Grass’ controversial poem stirs debates
Aung San Suu Kyi takes seat in parliament on April 23
Facebook acquires Instagram for $1B
Sony cuts 10,000 jobs over next year
North Korea space official: Rocket ready for launch

 

Grass’ controversial poem stirs debates
“What Must Be Said” published by German Nobel-winning author Guenter Grass, labeling Israel a threat to Iran, unleashed debates in Israel and Germany.
Leaders in Israel have accused Grass of anti-Semitism and he would be barred from Israel.
Israeli Holocaust historian Tom Segev said Grass’ allegations against Israel are absurd but the Israel response was also exaggerated and reflected a troubling lack of tolerance for criticism.
Germany’s main opposition party said the Israeli travel ban on Grass was excessive. A democratic and pluralistic country such as Israel can also bear controversial opinions, especially because Guenter Grass’ views are not anti-Semitic.

Aung San Suu Kyi takes seat in parliament on April 23

Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will take her seat in parliament for the first time on April 23. Her National League for Democracy party will also become the main opposition presence in Parliament, following its historic election victory earlier this month.
Party spokesman Nyan Win said Suu Kyi received her official invitation to take her lower house seat when the next parliamentary session starts later this month.
The polls were viewed as a milestone for Myanmar, as it emerges from a half-century of military rule, and an astonishing reversal of fortune for the former political prisoner.

Facebook acquires Instagram for $1B
Instagram, a mobile phone application dedicated to photography and social networking was bought by Facebook for $1 billion. After the acquisition, Facebook plans to keep Instagram running independently and allowing people to post from Instagram to other social networks.
It is a windfall for Instagram. $1 billion is a huge sum for a tiny startup that has a handful of employees and no way to make money. Instagram has attracted more than 30 million people and was picked as the iPhone App of the Year in 2011.
Getting Instagram is also a big win for Facebook as it works to harness people’s growing obsession with their mobile devices and sharing every moment of their life. The company’s own mobile application is not as easy to use as Instagram, and sharing photos can be downright clunky. For Facebook, buying technology is always easier than building itself.

Sony cuts 10,000 jobs over next year
Since Sony Corp. struggles with weak TV sales and swelling losses, it decided to slash 6 percent of its work force, about 10,000 jobs worldwide, over the next year.
Sony has announced restructuring plans by selling its chemical unit. The company is also merging its LCD panel operation with Toshiba and Hitachi. Sony spokeswoman Yoko Yasukouchi said those changes could affect up to 5,000 employees who are subject to transfers.
Sony earlier this year reported a 159 billion yen ($2.1 billion) loss for the October-December quarter and more than doubled its projected loss for the full fiscal year through March 2013.

North Korea space official: Rocket ready for launch
North Korean space officials said the rocket built to carry the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, equipped with a camera designed to capture images of North Korea’s terrain and send back data about weather conditions into space, was ready for liftoff.
Experts said the rocket would be used to launch a long-range missile aimed at the U.S. and other targets.
The United States, Britain, Japan and others have urged North Korea to cancel the launch, saying it would be considered a violation of U.N. resolutions prohibiting the country from nuclear and ballistic missile activity.
Ryu Kum Chol, deputy director of the Space Development Department of the Korean Committee for Space Technology said a missile launch would require more sophisticated technology, and would not take place from a fixed, openly visible station.
He said the U.N. space treaty guarantees every nation’s right to develop its space program.

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