TIME North Korea

North Korea Is Creating Its Own Time Zone to Spite The ‘Wicked Japanese Imperialists’

It will return the country to the time standard it used prior to Japanese colonization

North Korea’s state media is reporting that on Aug. 15 the country will abandon the time zone it shares with Japan and South Korea and create its own.

Pyongyang Standard Time, as it were, will be 12 and a half hours ahead of the Eastern United States — 30 minutes behind Japan Standard Time, which both Koreas have used since Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula in 1910.

“The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land,” said KCNA, North Korea’s state mouthpiece.

The decision serves to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence, which enabled the political rise of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founding father and grandfather to Kim Jong Un, the country’s third and current supreme leader. South Korea briefly returned to its precolonial time zone in 1954 before embracing Japan’s standard in 1961, citing diplomatic benefits.

TIME Nepal

Experts Fear Earthquake-Ravaged Nepal May Suffer Another Huge Tremor Soon

Even after the April disaster, the fault line between India and Asia remains strained

Another major earthquake in the Himalayan Mountains may be imminent, according to new research that suggests the 7.8-magnitude quake that devastated Nepal in April failed to release all of the region’s seismic energy.

For over five centuries, seismic tension has been building beneath the Himalayas as India gradually shifts northward into the continent. In recent decades, a segment of the narrowing fault line between the Indian and Eurasian Plates became locked by friction, intensifying the buildup of energy that culminated in the April 25 earthquake.

The good news, scientists say, is that the quake, which left between 8,000 and 9,000 dead in Nepal and its border countries, could have been significantly worse. When the stress finally broke the fault, at an epicenter about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, the expense of energy traveled to the east, opening only the fault’s shorter eastern stretch, according to two concurrent studies published Thursday in Nature Geoscience and Science Magazine.

The longer western expanse of the fault, however, remains locked, and researchers say it “calls for special attention.” The stress-strained portion, which runs for nearly 500 miles roughly from Kathmandu to the northwest of New Delhi, has not seen a major seismic event since 1505, when an earthquake believed to have measured 8.5 on the Richter Scale — significantly larger than April’s event — shook the region. The recent studies suggest that some of the energy released in the April earthquake rippled westward, compounding with the pent-up energy along this portion of the fault, possibly “facilitating future ruptures.”

“This is a place that needs attention,” Professor Jean-Philippe Avouac, the seismologist who led both studies, told BBC News. “If we had an earthquake today, it would be a disaster because of the density of the population not just in western Nepal but also in northern India.”

TIME 2016 Election

Kim Kardashian Met With ‘Our Next President’ Hillary Clinton During GOP Debate

Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner, also posed with the presidential hopeful

While millions of Americans watched ten Republican presidential contenders hold forth in Cleveland, Kim Kardashian was hanging out with Hillary Clinton, whose fundraiser she and husband Kanye West attended in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Clinton’s campaign held the event at the home of Scott Braun, the manager to Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The event occasioned a selfie, which Kardashian posted to her Twitter page.

Variety reports that John Travolta, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and longtime Clinton friend Mary Steenburgen were also at the fundraiser, as was Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, who had her own opportunity to pose with Clinton.

An Honor to meet you Hillary Clinton! Great evening… #ohjustchatting

A photo posted by @krisjenner on

Earlier — about 25 minutes into the GOP debate, a few moments before Jeb Bush and Donald Trump began sparring over immigration law — Kardashian posted a tweet saying she was “excited to be meeting our next President!!” She had deleted an earlier tweet that referred to Clinton by name.

“Maybe she’ll take a selfie with me,” she pondered.

TIME China

China’s Stock Markets Are Still Struggling After Their Worst Month in Six Years

China's stocks resume decline as turnover wanes on intervention
An xin—Imagechina/AP A concerned Chinese investor looks at prices of shares (red for price rising and green for price falling) at a Chinese stock brokerage house on August 5, 2015.

Meanwhile, regulators in Beijing are still fighting to reverse the trends

For China’s stock indices, July was the worst month in nearly six years, with shares tumbling as about a third of the country’s investors fled the already suffering markets.

August has yet to see definitive signs of recovery. For the last week, the Shanghai Composite Index has quavered between 3,610 and 3,800 points, falling 0.89% on Thursday to close at 3,661.54. Since peaking in early June at 5,166 points — its highest value in seven years — the index has taken a precipitous fall, losing 29 percent of its value in less than two months. Its smaller brother market in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has fared no better.

Between the end of June and the end of July, more than 20 million of China’s 75 million individual investors got rid of their shares and abandoned the markets altogether, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The rout suggests that Chinese markets have little faith in the government that has frantically tried to stabilize them. Quartz reported on Thursday that in less than three weeks, Beijing spent more than $1 trillion to reinvigorate its markets, more than five times the amount doled out by the Obama administration to support ailing financial institutions during the 2008 crisis.

Some are optimistic that August’s relative stability — with no drastic market change in either direction — indicates that Beijing’s policies may at last be working, though the crisis has so far suggested that in a country where stock traders now outnumber Communist Party members, market forces might have the greatest sway.

TIME Foreign Policy

John Kerry Is Using JFK’S Cane for Support at Diplomatic Meetings in Asia

US Secretary of State John Kerry holds up Joseph Kennedy's cane, which has been used by John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, while talking about his broken leg during the 8th Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting at the Putra World Trade Center
Reuters US Secretary of State John Kerry holds up Joseph Kennedy's cane, which has been used by John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, while talking about his broken leg during the 8th Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting at the Putra World Trade Center August 5, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This is the third time the family has lent Kerry the cane

After a string of meetings in the Middle East and Singapore, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is now in Kuala Lumpur to attend this year’s ASEAN Regional Forum. He is still nursing a broken leg, the result of a bicycle accident in France two months ago, but has swapped his crutches for a silver-tipped cane — an heirloom currently on loan from America’s storied Kennedy family.

Kerry has a record of conducting politics in spite of personal injuries, and this is not the first time he has borrowed the Kennedy walking stick to carry himself.

“This cane has a history,” he said at the start of a meeting on Wednesday. First, Kerry explained, it was Joseph B. Kennedy’s, used during his ambassadorship to the U.K. during World War II. During that conflict, his son, President John F. Kennedy, had sustained back injuries, and later used the cane when the pain was particularly bad. Seven months after the President’s assassination in 1963, his brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, was in a plane crash that left him with a broken back. He’d use the cane intermittently for the rest of his life, but lent it on two occasions to Kerry, then his fellow Massachusetts Senator who looked to the “Lion of the Senate,” as Kennedy was known, as a political father figure.

“So when Vicki Kennedy, his widow, heard that I had broken my leg, she knew I was going to need the cane,” Kerry said. “She loaned it to me. So here it is. It’s — and the third time I’ve used it — three times is lucky, right?”

He made similar remarks while holding the cane at a 2010 campaign rally for Martha Coakley, who was up against Scott Brown to fill the Senate seat that Ted Kennedy had vacated. Months earlier, Kerry had delivered a eulogy at Kennedy’s funeral. The two had overlapped in the Senate for 24 years, relying on each other for friendship and political support (Kennedy’s campaign efforts were vital in ensuring that Kerry would receive the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election). And as a teenager at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, a young Kerry is said to have idolized Kennedy’s brother, who had just been elected to the White House.

TIME India

A Twin Train Derailment in India Leaves at Least 24 Dead

INDIA-TRAIN-ACCIDENT
AFP/Getty Images Two Indian passenger trains lay next to each other following a derailment after they were hit by flash floods on a bridge outside the town of Harda in Madhya Pradesh state on August 5, 2015

This is not the first fatal railway accident in India this year

Two passenger trains derailed off a bridge and into a river in central India late Tuesday night, leaving scores injured and possibly at least 24 dead, according to Indian authorities.

Shortly before midnight local time, a number of coaches of the Kamayani Express, en route from Mumbai to Varanasi, separated from the tracks and fell into the Machak River, near the town of Harda in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Minutes later, the Janata Express, heading in the opposite direction, derailed at the same location.

NDTV, an Indian broadcasting network, reports that railway officials are blaming the recent heavy rains of the monsoon season, which may have caused the track to cave in. Some officials have speculated that high river levels — possibly caused by a nearby dam burst — washed onto the tracks, though this has not yet been confirmed.

Hundreds of passengers have thus far been rescued, but Kiren Rijiju, India’s Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, tells the Times of India that the number of casualties is “likely to be high.” By mid-afternoon, dozens of passengers remained unaccounted for. Adverse weather conditions had prevented the full rescue operation from arriving at the scene of the accident until dawn.

Meanwhile, the accident has diverted or canceled a number of trains, many out of Mumbai.

This is not the first fatal train incident in the country this year. A number of public figures have spoken out against what they deem the unsatisfactory safety conditions of India’s railway system, one of the most heavily trafficked in the world.

“I don’t consider it as an accident,” Dinesh Trivedi, who served as the country’s Minister of Railways between July 2011 and March 2012, said, according to Asian News International. “Accident [sic] is something which can’t be avoided. This could’ve been avoided.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has pushed for the rejuvenation of the country’s railways, tweeted his sympathies on Wednesday morning.

TIME brazil

Brazilian Police Killed More Than 5,000 Civilians in Rio Between 2005 and 2014, Report Says

Brazil Beefs Up Security Ahead Of Olympic Games
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Armed officers from the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) patrol in the Providencia favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, June 22, 2015.

The report, by Amnesty International, also suggests killings are largely performed with impunity

A new 90-page report from Amnesty International titled You Killed My Son says law enforcement claimed the lives of 5,132 Brazilians in the city of Rio de Janeiro between 2005 and 2014, out of a total 8,466 killings in the state of Rio de Janeiro during that period.

It also makes the chilling allegation that 9 out of 10 police killings in 2014 and 2015 in one Rio favela, Acari, were “extrajudicial executions” — the intentional, illegal killing of a person after they have already surrendered or been apprehended.

Nearly 16% of Rio’s homicides in 2014 were committed by police officers, Amnesty alleges. Furthermore, the report suggests that these killings are by and large performed with impunity. Amnesty found that of 220 investigations opened into alleged police killings in Rio in 2011, “only one case led to a police officer being charged,” and that as of this past April, “183 investigations were still open.”

“The lack of adequate investigation and conviction of the perpetrators of police killings sends a message that these crimes are tolerated by the authorities, which in turn fuels a cycle of violence,” the report says.

The report comes almost exactly a year prior to the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, which have attracted pre-emptive scrutiny for potential infrastructure, security and health risks.

TIME Aviation

Airlines Ban Big Game Trophies from Cargo After Cecil the Lion Death

The ban is on all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo "trophies"

The international indignation ignited by the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe last month is persuading some airlines to consider their policy on the shipment of big-game carcasses and body parts (known in hunting parlance as “trophies”).

On Monday, Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines announced that they would no longer allow such shipments.

Delta — which can get you to Lagos, Accra, Dakar and Johannesburg from Atlanta or New York — has been the subject of a major online campaign. It capitulated Monday, issuing a statement saying it would “officially ban shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.”

United followed suit, telling NBC News that it too would enact a ban. American Airlines also tweeted its own prohibition on transporting big game trophies:

United noted that it “hasn’t had many big-game shipments” — a statement that TIME cannot independently confirm, though the New York Times reports that the lion’s share of non-African hunters on the continent come from the U.S. Fifteen thousand Americans go on African hunting holidays each year, and “the vast majority want to take trophies of their kills home,” conservationists told Reuters in June.

South African Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates have all stopped freighting such trophies.

TIME India

Most of India’s Execution Records Have Been ‘Lost or Destroyed by Termites’

Indian policemen stand guard near the residence of Memon in Mumbai
Shailesh Andrade—Reuters Indian policemen stand guard near the residence of Yakub Memon, in Mumbai, India, July 30, 2015. India hanged Yakub Memon on Thursday for his role in the country's deadliest bombings, which killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993.

The absence of information shows the "callousness" of the record-keeping system, according to researchers

There is a significant dearth of official information concerning Indian death penalty cases, according to a New Delhi university legal researcher who is now struggling to complete the first comprehensive study on capital punishment in the country.

Anup Surendranath, the professor at the Indian capital’s National Law University spearheading the research project, said that prisons across India responded to record requests by claiming many documents had been “lost or destroyed by termites.” Among the missing files are the 2001 mercy pleas of four men convicted in the 1992 Bara Massacre, a mass murder carried out by Maoist insurgents in the Eastern Indian state of Bihar.

Though records confirm that capital punishment has a prominent position in India’s judiciary history — at least 1,400 executions occurred between 1953 and 1963 alone — the country’s prisons could only provide data on 765 cases between Indian independence in 1947 and the present day.

“There’s a complete lack of information — they don’t even have the names of the prisoners, let alone the official files,” Surendranath told TIME. “It just shows the callousness of the record-keeping system in the jails.”

The task of documenting the activity of the country’s gallows is left to the individual prisons, he said, with “no central authority correlating this [information].”

The absence of relevant data has limited the National Law University’s study to ongoing capital cases — those where the prisoner continues to wait on death row. Execution is an increasingly rare sentence in contemporary India, with only four prisoners hanged in the country since 2000. One of which came just last week, when the country’s Supreme Court finally moved to hang Yakub Memon, the “driving spirit” behind the 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai, the deadliest in the country’s history. The execution, carried out on Memon’s 53rd birthday, followed a drawn-out legal debate.

Surendranath, who resigned on Friday from his position as the Supreme Court’s Deputy Registrar of Research, has been an outspoken critic of the death penalty in India, actively speaking out against Memon’s planned execution. Though he declined to comment to TIME on his resignation, he posted on Facebook that he stepped down to “focus on death penalty work at the University.”

“It is in many ways liberating to to regain the freedom to write whatever I want and I hope to make full use of that in the next few days to discuss the events that transpired at the Supreme Court this week,” he wrote. The post came a day after one that declared the rulings to execute Memon as “instances of judicial abdication that must count amongst the darkest hours for the Supreme Court of India.”

He told TIME that his research team would release its official report on Indian capital punishment later this month.

TIME Horse Racing

Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah Finishes First at the Haskell Invitational

American Pharoah Wins Haskell Invitational
Staton Rabin—AP Victor Espinoza aboard Triple Crown champion Amiercan Pharoah heads down the stretch in the lead of the 2015 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

The three-year-old horse is said to be retiring later this year

American Pharoah finished first at the Haskell Invitational Stakes in New Jersey on Sunday, two months after becoming only the twelfth Triple Crown winner in a century.

“This horse, he just keeps bringing it,” Bob Baffert, the horse’s trainer, told the Associated Press. “He’s just a great horse.”

American Pharoah finished the mile-and-an-eighth course in just under a minute and 48 seconds, pulling ahead of the horse Competitive Edge in the final stretch after maintaining a second-place stride for most of the race. The victory earned the horse’s team a purse of $1.75 million, bringing his career winnings to more than $5.5 million.

Nearly 61,000 spectators came to the Monmouth County race track to watch the celebrated colt race. Barring a moment when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was booed in the winners’ circle, the crowd, Baffert said, was electric.

“I couldn’t believe the crowd, how loud it was,” he said to the Associated Press, his voice cracking with emotion. “It was a great crowd. I love bringing my horses here. Thank you for being behind Pharoah the whole way.”

It is reported that the colt, who turned three in Februrary, will retire from competitive racing in October — notably younger than most of his peers, who sometimes continue to race into their teens.

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