ODAWARA, Japan (AP) — A man set himself on fire on a high-speed bullet train in Japan on Tuesday, killing himself and another passenger as the coach filled with smoke, a fire official said.
At least 26 other people were injured, three seriously, mostly from smoke inhalation, Odawara Fire Department official Ikutaro Torii said.
The man’s motive wasn’t clear.
The passenger poured an oil-like substance over his head before setting himself on fire, authorities said. Kyodo News service reported that he used a lighter. Officials said the fire was at the front of the first car of the train, which was heading from Tokyo to Osaka.
“I said to myself, ‘This is bad!'” said Takeo Inariyama, a 54-year-old businessman traveling in the second car. “I saw everyone running toward me and smoke coming. Also the smell (of smoke) filled the car. So I felt my life was in danger.”
The train stopped on the outskirts of Odawara city, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Tokyo, when a passenger pressed an emergency button after finding someone collapsed on the floor near a restroom at the back of the first car, a transport ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.
The passenger on the floor, a woman, was later pronounced dead, reportedly from inhaling smoke.
Crew members rushed to extinguish the fire, said Kengo Sasaoka, a spokesman for Central Japan Railway Co., which operates the bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka.
TBS television broadcast a video of passengers evacuating the smoke-filled coach, some coughing, others covering their faces with towels and handkerchiefs.
Witnesses provided somewhat varying accounts to Japanese networks.
One passenger, in a telephone interview with TBS, said the man approached him when he was standing outside the driver’s compartment and told him to stay away because it would be dangerous, then poured an orange-colored liquid over himself.
Public broadcaster NHK quoted a 58-year-old businessman as saying the man walked up and down the aisle a few times before returning with a plastic container that splashed a liquid on the businessman’s shoulder as he walked by.
The man then started dumping the liquid on the floor, and the businessman quickly left as he smelled gasoline, he said.
Bringing hazardous materials on public transportation is prohibited, but there is no way of checking, railway analyst Ryozo Kawashima told NHK. He said he does not recall any other incident like this in the bullet train’s 50-year history.
Japan’s suicide rate is among the world’s highest, and a number of people jump off station platforms in front of approaching trains every year.
Self-immolation, though, is relatively rare. Two occurred last year, one fatal, but both were political protests.
Bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka was suspended for about two and a half hours Tuesday while rescue workers helped some of the injured off the train. The train then moved slowly to Odawara station, where about 1,000 passengers got off.
The 16-car bullet train, called Shinkansen in Japanese, travels the 553 kilometers (343 miles) between Tokyo and Osaka in 2 hours and 33 minutes.
This story has been corrected to show that analyst Kawashima’s given name is Ryozo, not Reizo.
Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo contributed to this report.
MACON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in central Georgia say up to 50 teenagers bent on destruction raced into a Wal-Mart in Macon, smashing merchandise and causing an estimated $2,000 in damage.
Bibb County sheriff’s officials say some of the young people snatched a man from a motorized shopping cart and dragged him to the floor during the rampage around 2 a.m. Sunday.
Sheriff’s officials said one of the teens later told a Wal-Mart employee the goal was to see how much damage they could cause.
Sheriff’s officials say floors were coated with broken merchandise.
The Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1LFzW6M ) reports that the teens ran when deputies arrived, but a 17-year-old boy was arrested when he returned to the store to retrieve his cellphone.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said investigators are using surveillance video to try and identify suspects.
Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com
This past week in Education news: Edutopia reports on the rise of the Teacherpreneur; Edudemic explains how to use self-publishing for project-based learning; Edudemic also shares clever ways to engage students through LEGOs; EdWeek reports on how districts are finding the right digital curricula; and our resident blogger shares ideas for using Twitter with students.
Teachers have to be among the most adaptable professionals in the world, constantly innovating and improvising to meet diverse students’ educational needs. Edutopia explains, “teacherpreneurs” are action-oriented networkers who acquire and share ideas at a faster than average pace, building communities of practice all around them. As educators problem solve, it’s important to find ways to support their efforts and to quickly communicate new solutions and work-arounds to peers in the field. Along the same lines, you may also want to check out this Edudemic article on the teachers’ guide to Pinterest. http://www.edudemic.com/the-teachers-guide-to-pinterest/
Edudemic reports, when a teacher decided to self-publish his writing he invited his students to weigh in on the process. The result was an authentic project-based learning opportunity to educate his students on the editing and revision process, graphics and illustration, and marketing and event planning. As students offered feedback, the teacher also got a reminder about considering the audience and was able to make important improvements to his own work.
From counting to classification to coding, LEGOs make learning complex concepts child’s play. Edudemic shares 12 ways to use LEGO bricks in the classroom, for math, literacy, writing and thought exercises. This article doesn’t even begin to address building and robotics exercises, demonstrating how expansive the possibilities are for engaging kids with a favorite toy.
The options for digital education resources seem boundless, which can create problems for districts as they separate the wheat from the digital content chaff. EdWeek reports that some districts have supervisors of blended learning in order to effectively implement technology using the right products that link to their districts’ interpretation of the Common Core.
Our resident blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator Monica Burns offers a variety of ideas for using Twitter with students, particularly in the Social Studies classroom. Twitter isn’t just an outlet for celebrities and cat videos — it’s also a force for social movements and momentous change. Learn how to harness its power in your classroom.
CAIRO (AP) — A car bomb killed Egypt’s chief prosecutor Monday in the country’s first assassination of a senior official in 25 years, marking what could be an escalation in a campaign by Islamic militants toward targeting leaders of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hisham Barakat led the prosecution of members of the Brotherhood and other Islamists, including former President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the military in July 2013. The courts have been handing out mass death sentences against them in trials harshly criticized as lacking due process.
Monday’s assassination of the 65-year-old Barakat came on the eve of the second anniversary of the mass demonstrations against Morsi that led to his ouster.
A car laden with explosives was detonated by remote control around 10 a.m. as Barakat’s motorcade left his home in the eastern district of Heliopolis, police said. He suffered multiple shrapnel wounds and was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. following surgery, medical officials said. Five guards, two drivers and one civilian also were injured in the blast.
An Egyptian militant group calling itself “Popular Resistance in Giza” claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, with photographs from the site of the bombing. The claim could not be independently verified. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood denied responsibility, but blamed authorities for the violence.
Authorities and pro-government TV networks blamed the Brotherhood, which they consider a terrorist group, broadly accusing it of orchestrating violence.
A senior security official said an initial investigation showed that Islamic militants along with the Brotherhood were responsible, while the State Information Service said the killing “clearly shows the terrorist group’s violent discourse” and underscores its “rejection of the state of law.” It equated the Brotherhood with extremist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria or killing tourists in Tunisia.
All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The Brotherhood has maintained that peaceful means are the only way to resist what it called a coup against Morsi, but recent shifts within the group’s youth cadres have signaled frustration with that approach and new support for using force.
Islamic militants, who for years had turned Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into a stronghold, widened their insurgency after Morsi’s overthrow.
Militants have focused on police and the military but in recent months have targeted the judiciary. On Sunday, the Islamic State released video showing the May assassination of three judges in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish, accusing them of ruling against “God’s laws.”
While most of Egypt’s major suicide bombings were carried by an Islamic State affiliate — previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis — lesser-known groups under the “Popular Resistance” moniker have claimed responsibility for smaller attacks, including those against police and sabotaging infrastructure.
The killing recalled one of Egypt’s darkest chapters, when Islamic militants and the state security apparatus engaged in retaliatory killings for nearly a decade starting in 1990. That year, the militants gunned down parliament speaker Rifaat el-Mahgoub in Cairo, the last assassination of a senior official. There were attempts against other ministers until the insurgency was crushed in the late 1990s.
At the site of Monday’s bombing, rubble and twisted metal was strewn across a city block. Several charred cars were in the middle of the street, and a dozen others were wrecked. Nearby buildings also were damaged, including ground-floor shops, apartment balconies and dozens of windows were shattered. Some residents sobbed as they went through the debris.
“I walked around the corner into wall of smoke and fire from the blast, glass flew everywhere and was falling,” said Ali Abdullah, who lives on an adjoining street. Video showed firefighters dousing the flames, some of which had spread to trees.
At Al-Nozha Hospital, where Barakat was taken, two dozen police with assault rifles ringed the area and men in suits with submachine guns guarded the main door.
Announcing his death, the Justice Ministry described Barakat as a “martyr.”
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s office vowed the culprits would “face the harshest punishment.” Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri called it a “hideous terrorist incident” that will only boost support for the government’s war on terrorism.
TV networks replaced popular Ramadan soap operas Monday night with live feeds from outside the hospital and from his house, as well as readings from the Quran.
The bombing was condemned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Amnesty International and the White House.
“The United States stands by Egypt at this difficult time, as we continue to work together to fight the scourge of terrorism,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said.
Barakat lived near Egypt’s heavily fortified military academy, and the attack came as security forces already were on high alert ahead of the anniversary the 2013 rallies by millions of people demanding Morsi’s ouster. Anti-government demonstrators plan to protest any June 30 celebrations, and some extremist groups have called for attacks.
Morsi was removed from power by el-Sissi, who was then-army chief, following mass demonstrations. Protesters had called on Morsi to resign over allegations he abused power in favor of the Brotherhood. The rallies culminated on July 3, when the military stepped in and jailed Morsi.
His supporters responded with a campaign of street protests. In the ensuing crackdown, security forces killed hundreds and detained tens of thousands, while el-Sissi went on to win election as president last year, although election observers said the vote took place under unsatisfactory conditions.
Morsi has since been sentenced to death over a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that eventually brought him to power. He also faces trial on other charges that carry the death penalty.
The last attempt to kill a high government official was a 2013 suicide bombing that failed to kill then-Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis — which has since pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group — claimed responsibility for that attack. Now, it calls itself the Islamic State group’s Sinai Province and has claimed most of Egypt’s major suicide bombings and assassinations.
About the same time of Monday’s attack, a bomb exploded in a village near el-Arish, killing three engineers riding in a bus, security officials said. They added that the militants who triggered the bomb apparently thought the bus was carrying soldiers.
Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Disney is merging its consumer product and interactive divisions, a move that acknowledges the shared goals of important product lines like the Disney Infinity video game franchise and the upcoming line of wearable toys called Playmation.
The change is “in response to changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology,” the Burbank, California, company said Monday.
The new division also includes its publishing unit, which puts out children’s books, e-books and apps and had been part of consumer products previously.
The combined unit will be co-chaired by the presidents of the consumer products and interactive divisions, Leslie Ferraro and Jimmy Pitaro.
Although the Walt Disney Co. is aiming to maximize efficiencies along with speeding innovation, it is not planning any layoffs.
The change ends a rocky reporting period for the Interactive division, which posted years of big losses upon having its results broken out in late 2008. The unit was stung by an expensive foray into console games. An attempt to push into mobile and social games with the purchase of game makers Tapulous and Playdom in 2010 largely fell flat.
The division finally became consistently profitable starting in the quarter through September 2013, lifted by the launch of Disney Infinity, a video game series that links real-world toys with on-screen virtual worlds and spans characters from Disney, Pixar and in the future, Marvel and Star Wars.
Tom Staggs, Disney’s chief operating officer who had been tasked with overseeing the combination, said in a statement, “a shared innovation strategy will enable this new segment to create unique and engaging products and experiences.”
Financial reporting changes will start in the quarter through December that begins Disney’s fiscal 2016.
LONDON (AP) — The Latest from Wimbledon (all times local):
Sloane Stephens won a Wimbledon match for the first time in two years.
The 37th-ranked American knocked off a seeded player, too, easily eliminating No. 27 Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 in a first-round match moved to Centre Court.
A year ago at the All England Club, Stephens bowed out in the first round. In 2013, she made it to the quarterfinals.
French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova overcame Alison Riske of the United States 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round at Wimbledon.
The sixth-seeded Czech, who was coming off a first-round loss at the grass-court warmup at Eastbourne, was down a set and 5-3 before rallying to take the match into a third set.
Safarova reached the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.
Maria Sharapova celebrated her opening win at Wimbledon with a run in the park.
The fourth-seeded Russian beat Johanna Konta of Britain 6-2, 6-2 Monday, and then tweeted some pictures of herself out and about in Wimbledon.
Sharapova wrote “After a good start to @Wimbledon, finishing off the day with a good run in the park (hashtag)Wimbledon2015.”
French Open champion Stan Wawrinka is in the second round at Wimbledon.
The fourth-seeded Swiss beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (3) Monday in his opening match, played on Centre Court.
Wawrinka has never made it past the quarterfinals at the All England Club, but he won the Australian Open in 2014 and added another major title at Roland Garros this year.
Novak Djokovic can’t seem to shake accusations that he and coach Boris Becker are cheating.
Becker said in a recent interview that he and Djokovic communicate during matches. Coaching during a match is against the rules, but Djokovic says that’s not what is happening.
The top-seeded Serb says “there are certain ways of communication which is encouragement, which is support, which is understanding the moment when to clap or say something that can lift my energy up, that can kind of motivate me to play a certain point. But it’s all within the rules.”
Djokovic, the defending champion at Wimbledon, won his opening match Monday.
Lleyton Hewitt has played his last match at Wimbledon.
The 2002 champion at the All England Club lost his opening match at this year’s tournament, falling to Jarkko Nieminen 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9 Monday in exactly 4 hours.
Hewitt, a former top-ranked player from Australia, won the title the year before Roger Federer started his run of five straight championships. He has said he will retire from the sport after next year’s Australian Open.
Since Hewitt won 13 years ago, only Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have won the grass-court major.
Maria Sharapova has advanced to the second round.
The fourth-seeded Russian, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, beat Johanna Konta of Britain 6-2, 6-2 Monday.
Although Sharapova won her first major title on the grass in southwest London, she has struggled at Wimbledon. In seven of the past eight years, Sharapova has failed to reach the quarterfinals at the All England Club.
Even with Wimbledon on his mind, Nick Kyrgios made time to watch the NBA Finals.
The Australian is a big basketball fan, but definitely not a fan of the Golden State Warriors.
Kyrgios said he wouldn’t talk about the NBA champions because “I don’t really like the Warriors.” But he did have plenty of nice things to say about LeBron James.
Kyrgios said James is, “hands down, the best player in the world. I think any person looks up to him.”
Just after he won his opening match at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic summed up what the All England Club means to him.
“This is the cradle of our sport, Centre Court,” Djokovic said, “it doesn’t get any better than Wimbledon.”
Djokovic beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in straight sets on the opening day of the tournament, playing the first match in the main stadium.
Last year, Djokovic won his second Wimbledon title on the same Centre Court, beating seven-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets.
John Isner’s serve is in fine form to start Wimbledon, where his career winning percentage is now back to .500.
The 17th-seeded American — best known for winning the longest match in tennis history at the All England Club in 2010 — hit 38 aces in a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 victory over 91st-ranked Go Soeda of Japan in the first round Monday.
Isner collected more than half of his points, 58 of 96, via unreturned serves.
The match only took 1 hour, 45 minutes — a sprint for Isner, who famously edged Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set of a first-rounder five years ago that lasted more than 11 hours spread over three days.
Isner never has been past the third round at Wimbledon in six previous trips and is now 6-6 at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament.
Wimbledon’s defending champion is through to the second round.
Novak Djokovic beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 Monday in the first round, playing the first match of the tournament on Centre Court.
Djokovic, who won the Australian Open this year and then lost in the French Open final, is the man to beat at the All England Club again this year. The top-seeded Serb won his second Wimbledon title last year, and came into this year’s tournament with a 41-3 record.
Serena Williams was far from dominant at the start, but more than good enough at the end.
The top-seeded American opened her quest for a true Grand Slam with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Margarita Gasparyan of Russia on Monday in the first round of Wimbledon.
Williams has won three straight major titles, including the Australian Open and French Open. If she wins the title at the All England Club and then defends her title at the U.S. Open, she would be the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam titles in the same season.
Williams started slow on the grass on Court 1, trailing 3-1 before turning things around and advancing to the second round.
Serena Williams is a half-hour into Wilmbledon and she’s already getting warned to watch her language.
In the sixth game of her first-round match against Margarita Gasparyan of Russia, a qualifier ranked 113th, Williams slid on the grass and fell during a point. After the next point, a lineswoman trotted over to the chair umpire, who announced: “Code violation, audible obscenity, Miss Williams.”
Williams glared at the lineswoman as she went back over to her position behind the baseline.
Williams, who has a 21-match Grand Slam winning streak, trailed 3-1 before taking three games in a row.
Victoria Azarenka is the first player to reach the second round of Wimbledon.
The 23rd-seeded Belarussian, a two-time Australian Open champion, beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 6-1 on Court No. 12.
Nick Kyrgios hit it right on the head — on the head of a linesman, that is.
The 26th-seeded Australian was hitting back to the ball boy during his opening match at Wimbledon on Monday when he sent an errant shot toward the corner of the court that bounced off the top of the head of an unsuspecting linesman.
The linesman wasn’t hurt, and he and Kyrgios soon shared a laugh with the crowd. The linesman then wiped his brow and Kyrgios got back to work against Diego Schwartzman, jumping out to a 6-0, 6-2 lead.
Take a look at the video: http://clips.wimbledon.com/g/v/ae7vG2jHkDS
Rain shouldn’t be problem on the opening day at the All England Club.
Play has already started at Wimbledon, with some sun sneaking through the gray clouds overhead.
The dry weather and warm temperatures are expected to stay well into the first week.
Day 1 at Wimbledon is upon us, and Novak Djokovic is first up on Centre Court.
The defending champion from Serbia will take to the grass at about 1 p.m., but it will be no walk in the park against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Djokovic won his second title at Wimbledon last year, beating seven-time champion Roger Federer in five sets. The two could meet in the final again this year.
Stan Wawrinka, who beat Djokovic this month in the French Open final, is also scheduled to play on Centre Court, taking on Joao Sousa of Portugal.
In the women’s draw, top-seeded Serena Williams will continue her bid for a true Grand Slam by taking on Margarita Gasparyan of Russia on Court No. 1. Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion at the All England Club, will be up against Johanna Konta of Britain in the main stadium.