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International News


New hope for endangered eels, Japanese summer delicacy

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Rare crocodile eggs hatched at Cambodian conservation center

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Haruo Nakajima, who played the original 1954 Godzilla, dies at 88

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From The Asian Reporter, V27, #16 (August 21, 2017), page 2.

Patriotic Wolf Warrior 2 is China’s biggest domestic film

BEIJING (AP) — A patriotic film reportedly inspired by evacuations of Chinese civilians in Libya and Yemen has become China’s biggest-ever grossing domestic movie. The action movie Wolf Warrior 2 overtook Hong Kong director Stephen Chow’s 2016 fantasy comedy The Mermaid in the record books. Wolf Warrior 2 depicts a former special forces soldier battling against insurgents and mercenaries in Africa to save trapped Chinese. Chinese media say it is based on the evacuations of Chinese civilians from Libya and Yemen that were assisted by the military. State media have reported that cinemas are sold out and audiences have given the film standing ovations. The official Xinhua News Agency said the film has "grabbed the heart of the nation."

Suspected WWII-era bomb dug up near nuclear plant

TOKYO (AP) — A suspected World War II-era bomb was found during construction work near the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said a worker spotted it while digging at a parking lot just over a half-mile north of the reactors that were destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The parking lot is part of the sprawling nuclear plant complex. TEPCO said a 650-foot area around the site was closed off. It’s far enough away not to affect the delicate plant decommissioning work, the utility said. The Defense Ministry said the rusty object was about 33 inches long and six inches wide. The area was home to a former military airport that was targeted by U.S. aerial bombardment in World War II, TEPCO said.

Afghan robotics competitor’s dad killed in attack

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The manager of Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team has reported that the father of a team member died in a horrific suicide assault on a Shiite mosque in western Herat. AliReza Mehraban told The Associated Press that Asif Qaderian, the father of Fatima Qaderian, died of his injuries in the Herat Hospital. The brutal attack on the Shiite mosque killed 33 worshippers as they prayed and wounded another 66, according to provincial officials. The all-girls robotics team won a silver medal in the U.S. competition. The team garnered attention after they were twice denied visas, but finally went to the United States to compete after U.S. President Donald Trump intervened. Mehraban said Fatima’s father was her biggest supporter. His death has devastated her and her family, he said.

Thousands march for quota in government jobs in India

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Tens of thousands of people waving saffron flags silently marched through Mumbai demanding quotas in government jobs and education for the Maratha community in western India. The marchers covered a distance of more than three miles with no speeches or slogans raised. The community accounts for nearly 35 percent of western Maharashtra state’s 123 million people. Virendra Pawar, a spokesman for the Maratha Kranti Morcha, or Maratha Revolutionary Front, said the protesters are also demanding higher prices for farm produce and loan waivers for poor farmers. The Maratha Revolutionary Front was launched last year by a group of Maratha organizations to protest the alleged rape and killing of a teenage Maratha girl in the Ahmednagar district of the state. It later took on other causes.

Uber expands food delivery services to South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ride-hailing company Uber is expanding its food delivery service to South Korea. The San Francisco-based company’s launch of UberEats in Seoul occurred while it continues talks with local authorities to resume its flagship ride-hailing service. Before UberEats, Uber’s presence in South Korea was almost non-existent. It withdrew its flagship UberX ride-hailing service in 2015, facing protests from local taxi drivers and the Seoul city government. In April, a court fined Uber $8,756 for violating a transport law. With popular local startups offering various food delivery services already, the U.S. company will likely face an uphill battle to lure food delivery customers in the country, analysts said.

Palm oil blobs cover Hong Kong beaches after sea crash

HONG KONG (AP) — Cleanup efforts are under way in Hong Kong after white blobs of congealed palm oil washed up on the city’s shores following a collision between two ships. Authorities closed more than a dozen beaches, but the government said the substance isn’t dangerous. Marine officials say the ships collided in the Pearl River Delta estuary southwest of Hong Kong. The congealed palm oil resembles clumps of snow or pieces of Styrofoam and has a consistency similar to Play-Doh. It was spotted blanketing Hong Kong beaches and floating in the water. Helicopters and nine ships were deployed to find and collect the waste while workers at public beaches used absorbent blankets and strips to contain the mess. Palm oil is commonly used in food packaging and cosmetics. Environment undersecretary Tse Chin-wan told reporters that it’s non-toxic and there has been no sign of widespread impact on marine life. Tse said no more than 1,000 metric tons leaked from the stricken ship. Environmentalists worry about the harm the substance could pose to Hong Kong’s already polluted waters, and to fish and other animals that eat large amounts of it. Hong Kong is made up of a peninsula attached to mainland China’s southern coast as well as about 260 islands, many of them small and uninhabited.

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