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Japan’s middle class is ‘disappearing’ as poverty rises, warns economist

A man wearing a facemask walks past a taxi along a street in Shinjuku district of Tokyo on June 24, 2020.PHILIP FONG | AFP via Getty ImagesAs poverty rises in Japan, the country's middle class is slowly eroding away, according to a recent report by Oxford Economics' Shigeto Nagai."After the bubble burst in the 1990s, income has declined across the income percentiles, and the share of low-income households has risen as those of middle- and high-income groups shrink," Nagai, who is head of Japan economics at the firm, wrote in…

China imposes sweeping national security law as Hong Kong marks handover anniversary

Hundreds turned out to protest the legislation in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay but were met with a heavy security presence. Riot police fired pepper spray into the crowd, kettled and dispersed protesters, and deployed water cannons. During the protest, Hong Kong police made the first arrests under the new law, including a man who was holding a black independence flag, and soon afterward a woman with a sign reading "Hong Kong Independence."At least 300 people were arrested on Wednesday, with nine arrests of five…

Iran sentences journalist to death, months after he was mysteriously detained

Zam was found guilty of "corruption on earth," a judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaeili told reporters Tuesday. The term does not specify a single crime​, but it is a charge that the Iranian government sometimes uses in cases of alleged attempts to overthrow the government. Zam ran Amad News, an ​online opposition news site which Tehran ​alleges incited violence during deadly 2017-2018 protests, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported last year. Zam, who had been living in France, was arrested last year. The…

Threatening sanctions over Hong Kong is the ‘logic of bandits,’ Chinese official says

A barge displays the words 'Celebrate national security law' on Victoria Harbour on July 1, 2020 in Hong Kong.Anthony Kwan | Getty ImagesBEIJING — As geopolitical tensions rise over the central government's growing grip on Hong Kong, a Chinese official portrayed international criticism as irrational."Some countries are threatening us with sanctions. I would say this is the logic of bandits," said Zhang Xiaoming, executive deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, China's top…

WHO warns some countries may have to reinstate lockdowns as coronavirus pandemic accelerates

Some countries with rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreaks might have to reinstate lockdowns and other restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, a top World Health Organization official said Wednesday.Countries like Spain and Italy successfully drove back severe outbreaks with a comprehensive public health strategy that mobilized the public, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. However, some countries have struggled to contain the virus and many still don't have the best systems in place…

As the coronavirus pandemic persists, here’s one encouraging sign for Chinese exports

Employees make face masks on a production line at a glove factory, which has started producing face masks as overseas orders for masks at an all time high amid the coronavirus outbreak, on May 16, 2020 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province of China.Yu Haiyang | China News Service via Getty ImagesBEIJING — The global coronavirus pandemic shows little signs of letting up, and some say that's creating further demand for China's medical products.As the global economy continues to falter, the interest in Chinese medical supplies is…

China passes sweeping Hong Kong national security law

The stringent national security law and its 66 articles were kept secret from the public until 11pm local time, when the law officially went into effect. It dramatically broadens Beijing's powers to investigate, prosecute and punish suspected criminals in Hong Kong.The law was drafted behind closed doors by members of Beijing's top lawmaking body, the National People's Congress (NPC), bypassing Hong Kong's own elected legislative council.The new legislation criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with…

People are defecating outside the Queen’s vacation home

London (CNN) — Walkers are relieving themselves in the grounds of Queen Elizabeth's Scottish residence, staff have said.Employees at Balmoral Castle, which the Queen frequently visits for holidays throughout the year, have complained about wet wipes being left on the estate and urged people not to use the spot as an outdoor toilet.Most public facilities are closed in the United Kingdom due to the country's lockdown, but people are allowed to exercise and socialize outside, leading many to seek quiet public places if nature…