But with over 8.2 million homes nationwide now vacant due to an aging population, declining birthrate and mass migration of younger workers to megacities, some rural regions, and even some cities, are struggling to deal with the abandoned homes, called akiya, which are not only eyesores but also fire hazards. Source Japan Times
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The European Central Bank pulled the plug on two troubled Italian banks, sending them into insolvency proceedings and pushing ahead with efforts to clean up weak banks holding back the economy. The two banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, have struggled to overcome high levels of loans that were not being paid back.Source ABC
The ECB has approved the yuan as a reserve currency. This is a symbolic but historic step for China, which can now establish its currency in Europe as a counterweight to the US dollar, says DW’s Frank Sieren. Source Deutsche Welle
US authorities have issued international arrest warrants for five former VW managers and developers for their role in the Dieselgate scandal. Germany has reportedly refused to hand them over to the US. US authorities have issued international arrest warrants for five former Volkswagen (VW) managers and developers over the Dieselgate emissions scandal, reported Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday. Source Deutsche Welle