Data Glitch Identified in Aborted Epsilon Launch

Japans science minister says botched data transmission has been identified as the cause of the aborted launch earlier this week of the new Epsilon rocket.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency called off Epsilons first launch on Tuesday 19 seconds before liftoff after a sensor detected an irregularity in the rockets posture.

Hakubun Shimomura said on Friday that a ground-based computer had tried to receive data from the rocket 0.07 seconds before the information was actually transmitted.

Suzuki plant closed down after HR chief killed in riots

The top Indian carmaker Maruti Suzuki has shut one of its two factories after rioting sparked by a labour dispute killed one person and injured dozens of others.

Puneep Dhawan, a company spokesman, said yesterday the plant stopped production on Wednesday night because of fire damage caused by rioting workers. “The plant is burnt in sections. You cannot make any cars,” he said.

The body was identified as that of Awanish Kumar Dev, general manager, human resources, at the factory, according to the Press Trust of India reports

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This Summer’s Music Festival Season in Japan

Across Japan, the June rainy season is about to give way to summer’s searing heat that kicks in come July. That means one thing to music fans: Festival season is getting into full swing.

This year, The Japan Times picks out the best of the bunch — whether it’s Kazuyoshi Kushida, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu or Kraftwerk that gets your mercury soaring.

The monsters

These extravaganzas on the festival circuit have been drumming up publicity via social media for months with line-up announcements, and each one grabs annual attendances of more than 100,000.

The first to take place will be Fuji Rock Festival (July 27-29). Since relocating in 1999 to its present home of Naeba, Niigata Prefecture, new stages have been added regularly to the venue, making it Japan’s largest festival. This year’s main draw is Britain’s Radiohead, who will headline the final day’s program on Sunday night. In fact, the headlining slots are pretty much a U.K. rock lover’s dream (though I wish Blur or Pulp could’ve made the bill) with former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher’s new band Beady Eye, and the recently reformed Stone Roses anchoring Friday’s lineup; and The Specials and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds taking the main Green Stage on Saturday. It’s unlikely that Liam and Noel will cross paths, as the brothers are reportedly not on speaking terms — but if there’s ever a chance for drama it’s more likely at Fuji.

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Aum Shinrikyo: Makoto Hirata avoids notary-killing charges

Prosecutors will charge longtime Aum Shinrikyo fugitive Makoto Hirata with “unlawful capture” and confinement Friday in connection with the fatal abduction of Tokyo notary Kiyoshi Kariya in 1995 and will not pursue an indictment over his death, investigative sources said Wednesday.

Tokyo prosecutors apparently concluded it would be difficult to prove Hirata, 46, was aware that Kariya, 68, had been given a drug overdose — administered as a truth serum — that caused his death, and thus will not charge the cultist with manslaughter.

Hirata claimed during questioning after his New Year’s Day arrest that he only learned the circumstances of Kariya’s death after the fact, the sources said. Tokyo police arrested him for the technical charge of unlawful capture and confinement causing death after he turned himself in Dec. 31 after nearly 17 years on the run for the crimes.

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