Japan Ex-PM Abe Shot At Campaign
A former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was shot at a campaign event on Friday, according to a government spokesman.
“Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 am,” in the country’s western region of Nara, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, told reporters.
“One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown.”
“Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it,” Matsuno added
Abe was fighting for his life on Friday after being shot at a campaign event, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida later said, condemning the “absolutely unforgivable” attack.
“Abe was shot in Nara and I have been informed he is in a very grave condition,” Kishida told reporters after arriving in Tokyo by helicopter from the campaign trail.
“I pray that former prime minister Abe will survive,” the visibly emotional leader said.
“It is a barbaric act during election campaigning, which is the foundation of democracy, and it is absolutely unforgivable. I condemn this act in the strongest terms.”
Local media including national broadcaster NHK and the Kyodo news agency said Abe appeared to be in “cardiorespiratory arrest”, a term often used in Japan before a feared death can be officially confirmed by a coroner.
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The attack on a man who may be Japan’s best-known politician comes despite the country’s famously low levels of violent crime and tough gun laws, and with politicians campaigning ahead of upper house elections on Sunday.
Abe, 67, had been delivering a stump speech with security present, but spectators were able to approach him fairly easily.
Footage broadcast by the NHK showed him standing on a stage when a loud blast was heard with smoke visible in the air.
As spectators and reporters ducked, a man was shown being tackled to the ground by security.
Local media identified the man as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, citing police sources, with several media outlets describing him as a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the country’s navy.
Witnesses at the scene described shock as the political event turned into chaos.
“He was giving a speech and a man came from behind,” a young woman told NHK.
“The first shot sounded like a toy bazooka. He didn’t fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke,” she added.
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him cardiac massage.”
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Abe was bleeding from the neck, witnesses said and photographs showed. He was reportedly initially responsive but subsequently lost consciousness.
Officials from the local chapter of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said there had been no threats before the incident and that his speech had been announced publicly.
The attack prompted international shock.
“This is a very, very sad moment,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters at a G20 meeting in Bali, saying the United States was “deeply saddened and deeply concerned”.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was “very shocked” at Abe’s shooting, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply distressed” by the news.
Shocking and saddened by the terror attack on former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe at Nara .
Pray 🙏 #ShinzoAbe#ShinzoAbeShot pic.twitter.com/qSqpjN6qRO
— K2O Ka Baap👿 (@k2O_ka_Baap) July 8, 2022
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How Eight Died In India Temple Collapse
No fewer than eight devotees died and about a dozen rescued on Thursday after about 25 people fell into a well at a Hindu temple in India, police said.
The worshippers plunged into the stepwell – a stair-lined communal water source – after the floor covering it collapsed in the central city of Indore.
“We have recovered eight bodies and rescued nearly a dozen,” police official Manish Kapooriya told AFP, adding that rescue efforts were still ongoing.
Television footage showed emergency workers using ropes and ladders to reach those trapped in the well in Madhya Pradesh state.
Other videos showed the caved-in floor and mangled steel bars, and policemen using ropes to seal the area.
Temples across India were brimming with devotees on the occasion of Ram Navami, the birthday of the Hindu deity Lord Ram.
Police Fine British Prime Minister For Not Wearing Seatbelt In Car
The British Police have fined Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a moving car while on a trip to northern England.
Sunak, who recorded an Instagram video on Thursday, was seen turning in his seat to talk to the camera without a seatbelt on, a video that has now been deleted from the social media site.
The PM’s office at Downing Street said the incident was a “brief error of judgment”, but Lancashire constabulary announced they were fining Sunak for the infraction, The Guardian UK says.
The force said: “You will be aware that a video has been circulating on social media showing an individual failing to wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a moving car in Lancashire.
“After looking into this matter, we have today issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of fixed penalty.”
Reacting, a spokesperson for Sunak said: “The prime minister fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised. He will of course comply with the fixed penalty.”
A fixed penalty means Sunak can pay a fine to avoid a court hearing.
The police did not disclose how much they had fined the prime minister, but according to the government’s safety campaign, any driver or passenger not wearing a seatbelt is breaking the law and is liable to be fined up to £500 if the case goes to court, according to The Guardian UK.
Sunak’s transportation habits were already a talking point in the United Kingdom before the incident, a report by AFP says.
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His political rivals have taken aim at his use of a private jet to make multiple short flights in recent days.
This is not the first time Sunak has been slapped with a police fine.
He was fined while serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer for attending a Downing Street party in June 2020 that violated the government’s rules on social distancing, according to an AFP report.
The latest fine makes Sunak the second Conservative prime minister to receive a police fine in less than 12 months. The Metropolitan police, in 2020, issued a fixed-penalty notice to Boris Johnson for attending a party during lockdown. Sunak was fined for attending the same event as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
World’s Oldest Nun Dies At 118
French nun Sister André who was the world’s oldest known person died at age 118 in the southern French city of Toulon, the city’s mayor Hubert Falco said on Wednesday.
Born in the southern French town of Ales on Feb. 11, 1904, as Lucile Randon, Sister André was listed as the oldest person alive by the Gerontology Research Group in April 2022.
The Frenchwoman worked as a home teacher in her youth and did not enter a religious community until she was in her early 40s.
Most recently, Sister André was confined to a wheelchair, and for several years she could no longer see properly.
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She was an honorary citizen of Toulon, where she lived in a retirement home for several years.
Falco praised her as incredibly modern and a nun with a big heart.
Guinness World Records said Lucile, who took the name of Sister André in 1944, was the second-oldest French person and the second-oldest European person ever recorded.
More recently, Sister André received the record for the oldest COVID-19 survivor after an infection in 2021.
“It’s difficult to fathom that someone born before the patenting of plastic, zips or even bras were alive well into the 21st century, and robust enough to beat COVID-19’’, the Guinness World Records editor, Craig Glenday said in a statement.
“It’s been an honour to record her story in the pages of the Guinness World Records book, and she will live on in history as the fourth oldest person ever authenticated.’’
With her death, Maria Branyas Morera, who lived in Spain, assumed the title of the world’s oldest person at age 115.
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