Headlines

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.

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

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

Hawaii eruption destroys 26 homes amid toxic gas, lava

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

South African filmmaker killed by giraffe in safari lodge accident

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

Paris museum opens its doors to nudists | Euronews

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

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2018.05.05

News Headlines - 05 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NASA launches InSight lander toward Mars - CBS News

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

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2018.05.04

News Headlines - 04 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Japanese sites get World Heritage recommendation - NHK WORLD

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

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2018.05.03

News Headlines - 03 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.05.02

News Headlines - 02 May 2018

Spanish Basque separatist group ETA disbands - CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.05.01

News Headlines - 01 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.30

News Headlines - 30 April 2018

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

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

South Korea president says Trump deserves Nobel Peace Prize | Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.29

News Headlines - 29 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.28

News Headlines - 28 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.27

News Headlines - 27 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abba announce first new songs for 35 years | The Guardian

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

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2018.04.26

News Headlines - 26 April 2018

Mike Pompeo meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.25

News Headlines - 25 April 2018

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

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

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

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

Thailand aims to join TPP trade deal - The Japan News

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.24

News Headlines - 24 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.23

News Headlines - 23 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.22

News Headlines - 22 April 2018

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

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

Leaders approve Prince Charles to succeed queen as Commonwealth head

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.21

News Headlines - 21 April 2018

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

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

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

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

Natalie Portman says to skip Israeli ceremony due to Netanyahu speech

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.20

News Headlines - 20 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2018.04.19

News Headlines - 19 April 2018

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

The admiral said that the threat to US forces and bases is substantial and growing, and the US has a long way to go to be able to deter and counter China's ever improving ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons to come.
Davidson suggested that the US military should promptly upgrade its weapons and equipment to counter China.

Syria: Kurds detain German jihadi tied to 9/11 | DW

A Syrian-born German citizen, who is alleged to have helped plan the attacks on September 11, 2001, has been arrested by Kurdish forces in Syria, according to a senior Kurdish commander... Zammar is believed to have been an al-Qaida recruiter and close associate of members of the Hamburg terror cell of Islamic extremists thought to have been important operatives in the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

Airmen fired, demoted over dinosaur puppet video - CNNPolitics

The US Air Force is making it clear that dinosaur puppets have no place in its "time-honored" military traditions -- levying tough punishments against three members of the Tennessee Air National Guard involved in a viral video depicting a reenlistment ceremony.

#MeToo hits Japan as Junichi Fukuda quits over harassment claims - BBC News

A Japanese broadcaster says it will file a complaint against the finance ministry alleging a top official sexually harassed a female journalist... Japan's socially conservative society has so far been slow to join the worldwide #MeToo movement... The allegations that Mr Fukuda, the finance ministry's top bureaucrat, had made sexually suggestive comments to female journalists were first reported by magazine Shukan Shincho earlier this week.

UK temperatures top 29C in hottest April day since 1949 - BBC News

Temperatures have soared to over 29C in parts of London, making it the warmest April day for nearly 70 years.
The unusually warm weather across the UK is the result of low pressure over the Atlantic and high pressure over western Europe drawing in warm air.

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2018.04.18

News Headlines - 18 April 2018

US struck Syria without certainty on sarin - CNNPolitics

Even though US intelligence agencies did not have absolute certainty Syria's regime had used the nerve agent sarin against civilians, the Trump administration still felt there was enough evidence to justify retaliatory strikes last Friday, several intelligence and defense officials tell CNN.
The decision to proceed with military action met a standard of evidence needed that officials felt they could accept, these sources said.

Proof of 'staged' Syria chemical attack is from film

The photos - which show actors covered in dust - were presented by Syrian regime supporters as proof that the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7 was a fake.
But the photos come from the set of a Syrian film called "Revolution Man", supported by the Syrian culture ministry, and were published in February on a Facebook page devoted to the movie.

Top Japan finance official Junichi Fukuda quits after sexual harassment claims - The Straits Times

The top bureaucrat at Japan’s finance minister quit on Wednesday (April 18) following allegations he sexually harassed female reporters, saying he wanted to “clear his name”.

Japanese immigration detainees launch hunger strike over Indian’s death

More than 40 people at a Japanese immigration detention centre are on hunger strike after an Indian detainee committed suicide last week, officials and local media said Tuesday.
The protest began on Sunday, two days after an Indian national in his thirties, who has not been publicly identified, was found hanging in a shower stall at the centre in Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo.

Sitting at desk all day may damage brain and raise dementia risk, study suggests

Sitting at a desk all day or spending hours watching television may damage the brain in a way which is known to increase the risk of dementia, a new study suggests.
While researchers have known for some time that sedentary behaviour is bad for physical health, raising the risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death, it is the first study to show it could also influence mental wellbeing.

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2018.04.17

News Headlines - 17 April 2018

North Korea, China 'discussing Xi Jinping visit to Pyongyang' - The Straits Times

China and North Korea have been holding talks about a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pyongyang, a Japanese newspaper reported on Monday (April 16) as regional leaders step up diplomatic dialogue.
The North is using its Beijing embassy to arrange Xi's itinerary with the international department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting Chinese and North Korean sources.

Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says - Bloomberg

South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
At next week’s summit between South Korea President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbors may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report.

Mike Pompeo, C.I.A. Director, Met With Kim Jong-un in North Korea - The New York Times

President Trump dispatched the C.I.A. director Mike Pompeo to North Korea to meet with its leader, Kim Jong-un, in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump, two people briefed on the secret trip said on Tuesday.

Starbucks to close 8,000 stores for racial-bias education on May 29 after arrest of two black men - The Washington Post

Starbucks will close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon next month to train employees as the company responds to criticism after two black men were arrested while waiting at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia stores last week.
The “racial-bias education” training is scheduled for May 29 for nearly 175,000 employees, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Turkey seeks to extend state of emergency for 7th time - The Washington Post

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is seeking an extension of the state of emergency it declared following a failed coup in 2016.
The government submitted to parliament a motion to prolong it three more months following a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday. A vote is expected Wednesday. It would be its seventh extension.

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2018.04.16

News Headlines - 16 April 2018

Top Japan finance official denies sexual harassment, says to sue publisher

Japan’s top finance bureaucrat denied on Monday a weekly magazine’s allegation that he had sexually harassed female reporters and vowed to sue its publisher for defamation, his ministry said in a statement... Japan has had few reported “#MeToo” cases about sexual harassment involving public figures. In Japan, victims are often reluctant to speak out for fear of being blamed. The identity of the female reporter has not been disclosed.

‘They Eat Money’: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption - The New York Times

In the generation since apartheid ended in 1994, tens of billions of dollars in public funds — intended to develop the economy and improve the lives of black South Africans — have been siphoned off by leaders of the A.N.C., the very organization that had promised them a new, equal and just nation.
Corruption has enriched A.N.C. leaders and their business allies — black and white South Africans, as well as foreigners. But the supposed beneficiaries of many government projects, in whose names the money was spent, have been left with little but seething anger and deepening disillusionment with the state of post-apartheid South Africa.

Korean Air "nut rage" sister Emily Cho suspended over water throwing in ad meeting after Cho Hyun-ah incident - CBS News

Korean Air Lines said Monday it has suspended one of its chairman's daughters from her marketing work after she threw a tantrum at a business meeting, triggering public outrage and a police investigation. The daughter, Cho Hyun-min, also known as Emily Cho, is the younger sister of another Korean Air executive whose onboard "nut rage" outburst delayed a flight in 2014.

Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Following Rule Change – Variety

Ted Sarandos says Netflix won’t be going to Cannes this year.
In an exclusive interview with Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer says that the festival sent a clear message with a new rule that bans any films without theatrical distribution in France from playing in competition. Netflix could screen some of its upcoming movies out of competition, but Sarandos says that doesn’t make sense for the streaming service.

Axing Honda was McLaren mistake - Marko | Wheels24

Dr Helmut Marko says McLaren's 2018 car is obviously "not great".
The British team went into Bahrain targeting the top three teams but was ultimately outpaced even by the newly Honda-powered Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso... So Marko, whose Red Bull outfit is considering switching from Renault to Honda for 2019, joins those who think McLaren made a strategic error late last year.

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2018.04.15

News Headlines - 15 April 2018

Before and after: satellite pictures of airstrikes in Syria | The Guardian

A total of 22 missiles from France, the United Kingdom and the United States hit this site, including eight British Storm Shadow missiles and nine American Tomahawk missiles.
The MoD said the facility was a former missile base, located around 15 miles west of Homs, where the Syrian regime was believed to keep a stockpile of chemical weapon precursors, which can be used to make blister agents such as mustard gas or nerve agents such as sarin.

Japan PM Abe's rating falls in media poll amid scandal woes

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, plagued by accusations of cronyism and cover-ups, fell to 26.7 percent in a survey by private broadcaster Nippon TV released on Sunday, the lowest since he took office in December 2012.

Martin Sorrell quits as head of world's biggest ad group WPP

Martin Sorrell, who built WPP into the world’s biggest advertising agency through 33 years of dealmaking, quit on Saturday after an allegation of personal misconduct.
The departure of the CEO who built a two-man outfit into one of Britain’s biggest companies with 200,000 staff in 112 countries leaves WPP without a boss at a pivotal time for the industry and when the group is under great strain.
WPP stunned the market last week when it said it had appointed lawyers to investigate alleged misconduct by Sorrell.

Starbucks had two black men arrested for doing absolutely nothing wrong - Vox

Two black men were arrested and escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks on Thursday after staff called the police to report they refused to leave; the men hadn’t ordered anything and were reportedly waiting for a business associate to arrive... The saga began when a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday showed police arresting two black men in Twitter for “doing nothing,” in the words of the user who posted the video. Two people — not the men — can be heard protesting as the police remove the men’s chairs and escort them out.

Former first lady Barbara Bush in failing health, won't seek additional treatment - CBS News

Former first lady Barbara Bush is in failing health and will not seek additional medical care after a series of recent hospitalizations, a spokesman for the Bush family said Sunday. Bush, 92, will "instead focus on comfort care" for unspecified health complications, according to a statement.

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2018.04.14

News Headlines - 14 April 2018

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden | The Guardian

The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.
About 2km (1.2 miles) of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, but the government’s roads agency has already drafted a national map for future expansion.

Sega announces the Mega Drive Mini - The Verge

Sega is getting in on the nostalgic, miniature console trend. Yesterday at Sega Fes 2018, It announced that it will release the the Mega Drive Mini, a miniature version of the Mega Drive, sometime in 2018. The company also announced that it would be bringing a number of classic games to the Nintendo Switch this summer.

PUBG Ransomware is a real thing

Ehm no, it's not a belated April Fool's Day joke, this actually looks to be a real thing. This PUBG Ransomware does not go in search of your hard earned cash, but rather will decrypt your hijacked files if you play PUBG for an hour... It does however just give you the key to decrypt as well if an hour's worth of PUBG is not your thing. Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, when the PUBG Ransomware is launched it will encrypt a user's files and folders on the user's desktop and append the .PUBG extension to them. When it has finished encrypting the files, it will display a screen giving you two methods that you can use to decrypt the encrypted files.

A broken submarine cable knocked a country off the internet for two days - The Verge

On March 30, the ACE Submarine cable cut out, dropping connectivity for much of West Africa. According to reports, the breach came off the coast of Mauritania, resulting in significant connectivity drops for at least ten neighboring countries. Mauritania itself was offline for nearly 48 hours before connectivity was partially restored. Other countries had enough terrestrial cable and satellite connections to route around the downed cable, but they still saw significant disruptions in internet access for most of the weekend.

U.N. Security Council Rejects Russian Resolution Condemning Syrian Strikes - The New York Times

After a heated two-hour debate, the United Nations Security Council rejected a Russian resolution on Saturday that would have condemned airstrikes carried out hours earlier by the United States, Britain and France against Syria.
Russia, China and Bolivia voted for the resolution, but eight members voted against and four abstained. Even a majority vote would have been largely symbolic, as the three Western powers that carried out the attack hold veto power and would certainly have blocked it.

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2018.04.13

News Headlines - 13 April 2018

Toys R Us in talks to sell majority stake in Asia unit, including Japan business | The Japan Times

A spokeswoman at Toys R Us Japan headquarters in Kawasaki confirmed Thursday that Toys R Us Asia Ltd., its parent, is in talks with multiple entities to sell most of its holdings in Asia.
The Hong Kong-based joint venture with Fung Retailing Ltd. includes over 400 physical stores and eight online stores across Hong Kong, Japan, China, Macau, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, according to its website.

Amazon spent nearly $23 billion on R&D last year - Recode

Tech companies claimed the top five spots in the U.S. for research and development spending again last year, investing a combined total of $76 billion. Amazon was at the top of the list, spending $22.6 billion in 2017, 41 percent more than in 2016 (when it also topped the list)... Amazon is followed in R&D spending by Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft and Apple.
Facebook rose from 13th place in 2016 to ninth in 2017 as it increased R&D spending 32 percent to $7.8 billion. Part of the spending jump could likely be attributed to Facebook’s Building 8, the company’s secretive hardware research lab.

North Americans world's biggest TV addicts, watching four hours a day

Eurodata TV Worldwide said that television viewing was holding up despite more and more people watching online platforms like Netflix and Amazon.
Americans and Canadians are the biggest TV addicts, said the report, watching four hours and three minutes on average daily.
European viewers came next watching three hours 49 minutes a day in 2017, just ahead of Russia and Brazil, the data gathered from 95 countries showed.

Queen cracks joke about Donald Trump in David Attenborough TV documentary - CNN

While strolling through Buckingham Palace Garden with naturalist David Attenborough for a TV documentary, the tranquility is shattered by the sound of a helicopter flying above, giving the Queen an opportunity to show off her sense of humor.
"Why do they always go round and round when you want to talk?" she asks. "It sounds like President Trump ... or President Obama."

'Dassai' rice wine becoming a local brew in NY - NHK WORLD

The makers of a famous Japanese sake brand plan to bring their product closer to customers in the US. They've decided to start producing the "Dassai" brand of rice wine at their own facility in the state of New York.
Sake brewer Asahi Shuzo has been exporting the brand from its base in western Japan for more than 10 years.

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2018.04.12

News Headlines - 12 April 2018

Fresh nepotism revelations deepen Shinzo Abe’s woes

Shinzo Abe’s political woes have redoubled after fresh revelations in the second of his two nepotism scandals dragged the prime minister deeper into controversy... The latest evidence shows the closest link yet between Mr Abe and education projects where his associates won dubious public favours. The prime minister has denied any involvement.

Peace in Northern Ireland reaches 20th anniversary but what is the Good Friday Agreement? - ITV News

The architects of the Good Friday Agreement have gathered in Belfast to mark 20 years since the Troubles ended.
But what exactly was the agreement, and why was it so important for Northern Ireland?

Apple reveals truth behind claims it will kill iTunes music downloads | Metro News

In a rare on-the-record statement, the tech giant addressed claims that it will shut iTunes in a bid to push people into signing up for an Apple Music subscription.
An Apple spokesman said: ‘It’s not true.’... But today, Digital Music News said it would be shut down on March 31, 2019.

‘Rampage’ Is Final Film In Brett Ratner Warner Bros. Co-Finance Deal | Deadline

As reported last November following several sexual harassment allegations against filmmaker and producer Brett Ratner, Warner Bros. is no longer in business with his co-financing entity RatPac-Dune Entertainment which co-financed more than 70 titles amounting to a reported $450M in funding across such movies as The Lego Movie, Gravity, American Sniper, Batman v. Superman and more. New Line’s Rampage, opening Friday, is the last of those titles being co-financed by RatPac per the news six months ago. The passive slate financing deal was scheduled to end in March, and it was promptly decided that Ratner’s first look deal would not be renewed.

Roma knock Barcelona out of CL with remarkable comeback | FOX Sports

Roma pulled off an extraordinary comeback to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League on Tuesday, winning 3-0 at home to reach the semifinals by overturning a three-goal deficit from the first leg.
Roma advanced on away goals despite losing 4-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals.

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2018.04.11

News Headlines - 11 April 2018

Trump tells Russia to get ready for US missile strikes in Syria | The Guardian

Donald Trump has warned Russia in an incendiary tweet to “get ready” for US missile strikes in Syria after a UN security council meeting failed to stave off the prospect of military confrontation over a chemical weapons attack on a town outside Damascus at the weekend.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” . “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Britain sends third warship to Asia Pacific to monitor North Korea | The Independent

HMS Albion will join HMS Sutherland and will help enforce UN sanctions against North Korea, as well as take part in joint training and exercises with regional allies.
The Ministry of Defence previously announced that HMS Argyll would also be deployed, arriving in the region later in the year to take part in an exercise with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.

N. Korea told Japan that abduction issue had been resolved

Japan is eager to make progress in the decades-long abduction issue, possibly through a summit like that between North and South Korea on April 27, or the proposed first-ever summit between leaders of the United States and North Korea before the end of May.
But Tokyo appears to be left behind in the recent flurry of diplomatic activity and easing of tension on the Korean Peninsula, with no meeting in sight between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

New book on Meghan Markle says she wants to be like Princess Diana - The Straits Times

Meghan Markle has her heart set on becoming "Diana 2.0", according to a new biography of Prince Harry's fiancee that details her lifelong embrace of good causes but also points to a calculating streak.
The US actress, who is set to marry on May 19, is fiercely protective of "Brand Meghan" and sidelines people as she moves ahead in life, according to people cited in the book.

Cherry blossoms reach their peak in Washington | WPMT FOX43

The blooming of the US capital’s cherry blossoms reached its peak on April 5, two days later than the average peak bloom date... The National Cherry Blossom Festival started on March 17 and runs through April 15... The festival commemorates the 1912 gift from Tokyo of 3,020 cherry trees to Washington.

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2018.04.10

News Headlines - 10 April 2018

Trump's homeland security adviser Bossert resigns on Bolton's request

U.S. President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, has resigned at the request of new national security adviser John Bolton, an administration official said on Tuesday, marking the latest departure from the White House of a senior adviser.

China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications

China has approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific in a globally significant move that could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep.
Fairfax Media can reveal there have been preliminary discussions between the Chinese and Vanuatu governments about a military build-up in the island nation.

Fashion label dies with us, say Dolce and Gabbana - The Straits Times

Italian fashion icons Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said on Thursday that their famed Dolce & Gabbana label would die with them.
"Once we're dead, we're dead. I don't want a Japanese designer to start designing Dolce & Gabbana," Gabbana, 55, said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Hello Kitty Shinkansen will seek to link up regions:The Asahi Shimbun

Hello Kitty fans will be meowing in delight when they spot the new Shinkansen themed on the ubiquitous character.
The special 500 Series Kodama bullet train featuring Sanrio Co.'s beloved feline-like character will run between Shin-Osaka and Hakata stations this summer, West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) announced March 14.

Information on the 88 Site Anime Pilgrimage (2018 edition) available from the new Anime Tourism Information exhibit now open | NARITA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Narita Airport has been selected by the Japan Anime Tourism Association as the gateway Pilgrimage Stop “0” on the Anime Pilgrimage to the 88 sites in Japan that should be visited. Anime Tourism Information recently opened on the 2nd floor of the main building in Terminal 2. The exhibit provides information to anime fans on the 88 Site Anime Pilgrimage with displays that will add to the feeling of anticipation for the journey.

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2018.04.09

News Headlines - 09 April 2018

U.S. denies airstrikes retaliating for Syria Douma chemical weapons attack, as Russia says Israel hit Homs air base - CBS News

Missiles struck an air base in central Syria early Monday, but the Pentagon quickly denied claims from Syrian state media that the strikes were "an American aggression." A war monitoring group said Iranian-backed militia members were killed in the strikes, and Russia and then Syria accused Israeli jets of firing the missiles.

Trump tweets condemnation of Syria chemical attack, saying Putin shares the blame - The Washington Post

The likelihood of a military strike against Syria after a suspected chemical weapons attack increased Sunday as President Trump said there would be a “big price to pay” and officials in France vowed the country would “do its duty” in responding.

Facebook admits 2.7 million EU users′ data possibly shared | DW

A spokesman for the European Commission on Friday said social networking site Facebook had confirmed the data of up to 2.7 million people in the European Union might have been shared with data mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

Bahrain GP: Ferrari mechanic breaks leg in Kimi Raikkonen pit lane accident - BBC Sport

Ferrari mechanic Francesco Cigorini suffered a broken leg when he was run over by Kimi Raikkonen during a pit stop in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ferrari's pit system showed a green light to Raikkonen, indicating he could exit the pits, despite mechanics not having changed his left rear wheel... Ferrari have been fined 50,000 euros by race officials for an unsafe release.

Football: Japan names Akira Nishino as new coach two months before World Cup - The Straits Times

Japan named respected veteran Akira Nishino as their new national football manager on Monday (April 9) after sensationally dumping Vahid Halilhodzic with only two months until the World Cup.
The 63-year-old Nishino boasts an impressive array of domestic silverware and masterminded one of Japanese football's proudest moments: beating a Brazil side containing Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos 1-0 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

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2018.04.08

News Headlines - 08 April 2018

Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack - The New York Times

Dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck the rebel-held suburb of Douma, east of Damascus, with aid groups on Sunday blaming President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault and Western governments expressing outrage.
Rescue workers in Syria reported finding at least 42 people dead in their homes from apparent suffocation, and antigovernment activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled out on floors and in stairwells, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils.

Hopping the wall into Trump's US, in under 2 minutes | AFP.com

President Donald Trump's orders to deploy thousands of National Guard troops to secure the US frontier with Mexico did not stop one determined migrant from hopping the border wall on Friday.

UK soft drink sugar tax comes into force | DW

Brits will be paying higher prices for some soft drinks after the country's sugar tax on the sweet beverages came into effect on Friday.
Announced in March 2016, the tax has already seen more than 50 percent of manufacturers modify their products to ensure they are below the levy's sugar limit, Britain's Treasury said.

Samsung Securities mistakenly paid stocks as dividend to employees

Samsung Securities Co. said Friday it mistakenly paid its employees stock dividends, prompting the brokerage's share prices to fall and raising moral hazard concerns.
Under an employee stock ownership plan, Samsung Securities had originally planned to pay dividends of 1,000 won (US$0.93) to its employees. However, the brokerage paid dividends of 1,000 shares after a worker processed the wrong figure.

The world’s longest sea bridge to be constructed in China | Construction Global

In April China plans to open its sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai, as part of its infrastructure scheme to encourage 250mn people to move into its megacities.
The 34-mile-long structure is the largest cross-sea bridge in the world, according to AFP, ahead of China’s 26.3 mile bridge connecting Qingdao and Huangdao.

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2018.04.07

News Headlines - 07 April 2018

Europe's digital clocks back to speed after grid operators fix lag

This was caused by a power shortage lasting from mid-January to March after Kosovo began to use more power than it produced and Serbia, which is in charge of balancing Kosovo’s grid, failed to fill the gap.
The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said on Tuesday that 26 of its members had carried out a compensation scheme to return the mains frequency across Europe to its standard of 50 Hertz (Hz) from 49.996 Hz.

U.S. issues marketing license for Taiwan domestic submarine project | FOCUS TAIWAN

The U.S. Department of State has approved the marketing license needed for U.S. manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that will enable it to build its own domestic submarines, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Saturday.

Former President Park sentenced to 24 years in prison-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

Former President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined 18 billion won ($16.8 million) on Friday, after a Seoul court found her guilty of 16 charges of corruption and power abuse.

Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term - The New York Times

After vowing for months that a conviction on corruption charges would not stand in the way of his bid for a third term as Brazil’s leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surrendered to the police on Saturday evening to begin serving a 12-year sentence.

Russia ends search of missing Argentina submarine - ABC News

Argentina's navy says Russia has ended its help in the search for an Argentine submarine that disappeared in the South Atlantic with 44 crew members aboard.
Russia was the last of more than a dozen foreign countries that assisted in searching some 1,500 square miles (4,000 square kilometers) of the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan.

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2018.04.06

News Headlines - 06 April 2018

Syria: government takeover of Eastern Ghouta near complete | Al Jazeera

Syrian government forces are on the verge of recapturing the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, according to state media reports.
A Russian military chief announced on Wednesday that it was only a matter of time until the last rebel "bastion" came under government control, the government affiliated el-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.

Two killed in Germany as van ploughs into crowd in Muenster - BBC News

Two people have been killed in the western German city of Muenster after a van drove into people sitting outside restaurants.
The driver of the vehicle, who has not yet been officially identified, died after shooting himself at the scene.
About 20 people were injured in the incident, six seriously, which occurred near the Kiepenkerl statue in the city's old town area.

Russian spy poisoning: Sergei Skripal 'improving rapidly' - BBC News

Russian former spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in a critical condition after being poisoned by a nerve agent, doctors have said.
Salisbury District Hospital said Mr Skripal is responding well to treatment and "improving rapidly".

Skripal poisoning: Russia claims coverup over ex-spy's dead cat and guinea pigs - The Washington Post

As the Russian U.N. ambassador suggested that the poisoning was a false flag operation to undermine his country, he asked darkly what had become of the victim's pet cats and guinea pigs... He wasn't joking. The same day, a spokesman for Russia's embassy in Britain suggested that Skripal's pets might hold clues to the real culprit behind the attack.

Rabbit-killing virus release planned for south | Otago Daily Times Online News

An initial release of the RHDV1 (K5) rabbit virus on three sites in Southland will be made from next week, if the weather permits... K5 is a virus that could reduce the rabbit population significantly. It is a variant of a virus already present in New Zealand, and only affects the European rabbit.

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2018.04.05

News Headlines - 05 April 2018

Women ordered off stage at sumo contest after trying to help stricken mayor | The Guardian

A number of women ran on to the ring to give emergency treatment, but the sumo judge at the event repeatedly called over the PA system for them to step off the arena. Two of the women could be seen starting to dismount, but then returning to help, in a video broadcast on multiple television networks.
The actions of the judge drew criticism from television commentators and on social media in Japan.

Japan's Abe faces fresh headache over Iraq troop dispatch logs

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government faced criticism on Thursday, after his defense minister said the army last year found activity logs from a controversial 2004 to 2006 deployment to Iraq, but had failed to report them to his predecessor.

Sky News could be sold off to Disney early in bid to push through sale of Sky to US media giant | The Independent

Sky News could be sold off to Walt Disney or ringfenced under concessions put forward by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, as part of the corporation’s efforts to seize full control of the broadcaster Sky.
Fox, which is attempting to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own, faces a number of regulatory hurdles after the UK’s competition watchdog found the £11.7bn deal was not in the public interest.

Amazon Severs Ties With Top Lobbying Firms in Washington - Bloomberg

Amazon ended its relationship with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the law firm that attracts more lobbying revenue than any other K Street operation, and Squire Patton Boggs, last Friday, according to a person familiar with the decisions... In their place, Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc., according to the person. Both formerly worked as outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc. and Oracle Corp. at the defunct Podesta Group, which was once dubbed the "King of K Street," before becoming entangled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Most distant star ever seen spotted by Hubble telescope 9 billion light years away | The Independent

Astronomers have identified a star 9 billion light years from Earth – the farthest individual star ever seen... Previously used to locate planets far outside the Milky Way, lensing involves galaxies within astronomers’ line of sight bending rays of light and effectively magnifying objects in distant parts of the universe.

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2018.04.04

News Headlines - 04 April 2018

Florida School Shooting Suspect Cruz Gets Piles of Fan Mail | Time

The suspect in the Florida high school shooting that killed 17 is getting letters of support in jail including fan mail and pictures of scantily-clad women in addition to hundreds of dollars in contributions to his commissary account.
Teenage girls, women and men are sending letters and photographs of themselves and Facebook groups have been started to discuss how to help Nikolas Cruz, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Elon Musk’s April Fools’ tweets were ‘not a joking matter,’ experts say - The Washington Post

But while his latest prank — a series of April Fools' tweets Sunday joking that Tesla was bankrupt — was funny to many of his followers on Twitter, it also raised questions from some communication experts, Tesla analysts and governance watchers about the timing and the judgment of the tweets... Investors didn't appear in a laughing mood: Tesla shares dropped 5 percent Monday amid a 2.7 percent drop in the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index, though they were up more than 4 percent in trading Tuesday morning after a company statement said it had boosted production of its Model 3 vehicles from the fourth quarter.

Singapore Airlines’ first Boeing 787-10 arrives at Changi Airport | Australian Aviation

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) has unveiled its new cabin products on board its Boeing 787-10 fleet after the first of the type arrived at Changi Airport on Wednesday morning following its marathon delivery flight from North Charleston, South Carolina via Osaka Kansai.

U.S. military announces early deployment of CV-22 Ospreys to Japan's Yokota Air Base | The Japan Times

The U.S. military said Tuesday that five Air Force CV-22 Ospreys will deploy to Yokota Air Base in Tokyo later this week in a move that comes over a year ahead of schedule and despite public concerns over the safety of the tilt-rotor aircraft.
It will be the first deployment of the Osprey to a military base in Japan outside the southern prefecture of Okinawa, where the bulk of U.S. forces in the country are stationed.

Shohei Ohtani homers again in Angels' 3-2 win over Indians

This time, after the count reached 1-1, Ohtani extended his arms and sent a 92-mph fastball on the outside edge an estimated 400 feet to center... Although the moment wasn't as theatrical as Ohtani's career-first homer Tuesday, the impact was more significant, instantly pulling the Angels even 2-2 on a day when Kluber appeared in charge.

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2018.04.03

News Headlines - 03 April 2018

Woman shoots 3, self at YouTube headquarters in possible domestic dispute – The Denver Post

A woman opened fire with a handgun Tuesday in a courtyard at YouTube headquarters, wounding three people before fatally shooting herself in what is being investigated as a domestic dispute, authorities said.
Terrified employees huddled inside, calling 911, as officers and federal agents swarmed the company’s suburban campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Royals attend church without Duke of Edinburgh on Easter Sunday

The Duke of Edinburgh was absent from this year's Easter service at Windsor attended by the Queen... The Queen was joined by members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were there without their children.

Winnie Mandela, controversial ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, dies at 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the controversial former wife of legendary South African President Nelson Mandela, died Monday, her family said. She was 81... The couple separated after Nelson Mandela's release in 1990, and he became president of South Africa in 1994. He accused his wife of infidelity. After the divorce, she kept his name and added her maiden name. Nelson Mandela died in 2013.

German dachshund museum in Passau 'a world first' - BBC News

A new museum in the Bavarian city of Passau celebrates Germany's - and the world's - affection for the dachshund.
More than 4,500 toys and other items showcase the breed popularly called the "sausage dog", a symbol of Bavaria.

French police charge Pippa Middleton's father-in-law with rape of a minor - The Local

The father-in-law of Pippa Middleton, whose sister Kate is married to Britain's Prince William, has been charged in France with the rape of a minor, a legal source told AFP on Friday, as a family spokesperson called the allegation "untrue and scandalous".
David Matthews was taken into custody for questioning last Tuesday by investigators with France's Brigade for the Protection of Minors in a case dating from 1998-99, after a complaint was lodged in 2017, the source said.

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2018.04.02

News Headlines - 02 April 2018

Tiangong 1: Chinese satellite falls to Earth, mostly burns up - CBS News

Tiangong 1, China's defunct and reportedly out-of-control space station, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, Chinese space authorities say. It mostly burnt up on re-entry over the central South Pacific.
The China Manned Space Engineering Office says online that the experimental space lab re-entered around 8:15 a.m. local time Monday. The tumbling spacecraft posed only a slight risk to people and property on the ground, since most of the 8.5-ton vehicle was expected to burn up on re-entry.

NRA board member Ted Nugent: Parkland survivors “have no soul” - Vox

Ted Nugent, a National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and rock musician, became the latest to lob personal attacks at the teenage Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors who organized the March for Our Lives — saying that the kids are “liars,” “poor, mushy-brained children,” and even “soulless” during an interview on March 30 with The Joe Pags Show, a nationally syndicated conservative radio show.

U.S. museum not to host A-bomb exhibit over calls for nuke abolition

The executive director of a museum in the U.S. town of Los Alamos said Friday that it will not host a traveling exhibition focused on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings as planned due to concerns over the exhibitors' position on the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Abe, Trump to meet April 17-18 ahead of U.S.-N. Korea summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will visit the United States between April 17 and 20 for talks with President Donald Trump to coordinate the allies' policies toward North Korea ahead of Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May.

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani wins major league debut against A’s

After going 1-for-5 as a designated hitter earlier in the series, Ohtani to be a non-pitcher on Opening Day and then get a starting assignment within the first 10 games of a season since — drumroll please — Babe Ruth in 1919.
With a flood of Japanese media covering the game, there were 240 credentials issued by the A’s, with overflow press seated in in right field. The post-game crush was big enough that Ohtani conducted his postgame interview through an interpreter in the Raiders locker room.

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2018.04.01

News Headlines - 01 April 2018

London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge | The Sunday Times

London overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history in February as the capital endured a dramatic surge in knife crime.
Fifteen people were murdered in the capital, against 14 in New York. Both cities have almost exactly the same population.
London murders for March are also likely to exceed or equal New York’s. By late last night there had been 22 killings in the capital, according to the Metropolitan police, against 21 in the US city.

Van Gogh Never Visited Japan, but He Saw It Everywhere - The New York Times

In the soft, clear light of Provence, France, Vincent van Gogh saw the crisp skies of Japanese woodcut prints. The almond blossoms, gnarled trees and irises that dotted the French landscape reminded him of nature scenes painted in Kyoto. And in the locals who drank in cafes of Arles, he saw resonances with the geishas and Kabuki actors of a country he’d never visited.

South Korean K-pop stars perform for Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang | The Guardian

South Korean K-pop singers have performed in North Korea for the first time in more than a decade, watched by a crowd of hundreds including the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and his wife, Ri Sol-ju.
It was the first time a North Korean leader had attended a South Korean performance in the north’s capital, Pyongyang.

Bahrain strikes its biggest oil field, dwarfing current reserves | The Guardian

Bahrain has discovered its biggest oil field in more than 80 years... The reserves were discovered during the last three months of 2017 after Bahrain intensified its search for new fossil fuel deposits. Further details of the find’s size and extraction viability will be released on Wednesday.

Saudis, SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

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2018.03.31

News Headlines - 31 March 2018

Notice to stakeholders: withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules on .eu domain names | European Commission

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU, and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

Trump tells advisers he wants U.S. out of Syria: senior officials

President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of U.S. troops from Syria, two senior administration officials said on Friday, a stance that may put him at odds with U.S. military officials who see the fight against Islamic State as nowhere near complete.

Destroyed by Islamic State, ancient winged bull rises again in London

An ancient Assyrian winged bull sculpture destroyed by Islamic State (IS) fighters in 2015 and subsequently recast in recycled Middle Eastern food packaging went on display in London’s Trafalgar Square on Wednesday... Rakowitz’s project, made of 10,000 empty Iraqi date syrup cans, mimics the original winged bull known as the Lamassu which stood from about 700 BC on the outskirts of modern-day Mosul, Iraq, until it was destroyed by IS.

Saudi Arabia Agrees to Help Reboot Peace Talks With Taliban - WSJ

Saudi Arabia has agreed to play a leading role in starting a new peace process in Afghanistan, part of the latest U.S.-led strategy to find a political solution to America’s longest war.
The U.S. and Afganistan hope that Saudi Arabia can bring the Talban to the negotating tabel and act as guarantors for a possible peace deal, according to officials involved in the process.

North Korea to take part in Tokyo Olympics, IOC chief says | The Guardian

The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, says Kim Jong-un is committed to having North Korea participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Bach said he had a 30-minute formal meeting with the North Korean leader followed by 45 minutes of casual discussions while watching a football match on Friday at Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium.

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2018.03.30

News Headlines - 30 March 2018

Egypt election: Sisi set to win second term as president - BBC News

State media said Mr Sisi had secured a landslide victory against his sole challenger, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, winning more than 90% of the vote.
But initial estimates placed turnout among the 60 million eligible voters at about 41% - below that seen in 2014.

Malala to return to Pakistan after finishing her studies in Britain

Malala Yousafzai, the women’s education activist and youngest ever Nobel Prize Winner, said yesterday that she plans to return permanently to Pakistan after finishing her studies in Britain.

Toyota to Team Up With Suzuki in India - WSJ

Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. said they would team up in India, swapping models to help each other boost sales in the rapidly growing market.
Toyota said it would provide its locally made Corolla sedan to Suzuki. In return, Toyota will get two of Suzuki’s popular models to sell, the Baleno hatchback and the new Vitara Brezza sport-utility vehicle.

Korean Air's 'nut rage' heiress returns as group company executive- Nikkei Asian Review

The Korean Air Lines scion fired as vice president for delaying a plane's takeoff in New York out of anger over the way staff served her nuts has returned as an executive at another group member, that company said Thursday.
Cho Hyun-ah -- whose father chairs the Hanjin Group conglomerate, the airline's owner -- was chosen as the new president of KAL Hotel Network, a hospitality unit, at a general shareholders' meeting that day.

Russian spy: Yulia Skripal 'conscious and talking' - BBC News

Yulia Skripal, the daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, is improving rapidly and no longer in a critical condition, says the hospital treating her... However Mr Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition, Salisbury District Hospital said.

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2018.03.29

News Headlines - 29 March 2018

Chinese online video platform Bilibili debuts on Nasdaq - Xinhua

Bilibili Inc., a Chinese online platform for animated video, rang the Nasdaq Stock Market opening bell on Wednesday in celebration of its initial public offering (IPO).
Bilibili, trading under the ticker symbol of "BILI", priced its IPO of 42,000,000 American depositary shares (ADSs), at 11.50 U.S. dollars per ADS for a total offering size of approximately 483 million dollars, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs.

Donald Trump's three-front legal war turns on sex, money and Russia - CNNPolitics

A barrage of revelations and court gambits over the last 48 hours has left President Donald Trump and his shrinking legal team fighting an escalating battle on multiple fronts -- involving an explosive triumvirate of sex, Russia and money.

Julian Assange has internet cut at Ecuadorean embassy in London - BBC News

Ecuador has cut Julian Assange's internet connection at its embassy in London, preventing him from communicating with the outside world... It comes after Mr Assange questioned accusations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK on 4 March.

Eighty four harrowing statues depicting male suicide victims appear on ITV's Southbank studios | London Evening Standard

Eighty four life-sized sculptures of male suicide victims have been installed on ITV's central London studios... Project 84 saw bereaved families work with suicide prevention charity CALM to get people talking about the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

Soccer: Argentine prosecutor to widen investigation into alleged sex abuse

An Argentine prosecutor is to widen an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of young players at Argentine top-flight club Independiente, saying she believes such incidents may be happening at other soccer clubs.
Maria Soledad Garibaldi last week opened an inquiry into reports that youth players were forced into prostitution by a 19-year-old player at Independiente, one of Argentina’s most successful clubs.

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2018.03.28

News Headlines - 28 March 2018

With secretive China trip, North Korea's Kim builds bargaining power - Channel NewsAsia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visit to China, countering what had been growing estrangement between the Cold War allies, is likely to bolster Pyongyang's leverage going into a planned summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.
For Chinese President Xi Jinping, the meeting with a long-troublesome neighbour ensures Beijing will not be left out of any deal struck between the United States and North and South Korea, experts said.

Korea, US jointly announce agreement on FTA revision

Korea and the US officially announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement in principle to the revision of their bilateral trade deal, including an exemption of tariffs on Korean steel, ending three months of talks.

Trump, Britain's Theresa May discuss clamping down on Russian spy work | TheHill

President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed ways to clamp down on Russian spy work during a phone call on Wednesday.
"Both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil," the White House said in a readout of the call.

First self-driving train launches on London Thameslink route | The Guardian

Passengers have been carried across London by the first self-driving train on a mainline railway in the UK... Automated operation using a new digital signalling system will allow many more trains to pass through the congested tracks between St Pancras and Blackfriars in central London, giving space for an additional 60,000 passengers to commute at peak hours daily.

Dragon Quest 11: PS4 and PC Release Date Announced, Switch Coming 'Much Later', No 3DS Version - IGN

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age will be released for PS4 and Steam on September 4 in North America and Europe. However, the planned Nintendo Switch version will not be released this year, and the 3DS version released in Japan will not be released in the west at all.
The localised version of the gigantic JRPG comes with a number of additions and improvements, including voiced English dialogue, a Hard Mode option, overhauled menus, a faster dash to speed up exploration, and a first-person camera mode.

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2018.03.27

News Headlines - 27 March 2018

Kim Jong Un Made a Surprise China Visit, Sources Say - Bloomberg

Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to Beijing on his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011, three people with knowledge of the visit said.
Further details of his trip, including how long Kim would stay and who he would meet, were not immediately available.

Japanese official denies Abe pressure in school land deal - ABC News

A former Japanese finance official denied Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or his wife instructed bureaucrats to alter documents in a land scandal that has shaken the government, but left other key questions unanswered.

Former Brazilian President Lula loses appeals, could be jailed | Al Jazeera

An appeals court in Brazil has unanimously rejected the final procedural objections by former President Luiz Inancio Lula da Silva against his corruption conviction.
The decision, handed down on Monday, raises the possibility that the former, leftist president could face prison time.

CNN Poll: 42% Approve of Trump, Highest Since 100 Day Mark - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump's approval rating has rebounded to its highest level since the 100-day mark of his presidency, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, even as his approval ratings for handling major issues remain largely negative.
Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February...

'Appalling' England fans criticised after more than 100 arrests in Amsterdam

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said the arrest of 100 England fans in the Dutch capital on Friday was the most for a single game in "several years" and part of a "worrying trend".
It comes after 25 England supporters were held on Thursday amid ugly scenes before the team's friendly win over the Netherlands.

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2018.03.26

News Headlines - 26 March 2018

U.S., EU to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats over UK nerve attack

The United States said on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow... British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming the show of solidarity, said 18 countries had announced plans to expel Russian officials. Those included 14 European Union countries. In total, 100 Russian diplomats were being removed, the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War.

Syria forces close to gaining full control of Eastern Ghouta | Al Jazeera

Syrian government forces are close to taking full control of Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held area near the capital, Damascus.
Two out of three rebel groups that had been controlling the enclave have already surrendered, with thousands of fighters and their relatives departing for opposition-held areas in the north of the country.
The third rebel group, Jaish al-Islam, which controls the city of Douma, has so far refused to give in.

US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico - CNN

A US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
The deportation follows an earlier decision by US authorities to deny Miguel Perez's citizenship application because of a felony drug conviction, despite his service and the PTSD he says it caused.

Facebook boss apologises in UK and US newspaper ads - BBC News

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has taken out full-page adverts in several UK and US Sunday newspapers to apologise for the firm's recent data privacy scandal.
He said Facebook could have done more to stop millions of users having their data exploited by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

Russia fire: Kemerovo mall blaze kills 64, many children - The Washington Post

At least 64 people, many believed to be children, perished in the Siberian city of Kemerovo as a massive fire swept through a crowded shopping center where fire exits had been blocked, officials said Monday.

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2018.03.25

News Headlines - 25 March 2018

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont held by German police | The Guardian

German police have detained the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont under a European arrest warrant as he crossed from Denmark into Germany.
Puigdemont, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels since October, was travelling in a car on the way from Finland to Belgium on Sunday when he was detained, having visited Finnish lawmakers in Helsinki.
On Friday the Spanish government reactivated an international arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who is wanted on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds.

Poland puts Berlin's WWII bill at 440 billion euros | The Times of Israel

Polish victims of World War II should be able to claim 440 billion euros ($543 billion) from Germany in World War II damages, the head of a parliamentary commission said Thursday.

Darkness falls on May's Merkel-Macron meeting

The lights went out on Theresa May as the British prime minister hosted her German and French counterparts for a private meeting at a Brussels summit on Thursday... Out of the gloom, came the voice of France’s famously musical leader: “Happy birthday,” he sang. But no cake with candles appeared. Light was restored and media were ushered out.
All three looked grim as they prepared to discuss May’s request for EU support after her accusations that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.

Portuguese pilot held in Germany after being found drunk in cockpit - The Local

The co-pilot of a Portuguese airline was detained in Stuttgart after being found drunk in the cockpit just before take-off, German police and prosecutors said Saturday.
German police entered the cockpit and found the 40-year-old in a "highly intoxicated condition" on Friday evening, a statement said.

Philip Kerr obituary | The Guardian

Berlin held a great fascination for the author Philip Kerr, who has died aged 62 of cancer: it was a place where the impact of evil upon essentially decent people was felt especially keenly. His morally ambiguous fictional private detective Bernie Gunther first appeared in March Violets (1989), set in the city in 1936, after the Nazis’ rise to power, and the first of his Berlin Noir trilogy.

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2018.03.24

News Headlines - 24 March 2018

Strikes in France: 200,000 march through streets to protest Macron's reforms - The Local

Seven unions representing staff in the public sector led strikes and protests, and a third of railway workers walked out to join the demonstrations against 40-year-old Macron's bid to shake up the French state.
Around 200,000 people demonstrated nationwide, according to police figures, including 49,000 in Paris. The CGT union, the biggest in the public sector, estimated the total turnout at over half a million.

Latvia to expel 'one or several' Russian diplomats over spy attack | AFP.com

Latvia's foreign ministry on Friday said the Baltic state would expel "one or several" Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the English city of Salisbury... The leaders of former Soviet bloc EU states the Czech Republic and Lithuania, as well as Denmark and Ireland, have also said they were considering further unilateral steps, including expelling diplomats.

British passports will be navy blue after Brexit, says Home Office | The Guardian

British passports issued after October 2019 will be dark blue and gold, replacing the current burgundy model.
The British passport is redesigned every five years, and the new version will come into production next autumn when the current contract expires, the Home Office has announced.
The return of the navy cover, first used in 1921, is being hailed as a victory by pro-Brexit MPs, who had campaigned for a return to the colour.

Markle's wedding ring expected to follow royal tradition of Welsh gold

When Britain’s Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle in May he is expected to follow a royal tradition started nearly 100 years ago of using a wedding band of Welsh gold.
His great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was the first to use gold from Wales in a wedding ring when, as Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, she married the future King George VI in 1923.
Her example was followed by the current Queen Elizabeth when she married Prince Philip in 1947 and then by royals through to Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton in 2011.

Steven Spielberg Doesn’t Think Netflix Movies Should Qualify for Oscars | Vanity Fair

In an interview with ITV News, the Oscar-winning filmmaker weighed in on the ongoing debate about films that premiere on the streaming platform—and whether they deserve to compete with films that get a proper theatrical release come awards season. Spielberg, a filmmaking giant since the 1970s, thinks that movies that go straight to streaming are “a clear and present danger to filmgoers,” and shouldn’t be permitted to compete for Academy Awards.
“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he declared. A good show might “deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”

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2018.03.23

News Headlines - 23 March 2018

Andrew McCabe: Not in my worst nightmares did I dream my FBI career would end this way - The Washington Post

On March 16, I spent the day with my family waiting to hear whether I would be fired, after 21 years in the FBI and one day before I qualified for my long-planned, earned retirement... Despite all the preparation for the worst-case scenario, I still felt disoriented and sick to my stomach. Around 10 p.m., a friend called to tell me that CNN was reporting that I had been fired. She read me the attorney general’s statement... The president’s comments about me were equally hurtful and false, which shows that he has no idea how FBI people feel about their leaders.

Peru's new president vows to tackle endemic corruption - ABC News

New President Martin Vizcarra promised to fight Peru's corruption head on as he assumed the office Friday vowing to heal the wounds left by a vote-buying scandal that abruptly forced his predecessor from office.

One Month After Abduction, Boko Haram Brings Home More Than 100 Dapchi Girls : NPR

The kidnapping of 110 school girls from a Nigerian school in the northeast town of Dapchi on Feb. 19 came to an abrupt and joyful end for most of the families 30 days later. Early Wednesday, militants from Boko Haram, the same group that snatched the girls, brought back 104 of them, handing them over to federal officials, according to the Nigerian government.

Japan offers $940 million to boost nation's space startups

Japan is offering $940 million to fund space start-ups in a new push to grow the industry, the government announced Tuesday at an event in Tokyo.
The funds will be made available through investments and loans over the next five years, as part of a government-led initiative to double Japan's more than $11 billion space industry. With less than 20 Japanese space start-ups currently operating, many see this as critical to helping new companies cover costs such as research or applying for patents.

World Cup 2018 power rankings: All 32 teams rated and slated as countdown to Russia continues - Mirror Online

1. Germany
2. Spain
3. Brazil
4. Argentina
5. France

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2018.03.22

News Headlines - 22 March 2018

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of a Presidential Memorandum Targeting China's Economic Aggression

I’ll talk to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and others — great guy, friend of mine — and there will be a little smile on their face. And the smile is, “I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.” So those days are over.

Former South Korean President Lee Faces Arrest for Bribery - Bloomberg

A South Korean court ordered the arrest of former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak over allegations of bribery.
Lee became the second former leader of Asia’s fourth-largest economy to face jail time in just over a year. Park Geun-hye, his successor from the same conservative party, was removed from office last year after being impeached over a corruption scandal that engulfed the entire country from late 2016.

Steve Jobs' pre-Apple job application priced at $174,000 at auction

A one-page job application filled out by Steve Jobs more than four decades ago that reflected the Apple founder's technology aspirations sold for $174,000 at a U.S. auction, more than three times its pre-sale estimate.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist plunges to his death in Florida | Daily Mail Online

A Cirque du Soleil performer has died after falling onto the stage during an aerial routine in Tampa on Saturday night.
Yann Arnaud, 38, died from his injuries at Tampa General Hospital hours after the horrific accident, which occurred during a performance of the touring show VOLTA.

Sin-bins will 'almost certainly' be introduced in football, says Neale Barry | Sky Sports

Sin-bins will "almost certainly" be introduced in English football in the future, says the FA's head of referees Neale Barry.
Local park leagues in Nottinghamshire are already experimenting with sin-bins, whereby players take 10 minutes out of the game if they receive a yellow card, after IFAB (International Football Association Board) gave national associations permission to test the initiative two years ago.

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2018.03.21

News Headlines - 21 March 2018

Tear gas released in Kosovo parliament by opposition party in bid to stop vote | The Independent

Tear gas has been released in Kosovo's parliament by opposition MPs in a bid to stop a vote on a border demarcation agreement with Montenegro.
The Self-Determination Movement party used three tear gas canisters in the Assembly building as the vote was due to start on Wednesday, forcing all politicians to leave the hall.

EU reveals a digital tax plan that could penalize Google, Amazon and Facebook

The European Commission — the executive arm of the European Union (EU) — unveiled plans Wednesday to tax companies where they actually generate business, rather than where they are headquartered.
The proposed changes to how digital businesses are taxed could substantially increase the amount such firms have to pay in taxes. It says those firms with significant online revenues should pay a 3 percent tax, but it would only apply to certain online revenue streams like the sale of user data or online advertising.
According to data from the European Commission, digital companies pay on average an effective tax rate of 9.5 percent — compared to 23.2 percent for traditional businesses.

Hacker Adrian Lamo Has Died at 37 | WIRED

Lamo first gained notoriety online in the early 2000s for hacking companies like Yahoo! and AOL, as well as The New York Times. In 2004, after accepting a plea bargain, Lamo was sentenced for hacking the newspaper, where he had added his name to an internal list of op-ed writers and racked up $300,000 in charges using the organization's subscription to Lexis-Nexis, a pay-per-use search tool.
He was also known for tipping US government authorities about the actions of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who was later sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing Wikileaks with 750,000 classified military cables. (President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017.)

Austin bombings suspect commits suicide as police close in - France 24

US law enforcement officials have identified the Austin bombings suspect as Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, who blew himself up as police closed in on him in an Austin suburb overnight.

Serena Williams beaten by emerging talent Naomi Osaka at Miami Open | The Guardian

Naomi Osaka defeated 23-times grand slam singles champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 in the Miami Open first round on Wednesday, the latest big win for the emerging 20-year-old Japanese player.

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2018.03.20

News Headlines - 20 March 2018

Japanese pension data entry outsourced to Chinese firm - The Mainichi

An information processing firm in Tokyo assigned to process the personal data of around 5 million pensioners outsourced part of the task to a Chinese company in violation of a contract that prohibited subcontracts, according to the Japan Pension Service.
The outsourcing came under the spotlight after it was revealed that around 1.3 million people received lower pension benefits in February than they were entitled to as income tax breaks were not adequately reflected.

US & South Korea announce start date for major military exercise - CNNPolitics

The "Foal Eagle and Key Resolve" drills would begin on April 1 for four weeks, both countries said in a statement. Last year, Foal Eagle began on March 1 and continued until the end of April, lasting a total of two months.

Stephen Hawking’s parting shot is multi-cosmic | The Sunday Times

As his family were coming together to plan the funeral of the “world’s most famous scientist”, his academic colleagues learnt that he has left behind a final groundbreaking research paper — completed on his deathbed — describing how humanity might detect other universes.
The research, submitted two weeks ago, sets out the maths needed for a space probe to find experimental evidence for the existence of a “multiverse”. This is the idea that our cosmos is only one of many universes.

London’s free tap water scheme aims to slash plastic pollution | Euronews

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is trying to encourage more businesses to sign up, says the average adult in the UK capital buys 175 bottles a year.
The scheme encourages people to fill up their bottles instead of buying a plastic one and later throwing it away.

Dublin overtakes London in terms of expense, city report finds

Dublin is ranked 19th out of 133 cities, while London has fallen to 30th place, its lowest ranking in 20 years.
The survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit said the weakening of sterling since the Brexit vote had pushed the UK capital down the rankings.

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2018.03.19

News Headlines - 19 March 2018

Brexit: Transitional period to last until end of 2020

The U.K. will remain in the European Union until the end of 2020, but with restricted powers, officials announced Monday.
The EU and the United Kingdom have agreed to a transition process of 21 months — from 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020 — before the country leaves the member bloc completely.

McDonald’s High-Tech Makeover Is Stressing Workers Out - Bloomberg

McDonald’s Corp. has been updating with new technology, delivery, a revamped menu and curbside pickup. But the chain’s “Experience of the Future” effort could backfire. Employees are handling more tasks, in many cases, they say, without pay raises or adequate staffing. So Dickerson, 23, handed over his spatula for the last time.

65% say Abe's wife should face Diet over scandal: poll | The Japan Times

Amid a deepening scandal linked to the cronyism allegations leveled against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 52.0 percent of the public thinks Finance Minister Taro Aso should resign over the related document-tampering, and 65.3 percent think Abe’s wife, Akie, should be summoned to testify in the Diet, a survey showed Sunday.

Berlin's children pile up teddy bears in solidarity with Syrian refugees

German school children made a giant pile of teddy bears in Berlin on Thursday, to show solidarity with the huge numbers of young Syrians growing up without an education, as the civil war entered its eighth year.

At least eight hurt as ski lift hurtles out of control in Georgia | The Guardian

At least eight people have been injured after a malfunctioning ski lift threw people from their seats at a ski resort in Georgia.
Skiers and snowboarders were forced to jump from the faulty chairlift on Friday as their seats hurtled backwards down the mountain, with some people falling from carriages at speed, in what one witness likened to “a scene from a Final Destination film”.

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2018.03.18

News Headlines - 18 March 2018

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | The Guardian

For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate

Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca to shut down after tax scandal

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal, said on Wednesday it was shutting down due to the economic and reputational damage inflicted by its role in the global tax evasion debacle.

Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog raids Amazon headquarters

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating whether Amazon is forcing sellers to bear all or part of the losses incurred when Amazon offers bargain discounts online... Japan's antitrust watchdog probed Amazon (AMZN) last year, accusing the company of forcing sellers to offer "the lowest price and the richest lineup of goods" on its online marketplace.

Rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in Asia defies stereotypes - Channel NewsAsia

Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion's tolerant image.

Video from controversial 2014 fatal Utah courthouse shooting released, shows man jumping at witness with pen - The Salt Lake Tribune

It took about five seconds from the time Siale Angilau grabbed a pen from his defense attorney’s table for him to run across the federal courtroom floor and sail headfirst into the witness stand, where he was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal.
On Monday, Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court released courtroom video of the 2014 shooting, nearly four years after the 25-year-old defendant was shot four times.

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2018.03.17

News Headlines - 17 March 2018

Syrian civilians flee embattled Eastern Ghouta and Afrin | Al Jazeera

Civilians continue to flee Syria's Eastern Ghouta and Afrin in record numbers as Syrian and Turkish military operations continue against their respective foes.
Roughly 50,000 people have fled the two areas - 20,000 from Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, and 30,000 from Afrin, in Syria's Kurdish-dominated northeast - according to some counts.

Former South African president Zuma facing 16 charges of corruption - Independent.ie

Former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 16 charges of corruption, the director of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said.
Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will face charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Philippines tells UN it will quit International Criminal Court | South China Morning Post

The Philippines said on Friday it had given official notice to exit the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which is examining President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
The move comes days after Duterte announced his nation would quit the court over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his crackdown on narcotics amounts to crimes against humanity.

Xi Jinping gets second term, with ally Wang Qishan as vice-president | South China Morning Post

The political comeback of Wang – who stepped down from the ruling Communist Party’s top echelon and his position as head of its graft watchdog in October – confirmed a South China Morning Post report in December.
A total of 2,969 people voted to elect him vice-president, with only one voting against.
The National People’s Congress also unanimously confirmed Xi’s second term, with 2,970 votes in favour.

Hello Kitty to make bullet train debut in Japan, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Hello Kitty has already found its way onto bus and aircraft services - and is now set to make its debut on Japan's iconic bullet train.
West Japan Railway will launch "Hello Kitty Shinkansen" services on its bullet train line connecting Osaka and Fukuoka later this year, the company said this week.

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2018.03.16

News Headlines - 16 March 2018

Japanese Cabinet's support rate slides below disapproval rate to land at 39% in latest poll | The Japan Times

Public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has plunged 9.4 points since February and now sits at 39.3 percent, leaving it short of the disapproval rate for the first time in five months, an opinion poll showed Friday.
It is also the first time in five months that the support rate has fallen short of 40 percent.
The disapproval rate meanwhile has surged 8.5 points to reach 40.4 percent, according to the poll conducted by Jiji Press over four days through Monday.

US-North Korea meeting: N Korean Minister in surprise Sweden visit - BBC News

North Korea's foreign minister has attended talks in Stockholm with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, ahead of a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

‘I screamed, but no one came’: The horrifying sexual violence facing Syria’s women and girls - The Washington Post

That's the conclusion of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, which just released a new report on the horrific sexual violence facing the people of Syria... The stories in the report, written after interviews with more than 450 people, document a terrifying and systematic pattern of sexual abuse by the government during house raids, at checkpoints and in detention centers.

Florida bridge collapse: Pedestrian overpass collapses at FIU, Miami | The Courier-Mail

FOUR people have been found dead in the rubble of a collapsed pedestrian bridge in South Florida, officials have confirmed.
The partially built 950-tonne pedestrian bridge collapsed over a six-lane highway at Florida International University in Miami, crushing cars underneath it. It is believed that section of the bridge was installed last Sunday.

Trump decides to remove national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and others may follow - The Washington Post

President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up, these people said.

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2018.03.15

News Headlines - 15 March 2018

Amazon's internal numbers on Prime Video, revealed

Amazon.com Inc’s top television shows drew more than 5 million people worldwide to its Prime shopping club by early 2017, according to company documents, revealing for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off.
The documents also show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience.

Toys ‘R’ Us Tells Workers It Will Likely Close All U.S. Stores - WSJ

Toys “R” Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 American jobs in the coming months.
The 70-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, has more than 700 remaining U.S. locations, including Babies “R” Us stores. It would be one of the biggest retail liquidations since Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016 with 14,500 workers and closed more than 460 stores.

Bitcoin Is Worthless, Bubble May Pop Soon, Allianz Global Says - Bloomberg

It’s a matter of when, not if, the Bitcoin bubble will pop, according to Allianz Global Investors.
The cryptocurrency is worthless, even if blockchain technology could bring significant benefits to investors, said the investment arm of Europe’s biggest insurer, which manages almost 500 billion euro.

Russian aeroplane loses gold-silver bars on take-off - BBC News

A plane laden with tonnes of gold-silver alloy was taking off from Yakutsk airport in Siberia when a loading hatch broke off.
Some 200 bars, each weighing about 20kg (44 pounds), were then scattered across the runway.
All of the bars have now been recovered, a spokesman for the Canadian mine owner told news agency Interfax.

Dog mistakenly shipped to Japan via United Airlines - CNN

United Airlines wrongly shipped a Kansas-bound pet dog to Japan, the second embarrassment this week for the airline and a "nightmare" for the Swindle family -- who are moving from Oregon to Wichita with their beloved pet, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo... On Monday, a French bulldog died on a Houston-to-New York flight after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog, in its carrier, in an overhead bin. The airline said it was investigating the French bulldog's death "to prevent this from ever happening again."

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2018.03.14

News Headlines - 14 March 2018

Britain Expels 23 Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning - The New York Times

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

South Korea's former president Lee Myung-bak questioned on graft - Channel NewsAsia

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak reported to prosecutors for questioning in a corruption probe Wednesday (Mar 14) and apologised for the controversy.
Allegations of corruption involving the 76-year-old's relatives and aides during his 2008-2013 presidential term have mounted in recent weeks as prosecutors investigate multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of dollars.

Seven former Aum cult members transferred from Tokyo detention center, suggesting executions near | The Japan Times

The Justice Ministry began transferring seven of the 13 former Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row from a Tokyo detention center to other facilities, sources said Wednesday, likely moving them one step closer to their execution dates.

Tsuburaya sues Chinese firm over 'Ultraman' - NHK WORLD

NHK has learned that a Japanese firm sued a Chinese film company for copyright infringement for using its "Ultraman" character... The Japanese studio, Tsuburaya Productions, filed the lawsuit with a court in Shanghai last September to stop the film's release. Tsuburaya claimed that the Chinese company had infringed copyright by advertising the movie.

Palestinian prime minister survives assassination attempt in Gaza as bomb hits his convoy

The Palestinian prime minister survived an assassination attempt during a rare visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza on Tuesday, putting a fresh strain on the already torrid relations between the two leading Palestinian factions.
Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, had just entered Gaza when a roadside explosive detonated near his convoy. Mr Hamdallah was not injured but seven of his guards and aides suffered slight wounds, according to Palestinian media.

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