TOKYO (BBC): A lawmaker from Japan’s governing party has been arrested on suspicion of receiving 3.7m yen ($34,000) in bribes from a gambling operator. As a member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet until October, Tsukasa Akimoto oversaw the government’s plan to introduce casinos. The 48-year-old denies wrongdoing and says he never extended any favours. But correspondents say his arrest could complicate Mr Abe’s controversial policy on casinos. Mr Akimoto is accused of receiving money from three employees of an unnamed gambling operator seeking help for a casino bid, prosecutors say. The three employees were also detained on Wednesday, prosecutors said. Hours after the arrests, Japanese media said the offices of another lawmaker from Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, Takaki Shirasuka, had been searched as part of the same investigation. The government regards the opening of casinos as a way to boost Japan’s flagging economy. In 2016, after years of fractious debate, parliament voted to allow casinos to operate within hotel and conference facilities. However, no casino licences have so far been issued. Gambling has a seedy image in Japan, and opinion polls have suggested that most people there remain opposed to the opening of casinos.

Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts found in Baginton

BAGINTON (GN): “Breathtaking” Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts have been discovered in burial sites near the edge of an airport. Pots, jugs and jewellery were found in Baginton, next to Lunt Roman Fort and Coventry Airport in Warwickshire. Archaeologists believe two of the graves contained a “high status” ranking officer and Roman girl, aged between six and 12. The artefacts could go on display at local museums. The pieces were found during a dig at a housing development site in summer 2017 but many of the items have only just been officially dated and verified by experts. Senior archaeologist Nigel Page, from Warwickshire County Council which led the dig, said it was a “remarkable” find. “It’s a significant discovery in the West Midlands,” he said. “There was a real buzz of excitement when the site was found. It’s breathtaking.” A decorative brooch was found within a Roman cremation burial site of a young girl. It was one of four brooches from a small pile of jewellery placed in the grave and covered by a polished mirror. Other jewellery included a ring, with an image of a cicada - an insect associated with immortality - and a hair pin. Experts said the items and imagery on some of the jewellery suggested a link to southern Europe.