Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Australia given sub proposal

Japan is proposing jointly building Australia’s new submarines, instead of exporting a new fleet, a report said on Monday, after concerns in Canberra over the effect on the domestic ship-building industry. Under the proposal, the Japanese Ministry of Defence is to cooperate with Australia in developing special steel and other materials for its new submarines, while Tokyo would be in charge of assembling them, the Mainichi Shimbun said. The Australian side has taken “a positive stance” on the proposal, the daily said, adding that the two nations might strike a deal by the end of this year. Australia needs to replace its fleet of diesel and electric-powered subs, which date from the 1990s, and Japan’s high-tech ship-building industry is thought to be well-placed to win the contract. However, opposition politicians and industry groups in Australia said that losing the contract could deal a potentially fatal blow to naval shipbuilding at home, with a knock-on effect for associated industries. However, critics say that Japan might be able to supply the fleet for as little as half of the cost of making it at home. Japan is on a drive to promote its manufacturing industries abroad, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touring the world as salesman-in-chief. Abe has argued that Japan must play a bigger role on the global stage and has pushed to loosen post-World War II restrictions on when its well-equipped armed forces can act. He has also relaxed a self-imposed ban on weapons exports, paving the way for the possible deal with Australia.

BRAZIL

Ex-president backed for 2018

Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party would back former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to seek a third term in 2018, the nation’s chief of staff Aloizio Mercadante told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Sunday, adding that the popular ex-president is the only choice in the next election. Mercadante serves as the chief of staff in the Cabinet of Lula’s protegee and current President Dilma Rousseff. The Workers Party has held Brazil’s presidency for 12 straight years, starting with Lula’s two terms from 2003 to 2010. Rousseff, Lula’s former chief of staff, won the presidency in 2010 and won a second term last year.

AUSTRALIA

Rapper charged with assault

New York hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ has been charged in an Australian court with assaulting a security guard before a performance last week, officials said on Monday. The 19-year-old Brooklyn performer was headed for the stage at the Falls Music and Arts Festival near the tourist town of Byron Bay in New South Wales state on Friday when he was asked by a 20-year-old security guard to prove his identity, police said in a statement. Bada$$ allegedly punched the guard, breaking his nose, before continuing to the stage and performing his set. He was later charged with assault causing bodily harm and spent the night in police custody, the statement said. He could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison if convicted. He appeared in the Lismore Local Court on Saturday under the name Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott and was released on unconditional bail, court official Melissa Everson said. She would not say whether he had entered a plea, citing privacy regulations. His lawyer Tracey Randall did not immediately return a call. Bada$$ would not be required to appear when the charge is next listed in the Byron Bay Local Court on March 19, Everson said. He is free to fly back to the US and will be represented in court by a lawyer.

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