Japan’s population continues to shrink to the alarm of government officials
Japan’s last census, conducted in 2010, confirmed the end of what had until then been a century of enduring population growth for the island nation. In that instance, there had been no population growth. This led demographers to believe that the population would come to steadily decrease. This year’s census not only confirmed the predictions that citizenry would shrink, but it also indicated that the drop had occurred more drastically than anticipated. Today there are roughly one million fewer people in Japan than there were just five years ago. Two of the largest reasons for the plummet are the lack of immigration into the country and declining birth rate. This has in turn lead to an overall aging population. The government predicts that by the year 2060, about 40 percent of Japanese citizens will be older than 65. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that this issue is now a priority, and that the government will be drafting policies incentivizing women and couples to have children.
American student arrested in North Korea makes confession to crime that is believed to have been made under threat
Otto Warmbier, a 21 year old student from the University of Virginia, was traveling as a tourist in North Korea this winter. On Jan. 2, as he was about to return to the United States, he was arrested for committing a “hostile act,” theft of a propaganda poster from the hotel where he had been staying. This past week, Warmbier gave a full confession on camera of his actions. Sobbing and with his head down he stated that he “committed a crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel.” He continued to say that “the aim of [his] task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim.” Details of a deal made between Otto and a fellow church-goer in the U.S. for a ten car in exchange for a poster emerged. He finished his testimony saying it was “the worst mistake of my life.” Many in the United States are skeptical that his confession is genuine, given the fact that several detainees in North Korea have made statements while under pressure, and thus had their confessions retracted.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue their string of wins in the primaries
This past Sunday was the South Carolina Primary for the Democratic candidates. It became Hillary Clinton’s third victory out of the four contests held so far, and the win put her ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders by a 50 point margin. Success was predicted for Clinton, but the campaign hopes that this confirmation will bolster her position further in time for Super Tuesday. Since South Carolina results emerged around the same time as results of the Nevada Caucus for the Republican Party, Mrs. Clinton took time from her post-event speech to address Republican candidate Donald Trump. “Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great.” Donald Trump won by large margins last Wednesday in Nevada, leading many to contemplate that he will continue to be a lingering and legitimate force in the Republican side of the race. This is also his third win out of four events prior to Super Tuesday.
Member of Seal Team Six receives the Navy Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan
“People may not always see them, we may not always hear of their success, but they are there in the thick of the fight, in the dark of night, achieving their mission.” These are the words of President Obama as he acknowledged the service of Mr. Edward Byers, a Navy Seal and member of the elite Seal Team Six. Mr. Byers was a critical member of a team aiming to rescue an American doctor and his translator from their abductors in Afghanistan. The first seal to enter in the rescue attempt was shot dead, after which time Byers rushed in, covered the doctor with his own body while also pinning down a guard with one hand, making it possible for another seal to shoot the captor. Edward Byers is the sixth Navy Seal to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the United States. However he is the first active duty member to receive it in over 40 years. Byers, who has been deployed several times, including nine combat tours, said simply in a press event following the award that he was “going to take whatever job or mission is next…”