1) Municipal workers struggled on Friday to restore water supply in the flood-hit western region a week after inundation caused by a record downpour killed more than 200 people in the worst weather disaster in 36 years.
Communities that grappled with rising floodwaters last week now find themselves battling scorching summer temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius,
2) Japan risks more severe weather and must find ways to alleviate disasters, a government spokesman said on Thursday, as intense heat and water shortages raised fear of disease among survivors of last week’s floods and landslides.
“It’s an undeniable fact that this sort of disaster due to torrential, unprecedented rain is becoming more frequent in recent years,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo.
3) Police on Thursday raided the apartment of a nurse who is in custody on suspicion of fatally poisoning at least two elderly patients at a terminal care hospital.
Local media have reported the woman confessed to police she poisoned about 20 patients to have them die when she was off-duty and could avoid the trouble of explaining the deaths to their families.
4) New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, color X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics, said Europe’s CERN physics lab which contributed imaging technology.
The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which in 2012 discovered the elusive Higgs Boson particle.
5) The rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed due to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a “race to the bottom”, analysts say.
6) Britain’s data regulator has said it will fine Facebook half a million pounds ($660,000) for failing to protect users’ data, in an inquiry into whether personal information had been misused by campaigns on both sides of Britain’s 2016 EU referendum.
Evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide.
7) Japan’s population, excluding resident foreigners, declined as of Jan. 1 in 2018 from the year before at the fastest pace since the current survey started in 1968, with fewer than 1 million births for the second straight year, government data showed Wednesday.
8) The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start in Fukushima Prefecture, with an emphasis on areas hit hard by the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
9) Drone-delivered shopping moved closer to reality when three of Japan’s biggest companies announced they are joining forces for the ambitious “Drone Highway” project on July 12.
TEPCO Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), map publisher Zenrin Co. and Internet giant Rakuten Inc. aim to ease the burden of shipping goods on the transportation industry through the project.
Under the plan, goods will be moved off the roads and flown along power grids by drones, cutting distances, journey times and costs.
10) Teaching materials obtained by NHK show that Aleph, a renamed successor to the Aum Shinrikyo cult, is trying to make its members faithfully follow the teachings of executed leader Shoko Asahara. His real name was Chizuo Matsumoto.