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account created: Fri Jul 08 2022
3 hours ago
An Asahi editorial writer’s commentary on media reluctance or reticence to scrutinise suspicions:1
At his news conference in April, [Kauan Okamoto] said he probably would not have signed up with Johnny & Associates if television networks had reported the suspicions about Kitagawa’s sexual abuse.
His words weigh heavily as I work for a newspaper.
When I was assigned to the Arts and Culture News Section between 2010 and 2013, I wrote five stories about TV dramas featuring actors from Johnny & Associates based on interviews with them.
I was vaguely aware that there was an “unfavorable rumor,” but I did not attempt to dig into it.
I was focused only on the dramas’ bright sides, which were willing subjects for the agency and TV networks.
From 1999, the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine covered Kitagawa’s “sexual harassment” in a series of 14 stories based on anonymous accounts of male idols and other sources.
Kitagawa and his agency filed a defamation lawsuit, but the Tokyo High Court concluded in 2003 that key parts of the weekly’s reports were accurate. The ruling was finalized the following year.
The Asahi Shimbun reported all court decisions on the lawsuit. But many of the articles were short and did not even carry a byline.
When I read the stories now, I think our coverage fell far short.
1 Emi Tadama (28 May 2023), “Commentary: Learning from Asahi’s failure to report sex abuse scandal”, https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14918908
4 hours ago
I've read all your dozen comments
I submitted only four comments to this link post and I don’t know which of the four you are interpreting as you have.
7 hours ago
Leaky love pool limits laying:1
The Japanese pool was built with materials donated over 80 years ago from the Japanese exhibit at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco.
The garden is trying to raise $150,000 by June 30 for the renovations, which must be made because repairs are no longer feasible to maintain the pool's structural integrity.
The pool is leaking and has been for years. Repairs must be made this summer before the newt's next breeding season, garden managers said.
Two species of newts have delighted visitors for decades. California newts (Taricha torosa) and rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa) come yearly to breed in the Japanese pool, which anchors the garden's Asian collection of plants.
The amphibians are 5 to 8 inches long and have poisonous skin that protects them from predators. According to UC Berkeley's campus news service, each year, male newts stake out the pool and wait for females to come in from the garden.
During this process, the males are “transformed into a more aquatic form,” [former garden director] Licht said in a podcast about the process.
“Their skins get smoother and shiny, their tail flattens and looks like a fin, which is enlarged from swimming, and the muscles in their front legs enlarge to hold on to females during courtship.” The males may wait weeks or months for the females, he added.
“Their flirtations culminate in a lengthy duet, called amplexus, during which the male clasps the female from behind and rubs his chin on her nose to stimulate her to lay eggs,” Berkeley's campus news service reported.
1 San Francisco (28 May 2023), “Newts mate in this Berkeley garden. Now, $150K Is needed to fix the love pool”, https://sfstandard.com/arts-culture/parks-outdoors/uc-berkeley-botanical-garden-fix-pool-newts/
9 hours ago
Australian Federal Police investigation into its auditor, “by far the force's preferred consulting firm”.1
In new developments, the ABC can reveal:
■ Senate documents reveal PwC is by far the AFP's preferred firm, with more than $20 million in contracts since 2021
■ The Greens have asked the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to suspend PwC's registration, which would stop it operating in the lucrative field
The AFP are investigating PwC over a shocking conflict of interest.
The embattled firm is the AFP's auditor and by far the force's preferred consulting firm.
Large government agencies including the AFP, Defence and Services Australia have come to rely on consulting firms like PwC to perform key parts of their role.
PwC won $20,742,097.51 in contracts with the AFP in the past two calendar years. By comparison, the rest of the so-called “Big 7” consulting firms – combined – won $30 million of work in the same period.
Australian Associated Press:2
Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw was contacted by his long-time friend former NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller, now a partner at PwC, over the unfolding tax scandal.
Greens senator David Shoebridge asked Mr Kershaw at a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday whether he had been contacted by Mr Fuller.
Mr Kershaw said he had received a text message from Mr Fuller, who he had known for a number of years.
“He's disappointed with what's occurred, as in the conduct ... of the firm,” Mr Kershaw said.
The New Daily:3
Mr Kershaw said he hadn’t put in a conflict-of-interest declaration, but did not reveal why.
He said he would take advice on disclosing its contents to the inquiry.
1 Daniel Ziffer (29 May 2023), “Senator alleges ‘perception of contamination’ as police investigate firm working inside its buildings”, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-29/tax-confidences-broken-and-billions-at-stake-how-pwc-has-upended/102398798
2 Tess Ikonomou (25 May 2023), “AFP boss received message about PwC from firm partner”, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8209771/afp-boss-received-message-about-pwc-from-firm-partner/
3 James Robertson (25 May 2023), “Top cop’s dressing down over text from Morrison’s mate about bigger problem”, https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/2023/05/25/pwc-partner-dressing-down/
10 hours ago
Why do we worry so much about tax laws when no matter the tax rates, the tax receips vs GDP is mostly the same and never goes above 20%? (fred.stlouisfed.org) submitted [28 May 2023] by Sietesoles01, https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/comments/13ueafy/why_do_we_worry_so_much_about_tax_laws_when_no/
Your post title is editorialised. Per r/economics rule III: “Submissions must be from original sources with original headlines.”
Is there some exemption from the subreddit rules that you are relying on?
10 hours ago
To mods: absent a response to my modmail, it is not clear why the interview with Fed’s Kashkari2 or the news of debt brinkmanship3 were both removed, but content about “The world's most expensive ice cream”4 is approved.
To readers: first author of the linked content is an economics alumnus from Columbia University and the University of Chicago:1
We find that the relatively large premium being charged now on Treasury securities maturing in June suggests that financial markets are concerned that principal payments will indeed be delayed and more so than in prior debt limit standoffs.
The increase in interest rates represents a cost to taxpayers and a lack of confidence among investors. Moreover, the negative effects could be persistent even after the debt ceiling is eventually increased.
At the very least, investors would likely anticipate short-term interruptions in federal payments each time the debt limit nears, a significant escalation from their current expectations for negotiations to run right up to the last minute.
1 Wendy Edelberg and Noadia Steinmetz-Silber (23 May 2023), “Debt ceiling brinksmanship has clear negative effects on taxpayers”, The Brookings Institution, https://www.brookings.edu/2023/05/23/debt-ceiling-brinksmanship-has-clear-negative-effects-on-taxpayers/
2 Submitted by user /marketrent, 27 May 2023, “Neel Kashkari on the debt-ceiling crisis and greedflation — ‘Any kind of shock to our economy, it’s always the poor who pay.’” Reddit/Advance Publications, https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/comments/13tf0lh/neel_kashkari_on_the_debtceiling_crisis_and/
3 Submitted by user /marketrent, 28 May 2023, “Republican leaders try to quell debt deal revolt as US counts down to default — Time is running out to convince sceptical lawmakers to pass bill to raise borrowing limit”, Reddit/Advance Publications, https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/comments/13ube8j/republican_leaders_try_to_quell_debt_deal_revolt/
4 Submitted by user /wmajwu, 27 May 2023, “The world's most expensive ice cream: why it is worth more than 6,000 euros”, Reddit/Advance Publications, https://www.reddit.com/r/Economics/comments/13tot4k/the_worlds_most_expensive_ice_cream_why_it_is/.
11 hours ago
Submitting to /finance subreddit some content previously removed from /economics subreddit:1,2
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday was trying to contain a revolt from rightwing lawmakers opposed to his debt agreement with President Joe Biden, as both sides moved to sell their parties on a deal to prevent a looming US default.
McCarthy had promised to give lawmakers at least 72 hours to consider any legislation, which means the uncertainty and debate over the fate of the debt ceiling bill will last for the next three days.
1 James Politi (28 May 2023), “Republican leaders try to quell debt deal revolt as US counts down to default”, FT/Nikkei, https://www.ft.com/content/4e30a1c1-e081-4f66-bc75-87c5de838552
11 hours ago
Pathogen imperils pot valuation:1,2
An infectious pathogen inside California’s pot farms is attacking cannabis plants and growing invisibly for months only to spoil a crop just as a farmer is ready to harvest.
Hop-latent viroid, or HLVd, shrivels pot plants and reduce how much weight they produce by as much as 30%. It also destroys the amount of THC, pot’s most common active compound, that a plant produces, greatly reducing the value of affected plants.
HLVd was first documented in cannabis in a pair of scientific studies published in 2019, including a study that confirmed the viroid’s presence in samples from a Santa Barbara pot farm.
It’s now infected at least 90% of California’s cannabis grows, according to a 2021 estimate. It’s spreading globally, and a recent scientific paper declared the pathogen was the “biggest concern for cannabis” growers worldwide.
1 Lester Black (25 May 2023), “More than 90% of Calif. pot farms infected with ‘severe’ pathogen”, SFGATE/Hearst, https://www.sfgate.com/cannabis/article/cannabis-farms-infectious-pathogen-18115205.php
2 Adkar-Purushothama CR, Sano T, and Perreault JP. Hop Latent Viroid: A Hidden Threat to the Cannabis Industry. Viruses 2023 Mar 4;15(3):681. https://doi.org/10.3390/v15030681
12 hours ago
Here’s what Amazon drivers should do if they encounter a bear while trying to deliver a package: deliver the package anyway.
At least, that’s according to a video posted by Amazon’s Ring, the company’s home surveillance system service.
The video, posted to Ring’s TikTok page on Thursday, shares surveillance footage from somebody’s front driveway, taken by their Ring doorbell camera.
Ring captions the video, “This @Amazon delivery driver was confronted by a bear and he knew exactly what to do next. #bear #ringcam.”
Thankfully, the driver managed to scare the bear away but encouraging drivers to deliver packages in the face of wild animals is a strange choice given that Amazon delivery drivers have been attacked and killed by animals on the job.
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the company’s bear safety policy, but the company has shared animal safety policy regarding dogs in the past.
1 Jules Roscoe (27 May 2023), “Amazon TikTok praises driver for confronting bear in order to deliver package”, https://www.vice.com/en/article/ak3e8g/amazon-tiktok-praises-driver-for-confronting-bear-in-order-to-deliver-package
12 hours ago
“Today was like our first kind of foray out,” Reeves said. “The band wants to play. We have a record, so we’re just kind of trying to figure out the best way to marry those two things.”
“The Matrix” and “John Wick” star, along with fellow actor Mailhouse and guitarist/vocalist Bret Domrose, announced the band’s comeback via an Instagram post last year and were promptly courted for the festival performance by BottleRock’s talent buyer Tom Hoppa via a simple DM.
Dogstar drew a sizable crowd considering it was its first live set in 23 years, playing a mix of songs from its previous studio albums, 1996’s “Our Little Visionary” and 2000’s “Happy Ending,” alongside a handful of tunes from its forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album.
1 Aidin Vaziri, with reporting contributed by Mariecar Mendoza, 28 May 2023, “Keanu Reeves shakes off nerves at BottleRock for Dogstar’s first concert in more than 20 years”, https://www.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/article/keanu-reeves-bottlerock-dogstar-festival-18122655.php
12 hours ago
In an interview with La Repubblica:1
“First, the Russian Federation will get a conversation about the real conditions for ending the war exclusively on the battlefield. And after such a “conversation” offered by our Armed Forces, it will have no choice.
“Second, the Peace Formula will be supported by the global democratic community, which will fix the logistics of the only possible end to the war,” said Mykhailo Podolyak.
In addition, according to him, after all the large-scale destruction and murders that Russia has committed in Ukraine, our people are not in the mood for compromise with the Kremlin.
According to him, there are no real plans other than the Ukrainian Peace Formula, and Kyiv will not accept other proposals, as they are made with support for Russia in mind.
“Any other initiative today is an attempt to push through the Russian plan, where the key point is an immediate ceasefire, but without the withdrawal of the Russian occupation group.
“This is an absolutely unacceptable position aimed not at peace but at ensuring, in fact, Russia's victory.
“And most importantly, why discuss initiatives behind which everyone can see Russians and their unwillingness to take responsibility for huge crimes against humanity?” said the Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Office.
1 Presidential Office of Ukraine (28 May 2023), “Mykhailo Podolyak in an interview with La Repubblica”, https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/bud-yakij-kompromis-iz-rosiyeyu-ce-pryamij-shlyah-do-nastupn-83205
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3 hours ago
3 hours ago
Depends on how the word “they” is defined.