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As Birth Rates Drop, Japanese Diaper Makers Move To Adult Market

Japan’s plummeting birth rate has led a diaper manufacturer to stop making them for babies at home and instead ramp up production for adults, the company said Tuesday. Oji Holdings will wrap up domestic output of infant diapers in September, after production dropped from a 2001 peak of around 700 million annually to 400 million today. “Demand for baby diapers is decreasing because of factors including the falling birth rate,” a spokesman told AFP. They will continue to be sold in Japan until stocks run out. The number of births in Japan dropped to a new low in 2023, with more than twice as many deaths as new babies. The spokesman said Oji Holdings will boost production of the sanitary items for adults in the country, anticipating their use mainly in facilities like nursing homes. Japan has the world’s oldest population after Monaco, and the market for adult diapers is “expected to grow domestically,” the company said in a statement on Monday. Oji Holdings, which also makes other paper products, said it would however “maintain and expand” baby diaper production and sales overseas, including in Indonesia and Malaysia, citing expectations of growth there. In Japan, births in 2023 fell for the eighth consecutive year to 758,631, a drop of 5.1 percent, preliminary data showed in February. The number of deaths stood at 1,590,503. The nation is facing growing labour shortages, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed policies including financial aid for families, easier childcare access and more parental leave to try and boost the birth rate. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Boynextdoor to hold first fanmeeting at Olympic Hall – The Korea Herald

Up-and-coming K-pop boy group Boynextdoor will hold its first fan meeting in June. Boynextdoor uploaded a poster on the group’s official social media channel and global fandom platform Weverse Community announcing that the “2024 Boynextdoor Fanmeeting ONEDOORFUL Day” will be held both in-person and online at the Olympic Hall in Olympic Park, Seoul, June 1-2. The fan meeting will commemorate the first anniversary of Boynextdoor, which debuted on May 30 last year. Meanwhile, Boynextdoor will return with its second mini-album “HOW?” on April 15. The group’s agency, KOZ Entertainment, explained that the upcoming album will complete the trilogy of first love stories which began with the group’s debut single “WHO!” This was followed by “WHY…” — the group’s first mini-album. The group made it to the US Billboard 200 chart with “WHY…” 112 days after its debut. The six-member band is promoting “Kitschcore” as the keyword for the new album, indicating that the group has added a kitsch style to its familiar, friendly image.

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EXO D.O., Suho to hold stand-alone concerts – The Korea Herald

Two EXO bandmates will meet with fans through solo performances to strengthen their respective standing as solo artists. D.O. will meet with global fans at his first solo Asian fan concert tour, “Bloom.” He is to perform in 11 cities, starting with his two days of concerts in Seoul on June 8 and 9. He will then perform in Taipei, Taiwan on June 22, Hong Kong on June 29, Jakarta, Indonesia on July 12, Tokyo on July 18, Nagoya, Japan on July 19, Osaka, Japan on July 21, Bangkok on Aug. 10, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Aug. 17, Manila, the Philippines on Aug. 31 and Singapore on Sept. 28. Details concerning the performance venues and tickets are yet to be unveiled. Meanwhile, EXO leader Suho has also announced his first solo concert schedule. Suho’s first solo concerts, dubbed “Welcome to Su: Home,” will take place at the Olympic Hall in Olympic Park, Songpa-gu, Seoul, on May 25 and 26. Since debuting in EXO, Suho has also been actively pursuing a solo career. He has released two solo mini albums, “Self-Portrait” in 2020 and “Grey Suit” in 2022. He has also been included on various original soundtracks, including for Netflix series “Gyeongseong Creature.” Suho will also release a new solo album ahead of his concerts, and plays a leading role in new MBN drama series “Missing Crown Prince,” which premieres April 13.

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Trump’s latest gaffe saw him forgetting New York Governor in rambling speech

Donald Trump’s latest verbal gaffe came while addressing reporters on Monday, when the former president appeared to forget who is the current governor of New York. During the rambling press conference Mr Trump once more took aim at Attorney General Letitia James, who has successfully prosecuted him on civil fraud charges. The statement comes after a New York appeals court granted Mr Trump a 10-day extension to secure a portion of the $464m bond, which would prevent Ms James from seizing his properties. The former president previously signalled he was struggling to come up with the money. In remarks made after the hearing, Mr Trump described Ms James as “vicious” and compared her legal action against him to that taken against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. However, when describing Mr Cuomo, he referred to him as “the current governor”, who is, in fact, Kathy Hochul. “(Ms James) said ‘Trump, we will stop him, stop him!’… Vicious,” he said. “I said, ‘boy, that’s a bad one’. Then I looked, she got elected, but then she tried to do it with the governor, and it didn’t work. She went after the current governor who’s much more talented than she is. She went after the current governor. She was very nasty. “She pulled it about 3 per cent, she pulled it nothing. And after six weeks, or seven weeks, she pulled out of the race. She ran for governor, you know, on what she was doing to me. “She thought that would work. It didn’t work.” Mr Trump’s ongoing verbal slips continue to cause concern about his cognitive ability as he heads into an almost certain rematch with president Joe Biden in November. Ms James briefly ran a gubernatorial campaign in the 2022 Democratic primary, though withdrew from the race in December, after consistently polling behind incumbent Ms Hochul. She instead chose to seek reelection as Attorney General. In August of 2021 her office released a report finding that Mr Cuomo had engaged in multiple acts of sexual harassment. The report followed accusations of sexual harassment from multiple women starting in December 2020. Mr Cuomo denied all allegations and apologised for comments that, he claimed, had been interpreted as being sexually charged. But following the DA report in 2021, Mr Cuomo resigned from his position and was replaced with Ms Hochul, who became the first woman to hold the position of New York Governor.

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Israel defiant after UN Security Council finally calls for ceasefire, US perplexed by Netanyahu

After more than five months of war, the UN Security Council for the first time passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The United States, Israel’s ally which vetoed previous drafts, abstained. (Angela Weiss/AFP) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said it would be “unforgivable” if a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza was not implemented – but Israel suggested it would change nothing in its conduct of the war, and Hamas said it would only swap hostages for prisoners.The Security Council has long struggled to find agreement, with the US vetoing three draft resolutions on Gaza, and Russia and China vetoing two by the US – the last on Friday.But on Monday, the US abstained despite declared reservations, allowing Resolution 2728 to take on the force of international law. Read this for free South Africans need to be in the know if we want to create a prosperous future. News24 has kept the country informed for 25 years, and we’re about to enter a new chapter of fearless journalism. Join our free subscription trial to unlock this story and a world of news aimed to inform, empower, and inspire. Already a subscriber? Sign in Read more on:unantonio guterresbenjamin netanyahuisraelussecuritymiddle east peace heading description username

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‘Finish up your war’: Donald Trump warns Israel it may lose support

Donald Trump said Israel should finish its Gaza war.He warned that Israel was losing international support.The UN Security Council voted for an immediate ceasefire. Donald Trump, the former US president and Republican candidate in November’s election in the United States, has warned Israel it is losing international support and should “finish up” its war in Gaza. Trump said that while he would have reacted the same way as Israel after Hamas’ October 7 attack, in which more than 1 000 people were killed and more than 200 taken captive, it was time to end the conflict. More than 32 000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its bombardment of the territory nearly six months ago. “You have to finish up your war,” Trump told the Israel Hayom in an interview that the right-wing newspaper said had been recorded over the weekend. “You have to finish it up; you got to get it done.” READ | Israel defiant after UN Security Council finally calls for ceasefire, US perplexed by Netanyahu Trump’s comments were published after the United Nations Security Council voted for an immediate ceasefire. The measure passed after Washington abstained rather than using its veto. Israel has said it will continue its offensive until Hamas is destroyed and the remaining captives are released, and wants to push into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken refuge. The plan has raised concerns in the US. Trump said during the interview: Trump frequently touts himself as a supporter of Israel, pointing to his decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and his administration’s role in brokering the 2020 Abraham Accords, which saw Arab countries including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalise ties with Israel. Palestinians have long opposed such policies.

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Gaza fighting continues despite ‘immediate ceasefire’ UN resolution

There was no sign that hostilities between Israel and Hamas were abating on Tuesday.The UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a ceasefire.The Palestinian death toll was set at 32 333 so far. Israeli troops battled Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, with no sign of a let-up in the war despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an “immediate ceasefire”. The resolution was adopted on Monday after Israel’s closest ally the United States abstained. It demands an “immediate ceasefire” for the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan, leading to a “lasting” truce. It also demands that Hamas and other militants free hostages they took during the unprecedented 7 October attacks on Israel, though it does not directly link the release to a truce. After the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres led calls for the resolution to be implemented. “Failure would be unforgivable,” he wrote on social media platform X. READ | Israel defiant after UN Security Council finally calls for ceasefire, US perplexed by Netanyahu Israel reacted furiously to the US abstention, as it allowed the resolution to go through with all the other 14 Security Council members voting yes. The resolution is the first since the Gaza war erupted to demand an immediate halt in the fighting. Washington insisted that its abstention, which followed numerous vetoes, did not mark a shift in policy, although it has taken an increasingly tougher line with Israel in recent weeks. The war began with Hamas’ 7 October attacks, which resulted in about 1 160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures. Militants also seized about 250 hostages, of whom Israel believes around 130 are still held in Gaza, including 33 presumed dead. Vowing to destroy Hamas and free the captives, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment and ground invasion of the coastal territory. The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Monday put the Palestinian death toll at 32 333, most of them women and children. Hamas welcomed the Security Council resolution and reaffirmed its readiness to negotiate the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Israel has consistently defended its campaign despite mounting international criticism of its conduct. Enraged by the US’ abstention, it cancelled the visit of a delegation to Washington. It said that the abstention “hurts” both its war effort and attempts to release hostages, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office described it as “a clear retreat from the consistent position of the US”. On the ground, the fighting raged on unabated. In southern Gaza’s Rafah, a key flashpoint in the war, witnesses said Israeli jets pummelled the city on Tuesday. According to the Israeli army, anti-rocket sirens sounded in Israeli areas around the Gaza Strip. While Rafah, like other areas around the Gaza Strip, has come under frequent Israeli strikes, it is the only part of the territory where Israel has not sent in ground troops. It borders Egypt, and 1.5 million Palestinians fleeing the rest of the devastated territory have sought refuge there. Netanyahu’s determination to launch a ground operation in Rafah, the city on Gaza’s southern border where most of the territory’s population is sheltering, has become a key point of contention between Israel and the US. In Rafah, Palestinians welcomed the UN vote and called for the US to use its influence on Israel to secure a ceasefire. Bilal Awad, 63, said Washington must “stand against an attack on Rafah, and support the return of the displaced to their cities”. Ihab al-Assar, 60, expressed hope that “Israel will comply” with the Security Council. Israel has labelled its operations “precise operational activities” and said it has taken care to avoid harm to civilians, but aid agencies have voiced alarm about non-combatants caught up in the fighting. Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said on Monday it was battling militants around two hospitals and reported killing about 20 fighters around Al-Amal over the previous day in close-quarters combat and air strikes. Palestinians living near Al-Shifa, the territory’s main hospital, have reported corpses in the streets, constant bombardment and the rounding up of men who are stripped to their underwear and questioned. Israel’s military said it had detained a total of about 500 militants “affiliated with” Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another militant group, during its operation at Al-Shifa. The fighting came as an independent UN-appointed expert, Francesca Albanese, said there were “reasonable grounds to believe” Israel’s actions in Gaza had met the threshold for “acts of genocide”. Israel rejected Albanese’s report, due to be presented to the UN’s Human Rights Council on Tuesday, as an “obscene inversion of reality”.

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Hong Kong court declares HK01 founder Yu Pun-hoi bankrupt over HK$470 million debt

A Hong Kong court has declared merchant and online news portal HK01 founder Yu Pun-hoi bankrupt after he defaulted on a HK$470 million (US$60.1 million) debt owed to a mainland Chinese investment bank. The High Court on Tuesday issued a bankruptcy order against the majority shareholder and board chairman of the delisted Nan Hai Corporation, compelling him to bear the costs of the proceedings on an indemnity basis. Nan Hai is the parent company of HK01. A senior editorial worker at the local news outlet told the Post the move was unlikely to affect the platform since it was financially independent. Deputy Judge Sara Tong See-pui highlighted on Tuesday Nan Hai’s net liability of HK$3.9 billion and decided the overall value of its assets fell short of the amount claimed by CCB International Overseas in March 2021. Tong also rejected a “belated” application to adjourn the matter and for the debtor to file additional evidence about Nan Hai’s purported true value as stated in a new valuation report, which she found to be irrelevant. Any further delay to the proceedings would be unfair to the bank, which had already obtained a court order forcing Yu to repay the money as part of separate proceedings 16 months ago, she said. Yu owns more than 54 per cent of Nan Hai’s shares through a number of companies based in leading offshore finance centre the British Virgin Islands. He is also the guarantor of a HK$379 million bond CCB International Overseas bought in March 2017 from Pippen Limited, a company under his control and also based in the British overseas territory. Pippen was slated to repay CCB International Overseas a total of HK$384 million in four years’ time, but the bank had only received about HK$37.15 million in interest so far. The due sum has snowballed to about HK$470 million, according to the bank’s lawyers. Yu’s legal team referred to Nan Hai’s development projects on the mainland and a new accounting valuation report in contending the company, which has ceased to be listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since November 2023, had remained solvent. The valuation report prepared by accounting firm SW claimed Nan Hai had an overall value of more than HK$1.19 billion, but the bank’s legal counsel questioned its reliability. Senior counsel Paul Shieh Wing-tai, who represents the bank, submitted the group’s overall value would drop by nearly half to HK$600 million had the report adopted consistent methodologies in evaluating the company’s assets. He urged the court to take a holistic and realistic approach to the matter, saying Yu had sufficient time to gather the money required for repayment in the three years leading up to Tuesday’s hearing. “Long and short, if the underlying shares of Nan Hai are of any substantial value, there are ample opportunities and ample time for them to be realised,” Shieh said. Fugitive Hong Kong politician Ted Hui bankrupt for failure to pay legal fees Deputy Judge Tong also questioned whether Nan Hai’s projects on the mainland were really worth 17.3 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) as claimed, adding the estimate was unaudited and susceptible to manipulation. Three of Nan Hai’s four ventures in Guangzhou and Shenzhen were subject to “legal processes”, according to Nan Hai’s circulars. The remaining project in Beijing was previously used by the company to obtain a mortgage loan, the court heard. Trading in Nan Hai’s shares has been suspended since April 2022, and the company’s request to extend a deadline to review its delisting decision was rejected by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the city’s bourse operator. The company, which is mainly engaged in property development, culture and media services, previously said it had been running at a loss because of a weak property market and the impact of a protracted Covid-19 pandemic.

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MINISTER CONCERNED RSTP MAKING NO MONEY IN 12yrs

“Those things are very important. I’m also concerned that 12 years down the line, we have not made the money that we should be making. I think that we are an institution that should be attracting investors and making a lot of money,” she said. She implored the new Board to ensure that the RSTP team worked hard to make emaSwati proud of the institution. “What I ask of you is please be honest, please have integrity. Make this institution deliver what it is supposed to deliver,” she said. The Chairperson of the Board, Masisi-Hlanze, has extensive experience in commercial law, property law, company law and conveyancing, spanning for more than 30 years. She was admitted to practice as an Attorney in Botswana on October 30, 1981. She was admitted to practice as an Attorney in Swaziland (now Eswatini) on July 31, 1985 and as a conveyancer on March 31, 1999. She is currently a managing partner at Masisi-Hlanze Attorneys in association with Henwood & Company. The new Board will be in office for three years.

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The ‘mental’ Airdrie cup final coincidence as Liam McStravick pays tribute to 2009 hero

Emotional Airdrie hero Liam McStravick has revealed how his path to cup glory was laid back in Northern Ireland – by the last man to win silverware for the Diamonds. The Belfast born teenager struck a sensational equaliser for Rhys McCabe’s side as they fought back to dump Welsh champions TNS in the SPFL Trust Trophy Final on Sunday. And in a remarkable turn of fate McStravick told how his mentor coming through the ranks at Cliftonville was Marc Smyth – the Scot who struck the winning penalty when Airdrie last lifted the trophy in 2009. The diminutive forward, who moved across the Irish Sea from Linfield last summer, was overcome with emotion as he joined in the party with thousands of supporters at the Falkirk Stadium. He said: “I’m buzzing. Unbelievable, the highlight of my career so far. It’s incredible. My old Cliftonville reserve manager Marc Smyth scored the winning penalty the last time Airdrie won this trophy. “That’s mental, isn’t it! It was obviously meant to be. I was texting him before the game. I thank him so much for what he’s done for me so far. “He’s given me the platform to achieve what I have so far and show what I can do. I then moved on to Linfield and kicked on from there. I can’t thank him enough.” McStravick took the roof off the Falkirk Stadium when he stepped onto Adam Frizzell’s pass and hit a dipping half volley into Connor Roberts’ net to cancel Ben Clark’s early opener. It set up a storming fightback as Nikolay Todorov slammed home the winner from the penalty spot in the second half. And the 19-year-old Northern Ireland youth international said: “It’s up there with the best goals I’ve scored. It was a brilliant ball from Frizz, it fell right on my foot and I just hit it and hoped for the best! It flew into the top corner didn’t it?! “I had my mum and dad and my granda up in the stand. That was amazing to have them here watching. “Coming over here I just wanted to play a lot of first team games and kick on. That’s what I’ve done and I’m enjoying it. It’s brilliant. We’ll push on from here. The aim is to get promoted so we’ll keep going.” Diamonds goalkeeper Robbie Hemfrey admitted getting his hands on a winners’ medal was a dream – coming just a fortnight after he was unemployed and having to train on his own. Airdrie handed the 22-year-old a return to professional football when regular number one Josh Rae was injured and nine days after signing the former Rotherham United keeper is clutching his first medal in senior football. He said: “It’s mad isn’t it? I knew a couple of weeks ago when I was talking about coming in here that there was a final coming up so that was always the aim. I wasn’t even training with a club a month ago. I was just doing bits myself and waiting for an opportunity to come. “It was all just gym work. Trying to keep myself focused and stay positive that something will come round the corner. You have to be like that, there’s nothing else for it. When the chance came I was in the right mindset to carry out the job. The gaffer and Airdrie gave me that chance. This has worked out perfectly. It’s a bit of a dream really.” Rhys McCabe’s side sit in the Premiership play-off spots with eight games remaining – and Hemfrey knows the season could yet get even better. He said: “We’ll enjoy this cup win and then focus shifts to Friday against Ayr United. We can only look up the table so hopefully we can cement that spot in the play-offs then take it from there.”

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