>Harris drops out of 2020 race
US Senator Kamala Harris of California dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, ending a campaign to become the first black woman to win the US presidency as she told supporters she lacked the money needed to fully finance a competitive campaign.
In her note to supporters, Harris lamented the role of money in politics and, without naming them, took a shot at billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, who are funding their presidential bids.
"I'm not a billionaire," she wrote. "I can't fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete."
The first woman attorney general in California's history and the second black female senator in US history, Harris was widely viewed as a candidate poised to excite the multiracial coalition of voters that sent Barack Obama to the White House.
>Japan wants to go cashless
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to make more Japanese switch to using cashless payments.
Tokyo wants to double the ratio of cashless settlements to 40% by 2025.
Shoppers were recently encouraged to ditch cash for e-money after the government sweetened the deal by introducing a rebate program.
Big tech firms have responded with aggressive campaigns to promote their e-money payment systems including SoftBank Group Corp, Yahoo Japan Corp, e-commerce company Mercari and messaging app operator LINE Corp.
Some have met with initial success.
QR code payment app PayPay saw memberships jump 5 million since August to 15 million.
East Japan Railway Co also saw membership for the railway's electronic settlement system hit 11 million, up more than one million since September.
>Federer coin to be issued
Roger Federer, the Swiss tennis great, will become the first living person to have a commemorative coin dedicated to him by the Federal Mint Swissmint.
The Federer coin, with a legal face value of 20 Swiss francs, shows the 38-year-old superstar playing a single-handed backhand on the head side.
It will be issued from Jan 23, 2020, with pre-sales starting Dec 2-19.
"In addition to his sporting brilliance, Roger Federer is above all the perfect ambassador for Switzerland," the Bern-based Swissmint said in a statement on its website. "He has a unique way of embodying likeability, down-to-earthness, success and eloquence."
In 2007, Federer was pictured on a special edition stamp released by Swiss Post in Basel, where he grew up. He was the first person to receive the honor while still alive.
>Academic achievement test
The latest 2018 Program for International Student Assessment, hosted every three years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that 15-year-olds in Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang ranked No 1 in all three core subjects of reading, science and mathematics.
They are followed by students from Singapore and China's two special administrative regions - Macao and Hong Kong.
The top OECD countries were Estonia, Canada, Finland, and Ireland.
The OECD's PISA 2018 tested around 600,000 15-year-old students in 79 countries and regions on reading, science, and mathematics. The main focus was on reading, with most students doing the test on computers.
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