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Nagasaki marks 71st atomic bombing anniversary

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The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Tuesday marked 71 years since its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor lauding a visit by US President Barack Obama to Hiroshima earlier this year.

A bell tolled as thousands of people, including ageing survivors and relatives of victims, observed a minute’s silence at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the exact moment of the blast.

Some 74,000 people died in the initial explosion, while thousands of others perished months or years later from radiation sickness.

The attack came three days after the US dropped the first ever atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which ultimately killed 140,000 people.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue lauded Obama’s landmark May visit to Hiroshima — the first ever by a sitting US president.

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“Knowing the facts becomes the starting point for thinking about a future free of nuclear weapons,” Taue said, calling on other world leaders to visit his city.

Local officials and those who survived the bombing called for strict adherence to Japan’s post-war tradition of pacifism and were critical of the Japanese government.

“The government of Japan, while advocating nuclear weapons abolition, still relies on nuclear deterrence,” the mayor said, calling it a “contradictory state of affairs”.

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Toyokazu Ihara, 80, who survived the Nagasaki bombing, used his address to call for abolition of nuclear weapons and world peace.

“Nagasaki must be the last,” he said, concluding his Japanese remarks with an English sentence intended for global citizens.

Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui on Saturday marked the commemoration of the bombing of his city, also citing Obama’s visit.

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He said the visit was proof the US President shared his city’s view of the “absolute evil” of nuclear weapons.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his address in Nagasaki, called on world leaders to honour the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“We must not allow a repeat of the horrible experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that happened 71 years ago,” Abe said.

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Abe has moved to extend the scope of Japan’s military and deepen the nation’s alliance with Washington in the face of threats from China’s expanding military strength and unpredictable North Korea.

North Korea last week test fired a ballistic missile that landed in waters off Japan’s coast for the first time.


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Hundreds of thousands protest in Puerto Rico, calling for governor to resign

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Hundreds of thousands of people marched in San Juan on Monday to demand Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló resign over offensive chat messages, the latest scandal to hit a bankrupt island struggling to recover from 2017 hurricanes.

Rosselló's announcement on Sunday that he would not seek re-election next year and would step down as head of the New Progressive Party failed to appease the crowds, who called for him to immediately surrender the governorship.

The island’s largest newspaper called on the first-term governor to leave office and reported over 500,000 protesters took to the streets in San Juan.

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Harrowing new report: Malicious browser extensions are stealing your personal information

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Web browsers have become the equivalent of safe deposit boxes, digital spaces where we stuff our personal information and expect it to be kept safe. While the websites that harbor sensitive data generally swear that this information is private and protected, a detailed report by cybersecurity researcher Sam Jadali, explained in depth by Dan Goodin at Ars Technica, found that eight browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox were harvesting personal data from millions of people, unbeknownst to both them and to the makers of those browsers.

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The US has a history of testing biological weapons on the public – were infected ticks used too?

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The House of Representatives has instructed the Pentagon to disclose whether it used ticks to infect the American public with Lyme disease between 1950 and 1975. The allegation comes from Chris Smith, the Republican representative for New Jersey. A long-standing campaigner on Lyme disease, Smith says the claims are from a new book about the illness and the man who discovered it – a bioweapons scientist called Willy Burgdofer.

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