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Japanese bemused by Trump bowling ball car test claim

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A claim by President US Donald Trump that Japan tests car quality by dropping bowling balls on vehicles has prompted confusion and ridicule among some Japanese.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump claimed in a fundraising speech that Japan was using unreasonable testing standards to keep out US auto companies.

“They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and they drop it on the hood of the car,” Trump reportedly said.

“And if the hood dents, then the car doesn’t qualify. Well, guess what, the roof dented a little bit, and they said, nope, this car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible, the way we’re treated. It’s horrible.”

Several Japanese media outlets picked up the Post report, and Japanese Twitter users reacted with confusion and derision.

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“Stupid Trump… says Japan carries out a test dropping a bowling ball on cars,” wrote user @BlackTower_B.

“It’s too stupid for words.”

Others laughed off the bizarre assertion, with @technopolis writing: “if there is a car which won’t dent after a bowling ball falls on it from six metres up in the air, I want that car!”

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White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump was “obviously… joking”.

But that did little to tamp down speculation about where Trump came up with the idea of the test.

Some pointed to a method that is used by Japan’s Nation Agency for Automotive Safety and Victim’s Aid to test the potential impact of a car accident on a pedestrian.

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Adult- and child-sized “head impactors”, which resemble bowling balls with the bottom third sliced off, are fired towards car hoods and other areas.

“The impact received by the head impactors is measured and then evaluated using head injury criterion,” NASVA says on its website.


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Trump: Iran claim to break up CIA network ‘totally false’

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US President Donald Trump on Monday denied Iran's claim that it dismantled a CIA spy ring and arrested 17 suspects with alleged links to the US intelligence agency.

"The report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth," Trump tweeted.

"Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do."

"Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!" Trump added.

Earlier Monday a top Iranian counter-intelligence official told local reporters that the 17 suspects were all Iranians working in "sensitive centers" and the private sector who had acted independently of each other.

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Trump’s Commerce Dept plagued by low morale and ‘disarray’ as chief Wilbur Ross falls asleep in meetings: report

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For months, there has been speculation in Washington, D.C. that Wilbur Ross, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the Trump Administration, is on his way out. Reports that Ross falls asleep in meetings don’t exactly instill confidence in his leadership. And Politico’s Daniel Lippman, in a troubling report, describes the Commerce Department as being in a state of chaos and disorganization.

Lippman reports that according to his sources, the 81-year-old Ross “spends much of his time at the White House” in order to “retain President Donald Trump’s favor.” And the Commerce Department is suffering, Lippman observes, because of Ross’ “penchant for managing upward at the expense of his staff.”

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When radioactive wastes aren’t radioactive wastes

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The U.S. Department of Energy wants to redefine what constitutes high-level radioactive waste, cutting corners on the disposal of some of the most dangerous and long-lasting waste byproduct on earth—reprocessed spent fuel from the nuclear defense program.

The agency announced in October 2018 plans for its reinterpretation of high-level radioactive waste (HLW), as defined in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, with plans to classify waste by its hazard level and not its origin. By using the idea of a reinterpretation of a definition, the DOE may be able to circumvent Congressional oversight. And in its regulatory filing, the DOE, citing the NWPA and Atomic Energy Act of 1954, said it has the authority to “interpret” what materials are classified as high-level waste based on their radiological characteristics. That is not quite true, as Congress specifically defined high-level radioactive waste in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, and any reinterpretation of that definition should trigger a Congressional response.

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