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Japan Overwork Deaths Among Young Show Lessons Unlearned

1 hour 49 min ago
Matsuri Takahashi's dream career at Japan's top ad agency, Dentsu, ended with her suicide as her overtime pushed past 100 hours a month. “I'm emotionless and only wish to sleep,” she wrote, exhausted and depressed, in a Twitter post in October 2015, six months after starting the job. On Christmas day, the 24-year-old leaped from a dormitory balcony, leaving behind a last email to her mother saying her work and life had become unbearable. Takahashi's was not the first...

Officials Say They Cannot Enforce Hawaii Fishing Contracts

1 hour 53 min ago
Federal officials said Thursday a new contract being used to address concerns about foreign fishing crews in Hawaii's longline commercial fleet is not within their jurisdiction to enforce, leaving the industry responsible for enforcing its own rules. Federal and state officials met with vessel owners, captains and representatives from Hawaii's fleet at a pier in Honolulu. The normally private quarterly meeting was opened to media and lawmakers to discuss conditions uncovered in...

Powerful Earthquake Shakes Western Japan

3 hours 25 min ago
A powerful earthquake has hit western Japan.  The 6.6-magnitude quake with a shallow depth of 10 kilometers struck Tottori, a prefecture on the Sea of Japan, Friday afternoon. The earthquake's severe shaking caused a power outage to tens of thousands of homes. "It shook quite violently," said Koji Nakahara, a town hall official in coastal Hokuel. There are no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage. Meteorologists say there is no danger of a tsunami.

South Korean Communities Protest Planned US Missile Battery

3 hours 29 min ago
Red banners line the winding road that leads up to the Lotte Skyhill Country Club in rural Seongju County.  Some of the signs read “We Oppose THAAD” and “THAAD Must Go Back To The US”. Last month, the South Korean government chose the private golf course, around 220 km south of Seoul, as the deployment site for the U.S. military’s Terminal High Altitude Arial Defense system. THAAD is a missile shield that is expected to be delivered to the peninsula next year and is meant to...

IS Suicide Bombers Kill 11 in Northern Iraq

3 hours 39 min ago
A suicide attack on an Iranian-run construction site in the town of Dibis in northern Iraq Friday killed at least 11 people, while six Iraqi police and 12 Islamic State fighters were killed during a similar earlier attack on a police compound and other locations in the city of Kirkuk. During the attack on police, several explosions were heard coming from the compound and gun battles followed shortly after. Video footage aired on a local television station showed black smoke rising from...

Visitors Get Rare Glimpse of Ancient Mosaic in West Bank

5 hours 56 min ago
Visitors had a rare glimpse of one the world's largest and most beautiful floor mosaics in the West Bank on Thursday. Covering more than 800 square meters, the mosaic was a part of an ancient palace near the city of Jericho. A grant from Japan will enable the construction of a project to make the masterpiece accessible to visitors by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, photographs and video footage made Thursday will have to suffice. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Trump Vows to Accept Election Result, Provided He Wins

6 hours 1 min ago
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed Thursday he will accept the outcome of the November 8th U.S. election, provided he is the winner. Trump’s comment came the day after the third and final presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton and followed allegations on his part that the election is rigged against him. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Fed Wrestles With Inflation Puzzle

6 hours 2 min ago
Top U.S. economic officials say they are puzzled that efforts to keep prices stable and unemployment low have not gone as experts expected. The U.S. central bank has cut interest rates to ultra-low levels and taken other unprecedented steps, but inflation remains below target. VOA’s Jim Randle reports, the dilemma comes as the presidential campaign highlights many voters’ economic frustrations.

European Leaders Debate Response to Russia’s Actions in Syria

6 hours 7 min ago
European Union heads of state continue their summit Friday in Brussels, where the EU’s response to Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria is high on the agenda. Syrian government forces began a 3-day cease-fire in Aleppo Thursday, but their Russian allies have refused to extend the deal, despite pressure from France and Germany. Despite the temporary cease-fire in the skies above Aleppo, there’s little sign of a lasting end to the bombing campaign unleashed by Syrian government and Russian...

China’s Wanda Group Boosting Ties to Hollywood

6 hours 8 min ago
In a glittery presentation, the richest man in China, real estate magnate and entertainment mogul Wang Jianlin of the Dalian Wanda Group, made his pitch in Los Angeles this week to studio heads eager for Chinese investment and audiences. Mike O'Sullivan reports on the conglomerate's growing role in Hollywood.

Filipinos Favor US Aid, Leery of China

6 hours 11 min ago
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting Beijing this week to realign himself politically with China and seek economic support for his country. The trip includes pledges to cut military and economic ties with the United States. But many people back home prefer to keep up the U.S. alliance as they distrust China. Ralph Jennings reports from the southern Philippine city of Cagayan de Oro.

Filipinos Favor US Aid, Leery of China

6 hours 12 min ago
Filipinos largely continue to support U.S. military aid despite a string of anti-America comments from their new president, polls and interviews show, and some worry about his proposal for an alliance with China in light of a territorial dispute. Some people in the Southeast Asian country, however, are prepared to give China a chance as their president, Rodrigo Duterte, visits Beijing this week to discuss economic aid for his impoverished country. Duterte said Thursday he would separate...

DRC Political Crisis Adding Misery to Economic Woes

6 hours 14 min ago
The Democratic Republic of Congo has delayed the presidential elections slated for next month by nearly two years. The United Nations has warned that tensions could lead to more violence, and the political crisis certainly has not helped the already struggling economy. For VOA, Emilie Iob reports from Kinshasa.

Clinton, Trump Give Dueling Speeches at Charity Dinner

6 hours 28 min ago
U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not hold back against each other during speeches given at an annual charity dinner in New York, at times trading in the traditional self-deprecating humor for more pointed attacks. At the 71st Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, an annual black-tie event hosted by the Catholic charity, the two candidates shared a stage and attempted political comedy, just a day after they faced off in what has been called one of the...

European Leaders Debate Response to Russia’s ‘War Crimes' in Syria

6 hours 58 min ago
European Union heads of state continue their summit Friday in Brussels, where the EU’s response to Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria is high on the agenda. Syrian government forces began a three-day cease-fire in Aleppo Thursday, but their Russian allies have refused to extend the deal, despite pressure from France and Germany. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Strained Refugee Camps Fear and Welcome IS War

7 hours 7 min ago
Iraqi forces are moving faster than expected toward Mosul, where Islamic State militants have been in control for more than two years. But in nearby refugee camps, aid workers fear they won't have the resources to care for the million people expected to be displaced by the fighting. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Debaga in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

US: Ex-contractor Committed ‘Breathtaking’ Theft of Secrets

Thu, 2016-10-20 21:32
A former National Security Agency contractor's theft of top secret government information was “breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday aimed at keeping the man locked up as the case moves forward. They said he took enough classified material to fill roughly 200 laptop computers. The Justice Department also said it anticipated bringing additional charges against Harold T. Martin III, including charges under the Espionage Act, which...

International Pressure Builds on Syria, Russia Over Aleppo

Thu, 2016-10-20 19:24
The international community Thursday stepped up pressure on Syria and its allies to end the bombing of eastern Aleppo and allow aid workers in and civilians out of the besieged city. At an informal meeting of the U.N. General Assembly called by Canada with the support of 70 countries, many members urged the rare use of a mechanism that allows the assembly to convene an “emergency special session” when the Security Council is deadlocked and unable to act to maintain international peace and...

US Calls for Meeting With Russia Over Missile Treaty Dispute

Thu, 2016-10-20 19:20
The United States has called for a special meeting with Russia over alleged violations of a landmark Cold War-era arms-control treaty, a policy reversal that echoes deepening U.S. fears about Moscow's intentions. The planned meeting of the Special Verification Commission, scheduled in the near future, focuses new attention on concerns about the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF). The treaty, which bans testing, producing, and possessing ground-launched cruise...

Mexican Judge Denies Appeal by 'El Chapo' Against Extradition to US

Thu, 2016-10-20 19:15
A Mexican federal judge on Thursday rejected an appeal by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman against his extradition to the United States. The Mexican foreign ministry approved the extradition request in May, but Guzman's lawyers have been fighting the decision in a district court. One of Guzman's lawyers, Andres Granados, vowed to seek a Supreme Court hearing. "We are not defeated," Granados said, adding that he could still take the case to the...