Six In The Morning Wednesday 1 May 2019

Venezuela crisis: Defiant Maduro claims victory over Guaidó ‘coup’

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro claimed to have defeated what he called a military coup attempt by the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó.

Dozens of National Guardsmen sided with the opposition in clashes on Tuesday that injured more than 100 people.

But in a defiant TV address, President Maduro said Mr Guaidó had failed to turn the military against him.

Mr Guaidó insists that Mr Maduro has lost control of the armed forces, and that a peaceful transition is at hand.

Japan welcomes new emperor Naruhito as Reiwa era begins

Emperor Naruhito promises to continue path trodden by his father, ‘sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people’

Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, has said he is “filled with solemnity” and vowed to show the same compassion and devotion to the public as his father, in a ceremony to formally recognise his accession to the chrysanthemum throne.

“When I think about the important responsibility I have assumed, I am filled with a sense of solemnity,” he said Wednesday in a ceremony at the imperial palace, joined on the dais by his wife, Empress Masako.

“Looking back, his majesty the emperor emeritus [Akihito], since acceding to the throne, performed each of his duties in earnest for more than 30 years, while praying for world peace and the happiness of the people, and at all times sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people.”

Facebook FrenzyHow the German Right Wing Dominates Social Media

A comprehensive analysis has revealed the degree to which German right-wing populists from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party are dominating the social media landscape. They might be getting help from abroad.

By  and 

When Trevor Davis looks at his screen, he is unsettled. An American research professor at George Washington University, Davis has been analyzing political campaigns on social networks for years. But he has never seen a phenomenon like the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD). “This is huge and really quite concerning,” Davis says.

The analyst has conducted an extensive study focusing on how active German political parties are on Facebook. And the AfD dominates in a way that Davis finds rather surprising. While political surveys indicate that support for the party is currently between 11 and 15 percent, fully 85 percent of all shared posts originating from German political parties stem from the AfD. The remaining 15 percent of these “shares” are split among the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-environment Greens, the Left Party, the pro-business FDP and the conservatives. The countries big-tent parties — the SPD and the conservative combination of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — were only responsible for 2 to 3 percent of shares each.

Arakan Army chief cries out in Myanmar

Rebel leader tells Asia Times in an interview that his insurgency has mass support and that the international community has his fight all wrong


Myanmar’s upstart Arakan Army (AA) has intensified its insurgent operations in recent months, opening a new front of instability in the nation’s long-running ethnic civil wars.

The armed conflict has compounded volatility in Rakhine state, from where over 700,000 Muslim Rohingya have been expelled in government “clearance operations” beginning in 2017 the United Nations and others suggest may have had “genocidal intent.”

In January, over 300 AA troops raided four border posts in northern Rakhine state, underscoring the 10,000-strong armed group’s rising capabilities since its formation in 2009, with support among the state’s ethnic Rakhine Buddhist majority.

Teen suicide rates spiked after debut of Netflix show ’13 Reasons Why,’ study says

By Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, CNN

The rate of suicide among US boys ages 10 to 17 surged in the month after the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” premiered in March 2017, according to a new study.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital measured monthly and annual rates of suicide reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2013 through 2017 among people ages 10 to 64. They then divided them into age groups.
The month immediately following the release of the show had a suicide rate of 0.57 per 100,000 10- to 17-year-olds, the highest rate of the five-year study period in this age group. The nine months after the release saw an extra 195 deaths by suicide in this age group than would have otherwise been expected from seasonal patterns alone, according to the study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Disco’s back: Japan grooves to bubble beat for Heisei era sayonara

By Chris Gallagher

Japanese disco fans hit the dance floor and partied like it was 1989, reliving the glitz of the “bubble economy” heyday that defined the early years of the outgoing Heisei imperial era.

Tuesday night was the last chance for nostalgic Japanese to bid sayonara to the three-decade Heisei era, which ended at midnight with the abdication of retiring Emperor Akihito.

New Emperor Naruhito’s reign began Wednesday, ushering in the Reiwa imperial era, meaning “beautiful harmony.”