Wildlife flourishing in uninhabited areas around Fukushima

CNN  —  Nearly a decade after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, researchers have discovered that wildlife is thriving in the areas evacuated by humans, despite radiological contamination. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan. More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the quake and tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more lost … Read more

Japanese man invents ‘edible’ plastic bag alternative to save Nara’s sacred deer

(CNN) — A local entrepreneur in the Japanese tourist destination of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic shopping bags, to protect the town’s sacred deer. Hidetoshi Matsukawa, who works for Nara-ism, a souvenir wholesale agent, told CNN he heard last year that the deer, which roam the city’s park, were dying after ingesting plastic … Read more

A 5-story building in China ‘walks’ to new location

Shanghai residents passing through the city’s eastern Huangpu district in October might have stumbled upon an unusual sight: a “walking” building. An 85-year-old primary school has been lifted off the ground — in its entirety — and relocated using new technology dubbed the “walking machine.” In the city’s latest effort to preserve historic structures, engineers … Read more

Self-driving robotaxis are taking off in China

Hong Kong CNN Business  —  The world has been inching toward fully autonomous cars for years. In China, one company just got even closer to making it a reality. On Thursday, AutoX, an Alibaba (BABA)-backed startup, announced it had rolled out fully driverless robotaxis on public roads in Shenzhen. The company said it had become … Read more

Taliban: Top UN female envoys visit Kabul to discuss ban on women aid workers

CNN  —  Some of the United Nations’ most senior female officials have been meeting Taliban leaders in Kabul to discuss the ban on female aid workers, as Afghanistan battles famine and poverty. In December the Taliban ordered all local and international non-governmental organizations to stop their female employees from coming to work or risk having … Read more

Sri Lanka reopens borders to international travelers

(CNN) — The island nation of Sri Lanka is now open to tourists from all countries. Sri Lanka Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga made the official announcement during a press conference on Thursday, confirming they would reopen the country’s borders from January 21. Both of the country’s international airports reopened on the same day. “The … Read more

How Indonesia’s new sex laws will affect tourists

(CNN) — International travelers have been flocking back to the popular resort island of Bali as the Covid pandemic subsides, prompting hopes that Indonesia’s battered tourism industry is on the road to recovery. But this week, controversial new laws were passed in parliament that ban cohabitation and sex outside marriage. The laws will apply not … Read more

Indonesia: TikTok trend warning after liquid nitrogen ‘dragon’s breath’ snack harms children

CNN  —  Indonesia is warning people against consuming liquid nitrogen after more than 20 children were harmed eating a street snack known as “dragon’s breath” that’s at the center of a dangerous new trend on short-form video app TikTok. The children suffered burns to their skin, severe stomach pains and food poisoning after consuming the … Read more

Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc quits amid Communist Party corruption crackdown

Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has resigned after the ruling Communist Party blamed him for “violations and wrongdoing” by officials under his control, the government said Tuesday, in a major escalation of the country’s anti-graft campaign. Phuc, a former prime minister widely credited with accelerating pro-business reforms, held the largely ceremonial post of president since … Read more

South Korea brought K-pop and K-dramas to the world. The Korean language could be next

CNN  —  There’s never been a better time to learn Korean. It’s one of the fastest-growing languages in the world, outpacing traditionally popular rivals like Chinese in multiple markets – reflecting the global phenomenon many call the “Korean wave.” In 2022, Korean was the seventh most-studied language on the learning app Duolingo, according to the … Read more

Maria Ressa: Rappler founder and CEO cleared by Philippine court of tax evasion

CNN  —  A Philippine court on Wednesday acquitted Nobel laureate Maria Ressa of tax evasion, ending a raft of legal hearings against the veteran Filipino-American journalist that she said were “politically motivated.” Ressa, CEO and founder of news site Rappler and a former CNN bureau chief, was cleared of four counts of tax violations filed … Read more

Fukushima nuclear meltdown: Tokyo High court acquits three former TEPCO executives, NHK reports

Tokyo CNN  —  The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday acquitted three former Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) executives, finding them not guilty of manslaughter over the 2011 triple reactor meltdown at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday. The High Court’s ruling was a decision on an appeal against a 2019 … Read more

India: Police in Gujarat arrest suspects over family who froze to death on US border

New Delhi CNN  —  Three alleged black-market immigration agents have been arrested in western India in connection with the case of an Indian family who froze to death on the United States’ border with Canada last year, police said Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner Chaitanya Mandlik with Ahmedabad Police’s crime branch named the suspects as Yogesh Patel, … Read more