1) US President Donald Trump says it’s still possible that a summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can go ahead on June 12th as originally planned.
2) Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The 80-year-old movie veteran has apologized to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected.
CNN reported on Thursday that 8 women said they had been subjected to inappropriate behavior or harassment by Freeman.
3) A US district court has ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users from his account because of their political views. Trump has been blocking tweets that criticize him.
On Wednesday, a judge in New York described the president’s Twitter account as a public forum, and said blocking Twitter users for their views violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The judge ordered Trump to unblock his account.
4) The US State Department says an employee stationed in southern China has been diagnosed with a brain injury after hearing strange sounds.
The worker at the US Consulate General in Guangzhou reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure from last year until April. The employee returned to the US for tests, and was found to have brain trauma.
More than 20 employees at the US Embassy in Havana became ill last year after what the media described as a “sonic attack.”
5) The former head of an Osaka-based school operator, the central figure in an alleged favoritism scandal, has been released on bail. He says his detention was politically motivated.
Yasunori Kagoike, who ran Moritomo Gakuen, and his wife, Junko, were arrested by prosecutors late last July. They allegedly defrauded the government out of money in connection with the construction of a planned elementary school.
6) The former head coach of Nihon University’s American football team has been caught on tape praising a player who injured an opponent in a match earlier this month.
In the audio clip recorded just after the game on May 6th, Uchida was questioned by reporters about the player being sent off for a series of fouls. He replied that it was inevitable because he was the head coach, and said the team had always been that way.
7) Police in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, say at least 10 components believed to have fallen from an airplane have been found around a local airport.
A Japan Airlines Boeing 767 carrying 217 people returned to Kumamoto Airport on Thursday afternoon due to engine trouble. The plane was bound for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
8) Japanese Olympic swimmer Junya Koga has tested positive for substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Koga said the banned substances may have been in nutritional supplements he began taking in February of this year.
He claimed he did not take the banned substances intentionally, and said he is ashamed to have tested positive.
9) US civil rights groups are asking Amazon.com to stop offering its facial recognition services to police and other government agencies.
The services have been used in police investigations, checking IDs at building entrances and searching for lost children at amusement parks.
The group also warned that the services could unfairly target minorities and immigrants in particular.
10) A self-driving vehicle is being tested on public roads near Tokyo in an initiative led by a Japanese retail giant.
Aeon hopes the technology will make it easier for customers who don’t own cars to get to its supermarkets.
11) A Japanese government-backed fund and a major Japanese trading house have jointly invested in a venture firm that makes food from algae.
The venture produces spirulina, an algae rich in vitamins. Demand for the so-called superfood has been growing, as it’s a popular addition to fruit juices.
12) Chinese authorities detained 21 Japanese nationals in the southwestern city of Chongqing and elsewhere this month, a source close to Japanese-Chinese relations said Friday.
The Japanese are said to have been Christian group members and their detention may have been part of the authorities’ efforts to crack down on missionary work, categorizing it as illegal activity.