Diplomats prepare for Abe-Putin meeting this week



Senior Japanese and Russian officials have held talks on concluding a post-World War II peace treaty as the two countries make final arrangements for a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin early next month in Russia.

A territorial spat over Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido have kept the two countries from signing the treaty for decades, but Abe hopes to make progress on the issue through talks with Putin at their proposed meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sept 2-3.

“We hope to hold the next round of peace treaty talks without leaving an interval,” Chikahito Harada, the Japanese government representative and ambassador in charge of Japan-Russia relations, told reporters after the meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov in Moscow.

Japan and Russia are also planning to realize a visit by Putin to Japan by the end of this year.

In the talks, the officials apparently discussed a “new approach” in tackling the territorial dispute, a term Abe used after agreeing with Putin to resolve the long-standing issue at their meeting in May. At the time, Abe did not explain the specifics of the “new approach.”

Regarding the content of the territorial negotiations, Harada said only, “We had positive and frank discussions.”

Japan and Russia remain apart in their views over the islets, with Tokyo maintaining the stance that ownership of the isles must be resolved before concluding a peace treaty.

For its part, Moscow says territorial and peace treaty issues are not directly connected and that it took the islets legitimately as the result of World War II.

The islets, off Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, are called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

Harada said he also requested Morgulov to ensure that a Japanese man who was questioned by authorities on Kunashiri Island, one of the disputed islands, can swiftly return to Hokkaido by sea. Morgulov said Russia is doing everything it can do, according to Harada.

The Japanese interpreter had been kept on the island during a visit under a bilateral visa-free exchange program. Media reports said he was carrying undeclared cash when he underwent a baggage check to leave the island.


Demi Lovato sued for copyright infringement


Singer and actress Demi Lovato has been accused by American indie rock band Sleigh Bells over copyright infringement.

Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller of the Brooklyn-based band said in a lawsuit filed on Monday in California federal court that “Stars,” a bonus track on Lovato’s 2015 hit album “Confident,” contains significant material taken from their 2010 song “Infinity Guitars.”

In documents filed in the U.S. District Court Central District of California, Sleigh Bells says the similarities between the two songs “transcend the realm of coincidence or shared generic material, and inform the very essence of the works.”

In a tweet dating back to November 2015, Sleigh Bells (@sleighbells) publicly addressed the former Disney Channel star, now 24, about the issue.

“.@ddlovato Demi Lovato flattered you guys sampled Infinity Guitars & Riot Rhythm for “Stars: but we were not contacted,” wrote the American musical duo. “Gotta clear those.”

At that time, the “Stars” producers Carl Falk and Rami Yacoub said in a statement that was not the case and that Lovato was not involved with the production of the song.

The band is seeking an injunction against further use of Lovato’s track and an unspecified amount of damages.

Lovato’s representatives did not return requests for comment.

(Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Black Lives Matter Terrorists: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom” in Canada

Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM – TO), the self proclaimedcoalition of Black Torontonians resisting anti-Black racism, state-sponsored violence, police brutality,” rallied on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 in front of the offices of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) at 5090 Commerce Blvd, Mississauga, Ont. The protest was aimed at the “racist” and “anti-blackness” practices of the Police and SIU. Similar rallies took place at the same time in Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury.

The nation-wide protests “Justice for Abdirahman Abdi” were organized in response to the death by Police of the 37-year-old Black Muslim Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa.

BLM – TO accuses Ottawa Police officers, Dave Weir and Daniel Montison, of “lynching” Abdi “by the bare hands” and committing a “summary execution” in public. “Brother Abdirahman was killed because he teetered on the dangerous intersections of Blackness, Somaliness, Islamophobia, and mental health,” BLM – TO’s statement reads.

Yusra Khogali and Alexandria Williams, co-founders of Black Lives Matter – Toronto, lead the protest with messages about black people being systematically oppressed by the authorities and their duty to fight back against the attack on their bodies in order to achieve the coveted “Black freedom” in Canada.

The following are excerpts from some of the messages sung and recited by Yusra Khogali and Alexandria Williams at the event: