Japan warns of more rain, mudslide risk in typhoon-hit areas

Typhoon Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow. (File/AP)
Updated 22 October 2019

Japan warns of more rain, mudslide risk in typhoon-hit areas

  • Typhoon Hagibis earlier this month hit northern and central Japan
  • The agricultural damage was estimated to be as high as $700 million

TOKYO: The Japanese weather agency warned people in Tokyo and northern Nagano that heavy rainfall Tuesday may set off flooding and mudslides, including in areas recovering from a deadly typhoon.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said heavy rain was expected throughout the day, with waves and thunderstorms possible in Tokyo and the potential for flooding and mudslides in parts of Nagano Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, including Nagano city.
Authorities also cautioned that landslides and flooding were possible even in areas where official warnings hadn’t been issued.
Typhoon Hagibis earlier this month hit northern and central Japan. Nagano, Fukushima and Miyagi were especially hard hit. The government’s disaster management office said as of Monday 70 deaths were attributed to the typhoon and 12 people were missing.
The heavy rains from the typhoon caused rivers to overflow or damage dams in dozens of places.
Farm crops were also seriously damaged, including apples, cabbage and cucumbers. The agricultural damage was estimated to be as high as 70 billion yen ($700 million).
Miyagi prefecture, where as much as 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) of rain was forecast, cautioned residents that typhoon-damaged areas could be vulnerable to rainfall amounts that normally would not be hazardous, prefecture officials said.


Texas court halts execution in high-profile case

A woman holds a sign during a protest against the execution of Rodney Reed on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Bastrop, Texas. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2019

Texas court halts execution in high-profile case

  • Millions of people, including US lawmakers and Hollywood celebrities Kim Kardashian and Susan Sarandon, have signed petitions supporting Reed

WASHINGTON: A Texas appeals court has suspended the execution of convicted murderer Rodney Reed — who has long claimed his innocence — in a case that has attracted widespread public attention and a celebrity-backed campaign.
Reed, a 51-year-old African-American, was sentenced to death in 1998 after being convicted by an all-white jury of the rape and murder of Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old white woman.
His execution by lethal injection had been set for November 20, but Reed says he did not commit the crime, and his lawyers and supporters say that evidence proves he is innocent.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced on Friday that it had “voted unanimously to recommend the governor grant a 120-day reprieve” to Reed, who had appealed for clemency.
The state appeals court then halted the execution later in the evening.
Millions of people, including US lawmakers and Hollywood celebrities Kim Kardashian and Susan Sarandon, have signed petitions supporting Reed.
Kardashian said on social media she was with Reed when he received news about the reprieve.
Although traces of Reed’s DNA were found in the victim, he has always maintained that he and Stites were secretly having an affair.
Reed’s lawyers say that evidence obtained after the trial points to another suspect — the victim’s fiance, Jimmy Fennell, a former policeman who later served a 10-year prison sentence for another rape.
“The strong evidence exonerating Mr.Reed and implicating Fennell continues to mount,” the lawyers wrote in the clemency petition lodged with the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott.
In the clemency request, they included a testimonial from a former co-worker of the victim who confirmed the affair.
According to another affidavit, a former prison inmate said he heard Fennell brag during a prison yard conversation about committing the murder.
Fennell has denied involvement in Stites’ murder.
The Texas board declined Reed’s request to downgrade his sentence.
His lawyers also have filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, seeking a stay of execution.