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Random Japan

CHEEKY DEVILS
Customs officials at Kansai Airport busted a Nigerian man attempting to enter the country with 86 bags of an unspecified drug in his stomach. The would-be smuggler said “he picked up the drugs in Paris and spent four to five hours swallowing the small bags, washing them down with water.”
After being arrested for throwing his wife’s corpse in Tokyo’s Oyoko River, a 61-year-old man reportedly told police, “there is no doubt I dumped her in the river. I’ll discuss the details later.”
A Tokyo-based software company has released an app called Karelog that allows PC users to monitor “the current whereabouts, phone call logs, remaining battery power and other personal data of a smartphone’s owner.”
A Tokyo woman was arrested forcounterfeiting ¥10,000 bills the old-fashioned way—with a color photocopier.

stats
23,000

Random Japan

YEAH, THANKS FOR THAT…
At a ceremony in Boston, the president of the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The honor was in recognition of the man’s efforts to promote “friendly Japan-US relations by raising awareness of the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth,” whatever that is.

Reassuring absolutely no one, newly installed Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa labeled himself an “amateur” when it comes to national security issues.

Meanwhile, the new justice minister “expressed reluctance” about enforcing the death penalty.

An advisory council reporting to the culture minister recommended that Japan nominate Mt Fuji and the city of Kamakura as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

One year after the Akatsuki planetary probe failed in its attempt to enter the orbit of Venus, JAXA says the spacecraft may be capable of making another try in 2015.

Random Japan

AND THE WINNER IS…
A Japanese director named Takahisa Zeze won an Innovation Award at the Montreal World Film Festival and captivated the crowd when he started his acceptance speech with the words, “I am Japanese. Are you doing good?”

Another attending Japanese filmmaker in Montreal, Masato Harada, was doing pretty well as his movie Chronicle of My Mother took the Special Grand Prix.

In the wake of entertainer Shinsuke Shimada’s abrupt retirement from his TV career over ties to the yakuza, one top police official noted in The Yomiuri Shimbun, “It seems many showbiz types’ first interaction with crime groups comes when they ask the gangs to solve problems for them, such as collecting unpaid appearance fees or breaking off relationships with members of the opposite sex.”

Former Japan soccer coach Zico has a new gig after the Brazilian legend was named coach of Iraq’s national team.

Meanwhile, the unfortunately named Dunga, another former Brazilian soccer star who, like Zico, once played in the J. League, was also reported to be getting a new job.
Dunga was set to take the helm of a club team in Qatar.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

9/11 anniversary: US marks 10 years since attacks
The US has started to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
The BBC 11 September 2011
Security is tight following warnings of a possible al-Qaeda attack.

The US embassy in Afghanistan has begun the ceremonies, with events due later in the sites where four hijacked planes struck, killing nearly 3,000 people.

An official memorial to those who died is to be unveiled at the site of the World Trade Center, whose twin towers were destroyed in the attacks.

Metal barriers have been erected on roads near the World Trade Center, while police in New York and Washington are stopping and searching large vehicles entering bridges and tunnels.

Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century'
They will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist
By Andrew Marszal Sunday, 11 September 2011
Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.

The claim is made in a book published tomorrow, which says coral reef ecosystems are very likely to disappear this century in what would be "a new first for mankind – the 'extinction' of an entire ecosystem". Its author, Professor Peter Sale, studied the Great Barrier Reef for 20 years at the University of Sydney. He currently leads a team at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

Random Japan

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BAD MEDICINE
An investigation was launched after it came to light that a man who claimed to be a doctor from a Canadian hospital treated some 250 people in quake-ravaged Miyagi Prefecture without a proper license.

A drug used to treat blood clots killed five people in Japan after causing some nasty side-effects in over 80 patients since March, the Health Ministry said.

Ryohei Yamanaka, 23, a flyhalf for Japan’s national rugby team, accepted a two-year doping ban from the sport’s governing body while continuing to claim his positive test was a result of a cream he used to try to grow a mustache. Yeah right, likely story …

It took 21 reprints, but a million copies were finally printed of an inspirational book by Japan soccer captain Makoto Hasebe called Kokoro o Totonoeru (Maintaining Peace of Mind).

Now this really is amazing. A transparent maze has been set up by Yoko Ono at Yokohama Triennale 2011, an international exhibition of modern art. At the center of the maze is a telephone, which sometimes rings. Lucky visitors who pick up the phone get to hear the voice of Yoko Ono. Hmmm … would that be considered reward or punishment?

A two-year-old boy escaped with a few minor scrapes after falling between a train platform and a stopped Nozomi bullet train onto the tracks at Nagoya Station. A quick-thinker hit the emergency switch and cut power before the train could leave.

Visually impaired people in Japan are apparently “suffering damage to their white canes … due to collisions with cyclists.”

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic
Winds begin to blast Northeast; storm downs trees, leaves millions without power
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
A weakened but still dangerous Hurricane Irene shut down New York and menaced other cities more accustomed to snowstorms than tropical storms as it steamed up the East Coast, unloading a foot of rain on North Carolina and Virginia and knocking out power to 2 million homes and businesses. At least 10 people were dead early Sunday.
By early Sunday, the storm had sustained winds of 80 mph, down from 100 mph on Friday. That made it a Category 1, the least threatening on a 1-to-5 scale, and barely stronger than a tropical storm.
Nevertheless, it was still considered highly dangerous, capable of causing ruinous flooding across much of the East Coast with a combination of storm surge, high tides and six inches to a foot of rain.

Goldman Sachs targeted as 'Jaws' joins battle over banking crash
Adrift in a sea of lawsuits as shareholders sue for millions, the bank is a soft target for mocking critics
Paul Harris in New York
The Observer, Sunday 28 August 2011

He is known as"Jaws", the perfect nickname for a lawyer entangled in a lawsuit filed against a massive investment bank that has been dubbed a "vampire squid" by its critics. But Jacob Zamansky, a renowned Wall Street defender of the little guy, with a record of extracting large settlements from giant firms, does not fear the tough reputation of Goldman Sachs.

Indeed, he is happy to be helping on a class-action lawsuit against the bank taken out on behalf of a group of shareholders seeking millions of dollars in damages for alleged illegal behaviour. "Goldman misled these investors. So they came to me," Zamansky said.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Operation Mermaid: 'Rebels in Tripoli have risen up'
Fighting reported in capital; Gadhafi's former No. 2 urges government troops to join the opposition
NBC, msnbc.com and news services

TRIPOLI, Libya — Explosions and gunfire rocked Tripoli through the night as opponents of Moammar Gadhafi rose up in the capital, declaring a final push to topple the Libyan leader after a six-month war reached the city's outskirts.
"The zero hour has started," said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice-chairman of the rebel leadership council. "The rebels in Tripoli have risen up."

However, a defiant Gadhafi said an assault by "rats" had been repelled.

"Those rats ... were attacked by the masses tonight and we eliminated them," Gadhafi said in an audio message broadcast over state television early Sunday.

Intense gunfire erupted after nightfall. Reuters journalists in the center of the capital, a metropolis of 2 million people, said it subsided somewhat after several hours. Fighting was reported early Sunday in several neighborhoods.
NATO aircraft made heavy bombing runs after nightfall, The Associated Press reported.


Sunday's Headlines:


Food aid reaches only one in five of Somalia's starving


The hilltop Spanish town overshadowed by a debt mountain


Bahrain government fires hundreds of employees for political views


South Korea churches' beacons an eyesore to some


U.S. scholars say their book on China led to travel ban

Random Japan

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ON THE ROAD

A homeless man who racked up a ¥180,000 taxi fare from Tokyo to Osaka was arrested after revealing that he only had ¥6,000 to his name.

The National Police Agency sent a team of six judo instructors to teach martial arts to Afghan police officers at a training center in Turkey.

A 24-year-old Tochigi man was arrested for stealing 18 pairs of underwear from the home of a female high school student.

It was reported that mosquito nets made by Sumitomo Chemical Co. are partly responsible for the recent drastic decline in malaria deaths worldwide.

Stats

¥1 million
Bonus payment that beverage giant Kirin will award to all 21 members of Japan’s world championship women’s soccer team

100,000
Households that were unprepared for the switch from analog to digital TV broadcasting on July 24, according to newspaper reports

47/33
Percent of Japanese men and women in their early 30s, respectively, who are single, according to The Daily Yomiuri

Sections: 

Bahrain Shouting In The Dark

On February 15 the peaceful uprising began in Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout these people the Shiite majority are ruled by a family that are Sunni. When it all ended in March the monument at Pearl roundabout had been destroyed, hundreds were injured and unknown number were killed. With the help of the Saudi National Guard all dissent was crushed. Among those arrested and tried for crimes against the state included the medical personal who tried to help the injured.

Random Japan

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DIAMOND DUST
Sho Darvish, the younger brother of Nippon Ham Fighters ace Yu Darvish, was arrested twice in June—once for marijuana possession and again for assaulting a 19-year-old woman. So much for weed mellowing you out…
Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki saw his string of ten straight MLB All-Star Game appearances come to an end when he finished seventh in fan voting among American League outfielders. He still picked up over 2.5 million votes.
A renegade cat delayed a BayStars vs. Hiroshima Carp ballgame at Yokohama Stadium when it got on the field and had to be chased off by security.
Golfer Tiger Woods may have philandered away millions in endorsement contacts in the U.S. but he’s still big in Japan. Woods is the new face of Kowa, a Japanese muscle balm.
The heat is on once again and the Japan Football Association has decided to allow sports drinks, as well as your standard water, on the sidelines at soccer games to prevent heatstroke. Some stadiums, however, have a water-only policy in effect, worried that a little Pocari Sweat might kill the grass.
A 17-year-old boy scout with Japanese roots from Utah delivered soccer balls, uniforms and whistles to students affected by the March 11 earthquake/tsunami. Perhaps more suited to Sudan than Japan, but a good deed nonetheless.

Random Japan

[ a bump to the front with a 'welcome back, Mishima'. Hope you're safe and it's all good where you are! - luaptifer]

GOTTA BOUNCE
After winning 10 straight national trampoline championships, 27-year-old Haruka Hirota decided to retire from the sport due to a rule change regarding how much time the athletes spend in the air.

Former Livedoor boss Takafumi Horie decided to go out in style, sporting a Mohawk haircut and wearing a T-shirt bearing the phrase “Go To Jail” as he began his prison sentence for fraud.

Forty-year-old tennis queen Kimiko Date Krumm gave Venus Williams a run for her money at Wimbledon, before finally bowing out 6-7 (6), 6-3, 8-6 in nearly three hours in the second round.
In Sapporo, four “Super Grandmas” aged between 75 and 88 set a world record in the 400-meter medley for swimmers with a combined age between 320 and 359 years. Their combined age was 322 years and they shaved a full 40 seconds off the record.

Doara, the popular mascot of the Chunichi Dragons baseball club, was sent down to the minor leagues to work on his flips after a few mishaps.

Yoshie Soma, a 69-year-old special adviser to the president of Kobe University, was named one of the “most distinguished women in chemistry and chemical engineering in the world” by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. She discovered a copper carbonyl catalyst in the 1960s that has been used in paint for cars and the bottom of ships.

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Friday At 2:46PM

Last Friday as I sat in my apartment watching Ghost Busters an earthquake started at first it seemed like any other for about 30 seconds. Suddenly that all changed as the power of the quake increased about 100 times. Because so many of my neighbors are retried I went downstairs to check on them as my feet touched the ground it was like having instant vertigo. Its amazing just how difficult it is to keep ones balance when there is no point of reference tell which way the ground was moving.

People here are used to earthquakes so it was very strange too see them fleeing their homes and apartment blocks.

As Japan is quite well prepared for these kinds of events all trains ceased operation, all students were evacuated from their schools as well all other public buildings. After making sure my neighbors were OK I rode my bike around the area while there was some damage it was nothing like that which took place in the worst effected areas.

For the last 3 days deliveries to shoppes have been very limited with all most all the shelves completely empty. Hopefully that will change soon.

The Tsunami didn't effect us and so far we are not effected by the problems in Fukushima. At least not yet as far as the radiation is concerned. Where we are effected is that TEPCO has announced rolling blackouts in the Kanto region the first of which occurred this evening staring at 5pm.

My description of what happened doesn't even do it justice. It might impossible to do just that. One of the places I visited on Friday was the local elementary school all of them were in the school yard and the shocked look on their faces was unsettling so I stayed for a while to help comfort them.

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Six In The Morning

To Bad Those Who Incite Will Never Take Responsibility

In Attack’s Wake, Political Repercussions
TUCSON — Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and 18 others were shot Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Ms. Giffords was meeting with constituents.
Six of the victims died, among them John M. Roll, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and a 9-year-old girl, the Pima County sheriff, Clarence W. Dupnik, said.

Ms. Giffords, 40, whom the authorities called the target of the attack, was said to be in very critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, where she was operated on by a team of neurosurgeons.

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Young Chinese go crazy for shopping discount coupons
Ding Can is obsessed with bargains. Her purse is crammed with more than 30 discount cards and dozens of coupons. Her apartment is packed with freebies, from cosmetic samples to key chains. She often lines up before dawn for tickets to discounted movies.

Her yen for savings isn't out of necessity. The software testing engineer, 32, is relatively well off. She says, simply, "I've never come across a good deal I didn't like." More than a craze, discount shopping is becoming a way of life for young Chinese. Known as the "coupon generation", they are changing the way business is done in the world's second largest economy.

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