October 7, 2018

Meng Hongwei: China confirms detention of Interpol chief

Meng Hongwei: China confirms detention of Interpol chief Image copyright AFP Image caption Meng Hongwei is a senior Communist Party official as well as Interpol president China has confirmed it is holding the missing head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei. Beijing said he was under investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law. Mr Meng, who is also listed as a vice-minister of public security in China, was reported missing after travelling from the city of Lyon in France, where Interpol is based, to China. His family had not heard from him since he left Interpol headquarters on 25 September. Earlier, his wife, Grace Meng, told journalists she thought he was in danger. She issued an emotional plea for international help to find her husband. She said he had sent her a message with a knife emoticon on her mobile phone signifying he was in danger. With her back to the cameras to avoid being identified, she held back sobs to read out a statement in Ch..
October 7, 2018

Indonesia tsunami: Search for victims to end, though hundreds still missing

Indonesia tsunami: Search for victims to end, though hundreds still missing Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 1,750 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami Indonesian officials have said the search for victims of last month's earthquake and tsunami is to end on Thursday - despite the fact hundreds of people are still unaccounted for. The disaster struck part of Sulawesi two weeks ago, leaving at least 1,754 dead and another 2,549 injured. Officially, 683 people remain missing, though some put that figure far higher. No-one has been found alive since the third day of the search. The city of Palu has been hardest hit. Tsunami warning systems: How reliable are they? How Palu suffered a 'worst case scenario' tsunami How warning system failed the victims Why Sulawesi's tsunami is puzzling scientists The 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck on 28 September, bringing down buildings and, in some areas, turning the ground to liquid in a process called "liq..
October 7, 2018

Medical charity MSF ‘told to cease mental health work in Nauru’

Medical charity MSF 'told to cease mental health work in Nauru' Image copyright AFP Image caption Australia's detention centres have been criticised by human rights groups International medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru has ordered it to cease its work there. MSF says that for 11 months it has provided mental health care to both the Nauru population and asylum seekers housed in a detention centre set up by Australia. The charity has urged the Nauru government to reconsider, calling its own work life-saving. The authorities have not commented. The detention centre on Nauru was set up by Australia in a controversial deal to house boat people intercepted while trying to reach Australian shores. Nauru country profileCanberra maintains its policy prevents deaths at sea and discourages people smugglers but the tough immigration policy has been widely criticised. The centre on Nauru has been dogged by allegations of w..
October 6, 2018

Video shows monkey ‘driving’ bus in Karnataka, India

Video shows monkey 'driving' bus in Karnataka, India Image copyright YouTube Image caption This is not the face of a man who is concerned by events An Indian bus driver has been suspended - for letting a monkey "drive" his bus. This is despite not one of the 30-or-so passengers on board the vehicle in southern Karnataka state complaining about their furry chauffeur. However, when a video of the relaxed - and apparently competent - langur monkey taking the wheel went viral, the human driver's employers took action. The safety of passengers cannot be put at risk by "allowing a monkey on the steering" wheel, a spokesman said. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this has not been an entirely popular decision with internet users delighted by the short clip. "So sweet. Why suspend. He should have been warned not to repeat this," Parag Heda tweeted. Watch: Runaway race horse runs into a bar Why a national park is holding a 'Fat Bear Week' contest Elephant rudely interrupts BBC..
October 6, 2018

Interpol urges China to clarify status of missing president Meng Hongwei

Interpol urges China to clarify status of missing president Meng Hongwei Image copyright AFP Image caption Meng Hongwei is a senior Communist Party official as well as Interpol president International police agency Interpol has urged China to clarify the status of its president, Meng Hongwei, who has gone missing on a visit to the country. The agency said it was concerned about the well-being of its president. His family have not heard from him since he left Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon on 25 September. China has made no official comment. The South China Morning Post quotes a source as saying Mr Meng, 64, was "taken away" for questioning in China. It is not clear why he was being investigated by "discipline authorities" or where he was being held, the Hong Kong-based newspaper adds. Chinese official to head InterpolEarlier this week, actress Fan Bingbing, who disappeared in China in July, emerged with a public apology and a fine of 883 million yuan ($129m; £98.9m) for tax ev..
October 6, 2018

Hong Kong rejects visa for FT editor Victor Mallet

Hong Kong rejects visa for FT editor Victor Mallet Image copyright AFP/ Getty Images Image caption The UK government has demanded an "urgent explanation" of Victor Mallet's visa rejection Hong Kong has refused to renew a work visa for the Asia news editor of the Financial Times, sparking concerns from the UK government. Victor Mallet is also vice-president of the city's Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC), which upset local and Chinese authorities by hosting a separatist speaker in August. Hong Kong did not explain its visa decision. China is highly sensitive about the territory's sovereignty. The former British colony was handed back in 1997 on condition it would retain "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for 50 years. China's ire puts Hong Kong activist in spotlightChina operates a "one country, two system" agreement, with freedom of speech and press freedom among the key liberties that set Hong Kong apart from the mainland. ..
October 5, 2018

Tsukiji: Japan’s famed fish market to relocate

Tsukiji: Japan's famed fish market to relocate Image copyright Getty Images Tokyo's famous Tsukiji market is being shut down, marking the end of 83 years of bustle and trade at what became the world's largest fish market. A tourist hotspot, the site attracted streams of bleary-eyed visitors keen to catch the pre-dawn tuna auctions. Its huge variety of fish and seafood was sold to many of the city's top restaurants. The inner market is due to close on Saturday, and traders will move from the ageing facility to a new, more modern site in Toyosu, about 2km away. The relocation of the historic market has long been in the works but faced opposition from some vendors right up until its final days. Image copyright Getty Images Image copyright Getty Images Image copyright Getty Images Nearly 500 types of seafood were sold at the market in the Japanese capital. Tsukiji is within walking distance of the upscale Ginza district, where some of Tokyo's top restaurants a..
October 5, 2018

S-400: India missile defence purchase in US-Russia crosshairs

S-400: India missile defence purchase in US-Russia crosshairs Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Indian PM Narendra Modi signed the deal in Delhi on Friday India has signed a deal with Russia to acquire the S-400 air defence missile system, despite the possibility such a move could trigger US sanctions. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the $5bn (£3.8bn) deal in Delhi on Friday. The S-400 is one of the most sophisticated surface-to-air defence systems in the world. It has a range of 400km (248 miles) and can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one. India's neighbour China also has the same system - the two countries fought a war in 1962 and routinely see skirmishes on their border. So for India it was imperative to boost its defence capabilities - especially in view of a possible two-front conflict, with Pakistan and China. Rajiv Nayan, defence..
October 5, 2018

Interpol chief Meng Hongwei vanishes on trip to China

Interpol chief Meng Hongwei vanishes on trip to China Image copyright Reuters Image caption Meng Hongwei was elected Interpol's head two years ago France has opened an investigation into the disappearance of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese head of the international police agency Interpol. His family have not heard from him since he left Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon for a trip back to China a week ago, police sources say. "He did not disappear in France," a source close to the French inquiry told AFP news agency. Mr Meng is a senior Communist Party official in China. He was elected president of Interpol two years ago. The investigation was opened after Mr Meng's wife went to police to report her husband missing. Before taking over at Interpol, Meng Hongwei was deputy minister in charge of public security in China.
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