November 27, 2018

‘Asleep’ pilot missed destination in Australia, officials say

'Asleep' pilot missed destination in Australia, officials say Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The plane took off from Devonport, in Tasmania's north A small plane overshot its destination in Australia by almost 50km (30 miles) after its pilot fell asleep in the cockpit, air safety officials say. The pilot was the only person on board the freight flight from Devonport to King Island in Tasmania on 8 November. The incident, classified as a case of "incapacitation", is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Officials have not said how the pilot awoke before landing the plane safely. The Piper PA-31 aircraft, operated by Vortex Air, had been due to complete the 240km trip at 07:15 local time. "During the cruise, the pilot fell asleep, resulting in the aircraft overflying King Island by 46 kilometres," the ATSB said in a brief statement. Aviation expert Neil Hansford said that Australia had strict rules relating to pilot fatigue. "The..
November 26, 2018

Benoit Quennedey: French official ‘suspected of spying for North Korea’

Benoit Quennedey: French official 'suspected of spying for North Korea' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Benoit Quennedey is a senior civil servant at the French Senate A senior official in the French Senate has been arrested on suspicion of spying for North Korea, French media reports say. Benoit Quennedey was arrested on Sunday night over the "collection and delivery of information to a foreign power", AFP news agency reported. He is being questioned by the domestic security agency, the DGSI. His Paris home and the home of his parents near Dijon have been searched, Le Parisien newspaper said. Mr Quennedey is a senior civil servant and president of the Franco-Korean Friendship Association, Le Parisien added. The Senate's presidency has declined to comment on the reports, AFP said. The arrest was first reported by the Quotidien programme of the TV channel TMC.
November 26, 2018

Afghan Shias in the firing line: ‘IS wants to wipe us out’

Afghan Shias in the firing line: 'IS wants to wipe us out' Image caption Kabul's Hazaras are feeling under attack Tears and wails of grief fill the air around a hilltop cemetery in the outskirts of Kabul. "Why did you leave us?" one distraught mother cries out. Another lovingly caresses the photograph of her dead child. Families of about 50 students killed in a suicide bombing by the Islamic State group on a tuition centre in the Afghan capital in August have gathered here for a memorial service. Many of the dead were just teenagers. All were from the Hazara community. Followers of the Shia sect of Islam who are believed to be descendants of the Mongols, Hazaras are hated by IS who view them as heretics. Armed soldiers stand guard around the graves in case of further attack. Amongst those killed was 16-year-old Fatima. Her mother Amina tells me she used to weave carpets to pay for her schooling. One, unfinished, lies by the entrance to their small home. Fatima had bee..
November 26, 2018

The man who spent decades befriending isolated Sentinelese tribe

The man who spent decades befriending isolated Sentinelese tribe Image copyright TN Pandit Image caption A photograph of Mr Pandit handing a coconut to a Sentinelese man in 1991 Not many people know more about the Sentinelese than Indian anthropologist T N Pandit. As a regional head for India's Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Mr Pandit embarked on visits to their isolated island community over a period spanning decades. The tribe, who have lived in near-total isolation for tens of thousands of years, came to global attention last week after they reportedly killed a 27-year-old American would-be missionary trying to make contact with them. But Mr Pandit, now 84, says from his experience the group are largely "peace-loving" and believes their fearsome reputation is unfair. "During our interactions they threatened us but it never reached a point where they went on to kill or wound. Whenever they got agitated we stepped back," he told the BBC's World Service. "I feel very sad for ..
November 26, 2018

China defends holding fugitive businessman’s US children

China defends holding fugitive businessman's US children Image copyright Friends of Liu Family Image caption US citizens Victor and Cynthia Liu say they have been barred from leaving China since June Chinese officials have defended their decision to bar three US citizens from leaving the country, saying they are suspected of "economic crimes". Victor and Cynthia Liu, children of a fugitive businessman, and their mother, Sandra Han, have been detained since June, the New York Times reported. The US Department of State confirmed to the BBC that they are in "close contact" with the adult Liu children. Their father, Liu Changming, is wanted in a $1.4bn (£1bn) fraud case in China. "As we understand it from the relevant authorities, these people you have mentioned all have legal and valid identity documents as Chinese citizens," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a news conference, according to the Agence France-Presse. "They are suspected of having commit..
November 26, 2018

Jet Airways offloads India passenger over ‘terrorist’ joke

Jet Airways offloads India passenger over 'terrorist' joke Image copyright Reuters Image caption The passenger had taken the photo to send to a friend A passenger on a domestic Indian flight was offloaded and detained after he photographed himself and used a caption that included the word "terrorist". Yogvedant Poddar had allegedly covered half of his face with a handkerchief and captioned the photo: "Terrorist on flight, I destroy women's hearts". A co-passenger, who glimpsed the photo, alerted the crew on the Jet Airways flight from Kolkata to Mumbai. Mr Poddar was going to send the photo to a friend over Snapchat, police said. The pilot was forced to turn back on the tarmac so that security officials could take the passenger into custody. In a statement, airport officials said they detained Mr Poddar, who is in his 20s, for "mischievous activity on board" as he was found using language "which was inferred as a security threat". Man charged with Mumbai airport bomb..
November 26, 2018

Syrian man stranded in Malaysia airport coming to Canada

Syrian man stranded in Malaysia airport coming to Canada A Syrian man who spent some seven months living in an airport in Malaysia has been granted asylum in Canada. Hassan al-Kontar's plight garnered global attention when he began posting regular videos from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mr Kontar, 37, has spent the last two months in a Malaysian detention centre and his Canadian sponsors sought to have his case expedited. He is scheduled to land in Vancouver, Canada on Monday evening local time. Two organisations, the British Columbia Muslim Association and Canada Caring Society, sponsored him to come to Canada as a refugee. Laurie Cooper, a volunteer with Canada Caring Society, told the BBC that they heard on Thursday that he was coming to Canada. "It's a huge sense of relief, still a bit unbelievable," she said. "Until I give him a big hug at the airport it's not really real. It's been a long, long journey with lots of ups and downs." His lawyer also..
November 26, 2018

Chinese charged over Kenya ‘railway scam’

Chinese charged over Kenya 'railway scam' Image copyright AFP Image caption The $3bn Chinese-funded railway is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project since its independence Three Chinese nationals have been charged with attempting to bribe investigators working on an alleged ticketing scam in a massive Kenyan railway project. Some $10,000 (£8,000) a day was being stolen in the scheme, local media say. Officers were allegedly offered a $5,000 bribe, the prosecutor says. The $3bn Chinese-funded and operated railway line is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project since independence in 1963. It has, however, been hit by scandals since it launched in May 2017. Africa Live: More updates on this and other stories The new railway in pictures Kenya's gospel train The three Chinese nationals: Li Gen, head of transport, Li Xiaowu, security manager, and Sun Xin, staff member, work for China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). They were arrested on Friday as they attempt..
November 26, 2018

John Allen Chau: ‘Incredibly dangerous’ to retrieve body from North Sentinel

John Allen Chau: 'Incredibly dangerous' to retrieve body from North Sentinel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWho are the Sentinelese? Indian officials should abandon efforts to retrieve the body of an American missionary reportedly killed by an endangered tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, a rights group says. Survival International says any attempt is "incredibly dangerous" for both the Sentinelese tribesmen and officials. John Allen Chau was said to have been killed with arrows when he landed on North Sentinel on 17 November. He was trying to convert the protected people to Christianity. Indian authorities struggled to retrieve Chau's body over the weekend, when a police boat faced off with Sentinelese tribesmen but withdrew to avoid confrontation. Who was US man killed in remote islands? What we could learn from remote tribes US man's death puts spotlight on 'tribal tourism' "The risk of a deadly epidemic of flu, measle..
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