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japan pm's approval ratings dive over land sale scandal


tokyo — japanese prime minister shinzo abe has been grilled in parliament by opposition lawmakers over a widening school land sale scandal linked to his wife, as approval ratings for his cabinet plunged to their lowest levels.opposition lawmakers renewed demands monday that abe's wife and top officials involved in the land sale are summoned to testify in parliament. abe has denied wrongdoing.smoldering for a year, the scandal was rekindled after finance ministry officials acknowledged tampering with land deal documents, including deleting references to first lady akie abe. the ministry's land sale to a school the abes supported involves a huge discount.four media polls released monday showed cabinet approval ratings falling to the 30 percent range, the lowest since abe took office in 2012.






japan pm’s approval ratings dive over land sale scandal


tokyo (ap) — japanese prime minister shinzo abe has been grilled in parliament by opposition lawmakers over a widening school land sale scandal linked to his wife, as approval ratings for his cabinet plunged to their lowest levels.opposition lawmakers renewed demands monday that abe’s wife and top officials involved in the land sale are summoned to testify in parliament. abe has denied wrongdoing.smoldering for a year, the scandal was rekindled after finance ministry officials acknowledged tampering with land deal documents, including deleting references to first lady akie abe. the ministry’s land sale to a school the abes supported involves a huge discount.four media polls released monday showed cabinet approval ratings falling to the 30 percent range, the lowest since abe took office in






japan govt altered documents in scandal linked to abe's wife


tokyo — japan's finance ministry has acknowledged doctoring documents in a widening scandal linked to prime minister shinzo abe's wife that has rattled his government.the doctored documents related to the 2016 sale of state land to a school operator in osaka at one-seventh of its appraised price with the alleged involvement of first lady akie abe, who supported the school's ultra-nationalistic education policy.finance minister taro aso said monday that an investigation by the ministry and prosecutors has found 14 instances of alterations.reports say akie's name and a phrase calling the land deal "exceptional" were deleted after the scandal surfaced.abe denied any wrongdoing, but opposition lawmakers allege political pressure was applied.a top finance bureaucrat involved in the land deal re






japan pm accused of giving cash for nationalistic school


tokyo — the head of an ultra-nationalistic japanese school operator at the center of a land and political scandal testified in parliament thursday that prime minister shinzo abe donated 1 million yen ($9,000) through his wife for an elementary school where she once was honorary principal.yasunori kagoike, head of the moritomo gakuen group, said first lady akie abe handed him the cash in an envelope on behalf of her husband during her september 2015 visit to kagoike's kindergarten in osaka.the outspoken kagoike, who is affiliated with japan's powerful political lobby nippon kaigi and known as a big fan and supporter of abe, said in sworn testimony at parliament that he believed there was "political influence" over his land purchase and a plan to open an elementary school.kagoike's school is






japan govt altered documents in scandal linked to abe’s wife


tokyo (ap) — japan’s finance ministry has acknowledged doctoring documents in a widening scandal linked to prime minister shinzo abe’s wife that has rattled his government.the doctored documents related to the 2016 sale of state land to a school operator in osaka at one-seventh of its appraised price with the alleged involvement of first lady akie abe, who supported the school’s ultra-nationalistic education policy.finance minister taro aso said monday that an investigation by the ministry and prosecutors has found 14 instances of alterations.reports say akie’s name and a phrase calling the land deal “exceptional” were deleted after the scandal surfaced.most read nation & world storiesunlimited digital access: $1 for 4 weeksabe denied any wrongdoing, but opposition lawmakers allege politic






japan to review if documents linked to abe scandal are real


tokyo — japan's education minister says he will launch a new investigation into a scandal involving prime minister shinzo abe, focusing on whether the documents implicating him in pressuring bureaucrats for preferential treatment are authentic.the kake educational institution is run by an abe friend and was seeking approval for a veterinary school. the documents in question are communications among government ministries and some allegedly indicate abe's office pressured the ministries for approval.abe and other top officials have repeatedly denied the allegation and have questioned the authenticity of the documents.the scandal is the second alleging that abe or people close to him sought to influence openings of new schools.friday's reversal from the education minister is seen as a result






japan finance ministry confirms death of official in scandal


tokyo — japan's finance ministry has confirmed the death of an official linked to a scandal potentially involving prime minister shinzo abe's wife.ministry officials acknowledged the employee's death at a parliamentary hearing friday, but refused to give details. local media reported the death as a suicide.local media reports said the official was involved in the questionable 2016 sale of state land to an ultra-nationalistic school at one-seventh of its appraised price. during the time of the deal, abe's wife was the honorary school principal.abe and finance officials have denied wrongdoing, though the scandal recently caused parliamentary sessions to grind to a halt.separate media reports said the tax agency chief who previously worked on the land deal has expressed his intention to resig






japan first lady's praise for school removed amid scandal


tokyo — an endorsement by the wife of japan's prime minister of a new elementary school run by a man with ultra-nationalistic views has been removed from the school's website amid an escalating controversy over the low price the school paid for government land.the scandal surfaced after japanese media reported that the state property in osaka was sold in 2016 for 134 million yen ($1.2 million), one-seventh of its appraised price. prime minister shinzo abe has denied he or his wife akie had any influence over the land deal.the same school operator runs a kindergarten with a curriculum said to resemble that of pre-world war ii japan. it plans a similar approach for the elementary school, which is set to open in april, pending final approval by osaka prefecture.the scandal has dominated parli






japan first lady’s praise for school removed amid scandal


tokyo (ap) — an endorsement by the wife of japan’s prime minister of a new elementary school run by a man with ultra-nationalistic views has been removed from the school’s website amid an escalating controversy over the low price the school paid for government land.japanese media have reported that the state property in osaka was sold in 2016 for 134 million yen ($1.2 million), one-seventh of its appraised price. prime minister shinzo abe has denied he or his wife akie had any influence over the land deal.the same school operator runs a kindergarten with a curriculum said to resemble that of pre-world war ii japan. it plans a similar approach for the elementary school, which is set to open in april, pending final approval by osaka prefecture.






japan finance ministry confirms death of official in scandal


tokyo (ap) — japan’s finance ministry has confirmed the death of an official linked to a scandal potentially involving prime minister shinzo abe’s wife.ministry officials acknowledged the employee’s death at a parliamentary hearing friday, but refused to give details. local media reported the death as a suicide.local media reports said the official was involved in the questionable 2016 sale of state land to an ultra-nationalistic school at one-seventh of its appraised price. during the time of the deal, abe’s wife was the honorary school principal.abe and finance officials have denied wrongdoing, though the scandal recently caused parliamentary sessions to grind to a halt.most read nation & world storiesunlimited digital access: $1 for 4 weeksseparate media reports said the tax agency chie






trump’s approval ratings continue to collapse


in his decision thursday to withdraw from the paris climate agreement, president donald trump strengthened support with his core base. the contentious move, however, represents yet another setback for trump’s sagging approval ratings, as seven of 10 americans were in support of the agreement. trump’s approval and favorability are already historically low at this point in…






japan pm accused of giving cash for nationalistic school


tokyo (ap) — the head of an ultra-nationalistic japanese school operator at the center of a land and political scandal has testified in parliament that prime minister shinzo abe donated 1 million yen ($9,000) through his wife for an elementary school where she once was honorary principal.yasunori kagoike, head of the moritomo gakuen group, said first lady akie abe handed him the cash in an envelope on behalf of her husband during her september 2015 visit to kagoike’s kindergarten in osaka.abe has denied the donation or any influence in the scandal stemming from a 2016 state property sale to kagoike at one-seventh of its appraised price. such a donation is not illegal.kagoike’s school is known for a curriculum that resembles that of pre-world war ii militaristic japan.most read storiesunlim






sanders the most liked, mcconnell the least as senate approval ratings plunge


american politics has had a turbulent few months since the november election, and senators’ approval ratings are starting to show it. in a comprehensive ranking released tuesday, research firm morning consult found that more than half of the 100 u.s. senators have seen their numbers drop since april. the average lawmaker experienced a decrease of about…






japan first lady's praise for school removed amid scandal


tokyo — the japanese first lady's endorsement of a private elementary school run by a man with ultra-nationalistic views has been removed from the school's website amid an escalating controversy over the low price the school paid for government land.the property in osaka was sold in 2016 for 134 million yen ($1.2 million), one-seventh of its appraised price, japanese media reported. prime minister shinzo abe has denied he or his wife, akie, had any influence over the land deal. abe, however, said he was aware that akie served in an honorary position for the school whose president is a passionate supporter of the prime minister's views.the same school operator runs a kindergarten with a curriculum said to resemble that of pre-world war ii japan. it plans a similar approach for the new eleme






japan first lady's praise for school removed amid scandal


tokyo — the japanese first lady's endorsement of a private elementary school run by a man with ultra-nationalistic views has been removed from the school's website amid an escalating controversy over the low price the school paid for government land.the property in osaka was sold in 2016 for 134 million yen ($1.2 million), one-seventh of its appraised price, japanese media reported. prime minister shinzo abe has denied he or his wife, akie, had any influence over the land deal. abe, however, said he was aware that akie served in an honorary position for the school whose president is a passionate supporter of the prime minister's views.the same school operator runs a kindergarten with a curriculum said to resemble that of pre-world war ii japan. it plans a similar approach for the new eleme






comey’s approval rating lower than trump’s in new poll


former fbi director james comey had lower job approval ratings than that of president donald trump in the latest harvard-harris poll, the hill reported monday. the president fired comey on may 9 over his handling of the investigation into democrat hillary clinton’s email scandal. according to the poll whose results were released to the hill, 60…






schwarzenegger rips trump’s ratings in twitter video


arnold schwarzenegger appeared to reignite his ongoing social media feud with president donald trump when he blasted his latest approval ratings on twitter tuesday morning, the hill reported. the action movie star and now ex-host of “the celebrity apprentice” called out trump’s 37 percent approval rating that gallup released saturday. it was by far the lowest…






trump approval ratings to get boost following speech to congress?


following president donald trump’s first address to congress, white house press secretary sean spicer tweeted the results of a cnn poll wednesday, suggesting that the president’s approval ratings may improve following his speech. the cnn/orc poll, conducted february 28 among 509 americans who watched trump’s speech, found that almost 7-in-10 said that they felt that the…






japan pm abe accused of giving cash for nationalistic school


tokyo — japanese prime minister shinzo abe donated 1 million yen ($9,000) through his wife for a school run by ultranationalist educators, the group's leader told parliament on thursday, while also suggesting a land-buying scandal involving the school had "political influence" behind it.first lady akie abe had been honorary principal of the elementary school for several months until resigning two weeks after the scandal erupted in early february.in his sworn testimony in parliament, yasunori kagoike, head of the moritomo gakuen group, said akie abe handed him the cash in an envelope on behalf of her husband during her september 2015 visit to kagoike's kindergarten in osaka.abe has denied such a donation took place, but it would have been legal under japanese law because osaka is not abe's






11 of 12 senators seeking re-election have declining approval ratings


the prospect of another term isn’t looking like such a sure thing for 12 senators seeking reelection in 2018. ten democrats and one republican have declining net approval ratings that show their constituents less favorably disposed toward them now than at the start of the 115th congress in january of last year. one “vulnerable” democrat, sen. debbie stabenow of michigan, has remained stagnant at 9 percent net approval. that’s according to the new morning consult senator approval rankings for the fourth quarter of 2017.the data doesn’t look good for the 10 democratic incumbents seeking another term in states that donald trump took in the 2016 election. nine are on the list of senators who have seen their net approval ratings drop since the start of 2017.more recognizable names among the 12






trump’s disapproval ratings surge over weekend


president donald trump’s disapproval ratings spiked over the weekend, making him the first president to receive the highest disapproval ratings within the least amount of time, according to a recent gallup survey. the presidential approval study, which has been conducted by gallup since the truman administration, concluded that more than half the nation was dis isfied with…






trump ratings far below obama, bush


a breakdown of president donald trump’s approval ratings may provide a glimpse into how the current administration has remained out of favor with independents and from those outside his party, while maintaining support from trump’s base. a recent poll showed that 96 percent of trump voters would cast their ballot for him again, despite overall polls…






japan to review if documents linked to abe scandal are real


tokyo — japan's education minister said friday he will launch a new investigation into documents that allegedly show prime minister shinzo abe pressured bureaucrats to give preferential treatment to a school run by a friend.the kake educational institution, run by abe's friend, was seeking approval for a new veterinary school. abe's wife, akie, also served as honorary principal of a kindergarten operated by kake.abe and other top officials have repeatedly questioned the authenticity of the documents, which allegedly indicate that abe's office pressured government ministries to approve the school's application.they also have rejected demands by opposition lawmakers for testimony in parliament by a retired senior education ministry official who recently acknowledged the existence of the docu






motorola moto x4 now available in japan


the motorola moto x4 is now available in japan. the device is listed on amazon japan for jpy 58,103, or $510. shipments are set to begin tomorrow, or october 28.the handset made its debut back in august at this year's ifa conference, with europe becoming the first market to get it. the next country to get the moto x4 will likely be india, where the phone is expected to go on sale november 13 onwards.amazon japan | via






colorado insurance commission gives final approval to rocky mountain health plan


colorado’s insurance commissioner has given the ok to a merger between health insurers rocky mountain health plans and unitedhealthcare, the final regulatory approval needed before the $36 million sale goes through.on friday, the state division of insurance announced that commissioner marguerite salazar had signed off on the sale, with certain conditions. the announcement e one day after colorado attorney general cynthia coffman gave legal approval to the move.unitedhealthcare is one of the largest insurers in the state, covering roughly 1.2 million people. rocky mountain health plans, based in grand junction, primarily serves customers on the western slope, though it also has a significant share of colorado’s medicaid market. because rocky is currently a nonprofit, the sale will require i






schwarzenegger blasts trump's approval numbers: 'the ratings are in and you got


former gov. arnold schwarzenegger continued to blast president trump on tuesday, this time mocking his low approval ratings and his budget proposals to cut funding for after-school programs and meals on wheels.“the ratings are in and you got swamped,” schwarzenegger says in the video, which was shot in sydney, australia, and posted on his social media accounts. “wow. now you’re in the 30s. but what do you expect, i mean, when you take away after-school programs for children and meals on wheels for the poor people. that is not what you call 'making america great again.' i mean, who is advising you?”schwarzenegger made the remarks one day after gallup released figures showing the president's approval rating had dropped to 37%, the lowest since he took office.the former governor made clear he






nkorea missile fear sets pre-emptive strike debate in japan


tokyo — japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles — ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the north korea missile threat. with revisions to japan's defense plans underway, ruling party hawks are accelerating the moves, and some defense experts say japan should at least consider them.after being on the backburner in the ruling party for decades, a possibility of pre-emptive strike was formally proposed to prime minister shinzo abe by his party's missile defense panel in march, prompting parliamentary debate, though somewhat lost steam as abe apparently avoided the divisive topic after seeing support ratings for his scandal-laden government plunge.north korea's test-firing tuesday of a missile, which flew over japan






schwarzenegger turns tables on trump and ridicules approval ratings and budget c


like many great celebrity feuds, the ongoing spat between former host of "the apprentice" donald trump and former host of "the new celebrity apprentice" arnold schwarzenegger has persisted long after its prescribed expiration date (much like the tv series each man hosted).the latest wrinkle has schwarzenegger needling trump over his lackluster approval ratings after the president lambasted schwarzenegger for shoddy "apprentice" ratings.in a video tweet posted early tuesday morning, schwarzenegger mocked trump's low numbers while taking a shot at his budget blueprint."what do you expect when you take away after-school programs for children and meals on wheels for the poor people?" schwarzenegger said. "that's not what you call 'making america great again.' "schwarzenegger went on to ask tru






kobe steel: a scandal made in japan | japan


kobe steel, japan's third-largest steelmaker, has admitted it faked data about the strength of products delivered to more than 200 companies for the past decade.kobe supplies components to industries where safety is vital, including car, train and aircraft producers, so it's a scandal that's unsettling the transportation industry worldwide.general motors, boeing, toyota and honda are among the firms checking their products and supply chains.the manufacturer of the japanese shinkansen bullet trains says it's already found parts supplied by kobe that failed to meet industry standards. the 112-year-old metals manufacturer said further cases could come to light.florence looi reports from tokyo on the issues behind the scandal and the impact on japan's reputation.marcel thieliant, an economist






kobe steel: a scandal made in japan | japan


kobe steel, japan's third-largest steelmaker, has admitted it faked data about the strength of products delivered to more than 200 companies in the past decade.kobe supplies components to industries where safety is vital - including car, train and aircraft producers. so this is an unsettling scandal for the transportation industry worldwide.general motors, boeing, toyota and honda are among the firms checking their products and supply chains.the manufacturer of the japanese shinkansen bullet trains says it's already found parts supplied by kobe that failed to meet industry standards. the 112-year-old metals manufacturer said further cases could come to light.florence looi reports from tokyo on the issues behind the scandal and the effect on japan's reputation.marcel thieliant, an economist






donald trump approval falls to new low in california poll


president donald trump fell to his lowest approval rating among californians since he took office, with just 27 percent of state residents approving of his job performance, according to a poll released wednesday.that’s down from 30 percent and 31 percent in post-inauguration january and march surveys conducted by the same organization, the public policy institute of california.in follow-up interviews with the bay area news group, poll respondents didn’t hold back on their views about trump.“i think he’s completely unqualified for the job, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that the approval rating is that low,” said beth woerner, 55, a democrat who lives in martinez. “he has a complete inability to look beyond himself, and i don’t believe he has the nation’s interest at heart.”trump’s appro






nkorea missile fear sets pre-emptive strike debate in japan


tokyo (ap) — japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles — ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the north korea missile threat. with revisions to japan’s defense plans underway, ruling party hawks are accelerating the moves, and some defense experts say japan should at least consider them.after being on the backburner in the ruling party for decades, a possibility of pre-emptive strike was formally proposed to prime minister shinzo abe by his party’s missile defense panel in march, prompting parliamentary debate, though somewhat lost steam as abe apparently avoided the divisive topic after seeing support ratings for his scandal-laden government plunge.north korea’s test-firing tuesday of a missile, which flew over






nissan hopes to rake in customers with a new leaf


makuhari, japan—nissan motor co. introduced its new leaf electric car here wednesday, with improved range, autonomous-driving technology and a price tag that undercuts rivals in a bid to jump-start slowing sales.nissan said the car would go on sale in japan on oct. 2 and in the u.s. and europe in january. when it goes on sale in the u.s. the vehicle will start at $29,990, slightly less expensive than the current leaf.with...






agency: montana maintains aa bond rating


helena, mont. (ap) — one ratings agency has maintained the state of montana’s aa bond rating.s&p global ratings released the decision on monday.the independent record reports that gov. steve bullock called the rating “key” to the state’s financial health. states with higher ratings have lower costs when repaying bonds.the ratings agency’s decision follows a special legislative session that wrapped two weeks ago. lawmakers had to address a projected $227 million budget gap.most read storiescyber sale! save 90% on digital access.the agency’s report says lawmakers’ actions and other cuts bullock has approved were factors in maintaining the aa bond rating.






the first nintendo switch sales numbers for japan


[image: nintendo]the nintendo switch has sold an estimated 330,637 units in its first three days on sale in japan.advertisementthat’s according to famitsu, which adds that the legend of zelda: breath of the wild sold an estimated 190,060 copies in the country. that figure is retail only and does not include downloads. these early figures are from march 3 to march 5, the switch’s launch week and first three days on sale. (expect nintendo to release sales data of its own in the future.)advertisementto put these hardware numbers into context, the nintendo wii u sold an estimated 308,570 units in its first two days on sale, with the wii u’s launch week being from december 8 to december 9, 2012. the wii, however, sold around 371,936 units in its first two days on sale back on december 2, 2006 d






japan's parliament re-elects shinzo abe prime minister


tokyo (ap) — japan’s lower house of parliament re-elected shinzo abe as prime minister on wednesday after his party won a resounding victory in a snap election last month.abe, who has been japan’s leader since december 2012, easily won the balloting with 312 votes in the 465-seat lower house. he reappointed the same ministers to his cabinet later in the day. they were officially sworn in at a palace ceremony.abe, 63, dissolved the lower house in late september to force an election. political analysts saw the move as an attempt to win a new public mandate and re-establish his hold on power after a plunge in approval ratings during the summer.his liberal democratic party won a large majority in the oct. 22 vote. together with a junior coalition partner, the komei party, it retained a two-thi






under trump, american approval of putin grows


russian president vladimir putin is fast becoming a more polarizing figure among americans than ever before as both his approval and disapproval ratings are soaring. despite receiving highly negative press over his government’s alleged sponsoring of hacks on the u.s. electoral process last year, a gallup poll shows 22 percent of u.s. citizens hold a favorable…






trump order casts further doubt on boeing’s iran deal


boeing’s pending $8 billion deal with iran air was uncertain before president trump’s executive order temporarily barred u.s. travel by iranian nationals, but the ban adds an immediate logistical barrier and signals further deterioration in the agreement’s prospects.boeing’s pending $8 billion deal with iran air was already in serious doubt before president trump’s executive order friday barred travel to the u.s. by iranian nationals for the next three months. the travel ban adds an immediate logistical barrier as pilots, cabin staff and maintenance crews will be unable to enter the u.s. for training on how to fly and safely maintain boeing airplanes.more significantly, the relabeling of iran as a country that’s a source of potential terrorists may signal that the u.s. is likely to pull ou