crime

Teacher facing charges after swallowing class pet alive

Regardless of the country you do it in, teaching can be a tough profession. Tasked with handling and helping to raise humanity’s most valuable resource, our educators must also put up with tight restrictions and even tighter budgets.

It’s a heavy burden and as a result not surprising when a teacher cracks under the stress every once in a while. I’m not saying that is what happened on the morning of 11 May in a classroom in South Korea, but it certainly seems like a plausible explanation of the case of the teacher who swallowed a live hamster in front of their class.

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Hero lady apparently saves guy from groping accusations by posing as girlfriend

Japan is pretty famous for its packed trains that invite occasional chikan (groping incidents). Luckily, in light of improving rights for women in Japan, the law of late tends to come down pretty hard on train gropers. Assuming a victim or a witness to such a crime speaks up about it, a perpetrator typically faces immediate arrest at the next train station and can probably expect to do some jail time.

While this system works pretty well for the most part, it’s not unheard of for some unlucky guys to face career and life-destroying consequences after being falsely accused of groping. One Japanese Twitter user, in fact, posted a series of Tweets detailing a close call he had himself, relating that he was almost certainly destined for the slammer if he hadn’t been saved by the alleged victim herself.

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Nintendo DS on the menu as Japanese prisons get creative to keep ageing prisoners’ brains active

As Japan’s penal system struggles to cope with a rising number of older inmates, a number of prisons are taking unusual steps to help inmates stay healthy in mind as well as body.

The number of prisoners in Japan aged 65 or over increased almost five-fold in the twenty years up to 2013. This ageing prison population means institutions are bringing in innovative programmes to slow the onset of dementia in inmates, from yoga to hand-held video games.

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Six-passenger van stopped by Chinese traffic officials… for carrying 51 passengers

As much as we try not to generalize or stereotype specific countries and regions here at RocketNews24, the glut of bizarre news stories coming out of China these days makes us feel pretty justified in our feelings that living there must be just a non-stop parade of crazy events.

And here we go again with another Chinese news story that literally sounds like an surreal circus clown act. Just wait until you see this video.

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Nearly 1,000 wind chimes stolen from Chinese festival…of wind chimes

Ah, isn’t it nice to listen to the gentle sound of wind chimes blowing in a light breeze? If you were a recent visitor to the Xiandu Park wind chime festival in China, you may not know what we’re talking about, because almost all of the chimes were stolen, forcing the planned month-long event to close down in less than a week.

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Dojinshi fans worry trade pact could be the end of Comiket, but is the fear founded in reality?

Whether you call it Comic Market, Comiket, or Comike, the twice-a-year event is the largest gathering of creators and fans of dojinshi, Japanese self-published comics. Each iteration of Comiket draws hundreds of thousands of otaku to its venue at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

Something else that’s known by more than one name is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A proposed trade agreement between a dozen nations, including Japan and the U.S., the legislation is more commonly referred to by the acronym TPP in the Japanese media.

As negotiations between the U.S. and Japan continue, some anime and manga fans are worrying that the Trans-Pacific Partnership/TPP could be disastrous for Comic Market/Comiket/Comike, but just how justified are these fears?

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Unmanned lost and found station with car keys shows just how safe and honest Japan is

It’s hard to really explain just how little street crime there is in Japan, and how much that affects the ways people go about their daily lives. Sure, you could rattle off statistics about the ridiculously low number of muggings or thefts per capita, or you could point to this video showing a completely unmanned lost and found station with some very valuable property left lying around with no fear that anyone other than the rightful owner will claim it.

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Android app allegedly allows users to find and hire muscle to beat up whomever they want

One thing that Apple fans tend to bring out during the enormous Android vs iPhone flame wars is apps. While both systems have a huge number of applications, people often claim that those on iOS are either better or cover a broader range. We won’t even pretend to have an opinion on whether or not this is true, but it looks like Android may have Apple beat in at least one area! Though we’re not so sure Google will be proud of this accomplishment.

It looks like there might be an Android app in China that you can use to find some tough guys to rough people up for you!

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Concerned mother calls police on saw-wielding man… who was just doing some landscaping

Not that we’ve ever actually done anything even remotely resembling it, but we imagine landscaping is some pretty hard work. Imagine, though, how much more difficult it could be if you’re trying to prune your trees while dozens of police officers and a search helicopter descend on your location like you’re in the world’s worst garden-tending-themed reality show.

Recently, one Shiga Prefecture man found out just how bad the seemingly mundane task of cutting a few branches could get when a mother, picking up her child from a nearby preschool, spotted the saw-wielding, 80-year-old man hanging out in some trees and promptly called the police.

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New anti-chikan cellphone stickers let you mark train gropers with sign of shame

As you probably know, Japan is infamous for chikanpeople who grope others in crowded areas, like crowded trains and buses. As you also probably know, Japan has a long history of doing things in bizarre and not-very-effective ways.

So what do we get when the two come together? Ridiculous anti-chikan stickers for cell phones put out by the Saitama Prefecture Police department. And these aren’t just stickers you’re supposed to use to keep potential chikan away, these are stickers you’re meant to use offensively! Ka-pow!

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Man, inspired by IS video, threatens to behead ex-girlfriend

Police have arrested a 33-year-old Yokohama man on suspicion of threatening to kill his former girlfriend in a series of messages on the LINE app.

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Three foreign tourists arrested for molestation in Japan after thinking it was normal behavior

Given the size and longevity of the adult entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that such products serve a purpose in societies everywhere. However, one purpose for which adult videos should never be used is as travel guides for visiting other countries.

You might think that would be common sense but apparently we can’t stress the point enough after there has been a recent spate of molestation committed by foreign tourists who claim to have thought it was normal behavior in Japan after watching Japanese adult videos.

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Man avoids hit-and-run on way to mother’s house, later discovers victim was his mother

Karma struck China’s Wuhu City last weekend as a man who made the fatal decision to flee the scene of an accident later discovered that his victim was his own mother. Sadly, by the time he had made the discovery, his mother had already succumbed to her injuries.

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Sulfuric acid thrown at two women in Gunma

Police in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, are looking for a man who threw sulfuric acid at two women in separate attacks on Thursday night.

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Sick of thieves stealing your bicycle? Deter them with this bird poop sticker!

Despite being a relatively low-crime country on the whole, theft of bicycles and umbrellas is a prevalent issue in Japan. These thefts are usually born out of need and selfishness rather than for monetary gain. Forgot your umbrella and stuck in a downpour? Then you’ve got three choices: get wet, buy an umbrella from the convenience store or indulge in some petty theft. Need to get home and missed the last train? Suck it up and get walking or, if you’re someone who doesn’t lie awake at night worrying about their karma, you COULD just “borrow” one of the identical, unlocked bikes gathering cobwebs outside the station. Yes, it’s wrong, but it still happens pretty often.

Now, however, there’s an anti-theft device more powerful than any bike lock! Behold the anti-theft bird poop sticker!

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Youth in toothpick prank videos sent to juvenile correctional facility

A 19-year-old youth who uploaded a series of prank videos on YouTube in January, including one in which he inserted a toothpick into a snack food in a supermarket, was sent to a moderate security juvenile correctional facility.

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Man posts tweet threatening to release sarin gas in Akihabara as an “April Fools’ Day joke”

Here at RocketNews24 we love a good April Fools’ Day yarn. But in Japan, April Fools’ Day still isn’t that popular, and there’s a clear difference between catching people out with a clever joke and deliberately trying to deceive and emotionally harm people.

One man who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a joke and lying maliciously managed to flood Akihabara with police after posting a particularly unfunny April Fools’ Day tweet threatening a sarin gas attack in the area.

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Fukuoka chicken restaurant in legal trouble for trying to “multiply” good workers

Securing a quality labor force in any workplace is difficult, but it’s especially tricky in the restaurant business. The demanding nature of the job and younger, sometimes less dedicated, employees often means a high turnover rate. However, one small chain of yakitori (grilled chicken) restaurants felt they had the solution.

When an employee was doing a truly great job, their manager would approach and ask them “How about we make you into two people?” That might sound like an excellent proposition for any busy worker, but as is often the case with magical offers, the reality is often illegal.

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Wakayama City official arrested for taking fruit knife home from work

Wakayama City’s Crisis Management Division had a bit of a crisis themselves recently as their director Takashi Yamada stepped down after being arrested for possession of a 9cm-long (3.5inch) knife which he had used to peel some fruit earlier in the day.

He is suspected of violating the Weapons Control Law, which as I think we are all surprised to learn, covers peeling tools as well.

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Abashiri: Home of Japan’s Prison Museum, Prison Cafeteria, and Prison Beer

Hokkaido, Japan’s rural, northernmost island, has a wealth of tourist attractions. But while most travelers spend their time enjoying the natural beauty of the region’s mountains, forests, and oceans, visitors to the city of Abashiri often spend their time in a very different way.

That’s because in contrast to the sense of freedom Hokkaido’s wide-open vistas are so evocative of, Abashiri is home to the Abashiri Prison Museum. Aside from exhibits on the history of incarceration, the museum also has a cafeteria, where diners can eat a recreation of modern Japanese prison food, and even knock back a bottle of Abashiri Prison Stout beer.

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