Police protection faulted in Abe killing
TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday blamed inadequate police protection for the death of former leader Shinzo Abe, who was shot last week while giving an outdoor campaign speech.
Abe, one of Japan's most influential politicians, was assassinated last Friday in Nara in western Japan, shocking a nation known for its low crime rate and strict gun control. Photos and videos of the shooting show the gunman was able to approach Abe from behind, while security guards were focused toward the front.
"I think there were problems with the security measures," Kishida said.
Officials at the National Public Safety Commission and National Police Agency are investigating what went wrong and will compile measures in response, Kishida said. A team of national police officials arrived at Nara prefectural police headquarters Thursday for the investigation.
"I urge them to carry out a thorough inspection and fix what needs to be fixed, while also studying examples in other countries," he said.
Kishida also announced plans to hold a state funeral for Abe later this year, noting his contributions at home and in boosting Japan's security alliance with the United States. Abe's nationalistic views drove the governing party's conservative policies.
Party considers bid to expel Schroeder
BERLIN -- Local officials with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's party met Thursday to consider calls to expel former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, but reached no immediate decision.
Schroeder's long-standing ties to the Russian energy sector and refusal to distance himself fully from President Vladimir Putin after Russia invaded Ukraine have left his political standing in tatters.
An arbitration committee of the center-left Social Democrats' branch in Hannover, where Schroeder lives, considered 17 applications from party members for proceedings against him.
Schroeder didn't attend the hearing and also didn't have a lawyer represent him, German news agency dpa reported. Local party official Christoph Matterne said after the hearing ended without immediate results that a decision will be made in the next three weeks.
Expectations of the ex-chancellor being kicked out aren't high. In Germany, expelling party members is a complicated, demanding and often lengthy process that frequently fails.
Animal-to-human diseases on the rise
LONDON -- The number of outbreaks of diseases that jumped from animals to humans in Africa has surged by more than 60% in the past decade, the World Health Organization said, a worrying sign the planet could face increased animal-borne diseases like monkeypox, Ebola and coronavirus.
There has been a 63% rise in the number of animal diseases breaching the species barrier from 2012 to 2022 compared with the decade before, the U.N. health agency said in a statement Thursday.
There was a particular spike from 2019 to 2020, when diseases originating in animals that later infected humans made up half of all significant public health events in Africa, said the WHO. Diseases like Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers were responsible for 70% of those outbreaks, in addition to illnesses like monkeypox, dengue, anthrax and plague.
"We must act now to contain zoonotic diseases before they can cause widespread infections and stop Africa from becoming a hotspot for emerging infectious diseases," WHO's Africa director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said in a statement.
While diseases in animals had infected people for centuries in Africa, recent developments like quicker travel across the continent have made it easier for viruses to cross borders, she said.
Running of the bulls sees minor injuries
PAMPLONA, Spain -- Bulls from Spain's revered Miura ranch starred in a fast and uncomplicated final running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin Festival on Thursday.
The Navarra regional government said six people were treated for minor injuries following Thursday's run that lasted just over two minutes. Initially, the Spanish Red Cross said two people needed treatment.
No horn gorings were reported as the Miuras, known for their alertness and speed of reaction, kept mainly in a pack and took little notice of the runners as they raced to the bullring.
Tens of thousands of visitors attend the Pamplona festival, which was immortalized in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." The festival is also popular for its 24-hour partying.
During this year's festival, which started July 6, four people were gored, none seriously.
Eight people were gored in 2019, the last festival before a two-year hiatus because of the covid-19 pandemic.