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At the End of 'Dark Tunnel,' an Olympic Light

Official dates set for next year's Games in Tokyo: July 23 to Aug. 8

(Newser) - There's now an official date for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympics officials and Japanese organizers announced Monday that the Tokyo Games will be held next summer from July 23 to Aug. 8, TMZ reports. Officials say this schedule was chosen to help... More »

For First Time, Olympics Will Be Held in an Odd Year

Japan Prime Minister Abe, IOC head in '100% agreement' games must be postponed till 2021

(Newser) - Serious rumblings of a postponement of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo began over the weekend , and are now official. Per the Wall Street Journal , Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach by phone on Tuesday, and the two agreed that putting off the Games... More »

Japan Official Says It's a 'Fact' Olympics Are 'Cursed'

Deputy prime minister points to what happened in 1940, 1980

(Newser) - The Olympic flame is currently en route from Greece to Japan, where it will arrive on Friday ahead of a relay that's scheduled to begin next Thursday, reports Reuters . Japan and the International Olympic Committee are continuing to insist that the Tokyo Games will take place as scheduled in... More »

Man Behind Attack That Sickened Japan Gets Death

Satoshi Uematsu murdered 19 people in a 2016 stabbing attack outside of Tokyo

(Newser) - It was an attack that left Japan stunned and sickened in 2016, and the man behind it on Monday was sentenced to death by hanging. In what was at the time the country's biggest mass killing since World War II, then 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu murdered 19 people at a... More »

If the Olympics Happen, This 11-Year-Old Will Be There

Organizers continue debate what to do amidst the coronavirus epidemic

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl from Syria is set to become the fifth-youngest Olympian in history. The Guardian reports Hend Zaza qualified for the Tokyo Games in table tennis, a sport that has no minimum age, upon winning a qualifying tournament in Jordan last week. Hend, who is ranked 155th in the... More »

Silicon Valley Hits Back at Coronavirus

Twitter, Google, other tech firms pushing remote work, other measures to stop COVID-19 spread

(Newser) - With coronavirus seeping into more corners of the world— Gizmodo puts its presence in nearly 70 countries, with more than 91,000 sickened and at least 3,100 dead—Twitter just made a major move to stop the spread. The BBC reports the social media giant has told its workers... More »

'Recovered' Coronavirus Patient Tests Positive Again

Saudi Arabia ban infuriates pilgrims

(Newser) - A Japanese woman thought to have recovered from the coronavirus has tested positive again, raising yet more concerns about the spread of the virus. The woman, a tour bus guide in Osaka, was first diagnosed in late January and was released from the hospital on Feb. 1, authorities say. This... More »

Health Expert Visits Ship, Raises Alarm

Kentaro Iwata says controls were so light he feared he would contract disease himself

(Newser) - The 621 coronavirus cases confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan represent the most anywhere outside of China. And an infectious diseases expert at Japan's Kobe University has a good idea why. Kentaro Iwata, who worked to combat the spread of Ebola and SARS, spent a... More »

2 Passengers From Virus-Stricken Ship Die

Both were Japanese citizens in their 80s

(Newser) - Two elderly passengers taken off the Diamond Princess cruise ship because they were infected with the coronavirus have become the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel, Japan's Health Ministry said Thursday.Japan now has three deaths linked to the COVID-19 illness. Japan's NHK public television said both were... More »

Airlines Trace Movements of Couple With Coronavirus

Husband and wife have been hospitalized back home after trip to Hawaii

(Newser) - Two airlines and health officials are trying to piece together the movements of a couple from Japan who came down with the coronavirus after a trip to Hawaii. The couple, who are in their 60s, arrived in Hawaii on Jan. 28, USA Today reports. The husband and wife flew Hawaiian... More »

It's the Misery Cruise That Won't End

What life is like about quarantined cruise ship

(Newser) - A dozen people have the new coronavirus inside the US, according to the CDC . But twice that many Americans have fallen ill abroad from one cruise ship alone. These were the people who had the misfortune to board the Diamond Princess, which is now docked in Japan and under quarantine.... More »

41 New Coronavirus Cases Found on Quarantined Ship

Death toll in China rises to 636

(Newser) - Japan on Friday reported 41 new cases of a virus on a cruise ship that's been quarantined in Yokohama harbor while the death toll in mainland China rose to 636, including a doctor who got in trouble with authorities for sounding an early warning about the disease threat. Two... More »

10 Cruise Passengers Test Positive for Coronavirus

3.7K others ordered to stay Diamond Princess

(Newser) - The Diamond Princess cruise ship is now a floating quarantine center—and the only passengers who will be allowed back on land in the next 14 days will be sick ones. Japanese authorities said Wednesday that at least 10 people on the ship have tested positive, and only 300 of... More »

Coronavirus Diagnosis Traps 3.7K on Cruise Ship

Hong Kong resident spent 5 days on Diamond Princess, which has quarantined all aboard

(Newser) - Coronavirus has found its way to a cruise ship. Princess Cruises says a passenger from Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus at a local hospital, where he's in stable condition, after departing the Diamond Princess when it docked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25, per USA Today . Hong... More »

Billionaire Ends Quest for Moon Trip Partner

Yusaku Maezawa had 'mixed feelings,' is 'extremely remorseful'

(Newser) - Cancel the box of chocolates, which likely wouldn't have impressed a billionaire anyway. Japan's Yusaku Maezawa, founder of fashion retailer Zozo, says he's pulled out of a search for his "life partner" who was to accompany him on a SpaceX flight around the moon in 2023.... More »

Tearful Sumo Champ Wins Over Japan

Tokushoryu is first bottom-ranked wrestler to win top title in 20 years

(Newser) - Sumo fans aren't used to seeing displays of emotion. But Tokushoryu's tears upon winning Japan's first main sumo tournament of the year on Sunday are just part of the reason fans have embraced the up-and-coming wrestler. With the rank of No. 17 maegashira, the 414-pound Tokushoryu was... More »

Here Are the 10 Best Nations on Earth

According to new rankings out by 'US News & World Report'; the US moves up one spot

(Newser) - This is the fifth year US News & World Report has put out its "Best Countries" report, and one country has dominated every year but one. Switzerland is tops again for 2020, as it was in 2019, 2018, and 2017. The magazine, which worked with the BAV Group and... More »

New Virus From China Reaches Japan

Authorities say patient visited Chinese city

(Newser) - Japan's government said Thursday a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The man developed a fever and cough on Jan. 3 while in Wuhan, returned to... More »

Young Japanese Politician Sets Out to Bust a Taboo

Cabinet minister Shinjiro Koizumi is taking paternity leave, a rare thing in his country

(Newser) - A politician announcing that he's taking paternity leave typically doesn't make international headlines. But the circumstances of this one are indeed unusual: The politician is Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, 38, and the reason it's making news is because so few men take paternity leave in Japan.... More »

For First Time, Olympians Will Snooze on Cardboard Beds

Bed frames at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be made of cardboard

(Newser) - Tokyo Olympic athletes, beware—you may not want to celebrate your gold by jumping on the bed. That's because the bed frames in the athletes village at this year's Olympics will be made of cardboard. Sturdy cardboard. "Those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms," explained... More »

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