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DISPATCHES

 

A regular up-date featuring articles written for publications

all over the world by FCCJ Correspondents

What Toshiba Needs to Do

John Boyd writes in Forbes about how Toshiba can regain trust after its accounting shenanigans.

Scandal-muddied Toshiba Corporation recently announced it was terminating its long-time relationship with Ernst & Young ShinNihon, it's rubber-stamping auditor, and will hire PricewaterhouseCoopers Arata to replace it. That's a good if belated step to take if Toshiba is serious about stepping back onto the straight and narrow path that has served it so well for most of its 140-year history. Read the article

Tepco Bosses Charged with Negligence

David McNeill reports in the Irish Times on the charges facing three of the nuclear power plant operator's executives.

Three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) operator of the ruined Daiichi Fukushima Nuclear Plant, have been charged with mishandling the 2011 nuclear crisis. Monday's indictment means a court will for the first time probe the company's failure to prevent the world's worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Read the article

Robot Patiently Waits for Its Mission

In IEEE Spectrum, John Boyd tells the story of a robot waiting for a court decision on its deployment to a sacred site in Hawaii.

The prosaically named Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project, a planned observatory to be built on Mauna Kea, the Big Island, in Hawaii, is huge in every way a report US $1.4 billion budget, a giant mirror composed of 492 smaller mirror segments and a goal of investigating not just the stars in our Milky Way but galaxies forming at the very edge of the observable universe. Read the article

The Response to North Korea's Rocket Launch

In the Independent, Don Kirk and David McNeill report that China is not likely to back new sanctions.


The launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea has heightened tensions in north-east Asia and pushed South Korea and the U.S. into talks on the deployment of a controversial high-altittude missile defence system that China and Russia both bitterly oppose. Read the article

Japan Building World's Largest Floating Solar Plant

In the Spectrum, John Boyd reports on the newest solar power idea.


Kyocera Corp. has come up with a smart way to build and deply solar power plants without gobbling up precious agricultural land in space-challenged Japan: build the plants on freshwater dams and lakes. The concept isn't exactly new. Ciel et Terre, based in Lille, France, began pioneering the idea there in 2006. Read the article

"Star Wars: Force Awakens" Unlikely to Pass "Frozen"

In the Hollywood Reporter, Gavin Blair writes that the newest installment of Star Wars passed $84 million but is winding down

Star Wars: The Force Awakens took in another ¥252 million ($2.1 million) over the weekend for a cume of $83.3 million, becoming the biggest hit at the Japanese box office since Frozen. Both from Disney, they are the only two films to break the ¥10 billion barrier in the last five years. The later pic spent 16 weekends at No. 1 and finished with $250 million. The former is proving a faster burn and is winding down after seven weekends, meaning it is unlikely to cross $100 million. Read the article

Rehab camp for web addicts in South Korea

In the Washington Post, Anna Fifield reports on South Korea's Youth Internet Addiction Treatment center

Since he arrived at the camp, Yoon Yong-won had experienced recurrent nightmares. He was playing a game on his phone, and the image of the phone in his hands was so vivid. But then he woke up with a fright and stared at his hands: empty. Yoon was in day six of a 27-day camp aimed at teenagers like him: state certified Internet addicts. Read the article

Beloved Boyband SMAP Disintegrates

In the Guardian, Justin McCurry's take on the huge hole that's left in Japan's music scene

They have crooned their way into the affections of millions and provided the pop backdrop to generations of Japanese people for more than two decades. But on Wednesday, it was reported that SMAP, one of Japan's most popular bands of all time, are to break up, leaving a gaping hle in the country's music scene. Read the article

Best-selling Japanese author teaches the world to tidy up

in the Washington Post, Anna Fifield reports on the success of decluttering guru Marie Kondo

Just in time to make good on your New Year's vow to get organized, Marie Kondo, the self-described "crazy tidying fanatic" who has sparked the world with her joy for decluttering, ha a new book to help you clear up your act. This week, Kondo's "Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up," will be published in the U.S. Read the article

Japan Sea's Ghost Ships from Korea?

In the Guardian, Justin McCurry reports on the puzzle of vessels found drifting, skeletons their only crew

The identities of the corpses found aboard a capsized fishing boat off the Japan sea coast last month wil be forever shrouded in mystery. The remains have been cremated, the ashes unclaimed. Son the rickety wooden vessel that took its occupants to their deaths will be destroyed too. Read the article

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