Tue, Mar 27, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

Photo: Reuters

JAPAN

Crowds crowd for view

Cherry blossoms have reached full bloom in Tokyo as spring-like weather descends on the city. Crowds yesterday flocked to popular spots around the nation to enjoy the sea of delicate pink and white blooms. Some laid down picnic sheets at Shinjuku Gyoen, a former imperial garden in the heart of Tokyo, to enjoy hanami, the custom of blossom viewing. “There are of course so many beautiful flowers, but nothing compares to the cherry blossom,” said Hiroko Igarashi, who strolled a walkway along the Meguro River. The bloom in Tokyo is expected to last until the end of this week.

AUSTRALIA

Turnbull sinks in polls

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government yesterday lost its 29th straight Newspoll, putting him in an increasingly precarious position as his party attempts to push corporate tax cuts through parliament. The poll published in the Australian newspaper shows the Liberal-National coalition trailing the opposition Labor Party 47-53 on a two-party preferred basis The result leaves Turnbull just one poll away from a symbolically significant 30th poll loss, which he cited as one of his reasons for toppling former prime minister Tony Abbott in a party room spill in September 2015.

SOUTH KOREA

Moon proposes reform

President Moon Jae-in yesterday proposed weakening the powers of his office and lowering the voting age in a package of constitutional reforms, while allowing the head of state to be re-elected. Moon’s plan has to be approved by parliament before being put to a referendum in June, and its centerpiece measure would see the single five-year presidency be reduced to a four year term, with one opportunity to stand for re-election. Supporters say two four-year terms would encourage longer-range thinking in the presidential Blue House, while driving incumbents to the center ground to preserve their chances of re-election. The changes would only come into effect at the next election, and so would not apply to Moon.

SOUTH KOREA

Salute before repatriation

A Chinese officer yesterday saluted as the remains of 20 Chinese Korean War dead were arrayed in a military facility in Incheon ahead of their return home tomorrow. The remains being sent back this week were exhumed last year from multiple sites in Gangwon Province, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said. It will be the fifth annual return under a 2013 agreement which has so far seen 569 sets of remains sent back.

SOUTH KOREA

North not a Psy fan

Seoul is pushing for Gangnam Style star Psy to perform in next week’s historic concerts by southern artists in Pyongyang, media reports said, but North Korea is not so keen. A team of at least nine pop acts is set to head North next week for two concerts in Pyongyang. “We have formally proposed to the North to add Psy to the lineup,” Seoul’s MBC TV station late on Sunday quoted a Seoul government official as saying. However, Pyongyang opposed the idea, it said, adding the North was apparently concerned about the singer’s provocative performance style.

UNITED STATES

Learn CPR, students told

Former senator Rick Santorum on Sunday said that students who have rallied for gun control should instead learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or find their own way to prevent a school shooting. “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations that when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that,” the Republican said on CNN’s State of the Union. Students could work to stop bullying in their communities or respond themselves to a shooter instead of asking lawmakers to approve legislation to protect them, he said.

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