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News Roundup: Japanese Leader, Volcano Update, & 66-Yard Field Goal

Japan’s Ruling Party Has a New Leader

On Wednesday, Japan’s ruling political party,  the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), chose Fumio Kishida as its leader. That means Mr. Kishida is likely to be named the next prime minister of Japan, filling the position currently held by Yoshihide Suga.

Just a year ago, Mr. Suga took over from long-time prime minister Shinzo Abe. But Mr. Suga’s handling of Japan’s coronavirus  crisis and the recent Olympic Games was strongly criticized. On September 3, Mr. Suga announced that he would be stepping down.

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On Wednesday, Japan’s ruling political party, the Liberal Democratic Party, chose Fumio Kishida as its leader. That means Mr. Kishida is likely to be named the next prime minister of Japan. Above, Mr. Kishida speaks to reporters after winning the leadership contest.

That set off a contest for the leadership of the LDP. For the first time ever, two women – Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda – were among the candidates for the leadership position. But they lost in the first round of voting.

Mr. Kishida, who was once Japan’s foreign minister, and Taro Kono, who’s in charge of vaccinations, were the two final candidates. On Wednesday, Mr. Kishida defeated Mr. Kono 257 votes to 170.

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For the first time ever, two women – Sanae Takaichi (left) and Seiko Noda (right) – were among the candidates for the leadership of the LDP. But they lost in the first round of voting.

On Monday, the Diet – Japan’s Parliament – will vote on whether to name Mr. Kishida as prime minister. Since the LDP has a majority in the Diet, Mr. Kishida is expected to become Japan’s next leader. But perhaps not for long. Japan is scheduled to hold new elections on November 28. 

Lava From La Palma Volcano Reaches Ocean

Lava from the volcano erupting on La Palma in the Canary Islands has reached the ocean. That has raised worries about the dangers of the toxic gas created when lava combines with sea water. The government has told people living in the area to stay at home and keep their windows closed.

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Lava from the volcano erupting on La Palma has reached the ocean, raising worries about the dangerous gas created when lava combines with sea water (above). The government has told people living in the area to stay at home and keep their windows closed.

The volcano first erupted on September 22, causing over 6,000 people to be evacuated. Since then, a huge river of lava has been slowly making its way down to the coast. Since the volcano erupted, it has produced over 50 million cubic meters of lava. That’s enough to fill 20,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The lava has burned over 500 houses, but there have been no deaths or injuries. Scientists say the main danger now is from the dangerous gas and how that might affect the air quality. There could also be underwater explosions when the lava enters the water, but these are unlikely to be a danger to humans on land.

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Since the volcano erupted, it has produced over 50 million cubic meters of lava – enough to fill 20,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. The lava has been slowly making its way down to the coast. It has burned over 500 houses, but there have been no deaths or injuries.

 

Justin Tucker Sets NFL Record with 66-Yard Field Goal

On Sunday, Justin Tucker, who kicks for the Baltimore Ravens football team, set a new NFL record. Just as the game was ending, he kicked a 66-yard (60-meter) field goal – the longest game-winning field goal in NFL history. Thanks to Tucker’s field goal, the Ravens beat the Detroit Lions 19-17.

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On Sunday, Justin Tucker, who kicks for the Baltimore Ravens football team, set a new NFL record. Just as the game was ending, he kicked a 66-yard (60-meter) field goal – the longest game-winning field goal in NFL history. Above, Tucker celebrates at the end of the game.

Tucker’s kick was two yards (about two meters) longer than the previous record. Tucker is currently the best kicker in the NFL. He’s made over 90% of the field goals he’s tried. On Wednesday, the uniform Tucker was wearing when he made the kick was put on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The earlier record was set in Denver, Colorado. Because the city is so high, the air is thinner and the ball often travels further. The Ravens say Tucker may try to beat his own record when Baltimore plays in Denver this Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker kicks a field goal attempt in Super Bowl XLVII. February 3, 2013
Tucker is currently the best kicker in the NFL. He’s made over 90% of the field goals he’s tried. On Wednesday, the uniform Tucker was wearing when he made the kick was put on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Above, Tucker kicking in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.
(Source: Au Kirk [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)


Did You Know…?

Though Tucker’s kick made an NFL record, the NCAA (college football) record is even longer – 69 yards (63 meters). That record was set in 1976 by Ove Johansson playing for Abilene Christian University.

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