November 13, 2018

Sri Lanka crisis: Supreme Court suspends dissolution of parliament

Sri Lanka crisis: Supreme Court suspends dissolution of parliament Image copyright AFP Image caption Supporters of ousted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had gathered outside the court ahead of the verdict Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has suspended the president's move to dissolve parliament, as a political crisis in the island nation deepens. President Maithripala Sirisena shocked the nation by sacking parliament and calling snap elections on Friday. The dramatic decision came two weeks after Mr Sirisena fired his prime minister and replaced him with the country's former leader. But his actions have been called unconstitutional. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the ousted PM, had refused to give way to his named successor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and had called for MPs to vote on who they believed was the rightful premier. Correspondents said the president and Mr Rajapaksa decided to called the snap election because they did not have enough support in parliament for their new government. Mr Wic..
November 13, 2018

Softbank IPO: A guide to the Japanese tech giant

Softbank IPO: A guide to the Japanese tech giant Image copyright Getty Images Image caption SoftBank developed a robot call Pepper which the company says can read human emotions Japan's Softbank plans to list its mobile unit in Tokyo next month in what could be one of the world's largest stock offerings. The 2.4 trillion yen ($21bn) float is part of Softbank's broader move away from telecoms towards tech investing. If demand triggers an additional offering, the IPO could rival Alibaba's record $25bn listing. Led by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, the firm has built up a high-profile portfolio of tech investments. "Over the last several years, Softbank has gradually been transforming away from telecommunication to more of a venture capital company," Marc Einstein, analyst at ITR Corporation in Tokyo said. "What we are seeing now is a step in that direction," he said. What does Softbank do?Softbank began as a Japanese telecoms company but has since become a t..
November 13, 2018

China postpones lifting ban on rhino and tiger parts after outcry

China postpones lifting ban on rhino and tiger parts after outcry Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Rhinos and tigers are both endangered in the wild China has said it is postponing its easing of a ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horn, following a wave of protests from environmental groups. Rhinos and tigers are both endangered in the wild and China had prohibited their trade in 1993. But in late October, it announced it would permit the animal parts to be used for scientific, medical and cultural purposes. Officials have now said the move was "postponed after study". Tiger and rhino parts are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. They are prescribed to treat a large variety of ailments including fever, gout, insomnia and meningitis, though any benefits have not been proven. The "detailed regulations for implementation" of the change had been "postponed after study", said State Council Executive Deputy Secretary-General Ding Xuedong in a statement. Mr Din..
November 12, 2018

Melbourne car attack: James Gargasoulas guilty of six murders

Melbourne car attack: James Gargasoulas guilty of six murders Image copyright EPA Image caption James Gargasoulas drove his car into pedestrians in Melbourne last year An Australian man has been found guilty of murdering six people and injuring 27 others in a vehicle attack in Melbourne. James Gargasoulas deliberately drove his car into pedestrians along Bourke St in the city centre in January 2017. The 28-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the attack, arguing that he was in drug-induced psychosis at the time. A jury rejected his defence on Tuesday after deliberating for less than an hour. The attack claimed the lives of Bhavita Patel, 33, Matthew Si, 33, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Jess Mudie, 22, Thalia Hakin, 10, and three-month-old Zachary Bryant. Bourke St was also the scene of an unrelated stabbing attack on Friday that left one victim dead and two others injured. During his trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Gargasoulas apologised for his actions, testifying that he had received a p..
November 12, 2018

Aung San Suu Kyi: Amnesty strips Myanmar leader of top prize

Aung San Suu Kyi: Amnesty strips Myanmar leader of top prize Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Aung San Suu Kyi, seen here at a business summit in Singapore on Monday Amnesty International is stripping Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award. The politician and Nobel peace prize winner received the honour in 2009, when she was living under house arrest. The rights group said it was profoundly dismayed at her failure to speak out for the Rohingya minority, some 700,000 of whom have fled a military crackdown. This is the latest honour in a string of awards Ms Suu Kyi, 73, has lost. Aung San Suu Kyi: The democracy icon who fell from grace Blow by blow: How a 'genocide' was investigated Could Aung San Suu Kyi face Rohingya genocide charges? "We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights," Amnesty's Secretary General Kumi Nai..
November 12, 2018

US overtakes China in top supercomputer list

US overtakes China in top supercomputer list Image copyright Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Image caption The Summit supercomputer is housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. China has been pushed into third place on a list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. The latest list by Top 500, published twice a year, puts two US machines - Summit and Sierra - in the top two places. The US has five entries in the top 10, with other entries from Switzerland, Germany and Japan. However, overall China has 227 machines in the top 500, while the US has 109. Summit can process 200,000 trillion calculations per second. Both Summit and Sierra were built by the tech giant IBM. China's Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, which this time last year was the world's most powerful machine, is now ranked at number three, while the country also has the fourth spot in the list. Sunway TaihuLight has a processing power of 93 petaflops, compared with Summit&#039..
November 12, 2018

Asia Bibi: Canada in talks with Pakistan over asylum

Asia Bibi: Canada in talks with Pakistan over asylum Image copyright Handout Canada is in discussions with Pakistan about granting asylum to a Pakistani Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Asia Bibi spent eight years on death row before a Pakistani court overturned her sentence and she was freed. Her release sparked violent protests from Islamists in the country. Mr Trudeau confirmed to the AFP news agency that his government was looking into bringing her to Canada. "There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don't want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country," he told AFP in an interview on Monday while in Paris for a conference. Asia Bibi's husband has said the family is in danger and has pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. Her lawyer, Saiful Malook, has been granted temporary asylum in the Netherlands after facing death threat..
November 12, 2018

Mourning dog waits for 80 days in road where owner died

Mourning dog waits for 80 days in road where owner died Image copyright Pear Video Image caption Pear video said the dog has been in the road since its owner died on 21 August A loyal dog which has waited on a busy road for more than 80 days after its owner died there has captured the hearts of online communities in China. Footage of the animal in the middle of the road in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, has been viewed 1.4 million times on the popular Sina Weibo microblog. China's Pear Video website said the dog has been seen in the road every day since its owner died on 21 August. A taxi driver said people try to help but the dog runs away. Image copyright Pear Video Image caption Social media users expressed their concerns for the dog's safety "Drivers often give the little dog bits of food, but when we get out, he goes away," he said. "This owner's relationship with her dog was very deep. After she was killed, this little dog has just stayed standing guard. "Every day it&#0..
November 12, 2018

India pilot suspended for three years for failing alcohol test

India pilot suspended for three years for failing alcohol test Image copyright EPA Image caption Air India is the country's state-owned airline India's aviation regulator has barred a senior pilot from flying for three years after he failed an alcohol test. Captain Arvind Kathpalia, who is also the Director of Operations at state-owned Air India, was to command the Delhi-London flight on Sunday. A substitute pilot was brought in after he failed the test. Capt Kathpalia has denied the charges against him. Aviation authorities say he was suspended for three months for a similar offence last year too. "The privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years from 11 November as per the provisions of applicable regulations," aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement. The airline said he had been grounded. On Sunday, Capt Kathpalia said he was a victim of internal fighting within Air Indian and that he would challenge..
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