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Sept 2003

KS Classifieds
#017 out now

Biggest computer virus attack on Mircrosoft

A new strain of one of the most virulent email viruses ever spread quickly worldwide Tuesday morning, causing fresh annoyance to users worn out by last week's outbreak of the Blaster worm.

The new virus, named "Sobig.F" by computer security companies, attacks Windows users via email and file-sharing networks. It also deposits a Trojan horse, or hacker back door, that can be used to turn victims' PCs into senders of spam email.

MessageLabs Inc, a company that filters email for corporations, had blocked more than 100,000 copies of Sobig.F, making it by far the most active virus of the day. The previous Sobig.A and Sobig.B variants are both on MessageLabs' list of the biggest 10 email viruses of all time.

The email message that carries Sobig.F has the subject line "Re: Details" and the message "Please see attached file for details." If a recipient clicks on the attachment, which can have multiple names ending in the .pif file extension, the computer will be infected.

The virus will then send itself out to names found in the victim's address book and will use one of these names to forge a return address. As such, the infected party may not quickly learn of the infection, while an innocent party may get the blame for helping to propagate it.

Like all the other Sobig viruses, this version is programmed to self-destruct after two weeks, in this case on Sept 10. It uses a published flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating systems to spread via network connections, without using email.

Toyota releases hybrid version of Alphard minivan

Toyota Motor Corp. on July 30 released the gasoline-electric hybrid version of its Alphard minivan introduced
in May last year, Alphard Hybrid.

The Alphard Hybrid features a system made up of a 2.4-liter high-efficiency gas engine, front motor and continuously variable transmission. The G Edition in the Alphard Hybrid series is priced at 4.12 million yen, about 1.1 million yen more than the gasoline version.

The locally based station went online May 30.

Japan news

Nepal's abominable snowman draws yet another seeker

The arrival of a seven-man Japanese expedition in Kathmandu to search for Nepal's elusive abominable snowman, has renewed interest in the history, or lack of it, of the fabled yeti.

'Blaster' worm hits police computers 10,000 times in 24 hours

A computer virus targeting Microsoft operating systems made about 10,000 attempts to access Japanese police computers last month, the National Police Agency said. About 3,300 attempts were made from Japan, 2,500 from the United States and 2,000 from South Korea.

Gov't eyes using gardens to combat rising temperatures

A building complex in Tokyo's Roppongi district has been built with a garden on its roof. Govern-ment officials said in Aug. 13 they have submitted a bill to the Diet requiring structures that will be built mainly in urban areas to allot space on their premises for gardens to combat excessive warming.
The "heat island phenomenon" occurs when temperatures in the center of large cities are higher than surrounding areas due mainly to concentrated development and massive energy consumption.

Japan admits to Chinese chemical spill

Japan has admitted chemicals involved in an accident in China were left in the country by its soldiers withdrawing at the end of the Pacific war. At least 36 people are ill in hospital, two "close to death," after metal drums containing what is thought to be mustard gas were found on a construction site in the city of Qiqihar in China's Heilongjiang province. A Japanese spokesman called the incident "extremely regrettable" and said Japan would dispose
of the chemicals swiftly in accordance with a chemical weapons agreement between the two countries signed several years ago.

Japan regrets China accident caused by abandoned weapons

Japan on Tuesday acknowledged that a poison gas accident in China's Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, earlier this month was caused by chemical weapons abandoned by the former Imperial Japanese Army at the end of World War II, and expressed regret over the accident.

World Heritage brand draws too many tourists to forests

Areas surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage site on the Shirakami Sanchi mountains, one of the world's largest virgin beech forests in northeastern Japan, are suffering from the increasing number of visitors since the designation 10 years ago. The mountains spanning Aomori and Akita prefectures have become a popular tourist spot since becoming a World Heritage site in 1993, and the large number of visitors walking around the forest has been causing more damage to the trees than experts had expected.

Blood flow to brain changes with radio-wave exposure

Japanese researchers said they have found that blood flow in the brains of people who complain of irritation from electromagnetic waves changes when they are exposed to such waves from appliances such as cell phones and power lines. The research group measured the changes in the amount of blood flow in
10 people, five of whom have symptoms of hypersensitivity to electromagnetic waves.

Aparent suicide by a mother

A woman drove herself and her children into the sea in Kobe's Nada Ward in an apparent suicide after disappearing from home days earlier. Her eldest son, 10, survived.

Suspected arrestment for Kumagaya murder case

A 26-year-old gangster and his 16-year-old girlfriend were arrested for suspected ties with the Kumagaya abduction-murder case where a man and a woman were found dead with stab wounds to the back.

Japanese soldiers wrote antiwar letters from Chinese front

Japanese soldiers at the front line during the 1937-1945 war with China wrote antimilitary letters to their families and friends, even though they knew their correspondence would be censored by the Imperial Japanese Army, scholars said.

Children Under Threat

A 13 year old boy was detained in Morioka City, Iwate prefecture for threatening to kill 23 children on the Internet. The boy was taken in to custody by the police on suspicion of threatening children on a website. According to the police, the boy posted a message on an Internet discussion board on July 15 saying, "Tomorrow, I will kill 23 elementary school students in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture." "I only did for fun, as a joke," the police quoted the boy as saying.

Peru Formally Requests Former President's Extradition from Japan

The Peruvian government asked Japan to extradite former President Alberto Fujimori to face charges that he authorized massacres in Peru in the early 1990s. "At this moment, the diplomatic note request-ing the extradition of former President Alberto Fujimori, accompanied by the extradition file compiled by the supreme court, is being handed over in Japan," said Peruvian Foreign Minister Allan Wagner at a press conference. The Peruvian office of Amnesty International (AI) and other non-government organizations (NGO) presented the Japanese Embassy here a document signed by 22,000 citizens demand-ing the extradition of former President Alberto Fujimori.

Welcome party for riot police officers

Mangyongbong-92, the North Korean ferry that makes occasional port calls to Niigata, found a welcome party of 1,900 riot police officers, ship inspectors and coast guard personnel when it docked in late August.

Pilot in A-bomb mission of 1945 is dead

George William Marquardt, the man who took photos of the first atomic explosion over Hiroshima and then flew the Enola Gay on its last combat mission has died in Utah at the age of 84. He is quoted as saying "I have never for one moment regretted my participating in the dropping of the A-bomb".

International news

Tyred names

While they may not be famous four Canadians have netted a collective $25,000 to change their surnames from Goodyear to Dunlop. The Dunlop Tires campaign targeted Canadians with the last names of tire companies - Goodyear, Firestone and Michelin, for example. Participants had until August 12 to legally drop their surname and walk away with a share of the $25,000 prize. It was a co-incidence that only Goodyears took the bait. "I thought about it, spoke to my wife and figured the money that's involved, I could use it," said 28-year-old Brian Dunlop, formerly Brian Goodyear, and a building superintendent in Toronto. For Jackson Dunlop, also of Toronto, giving up the name Goodyear was a no-brainer. Goodyear was the name she took when she married a man she has now divorced.

'Human shield' faces $10,000 fine

A Sarasota, California woman who served as a "human shield" during the war in Iraq faces thousands of dollars in civil penalties. According to a letter dated March 20 from the federal Department of the Treasury, Faith Fippinger broke the law by crossing the Iraqi border — a violation of U.S. sanctions that prohibit American citizens from engaging in "virtually all direct or indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq." Now, Fippinger,
62, owes the United States at least $10,000, which is $10,000 more than she says she will pay.

U.S. Unclear on Afghan Opium Situation

The United States has no ready answer to calls for action to reverse the upward trend in opium production in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. "It is a whale of a tough problem. And I'm afraid that the ultimate solution for that is going to be probably found by attacking it in all directions, not just the supply side, but the education and the demand side as well," Rumsfeld said.

Singer Bobby Brown arrested

Bobby Brown was arrested on a probation violation while dining with his wife, Grammy winner Whitney Houston. Brown was picked up at a restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta after an unidentified caller tipped authorities. He was taken to the DeKalb County Jail. Last January, Brown was sentenced to eight days in jail and ordered not to drive for a year after pleading guilty to a 1996 drunken driving charge in DeKalb County.

Extreme runners tackle London landmarks

Stars of a new extreme sport called free running will be shown on TV leaping between buildings and across rooftops determined to let nothing get in their way. The trio are shown scaling a dozen London landmarks, including the National Theatre, HMS Belfast, the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, the Saatchi Gallery and the Albert Hall. They are seen somersaulting, vaulting, tumbling, taking a thrilling journey across the capital using some of its most famous buildings as their stepping stones.

French health boss quits in heat row

France's surgeon-general has resigned in the wake of the heatwave crisis which has left thousands dead and in hospital. News of his resignation came hours after the French health minister confirmed the extreme temperatures could have killed up to 5,000 people.

Student takes up war orphans' plight at U.N. rights panel

Yumi Nakai, a fourth-year law student at Ryukoku University, visited Geneva, Switzerland in August to ask the U.N. Human Rights Commission to look into Japan's policy of deporting Chinese relatives of wa r- displaced Japanese nationals that are not related by blood. She said the practice violates human rights.

Burmese Tigers

Protests against the military government in Burma have taken place in several countries to mark the 15th anniversary of the crushing of pro- democracy demonstrations. Protesters in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Bangladesh and the UK called for democratic change and the immediate release of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been in detention for two months.


A 20-year-old Marine from Anoka County in Minnesota shot himself to avoid being deployed to Hawaii, and confessed to making a false statement about being shot while helping a man in a disabled black rusted pick up truck after midnight.

News section compiled by Jason Mills


From the pages of KS Classifieds:
Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!


From the pages of KS Classifieds:
Festivals, performances, shows, gallery openings...your guide to what's coming up in the next few weeks.


Dohyo Iri:
Entering the Ring of Power

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far From the Maddening Crowd
Shikinejima Island, Tokyo Prefectures's last frontier.


Summer Tech Bites
New releases from Sony for all you techies.


Lanna Thai Restaurant
Northern Thai cuisine in Shinsaibashi.

A new bar enters the Shinsaibashi scene.


Some of the news you won't see printed elsewhere, plus the best of the rest.


Hawaiian themed silk paintings by Judith L. Ritter plus art listings for September.


Underlounge 4th Anniversary plus Carl Craig Japan Tour @ World and more...


Whale Rider, 28 Days Later and many more...


Randall Channel, Tea Master Budoka, TV celebrity and a Blues Brother.