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China Warns Of "Serious Consequences" As Japan Nationalizes Disputed Islands



The Japanese government signed a 2.05 billion yen (26 million) contract Tuesday with the owner of three of the five Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, effectively nationalizing the territory and immediately drawing a strong protest from Beijing, which sent surveillance ships to the area, reports the Japan Times.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was quick to blast the nationalization of the territory known in Beijing as the Diaoyu islands as “totally illegal and invalid” and a “gross violation of China’s sovereignty over its own territory.”

He warned Japan’s actions would have “serious consequences” and vowed China would take “necessary measures to protect its territorial sovereignty,” writes the China Daily. Yang Jiechi strongly urged Japan to immediately revoke its wrong decision of ‘purchasing’ the islands and stop all actions detrimental to China’s territorial integrity.

Two Chinese patrol boats reached waters off the disputed Senkaku islands on Tuesday, a significant escalation in the standoff just a day after Beijing threatened to retaliate over a move by Japan’s government to nationalize three of the islands, writes the Asahi Shimbun.

The Xinhua state-run news agency wrote that the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islands have been China’s "sacred territory since ancient times," supported by historical facts and jurisprudential evidence. "Japan’s decision to “nationalize” the islands is ridiculous and absurd ... an open provocation" against China. Xinhua urged China to "fight back."

The Chinese vessels directed toward the islands were identified as Haijian 46 and Haijian 49 from the China marine Surveillance, a paramilitary agency whose ships are often lightly armed, according to the Associated Press.

Some observers believe additional measures could include penalties for Japanese companies, such as customs clearance or direct sanctions, says the Asahi Shimbun. “We must review private sector exchanges if Japan doesn’t really want to preserve friendly relations,” said a senior Communist Party official.

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Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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