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'League of Legends' players become eSport stars

In front of a rapt audience in a Los Angeles film lot, Krepo hooks an enemy with his scythe and harvests virtual souls with a signature move called a "death sentence". The grim scene played out time and again as Krepo and his Evil Geniuses team battled to victory in a "League of Legends" computer game match broadcast to viewers around the world. After the triumph, Krepo -- a 23-year-old Belgian whose real name is Mitch Voorspoels and plays the game as the dreaded character Thresh -- was swarmed by fans hungry for autographs and photos.

Abe's patriotic holiday message may harden attitude of neighbors

The government on Monday released Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's message to mark Japan's National Foundation Day on Tuesday, the first such move by a Japanese administration that could possibly be seen by neighboring countries as adding to his nationalist image. "As we observe National Foundation Day, I feel keenly once again the responsibility to make the nation we love, Japan, a more beautiful nation that has pride, and I have renewed my determination in this regard," Abe said in the message.

China's culture minister sees hope for resumed exchanges with Japan

China's Culture Minister Cai Wu on Friday expressed hope for a resumption of friendly exchanges with Japan in the wake of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last month to a war-linked shrine that has chilled bilateral ties. "We often say that winter has come and spring is not far away," Cai told a press conference. "The two countries will be able to resume friendly exchanges between our people," he said, adding, "We need to have confidence."

Abe defends Japan secrets law as poll ratings plunge

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday defended as "necessary" an unpopular secrets law that he rushed through parliament, as a new poll showed his support rating had plunged 10 percent in a month. The conservative hawk admitted he could have better explained the new law, but insisted that it was a vital step to protect Japan and bring it into line with its allies. "Unless our country establishes rules to manage confidential information, we cannot obtain such information from other countries," he told reporters.

'Battlefield 4' tech glitches persist, Electronic Arts shares fall

By Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Video game publisher Electronic Arts <EA.O> said on Thursday it halted development on upcoming projects of its "Battlefield 4" game to fix technical problems that have plagued the title recently, taking its stock down as much as 8 percent. Gamers playing "Battlefield 4" - a military-style shooter that is the company's most-anticipated holiday title - have been complaining of crashes and online connectivity issues since its October launch.

Game Review: 'Rivals' a fast, furious and fun 'Need for Speed'

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - It's no secret the light launch lineup for next-generation consoles leaves a little something to be desired. However, there's at least one game that's sure to get next-generation owners' engines running — and their eyes bugging out. It's the dazzling street racer "Need for Speed: Rivals" (Electronic Arts, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC, $49.99).

Japan leader set to announce crucial sales tax hike

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected Tuesday to announce a sales tax hike seen as crucial to cutting Tokyo's massive national debt, but that could derail a fledgling economic recovery. The move marks a big political gamble for Abe -- previous hikes have proved career-ending for his predecessors -- with the 59-year-old leader likely to announce a stimulus spending package to help soften the blow.

Russian war games play on former US aircraft carrier

Russian video game publisher 1C Company boarded a former US aircraft carrier to re-write the Cuban Missile Crisis that had super powers on the brink of nuclear war in 1962. The tense Cold War stand-off has an apocalyptic outcome in the "Nuclear Union" computer game showcased late Thursday amid vintage fighter jets on the hangar deck of the USS Hornet docked at a one-time Naval Air Station on the island city of Alameda across the bay from San Francisco.

Analysis: Cabela's building on gun sale gains by leveraging data

By David Randall NEW YORK (Reuters) - Few companies have benefited more from the record number of gun sales in the U.S. than hunting, fishing and outdoor products retailer Cabela's <CAB.N>.

US hopes for Japan reform, better ties with neighbors

The United States was upbeat Monday about possible economic reforms in Japan after an election win by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party but cautioned against steps that would increase regional tension. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its partner New Komeito on Sunday retook control of the upper house, ending an era of divided parliaments that has hampered legislation and helped bring down six short-lived premiers.
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