Daily Blog 02/03/2013

  • 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.

    tags: japan

  • 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.

    tags: tax politics

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