results, published this week in the journal Current Biology, offer a stunningly detailed peek into an ancient diet and hint at possible food preparation methods... They located the wandering organ by examining Ötzi's gall stones, which form in the gallbladder, a small sack sitting below the liver near the stomach. By lining up the position of surrounding organs in radiographic images, the team finally found the stomach.
To sample it, however, scientists had to first defrost the mummy, which is kept at a chilly 21.2 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent microbial invasion. They then used an endoscopic tool to pull 11 blobs of brownish yellow material from his stomach and intestines.

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2018.07.16

News Headlines - 16 July 2018

Trump, at Putin’s Side, Questions U.S. Intelligence on 2016 Election - The New York Times

President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, wrapping up what he called a “deeply productive” summit meeting with an extraordinary show of trust for a leader accused of attacking American democracy.
In a remarkable news conference, Mr. Trump did not name a single action for which Mr. Putin should be held accountable. Instead, he saved his sharpest criticism for the United States and the special counsel investigation into the election interference, calling it a “ridiculous” probe and a “witch hunt” that has kept the two countries apart.
Mr. Trump even questioned the determinations by his intelligence officials that Russia had meddled in the election.

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.

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.