Japan’s Ruling Party Falls in Polls

Japan will hold elections this weekend. Economic conditions, including unemployment which is at a 60 year high, have damaged the popularity of Japan’s ruling party- the Liberal Democratic Party. Polls favor the Democratic Party of Japan which is more environmentally friendly and less responsive to business needs than the LDP, New York Times.

In what was said to have  been a heated discussion just a day after the Afghan election last week, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke brought up the question of ballot-stuffing and fraud with current president Hamid Karzai. Karzai is leading with 17% of the ballots counted. If Karzai does not receive more than 50% of the vote, a run-off election will be held. Holbrooke said that a run-off would help to legitimize the election. Final results are expected to be in by September 17, Times Online.

North and South Korea will restart family reunions of families who were separated when Korea was split at the 38th parallel in 1953, Yonhap.

A 13-year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, who wants to sail around the world solo has been placed in temporary custody as a ward of the state until the court makes its final decision as to whether she will be allowed to go, Voice of America.

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