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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech during the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing in Hiroshima on Saturday — his most recent public appearance. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underwent a medical examination in a Tokyo hospital Monday after a top official expressed concern he was fatigued from his workload during the pandemic, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Officials told Japanese media Abe was going for a routine checkup. His visit coincided with new data showing Japan suffered its worst decline on record, with the economy shrinking at an annual rate of 27.8% from April to June and GDP falling 7.8%. Economic activity ground to "a near halt" in April and May, when Abe had declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, per the New York Times. Abe has "worked nearly continuously" since the pandemic began, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 26, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Japan's big new climate goal

Climate protest in Tokyo in November 2019. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's new prime minister said on Monday the nation will seek to become carbon neutral by 2050, a move that will require huge changes in its fossil fuel-heavy energy mix in order to succeed.

Why it matters: Japan is the world's fifth-largest source of carbon emissions. The new goal announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stronger than the country's previous target of becoming carbon neutral as early as possible in the latter half of the century.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24, 2021. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

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