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Hello Kitty, Novichok and traffic-stopping sandals

Kon'nichiwa, nyusu ni yokoso, or, to this reporter's non-Japanese speaking friends - hello, and welcome to the news.

And would you Adam and Eve it, Japan is the first stop-off on today's journey, to discuss their Hello Kitty bullet train. Never fear, you have not become embroiled in one of this reporter's umami-induced anxiety dreams. This is real-life news in Japan.

Over the next three months, you can take a trip across the western reaches of this comic-book loving country on the pink and white Hello Kitty bullet train, complete with Hello Kitty-themed carriages and a life-sized Hello Kitty conductress (not one to meet down a dark alley, admittedly).

The hope is the hugely popular feline cartoon character will bring in masses of tourists. And no doubt, once done, the train will be cleaned until sparkling and packed neatly away - in manner of the Japanese changing room when they exited the World Cup, complete with paw-print stamped thank-you note.

The news headlines are in and this reporter is sure we can all be forgiven for thinking it something of a groundhog day regarding news of a second novichok poisoning in Salisbury. Initially it was believed Britishers Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley had taken a contaminated batch of recreational drugs until they started exhibiting some suspicious symptoms.

It has since been confirmed they did indeed have novichok in their system, the nerve agent which was deployed in Salisbury back in March to poison Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The counter-terrorism team is in to find out the source of this second poisoning.

Meanwhile, as a woman climbs the Statue of Liberty in protest to Trump's immigration policy, the man himself has been taken down a peg or two by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Ironically, during a tweet bragging about his writing prowess, the American President was pounced upon by the word buffs for using the wrong "pour" in a sentence.

Trump tweeted that the 'Fake News' likes to "pour" over his tweets for mistakes. Merriam-Webster intervened by pointing out he had in actual fact made yet another mistake, informing Mr Trump, to "pore over" means " to read or study very carefully" and to "pour over" means "to make expensive coffee". Before adding, unnecessarily but quite brilliantly, to "comb over" means "to comb hair from the side of the head to cover the bald spot".

Whilst a veggie burger that "bleeds" fake blood has been accused of posing "existential" threat to New Zealand's beef industry. The 'Impossible Burger', which is being served on flights on Air New Zealand has excited the wrath of acting prime minister Winston Peters who said he is "utterly opposed to fake meat". This reporter is mystified by the fact any non-meat eater would want to eat a burger that bleeds.

Over in Thailand, massive attempts are being made to clear the water from the four kilometres of cave path, which lies between the stranded football team and freedom, after fears monsoon rain predicted for the weekend could leave them trapped down there for months.

In what appears to be 'cave escape plan B', the boys should be able to walk through water up to waist height instead of having to dive, however one chamber of the caves is still flooded up to the ceiling and the question is can it be drained in time? This readers is the epitome of heart in the mouth stuff.

Finally, MPs are being encouraged to leave Twitter because of the levels of abuse they are getting. Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who's known for a poorly worded tweet or two, let's be honest, said colleagues were being advised to 'close down' their accounts by Parliament's Health and Wellbeing Service. What this reporter can't get over is 600 out of the 650 MPs have a Twitter account. Who knew they were all so "tech-savvy".

In what appears to be rapidly becoming our daily dose of Vogue, the glossy fashion magazine is urging us to part with our Japanese yen for a pair of traffic-stopping sandals - recommending ribbon-tied ankles, beach-ready gladiators or rhinestone sliders "so fabulous they warrant furious applause with every step" (can you imagine).

But it's the "traffic-stopping" headline this reporter is most concerned about. She's not sure what it's like crossing the road by the Conde Nast offices, but she wouldn't rely solely on the power of an eye-catching pair of sandals for safe passage.

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