▽Abe apologies over political funding misconduct | NHK WORLD
A political funding scandal that dogged former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resurfaced Thursday as Tokyo prosecutors brought a summary indictment against one of his aides. But the prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence to charge Abe.
The scandal involves allegations of illegal subsidizing of dinner parties for voters. Abe secretary Haikawa Hiroyuki is accused of misreporting income and expenditure totaling about 30 million yen - around $290,000 - for the gatherings, which were held on the eve of state-funded cherry blossom-viewing events between 2016 and 2019 while Abe was in office.
Haikawa also headed the political support group that organized the parties. He was ordered by a summary court in Tokyo to pay a fine of one million yen.
▽Japan top court sends back 1966 murder case to lower court over retrial
Japan's top court has sent back to a lower court a 1966 quadruple murder case in which a former professional boxer was sentenced to death, rejecting a high court's refusal to reopen the case, his lawyers said Wednesday.
Based on the top court decision dated Tuesday, the Tokyo High Court will again examine whether to reopen the case of Iwao Hakamada, 84, who was freed in 2014 after spending nearly half a century on death row. He has been struggling to clear his name over the murder in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
▽S.Korea court reinstates top prosecutor | NHK WORLD
A South Korean court has granted an injunction against the suspension of the country's top prosecutor and reinstated him.
Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl had led an investigation into corruption allegations involving the administration of President Moon Jae-in. Yoon has been at odds with Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae, who was tapped by the president to reform the prosecution.
Moon formally suspended Yoon for two months last week, following a decision by the Justice Ministry's disciplinary panel.
▽Next Digital's Jimmy Lai Freed on Bail in Hong Kong: Apple Daily - Bloomberg
Hong Kong media tycoon and Next Digital Ltd. founder Jimmy Lai has been granted bail by Hong Kong’s High Court, local media including the Apple Daily newspaper reported.
Lai was charged earlier this month with colluding with foreign forces under the city’s new national security law. He is the owner of the pro-democracy Apple Daily.
Lai was released on HK$10 million ($1.3 million) bail, Apple Daily said. He must also hand over his travel docs and be forbidden from taking meetings with foreign politicians, giving any interviews and posting and commenting on social media, the paper reported.
▽Nashville Explosion Appears Intentional, RV Played Warning Message of Bomb - The New York Times
First came the warning, then came the blast, shattering the Christmas morning silence in the heart of the city’s tourist district.
Before dawn on Friday, Nashville police officers rushed to calls of gunfire on Second Avenue, a strip of honky tonks, restaurants and boot shops. Instead of gunfire, they found an R.V., blaring a strange and unsettling message: There was a bomb. It would detonate in 15 minutes.
When the R.V. did explode, it sent plumes of smoke billowing above the city, blew out windows in shops and offices for several blocks, left three people hospitalized - and Nashville shaken.