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International News


Vietnam bans Hollywood’s Abominable over South China Sea map

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Director promises dank thrills in Thai cave boys rescue saga

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Hong Kong protesters mock China leaders, defy face mask ban

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Hong Kong’s undercover medics reveal hidden toll of protests

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Fans support Hong Kong, Tibet at Nets’ first game since China

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From The Asian Reporter, V29, #20 (October 21, 2019), page 2.

Arrested Japanese stalker used pupil image reflections

TOKYO (AP) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of stalking a female pop idol by studying reflections of her pupils in photos she shared on social media and using Google Street View to find where she lived, police said. A Tokyo police official declined comment on the specifics of the investigation, but the official confirmed that 26-year-old Hibiki Sato was arrested September 17 on suspicion of indecent behavior in connection with stalking and causing injuries to the 20-year-old woman. Japanese media reports said the woman, whose identity was not disclosed, is a "pop idol." Police said Sato was an "avid fan." Japan has many young female performance groups. The police official spoke on condition of anonymity as is often policy at Japanese bureaucracies. The official said the case was related to those reports. Public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media reported that Sato allegedly used the high-resolution images of the woman’s pupils to figure out which train station the woman frequented. He then reportedly studied other images she shared, such as her apartment, to figure out where she lived. Police say Sato was suspected of jumping the woman from behind, groping her, and causing injuries. The case has raised alarm over potential risks from sharing on social media. Tokyo Shimbun, a metropolitan daily that reported on the stalking case, warned readers that even casual selfies could show surrounding buildings, allowing people to identify locations where they were shot. It suggested people shouldn’t make the V-sign with their fingers, which Japanese often do in photos, because fingerprints could be stolen.

Newborn baby girl found buried alive in India

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Police say a newborn baby girl was found buried alive in an earthen pot in northern India and has been hospitalized in critical condition. Police officer Abhinandan Singh said the girl was found by a trader who went to a cremation ground to bury his stillborn daughter. The trader, Hitesh Kumar, was alerted by the cries of the girl as the workers digging a grave for his daughter smashed the earthen pot. The baby girl was hospitalized in Bareilly, a town in Uttar Pradesh state. Singh said the police are trying to find her parents. Indian families, especially in poor communities, generally prefer boys, as they consider girls to be a financial burden for educating and marrying off, which requires money as a dowry.

China complains about U.S. visa restrictions

BEIJING (AP) — China says the U.S. has been harassing Chinese scholars, students, entrepreneurs, and scientists, in part through the denial or revocation of visas. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says the actions have "infringed upon the safety and lawful rights and interests of the Chinese personnel involved." His complaint came as China demanded Washington lift restrictions on sales of U.S. technology to a group of Chinese companies, calling it interference in the country’s affairs. American officials say those companies provide technology used to repress Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. The sanctions restrict sales of U.S. technology to a group of Chinese companies working on facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and other advanced products. Those technologies are part of the ruling Communist Party’s industry development plans.

Record 35 candidates vie for Sri Lanka’s presidency

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A record 35 candidates filed nominations for next month’s Sri Lankan presidential election, but the incumbent has opted not to seek a second term with the entry of popular former defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is considered the favorite. Rajapaksa, who served as defense chief under his brother and then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is popular for his part in ending Sri Lanka’s long civil war a decade ago. President Maithripala Sirisena, who likely would have had difficulty beating Rajapaksa, did not pay a mandatory deposit by the deadline and became ineligible to file a nomination. Rajapaksa represents a breakaway party of Sirisena’s and has the loyalty of a majority from Sirisena’s party. A record 41 aspirants paid deposits before the deadline, but six of them pulled out of the race. Still, the 35 candidates are the most to contest a presidential election in the Indian Ocean island nation. The previous high was 22 candidates in 2010. Rajapaksa’s main rival will be Sajith Premadasa, from the governing coalition. He is a son of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was assassinated in 1993 by the Tamil Tiger rebels. The rebels were eventually defeated in the civil war. Among the presidential candidates are two Buddhist monks, four people from the country’s minority Muslim community, and two from the Tamil community. There is only one female candidate.

Japan whaling ship returns after first commercial hunt

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese whaling ship returned home to the country’s southwest after almost meeting its annual quota, ending its first commercial whaling season in 31 years. Operator Kyodo Senpaku Co. said its main factory ship Nisshin Maru returned to its home port of Shimonoseki after catching 223 whales off the Japanese coast in the Pacific. Japan resumed commercial whaling July 1 after leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC), promising that the whalers would stay within the country’s exclusive economic waters. Japan had conducted research hunts for 31 years in the Antarctic and the Northwest Pacific that conservationists criticized as a cover for commercial hunts banned by the IWC. Opponents condemn Japan’s commercial whaling, but others question if the embattled whaling program can survive changing times and tastes.

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