August 17, 2018

Asian Games: Indonesia police kill dozens in criminal crackdown

Asian Games: Indonesia police kill dozens in criminal crackdown Image copyright NurPhoto/Getty Image caption Authorities say police have been told to act with force if resistance is met Indonesian police have fatally shot dozens of "petty criminals" in the lead up the 2018 Asian Games, rights group Amnesty International says. The group condemned the deaths, calling for an investigation into the "shoot first and ask questions later policy". At least 77 people have reportedly been shot dead since January, Amnesty said, with 31 deaths in police raids meant to clean up host cities for the Games. Authorities have said that people were shot after resisting the police. The raids began in July with high-ranking officials telling their officers "don't hesitate to take firm action", BBC's Indonesian service reported. The two-week-long Asian Games, which starts on Saturday, will take place in the capital Jakarta and Palembang. Bridge, bicycle kicks & jet-skis - welcome to the Asian G..
August 17, 2018

Imran Khan to be confirmed as Pakistan prime minister

Imran Khan to be confirmed as Pakistan prime minister Image copyright EPA Image caption National Assembly members, including Mr Khan, voted for other key positions earlier this week. Former cricket star Imran Khan is expected to be elected the next prime minister of Pakistan shortly in a vote at the National Assembly. His PTI party won the most seats in July's elections - setting up Mr Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics. He will be sworn in on Saturday. Mr Khan, 65, will inherit a country with a mounting economic crisis and he has vowed to create a "new Pakistan". The charismatic sports star, who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long shed his celebrity playboy image and now styles himself as a pious, populist, anti-poverty reformer. He ran on an anti-corruption platform that pledged to improve the lives of the country's poor with an "Islamic welfare state". Can Imran Khan change Paki..
August 17, 2018

India mourns former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee

India mourns former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee Image caption Thousands lined the streets to pay their respects Tributes have been pouring in for former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has died aged 93. Vajpayee was being treated for age-related illnesses in capital Delhi's AIIMS hospital. Thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects during his funeral procession amid tight security. Vajpayee served as prime minister three times between 1996 and 2004 and was instrumental in making India a global nuclear power. He was also one of the founding members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently governs India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, members of his cabinet and other political leaders gathered at the BJP's headquarters in Delhi where Vajpayee lay in state to pay tributes. Vajpayee will be cremated with full state honours in a national memorial estate in Delhi at 16:00 IST (10:30 GMT). Image copyright Getty Images Image..
August 17, 2018

Artist’s Aboriginal portraits back in Tasmania after 170 years

Artist's Aboriginal portraits back in Tasmania after 170 years Image copyright BRITISH MUSEUM Image caption A portrait by Thomas Bock of Aboriginal woman Wortabowigee A collection of 19th Century paintings of Aboriginal Tasmanians has gone on display in Australia for the first time. English convict artist Thomas Bock painted the portraits of indigenous leaders in Tasmania in the 1830s - a time of infamous frontier conflicts. The artworks have been kept in Britain, mostly in storage, since the 1840s. The exhibition in Hobart has stirred up complex feelings for descendants of those featured in the paintings. The works, on loan from the British Museum, went on display at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) on Friday. Museum curators have welcomed the return of the 19 paintings, which were completed with watercolour and pencil. Dr Gaye Sculthorpe, a British Museum curator who is an indigenous Tasmanian, called the portraits "significant cultural documents". Image copyright B..
August 17, 2018

China ‘training for strikes’ on US targets

China 'training for strikes' on US targets Image copyright EPA Image caption The Chinese Liberation Army is being reformed China's military "is likely training for strikes" against US and allied targets in the Pacific, a Pentagon report warns. The annual report to Congress says China is increasing its ability to send bomber planes further afield. The report highlights its increasing military capability, including defence spending estimated at $190bn (£150bn) - a third that of the US. China has not yet commented on the report. "Over the last three years, the PLA [People's Liberation Army] has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets," the report says. It goes on to say it is not clear what China is trying to prove by such flights. The People's Liberation Army may demonstrate the "capability to strike US and allied forces and military bas..
August 16, 2018

Google employees criticise ‘censored China search engine’

Google employees criticise 'censored China search engine' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The new search app would block search terms like human rights and religion Hundreds of Google employees have written to the company to protest against plans to launch a "censored search engine" in China. They said the project raised "urgent moral and ethical questions" and urged the firm to be more transparent. "Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work," they added. Google, which has never spoken publicly about the plans, declined to comment. Google 'plans censored China search engine' Google 'to end Pentagon AI project' The firm, which is owned by Alphabet, quit China eight years ago in protest at the country's censorship laws and alleged government hacks. However, reports last month claimed it had been secretively working on a new Chinese search service, referred to internally as Dragonf..
August 16, 2018

‘Why I never want babies’

'Why I never want babies' An increasing number of South Korean women are choosing not to marry, not to have children, and not even to have relationships with men. With the lowest fertility rate in the world, the country's population will start shrinking unless something changes. "I have no plans to have children, ever," says 24-year-old Jang Yun-hwa, as we chat in a hipsterish cafe in the middle of Seoul. "I don't want the physical pain of childbirth. And it would be detrimental to my career." Like many young adults in South Korea's hyper-competitive job market, Yun-hwa, a web comic artist, has worked hard to get where she is and isn't ready to let all that hard graft go to waste. "Rather than be part of a family, I'd like to be independent and live alone and achieve my dreams," she says. Yun-hwa isn't the only young Korean woman who sees career and family as mutually exclusive. There are laws designed to prevent women being discriminated agains..
August 16, 2018

AB Vajpayee: The PM who consolidated India as a nuclear power

AB Vajpayee: The PM who consolidated India as a nuclear power Image copyright Getty Images Atal Behari Vajpayee's tenure as Indian prime minister brought his country's emergence as a nuclear power, triggering fears of conflict with Pakistan. These worries were heightened by increasing tension over the disputed region of Kashmir and a long confrontation between Indian and Pakistani troops. Throughout his time in office, Vajpayee struggled to hold a diverse coalition of parties together. But he gained a reputation as a man who fiercely defended India's interests. Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee was born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh state, on 25 December 1924. He studied politics and became a journalist and social worker while, at the same time, becoming active in the Quit India Movement, which campaigned to end British rule in the subcontinent. After independence Vajpayee became a close aide of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS..
August 16, 2018

Australia battles winter bushfires

New South Wales battles dozens of winter bushfires Image copyright EPA Image caption A firefighter at a blaze near Nowra, on the New South Wales coast Emergency crews in Australia are battling unseasonal bushfires which have erupted across drought-stricken New South Wales (NSW). Almost 80 fires were burning along the state's coast on Thursday, having ripped through more than 1,000 hectares in recent days. No lives or homes were in immediate danger, according to officials. Winter bushfires are uncommon but have flared up this year due to dry conditions, authorities say. Last week, the entire state of NSW was declared to be drought-affected. "It is fair to say that the fires we are seeing today is really a result of the drought," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said on Thursday. How Australia's heat might be here to stay The strain of a crippling drought Nation's weather 'pushes us to limits' He said a combination of dry vegetation, lack o..
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