pokemon feature

Nice, Pokémon Go and Planet RR245 – This Is World News In Focus

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France: A truck driver ran over crowds of revelers in Nice as they were commemorating the Storming of the Bastille and the unity of France on Thursday.

The 25-ton truck raced through the crowd along the Promenade des Anglais around 10.40 p.m. local time.

At least 84 people, including children, were killed and dozens critically wounded.

The driver, whom French media have identified as a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man, was killed in a hail of police bullets as the truck came to a halt.

Local newspaper Nice-Matin reported that the man had firearms and grenades in the truck at the time of attack.

French President François Hollande said in a late-night televised address that the attack has “undeniable traits of terrorism.”

The Nice incident comes months after separate attacks in Paris and Brussels.

For the latest we go to BBC News:

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Developing: It’s unclear who’s leading the country, but a military coup is happening in Turkey.

For the latest we go to CNN:

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Technology: Nintendo’s latest free location-based game, Pokémon Go, has taken smartphone gamers over the world by storm.

Adopting augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, the game creates a sort of “digital world” around physical sites.

Players have to capture exotic monsters from Pokémon, the Japanese cartoon franchise, using built-in GPS software and cameras in their smartphones.

The game has generated enormous financial gain for its maker.  Nintendo’s market capitalisation surged by more than US$7 billion and shares in Nintendo leapt 25 per cent on Monday after gaining 9 percent last Friday.

Pokémon Go has soared to the top of the download charts and has sent people into streets, parks, beaches and public landmarks in the week since it was released.

But the game has sparked controversy as it lures players to visit sites such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery and Auschwitz.  It also sparked privacy concerns by requesting full access to users’ Google accounts.

For more, we go to NBC News:

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Japan:  Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday that Emperor Akihito plans to abdicate within a few years.

The report did not cite a reason behind the plan, but quoting informed sources, NHK said the Emperor did not want to remain in his position by significantly reducing his duties or asking other people to stand in for him.

Born in 1933, the 82-year-old monarch ascended to the throne in 1989.  He has had heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer in recent years.

The emperor has been cutting back on his official duties, handing over some of the burden to his heir, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56.

The last Japanese emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku who gave up the throne in 1817.

But the imperial household agency’s vice grand steward, Shinichiro Yamamoto denied the claim on Thursday, saying that the report is “absolutely not true.”  Prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declined to comment on the emperor’s future.

For more we go to the Wall Street Journal:

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Science: Astronomers have discovered a new planet in the outer reach of the solar system beyond Neptune.

The dwarf planet was first noticed in September 2015 by researcher JJ Kaverlaars using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea in Hawaii for the Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS).

Scientists surmise that Planet RR245, as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) designated the dwarf planet, is about half the size of Britain and twice as far as Neptune from the sun.

It has one of the largest orbits of any dwarf planet, and takes an estimated 700 years to travel around the sun.

The study of these objects also offers hints about the formation and migration of the three “gas giants”: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, according to the New York Times.

For more we go to Space.com:

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Pokémon Go Photo Courtesy of Elena Shashkina / Shutterstock.com