Category: News

Asian News This Week

Casting a larger net this week in looking at what’s been happing around the rest of Asia.

Monday October 1

Japan switches on earthquake warning system
The system, which has been tested for more than a year, went into operation at 9a.m. local time and is operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). It links together about 1,000 seismographs throughout Japan with a fast network and computing to calculate the location and strength of an earthquake within a few seconds of it occurring. The seismographs measure the weak but fast moving primary waves from an earthquake. These are followed by secondary waves, which move at about half the speed but which are much more destructive. The system attempts to beat the arrival of the secondary waves and provide a warning that strong shaking is about to occur.

How much warning people have will depend on how far they are from the earthquake.

Wakey, Wakey It’s Morning News

Grab your morning cup of coffee and I’ll have a beer and let’s discover what’s been happening in the world while you slept.

Remember Morning News is an Open Thread

Myanmar democracy leader Suu Kyi considers offer to meet top general
YANGON (AFP) – Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will consider positively a heavily conditioned offer to meet the junta leader, her party said Friday, as a US envoy headed to meet leaders of the isolated regime.The ruling generals made the offers of dialogue as the United Nations readied to discuss the violent crackdown on the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in almost 20 years in the country formerly called Burma.

U.S.: 25 killed in firefight with Shiite militia
Military says troops were targeting commander believed linked to Iran
BAGHDAD – U.S. forces killed at least 25 members of a rogue Shiite militia in a heavy firefight early Friday, the military said.

The troops were targeting a militia commander believed to be associated with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force and responsible for moving weapons from Iran into Baghdad, the military said.

Pakistan court ruling a setback for Musharraf
Court OKs election, but rules that announcement of results has to wait
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that the country can hold its presidential election Saturday but may only declare the winner after the court rules on whether President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the expected victor, is eligible to run.

Misleading Spin on Children’s Health

Trying to justify his ideologically driven veto of a bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, President Bush and his staff have fired a barrage of misinformation about this valuable program. Before the House votes on whether to override the veto, all members – especially those from Mr. Bush’s party who say they are concerned about millions of uninsured children – must look behind the rhetoric.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Dozens arrested as Myanmar junta tightens grip
32 minutes ago

YANGON (AFP) – Security forces combed through Yangon rounding up activists as Myanmar’s regime tightened its grip on power Thursday and a UN envoy prepared a key report on last week’s bloody crackdown on protesters.

Residents said dozens of people were arrested during the night as security forces raided homes in Yangon neighbourhoods near Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s holiest Buddhist shrine and a key rallying point for the mass protests.

They patrolled the streets during an overnight curfew and swept into homes to make targeted arrests from a blacklist of campaigners following the largest anti-regime demonstrations in almost 20 years, residents said.

2 Japanese journalist’s body returns from Myanmar
Wed Oct 3, 10:09 PM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) – The body of a Japanese video journalist who was shot dead during a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Myanmar was returned home on Thursday, and was due to be taken for an autopsy.

The results of the investigation are likely be a factor as Japan weighs whether to take action against military-ruled Myanmar, such as cutting back economic assistance.

Kenji Nagai, 50, was shot when the military opened fire on protesters in Yangon on September 27. Footage smuggled out of the country appeared to show a soldier shooting Nagai at point-blank range, but Myanmar officials have said he was shot accidentally.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread


1 Blackwater chairman defends his company
By RICHARD LARDNER and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Blackwater chairman Erik Prince vigorously rejected charges Tuesday that guards from his private security firm acted like a bunch of cowboys immune to legal prosecution while protecting State Department personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I believe we acted appropriately at all times,” Prince, a 38-year-old former Navy SEAL, calmly told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

His testimony came as the FBI is investigating Blackwater personnel for their role in a Sept. 16 shootout that left 11 Iraqis dead. The incident and others, including a shooting by a drunk Blackwater employee after a 2006 Christmas party, led to pointed questions by lawmakers about whether the government is relying too much on private contractors who fall outside the military courts martial system.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Blackwater involved in 195 Iraq shootings
By Sue Pleming, Reuters
45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Security contractor Blackwater was involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005, said a congressional report on Monday that also panned the State Department’s oversight of the company.

State Department contractor Blackwater, under investigation for the shooting deaths of 11 Iraqis on September 16, will answer questions about that incident and others at what is expected to be a testy congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Senior State Department officials will also be grilled by the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examining whether the growing use of military contractors undermines U.S. efforts in Iraq.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 GM may close 2 more plants under deal
By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
1 hour, 1 minute ago

DETROIT – The tentative contract between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers would allow GM to close a plant each in Michigan and Indiana and possibly shut down several other facilities, according to a detailed copy of the agreement.

The moves are the downside of job security pledges that the UAW won in the negotiations, including commitments for new products at 16 plants. About 74,000 hourly GM workers will vote on the pact starting this week, with a final tally to be done by Oct. 10.

Gregg Shotwell, a GM worker and frequent critic of the UAW, posted most of the contract details on the Internet. He said he received the agreement from a local union official who attended a Friday meeting in Detroit. He would not identify the official, but the accuracy of its contents was confirmed for The Associated Press by a union leader who requested anonymity because members have not yet voted on the pact.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

And the only one-

1 Taliban rebuffs Karzai’s offer
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
30 minutes ago

KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai offered to meet with the Taliban leader and give militants a government position, but a spokesman for the militant group on Sunday said it will “never” negotiate with Afghan authorities until U.S. and NATO forces leave the country.

Karzai made the offer only hours after a suicide bomber in army disguise attacked a military bus Saturday, killing 30 people – nearly all of them Afghan soldiers.

Strengthening a call for negotiations he has made with increasing frequency in recent weeks, Karzai said he was willing to meet with the reclusive leader Mullah Omar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister and factional warlord leader.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

And the only one-

1 Troops take back control in Myanmar
Associated Press
57 minutes ago

YANGON, Myanmar – Soldiers and police took control of the streets Friday, firing warning shots and tear gas to scatter the few pro-democracy protesters who ventured out as Myanmar’s military junta sealed off Buddhist monasteries and cut public Internet access.

On the third day of a harsh government crackdown, the streets were empty of the mass gatherings that had peacefully challenged the regime daily for nearly two weeks, leaving only small groups of activists to be chased around by security forces.

“Bloodbath again! Bloodbath again!” a Yangon resident yelled while watching soldiers break up one march by shooting into air, firing tear gas and beating people with clubs.

Road Kill and Japanese News

Monday September 24

Fukuda defeats Aso in LDP presidential race
Yasuo Fukuda scored a convincing win in the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election Sunday but will immediately face a host of problems as the nation’s new leader.
Fukuda received 330 votes in Sunday’s vote while Taro Aso, the party’s secretary-general, received 197 votes.

All LDP Diet members as well as representatives of the 47 party prefectural chapters took part in Sunday’s vote.

In a “Shocking” development to those men from Mars Yasuo Fukuda will be the next Prime Minister of Japan.

Animals become a growing menace on roads
Despite the efforts of highway operators, animals are still entering roads and causing an increasing number of traffic accidents, some with deadly consequences.

Fences have been set up and other measures taken to keep the animals off the streets, but those steps have had limited success.

“It is difficult to prevent all types of animals from entering the roads because their ways of living are different,” said an official at an expressway management office. “Monkeys, for example, can climb over fences.”

Ah! Road Kill Japanese style. They had better adapt West Virginia’s Road Kill Laws “QUICK”

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Myanmar troops kill 9 more protesters
Associated Press
24 minutes ago

YANGON, Myanmar – Soldiers with automatic rifles fired into crowds of anti-government demonstrators Thursday, killing at least nine people in the bloodiest day in more than a month of protests demanding an end to military rule.

Bloody sandals lay scattered on some streets as protesters fled shouting “Give us freedom, give us freedom!”

On the second day of a brutal crackdown, truckloads of troops in riot gear also raided Buddhist monasteries on the outskirts of Yangon, beating and arresting dozens of monks, witnesses and Western diplomats said. Japan protested the killing of a Japanese photographer.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Myanmar monasteries raided as world pleads for calm
By Aung Hla Tun, Reuters
17 minutes ago

YANGON (Reuters) – Protesters returned to the streets of central Yangon on Thursday, undeterred by reports of security forces killing several monks as Myanmar’s generals tried to end the biggest anti-military uprising in nearly 20 years.

People gathered around four monks standing on a traffic island in the middle of a four-lane highway leading to Sule Pagoda — the end-point of mass demonstrations this week and now locked.

More than 1,000 people surrounded them as riot police watched from behind their shields, witnesses said.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

New News

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Recommended

1 White House drops choice for CIA lawyer
By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer
Tue Sep 25, 5:56 PM ET

WASHINGTON – The White House withdrew its nominee to become the CIA’s top lawyer on Tuesday after Democrats raised concerns that the agency’s interrogation techniques may be illegal.

John Rizzo, the president’s choice to become the CIA’s general counsel, asked President Bush to withdraw his name, saying it would be in his best interest and that of the agency where he has worked for 32 years.

The Senate Intelligence Committee had been expected to consider Rizzo’s nomination at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

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