November 1, 2018

Ex-Goldman bankers face 1MDB charges

Ex-Goldman bankers face 1MDB charges Image copyright EPA Image caption Raids on properties linked to Mr Najib uncovered luxury goods worth millions of dollars US authorities have brought criminal charges against two former Goldman Sachs bankers and Malaysian financier Jho Low. The Department of Justice charges stem from the long-running scandal at Malaysia's state development fund, 1MDB. One Goldman banker admitted to conspiring to launder money and violate a US anti-bribery law, it said. The other banker has been arrested, while Mr Low remains at large. These are reportedly the first US criminal charges to surface in the scandal, in which authorities say public officials stole billions from the state fund to buy art, property and other items. The claims of corruption played a role in the election defeat earlier this year of Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak. He has since been charged with corruption in Malaysia, claims that he has denied. US authorities have a..
November 1, 2018

Samsung agrees to payouts after worker deaths

Samsung agrees to payouts after worker deaths Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The death of Hwang Yumi prompted her father to lead a compensation campaign The death of a 23-year-old former Samsung worker has led to the company agreeing a major compensation deal. Hwang Yumi died en route to hospital in 2007 after developing leukaemia. Her father led a campaign to shame the company into making payouts for other cases of the disease, miscarriages and other ailments linked to chemicals used at its South Korean factories. Those affected - and workers' children with related ailments - will receive up to 150m won (£102,907) per illness. 'Truly deplorable'Hwang Sang-ki - a taxi driver - set up the Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry (Sharps) with the help of local labour activists in November 2007. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Families of Samsung workers who died after working at its plants had held protests to pr..
November 1, 2018

Sri Lanka crisis: ‘Sacked’ prime minister remains confident of support

Sri Lanka crisis: 'Sacked' prime minister remains confident of support Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Wickremesinghe has refused to leave office Sri Lanka's "sacked" Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has told the BBC he has the support of parliament, as the island nation grapples with an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Last week the president sacked Mr Wickremesinghe and his cabinet and suspended parliament, appointing former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new PM. But Mr Wickremesinghe refuses to leave office, saying the move is illegal. The crisis has already sparked protests and deadly violence. "I still remain the prime minister and I have the confidence of the majority of members of this house," Mr Wickremesinghe told the BBC from his official residence, Temple Trees, a grand, white, colonial-era bungalow, which has, over time, become a symbol of political power in Sri Lanka. "The constitution states that the president must appoint as prime minister t..
November 1, 2018

Australian cafe mocked after ‘inadvertent’ exam coincidence

Australian cafe mocked after 'inadvertent' exam coincidence Image copyright CALMER CAFE Image caption The Calmer Cafe in Melbourne was targeted by fake reviews An Australian cafe has been inundated with fake negative reviews online due to an "inadvertent" coincidence on a high school English exam. The state-wide exam in Victoria had featured a question involving a restaurant review of a fictitious coffee shop called the The Calmer Cafe. After the test on Wednesday, students discovered a real cafe had the same name and began mocking it online. Education officials have apologised, after the cafe expressed frustration. "[We] understand the posts have caused the business considerable effort and inconvenience," the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) said. "The VCAA has offered its assistance to have these posts removed as soon as possible." 'Hipster coffee' gets Australia hot and frothing Melbourne cafe charges men more for coffee Sydney 'squatte..
November 1, 2018

Lion Air crash: Black box retrieved from missing plane

Lion Air crash: Black box retrieved from missing plane Image copyright Reuters Image caption Divers have been scouring the sea bed for traces of the missing plane A "black box" flight recorder from Lion Air flight JT 610 has been found by divers off the coast of Indonesia. The plane, carrying 189 people, went down shortly after taking off Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, on Monday. It plummeted into the Java Sea - no survivors have been found, nor has the body of the Boeing 737. There is as yet no indication of what caused the crash, though there are reports the aircraft had experienced technical problems on earlier flights. The plane was making a one-hour journey to the western city of Pangkal Pinang when it went down. The pilot had asked air traffic control for permission to turn back to the airport, but then contact was lost. Buried on the sea floorA diver told reporters on board one of the search and rescue vessels scouring the Java Sea: "We dug and we got the black box." The di..
October 31, 2018

North Korea: Sexual violence against women ‘common’, report finds

North Korea: Sexual violence against women 'common', report finds Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The report calls on the country to treat sex abuse as a crime Sexual abuse against women in North Korea is so "common" it has become part of ordinary life, a report has claimed. Human Rights Watch based the report on interviews with 62 North Koreans who fled the country. They gave detailed accounts of rape and sexual abuse. HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power. One woman, who had been sexually assaulted many times, said officials considered women to be "sex toys". "Sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don't know why," Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told Human Rights Watch (HRW). Another woman, a former farmer in her 40s who was caught fleeing North Korea, also detailed abuse she faced from a police official who was questioning her in a pre-trial detention facility. "My life was ..
October 31, 2018

Blasphemy ruling: The judges risking their lives

Asia Bibi: Pakistan Supreme Court's 'historic' ruling Image caption Asia Bibi's case has been hugely divisive in religiously conservative Pakistan This could have been an open and shut case. The complainants had quarrelled with Asia Bibi, and could be reasonably suspected of having dragged her to the court out of malice. The fact that a formal police complaint was lodged at least five days after the incident created further suspicions that evidence could have been fabricated. And if that were not enough, some glaring disparities emerged in the depositions of different witnesses about the specifics of what happened when, where, and in whose presence. As in many countries, Pakistan's criminal justice system puts the burden of proof on the prosecution. It applies strict rules of evidence to ensure the case is proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The slightest deficiency anywhere along the process translates into a benefit for the defendant. But, for eight years, t..
October 31, 2018

Lion Air crash: Indonesian search homes in on black box

Lion Air crash: Indonesian search homes in on black box Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDebris found from Lion Air crash in sea A signal from the black box of the Lion Air plane which crashed on Monday with 189 people on board has been located, Indonesian rescuers believe. Indonesia's military chief said divers were trying to check the location some 30-40m (100-130ft) down in the Java Sea but had to battle strong currents. Flight JT610, a Boeing 737, went down shortly after take-off from Jakarta. No survivors have been found. Meanwhile Lion Air has sacked its technical director. The company said its dismissal of Muhammad Asif had come on the orders of the transport ministry. Representatives from Boeing are meeting Indonesian officials on Wednesday as part of the investigation. How could a brand new plane crash? Mourning siblings and mystery couple on ill-fated plane How likely are you to survive a plane crash? Air disasters timeline There is no indicatio..
October 31, 2018

Asia Bibi: Imran Khan attacks hardliners over court case

Asia Bibi: Imran Khan attacks hardliners over court case Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAsia Bibi's escape from Pakistan death row Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has attacked hardliners and appealed for calm after the acquittal of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy. In a televised broadcast, Mr Khan said hardliners were "inciting [people] for their own political gain", claiming they are "doing no service to Islam". The landmark Asia Bibi case has already set off violent protests by hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws. Her lawyer has told the BBC she would need to move to abroad for her safety. Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement. Pakistan's 'historic' Asia Bibi ruling Why Pakistan's Christians are targeted Wednesday's verdic..
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