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The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, located in Iga city in Mie Prefecture, is dedicated to the history and practices of ninja. It notified police after an alarm went off in the early hours of Monday morning.

At the time, there were no staff at the museum, which is a popular tourist site. When the police arrived, they found the museum entrance had been forced open, and the safe containing the money was missing.

The safe, which weighed about 150 kilograms (330 pounds), held admission fees from more than 1,000 visitors, according to the museum.

“It was a three-minute job,” said an official at the museum, who requested anonymity for privacy reasons. “It was planned, they must have scoped us out and singled us out.”

Part of the museum’s appeal is that it’s tucked inside a forest — but this also makes it a better target for thieves, as it’s largely hidden from view once night falls.

The museum’s security cameras showed a car pulling up to the building on the night of the robbery, and a man climbing out of the passenger seat. He walked toward the camera, and tilted it down so it only filmed the ground for the rest of the night.

The official added that the heist had occurred just as visitors were beginning to return to the museum over the summer holidays.

“There’s a second wave of the (coronavirus) now, but people were just getting more comfortable with all the corona precautions we were taking. This is really terrible,” he said.
Meet the Japanese man who holds the world's only master's degree in ninja studies

Known for their secrecy and high levels of skill, ninjas were masters of espionage, sabotage, assassination and guerrilla warfare dating back to at least the 14th century. They were fabled as hired assassins, and have been steeped in mystery and lore for centuries.

Now, they’re an established part of Japan’s tourism and entertainment industries; theater and pantomime groups often perform ninja acts and scenes in full costume.

Iga, the city where the museum is located, is known as a center for ninja enthusiasts; according to local legend, it was once home to the famous Iga clan of ninjas.

Every year, Iga holds a massive ninja festival that attracts thousands of attendees with traditional performances, ninja costume stations, ninja training sessions and more.

Attendees and participants at the 2013 Iga-Ueno Ninja Festival in Iga City, Japan.

In 2017, Mie University established the International Ninja Research Center in Iga — the first in the world dedicated to ninja studies.

Genichi Mitsuhashi, 45, became the first person ever to hold a master’s degree in ninja studies after completing Mie University’s graduate course last year. He now teaches the art of ninja in his own dojo in Iga.

“Iga is where ninja used to live,” he told CNN in June. “The climate of this area created the very nature of ninja.”

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Nagorno-Karabakh: The boy who swapped his piano for a gun

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The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is over, but some families are still waiting for news of their missing relatives.

Bodies are still being counted and identified, and there is no clear information on what has happened to the missing.

Twenty-two-year-old Soghomon was fighting on the Armenian frontline against Azerbaijan. The last time his family heard from him was 1 October.

He was a soldier, but also an artist and a talented piano player.

His father and sister say they can’t give up hope that he will return.

Video by: Sofia Bettiza, Gabriel Chaim and Aren Melikyan

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Afghan car bomb kills at least 40 soldiers

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An attacker detonated an explosive packed vehicle in front of a security base in the Deh Yak district of the province.

According to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the attacker was confronted by security forces as he tried to enter the base. No group has claimed responsibility yet.

The blast targeted a compound of the public protection force, a wing of the Afghan security forces, local officials told Reuters. It damaged civilian residences around the compound, and there could be more casualties from there, they said.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed that there had been a car bomb blast but did not provide further information on the target or possible casualties.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters, did not confirm or deny responsibility.

Afghanistan has seen a spate of car bombings over the last few months, despite peace talks being under way between negotiation teams of the insurgent Taliban and the government in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Violence in the country, at war for two decades, remains unacceptably high, foreign governments and institutions say, calling for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban.
Afghan President orders resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban in blow to Trump's deal

Another bombing on Sunday, in the eastern province of Zabul, targeting a top provincial official, killed at least one person and injured 23, said Gul Islam Syaal, the spokesman for the province’s governor.

Haji Ata Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council of Zabul, suffered minor injuries in the attack on his convoy.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Haqbayan, an outspoken critic of the Taliban.

The Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban was dealt a blow in May as the Afghan government announced it was resuming offensive operations against the insurgent group following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks.

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Incoming GOP congresswoman to take aim at AOC with conservative ‘squad’

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Malliotakis, who frequently attacked Ocasio-Cortez during her campaign against Democratic Rep. Max Rose, took aim again at her New York counterpart when asked about the future of the Republican Party.

“I think one of the reasons why we were so motivated to run is seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don’t necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are self-described socialists,” Malliotakis said. “I think there’s just a stark contrast between what we’re offering and what people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are offering. And that’s something that needs to be debated in Washington.”

House Republicans more than doubled the number of women in their conference in November, bringing the number to at least 28 from 13. Democrats, who added a record number of women to their ranks during the 2018 election, have at least 89.

A number of House races still remain uncalled, including New York Republican Claudia Tenney’s challenge against Rep. Anthony Brindisi; Tenney’s lead has narrowed significantly to just 13 votes as of Friday.

Malliotakis, who will be the only Republican to represent New York City in Congress, credited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney for their efforts in recruiting “qualified women who have something to share with the American people” for the gains.

“What we stand for are freedom, liberty. We love this nation. We want to see it prevail. We want to see it remain the land of opportunity, what has, in essence, attracted millions of immigrants from around the world, to pursue that American dream,” Malliontakis said. “Somebody like me, daughter of a Cuban refuge, I want to be there to be a part of the discussion, debate and provide a counterview.”

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