Japan Trade Deficit Last Month for the First Time in 8 Months

Japan's trade sector started this year with strong indications despite a deficit for the first time in eight months due to rising oil prices and seasonal factors.

Customs data released Monday showed imports increased eight percent from a year earlier to 7.03 trillion yen ($ 66 billion). Exports jumped 12 percent to 6.09 trillion yen ($ 57.1 billion), resulting in a deficit of 943.4 billion yen ($ 8.8 billion).

Exports to China jumped 30 percent from a year earlier.

Oil prices has risen in one year, up from about $ 55 a barrel in January of 2017 to more than $ 70 a barrel last month. As a rare country of natural resources, Japan imports almost all non-renewable energy needs. Oil and gas imports and coal jumped nearly 10 percent in January from a year earlier to 1.6 trillion yen ($ 15 billion).

Japan's trade surplus with the United States fell 12 percent while exports rose slightly to 1.07 trillion yen or $ 1 billion . Increased imports of gas, gasoline, soybeans and machinery helped boost imports by nine percent from a year earlier to 717 billion yen ($ 6.7 billion). [gp]

Got Arrested 2 Months Over, Prince Alwaleed Released

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released after being detained for more than two months. Previously he was arrested due to anti-corruption operation of 'Saudi Arabia's KPK'.

Reported by Reuters, the Saudi Arabia's free information is rumored by sources from the Alwaleed family. The release was only a few hours after Alwaleed was interviewed by Reuters.

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"He has arrived home," said the source, quoted by Reuters on Saturday (27/1/2018).

However, until this news of freedom Alwaleed rolling, there has been no official statement from the authorities of Saudi Arabia. With the release of Alwaleed and several other tycoons on Friday (26/1) it indicated the fall of accusations that caused enough stir in business and politics in Saudi Arabia.

In a previous interview, Alwaleed had mentioned that he would be released within days. The reason, according to Alwaleed, in talks with the authorities, he remained innocent of allegations of corruption.

"There are no charges, there are only a few talks between me and the government," Alwaleed said in the interview.

Early November, dozens of princes, including Alwaleed, as well as senior officials and prominent businessmen were arrested when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an anti-corruption operation. At that time a Saudi official said that Alwaleed was arrested on charges of money laundering, bribery and extortion of officials. Alwaleed was then held at the Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel in Riyadh for over the last 2 months.

For information, Alwaleed is one of the richest men in the world. He has a major stake in Twitter and Citigoup, he is also a key shareholder at 21st Century Fox. Alwaleed is even called 'Warren Buffet from Saudi Arabia'.

(nif / dkp)

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Hong Kong Democracy Activist Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to three months in jail for involvement in the 2014 "Umbrella Movement" protest.

The Chinese Supreme Court said Wednesday that Wong, 21, allegations of failure to comply with a court order to leave the protest camp in a demonstration for nearly two months.

Justice Anfrew Chan admitted that Wong was in the area only briefly, but said his involvement was "deep and broad." He played a major role on that day. "He said the only reasonable punishment was" Immediate imprisonment. "

Wong who continued to behave disobediently told reporters before the trial," they can imprison my body, but they can not imprison our minds. "

again democracy activist Raphael Wong was also sentenced to a short prison term, while more than 12 other activists got huk uman trial. [gp]

5 Months in Space Station, 3 Astronauts Return to Earth

 A capsule carrying astronauts from three countries, the United States (US), Russia and Italy, landed safely in Kazakhstan. The three astronauts returned to Earth after five months of running missions at the International Space Station (ISS).

As reported by Reuters Thursday (14/12/2017), the three astronauts who had just returned to Earth among others, Randy Bresnik of the US Space Agency (NASA), Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian space agency or Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli who are Italian citizens of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Soyuz capsule carrying the three astronauts landed amid strong winds amid snow-covered meadows in Karaganda, central Kazakhstan on Thursday (14/12) at around 14:37 local time.

This landing was broadcast live by NASA TV. Russian astronaut Ryazanskiy is the first out of the capsule. He appeared to be smiling when assisted by rescue workers who had been waiting for him.

With the return of these three astronauts to Earth, only three other astronauts are currently on the ISS orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth's surface. The three remaining astronauts on the ISS are Alexander Misurkin from Roscosmos, Mark Vende Hei and Joe Acaba from NASA.

On December 17th, three other astronauts will launch to the ISS to join them. They are NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishege Kanai of the Japan Space Exploration Agency (JAEA).

The launch will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome space station also in Kazakhstan.

ISS is a joint project of US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. Since 2000, the countries have placed their astronauts in rotation on the ISS worth US $ 100 billion.

(nvc / ita)