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Sharks rout Sunwolves in Super Rugby opener

via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

The Sunwolves' Gerhard van den Heever is tackled by Sharks players during their game on Saturday in Singapore. | AFP-JIJI

The Sunwolves were taken to school on Saturday in a 45-10 loss to the Sharks in their Super Rugby season opener in which the Durban-based ...

14th week of French yellow vest protests marked by tear gas and hate speech

via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

Yellow vest anti-government demonstrators march in Bordeaux on Saturday. | AFP-JIJI

Police fired tear gas and brought in water cannons and a horse brigade to disperse several thousand yellow vest protesters Saturday massed near a Paris ...

Nigerian candidates blame each other over surprise delay in election

via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

Nigerians play the board game Ayoayo at a street-side bar in Kano on Saturday. | AP

Nigeria’s top candidates on Saturday condemned the surprise last-minute decision to delay the presidential election for a week until Feb. 23, blaming each other but ...

Sunwolves bitten by poor preparation

via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

The Sunwolves' Shane Gates (left) and the Sharks' Lukhanyo Am vie for the ball during their game on Saturday in Singapore. | REUTERS

The Sunwolves learned the hard way at Singapore National Stadium that practice only makes perfect if it is done under conditions that replicate the real ...

K-pop and fancy sneakers: Kim Jong Un’s cultural revolution

By Eric Talmadge
- via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

A guide stands near a display for basketball shoes in a product exhibition room at the Ryuwon Shoe Factory, which specializes in sports footwear, in Pyongyang on Feb. 1. | AP

Dancers in hot pants. Factories pumping out Air Jordan lookalikes. TV dramas that are actually fun to watch.North Korean pop culture, long dismissed by critics ...

Will Catalan crisis make Spain ‘ungovernable’?

via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

Catalan Regional President Quim Torra takes part in a rally against the trial of Catalan leaders and for self-determination rights in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday. The banners read,

The secession crisis festering in Spain’s northeastern corner of Catalonia has spread to the political heart of the European Union nation.Twice in less than a ...

Whitewashing racial bias: The ball’s in Japan’s court

By John G. Russell
- via The Japan Times    Feb 17, 2019

Drawn stateless: The Japanese characters in manga and anime are often drawn in such a way that they look mukokuseki (stateless). However, this way of illustrating tends to favor white people. | GETTY IMAGES

In what felt something like a case of deja vu from last year’s Masatoshi Hamada blackface fiasco, Japan welcomed in 2019 with yet another racially ...

Just hours before polls were to open, Nigeria delays election until Feb. 23 over unspecified ‘challenges’

via The Japan Times    Feb 16, 2019

Staff wait to load election materials onto a truck for distribution in Yola, Nigeria, on Friday. | REUTERS

Nigeria’s electoral commission has delayed the country’s presidential election until Feb. 23, making the announcement a mere five hours before polls were set to open ...

‘Japan Story’: History enlivened at every turn with flashes of wit

By Damian Flanagan
- via The Japan Times    Feb 16, 2019

Soul-searching: Christopher Harding explores the Japanese psyche in his account of the past 150 years of the nation. | MARK ALLAN

Christopher Harding's comprehensive "Japan Story" is an ultra-progressive account of modern Japanese history, ushering the often-ignored maverick women, socialist thinkers and doubters of the state...

Bellwether for stumbling African democracy: Nigeria goes to the polls

via The Japan Times    Feb 15, 2019

Counterterror and regular police provide security at the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Kano, northern Nigeria, Thursday. Nigeria's main opposition party charged Thursday that the election commission has kept more than 1 million ghost voters on the national register, raising fears of vote-rigging ahead of Saturday's presidential election. | AP

When Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday, there’ll be much more at stake than the presidency and seats in the parliament of Africa’s most ...

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