October 17, 2018

MJ Akbar: India minister quits after #MeToo allegations

MJ Akbar: India minister quits after #MeToo allegations Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Akbar has not responded to the allegations against him India's junior foreign minister MJ Akbar has resigned after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment and assault, officials have confirmed. The former prominent newspaper editor is the most high profile figure to be named in what is being called India's #MeToo movement. The charges range from "predatory behaviour" to sexual assault. Mr Akbar had earlier filed a criminal defamation case against the female journalist who first named him. He said in a statement that since he had decided to challenge the "false accusations" against him in his "personal capacity", he felt it was appropriate to step down from office. Mr Akbar's resignation came as pressure grew on the government to respond to the allegations being made against him. One of India's most influential editors, he has edited leading English-languag..
October 17, 2018

Chinese woman kills herself and children after husband fakes death

Chinese woman kills herself and children after husband fakes death Image copyright Weibo Image caption The man's alleged plan to claim an insurance payout went tragically wrong A Chinese man who allegedly faked his own death for an insurance payout has surrendered to police after his wife killed herself and their two children. The 34-year-old was presumed dead after his car was found in a river, though his body was never recovered. He did not tell his wife about his alleged plan and she believed he had died. She later jumped into a pond with their children after writing an online suicide note. The man, who police said was surnamed He, surrendered himself to police in Xinhua county in Hunan province last Friday. He has been detained on charges of insurance fraud and intentional damage to property, Xinhua police said in a statement on WeChat - a social media platform. 'Why we had to fake my murder' Ukraine reporter fake killer details plot The MP who faked his death In ..
October 17, 2018

Charlie Condell: UK teenager in record attempt has bike stolen

Charlie Condell: UK teenager in record attempt has bike stolen Image copyright CHARLIE CONDELL Image caption Charlie Condell has ridden through 17 countries so far A British teenager who is trying to become the youngest person to cycle solo around the world has had his bike stolen in Australia. Charlie Condell, 18, has already ridden through Europe and Asia since embarking on an eight-month journey in July. However he woke up in a hostel in Townsville, Queensland, on Tuesday to discover his bike was missing. Mr Condell, from Bristol, said his passport, camping gear and other cycling equipment had also been taken. He is already more than 100 days into his attempt to cycle unassisted through 21 countries around the world - a 18,000-mile (30,000km) journey. Of losing his bike, he said: "You can never quite believe it - I thought maybe someone had moved it at first. "But then I came to the sinking realisation that it was gone and I just had on my shirt and my board shorts and one bag." I..
October 17, 2018

Pakistan Zainab murder: Imran Ali executed in jail

Pakistan Zainab murder: Imran Ali executed in jail Image copyright European Photopress Agency Image caption Zainab was abducted on 4 January Pakistan has hanged a man convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in January. Imran Ali, who was arrested after her body was found in a garbage dump, was executed in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat prison early on Wednesday, police said. Zainab's father and other relatives were present. The case, the most heinous in a string of similar child murders in the city of Kasur, had sparked outrage and protests in the country. Zainab disappeared on 4 January and her body was found five days later. On 23 January, after widespread protests complaining of police incompetence, Imran Ali was arrested though a DNA match. He was sentenced to death in February for Zainab's rape and murder. His appeals against the verdict failed and earlier this month President Arif Alvi rejected a plea for clemency.
October 16, 2018

US moves to negotiate trade deals with Japan, UK, EU

US moves to negotiate trade deals with Japan, UK, EU Image copyright Getty Images The US has said it intends to negotiate three separate trade agreements with Japan, the UK and the EU. It could take several months before the negotiations begin, it said. The move is part of US President Donald Trump's efforts to reshape trade policies to support his "America First" agenda. It comes as the US has been fighting a trade war with China, the world's second largest economy. "We will continue to expand U.S. trade and investment by negotiating trade agreements with Japan, the EU and the United Kingdom," US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said. "We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses." 'America First' tariffs: What will Trump's policy do? US and Canada agree new trade deal 'Dangerous undercurrents' in global economy The US plans to start negotiation..
October 16, 2018

Ian Kiernan: ‘Clean Up the World’ environmentalist dies

Ian Kiernan: 'Clean Up the World' environmentalist dies Image copyright Fairfax Media/Getty Images Image caption Ian Kiernan founded a global anti-litter campaign Prominent environmentalist Ian Kiernan, the founder of an iconic Australian anti-litter campaign that expanded into a global success, has died aged 78. The round-the-world yachtsman began the Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World campaigns after being appalled by levels of ocean rubbish in the 1980s. In 1994, he famously helped come to the rescue of Prince Charles when a protester rushed at him, firing a starting pistol, on a stage in Sydney. Mr Kiernan had been enduring cancer. "While we will deeply miss Ian's guidance and humour, it was his greatest wish that the work he inspired continues," Clean Up Australia said in a statement on Wednesday. His first clean-up event took place around Sydney Harbour in 1989, with more than 40,000 volunteers clearing rubbish from the shoreline. It has since grown into a ..
October 16, 2018

Afghan drought ‘displacing more people than Taliban’

Afghan drought 'displacing more people than Taliban' Image caption The UN estimates that 260,000 Afghans have fled their homes this year due to drought A deadly drought in Afghanistan is causing a humanitarian crisis that has displaced more people this year than the war between the government and the Taliban. The BBC's Secunder Kermani reports from Herat. Shadi Mohammed, 70, wells up with tears as he walks through the makeshift camp on the outskirts of the western city of Herat, where he lives with his family. "We are thirsty and hungry. We took what little we could with us, but lost most of it on the way. Now we have nothing. Eight of us live in this small tent," he says. "My wife and my brother died. Half of our children are here. The other half were left behind." Mr Mohammed is one of an estimated 260,000 people who have been forced from their homes in northern and western Afghanistan because of a severe drought in the region. Protecting reporters on Afghanistan&#03..
October 16, 2018

China disappearances show Beijing sets its own rules

China disappearances show Beijing sets its own rules Image copyright AFP Image caption China's biggest film star and the president of Interpol both recently vanished - before turning up in detention The recent disappearances of two high-profile Chinese citizens have once again focused international attention on China's legal system and its use of secret detentions. First to vanish was A-list actress Fan Bingbing, who appeared in the X-Men and Iron Man film franchises. She was not seen in public for months over the summer and went silent on social media, before turning up in early October with a grovelling apology for evading taxes. Two days after she re-appeared, it emerged that the president of global policing agency Interpol, Meng Hongwei, had disappeared on a trip to China. His wife says his last communication with her was a text with a knife emoji, which she took to mean he was in danger. On 8 October, Chinese authorities announced he was being investigated for bribe-tak..
October 16, 2018

Pakistani pop star Fakhr-e-Alam begins Asia leg of round-world flight

Pakistani pop star Fakhr-e-Alam begins Asia leg of round-world flight Image copyright @falamb3/Twitter Image caption Fakhr-e-Alam began his journey in the US state of Florida on 10 October A former pop star aiming to be the first Pakistani to fly around the world in a light aircraft has landed in Karachi, six days after take-off. Sporting a khaki jumpsuit, Fakhr-e-Alam is piloting a single-engine plane emblazoned with his name. But he is travelling with an instructor, as he has less than 100 hours of flight experience. Alam has so far flown to cities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He now begins the Asia leg of his tour. He aims to end his trip, which he has named #MissionParwaaz, in Florida, where he took off from, next month. Carol Vorderman completes 'historic' solo flight The female pilot teaching African women to fly Alam has been posting frequent updates, photos and videos on his Twitter timeline. These have included details of the food he is eating, people h..
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