Sunday, February 11, 2018

FEB 11, 2018 - 9:27 AM ET - 10 NEWS ITEMS & PHOTOS

*"Arms Smuggler Or History Buff? Japanese Comics Artist 'Struggling' In 

Belarusian Prison. Daichi Yoshida, a military history buff as well as a comics artist 

of some repute back home, was eager to pick up a few vintage rifle parts while in 

Ukraine to take back to Japan.

He packed the items that he purchased at a military shop in Kyiv and informed 

security at Kyiv's Zhulyany Airport when he checked his luggage before flying out 

of the country on August 15, 2016.

Assured in Kyiv that all was in order, the 27-year-old Yoshida prepared for his long 

trip home, a circuitous route with scheduled transfers in Minsk and Abu Dhabi.

The journey, however, came to an abrupt, nightmarish end in the capital of 

Belarus, a country known for straying from democratic norms under authoritarian 

leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Security personnel in Minsk searched his baggage and found the gun parts: 10 

locks and four barrels from vintage bolt-action Russian-made Mosin-Nagant rifles 

dating back to the late 19th century.

But rather than mere antiques, Belarusian security saw something more sinister: 

arms parts suitable for contemporary weapons.

Suddenly, a confused Yoshida, who spoke not a word of Russian or much English, 

found himself facing charges of arms trafficking and smuggling.

He was given a 4 1/2-year sentence in a high-security prison, where his mother 

says he's struggling to "survive" after more than a year behind bars.

"He was completely destroyed psychologically. He didn’t understand where he 

was, and now he is suffering from depression," Yoko Yoshida tells RFE/RL's 

Belarus Service."


"The Japanese Embassy in Minsk would only tell RFE/RL that it was taking "all 

necessary and possible measures" to free artist Daichi Yoshida, shown here in an 

undated photo."

*"Medical Pot Is Our Best Hope to Fight the Opioid Epidemic. "There are direct 

reasons why [cannabis] could actually help people get off of opioids," says one 

leading marijuana researcher." By Amanda Chicago Lewis. December 8, 2017.

"It's time we start talking seriously about medical marijuana as a way to end the 

opioid epidemic." John Moore/Getty Images.

*"North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in 

for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said." By Hyonhee Shin, Soyoung 


"President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea 

Kim Young Nam and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un 

clap." REUTERS/Grigory Dukor.

*"Is social media causing childhood depression? Rangan Chatterjee is a GP 

(General Practitioner) and says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link 

between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media.

One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in 

A&E. "The first thought was to put him on anti-depressants but I chatted to him 

and it sounded like his use of social media was having a negative impact on his 


So Dr Chatterjee suggested a simple solution - the teenager should attempt to 

wean himself off social media, restricting himself to just an hour before he went to 

bed. Over the course of a few weeks, he should extend this to two hours at night 

and two in the morning."

By Jane Wakefield. Technology reporter, 10 February 2018.


*"Can Somalia’s fishing industry keep pirates out of business?" 

 Video uploaded to Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Facebook.

*"Palestinian courts India's aid for talks. "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas 

(right) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday after 

meeting at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of 


"RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday that he is counting on India's 

support for a multicountry sponsorship of any future Israeli-Palestinian 


Such a framework would ostensibly replace Washington's long-standing monopoly 

as mediator. Abbas rejected the traditional U.S. role after President Donald Trump 

in December recognized the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

Trump's pivot upset Palestinians who seek the city's Israeli-annexed eastern 

sector as a capital.

Abbas has appealed to the international community, including countries in Europe 

and the Arab world, to demand a say in future negotiations, but he has so far 

failed to secure commitments.

European leaders have criticized Trump's policy shift on Jerusalem but appear 

unwilling to confront Washington over its handling of more than two decades of 

failed efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian partition deal.

Modi's visit to the city of Ramallah was the first by an Indian prime minister to an 

autonomous Palestinian enclave in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The Indian leader pledged $41 million for a hospital, three schools and other 

projects in the West Bank. He said India remains "committed to Palestinian 

national rights" but stopped short of offering support for Abbas' political agenda." 

This article was published today at 3:30 a.m. Updated today at 3:30 a.m.

 "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) shakes hands with Indian Prime 

Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday after meeting at the Palestinian Authority 

headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah."


*"Rohani Calls For Unity As Iran Marks Revolution Anniversary."

"Iranian President Hassan Rohani at a press conference to mark the 39th 

anniversary of Iran's Islamic Rrevolution in Tehran on February 6."

Radio Free Europe.


"Iranian President Hassan Rohani called for unity across Iran’s political spectrum 

as the country marked the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, weeks 

after antigovernment protests spread across the country."

*On Google's search page today: "Day 3 of the Doodle Snow Games!


*"Video game review: 'Monster Hunter World" is a big, beautiful adventure."

Posted 5:00 a.m. yesterday. Updated 7:47 a.m. yesterday. By Sam Bigelow, 

Deseret News Hive.

"“Monster Hunter World,” PS4, Xbox One, ESRB Rating: T for blood, mild 

language, use of alcohol and violence."

*"CIA Denies Report Over Mystery Russian Who Promised Trump Info.

The secretive agency rarely issues any kind of comment, but came out to deny 

the report in The New York Times and a similar one in The Intercept, an online 

journal focusing on national security issues. "The fictional story that CIA was 

bilked out of $100,000 is patently false," the Central Intelligence Agency said in a 


Sent to AFP."

Image: (AP) Saturday, 10 Feb 2018 08:56 PM. 

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