Four natural disasters wreak havoc on Earth at nearly the same time

Four planet-jolting natural disasters struck within hours of each other on Monday and Tuesday, unleashing destruction across the globe. The events ranged from a powerful earthquake off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska, to a fiery lava explosion in the Philippines that injured dozens. The Philippines’ most active volcano, Mount Mayon,

Several injured after volcano rocks Japanese ski resort

TOKYO — At least nine people were injured Tuesday in a volcanic eruption near a ski resort in central Japan, officials said. Most of the injured were on the ski slopes, while some were in a gondola where glass was broken apparently by a flying rock, said Makoto Shinohara,

Japan warns about falling for North Korea’s ‘charm offensive’

Japan warned about falling for North Korea’s “charm offensive” after the regime agreed to send 230 cheerleaders to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.​ “I am aware that some people argue that because North Korea is engaging in inter-Korean dialogue, we should reward them by lifting up

Fugitive gang member nabbed after his tattoos go viral

BANGKOK — Thai police said they have arrested a 74-year-old fugitive Japanese gang member who was recognized when photos of his full-body tattoos were circulated online. A police statement said Shigeharu Shirai was arrested Wednesday in a province north of Bangkok where he has been hiding for over 10

Astronaut apologizes for “fake news’ about growth spurt

A Japanese astronaut has apologized for causing “fake news” after tweeting he had grown 3.5 inches since landing on the International Space Station. Norishige Kanai, 41, hastily corrected his initial claim by admitting he has actually only grown 2 cm, or about 3/4 of an inch. Tweeting Wednesday, he admitted:

YouTube star apologizes for showing dead body in “suicide forest’

A YouTube star posted a video showing a dead person hanging from a tree in Japan’s “suicide forest” — then apologized, claiming he was just trying to raise awareness. Logan Paul, a 22-year-old vlogger, uploaded the graphic footage to his YouTube channel with the title “We found a dead

Parents arrested after confined daughter found frozen to death

A Japanese couple was arrested after their adult daughter, who was confined to a windowless room for at least 15 years, was found dead. Yasutaka Kakimoto, 55, and Yukari Kakimoto, 53, were arrested by the Osaka Prefectural Police Department on “suspicion of illegally disposing of a body,” Reuters reported. The

Scientists upgrade robot using one of our grossest habits

When you consider all of the ways that humanoid robots are better than actual humans — they’re stronger, faster and don’t complain when they stub their toes — you probably don’t take heat into account. Robots tend to get pretty hot when they’re doing serious work and cooling

Samurai sword expert kills self in act of harakiri

He lived by the sword and died by his sword. A British man who lived in Japan — where he worked in a samurai sword store — took his own life using his favorite weapon in the traditional act of harakiri, according to the Metro of the UK. Alun Jones,

Japan freezes assets of companies tied to North Korea

TOKYO — Japan froze the assets of 19 companies Friday to step up pressure on North Korea to return Japanese citizens that it abducted in the 1970s and 1980s and to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development. The companies, which have already been sanctioned by the United States,

Japanese boy injured after window falls off US Marine chopper

TOKYO — Japanese officials say a boy was injured in Okinawa when a metal window frame fell from a U.S. military helicopter, escalating anti-American sentiments on the southern island. Officials of Ginowan city said the window fell Wednesday from a CH-53 helicopter and landed on a school playground, leaving

US soldier who deserted to North Korea dies

TOKYO — Charles Jenkins, a US Army deserter to North Korea who married a Japanese abductee and lived in Japan after their release, has died. He was 77. Jenkins was found collapsed outside his home in Sado, northern Japan, on Monday and rushed to a hospital, and later pronounced

Businessman with terminal cancer hosts ‘end-of-life’ party

It was the party of a lifetime. A Japanese businessman with terminal cancer held an “end-of-life” shindig Monday so he could thank the people who made his time on Earth special. Satoru Anzaki, the 80-year-old former head of manufacturer Komatsu, threw the bash for 1,000 friends, colleagues and former schoolmates

Annoying office drone forces overworked employees to knock off at night

A Japanese company has created a torturous new device to force overworked employees out of the office at night — a drone that buzzes around blaring “Auld Lang Syne.” The “T-Frend” drone, unveiled Thursday, is designed to combat the country’s culture of working notoriously long hours, the Japan Times

Priest fatally stabbed with samurai sword at Tokyo shrine

TOKYO — The head priest of a prominent shrine in Tokyo was ambushed and killed with a samurai sword, apparently by her brother, who then took his own life, police said Friday. A female accomplice also died in the attack, and the priest’s driver was injured, Tokyo Metropolitan Police

Shohei Ohtani’s desperation for privacy runs deep

The signals existed, if you wanted to see them. On the other side of the equation stood a power that you ignore at your own risk: Common sense. In the Shohei Ohtani saga, however, common sense got McAdooed. The signals prevailed. When Brian Cashman disclosed on Sunday that the Yankees had

Japan’s emperor sets abdication date

TOKYO — Japan’s much-admired Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on April 30, 2019, at age 85 in the first such departure from the Chrysanthemum Throne in about 200 years, the government said Friday. Akihito’s elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne a day later, beginning a

World’s first man-made meteor shower is going to happen

Meteor showers are an awe-inspiring sight, and skywatchers often plan well in advance for their shot at spotting shooting stars as they rain down from the heavens. The rare events have, up until now, been a totally natural phenomenon, but one company is planning on turning on-demand meteor