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Japan’s Osaka to snap sister city link with San Francisco over ‘comfort women’ statue

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The mayor of Japan’s western city of Osaka plans to cut ties with U.S. sistercity San Francisco after the latter accepted the donation of a “comfort women” statue from a private group there.

The issue of “comfort women”, as those forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels were euphemistically known, has long embittered the ties of neighbors, such as China and South Korea, with Japan.

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“This is highly regrettable,” Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters, describing Wednesday’s endorsement by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee of a city council decision. “The relationship of trust has completely been destroyed.”

Yoshimura aims to complete the procedures necessary to snap ties by the end of the year, he said in a statement on Thursday.

No officials at the San Francisco mayor’s office were immediately available for comment.

“Erecting comfort women statues in the United States and other countries is in conflict with our country’s stance and extremely regrettable,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference on Friday.

“We plan to continue making every effort so that things like this won’t happen again.”

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In January, Japan temporarily recalled its ambassador to South Korea over a “comfort women”statue put up near its consulate in the southern city of Busan.

In 2015, Japan and South Korea agreed the issue of “comfort women” would be “irreversibly resolved” if both sides fulfilled their obligations, including a Japanese apology and a fund to help victims.

But South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said many South Koreans did not accept the deal reached by his conservative predecessor and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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On Friday, Suga said Japan had protested to Seoul after the South Korean parliament passed a bill designating Aug. 14 as a day of commemoration for “comfort women”, adding that the move risked affecting ties, Kyodo news agency reported.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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‘Stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough’: GOP’s Liz Cheney goes off on Trump after being asked about masks

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Wednesday broke ranks with President Donald Trump and said he should stop promoting baseless conspiracy theories about MSNBC's Joe Scarborough murdering a staffer 20 years ago.

As reported by Politico's Jake Sherman, Cheney brought up the president's murder conspiracy theories unprompted during an interview with reporters who had originally asked her about wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I do think the president should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough," she said. "We’re in the middle of a pandemic. He’s the commander in chief of this nation. And it’s causing great pain to the family of the young woman who died."

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BUSTED: Trump flack Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in the last 10 years

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Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany this week echoed President Donald Trump's statements that allowing everyone to vote by mail would result in an unprecedented surge in "voter fraud."

However, a review conducted by the Tampa Bay Times has found that McEnany herself has voted by mail a total of 11 times in the past decade alone.

"In fact, the Tampa native has voted by mail in every Florida election she has participated in since 2010," the Tampa Bay Times has found. "Most recently, she voted by mail in the state’s March 2020 presidential primary, just as Trump did after he made Florida his new permanent home."

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Kentucky militant’s wife plays victim after militia leader fired for hanging governor in effigy

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A right-wing militant was fired for hanging Kentucky's governor in effigy during a lockdown protest -- and his wife is furious.

Terry Bush, president of the Kentucky 3 Percenters militia group, lost his job Tuesday with Neil Huffman Auto Group after he was photographed and recorded hanging Gov. Andy Beshear in effigy before demonstrators gathered outside the governor's mansion and demanded that he come outside, reported the Courier-Journal.

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