▽Japan extends COVID-19 state of emergency to June 20 as Olympics loom
The Japanese government on Friday extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and seven other prefectures by three weeks to June 20 -- just over a month before the Olympics begin in the capital -- as the pace of decline in infections remains slow.
Restrictions such as a ban on restaurants serving alcohol or offering karaoke services and requiring them to close by 8 p.m. as well as a cap on attendance at sports events and concerts will stay in effect beyond the previous end date of May 31.
The seven prefectures are Hokkaido, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Okinawa, the 10th and most recent addition to the state of emergency, is already under the measure until June 20. The areas account for half of Japan's economy and a little more than 40 percent of its population of 126 million.
▽Japanese cargo ship collides with foreign vessel off Ehime, 3 missing
Three people are missing after a Japanese cargo ship sank early Friday following a collision with a foreign vessel in the Seto Inland Sea, western Japan, coast guard officials said.
The incident, which occurred off Ehime Prefecture and involved the 11,454-ton Japanese ship Byakko and a 2,696-ton Marshall Islands-registered chemical tanker the Ulsan Pioneer was reported at around 11:55 p.m. Thursday, the Imabari Coast Guard Office said.
The Japanese ship had 12 crew aboard and the missing three are male Japanese nationals... The ship sank at around 2:45 a.m. Friday. Of the nine rescued, five were collected by a coast guard patrol vessel and four by a private container ship that was nearby, the office said.
▽Syria’s al-Assad re-elected for fourth term with 95% of vote | Al Jazeera
Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for a fourth term as president of war-torn Syria with 95.1 percent of the votes cast in government-held areas, official results have shown, after a vote dismissed by the opposition and Western powers as a sham.
Wednesday’s controversial presidential vote was the second since the beginning of Syria’s uprising-turned-war a decade ago, a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, forced millions to leave the country and wrecked its infrastructure.
▽Romania ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's plane sold for 120,000 euros | Euronews
A plane once belonging to fallen Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's fleet has been sold for 120,000 euros at an auction in Bucharest on Thursday.
Emblazoned with the words "Socialist Republic of Romania," the aircraft is a representation of Ceausescu's political independence from the Soviet Union... The Rombac Super One-Eleven craft was the first jet passenger aircraft to be produced in Romania, according to Artmark.
It was manufactured in Bucharest under license from the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), making Romania an aviation leader in eastern Europe.
▽Twitter's iOS app confirms $3 'Twitter Blue' subscription | Engadget
It appears Twitter may have unintentionally confirmed its plans for a subscription service. A $2.99/month in-app purchase for “Twitter Blue” was added to the company’s App Store listing, though the feature doesn’t seem to be fully enabled yet.
The update was spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who has previously uncovered details about “Twitter Blue.” According to images shared by Wong, the service includes an “undo tweet” feature as well as a “reader mode” that makes it easier to view long threads. It also adds additional customization options, like new app icons.