April 28, 2018

Tokio boy band member apologises for kissing schoolgirl

Tokio boy band member apologises for kissing schoolgirl Image copyright Reuters Image caption Yamaguchi apologised for being "intimidating" and "causing harm" A member of well-known Japanese boy band Tokio has apologised for forcibly kissing a girl of secondary school age. In February, 46-year-old Tatsuya Yamaguchi brought the girl to his home where the incident took place. Her precise age is not known. "No apology is enough," a tearful Yamaguchi told a press conference. Police referred the case to prosecutors last week, but the investigation could be dropped after the girl and her mother withdrew their complaint. Yamaguchi has suspended all his work with the band, and dropped other planned entertainment jobs. At a news conference to address the scandal, he said that in light of the police complaint, he would have stepped back from performances even if the story had not been widely reported in the media. Crying as he spoke, he told reporters: "She probably could not decline the invita..
April 28, 2018

K-pop superstars BTS announce world tour

K-pop superstars BTS announce UK tour dates Image copyright Getty Images South Korean boy band BTS have announced a mammoth world tour which includes two UK dates. The seven-member group will perform at the O2 Arena in London on 9 and 10 October. The tour, called Love Yourself, will start in their native South Korea before also heading to Canada, the Netherlands and Germany. BTS have become global stars and are one of the genre's most established acts. Image Copyright ibighit ibighit Report Since forming in 2013, the K-pop stars have been a sensation around the world and amassed a global following. Tour organisers, Big Hit Entertainment said: "BTS will launch a brand-new tour this year, titled Love Yourself, following last year's success of the Trilogy Episode begun in 2014." So far, only confirmed venues and dates have been announced but more will follow. The band will release their third studio album on 18 May and will premiere new single at the Billboard Music Awards ..
April 28, 2018

Australia’s Crown casino fined for ‘blanking’ slot machines

Australia's Crown casino fined for 'blanking' slot machines Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Melbourne's Crown casino says the tampering took place during a trial programme Australia's largest casino has been fined A$300,000 (£160,000; $225,000) for tampering with its slot machines to limit betting options. The penalty given to Melbourne's Crown casino is believed to be the largest of its kind issued by regulators in Australia, anti-gambling advocates say. Regulators found that buttons had been covered up on the slot machines, known locally as poker machines or pokies. Crown has been hit by other damaging allegations in recent times. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) said the casino had used "blanking plates" on 17 machines during a trial programme last year, meaning that gamblers were left with only maximum and minimum options. "This is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and reflects the seriou..
April 28, 2018

North Korea: Otto Warmbier’s family sues over son’s death

North Korea: Otto Warmbier's family sues over son's death Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Warmbier was jailed for 15 years for attempting to steal a propaganda sign The parents of a US student who died days after his release from a North Korean prison are suing Pyongyang. Otto Warmbier was arrested in January 2016 for stealing a propaganda sign. North Korea has denied mistreating the 22-year-old student, but his parents insist that his death in July 2017 was the consequence of torture. The lawsuit comes at a key moment for US-North Korean relations, ahead of a planned meeting between the two countries' leaders in the coming weeks. Will we ever know what happened to Otto Warmbier? North Korea tourism: A dangerous gamble? The wrongful-death suit was filed in a federal court in Washington DC. Mr Warmbier's parents are seeking damages over what they describe as "the hostage taking, illegal detention, torture and killing" of their son. They say that he was for..
April 28, 2018

China stabbings: Nine students killed in Shaanxi

China stabbings: Nine students killed in Shaanxi Image copyright EPA Image caption Local citizens turned out to give blood after the incident Nine students have been stabbed to death and 10 injured in a knife attack outside a school in northern China, officials say. A man suspected of carrying out the attack is alleged to be a former student taking revenge for having been bullied at the school. The assault took place near Mizhi County Number Three secondary school in Shaanxi province as the students were heading home for the day. The suspect remains in custody. Chinese police have given his surname as Zhao and say he is 28. Their preliminary assessment is that he was motivated to take revenge because he was bullied in his third year (where students are typically aged 13-14). Alarm bells ring over China school attacksPolice say the dead are seven girls and two boys. Photos on social media showed several young students lying on the ground in Yulin city, surrounded by shocked onlooke..
April 28, 2018

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda opens $7.9bn ‘movie metropolis’

Chinese firm Dalian Wanda opens $7.9bn 'movie metropolis' Image copyright AFP Image caption The site also features a shopping mall, restaurants and a huge cinema A sprawling film studio complex featuring a theme park, yacht club and hotel has opened in eastern China. Chinese firm Dalian Wanda has invested $7.9bn (£5.7bn) into the Qingdao Movie Metropolis, which it hopes will attract foreign producers to the country. The complex spans more than 400 acres and is said to include state-of-the-art production facilities. Wanda CEO Wang Jianlin said it would "turn Qingdao into a global hub for film". "We will boost the Chinese movie industry development," he said at the project's official opening on Saturday. "This is the largest investment the global film and television industry has ever seen." Dalian Wanda woos Hollywood filmmakers to China Why is China's 'Disney rival' being sold? Dalian Wanda $9.3bn deal in 'crazy' restructuring The site also feat..
April 28, 2018

Sumo wrestling: The growing sexism problem in Japan’s traditional sport

Sumo wrestling: The growing sexism problem in Japan's traditional sport Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Sumo wrestling dates back thousands of years in Japan Japan's sumo wrestling authority has postponed a decision on the sport's "men-only" policy. The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) met after a recent string of scandals, including when women were made to leave the ring after stepping in to help a man. Women are traditionally believed to be "unclean" and cannot enter the space. JSA director Toshio Takano said they needed more time, calling it "an extremely difficult issue". Inside the scandal-hit world of sumoWhy is sumo under fire?In April, Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami collapsed in a sumo ring, known as "dohyo", when he was giving a speech. Women rushed to help the mayor, but they were ordered to leave by the referee. Local media reports spectators then watched salt being thrown into the ring - a practice performed before a match to purify the space. Image co..
April 28, 2018

Myanmar violence: Thousands flee fresh fighting in Kachin state

Myanmar violence: Thousands flee fresh fighting in Kachin state Image copyright AFP Image caption At least 10,000 people are believed to have fled their homes in Kachin this year Thousands of people have fled renewed fighting between the army and ethnic Kachin rebels in Myanmar's northernmost state. Some 4,000 people have been driven from their homes since early April, according to the UN. It comes as a longstanding conflict between the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and government troops escalates. The military is said to be pounding the rebels with airstrikes and artillery. As well as the thousands displaced, there are fears that many people remain trapped in conflict-stricken areas, near the border with China. Aid organisations have urged the government to allow them access. Myanmar profile Tales of horror from Myanmar "Our biggest concern is for the safety of civilians - including pregnant women, the elderly, small children and people with disabilities," Mark Cutts, ..
April 28, 2018

Trump says US-North Korea summit may be ‘in three-four weeks’

Trump says US-North Korea summit may be 'in three-four weeks' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Donald Trump said it would be "a very important meeting" US President Donald Trump has said talks with North Korea could take place "over the next three or four weeks". "It's going [to] be a very important meeting, the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula," he said. Meanwhile, new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had had a "good conversation" with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang recently. On Friday, Mr Kim and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons. The inter-Korean summit at the border came just months after warlike rhetoric from the North. Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Historic summit as it happened Five key moments from the meeting Read the Korean declaration in full For years, Pyongyang has insisted..
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