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Recovery in car exports to the U.S. in February helps Japan's industrial output rise 4.1%

Japan Times >> News

Industrial production in February rose 4.1 percent, rebounding from a sharp fall the previous month due to a recovery in exports of cars to the United States, government data showed Friday. The lower-than-expected increase in production follows a downwardly revised 6.8 percent drop in January, with the seasonally adjusted index of output at factories and mines standing at 103.4 against the base of 100 for 2010, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report. The ministry kept unchanged its basic assessment that industrial production is "picking up slowly" as the margin of rebound seen in February is "not enough," a ministry official said. "The recovery in car exports to the United States also spread to domestic demand for auto parts," the official said. "Strength in the general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery sector is expected to push up overall production, in particular, industrial and construction robots," he said.


Trump seen staffing, or casting, Fox talking heads in key White House posts

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump's favorite TV network is increasingly serving as a West Wing casting call, as the president reshapes his administration with camera-ready personalities. Trump's new national security adviser, John Bolton, is a former U.N. ambassador, a White House veteran -- and perhaps most importantly a Fox News channel talking head. Bolton's appointment, rushed out late Thursday, follows Trump's recent attempt to recruit Fox guest Joseph diGenova for his legal team. Bolton went on Fox to discuss his selection and said it had happened so quickly that "I think I'm still a Fox News contributor." Another recent TV-land addition to the Trump White House is veteran CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow as top economic adviser.


Machines, not stargazers, spot eighth planet in faraway solar system, matching ours

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in numbers.


SoftBank's Son remains confident over Saudi investment in Vision Fund amid crackdown

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Billionaire Masayoshi Son may be getting closer to achieving his dream of making SoftBank Group Corp. the world's biggest investor in technologies, thanks in part to the main patron of Son's $100 billion (¥11.3


Survey ranks Japanese kids' group problem-solving skills at No. 2, behind Singapore

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A 2015 survey of 52 countries and economies ranked Japan second behind Singapore in collaborative problem-solving skills among 15-year-old students, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday.


U.S. claims several extremists killed in three drone strikes in Somalia

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MOGADISHU – U.S. forces say they have carried out three drone strikes within 24 hours in Somalia, stepping up their campaign against the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab and the Islamic State group. The strikes by unmanned drones killed several extremist fighters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military command in Africa told The Associated Press Sunday. With these three attacks, the U.S. has now carried out 26 attacks in Somalia against extremist targets in 2017, she said.


'Flawless' Orbital launch sends spacecraft to ISS on supply, trash-retrieval mission

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WASHINGTON – An unmanned cargo ship packed with 7,400 pounds (3,350 kg) of food and supplies for the astronauts living at the International Space Station blasted off Sunday from Wallops Island, Virginia. Orbital ATK's barrel-shaped Cygnus cargo ship launched atop an Antares rocket at 7:19 a.m. "Five, four, three, two, one and we have ignition," said Orbital ATK's mission control operator, as the rocket's engines lit up the chilly, gray morning and cheers erupted from spectators near the launch site. The spacecraft reached orbit about nine minutes later. NASA commentator Rob Navias described the launch as "flawless."


That's Baaaa-rack Obama: Study finds sheep quick on facial-recognition uptake

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LONDON – A new study shows that sheep have the ability to recognize human faces from photographs on computer screens. The Cambridge University study published Wednesday also shows that sheep can recognize the faces of their human handlers without any prior training. It had been known that sheep can recognize familiar faces of other sheep and of humans. The researchers say this study of the ability of sheep to recognize faces may be useful in research into Huntington's disease and other human brain disorders that affect mental processing. Lead scientist professor Jenny Morton says sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities comparable to those of humans and monkeys.


Kenyan president declared winner of election boycotted by opposition, bagging 98% of the vote

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NAIROBI – BPresident Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday was declared the overwhelming winner of a rerun election boycotted by Kenya's main opposition leader, collecting 98 percent of the vote but also exposing the divisions roiling this East African country. While Kenyatta's backers celebrated his re-election, angry supporters of his rival, Raila Odinga, skirmished with police in Nairobi slums and burned tires in Kisumu, one of the opposition strongholds in western Kenya. Kenya's election commission said the turnout of registered voters in the Oct. 26 election was about 40 percent, compared with roughly twice that in August balloting that was nullified by the Supreme Court because of what it called "irregularities and illegalities." The rerun was marred by deadly clashes between police and Odinga supporters in the days that followed. Kenyatta said he expected Odinga followers to mount new legal challenges, indicating the long saga that has left many Kenyans weary of conflict and has hurt business in East Africa's economic hub is not over.


Tepco sends new type of robot into Fukushima No. 1 reactor in search of fuel debris

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Tokyo Electric Wednesday sent a submersible robot into the primary containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to probe for the exact location of melted fuel debris. The the first day of the operation, which lasted for about three hours, failed to find the fuel. Still, engineers and technicians learned the inside of the structure was quite damaged, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said in an evening news conference. "This was the first time that a robot has entered the containment vessel of reactor 3," said Takahiro Kimoto, a Tepco spokesman. "We think this is a big step."