August 2013
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Aug 30, 2013

Abe to clue Wall St. on 'Abenomics'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give a speech on his economic policy, dubbed “Abenomics,” on Wall Street when he visits New York in late September for the U.N. General Assembly, a government source said Friday. Abe is expected to focus on his administration’s growth ...

Aug 30, 2013

NPA officers to target cyber-attacks

The National Police Agency plans to put senior officers in charge of battling cyber-attacks in fiscal 2014 in a bid to contain such crime. Two senior officers will be appointed to head NPA efforts to tackle cybercrime, including illegal money transfers and the theft ...

Aug 30, 2013

Housing starts up for 11th month

Housing starts nationwide rose 12.0 percent in July from a year earlier to 84,459 units for the 11th straight monthly increase, due to improved consumer confidence, the government said Friday. Starts on owner-occupied houses rose 11.1 percent for the 11th straight monthly rise, while ...

Aug 30, 2013

North Korea sanctions expanded

Nine organizations and two individuals were added Friday to the list of entities subject to Japanese sanctions against North Korea because of their alleged involvement in Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, the Foreign Ministry said. Financial firms and individuals will now have ...

Aug 30, 2013

Utilities eye October rate cuts

Eight of the nation’s 10 power utilities will cut rates in October thanks to falling crude and coal prices, marking the first time in 10 months that electricity prices haven’t risen. Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co. said Thursday they will ...

Aug 30, 2013

Underwear firm Charle exits China

Women’s underwear retailer Charle Co. announced it is withdrawing from the Chinese market due to sluggish sales amid intensifying competition with rival firms and tensions over the Senkaku Islands. The Kobe-based company set up a sales subsidiary in Shanghai in 2005 to expand sales ...

Skype celebrates 10 years of shrinking the world

Aug 30, 2013

Skype celebrates 10 years of shrinking the world

by Peter Harmsen

If David Huang had left his native Taiwan for Sweden a generation ago, he would have taken a giant leap into the unknown. Now, with the help of Skype, the 35-year-old businessman is able to reach relatives from his Stockholm home as easily as ...

Aug 30, 2013

White House, Republicans give up on budget talks

The Obama administration and a group of Republican senators on Thursday abandoned efforts to hammer out a budget deal and avoid a showdown over the national debt, saying they had failed to resolve their long-standing dispute over taxes. “It’s very evident that there just ...

Kim Jong Un's ex reportedly executed

Aug 30, 2013

Kim Jong Un's ex reportedly executed

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s former girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad on Aug. 20, a South Korean paper has reported. The Chosun Ilbo daily on Thursday quoted sources in China as saying singer ...

Aug 30, 2013

Smokestack emissions could produce energy

by Brian Palmer

If pollution had a mascot, it would be the smokestack. Do a Google image search for “pollution.” What do you see? A bunch of smokestacks with ominous gray clouds billowing out the top. It is a reasonable association to make. Smokestack emissions contain nasty ...

Aug 30, 2013

Poverty's IQ drain is 'equivalent of pulling an all-nighter'

Poverty consumes so much mental energy that people struggling to make ends meet often have little brainpower left for anything else, leaving them more susceptible to bad decisions that can perpetuate their situation, claims a new study. “Past research has often blamed (poverty) on ...

Aug 30, 2013

Leak of 'black budget' reveals massive growth of CIA

The CIA has mushroomed into the largest U.S. spy agency, with a budget of nearly $15 billion, as it expands its intelligence, cybersabotage and overseas covert operations, secret leaked documents revealed Thursday. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the government’s “black budget” ...

Aug 30, 2013

Smiling 'Brother Watch' put on trial

A Chinese official with a penchant for luxury watches who sparked outrage after he was photographed smiling at the scene of a fatal accident went on trial Friday for corruption, reports said. Yang Dacai was dubbed “Brother Watch” by Chinese Internet users after images ...

Aug 30, 2013

Portugal austerity measures nixed

Portugal’s Constitutional Court struck down a key provision of the government’s latest austerity program Thursday, once again throwing the country’s EU-International Monetary Fund bailout into confusion. Court President Joaquim Sousa Ribeiro told a news conference a government plan that could lead to job losses ...

Aug 30, 2013

Swiss banks to pay large fines in U.S.

Swiss banks will pay significant fines to avoid U.S. penalties under a deal announced Thursday that forces them to begin disclosing the offshore accounts of American clients. The U.S. Department of Justice said the agreement with Switzerland will advance Washington’s campaign against tax avoidance ...

Ex-BBC host Harris charged in U.K.

Aug 30, 2013

Ex-BBC host Harris charged in U.K.

Rolf Harris, an Australian entertainer, was charged as part of a U.K. police probe into sexual-assault allegations. Harris, 83, faces nine counts of indecent assault with girls as young as 14 and four offenses of making indecent images of children, the Metropolitan Police Service ...