California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

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California’s violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday has declared unconstitutional California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793, the California “ultraviolent video games law” that sought to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

Federal judge Consuelo M. Callahan has ruled that the 2005 statewide ban, which has yet to be enforced, violates minors’ rights under the US Constitution’s First and 14th amendment because even the most graphic on-screen mayhem, video game content represents free speech that cannot be censored without proper justification.

The Court has ruled that there’s no convincing evidence it causes psychological damage to young people. The 3-0 judgment has affirmed an earlier ruling by a U.S. District Court, which barred enforcement of the law on the basis that it was “unduly restrictive” and “used overly broad definitions,” and that the state failed to show that the limitations on violent video games would actually protect children.

In 2005, Leland Yee (???), a California State Senator (in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County), Speaker pro Tempore of the Assembly (D-San Francisco/Daly City), introduced California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793 which barred “ultra-violent” video games from minors under the age of eighteen in California and mandated the application of ESRB ratings for video games.

“California Assembly Bills 1792 & 1793” were commonly called the “ultraviolent video games bills” or simply “video game ban” bills. Bill 1792 banned the sales of such video games while Bill 1793 required signs explaining the regulations on said games to be placed where such were sold. Both bills were passed by the Assembly and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger into law (AB 1179) on October 7, 2005.

Explicitly, these two bills provided that:

  • AB 1792 will place ultra-violent video games into the “matter” portion of the penal code, which criminalizes the sale of said material to a minor.
  • AB 1793 will require retailers to place M-rated games separate from other games intended for children, and will also require retailers to display signage explaining the ESRB rating system.

Yee, a former child psychologist has publicly criticized such games as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Manhunt 2, and opposes the U.S. Army’s Global Gaming League.

On October 17, 2005, before the effectivity of the challenged Act, plaintiffs Video Software Dealers Association, the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $32 billion home entertainment industry and Entertainment Software Association, a 1994 US trade association of the video game industry have filed lawsuit (D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) against the defendants Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown, Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy, City Attorney for the City of San Jose, Richard Doyle, and County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, Ann Miller Ravel.

Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jenner & Block‘s Paul M. Smith has filed a declaratory relief to invalidate the newly-enacted California Civil Code sections 1746-1746.5 (the “Act”), on the grounds that it allegedly violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Plaintiffs have submitted that “the Act unconstitutionally curtailed freedom of expression on its face based on content regulation and the labeling requirement, was unconstitutionally vague, and violated equal protection. California’s restrictions could open the door for states to limit minors’ access to other material under the guise of protecting children.”

By December 2005, both bills had been struck down as unconstitutional, by Ronald M. Whyte, District Judge, Presiding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, thereby preventing either from going into effect on January 1, 2006.

Judge Whyte has granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” 401 F. Supp. 2d 1034 (N.D. Cal. 2005), and cross-motions for summary judgment, in “Video Software Dealers Ass’n v. Schwarzenegger,” No. C-05-04188, slip op. (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2007).

Similar bills were subsequently filed in such states as Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Michigan and Louisiana have been ruled to be unconstitutional by federal courts on First Amendment grounds, according to Sean Bersell, a spokesman for the Entertainment Merchants Association.

The defendants, in the instant Case No. 07-16620, have timely appealed the judgment. On October 29, 2008, the appealed case was argued and submitted to the Sacramento, California‘s U.S. Court of Appeals, hence, the promulgation of the instant 30 pages decision (No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW) by Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and Consuelo M. Callahan (who wrote the court’s opinion), United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Judges.

In the ban’s defense, Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, Zackery Morazzini has contended that “if governments restrict the sale of pornography to minors, it should also create a separate category for ultra-violent video games.” Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., California Attorney General, has also argued that “the Court should analyze the Act’s restrictions under what has been called the ‘variable obscenity’ or ‘obscenity as to minors’ standard first mentioned in Ginsberg, 390 U.S. 629. The Court’s reasoning in Ginsberg that a state could prohibit the sale of sexually-explicit material to minors that it could not ban from distribution to adults should be extended to materials containing violence.”

The “Fallo” or dispositive portion of the judgment in question goes as follows:

We hold that the Act, as a presumptively invalid contentbased restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the “variable obscenity” standard from Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968). Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment because the State has not demonstrated a compelling interest, has not tailored the restriction to its alleged compelling interest, and there exist less-restrictive means that would further the State’s expressed interests. Additionally, we hold that the Act’s labeling requirement is unconstitutionally compelled speech under the First Amendment because it does not require the disclosure of purely factual information; but compels the carrying of the State’s controversial opinion. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs and its denial of the State’s cross-motion. Because we affirm the district court on these grounds, we do not reach two of Plaintiffs’ challenges to the Act: first, that the language of the Act is unconstitutionally vague, and, second, that the Act violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.—”Video Software Dealers Association; Entertainment Software Association v. Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Kennedy” – No. 07-16620; D.C. No. CV-05-04188-RMW – Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Sidney R. Thomas and

Consuelo M. Callahan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Circuit Judges.

“We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder,” said the law’s author, Sen. Leland Yee, announcing he wanted Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr., the current Attorney General and a former governor of the State of California, to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Letting the industry police itself is like letting kids sign their own report cards and that a self regulating system simply doesn’t work. I’ve always contended that the … law the governor signed was a good one for protecting children from the harm from playing these ultra-violent video games. I’ve always felt it would end up in the Supreme Court,” Sen. Yee explained. “In fact, the high court recently agreed, in Roper v. Simmons (2005), that we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development,” he added.

According to Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, plaintiff, the Court’s ruling has stressed that parents, with assistance from the industry, are the ones who should control what games their children play. “This is a clear signal that in California and across the country, the reckless pursuit of anti-video game legislation like this is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources,” Gallagher said in a statement.

California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. While I am deeply disappointed in today’s ruling, we should not stop our efforts to assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children.

Entertainment Software Association members include Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp, THQ Inc, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of “Grand Theft Auto” games.

Judge Callahan has also reprimanded state lawyers for having failed to show any reasonable alternatives to an outright statewide ban against the ultra-violent video games. “Ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content,” said Bo Andersen, president and chief executive of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Andersen continues, “retailers are committed to assisting parents in assuring that children do not purchase games that are not appropriate for their age. Independent surveys show that retailers are doing a very good job in this area, with an 80 percent enforcement rate, and retailers will continue to work to increase enforcement rates even further; the court has correctly noted that the state cannot simply dismiss these efforts.”

California was already forced to pay $282,794 to the ESA for attorneys’ fees, money that would’ve helped with the state’s current budget difficulties. Andersen has urged California government officials not to appeal the case. “The estimated $283,000 in taxpayer money spent by the state on this case is so far an ‘ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism.’ A voluntary ratings system already exists to avoid the state-sponsored nannyism of a ban,” he explained.

“The governor believes strongly we have a responsibility to our children and our communities to protect against the effects of video games depicting ultra-violent actions,” said Governor Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Camille Anderson adding the governor was reviewing Friday’s decision.

Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the state’s counsel in the appealed case, has stressed that “a law restricting sales of violent games is far more effective than industry self-policing, since the technological controls that the court cited as another alternative can be easily bypassed by any kid with an Internet connection.”

According to Jim Steyer, Founder of Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization of 750,000 regular users dedicated to improving children’s media lives, researches have shown that playing these violent video games are detrimental for kids mental and physical health. “The health threat involved with kids playing such games is equivalent to smoking cigarettes,” Steyer said. “These violent video games are learning tools for our children and clearly result in more aggressive behavior,” said Randall Hagar, California Psychiatric Association’s Director of Government Affairs.

The Federal Trade Commission‘s data reveals that “nearly 70 percent of thirteen to sixteen year olds are able to purchase M-rated (Mature) video games, which are designed for adults; ninety-two percent of children play video or computer games, of which about forty percent are rated M, which are the fastest growing segment of the 10 billion-dollar video game industry; the top selling games reward players for killing police officers, maiming elderly persons, running over pedestrians and committing despicable acts of murder and torture upon women and racial minorities.”

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Two dead after building collapse in Kenya

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Two dead after building collapse in Kenya

August 23, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Two people in Kenya died earlier today after a five-storeyed building under construction in the town of Kiambu collapsed. Four others were said to have been injured.

The incident occurred in the middle of the night, at 02:30 local time (23:30 UTC), on Sunday morning. The building was only a few metres from another building that collapsed in October of last year, killing thirty people.

The building is reported to have been condemned last year, when the authorities deemed it substandard. Preparations to demolish the building started yesterday, in accordance with a court order that required the building to be destroyed within thirty days.

One of the casualties from the accident was Maina Irungu, aged seventeen; the other hasn’t been identified. People wounded by the collapse were taken to the Kiambu District Hospital. The victims were all people who lived in houses near the collapsed building. Rescue operations are still ongoing, being conducted by the Red Cross, police, and military. Officials also ordered evacuation of two buildings in the vicinity when cracks were spotted on them, according to Capital FM Kenya.

This story in itself is reflective of a major infrastructure problem in Kenya, according to the BBC, China says it will give a US$7 million (£4.4m, 4.9m) grant to help fund infrastructure development projects in Kenya.

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Manchester City loans Joe Hart to Torino

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Manchester City loans Joe Hart to Torino

August 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, September 3, 2016

On Wednesday, English football club Manchester City F.C. announced that they had loaned their goalkeeper Joe Hart to Italian club Torino F.C. till the season end.

Hart joined City from Shrewsbury Town F.C. in 2006. Since then, he has won four Premier League Golden Gloves for keeping most clean sheets in a season, which is a League record. In a decade at the Etihad Stadium, Hart has won two Premier League trophies, two Football League Cups and one FA Cup.

Hart debuted for England at the age of 21, and has represented the country at UEFA Euro 2012 and 2016 and FIFA World Cup 2014.

Signing the contract, Hart said, “I am very excited to compare myself in an important and beautiful League such as Serie A.” ((it))Italian language: ?Sono molto felice di potermi confrontare in un campionato bello e difficile come la Serie A.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart’s move away from Manchester City came about a week after Pep Guardiola signed Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from FC Barcelona.

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Helpful Hints To Finding Exterminators In Tulsa Ok

August 18, 2019 · Filed under Electricity Providers

byAlma Abell

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find an exterminator. Ask people you know such as friends, family members, and co-workers for suggestions. Find out the type of work that was done and if the exterminator was professional. After this, decide upon one technician to further investigate.

Find out if your exterminator is properly certified to use pesticides in Oklahoma. The use of these chemicals is governed by the Pesticide Applicator Law. The company an exterminator works for must be licensed for the work the exterminator is performing. According to this law, pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides. To verify a license or certification, contact the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.

Having insects, rodents, or wildlife in your home can be scary and unhealthy. These critters and bugs invade homes to find food, nest, and shelter. Unfortunately, these pests can bring filth and disease into a home. They can also damage the structure of a residence. To keep this from happening, it’s advisable to find Exterminators in Tulsa who provide the services you need to make your home your own again. Follow some helpful hints to perform this task.

It’s important to only work with insured Exterminators in Tulsa OK. When you talk to an exterminator, ask him for the name of his company’s insurance broker/agent. Call this representative to request a certificate of insurance. This document is not a copy of the insurance, but it does detail the contents of one. It’s suitable to provide confirmation of valid insurance. Look at this document to view certain features. No work should be done at your home unless it falls one or in between the policy effective date and the policy expiration date. Ensure that the exterminators have the minimal level of insurance required by law.

After you have checked the above requirements, call your exterminator for an appointment. This meeting will be a chance for this professional to explain the processes his company uses. Ask any questions you have at this time. It’s advisable to watch the exterminator inspect your home without getting in the way.

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KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

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KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

August 4, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

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Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

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Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

July 27, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.

What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).

I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…

If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”

But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.

Contents

  • 1 The use of celebrities for voiceovers
  • 2 Iconic characters and choosing projects
  • 3 Discovering his talent
  • 4 “It was a horror chamber where I grew up”
  • 5 West moves to Boston after his parents divorce
  • 6 How West dealt with his father’s abuse
  • 7 Rehabilitation and sobriety
  • 8 Is West glad he experienced addiction?
  • 9 West on his career
  • 10 West on politics
  • 11 Billy West on modern American society
  • 12 Billy West on telling it like it is
  • 13 Source

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First penis transplant reversed after two weeks

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First penis transplant reversed after two weeks

July 27, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, September 22, 2006

Two weeks after Chinese surgeons successfully transplanted a donated penis onto an unidentified 44-year-old man, they were requested to remove it. Despite functioning perfectly and having been physically accepted by the body, the patient and his wife asked for the penis to be amputated, due to the severe psychological trauma they had both suffered.

A team of surgeons led by Dr Hu Weilie took 15 hours to attach the penis, which was donated by the family of a 22-year-old brain-dead patient. Doctors have successfully re-attached patients’ own severed members in the past, but this was the first use of a second-party penis.

The psychological rejection of the penis is not unusual from a medical point of view; in 2001 surgeons removed the world’s first transplanted hand from donee Clint Hallam, who wanted the “hideous and withered” hand to be removed because he had become “mentally detached” from it. The team that led the transplant have since performed the world’s first double arm transplant.

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SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

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SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

July 27, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As gas prices have risen in the United States, the regional transport authority for southeastern Pennsylvania, SEPTA, has seen a sharp increase in ridership, which has caused overcrowding on the trains.

“As fuel prices have continued to rise, SEPTA ridership has steadily increased and is the highest in 18 years,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. Monthly ridership was 22 percent higher last month than a year ago.

“They have crushed loads on their rail lines, already where people are standing, and there’s not enough seats,” said Rich Bickel, the director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

“At peak times some railcars are standing room only and commuter parking lots are nearly full. All Regional Rail lines are running near full capacity and the train station parking lots are at about 90 percent capacity or more,” SEPTA spokesperson Felipe Suarez said.

While SEPTA awaits new Silverliner V trains from Hyundai Rotem, which begin arriving in 2009, it had hoped to lease eight rail cars from New Jersey Transit, at an agreed-upon rate of US$10,000 per month. However, due to problems with insurance and liability indemnification, the deal fell through, according to Casey.

SEPTA has entered a new agreement to purchase the eight rail cars from NJ Transit. The transit authority will pay US$670,000 for the cars and assorted supplies plus one additional inoperative car which will be used for spare parts. The rail cars will be operated using a SEPTA provided locomotive as they are not self-propelled.

The cars are being disposed of by NJ Transit because it has switched from single-floor cars to double-decker cars.

SEPTA is expecting to raise US$3.1 million by selling rail that has been out of service since 1981 at auction.

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UK animal welfare group prosecutes woman who threw cat into bin

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UK animal welfare group prosecutes woman who threw cat into bin

July 25, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, September 20, 2010

A woman who was recorded throwing a cat into an outdoor rubbish bin has been charged with two counts of animal cruelty. 45-year-old Mary Bale, from Coventry, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, was recorded on a security camera allegedly giving the tabby cat — Lola, aged four — a stroking and looking at her surroundings before taking the animal and dumping it into the wheelie bin before walking away from the scene.

The cat was discovered in the bin fifteen hours later by her owners, 24-year-old Stephanie Andrews-Mann and her husband, 26-year-old Darryl. She appeared to be unharmed. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — otherwise known by the abbreviation RSPCA — have now brought charges against Mary Bale under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Judith Haw, a spokesperson for the RSPCA, has stated: “The RSPCA has taken the case to court as two alleged offences have been committed: of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and of not providing the animal with a suitable environment. As criminal proceedings are now active the RSPCA will not be issuing any further statements or completing interview requests until conclusion of the court case.”

Having received a court summons from the RSPCA on Sunday, Bale is anticipated to make an appearance at Coventry Magistrates Court on October 19, 2010 at 1000 BST (0900 UTC). Bale had previously released a public apology. “I cannot explain why I did this,” it read. “It is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners.”

In a video available on Sky News Online Stephanie Andrews-Mann spoke about this incident and explained that “we thought it was probably someone coming from a night in the pub that thought it’d be hilarious to put a cat in the bin. We didn’t expect to find what it was we found.” When asked what she thought about the woman who committed this act, Stephanie commented: “I don’t know. I don’t know what could possibly go through her head to want to put a cat in a bin.” Stephanie’s husband Darryl explained: “It was basically after we’d found Lola in the bin that we played back the video footage and seen, obviously, what had gone on, what had happened.” Describing this act, he expressed: “I think it’s disgusting. I don’t know how anyone could treat, um, a harmless animal that can’t defend itself, just do something like that to it.”

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Koizumi wins electoral mandate for postal reform

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Koizumi wins electoral mandate for postal reform

July 6, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, September 12, 2005

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is set to win the election that has resulted from the previous dissolution of half the legislature over privatization and reform of the Japanese postal system. The Japanese postal system deals with post and banking and life insurance services as well, and Koizumi earlier proposed legislation to divide the postal system and to privatize it, which failed, with governing Liberal Democrat members crossing the floor on the issue. Koizumi then dissolved the lower house in order to gain a mandate for the reforms.

Polls have predicted Koizumi will win this election by a landslide, permitting the Liberal Democrats to govern without any alliances. The opposition Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada has said he will resign if the election was lost.

There have also been reports of electoral “assassins”, attractive candidates, who were intended to push out the rebel Government ministers who helped defeat the postal reform bills.

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