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Japan executes man who killed seven people in 2008

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Tomohrio Kato has been executed in Japan for a stabbing rampage he went on 14 years ago

Japan has executed a 39-year-old man who killed seven people in 2008.

Tomohrio Kato went on a stabbing spree in one of the most shocking mass murders in the country. After killing seven people, he drove a truck into pedestrians at Akihabara shopping district, injuring 10.

The then 25-year-old was apprehended by police at the scene and later admitted his crimes in his trial. At the scene he told authorities “I came to Akihabara to kill people. It didn’t matter who I’d kill.”

He reportedly documented his trip to the shopping district on online bulletin boards, commenting on his unstable job and loneliness.

Justice Minister, Yoshihisa Furukawa, said the killer had done “meticulous preparation” for the attack, with a “strong intent” to kill.

He told reporters, “the death sentence in this case was finalised through sufficient deliberation in court.”

It is the country’s first execution for the year, and follows three killings in December.

Japan is the only G7 member that still enforces the death penalty in some cases.

It’s understood more than 100 people remain on death row across the nation.

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U.S. supports right to peaceful protests in China over COVID restrictions

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On Monday the White House stopped short of criticizing Beijing as protests erupt

 

Rare protests broke out across China over the weekend as groups of people vented their frustration over the zero-Covid policy.

The unrest came as news spread that those infections surged, which prompted more local Covid controls.

After nearly three years of strict controls, the youth unemployment has climbed to nearly 20%.

The White House and U.S. State Department expressed disagreement with China’s zero-Covid policy and support for the ongoing protests across the country.

“Our message to peaceful protestors around the world is the same and consistent, said National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.

“People should be allowed to the right to assemble and to peacefully protest policies or laws or dictates that they take issue with.”

In Shanghai, the nation’s largest city, there were clashes with police over the weekend and in the capital city Beijing protest are flaring now in response to the strictest lockdowns inside China this includes peaceful student protest at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities.

All this a first during President Xi Jinping near decade-long tenure.

As the holiday season is underway, there are growing concerns about the impact these protests might have on the global supply chain.

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Porn floods Twitter “China” search

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Twitter users have been finding it hard to search for information on the social media platform due to an explosion of pornographic spam.

While thousands of protests against extended lockdowns, a digital bot army has roared into action on Twitter, with long-dormant Chinese language accounts suddenly tweeting links to escort services and other adult content.

Anyone trying to track the spontaneous protest movement on Twitter complained about the deluge of spam pornographic content making flooding the search for information.

The China protests come at a time when Twitter’s content and moderation teams have been pared back drastically following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media giant.

Twitter, along with other international social media services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, is blocked by Beijing’s internet censors within Mainland China.

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Biden silence on China protests

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As citizens across China revolt against the country’s “zero Covid” policy, the White House issued a statement about the growing protests.

“‘We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, in the United States and around the world,’ a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

‘This includes in the [People’s Republic of China.]’

“‘Zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here,’ the spokesperson said.

‘And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy.’”

Commentators have noted that the statement came from the White House, and not President Biden himself.

Demonstrators are calling on President Joe Biden to take a stance and publicly support their cause.

The protests have continued despite numerous attempts by the Chinese government to quell them.

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