October 15, 2018

‘It’s OK to be white’ bill defeated in Australian Senate

'It's OK to be white' bill defeated in Australian Senate Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Critics say the motion by Pauline Hanson, pictured in 2017, was a publicity stunt Australia's Senate has narrowly defeated a motion condemning "anti-white racism", by just three votes. Pauline Hanson, the leader of Australia's far-right One Nation party, wanted backing for her motion which stated "it is OK to be white". It also spoke of the "deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation". Critics have dismissed it as another stunt by Ms Hanson, who last year hit the headlines for wearing a burka. Yet a number of ruling party politicians backed the motion. Among the 23 people who voted in favour was Australia's first parliamentarian of black African descent, Kenyan-born Lucy Gichuhi of the governing coalition. Others in government who supported the motion were the Deputy Senate Leader and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, Indigenous..
October 15, 2018

China live-streamer detained for ‘insulting’ national anthem

China live-streamer detained for 'insulting' national anthem Image copyright Weibo Image caption Ms Yang has over one million followers on Weibo, arguably China's most popular social media platform A Chinese live-streaming celebrity has been detained for five days for "insulting" the country's national anthem. Yang Kaili, a 20-year-old with tens of millions of followers, had appeared on camera singing the anthem while flailing her arms around. The live-streaming platform, Huya, had earlier taken down her video and banned her channel. Ms Yang, who is also known as Li Ge, has since publicly apologised. The Shanghai Police Department said in a statement on Saturday that she had violated China's National Anthem Law. "The national anthem is a symbol of the country, all citizens should respect [it] and safeguard [its] dignity," it said. "Live-streaming platforms are not above the law - the law and moral standards similarly apply there." Under China's National A..
October 15, 2018

New Zealand votes tipsy pigeon bird of the year

New Zealand votes tipsy pigeon bird of the year Image copyright Forest & Bird Image caption Bird & Forest presenting this year's winner: the kereru New Zealand has voted for its bird of the year 2018 and it's one known for being "drunk, clumsy and a bit of a clown", organisers say. The kereru has a liking for fermented fruits, which contain alcohol. And that means the birds can get quite tipsy at times, displaying clumsy antics and falling off trees. This year's campaign saw celebrity endorsements from actor Stephen Fry and comedian Bill Bailey, while one species even had a Tinder profile. Town alerts residents over 'tipsy' birds One in five British mammals faces extinction The kereru is one of the few native birds in New Zealand that is not endangered. What kind of bird is it?"They have quite a reputation of being large and clumsy and being a bit of a clown," Megan Hubscher of Bird & Forest, the conservationist group that runs the annual vote, told the BB..
October 15, 2018

MJ Akbar: India minister threatens to sue over #MeToo allegations

MJ Akbar: India minister threatens to sue over #MeToo allegations Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Akbar has strongly denied the allegations Indian junior foreign minister MJ Akbar has threatened legal action against women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Mr Akbar, who returned from an official trip abroad on Monday, has called the allegations "false" and "baseless". The former prominent newspaper editor also added that he will not be stepping down from his post. Mr Akbar is the most high profile figure so far to be named in what is being called India's #MeToo movement. One of India's most influential editors, he has edited leading English-language newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Asian Age. The charges against him range from "predatory behaviour" to outright sexual assault. In a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday, Mr Akbar said that the allegations are politically motivated as the country prepares for a general election next ..
October 15, 2018

Air India flight attendant falls from plane

Air India flight attendant falls from plane Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air India is India's national carrier An Air India flight attendant has been injured after falling from the door of a parked aeroplane at India's Mumbai airport. Harsha Lobo was preparing the flight for boarding to Delhi on Monday morning when the incident happen. Ms Lobo, 52, suffered a fracture and other injuries and has been taken to a hospital. Air India, the country's national carrier, said in a statement that it was investigating the incident. "In an unfortunate incident, one of our cabin crew (members), Harsha Lobo, fell down on the tarmac from the Boeing-777 aircraft door while closing it," the airline said. Doctors attended to Ms Lobo at the Mumbai airport before sending her to the hospital. Air India plane hits wall on take-off Jet Airways: Passengers hurt as pilots 'forget' cabin pressure Air India blames weather for bed bugs infestation "She is conscious and w..
October 15, 2018

US embassy in Australia apologises for Cookie Monster cat email

US embassy in Australia apologises for Cookie Monster cat email Image copyright US state department Image caption The email featured this image next to the words "cat pyjama-jam" The US embassy in Australia has apologised for an email invitation featuring a cat dressed in pyjamas that was mistakenly sent out by the US state department. The email, titled "meeting", went to an unknown number of recipients, US officials in Canberra confirmed. It was accompanied by a photo of a cat wearing a Cookie Monster outfit and holding a plate of biscuits. In a light-hearted apology, the embassy called the email a "training error". "Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to attend this 'cat pyjama-jam' party, but such an event falls well outside our area of expertise," US mission to Australia spokesman Gavin Sundwall told the Australian Associated Press. "It was a training error made by one of our new staff testing out our email newsletter platform." The US embassy in New Zealand..
October 15, 2018

IMF World Bank: What the economic outlook holds for Asia

IMF World Bank: What the economic outlook holds for Asia Image copyright Getty Images Clouds on the horizon. Dark undercurrents in the global economy. Trade tensions. Vulnerabilities in the global financial system. You wouldn't be blamed for thinking the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Bali last week were full of doom and gloom. So how worried should we be about Asia's economies? Here are some of the key risks I'm watching: Emerging market contagionTurkey and Argentina were highlighted as key risks, according to the IMF. There have been worries those troubles would infect Asian economies too, in particular countries like Indonesia and India which have seen their currencies fall to near record lows recently. Will Argentine and Turkish crises spread? How a US-China trade war could hurt us all US-China trade row: What has happened so far? But one of the key themes I heard repeated consistently by fund officials was that while there are vulnerabilities i..
October 14, 2018

Himalayan storm: Climbers’ bodies removed from Nepal mountain

Himalayan storm: Climbers' bodies removed from Nepal mountain Image copyright EPA Image caption Kim Chang-ho, who was among those killed, had won awards for his mountaineering efforts The bodies of nine climbers who died when a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp on a Himalayan peak in Nepal have been retrieved. The five South Koreans and four Nepali guides were found scattered across the base camp near Mount Gurja, a 7,193m high peak (23,600ft). They were found to have suffered broken bones and head wounds in Friday's storm. The incident is the worst climbing accident to hit Nepal in two years. The crew of a rescue helicopter began retrieving the victims on Sunday, after attempts the day before were halted by strong winds. "It seems that seracs [glacial ice] and snow fell from high on the mountain and the strong gusts of winds from that hit the campsite, throwing the climbers off," one rescuer, Suraj Paduyal told news wire AFP. "The camp was completely destroyed," the ..
October 14, 2018

How to protect reporters on Afghanistan’s deadly front line

How to protect reporters on Afghanistan's deadly front line Image copyright AFP Image caption Tolo News journalist Samim Faramarz was reporting on a blast in Kabul when a second one killed him and his cameraman More journalists have been killed in Afghanistan this year than in any other country. And although the race to be the first at the scene remains competitive, the pressure is on media organisations to do more to ensure their reporters stay safe, reports the BBC's Najiba Feroz. On 5 September, Tolo News journalist Samim Faramarz was reporting live on a suicide attack in the capital, Kabul. A few minutes later, a second attack at the scene killed him and his cameraman. A car bomber had targeted emergency services responding to the first incident. In total, 26 people died and 70 were injured, including five more journalists. The hell of losing loved ones in Afghanistan BBC reporter's terrifying days amid Taliban assault on Ghazni Twenty-six-year-old Aman Farhang, who..
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