UN recognizes ‘washoku’
The UN cultural organization has added traditional Japanese food to its cultural heritage list, making it only the second national cuisine to receive the prized designation. A UNESCO committee announced the decision on Wednesday at a meeting in Azerbaijan. Previously only French cooking had been distinguished as a national culinary tradition. UNESCO has also recognized specific dishes from Mexico and Turkey, and added the Mediterranean diet — the tradition of sharing food and eating together — at this week’s meeting. Known as washoku, the traditional cooking embraces seasonal ingredients, a unique taste and a style of eating steeped in centuries of tradition. The government hopes that UNESCO recognition will both send a global message and boost efforts to save washoku at home.
Tibetan sets self alight
A father of two set himself on fire in protest at Beijing’s rule in Tibetan regions, triggering clashes and a security crackdown, a US broadcaster and an overseas pressure group said yesterday. Radio Free Asia (RFA) said Konchok Tseten, 30, torched himself in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan Province. He was severely burned, and local Tibetans clashed with police as they tried to stop them from taking him away, sources told RFA. London-based campaign group the International Campaign for Tibet named the man as Kunchok Tseten, and said his wife and some relatives were believed to have been taken into custody.
PM nets pig semen deal
Local farmers will begin exporting pig semen to breeders in China next year, officials said on Wednesday, as they try to cash in on the Asian superpower’s growing consumption of meat. The deal, involving fresh or frozen sperm from four artificial insemination centers in England and Northern Ireland, was agreed during Prime Minister David Cameron’s three-day trade visit to China this week. Cameron’s office said the deal could be worth ￡45 million (US$74 million), although the farming ministry said the figure also included live pig exports. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson also used the trip to lay the groundwork for a deal to export trotters from pig farmers. “Pig trotters at home will often go to waste, but in China they are a real delicacy,” he said in a statement.
No iPhone for Obama
The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: President Barack Obama. At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple’s iPhone for “security reasons,” but he still uses an iPad. Apple was one of several tech companies that may have allowed the National Security Agency direct access to servers containing customer data, according to revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The companies deny the allegation.
‘Newsweek’ to resume print
Nearly a year after Newsweek published what it called its final print edition, the magazine said it would begin producing a weekly print edition as early as next month. Newsweek editor in chief Jim Impoco told the New York Times on Tuesday that the new magazine would be “a premium product, a boutique product” — with a higher price than its predecessor. He said the publication plans to rely more on subscribers instead of advertisers to support production costs.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around