Montreux Jazz Festival unveils 2013 poster

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Oscar Oiwa, a Brazilian artist born in 1965 in São Paulo who has spent years in Japan and New York, will go down in history as the artist who created the Montreux Jazz Festival poster the year the MJF’s founder, Claude Nobs died, but there is nothing somber about the artwork. His […]

“Bob” the cat-watcher wins workers’ envy

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The curious tale of “Bob”, a much-appreciated employee in the US who, it turns out, was outsourcing his own job to China, is prompting a flood of online messages from people who think Bob had it all figured out. For less than one-fifth of his salary, Bob had outsourced his own job […]

Concerns raised over Japan’s aging transport infrastructure

Expressway tunnel cave-in: 9 deaths confirmed GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The deaths of nine people Sunday 2 December when an expressway tunnel caved in west of Tokyo, near Mt Fuji, have raised the issue of Japan’s aging transport infrastructure. The debate over the budget and fiscal cuts has heated up, with elections scheduled for 16 December. […]

Canada could serve as China-Japan example, says foreign minister

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird has suggested that Canada could set an example for China and Japan over how to avoid escalating tensions when territory is disputed. He pointed, during a speech in Ottawa, that Canada has ” territorial disputes with Denmark and the United States, but we try to address them […]

China-Japan tensions rise over islands

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Tensions continue to rise between China and Japan, in a standoff over a group of islands that are uninhabited but rich in resources, known as Diaoyu in China and called Senkaku by the Japanese, who control them. Taiwan also claims them. Riot police are in place in Beijing after protesters appeared at […]

Hong Kong women overtake Japanese in longevity

Swiss remain number 3, unofficially GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The lifespans of both men and women in Japan have fallen, to 85.90 for women in 2011, from 86.30 a year earlier. Men can be expected to live to 79.44, down from 79.55 in 2010, according to figures published by the country 26 July. Switzerland leads some […]

Japanese PM urges nuclear reactors be restarted

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda says two idle nuclear reactors should be restarted in order to help safeguard the country’s economy. Since last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, all of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors have been offline for maintenance and safety concerns. With the risk of summer power blackouts, the government has urged businesses and households […]

World jobs outlook gloomy, new ILO report says

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A quick fix for joblessness worldwide, but particularly in Europe, is not at hand, says the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Geneva-based UN body gives a gloomy prognosis in its new “World of Work 2012″ report, issued Monday 30 April. It argues that the time has come to “move towards a growth- […]

Failed missile launch by North Korea condemned

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A long-range rocket launched by North Korea Friday 13 April to mark the 100th anniversary of the regime’s founding leader exploded 90 seconds after taking off, nonetheless drawing condemnation from G-8 countries. A joint statement from foreign ministers of the G-8, which comprises the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, […]

N Korean rocket threats overshadow Seoul nuclear safety summit

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – North Korea’s plan to launch a long-range rocket next month upstaged talks at the 53-leader summit on nuclear security as it came to a close Tuesday 27 March in Seoul, South Korea. The North Korean foreign ministry said it would carry out plans to launch a satellite missile into orbit next month […]