New envoy to China dies
The newly appointed envoy to China died in a Tokyo hospital yesterday, officials said, ruling out any link to growing anti-Japan protests in Chinese cities over an escalating territorial row. Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya, who was officially appointed on Tuesday, was taken to hospital after falling ill on a street near his home in the capital’s fashionable Shibuya District on Thursday, according to reports. “Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya died in a hospital,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. The death had “nothing to do with any accident or anti-Japanese demonstrations” in China, a foreign ministry official said. Nishimiya had planned to leave for Beijing next month.
Typhoon brings blackouts
A powerful typhoon passing over the southwest has left tens of thousands of homes without power and brought transportation to the region by sea and air to a standstill. The Meteorological Agency said Typhoon Sanba crossed over the Ryuku Islands yesterday and was headed toward the Korean Peninsula after dumping heavy rains and whipping Okinawa with powerful winds. It described the typhoon as large and very strong, with gusts of up to 250kph. The agency warned residents to stay indoors. The storm caused flight and ferry cancellations. More than 60,000 homes were without power, according to media reports. NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, showed scenes of flooded houses and roads in Okinawa’s main city, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or significant injuries.
Tabloid runs Kate photos
A tabloid newspaper broke ranks with its British and Irish rivals to publish topless pictures of the wife of Prince William on Saturday, risking legal action from the royal family and prompting its British co-owner to cut ties with the title. The royal couple have already begun action against the French magazine Closer for publishing a dozen shots of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — the former Kate Middleton — taken as she slipped off her bikini top while sunbathing at a secluded French country house. The pictures have reignited a debate over privacy and freedom of the press, especially in Britain, where media could face new regulations after a series of publishing scandals. All British papers have refrained from publishing the photographs, including the Sun, the only British title to run pictures of William’s brother Harry cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel last month. The Irish Daily Star paper published a two-page spread of 10 photographs of the duchess from Closer magazine under the headline “Angry Kate to sue mag over snaps.” A spokeswoman for Prince William condemned the publication.
Poll risks failing test: US
The US warned the country on Saturday the prosecution of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was damaging its ties with the West, but an official responded by asking for US help to mount another criminal probe against her. The case of Tymoshenko, a former prime minister jailed for seven years for alleged abuse of office, dominated a two-day international gathering ahead of a parliamentary election next month that the country hopes will enhance its democratic credentials. Just a day after President Viktor Yanukovych told the conference he expected the Oct. 28 poll to help the country seal a long-sought association agreement with the EU, a senior US State Department official said it was falling short of democratic standards.