1. JAPAN IMPERIAL COUPLE RIDES THROUGH TOKYO IN GRAND ENTHRONEMENT PARADE
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako earlier today rode through central Tokyo in a motorcade to mark this year’s imperial succession.
Emperor Naruhito, 59, acceded to the throne in May after his father, Akihito, became the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.
The 400-meter long motorcade of 46 vehicles, including cars carrying Crown Prince Akishino, Crown Princess Kiko and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, moved slowly through the streets, accompanied by celebratory music played by bands.
The parade was originally due to take place on Oct. 22, but was postponed as Japan grappled with the aftermath of a devastating typhoon.
2. AUSTRALIA BATTLES BUSHFIRES, PREPARES FOR ‘CATASTROPHIC’ CONDITIONS
Australian firefighters raced to contain widespread bushfires that have left three people dead, and warned of the incoming “catastrophic” fire conditions.
Australia is suffering one of its worst bushfire seasons, which is occurring even before the start of the Southern Hemisphere summer, with parts of the country crippled by severe drought.
The New South Wales state Rural Fire Service in a statement said, high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity are forecast, making conditions dangerous.
Three people have died in New South Wales since Friday, when a record number of emergency-level fires were declared in the state, and at least 150 homes have been destroyed.
3. UNITED STATES PERSUADES NORTH KOREA TO RETURN TO TALKS
The United States is “very actively” trying to persuade North Korea to come back to negotiations as a year-end North Korean deadline for U.S. flexibility approaches.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April gave the United States a year-end deadline to show more flexibility in their denuclearisation talks, and North Korean officials have warned the United States not to ignore that date.
South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, said, South Korea has set up various contingency plans if the deadline passes without any positive outcome.
He added, the third North Korea-United States summit is possible only if talks between high-rank officials happen and lead to substantial progress.