41 people injured in Japan restaurant explosion

A view of a site of an explosion at a bar in Sapporo, Japan, December 16, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. (Courtesy: Twitter/ @KEIBAPANDRA/via Reuters)
Updated 16 December 2018
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41 people injured in Japan restaurant explosion

  • The explosion occurred in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido
  • Police said 41 people were injured, most of them mildly, though one was in serious condition

TOKYO: More than 40 people were injured in an explosion Sunday night at a restaurant in northern Japan, police said.
The explosion occurred in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido.
Police said 41 people were injured, most of them mildly, though one was in serious condition. They were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The cause of the explosion, which occurred at a two-story restaurant in Sapporo’s Toyohira district, is under investigation, police said, adding that they had no further details.
TV footage from Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed the restaurant in flames, with debris scattered on the ground.
The footage showed gray smoke billowing from the restaurant as dozens of firefighters poured water onto the building, which was charred and nearly collapsing. Windows on an apartment building next door were broken.
A witness told NHK that he smelled gas after the sound of an explosion.


Singer Chris Brown released in Paris after rape complaint

Updated 5 min 47 sec ago
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Singer Chris Brown released in Paris after rape complaint

  • Brown strongly denied the accusations
  • Brown has been authorized to leave France while the investigation is ongoing
PARIS: US singer Chris Brown and two other people were released Tuesday from police custody after a woman filed a rape complaint against them, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
The Grammy-winning singer was detained Monday with two other suspects on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions.
The Paris prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press that Brown has been authorized to leave France while the investigation is ongoing.
A post late Tuesday on Brown’s Instagram page strongly denied the accusations.
“I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR...... THIS IS FALSE,” the post said. “FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!“
Brown’s publicists at Sony Music wouldn’t comment Tuesday on the complaint or say what Brown, 29, was doing in Paris. His US attorney, Mark Geragos, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed his probation in that case in 2015, but has continued to have run-ins with police.
The woman who filed the Paris complaint said she met Brown and his friends overnight Jan. 15-16 at the club Le Crystal in the 8th arrondissement near the Champs-Elysees, and then they all went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near the Concorde Plaza in central Paris, according to a police official.
The Mandarin Oriental wouldn’t comment on the investigation, and Le Crystal couldn’t immediately be reached. There was no unusual activity outside either site.
One of Brown’s bodyguards is among the others detained in the Paris investigation, according to the official. They are being held by judicial police in the 17th arrondissement of northwest Paris, the official said.
The police official wasn’t authorized to be publicly named to discuss the investigation.
The detention was originally reported by French gossip magazine Closer.
Brown, who burst onto the music scene as a teen, won a Grammy Award in 2011 for best R&B album for “F.A.M.E.” and has nominations for other works. His hits include “Look at Me Now,” “Run It,” and numerous collaborations with other stars, including “Post to Be” and last year’s “Freaky Friday” with Lil Dicky.
He released a new single earlier this month and has a new album coming this year. Six of his albums have gone platinum.
He retains a huge following of devoted fans, including nearly 50 million followers on Instagram . He posted an Instagram photo Monday from Paris appearing to show him at a nightclub, among several recent posts. Followers responded with mixed messages to the rape accusation.
It’s the latest legal trouble for Brown, who was arrested at the end of a concert last year to face a felony battery charge involving a nightclub photographer.
In 2013, Brown was charged with misdemeanor assault after he was accused of striking a man outside a Washington hotel. He was ordered into rehab but was dismissed for violating facility rules. Brown spent 2½ months in custody.
After he completed court-ordered anger-management classes, Brown was accused of throwing a brick at his mother’s car following a counseling session.
After Brown posted a picture to his Instagram followers in January 2018 showing his 3-year-old daughter, Royalty, cuddling with a pet monkey, California fish and wildlife agents seized the capuchin monkey named Fiji from his home in Los Angeles.
Brown was later handed a misdemeanor charge for lacking a permit for the primate. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 6 in Los Angeles.