October 19, 2018

Mission to Mercury: BepiColombo spacecraft ready for launch

Mission to Mercury: BepiColombo spacecraft ready for launch Image copyright ESA Image caption The BepiColombo spacecraft will take seven years to get to Mercury Europe and Japan are set to launch their joint mission to Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. The partners have each contributed a probe to be despatched on an Ariane rocket from French Guiana. The duo, together known as BepiColombo, are bolted to one another for the seven-year cruise to their destination, and will separate once they arrive. It's hoped their parallel observations can finally resolve some of the many puzzles about the hot, oddball planet. One of the key ones concerns the object's outsized iron core, which represents 60% of its mass. Science cannot yet explain why the planet only has a thin veneer of rocks. Bepi's high-resolution data should bring us nearer to an answer. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMessenger compiled this exaggerated colour map of Mercury d..
October 19, 2018

Why some sexual abuse survivors will shun Australia’s apology

Why some sexual abuse survivors will shun Australia's apology Image copyright AFP Image caption Paul Auchettl has campaigned to raise awareness about sexual abuse On Monday, thousands of child sexual abuse survivors are expected to gather in Australia's capital to hear a national apology. The apology, to be given by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, follows a harrowing five-year inquiry which found tens of thousands of children had been abused in schools, churches, orphanages and other institutions. For many survivors and their families, the apology in Canberra will mark a hard-fought moment of recognition. But for others it will feel hollow. The BBC has spoken to several survivors who feel conflicted about the occasion. Show of defiance"I think apologising is easy - it doesn't do much," says Paul Auchettl, 60. He was 11 when he first was sexually abused by a paedophile priest, who later went to jail. Mr Auchettl's brother, who was preyed upon by another priest, took..
October 19, 2018

Amritsar: Many feared dead in train accident

Amritsar: Many feared dead in train accident Many people are feared to have died after a train collided with a crowd near Amritsar, in the north Indian state of Punjab. The victims were standing on the railway tracks watching celebrations for the Hindu festival of Dusshera, eyewitnesses told BBC Punjabi. They did not hear the train approach as they watched a firecracker-filled effigy of the demon king Ravana burn. Local officials told BBC Punjabi that at least 150 other people are injured.
October 19, 2018

Briton faces jail for spraying ‘Scouser Lee’ on Thai gate

Briton faces jail for spraying 'Scouser Lee' on Thai gate Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tha Phae Gate is in the city of Chiang Mai and dates back to the 13th Century A British tourist accused of spray painting his name on a historic landmark in Thailand could face 10 years in prison. Local police said Lee Furlong, 23, from Liverpool, has admitted defacing Tha Phae Gate in the city of Chiang Mai. Video appears to show a man spraying "Scouser Lee" on the gate, part of which dates back to the 13th Century. Supt Teerasak Sriprasert said Mr Furlong would be charged with "vandalising an archaeological site". A Canadian woman, Brittney Schneider, has also been arrested and charged with vandalism for allegedly adding her first initial to graffiti on the gate. "They will face no more than 10 years' jail [and/or] a fine of no more than a million baht (about £23,555)," Supt Sriprasert said. "They admitted to the crime, saying they did it because of the thrill and they..
October 19, 2018

Afghanistan delays Kandahar vote after Gen Raziq killed

Afghanistan delays Kandahar vote after Gen Raziq killed Image copyright AFP Image caption Gen Raziq was a powerful opponent of the Taliban Parliamentary elections in the Afghan province of Kandahar have been delayed by a week after the assassination of a powerful local police chief. Gen Abdul Raziq was shot dead by a rogue bodyguard on Thursday. The Taliban claimed the attack, which came after a high-level security meeting. US commander Gen Scott Miller narrowly escaped unhurt. The local intelligence head was also killed and the governor was critically injured. Three Americans were hurt. A spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said that voting in the province would be delayed by a week in line with the wishes of the people. Elections are due to be held across most of the rest of Afghanistan on Saturday. The Taliban have urged voters to boycott the poll.
October 19, 2018

Australian admits kidnap and rape of Briton in outback ordeal

Australian admits kidnap and rape of Briton in outback ordeal Image copyright ABC Image caption The woman was rescued after police pulled over a 4x4 A man has pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping a British backpacker during a weeks-long kidnapping ordeal in Australia. The woman, from Liverpool, was rescued by police in Queensland last year after they stopped a 4x4 she was driving. Her attacker, local man Marcus Martin, then aged 22, was found hiding in the back of the vehicle. On Friday, Mr Martin pleaded guilty to three charges of rape and one of deprivation of liberty. He had previously pleaded guilty to other charges, including assault occasioning bodily harm, wilful damage, and strangulation or choking. Last year, police said that Mr Martin had met the 22-year-old woman at a party in Cairns in late January 2017. The pair agreed to start a road trip through Queensland, but Mr Martin then began to hold the woman against her will. He subjected her to a "horrific and terrifying" experi..
October 18, 2018

China’s third quarter growth misses expectations at 6.5%

China's third quarter growth misses expectations at 6.5% Image copyright Getty Images China has reported its slowest quarterly growth rate since the global financial crisis. The growth figure for the July to September quarter was 6.5% from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The result fell short of analyst forecasts of 6.6%. Policymakers have moved to support the cooling economy in recent months. China faces rising economic challenges including high debt levels and an intensifying trade battle with the US. The impact of the trade dispute with the US is expected to weigh on growth figures in the coming months. Reuters analysts had forecast growth at 6.6% in the three months to September from a year earlier, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. The numbers were still in line with the government's full-year target of about 6.5%. A 'war on two fronts' Analysis: Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent As one China observer to..
October 18, 2018

Sabarimala: The Indian god who bars women from his temple

Sabarimala: The Indian god who bars women from his temple Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Not a single woman was able to enter the temple because of the protesters The Sabarimala temple in the south Indian state of Kerala opened its doors to women of all ages for the first time on Wednesday after a historic Supreme Court ruling. However violent protesters ensured women devotees were turned away. Several people including an old woman were injured as crowds threw stones at vehicles and attacked police officers near the temple. The protesters have also included many women - they have participated in rallies, blocked roads and checked vehicles heading towards the temple to see if any women of a "menstruating age" - roughly those between 10 and 50 years - were trying to enter the temple. The temple attracts millions of devotees from across the country. Why are protesters so angry? Image copyright Reuters Part of the violent opposition to the Supreme Court order to reverse the t..
October 18, 2018

Australian woman ‘who faked cancer for cash’ is charged

Australian woman 'who faked cancer for cash' is charged Image copyright Google Image caption Ms Wieland was granted bail after appearing at Townsville Magistrates Court in Queensland A woman in Australia has been charged for allegedly gaining A$55,000 ($39,000; £30,000) from a fundraising site after faking a cancer diagnosis. Lucy Wieland, 27, used social media to document a fraudulent journey through ovarian cancer treatment, a court in Townsville, Queensland, was told. Ms Wieland set up a GoFundMe account to appeal for financial help in a breach of public trust, police said. She was arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public, they added. Images posted to her Instagram account earlier this year include photos of Ms Wieland with what appears to be medical equipment such as oxygen masks and walking aids. Image Copyright lu_wieland lu_wieland Report Image Copyright lu_wieland lu_wieland Report Others appear to show her receiving treatment through intravenous medicati..
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