July 22nd, 2017

1)   The United States will bar Americans from travelling to North Korea in the coming weeks, two travel agencies said Friday, a month after a U.S. tourist, student Otto Warmbier, died following his imprisonment by Pyongyang.

North Korea’s tourism agency has launched a website offering holiday options ranging from surfing to rice planting, despite strong U.S. warnings to avoid travel to a nation where several trips have ended in jail.

2)   Thief returns stolen bicycle, includes written apology and edible gift to say sorry

3)   A number of books aimed at teaching elementary school children about issues concerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have been published recently in an effort to deepen understanding about sexual minorities in Japan.

4)   Chinese censors can’t bear Winnie the Pooh

5)   Sources close to the Defense Ministry say Minister Tomomi Inada was told about the existence of the activity logs in February and this fact was reported to the Inspector General’s Office of Legal Compliance in March.

6)   A pact that allows Japan to export its nuclear power technology to India for peaceful purposes has taken effect.

It entered into force after Japan’s Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, and Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar exchanged documents in New Delhi on Thursday.

The deal, signed by both governments last November, also enables the countries to exchange know-how on nuclear materials and plant equipment.

7)   An association of Japanese Bitcoin exchanges is considering moving forward a plan to suspend transactions of the virtual currency.

It’s taking the step because of growing concerns over a possible sudden split of the Bitcoin system.

8)    Japan’s government will conduct tests of self-driving buses using the country’s version of a global positioning system. It hopes to use such vehicles during Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

The Cabinet Office says it will start the tests in the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa in November.

9)      The US Justice Department says it has taken down the biggest online black market for illegal goods and services.

Department officials said on Thursday that since its inception, AlphaBay serviced more than 200,000 users, who traded in illegal drugs, toxic chemicals, firearms and stolen identities.

10)   A pro-Russian separatist leader of a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine has proclaimed a new state.

The new state will be called Malorossiya, and its capital will be placed in Donetsk. He added that Malorossiya is consisted of all Ukraine territories except for Russian-annexed Crimea, and a new constitution is being drawn up for the country.

11)   US President Donald Trump faces uncertainty 6 months after his inauguration, as the overhaul of Obamacare has stalled and investigations continue into Russia’s possible meddling in last year’s election.

Trump summoned Republican senators to the White House on Wednesday to pressure them to pass a bill to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care program as early as possible. He said they shouldn’t leave Washington until the bill is enacted.

12)   Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has criticized China for its treatment of human rights activist and Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who died last week.July 22nd, 2017