April 2, 2019

Thalidomide scandal: How Australia’s response has ‘lagged behind’

Thalidomide scandal: How Australia's response has 'lagged behind' Image copyright Lisa McManus Image caption Thalidomide survivor Lisa McManus has been critical of Australia's response Australia has fallen behind many other countries in its response to one of the world's worst pharmaceutical scandals. That seems likely to change - but time is running out for thalidomide survivors and their parents, reports Gary Nunn in Sydney. There was a recent six-month period when Trish Jackson, 56, didn't leave her house. "The minute I step out, I'm laughed at. Stared at. People say horrid things," she says. "Add to that my constant pain - because my feet are my hands, my knees and hips need replacing - and I was in a terrible headspace." Another factor deterring her from leaving her Brisbane home was that she struggled to get her mobility scooter modified - because she needs to drive it with her feet. Who is affected?"Thalidomiders" - a term many survivors use to..
April 2, 2019

Chinese boxer fights depression to be ‘Queen of the Ring’

Chinese boxer fights depression to be 'Queen of the Ring' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Huang Wensi celebrates her victory after winning the Asia Female Continental Super Flyweight Championship gold belt in 2018. Huang Wensi is one of a small but growing number of female boxers in China, challenging traditional stereotypes that often steer women away from such activities. "A woman is not just limited to being a wife or mother in the house," says Huang, 29, who relishes the intensity of the sport. Born in a small town in China's southern province of Guangdong, Huang started boxing in 2002. She joined a provincial team three years later but retired in 2011, following an injury. She met her husband in 2015 and her son was born a year later. Following a period of severe depression after the birth of her son, Huang was inspired to undertake a gruelling training regime and make a comeback to professional boxing. In 2018, her efforts were rewarded when she won the Asia..
April 2, 2019

Chinese teacher suspected of poisoning children’s porridge

Chinese teacher suspected of poisoning children's porridge A teacher at a kindergarten in central China has been detained by police on suspicion of poisoning 23 children, officials say. The children were rushed to hospital after eating their morning porridge at the kindergarten in Jiaozuo city, Henan province, state media reported. Preliminary investigations revealed the food contained high levels of sodium nitrite. Police said a motive for the suspected poisoning was not yet clear. However, Chinese media quoted police sources as saying the teacher had wanted to take revenge on a colleague. The children began vomiting and fainting after eating their breakfast at the kindergarten last Wednesday, the Beijing News said. Police only reported the incident on Monday. One parent said he was alerted by the school and arrived at hospital to find doctors had pumped his child's stomach. One child is still seriously ill and seven others are being treated in hospital, state run Xinhua ne..
April 2, 2019

Daphne Dunne: Australian Prince Harry superfan dies at 99

Daphne Dunne: Australian Prince Harry superfan dies at 99 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption 'She's just what the prince needs,' Ms Dunne said about Meghan Markle A woman who possibly was Australia's biggest fan of the British royals has died at the age of 99, just days after receiving a birthday card from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. Daphne Dunne passed away peacefully on Monday, her family said. She featured heavily in Harry's Australia trips and has pictures on Instagram of several encounters with the prince in recent years. The widow said she'd had "a very special friendship" with the prince. Just days ago, she received a birthday card from the couple. "Dear Daphne, my wife and I send our warmest wishes to you on the occasion of your 99th birthday on Friday," the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote, according to Australian media, signing the card simply "Harry and Meghan". Australia is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, wit..
April 2, 2019

Nasa: India’s satellite destruction could endanger ISS

Nasa: India's satellite destruction could endanger ISS Image copyright EPA Image caption India is the fourth country to have carried out an ASAT test Nasa has called India's destruction of a satellite "terrible thing" that could threaten the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency's chief, Jim Bridenstine, said that the risk of debris colliding with the ISS had risen by 44% over 10 days due to the test. However he said: "The international space station is still safe. If we need to manoeuvre it we will." India is the fourth country to have carried out such a test. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the test - Mission Shakti - with great fanfare on 27 March, saying it had established India as a "space power". In an address to employees, Mr Bridenstine sharply criticised the testing of such anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. He said that Nasa had identified 400 pieces of orbital debris and was tracking 60 pieces larger than 10cm in diameter. Twenty-four of thos..
April 2, 2019

US to investigate car firms Hyundai and Kia over vehicle fires

US to investigate car firms Hyundai and Kia over vehicle fires Image copyright Getty Images US safety authorities will investigate nearly three million Hyundai and Kia vehicles over fires, in a move which could prompt mass recalls. The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) follows thousands of complaints about the "non-crash fires". Incidents involving fires are linked to one death and more than 100 injuries. It raises fresh safety concerns with the South Korean automakers, which have already been subject to US scrutiny. The NHTSA said fire issues and engine problems have affected around six million Hyundai and Kia vehicles since 2015. So far, only about 2.4 million have been recalled for repair. The latest investigation relates to Hyundai Sonatas and Hyundai Santa Fes, as well as Kia Optimas, Kia Sorentos and Kia Souls. The US safety regulator said that while previous recalls of Kia and Hyundai vehicles primarily related to engine fires, the fresh i..
April 2, 2019

UK ski instructor pleads guilty to rape in Australia

UK ski instructor pleads guilty to rape in Australia Image copyright NSW POLICE Image caption Matthew James Williams (centre) at the time of his arrest, in an image blurred by police A British ski instructor has pleaded guilty to raping a woman and punching and kicking her friend in what police called a "horrendous" attack in Australia. The assaults happened last July in the resort town of Jindabyne, about 180km (110 miles) south of Canberra. CCTV footage showed Matthew James Williams, now 29, following the woman and man after they left a pub at night. Mr Williams then knocked the man unconscious before attacking the woman. Both victims suffered injuries which were so severe that police initially suspected there had been multiple attackers. However, Mr Williams - a ski resort employee - was arrested five days later and named the sole suspect. Violent attackAccording to court documents cited by local media, Mr Williams repeatedly punched and kicked the 25-year-old man after confrontin..
April 1, 2019

India election: The big push to take to the air

India election 2019: How many new airports have been built? Image copyright Getty Images Opening up air travel for the growing numbers of Indians who want to fly has been a promise of the current government since it came to power in 2014. It has rolled out an ambitious project to extend regional air networks to connect underserved destinations to the major cities. The ruling BJP says its efforts have shown results, declaring that the number of airports operating in India has increased significantly. In the run-up to the Indian election, which gets under way on 11 April, BBC Reality Check is examining claims and pledges made by the main political parties. Claim: The ruling BJP party says it has increased the number of operational airports in India from 65 in 2014 to 102 by this year. It also claims that in 2017, more than 100 million passengers flew on domestic routes - and for the first time, more people travelled by air than in air-conditioned train compartments. Skip Twitter post ..
April 1, 2019

Why India’s rich don’t give their money away

Why India's rich don't give their money away Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Premji is now one of the world's biggest philanthropists Indian IT billionaire Azim Premji recently became India's top philanthropist, sealing his place among the world's top givers. But his generosity has put philanthropy in the spotlight in a country where charity does not appear to match wealth. The BBC's Aparna Alluri reports. With his recent pledge of $7.5bn, Mr Premji's total philanthropic contribution now stands at some $1.45tn rupees ($21bn; £15.8bn). This puts him in the same league of givers - as philanthropists are called - as Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet. What perhaps distinguishes him even more is that, unlike them, he is not one of the world's five richest people - the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranks him at 51. But the philanthropic world was not surprised at his new status. "This is not unusual for him because he's been ..
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