Author: Reporter

Japan’s economic health stumbles from a shrinking birth rate and ballooning elderly population

The number of babies born in Japan this year is below last year’s record low in what the the top government spokesman described as a “critical situation.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno promised comprehensive measures to encourage more marriages and births. The total of 599,636 Japanese born in January-September was 4.9% below last year’s figure, suggesting the number of births in all of 2022 might fall below last year’s record low of 811,000 babies, he said. Japan is the world’s third biggest economy but living costs are high and wage increases have been slow. The conservative government has lagged...

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Demographic crisis: South Korea’s fertility rate continues to plummet as many stop having babies

Yoo Young Yi’s grandmother gave birth to six children. Her mother birthed two. Yoo does not want any. “My husband and I like babies so much … but there are things that we’d have to sacrifice if we raised kids,” said Yoo, a 30-year-old Seoul financial company employee. “So it’s become a matter of choice between two things, and we’ve agreed to focus more on ourselves.” There are many like Yoo in South Korea who have chosen either not to have children or not to marry. Other advanced countries have similar trends, but South Korea’s demographic crisis is much...

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Lunar Flyby: NASA’s Orion capsule parachutes home safely after completing 25-day test flight to moon

NASA’s Orion capsule made a blisteringly fast return from the moon December 11, parachuting into the Pacific off Mexico to conclude a test flight that should clear the way for astronauts on the next lunar flyby. The incoming capsule hit the atmosphere at Mach 32, or 32 times the speed of sound, and endured reentry temperatures of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit before splashing down west of Baja California near Guadalupe Island. A Navy ship quickly moved in to recover the spacecraft and its silent occupants — three test dummies rigged with vibration sensors and radiation monitors. NASA hailed the descent...

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How Senator Tammy Baldwin worked with others to defy political gravity on same-sex marriage

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin was on the Senate floor, but her mind was on the other side of the Capitol. The House was voting that July afternoon on Democratic legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal right to an abortion. And it was suddenly winning more Republican votes than Baldwin, or anyone else, had expected. Baldwin, who became the first openly gay senator when she was elected a decade ago, said she was “overjoyed” as she saw the votes coming in. She excitedly walked over to Ohio...

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Local community grieves for USPS postal carrier fatally shot in Milwaukee while delivering mail

Police are searching for the shooter who killed a U.S. Postal Service employee as he was delivering mail in Wisconsin. The shooting happened just before 6:00 p.m. on December 9 on the city’s north side. The Milwaukee Police Department said the 44-year-old mail carrier was pronounced dead at the scene. He had worked for the Postal Service for 18 years. Police said the Postal Service and the FBI are assisting in the investigation. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson called the crime “alarming,” in a statement released in the eventing on December 9. “The shooting death of a Milwaukee postal worker...

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Reproductive Rights: After midterm election results battleground states weigh abortion protections

Democrats hope to use their newfound political control in some states to guarantee that women have access to abortion, while some GOP strongholds may temper their efforts to deepen restrictions after poorer-than-expected results in the midterms. Even after their gains this month, Democrats lack the power to codify abortion rights into federal law. That puts the abortion debate squarely on the states to navigate and rework the patchwork of laws that have been in place since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. There will still be a patchwork of policies: In Minnesota, Democrats are planning to add the...

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