News Headlines - 14 May 2021

Japan to expand COVID-19 state of emergency to 3 more prefectures

The Japanese government decided Friday to expand a COVID-19 state of emergency covering Tokyo and other areas to three more prefectures, a surprise move that comes as infections continue to surge ahead of the capital's hosting of the Summer Olympics.
Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima will be under tougher restrictions, including a ban on restaurants serving alcohol, from Sunday to May 31, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a task force meeting.

Myanmar frees Japanese journalist as gesture to Tokyo - Japan Today

A Japanese freelance journalist in Myanmar who was jailed on charges of spreading false news or information was freed by the country's ruling junta as a gesture of friendship with Japan, Myanmar state media said Thursday.
The announcement on the army-run Myawaddy TV said Yuki Kitazumi had been arrested on April 18 for "inciting" the country's anti-military civil disobedience movement and riots.

A Press Corps Deceived, and the Gaza Invasion That Wasn’t - The New York Times

Several international news organizations, including The New York Times, immediately alerted readers worldwide that a Gaza incursion or invasion was underway, a major escalation of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.
Within hours, those reports were all corrected: No invasion had taken place. Rather, ground troops had opened fire at targets in Gaza from inside Israeli territory, while fighters and drones were continuing to attack from the air. A top military spokesman took responsibility, blaming the fog of war.
But by Friday evening, several leading Israeli news outlets were reporting that the incorrect announcement was no accident, but had actually been part of an elaborate deception. The intent, the media reports said, was to dupe Hamas fighters into thinking that an invasion had begun and to respond in ways that would expose far greater numbers of them to what was being called a devastatingly lethal Israeli attack.

White House to Investigate Brain Injuries Within C.I.A. - The New York Times

Mysterious episodes that caused brain injuries in spies, diplomats, soldiers and other U.S. personnel overseas starting five years ago now number more than 130 people, far more than previously known, according to current and former officials.
The number of cases within the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere spurred broad concern in the Biden administration. The initial publicly confirmed cases were concentrated in China and Cuba and numbered about 60, not including a group of injured C.I.A. officers whose total is not public.
The new total adds cases from Europe and elsewhere in Asia and reflects efforts by the administration to more thoroughly review other incidents amid concern over a spate of them in recent months.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia commit to further talks after Mecca meeting | Middle East Eye

Turkey and Saudi Arabia will continue to resolve their differences, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday night, after meeting his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Mecca.
Cavusoglu’s visit to Saudi Arabia was the first in recent years, a gesture by Ankara to show that Turkey was keen to address tensions and overcome a row over the 2018 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.