Japan’s household spending sags; jobless rate lowest in two decades

Japanese household spending dropped again in April, official figures showed Tuesday, as consumers kept a tight hold on their purse strings despite years of government efforts to boost spending.

The fresh data attests to what analysts believe is a broader picture of the world’s third largest economy — it is picking up steam overall but tepid consumption continues to act as a drag.

Spending by households of two or more people shrank 1.4% year-on-year, extending its declining streak of more than a year, according to data from the internal affairs ministry.

Japan’s prospects have been improving on the back of strong exports, with investments linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also giving the economy a shot in the arm.

The labor market is tight as separate data on Tuesday showed the nation’s jobless rate stayed at 2.8% in April, the lowest in more than two decades.

The labour ministry separately said on Tuesday that the ratio of job offers to job seekers in April was at a 43-year high of 1.48, meaning there were 148 offers to every 100 job hunters.

Official figures earlier showed Japan’s economy grew 0.5% in the first three months of the year — or a 2.2% annualised growth rate.

That was its fifth straight quarterly rise and the longest string of gains since 2006.

Still, private consumption, which accounts for more than a half of Japan’s GDP, remains lacklustre as cash-rich firms have been stingy with pay hikes.

The Bank of Japan has struggled to lift inflation despite years of aggressive monetary easing.

Inflation data released last week showed consumer prices rose for the fourth straight month in April but it was due largely to higher energy bills.

The rise, which came in at 0.3%, was still way off the BOJ’s 2% inflation target — seen as crucial to conquering years of on-off deflation blamed for holding back the once-booming economy.

© 2017 AFP



New York City high school won’t serve prom food until 9PM due to Ramadan

And will never hold prom during Ramadan again, according to principal.

Source: New York City school won’t move prom over Ramadan conflict | abc7ny.com

FORT GREENE, Brooklyn (WABC) –Brooklyn Tech seniors will gather at Pier Sixty for the prom on June 3, but not all their classmates will be able to attend the big bash at the hot spot billed as the largest waterfront venue in Manhattan.

The party this year falls during Ramadan, a month-long time of religious fasting and prayer for observant Muslims.

“Obviously the date wasn’t the best date,” said senior Pakeza Sahbbir, who will be not attending. “You’re not suppose to listen to music during Ramadan, so that’s why it’s not really allowed.”

In an online petition, students are asking school officials to move the prom to another day so that everyone can participate. About 1,300 students go to Brooklyn Tech, but the school does not track religious affiliation.

“I know how it feels to fast,” student Saima Afrin said. “I feel very tired throughout the day, so I won’t want to go out. I’d sleep and stuff.”

In an effort to accommodate everyone, school officials said they won’t serve food at the prom until 9 p.m., after fasting ends at sundown.

[This does not accommodate everyone. It only accommodates Muslims and overwhelmingly negatively affects non-Muslims who essentially have to submit to sharia and fast themselves until 9PM.]

The principal also met with the Muslim Student Association Tuesday to make sure this never happens again.

“If they changed (the date), it’s going to loose a lot of money,” student Nafin Rahman said. “So I don’t think they want to lose a lot of money. Plus it’s already really expensive.”

And that is one reason Rahman and others won’t be going. At $185 per person, it’s simply not in their budget.

The principal met with the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Muslim Student Association which is now infiltrating high schools across America. And he vowed never to hold a prom during Ramadan again. Time will tell if he can uphold that sharia promise.

You can send Brooklyn Tech a message here or Phone: (718) 804-6400
Fax: (718) 260-9245 or the principal Randy Asher.



UK textbook tells children to “respect” jihad terrorists and write them letters

“Write a letter to terrorists! Children told to ‘respect’ killers in new teaching aid,” by Jon Coates, Express, May 28, 2017 (thanks to A.):

A NEW teaching aid that recommends schoolchildren as young as seven “write a letter to a terrorist” to help understand their motives has been condemned as “dangerous and misguided”.

The book, Talking About Terrorism, published weeks before the Manchester Arena atrocity, describes the indiscriminate mass murder of innocent members of the public as a “type of war”.

It tells primary age children that terrorists kill people because they believe they are being treated “unfairly and not shown respect”.

It gives examples of “terrorists” whose ideas then turn out to be right: “The Suffragettes used violence and were called terrorists,,,,” it stated.

“Today many people think of them as brave women and admire their struggle for the right to vote.”

In an activity recommended for pupils aged seven to 11, teachers are urged to “invite children to write a letter to a terrorist. If they could ask a terrorist six questions, what would they be?”

The book, published by Brilliant Publications and containing a foreword by Peter Wanless, the chief executive of the NSPCC, has been slammed by critics who say it is potentially dangerous.

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said the letter task would confuse and potentially upset pupils.

He said: “This a crackpot idea based on the misguided notion that primary school children must engage with, and show “respect” for, religious fanatics who are seeking to kill them.

“It is part of the “British Values” agenda that is being forced on schools by Ofsted and the educational establishment.

“The primary school classroom is not the place to humanise terrorism by ‘pretend dialogue’.”…