ICHIKAWA: A Tale of Two Kabuki Actors

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This one is for people who live in or know Japan, and follow the news from here.

The background: two nights ago, star kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa, out drinking with friends, got into an argument with other restaurant patrons, and proved less adept at the art of pugilism than the art of kabuki. He returned home with fractured cheekbones, a broken nose and a broken tooth.

The next day, Ichikawa's father, a kabuki star several orders of magnitude greater than his son, held a press conference at which he apologized for his son's behavior.


Backscatter blowback

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The U.S. Transportation Security Administration agreed Friday to exempt uniformed pilots for U.S. carriers from enhanced pat-downs and full body scans that have outraged many air travelers.

Flight attendants - who also have pretty good opportunities to bring down or hijack aircraft inflight - aren't so lucky. Order your DVDs now at www.sexystewardessscans.com.


“Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”

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Maybe it's just me, but I thought Apple marketers overstated things a bit when they replaced their home page with the message: “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.”

The Beatles. On iTunes. Um, okay.

And now Steve Jobs can point all his missiles at Adobe. Or wherever.


Diary of a Future Former Prime Minister

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It has not been a wonderful past five months for Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan. He's dodged the "U.S. forces in Okinawa" bullet that brought down his predecessor Yukio Hatoyama, but mainly because other foreign policy woes have reminded Japanese that U.S. forces are probably the only reason Chinese tanks are not rolling down Ginza as I type.

First on Kan's foreign policy agenda was a bitchslapping by China's Foreign Ministry, after a (reportedly drunken and certainly nationalistic) Chinese fishing boat captain rammed his trawler into a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat. After arresting the captain, Kan caved to Chinese threats and released him.

Then Russian president Medvedev decided to field test his Leica and hiking boots on one of the Kuril Islands, whose ownership has been disputed by Japan and Russia since the end of World War Two (when Russia seized them from Japan).

And finally, last week U.S. president Barack Obama threw his arm around Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and declared he's like nothing better than to see India land a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, a seat Japan has been angling for.

The possible silver lining? As Japan's fifth prime minister in five years, it's likely Japan's neighbors (and voters) won't have Naoto Kan to kick around much longer.


Investigative Reporting

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This is a personal one, a birthday comic for Tucson Sentinel editor and publisher Dylan Smith. Happy birthday, amigo!


Team Orders in Brazil

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Ferrari driver Felipe Massa says he will do whatever it takes to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the title in Brazil on Sunday, even if it means sacrificing his own chances for a win. Massa controversially moved over to let Alonso win July's German Grand Prix, which helped the Spaniard take an 11-point lead into the penultimate race.


Glassman 2: Rise of the Chihuahua

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This cartoon was created for the Tucson Sentinel.

Background: former Tucson city councilman Rodney Glassman bet youth (and family money) against incumbent political icon John McCain in the campaign for McCain's Senate seat, and ... well, it turned out exactly as you expected.

What's next for Glassman? Politicomix reports.
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