TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his resignation Friday, ending a 15-month tenure defined by crisis and opening the door for this country's seventh leader since 2006.
Kan's decision to step down, the fulfillment of a pledge he made in early June, marked the inevitable endpoint for a leader who had failed to galvanize a stricken nation. His departure further extends Japan's search for a prime minister capable of tackling, rather than getting tackled by, its many fundamental problems.
Kan's successor, to be determined in a ruling party election Monday, will inherit both Japan's slow-burning economic woes and the urgent reconstruction challenges brought on by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster.
Bomb blast kills 18 at Algerian academy
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ALGIERS, Algeria — A bomb explosion followed by a suicide attack outside a military academy in Algeria killed at least 18 officers in training Friday, a hospital said.
With at least 20 wounded, the toll was expected to rise, according to the Sidi Ghilas hospital where the victims were taken.
British bomb experts say explosive fake
LONDON — British army bomb disposal experts were called into the historic cathedral city of Canterbury on Friday night to help investigate two incidents, including a fake bomb found on a railway line, officials said.
The discovery of the suspicious device was followed by a fire inside a baby changing area at a department store, authorities said.
Assistant Chief Police Constable Andy Adams announced Friday night that the "suspicious package on the railway line has been checked by Army bomb disposal experts and is not — as has been reported — an explosive device. We are satisfied it is in fact a hoax package designed to appear like a device."