Emperor prescribed rest
Emperor Akihito, 84, was advised to rest after feeling nauseous and dizzy early yesterday and canceled or postponed his duties. The Imperial Household Agency said Empress Michiko called the palace doctor early in the morning after finding Akihito sweating profusely. It said his symptoms were caused by cerebral anemia or an insufficient flow of blood to the brain, and the doctor was continuing to monitor his situation.
Manhunt on for escapee
The government yesterday pointed to possible security failings as a manhunt continued for a notorious gangster who used a helicopter to make his second prison break of his career. Redoine Faid was sprung from a prison in Paris on Sunday by two armed accomplices who had hijacked a helicopter from a flight school. The pair forced the instructor to take them to the prison, where they set off smoke bombs before using power tools to break into the visiting room, where Faid was talking to his brother. The helicopter was later found about 60km from the prison, with the pilot, who had been beaten, in a state of shock.
Protests over pension plan
Opponents of the government’s proposal to raise the eligibility ages for pensions held demonstrations throughout the country on Sunday. The Cabinet sent parliament a proposal last month to gradually bring the pension age for men from 60 to 65 and to increase it from 55 to 63 for women. The average pension is 14,000 rubles (US$230) a month.
‘FART’ act reportedly mulled
A report that President Donald Trump is looking to walk away from the WTO and instead adopt a “Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act” (FART) has been greeted with loud amusement on Twitter. Axios reported that it had received a leaked early draft of a bill ordered by Trump, which would see the government take the unlikely step of abandoning WTO rules, allowing him to raise tariffs without the consent of Congress. The bill — the existence of which has not been independently confirmed — would be a dramatic shift in trade policy with wide-reaching impacts, but it was the name of the proposed bill that caught people’s attention. There were debates about whether the name of the act was intentional, while Internet users responded with jokes, memes and even poetry.
Trump used as drug brand
Some drug traffickers appear to be using Trump’s image to brand their illegal wares. An Indiana State Police news release about 129 arrests in a series of drug busts includes a photograph of what police describe as “Trump-shaped ecstasy pills.” They are orange and stamped with a face. On the back are the words “great again,” an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
‘Cats’ choreographer dies
Choreographer Gillian Lynne, who was best known for her work on the long-running musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera, died on Sunday at age 92, her husband said. “She leaves behind a huge legacy & is adored by many,” her husband, actor Peter Land, said on Twitter, paying tribute to his “dearest wife & friend & love for 40 years.” She choreographed more than 50 productions on the West End and Broadway and was the recipient of two Olivier Awards.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”