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Fast Fax News - 2004-03-02

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Mie Prefecture, Japan -- The Emperor spoke Monday from a podium erected by schoolchildren in a historic Japanese town. The tiny village of Toba has become the epicenter of the new "Japanese edict". A restoration of this centuries old hamlet has been ongoing for the past 20 years, returning the village to a look that has not been seen here since the late 1800s. At the same time, the new Japanese edict calls for modernization and integration, which the residents of Toba have done wholeheartedly. Like many small towns under the new Japanese edict, Toba has moved to a wireless Matrix service and has fully integrated itself into the national transportation system. Electropod-vehicles and magrail are now the only acceptable means of reaching Toba and combustion engine vehicles are banned in the city proper. The Emperor spoke of his great pride in the peoples of Toba, and took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to keeping the Philippines in the Japanese empire.


Tokyo, Japan -- Japan's Nikkei stock average again powered ahead last Friday, reaching a 21-month high on renewed investor confidence and more gains on Wall Street Monday. The Nikkei finished 0.8 percent ahead to its highest close since June 2052. The broader Topix index was up 0.83 percent, also extending gains into a fourth straight day. Most other markets in the region were firmly in the black. Korea's bourse, which was closed Thursday for a national holiday, finished about 1.8 percent ahead. There were gains of 1.26 percent for Taiwan, 0.36 percent for New Zealand and 0.27 percent for Australia. Singapore is about a quarter of a percent higher heading towards the close, while Hong Kong is in the red, down about a third of a percent. In Tokyo, the nuyen is trading at 189.01 yen late in the day.


Butuan, Philippines -- Three policemen have been killed in a guerrilla ambush while two civilians have been abducted by rebels in the southern Philippines. Huk gunmen waylaid three traffic policemen on the outskirts of the southern city of Butuan late on Monday, a police report said on Tuesday. All three officers were shot dead as they approached the neighborhood. The interim government resumed peace talks with the rebel leadership last month, but the two sides have not signed a ceasefire. Meanwhile, more Huk guerrillas killed a man and abducted his wife and son in the village of Buan in the Tawi-tawi island group in the extreme southern Philippines on Sunday, Japanese officials said. The Huks have been waging a kidnapping and bombing campaign in support of an attempt to gain their independence from Japanese Military rule. The Japanese government deems the Huk a "radical terrorist organization" and has helped train Filipino citizens willing to go after the insurgent group.


Auburn, Seattle -- A man from south Auburn was rushed to the hospital Sunday in an accute state of respiratory arrest. He collapsed early Sunday evening at a McHughs chain restaurant, and was seen by eyewitnesses to be spasming and convulsing. There are claims he vomited several times in his conniptions. Local authorities moved quickly to quarantine the restaurant, but several patrons had already fled the building by the time Lone Star arrived. Hospital officials were quick to state that this did not seem to be a new outbreak of VITAS, despite the similar symptoms. As of today no release has been made about the victim's condition or illness, though we are informed the family has been notified.

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