Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to visit India, Japan, with expansion plans

Dara Khusrowshahi is on damage control in Asia since the controversies that led to the exit of the previous CEO, Travis Kalanick
Image Source: The Japan Times 

Uber Chief Dara Khosrowshahi is expected to embark upon his first visit to Asia in the week of February 19th. A spokesperson from Uber has revealed that Khosrowshahi plans to schedule meetings with top-ranking government officials, employees and business partners in Japan and India.

The head of Uber Technologies Inc. is on image mitigation program to better Uber’s recent controversy-filled past. Amid doubts about the company’s future in the region, Khosrowshahi is willing to cooperate and improve the issues that plagued the previous CEO Travis Kalanick.

The source said that the company wants to chalk out ways that “Uber can serve their riders, drivers, and cities better.” In the past week, the company finalized an agreement with Japan’s SoftBank Group Corporation. This made the Japanese investor the largest shareholder enabling Uber to compete with Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia.

Reports predict that Khorowshahi may seek to expand in the continent. Rajeev Misra, an executive of SoftBank who has joined the board for Uber recently spoke to the Financial Times advising that Uber needs to focus on its core market bases which are the US, Australia, Europe and Latin America. However, clearly, Khosrowshahi has different plans.

Sources: Livemint, Moneycontrol

Fatal avalanche hits Japan’s ski resort

In a fatal flow of avalanche in central Japan killed one and injured 16. The incident happened near Kusatsu, where rocks were seen raining down as the eruption burst out. Japanese officials have warned to stay safe as they doubt the spew may continue. The eruption hit a popular Japanese ski resort on Tuesday morning which killed a soldier.
“There was this huge boom, and a big plume of totally black smoke rose up,” one of the frequent skier there told local broadcaster, NHK. “I had absolutely no idea what had happened.”

Japan’s Meteorological Agency had raised the volcano alert to three on a scale of five. This sent out a warning that the volcano could soon erupt once, risking further avalanches. Approximately 100 people were evacuated from the area, as told by an eye witness. Though many others remain stranded, without finding a way out.
The fire department local officials said that at least 80 people were stuck at a gondola station which is situated at the top of a ski slope. The rescuers were on a mission to working out different ways that could safely operate vehicles that were covered under rocks and volcanic ash.

Sources: BBC, DW

Suicide Vlog by Logan Paul, YouTube Cracks Down

YouTube sensation Logan Paul was caught in a controversy after he put up a video of the body of a suicide victim in Japan. Apparently, YouTube took down the video within minutes and has proclaimed to discontinue business relations with him. His channel was removed and YouTube will hold back his future projects on the digital platform.
The popular US Vlogger was shown travelling to Aokigahara forest along with his friends. This forest in Japan is situated at the base of Mount Fuji and is a frequent site for suicides. Number of bodies are discovered every month.
While wanting to film the entire experience of the forest, Paul came across a dead body who he later made jokes on. The footage created a stir among his viewers which soon hit the social media platforms. Within minutes, Google’s YouTube Preferred Program, where brands sell ads for top 5% content creators, took down his channels He also posted an apology tweet saying he was merely ‘misguided by shock and awe’ along with a video where he expressed his disappointment. 

US, Japan, South Korea start missile tracking exercises

The United States, Japan and South Korea have started joint missile tracking exercises as tensions with North Korea continue to increase over North Korea’s rapidly emerging weapons programs.

The two day drills kicked off on Monday and will conclude on December 12. It comes less than two weeks after North Korea launched its most advanced missile on 28th November.

According to Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s Defence Minister, the drills are being held in waters off the coast of Japan.

Japan’s Maritime self-Defence force said that this exercise is the sixth drill aimed in tracking and sharing information on ballistic missiles between the three nations. Two US ships along with each from two Asian countries are taking part in the drill. Both South Korea and Japan have security alliances with the United States.

The United States has frequently asked China and other countries to cut diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea as an international effort to squeeze Pyongyang’s illegal cash flows that could fund its weapons programs.

South Korea on Sunday said that it will impose a new unilateral sanctions on 20 institutions and a dozen individuals in North Korea that will prevent illegal funds flowing to North Korea.

Sources: The Hindu, The Japan Times 

Typhoon Talim rips across Japan

As typhoon Talim made landfall in southern Japan on Kyushu Island, forcing hundreds of flights alongside the timely bullet trains to be canceled. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines canceled 225 flights and 151 flights, respectively.

Bullet trains have been suspended between Kyushu’s Kumamoto and Kagoshimachuo since today morning.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency issued its strongest warning for heavy rain, flooding, and high waves.Typhoon Talim is the 18th Typhoon of the season, which has earlier made landfall in China and led to the displacement of 200,000 people earlier this week. The name of the typhoon “Talim” comes from a Tagalog word which means “cutting edge”. Currently, the speed of the Typhoon is around 180kph alongside its center.

The typhoon is forecasted to batter western Japan, with rough weather affecting the entire nation including its capital Tokyo. It would gradually fade out till tomorrow evening, after hitting the northernmost island of Hokkaido. Since tomorrow is a public holiday in Japan as people will offer respect for the aged day, it will also help them to recover from the impact of the typhoon quickly.


Sources: Indian ExpressJapan Times

Amit Shah asserts India’s sovereignty

On Saturday, BJP President Amit Shah asserted on the point that India is a sovereign country and it has the right to develop the country within its boundaries. He also said that India is dismissing China’s objection to Japan showing interests in investment in the northeastern states.

While addressing a press conference, he said, “India’s policy has been very well clarified by Sushmaji (External Affairs Minister). It is our sovereign right to develop the country inside our boundaries and we will utilise that right.”

Moreover, China has opposed the involvement of any third party in the Sino-Indian boundary disputes or any foreign investments in areas over which it has claimed in the region.

However, a joint statement has been issued by India and Japan on Thursday stating that

the setting up of the Act East Forum and referred to plans to take up infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in India’s northeastern states.

Chinese Foreign Ministry, spokesperson Huan Hunyin, reacting to it, said,”We are now trying to seek a solution through negotiations that is acceptable to both sides. Under such circumstances, various parties should respect such aspects and any third party should not be involved in our efforts to resolve the disputes.”

Sources – TOI, ZEE News

Sindhu reached Korea Open Superseries final vs Nozomi Okuhara

Adding another win to her name, badminton star PV Sindhu booked a place for herself in the finals of the Korea Open Superseries in Seoul by defeating He Bingjiao of China in the semi-finals today.

Starting strong, Sindhu kept Bingjiao on her backfoot winning the match by 21-10, 17-21, 21-16. Taking an 11-4 lead, Sindhu wrapped up the first game 21-10 in just 16 minutes.

However, the Chinese counterpart stepped up her game and made a comeback in the second winning the game after Sindhu had already established an 11-6 lead. Bingjiao won the game by 17-21.

The third game saw Bingjiao attacking right from the start and a seemingly tired Sindhu giving up points to the former’s drop shots. However, Sindhu’s powerful shots helped her take an 11-9 lead changing the game.

After establishing a 14-14 set, Sindhu took charge again with a 18-14 lead. Bingjiao struggled to comeback, but Sindhu’s power smashes proved to be too much to handle.

Eventually, Bingjiao netted a shot giving the world number 4 player the final win.

With this, Sindhu now moves forward to facing the final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan on Sunday.

Sources – HT, Indian Express

Image Source – Getty Images