December 2013
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68 articles published/printed


Hezbollah commander killed outside home in Lebanon

Dec 05, 2013

Hezbollah commander killed outside home in Lebanon

A senior commander for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was gunned down Wednesday outside his home in southern Beirut, security officials said. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the killing, something officials there quickly denied. Hezbollah immediately announced the death of Hassan al-Laqis and described him ...

Many evacuees still in temp housing

Dec 05, 2013

Many evacuees still in temp housing

The occupancy rate for makeshift housing units set up after the March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami is still at more than 85 percent in the three hardest-hit prefectures, 1,000 days since the twin disasters struck.

Takeda breaks tradition with outsider at helm

Dec 05, 2013

Takeda breaks tradition with outsider at helm

by Kanoko Matsuyama

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the more than 230-year-old drugmaker, is starting to make a practice of breaking with tradition. The firm last week named Christophe Weber, a French national who has never worked at Takeda, as chief operating officer and the planned successor to CEO ...

Man survives three days at bottom of Atlantic

Dec 05, 2013

Man survives three days at bottom of Atlantic

Entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat for three days, Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle. The Nigerian cook survived by breathing an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen in an air pocket. A video of Okene’s rescue in ...

Emperor, Empress revisit India center after 53 years

Dec 05, 2013

Emperor, Empress revisit India center after 53 years

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Tuesday visited the India International Centre, a cultural exchange facility in New Delhi, 53 years after taking part in a ceremony to launch its construction when they were still the Crown Prince and Princess. Among those the Empress ...

Nagasaki boasts local wheat for 'chanpon'

Dec 05, 2013

Nagasaki boasts local wheat for 'chanpon'

Nagasaki Prefecture has developed a new type of wheat fit for production of “chanpon” noodles, a local speciality. Officials in the prefectural government say chanpon noodles made with locally grown wheat will be served in restaurants as early as 2015. According to the officials, ...

Toyota, Nissan, Subaru record strong U.S. sales

Dec 05, 2013

Toyota, Nissan, Subaru record strong U.S. sales

Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. posted double-digit gains in November in U.S. sales of new cars, beating overall market growth, while Honda Motor Co. marked a slight dip, according to data from Autodata Corp. Dealers sold 1.25 million new cars and light ...

Russian deals handcuff U.S. on Ukraine

| Dec 05, 2013

Russian deals handcuff U.S. on Ukraine

As Ukraine turns away from closer relations with the European Union and further into the embrace of Russia, the Obama administration is saying little about it or the resulting street protests for fear of provoking a fracture with the Kremlin. Huge street demonstrations in ...

Brazil prepares for street protests at World Cup

Dec 05, 2013

Brazil prepares for street protests at World Cup

Few things could damage the image of Brazil more than violent street protests during the World Cup. Demonstrations during June’s Confederations Cup — the World Cup warm-up — caught Brazil’s police and military police by surprise. There will be no surprises this time, on ...

Group seeks 'personhood' for four chimps in U.S.

Dec 05, 2013

Group seeks 'personhood' for four chimps in U.S.

An animal rights group is asking New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emotional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals “legal personhood” so that they are ensured better treatment. Nonhuman Rights Project, a nonprofit founded in 2007 by Massachusetts ...

Dec 05, 2013

Ishiba validates secrecy bill fears

In his recent criticism of public demonstrations near the Diet building by those opposed to the secrecy bill, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba validated concerns that the bill could be used to silence citizens who express certain political opinions or demands.

Bunraku storyteller speaks out

Dec 05, 2013

Bunraku storyteller speaks out

by Ayako Takahashi

During the early part of the Edo Period, when Japan was ruled by Tokugawa shoguns from 1603-1867, Osaka — the main city in the Kansai region of western Honshu — thrived as the country’s cultural and economic center. It was during those heady days ...

One year on from arts world 'disaster'

Dec 05, 2013

One year on from arts world 'disaster'

by Natsume Date

It’s Oct. 27 and the setting sun fades to darkness. A long line of people begins to form around Tsukiji Honganji Temple next to the world-famous fish market in central Tokyo. The scene recalls what happened there last year on Dec. 27, the funeral ...

'Second Steps' marks a great leap forward for dancers

Dec 05, 2013

'Second Steps' marks a great leap forward for dancers

by Kris Kosaka

From The Royal Ballet’s innovative 2011 “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” at Covent Garden to Paris Opera Ballet’s devotion to contemporary choreographers such as Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor and Pina Bausch, national dance companies across the globe are taking steps to ensure ballet transforms into ...

Trapped by human society

Dec 05, 2013

Trapped by human society

by Matthew Larking

Osaka-born Tetsumi Kudo’s oeuvre has been the subject of a number of major international retrospectives since his death in 1990, and these indicate the artist’s increasing postwar historical significance. The current National Museum of Art, Osaka retrospective is magisterial. With more than 600 pages, ...

A modern view of a neglected Impressionist

Dec 05, 2013

A modern view of a neglected Impressionist

by C.B. Liddell

The French painter Gustave Caillebotte has suffered more than most from the fact that he wasn’t Monet, Manet, or Renoir. As one of the second-ranking Impressionists, he has long been in the shadow of these more famous names with which his career is associated. ...

Swimmer Terakawa confirms retirement is official

Dec 05, 2013

Swimmer Terakawa confirms retirement is official

London Olympic double bronze medalist Aya Terakawa on Wednesday announced she has decided to call time on her career. “I have been able to continue competing on the front line longer than I thought I would,” the 29-year-old Terakawa told a news conference. “I ...

Dec 05, 2013

Korean reliever Oh joins Tigers

Oh Seung-hwan, the all-time saves leader in South Korean pro baseball with 277, completed his move to the Hanshin Tigers at a signing ceremony on Wednesday. The 31-year-old right-hander, who has represented his country at the World Baseball Classic, joins the Tigers on a ...

Dec 05, 2013

Japan assigned to Pot 3 for World Cup draw

Japan will be in Pot 3 for Friday’s draw for the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, FIFA announced on Tuesday. Pot 3 is made up of the teams from Asia and the CONCACAF North and Central America zone: Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Iran, ...

Kiryu reflects on special year

Dec 05, 2013

Kiryu reflects on special year

by Kaz Nagatsuka

It feels like track phenom Yoshihide Kiryu has been in the spotlight longer than he has been. But his breakout year was 2013, which is, of course, this year. Yes, it was only seven months ago that many first heard this teenager’s name. Kiryu, ...

Crosby brilliance finishes Islanders

Dec 05, 2013

Crosby brilliance finishes Islanders

Sidney Crosby went through a cluster of New York Islanders like they weren’t even there. With the puck on his stick in overtime, all he saw was the net. And then he hit it. Crosby, who scored the tying goal in the third period, ...

Pistons snap Heat's 10-game streak

Dec 05, 2013

Pistons snap Heat's 10-game streak

It was just a game, not a playoff series. Still, Brandon Jennings finally got a long-awaited win over the Miami Heat. And he made the two biggest plays to get it done. Jennings made a deep, well-covered 3-pointer to snuff out one Miami rally ...

Ellsbury set to join Yankees

Dec 05, 2013

Ellsbury set to join Yankees

Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. Ellsbury is the second major free-agent ...

Dec 05, 2013

Vonn cleared for downhill training

Lindsey Vonn was Tuesday cleared to get back on a World Cup course for downhill training, the latest step as she works to return from a right knee injury and get ready for the Sochi Olympics. Now Vonn — and the rest of the ...