November 12, 2018

US fighter jet crashes into sea off Japan

US fighter jet crashes into sea off Japan A US Navy fighter jet has crashed in the Philippine Sea, south of the Japanese island of Okinawa. The F/A-18 Hornet was conducting routine operations when it "experienced a mechanical issue" that forced the two crew to eject, the US 7th Fleet said. The pair were rescued from the water in good condition and were being evaluated on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, it added. Okinawa hosts US military bases and thousands of personnel. Japan's coastguard sent an aircraft to check if there was "any debris or floating oil" as a result of the crash, a spokesperson told the AFP news agency. This is the second recent incident involving the USS Ronald Reagan. In mid-October a US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crashed on the flight deck of the carrier, injuring 12 people. The US 7th Fleet, which stays deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, is made up of at least 50 ships and submarines at any given time, along with 140 aircraft and some 20,..
November 12, 2018

Australia strawberry scare: Accused saboteur ‘motivated by spite’

Australia strawberry scare: Accused saboteur 'motivated by spite' Image copyright EPA Image caption My Ut Trinh was arrested in Queensland on Sunday An Australian woman accused of hiding sewing needles inside strawberries in a high-profile sabotage case was motivated by spite, a court has heard. My Ut Trinh, 50, was arrested on Sunday following a nationwide police investigation that began in September. Ms Trinh had worked as a supervisor at a strawberry farm north of Brisbane, according to Queensland Police. She has not said whether she will fight the charges against her. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in jail. The "unprecedented" scare spread to every Australian state and later to New Zealand, raising public alarm. Police said there had been 186 reports of needle-contaminated strawberries since September, though 15 turned out to have been hoaxes. It is not yet clear how many of those Ms Trinh is alleged to have caused. On Monday, police described their investigati..
November 11, 2018

Australia strawberry scare: Woman arrested in Queensland

Australia strawberry scare: Woman arrested in Queensland Image copyright Reuters Image caption The strawberry scare spread across Australia, where supermarkets soon pulled the fruit off shelves A woman has been arrested in Queensland in connection with the "strawberry scare" where sewing needles were found hidden inside fruit. Police said the 50-year-old was arrested on Sunday "following a complex... and extensive investigation". The woman is expected to face unspecified charges on Sunday evening. A nationwide investigation was launched after shocked shoppers first reported the contamination in September. There were over 100 reports of needles being found in strawberries, though many were suspected to be copycat cases or social media stunts. Farmers were forced to dump tonnes of berries, and supermarkets pulled the fruit off sale. The first cases emerged in Queensland, where a man was taken to hospital with stomach pains after eating strawberries. Australia's strawberry nee..
November 11, 2018

Alibaba Singles Day sales frenzy surpasses records

Alibaba Singles Day sales frenzy surpasses records Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAlibaba Singles Day: Dollars or data? Internet giant Alibaba has set new sales records on Sunday for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day. The Chinese company hit a record $1bn (£774m; €883m) in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree. In total, customers spent $30.8bn, up 27% on last year, but the lowest annual increase in the history of Singles Day. Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba's informal holiday for singles, since 2009. Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the spending bonanza demonstrated "customers' continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles". The event was kicked off on Saturday with a gala featuring US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyoncé impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance. What is Singles Day?Alibaba invented the ..
November 11, 2018

Nationalism a driving force behind fake news in India, research shows

Nationalism a driving force behind fake news in India, research shows Image copyright Bloomberg Image caption Researchers gained unprecedented access to participants' phones to follow sharing behaviours A rising tide of nationalism in India is driving ordinary citizens to spread fake news, according to BBC research. The research found that facts were less important to some than the emotional desire to bolster national identity. Social media analysis suggested that right-wing networks are much more organised than on the left, pushing nationalistic fake stories further. There was also an overlap of fake news sources on Twitter and support networks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The findings come from extensive research in India, Kenya, and Nigeria into the way ordinary citizens engage with and spread fake news. Participants gave the BBC extensive access to their phones over a seven day period, allowing the researchers to examine the kinds of material they shared, who they shared..
November 11, 2018

Trolley man: Funds flood in for Melbourne’s homeless hero

Trolley man: Funds flood in for Melbourne's homeless hero Image copyright EPA Image caption Pushing his trolley, Michael Rogers (left) helped police tackle the attacker A funding campaign has raised almost A$100,000 (£55,000; $72,000) to help a homeless man who tried to stop a knife-wielding attacker in Melbourne by ramming him with a shopping trolley. Michael Rogers, dubbed "Trolley Man" online, was filmed on Friday trying to prevent Hassan Khalif Shire Ali from stabbing two police officers. The suspect had already killed a cafe owner and injured two other people. He was later shot by police and died in hospital. When tracked down by reporters, Mr Rogers, 46, told 7 News: "I threw the trolley straight at him, and I got him. I didn't quite get him down, though." At the time he was only metres from a burning car full of gas cylinders, which the attacker had set alight near Bourke Street, a busy road in the city centre. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media capt..
November 11, 2018

Medical cannabis: Death sentence prompts Malaysia to re-think harsh laws

Medical cannabis: Death sentence prompts Malaysia to re-think harsh laws Image caption Yuki (right) says she's willing to risk jail, or worse, to keep using cannabis to ease her pain A death sentence given to a young man selling cannabis oil to the ill has stirred debate in Muslim-majority Malaysia about its ultra-tough drug laws. The case has prompted calls for the country to become the first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana - but long-held stigma and a mostly conservative population means change could come slowly. Yuki describes smoking her first joint as a turning point in her life. She is willing to risk being thrown in jail rather than give up a drug that she says has worked for her unlike any other. She first turned to what Malaysians call ganja at 29, after a frustrated Google search in pursuit of something that might help ease chronic, crippling pain from hypokalaemia - or low blood potassium. Beleaguered by a litany of health problems, including diabetes, she decided..
November 11, 2018

US and North Korea suffer communication breakdown

US and North Korea suffer communication breakdown Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Kim and Mr Trump: Pals no longer? Remember when Donald Trump said he and Kim Jong-un fell in love? Well now it seems they just don't talk anymore. Instead, the US and North Korea appear to be staring one another down, waiting for the other to blink or make a move. And neither appears willing to give way. Discussions aimed at setting up a second summit between the two leaders didn't happen as planned this week. Chairman Kim's aide, the hardliner Kim Yong-chol was supposed to travel to New York and meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the BBC understands that the meeting was cancelled after the State Department discovered that the North Koreans didn't get on the plane as planned. The official line is that the meeting will be rescheduled and Mr Trump said he's "very happy" with how things are going, and that he's in "no rush" while sanctions remain in p..
November 11, 2018

Rappler CEO calls Philippine tax evasion charges ‘intimidation’

Rappler CEO calls Philippine tax evasion charges 'intimidation' Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Maria Ressa, a former CNN journalist, co-founded the investigative news site in 2012 The CEO of major Philippine news site Rappler has told the BBC charges of tax evasion were "manufactured" because they had been critical of the state. Maria Ressa denies the "ridiculous charges", saying they are intended to "intimidate and harass" journalists. Prosecutors said on Friday they have grounds to indict her and Rappler for breaking tax laws after not declaring gains made in tax returns. If found guilty, Ms Ressa could be fined and face up to 10 years in jail. The government accuses Rappler and its executive editor of failing to pay tax on 2015 bond sales which resulted in 162.5 million pesos ($3 million; £2.3 million) in gains. Why Rappler is raising Philippine press freedom fears Duterte: The 'strongman' of the Philippines The state of Philippine media "I am a journa..
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