BBC News – AKB48 pop star shaves head after breaking band rules
Minegishi was one of the original members of AKB48 when it was launched by producer Yasushi Akimoto in 2005. The band is made up of some 90 girls – whose ages range from mid teens to early 20s – who, in teams, appear daily in their own theatre and regularly on television, in adverts, and in magazines.
They portray an image of cuteness known as “kawaii”, and have become a huge phenomenon both in Japan and increasingly in other Asian countries, correspondents say.
The condition for being part of such a successful act is that the girls must not date boys, so as not to shatter their fans’ illusions.
Welfare fraud is a drop in the ocean compared to tax avoidance | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Indeed, welfare fraud is smaller than accidental overpayments due to error, which totalled £2.2bn (£1.4bn of which due to official error). It’s also smaller than the amount of money underpaid to those entitled to it: £1.3bn.
In other words, if we wiped out benefit fraud tomorrow – but also eliminated the errors that deprive people of money to which they are entitled – the welfare bill would grow, not shrink.
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