World news: what’s making the headlines today

Japan Today is reporting that about 1,000 women took part in an annual New Year archery event for new adults at Sanjusangendo, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, yesterday (Sunday).

The event was held without spectators because of coronavirus. The archery tournament (kyudo in Japanese) involves the women shooting at a metre-wide target 60 metres away.

The archers shoot in groups. Each archer is given two arrows and has two minutes in which to hit the targets. Those who hit the target with both arrows advance to the second round. The tradition dates back to the early 1600s.

GW, a German news site, says that climate minister Robert Habeck wants to make the country climate-neutral by 2045.

The southern city of Freiburg is apparently already close to achieving his vision. It boasts many showcase projects: Freiburg’s new city hall was one of the first in the world to be conceived as a zero-energy building, with 800 solar panels on its façade.

A new football stadium has a world-beating solar installation on its roof. The archdiocese of Freiburg aims to be the first in Germany to reduce the church’s CO2 emissions to zero.

In New Zealand, the Herald is reporting that Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki is set to appear at Auckland District Court today (Monday).

He will be appearing via audio-visual link. It is not yet known the charges he is facing but there have been allegations that he breached bail conditions by speaking at a January anti-vaccine rally in Christchurch, which was attended by more than 100 people – more than allowed under the country’s traffic light system.

As part of his bail conditions, Mr Tamaki is reportedly not allowed to “organise or attend any protests in breach of any Covid-19 level requirement”. The 63-year-old has previously been charged three times over his attendance at Auckland Domain lockdown protests. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including allegations he violated the conditions of his bail.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that volcanologists say the Pacific eruption that triggered tsunami warnings along the US west coast over the weekend appears to be sputtering out – but that doesn’t mean that any one of many submarine volcanoes around the Pacific won’t produce a similar threat in the future.

Bay Area residents were among those waking up to news that a volcano had erupted near the Pacific island nation of Tonga, and the tsunami waves triggered by the blast were heading for the California coast. By yesterday (Sunday) morning, the tsunami warning had been lifted for California, but not until after it had led to the closure of beaches, some precautionary evacuations and localised flooding.

The Asia Times reports that the “holy grail” of energy – clean, safe and virtually limitless – is being generated in a six-storey building in a science park on the outskirts of a city south of Seoul, the South Korean capital. Nestled among buildings marked Korea Institute of Advanced Science and Technology and the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety in Daejeon, one hour from central Seoul by KTX bullet train, lies a superconducting fusion power plant – or, if you prefer, “artificial sun”.

Folha De S.Paulo, in Brazil, says that chess is no longer Henrique Mecking’s favorite subject. Almost 70, and better known as Mequinho, the greatest chess player in the South American country, prefers to talk about religion.

“I was chosen by Jesus as a prophet of the apocalypse 12 years ago,” he says. According to him, he still needs to be anointed by a bishop to be recognised by the entire Catholic Church. “From there, I will be able to help the Church, the world, in the best possible way. And, naturally, save Brazil from communism and the bloody civil war.”

The Local, an Italian website, has this enticing story: a Roman villa housing the only mural by Caravaggio at the centre of a legal battle between a former Playboy model and the sons of her late husband, an Italian prince, is up for auction tomorrow (Tuesday).

It reports that the sprawling property, valued at around £390 million, is a Baroque jewel with gorgeous gardens and a valuable art collection that also includes frescoes by Guercino.

Art lovers are demanding that the Italian state step in to buy the spectacular property, arguing that artistic treasures should be protected and available for public viewing. But the government might not have enough to pay for it – the auction is only open to those who can put up 10 per cent of the starting price, with rumoured buyers said to include Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei.

The auction was ordered by a Rome court following a dispute among the heirs of Prince Nicolo Ludovisi Boncompagni, the head of the family who died in 2018. The dispute is between the prince’s third and final wife, Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi, a 72-year-old American former real estate broker and actress who once posed for Playboy, and the children from his first marriage.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea

Eleanore Beatty

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