News Headlines - 21 May 2021

More wining and dining of Japanese ministry officials surfaces in broadcaster's probe - The Mainichi

A special investigation panel set up by broadcasting firm Tohokushinsha Film Corp. has turned up several more occasions where its employees dined with senior communications ministry officials beyond those already uncovered by an internal ministry probe, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned... Following an in-house investigation, the ministry reported in February this year that 13 officials including the then policy coordination vice-minister dined with executives of Tohokushinsha and its subsidiary a total of 39 times. Of the 13, 11 were subject to disciplinary actions including pay cuts and warnings for violating provisions of the National Public Service Ethics Code.
However, after the firm's investigative panel headed by lawyer Shinichiro Inoue and established that February interviewed employees and used digital forensic methods to analyze company emails, it confirmed other dining sessions not included in the 39 occasions listed by the ministry.

Shinkansen driver leaves cockpit for toilet while running at 150kph

A driver of a Shinkansen bullet train left the cockpit to use the bathroom while the train was running at 150 kilometers per hour with some 160 passengers on board in central Japan, Central Japan Railway Co. said Thursday.
The 36-year-old driver was out of the Hikari No. 633 train's cockpit for around three minutes after asking a conductor to take his place during his absence at around 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, with the train traveling between Atami station and Mishima station in Shizuoka Prefecture, said the operator known as JR Central.
The conductor, also 36, was not licensed to drive the bullet train.

Japan adds Okinawa to state of emergency | NHK WORLD

Japan's Prime Minister has confirmed the southern prefecture of Okinawa will be added to the coronavirus state of emergency... The move comes as Okinawa's daily case tally reached 207 on Friday, another record high.
The stricter measures will begin on Sunday, and last until June 20.

Antarctica gives birth to world's largest iceberg | Reuters

A giant slab of ice bigger than the Spanish island of Majorca has sheared off from the frozen edge of Antarctica into the Weddell Sea, becoming the largest iceberg afloat in the world, the European Space Agency said on Wednesday.
The newly calved berg, designated A-76 by scientists, was spotted in recent satellite images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the space agency said in a statement posted on its website with a photo of the enormous, oblong ice sheet.
Its surface area spans 4,320 square km (1,668 square miles) and measures 175 km (106 miles) long by 25 km (15 miles) wide.

UFOs regularly spotted in restricted U.S. airspace, report on the phenomena due next month - 60 Minutes - CBS News

We have tackled many strange stories on 60 Minutes, but perhaps none like this. It's the story of the U.S. government's grudging acknowledgment of unidentified aerial phenomena- UAP-more commonly known as UFOs. After decades of public denial the Pentagon now admits there's something out there, and the U.S. Senate wants to know what it is. The intelligence committee has ordered the director of national intelligence and the secretary of defense to deliver a report on the mysterious sightings by next month.