1Racial comments: Japan’s deputy prime minister described the country as the only one in the world with a single race, language and 2,000-year-old monarchy, sparking criticism that he was ignoring an indigenous ethnic group and Japanese racial diversity. Taro Aso, who is also finance minister, has made a series of remarks in the past deemed insensitive and discriminatory. Indigenous Ainu people have lived in what is now northern Japan for thousands of years and were officially recognized by a law enacted last year to protect and promote their culture. Japan also has 2.7 million foreign residents, more than 2% of its total population of 126 million. That includes more than 400,000 ethnic Koreans.

2 Road collapse: A bus plunged into a sinkhole on a city street in northwestern China, killing at least six people and leaving four missing, authorities said. Some 1,000 emergency workers and 30 vehicles were sent to the site in Qinghai province. A crane was called in to lift the bus above the sinkhole so rescue workers could look for victims. The expedited building of roads, tunnels, bridges and other infrastructure to keep China’s economy strong has often led to corner-cutting on safety, causing fatal workplace and industrial accidents. Mining had also caused instability in the ground in many areas.

3Terror charges: Kosovo prosecutors on Tuesday filed terrorism charges against an Albanian woman and a man for allegedly joining the Islamic State in Syria. A prosecutors’ office said the woman identified as V.K. and the man identified as F.D. left Kosovo in 2015 to join the Islamic State. Both are charged with participation in a terror group. The two handed themselves over to Kurdish forces last year. And in April, they were part of a group of 110 Kosovo citizens repatriated from Syria. If convicted, they could face prison sentences of up to 15 years. Scores of Kosovo citizens have been convicted of or charged with supporting terror groups since 2015 when authorities reinforced anti-terror legislation.

4First lady sought: Police in Lesotho on Tuesday were searching for the country’s first lady for questioning in the 2017 killing of the prime minister’s former wife, while the police commissioner said the “noose” was tightening around the prime minister and those close to him as an investigation continues. The killing of Lipolelo Thabane occurred two days before Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s inauguration for a second term in the tiny southern African nation, and two years after a court ruled that Lipolelo was the lawful first lady and entitled to benefits. Thomas Thabane married his current wife some two months after Lipolelo was killed. Police on Friday obtained an arrest warrant for the first lady after she didn’t report to them. Police Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli on Tuesday said officers had no idea where she might be.

5Armed protest: A Sudanese official said Tuesday that security forces have contained an armed protest from within the security apparatus, amid reports of unrest. Sudan’s minister of information, Faisal Mohamed Salah, called on “rebellious forces” to hand over their weapons. In a televised statement, he said the unrest started Tuesday in the capital, Khartoum, as well as the western city of Obeid, when intelligence officers went into the streets and began firing live bullets into the air. There were no reports of casualties among security forces or civilians. Sudan is in a transition period after an uprising last year deposed longtime autocratic ruler Omar el-Bashir. Since then, the country has been led by a joint military-civilian government.

Chronicle News Services