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Japanese PM to visit South Korea ahead of G-7 summit: NPR



South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) shake hands after a joint press conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on March 16.

Kiyoshi Ota/AP

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Kiyoshi Ota/AP

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) shake hands after a joint press conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on March 16.

Kiyoshi Ota/AP

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that he is arranging a trip to South Korea to talk with President Yoon Suk-yeol in exchange for his March visit to Tokyo to further strengthen their ties ahead of the upcoming G-7 summit.

Tokyo and Seoul are working to repair relations that have been strained over wartime history disputes as they deepen trilateral security cooperation with Washington in response to growing regional threats from North Korea and China.

Speaking to reporters in Ghana on Tuesday as part of his multinational trip to Africa and Singapore, Kishida said he hopes to visit May 7-8 and exchange views with Yun on ways to accelerate bilateral ties and discuss regional and global issues. .

“If my visit to South Korea takes place before the G-7 summit, I expect it to be a great opportunity to jump-start our shuttle diplomacy and have a candid exchange on accelerating Japan-South relations. ties between Korea and fundamentally change the global situation,” said Kishida, who is hosting the May 19-21 summit in Hiroshima.

Kishida will be the first Japanese leader to visit South Korea since former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Pyeongchang Olympics in February 2018. The two leaders are expected to focus on their cooperation and response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.

Japan and South Korea want to make sure their relationship is on the path to a significant recovery ahead of the G7, to which Yoon has been invited as one of the eight countries for public relations. The two leaders are also expected to hold a trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines.

Washington is stepping up cooperation with its key Asian allies.

Yoon was in Washington last week and secured a stronger US commitment to an expanded nuclear deterrence, including improved information sharing and nuclear submarine visits to South Korea. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was at the White House on Monday, and Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to the security of the Philippines and noted the “deep friendship” of the two countries.

Relations between Japan and South Korea have improved rapidly since March, when the Yun government announced plans to use South Korea’s funds to compensate forced laborers without demanding contributions from Japan. The plan aims to end a dispute stemming from a 2018 South Korean court ruling that Japanese companies ordered Korean workers to pay for mistreatment and forced labor during World War II, when the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony.

Since Yun’s trip to Japan in March, Tokyo and Seoul have largely settled their trade disputes. The two sides also held the first talks in seven years between their finance ministers, seeking to strengthen cooperation on sustainable supply chains in the face of rising Chinese influence.


Wisconsin lawmakers expected to rule on opioid lawsuit



Wisconsin lawmakers are ready to accept the state’s share in a settlement stemming from another multi-state lawsuit accusing drug manufacturers and distributors of contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis.

A coalition of states and local governments in November and December secured settlements with opioid makers Teva and Allergan, as well as drug companies. walmart chainsWalgreens and CVS for a total of $19.2 billion.

Wisconsin is to receive about $324.3 million, of which 30% will go to the state and 70% to county governments. The Joint Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly is due to vote on the adoption of the money during a meeting on Tuesday.


Passing the settlement would also result in companies complying with a Wisconsin District Court ruling requiring them to make major changes to how prescription opioids are sold and dispensed.

A man walks past the Wisconsin State Capitol in October. October 10, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin lawmakers are expected to rule on a lawsuit accusing drug makers of contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer, file)


Teva and Allergan have agreed to restrict the marketing, promotion, sale and distribution of opioids. Pharmacy chains will comply with requirements regarding compliance structures and pharmacist judgment, according to documents prepared by the state Department of Justice.

More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed by state and local governments, Indian tribes, labor unions, hospitals and others in state and federal courts over opioid losses. Most argue that the industry has created public inconvenience in a crisis that has seen 500,000 Americans die in the past two decades.


Wisconsin entered into similar agreements with four opioid companies — Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — in 2022.

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Two army helicopters collided and crashed in Alaska, killing three soldiers



Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Two US Army helicopters collided and crashed Thursday in Alaska while returning from a training flight, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth.

Two soldiers died at the crash site near Healy, Alaska, and a third died en route to a hospital in Fairbanks, the army said in a statement. The report says a fourth soldier is in the hospital with injuries.

The army said the names of those killed were not released until 24 hours after relatives could be notified.

There were two people on each AH-64 Apache helicopter at the time of the crash, US Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said earlier Thursday.

The helicopters belonged to the 1st Assault Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks.

“This is an incredible loss for the families of these soldiers, their fellow soldiers and for the division,” Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commander of the 11th Airborne Division, said in a statement from the Army. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, friends and loved ones, and we provide all the resources of the army to support them.

“The Fort Wainwright community is one of the most close-knit military communities I have seen in my 32 years of service,” he continued. “I have no doubt that they will rally in this exceptional time of need and comfort our families for our fallen.”

The Army said the cause of the crash is under investigation and more details will be released when they become available.

This is the second plane crash involving military helicopters in Alaska this year.

in February, two soldiers are wounded when an Apache helicopter overturned after takeoff from Talkeetna. The aircraft was one of four bound for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage from Fort Wainwright.

in March, nine soldiers were killed when two US Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed during a routine night exercise about 30 miles northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Healy is about 10 miles north of Denali National Park and Preserve, about 250 miles north of Anchorage.

Healy is a community of about 1,000 people located on the Parks Highway in the interior of Alaska. It is a popular place where people spend the night while visiting the nearby park, home to Denali, the continent’s highest mountain.

Healy is also famous for being the city closest to a former bus that was abandoned in a remote area and popularized by the book Into the Wild and the movie of the same name. The bus was removed and delivered to Fairbanks in 2020.

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Nebraska 6-week abortion ban fails in Legislature



LINCOLN, Nebraska. An attempt to move a bill to ban abortion around the sixth week of pregnancy fell short of one vote to break piracy in the Nebraska Legislature on Thursday.

That means the bill is unlikely to pass this year, despite Republican Gov. Jim Pills publicly calling for just that. The Legislative Assembly adjourned immediately after the failed vote and will not meet until Tuesday.

For the second year in a row, attempts to limit access to abortion in the state have failed. Nebraska currently bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, a law in place since 2010.

Pat Neil (left) and Ann Fintell, both from Lincoln, celebrate Thursday in the rotunda of the Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln after the failure of a bill to ban abortion around the sixth week of pregnancy.Margery Beck/AP

The bill would ban abortion if cardiac activity was detected.

On Thursday, a vote to end debate so the bill could make it to the final round of debate fell 32–15. This required 33 votes.

Applause erupted outside the doors of the Legislative Chamber as the final vote was cast, with opponents of the bill waving placards and chanting “Whose house? Our house!”

Among them was Pat Neil, 72, of Lincoln, who has fought for abortion rights since she had an abortion in 1973, when the US Supreme Court ruled Roe v. USA. Wade’s decision guaranteed the right to abortion throughout the country.

“I was 11 weeks pregnant and in the middle of a divorce,” Neil said, noting that she was terrified of her husband, a Vietnam War veteran who “had some kind of demons in him.”

Neil, like most of the crowd, was shocked at the failure of the vote.

“It gives me hope for the future,” she said. “It gives me hope that the direction we’re seeing – across the country – can change.”

The bill did not receive a decisive 33rd vote when Senator Merv Ripe abstained. He co-sponsored the bill, but earlier this year raised concerns that a six-week ban might not give women enough time to even know they’re pregnant.

Ripe, a former hospital administrator from Ralston, on Thursday introduced an amendment that would extend the proposed ban to 12 weeks and add any fetal anomalies deemed incompatible with life to the bill’s exception list.

As his fellow Republicans reacted to the amendment, Ripe took to the microphone to warn his conservative colleagues that they should heed signs that abortion would encourage women to vote for their removal from office. He cited his own last year’s election as an example, noting that in a four-man race, he won about 45% of the vote in the May primary and beat his nearest rival by a whopping 27 points.

But since the Supreme Court ruled in June to fire Rowe, his lead in the general election over the same challenger — a Democrat who has made abortion rights a centerpiece of his campaign — has fallen to just under 5 percentage points.

“We must embrace the future of reproductive rights,” he said.

The failed Nebraska bill included exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergencies that endanger the life of the mother, and made specific exceptions for ectopic pregnancy and IVF procedures. It is also allowed to extract a fetus that died in the womb. It did not provide for criminal penalties for either women who have abortions or doctors who perform abortions. Instead, it would subject doctors who perform abortions in violation of this measure to professional discipline, which could lead to the revocation of their medical licenses.

Opponents appeared poised to support Ripe’s amendment by the end of the debate, but focused mostly on concerns about the bill, saying it was controversial and could lead to criminal penalties for medical professionals—specifically, a 1977 state law that mandated abortions are performed outside generally accepted medical standards. criminal procedure.

“Physicians will not have an adequate opportunity to know what’s going on with this law,” said Senator John Cavanaugh.

The bill’s sponsor, Thurston, Senator Joni Albrecht, dismissed the argument, saying it was “the most life-friendly bill” for the medical community. But she rejected a compromise bill introduced by Omaha Senator Jan Day that would explicitly exempt women and healthcare workers from abortion-related criminal penalties.

“It just isn’t necessary,” Albrecht said. She also rejected Ripe’s amendment, opposing giving pregnant women 12 weeks to have an abortion because her 6-week proposal “was a big compromise” compared to the total ban on abortion, which had no exceptions for rape or incest, which she introduced. but did not receive. passed last year.

“This bill is about one thing,” she said. “It’s protecting babies with beating hearts from elective abortion.”

Nebraska has the only chamber, officially nonpartisan legislature in the United States. But each of its 49 legislators identifies as a Republican or Democrat and tends to propose and vote for legislation along party lines. Republicans hold 32 seats and Democrats 17 seats. Although bills can be introduced by a simple majority vote, a supermajority of 33 votes is required to end debate and overcome the filibuster. Thus, a single legislator moving away from the party line can decide whether the bill moves forward or dies this year.

The close division played a big role in the failure last year of Albrecht’s so-called trigger bill, which would have automatically banned almost all abortions in the state once the US Supreme Court struck down Roe’s case. Wade, who guaranteed the right to abortion across the country for nearly five decades. This bill fell by two short votes.

In voting on the abortion bill earlier this year, Senator Mike McDonnell, a Democrat, voted with the Republicans. The reason for this, he says, is that he is a devout Catholic who has always stood as an anti-abortion candidate. McDonnell voted to end debate on Thursday, while another Democrat, Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, abstained.

Pillan, the newly elected governor who was keen to sign the bill, issued a statement calling on Ripe to reconsider voting for the bill, but the statement was released after the legislature had already adjourned. It is unclear whether Ripe will even be able to propose that his decision be reconsidered when the body reconvenes.

Jo Giles, executive director of the Omaha Women’s Fund, was brought to tears outside the legislative chamber after the vote.

“Wow!” – she exclaimed. “It was unexpected, but we are very happy with this victory. We fought so hard. This bill is not what most women in this state wanted.”

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