12 things you need to know this morning

December 28, 2015 11:38 pm


Asia is in the spotlight with Japan and Korea settling their dispute over ‘comfort women’. Photo / Thinkstock

1. Japan and South Korea have finally reached a deal
to settle their dispute over ‘comfort women’ forced to work in Japanese
brothels during World War II. Japan has apologised and will pay US$8.3
million to help victims. Up to 200,000 women are estimated to have been
sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war. Many were Korean, the
BBC reports, others were from China, the Philippines, Indonesia and

2. The cost of the floods in northern
England could hit 1.5 billion pounds. Prime Minister David Cameron was
heckled during a visit to flood-hit York where hundreds of homes have
been evacuated. David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the Environment
Agency, said: “We will need to have a complete rethink”. Experts say
that extreme weather on at least five continents at the moment is driven
by a combination of El Nino and climate change, AFP reports.

A woman in her 80s was shot dead at a retirement care home in Essex,
Britain, apparently by a fellow resident. A man in his 80s has been
arrested on suspicion of murder. Police said the victim and suspect were
known to each other and both residents of the home in

4. A German man has died
after blowing up a condom machine with a homemade bomb in a botched
robbery, police say. The 29-year-old was struck in the head by debris
from the explosion in Schoppingen.

5. Buses and
ambulances have evacuated about 450 Islamist fighters and civilians
from two rebel-held areas surrounded by regime forces in Syria. They
were taken into Turkey and Lebanon under a UN-sponsored agreement which
is part of efforts to set up local deals on truces and safe passage,
Reuters reported.

6. Japan, famously the land of massive sumo wrestlers, has launched a style magazine for the larger man called Mr Babe.

The magazine “by chubby men, for chubby men” is aimed at
readership its editor believes has been ignored by the country’s fashion
and lifestyle industry, the Guardian reports.

Milan in Italy has been brought to a standstill after traffic was
banned from the city because of poor air quality. All vehicles are
barred during the daytime until Thursday. Rome is also having problems –
issuing a nine-hour ban on all cars with odd-numbered registration
plates today while even-numbered plates will be barred tomorrow.

of a 15m arch from Palmyra in Syria are to be built in Trafalgar Square
in London and Times Square in New York. The arch is one of the
surviving pieces of the Temple of Bel. Isis (Islamic State) fighters
destroyed other parts of the temple. The replicas will be built as part
of world heritage week in April.

9. AFP reports
that China has given itself the legal right to mount anti-terror
operations abroad. Under the legislation passed at the weekend, Beijing
“may send personnel outside the border to carry out anti-terror
activities” when the “relevant country” agrees.

Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise has put a 4.95 million pound mansion in
West Sussex, Britain, up for sale. The Daily Telegraph says the six-bed
estate in East Grinstead includes a private dance studio, gym and
cinema. It is located a few kilometres from the UK headquarters of the
Church of Scientology.

11. A woman who objected
to a man sitting next to her on a Sydney train threatened to stab him
with a chisel, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. A witness recorded the
incident on the Bankstown line on her phone. The woman yells “I’ll stab
you, dog!” before another passenger tackles and disarms her.

The Washington Post reports that 27 people were killed and 63 injured
in shooting incidents on Christmas Day in the US. It says the 27 figure
is equal to the total number of people killed in gun homicides in an
entire year in New Zealand, Austria, Norway, Slovenia, Estonia, Bermuda,
Hong Kong and Iceland combined.

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