International

Japanese students use VR

to recreate Hiroshima bombing

FUKUYAMA, Japan (AP) — It’s a sunny summer morning in the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Cicadas chirp in the trees. A lone plane flies high overhead. Then a flash of light, followed by a loud blast. Buildings are flattened and smoke rises from crackling fires under a darkened sky.

Over two years, a group of Japanese high school students has been painstakingly producing a five-minute virtual reality experience that recreates the sights and sounds of Hiroshima before, during and after the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city 73 years ago Monday.

By transporting users back in time to the moment when a city was turned into a wasteland, the students and their teacher hope to ensure that something similar never happens again.

The Aug. 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. Three days later, a second U.S. atomic bomb killed 70,000 people in Nagasaki. Japan surrendered six days after that, ending World War II.

“Even without language, once you see the images, you understand,” said Mei Okada, one of the students working on the project at a technical high school in Fukuyama, a city about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Hiroshima. “That is definitely one of the merits of this VR experience.”

Malaysia: Indonesia returns

yacht seized in graft probe

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that Indonesia has handed over a yacht allegedly bought with money stolen from the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

In a Facebook video, Mahathir thanked Indonesia’s government and President Joko Widodo for returning the $250 million yacht, Equanimity, which was seized by Indonesia off Bali in February in cooperation with the U.S. FBI.

“We believe that this yacht belongs to the Malaysian government because it was bought with Malaysia’s money that was stolen,” Mahathir said, citing an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

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