September 24, 2018

Hong Kong government bans pro-independence party

Hong Kong government bans pro-independence party Image copyright AFP Image caption Hong Kong's separatist movement has limited public support Hong Kong has banned a small political party that campaigns for the territory's independence. Authorities said the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) posed a threat to national security. Under the so-called "one country, two systems" formula, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and certain freedoms not available in China. The ban comes amid growing concerns those freedoms are being eroded under pressure from Beijing. It is the first time that the territory has banned a political party since it was returned to China from the UK. How is the ban justified?A colonial-era law allows the government to ban groups "in the interests of national security, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others". The city's Secretary for Security John Lee said the group had spread "hatred and discrimination against mainland..
September 24, 2018

Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift at sea in ‘fishing hut’

Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift at sea in 'fishing hut' Image copyright Indonesian Consulate Osaka/Facebook Image caption Mr Adilang was on a rompong, a floating fishing trap that is shaped like a hut An Indonesian teenager who looked after a fishing hut survived for 49 days at sea by drinking seawater and cooking fish over wood taken from his vessel, it has emerged. Aldi Novel Adilang was on the hut 125km (77 miles) off the Indonesian coast in mid-July when heavy winds caused its moorings to snap, casting the 19-year-old adrift. He ended up thousands of kilometres away near Guam, where he was eventually picked up by a Panamanian vessel. The 19-year-old, from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, worked on a "rompong" - a floating fish trap without any paddles or engine. His job had been to light the rompong's lamps, which are designed to attract fish, the Jakarta Post newspaper reports. The trap, which is shaped like a hut, floats in the middle of the sea bu..
September 24, 2018

Abhilash Tomy: Injured Indian sailor rescued by French vessel

Abhilash Tomy: Injured Indian sailor rescued by French vessel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thuriya set sail from France at the start of July on the round-the-world race A seriously injured Indian sailor stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean has been rescued and is safe, officials say. Solo yachtsman Abhilash Tomy was stranded 3,200km (2,000 miles) off the coast of Western Australia after his boat was badly damaged during a storm on Friday. He was participating in the Golden Globe round-the-world race. Tomy sent a message to race organisers saying he had a severe back injury. "Tomy was taken out of his yacht on a stretcher. He is conscious, and he is safe," Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma told reporters. Skip Twitter post by @indiannavy Tomy rescued safely @nsitharaman @pmo @Australian_Navy @DefenceMinIndia @ggr2018official @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/G3z7mlLGu3 — SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 24, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @indiann..
September 24, 2018

Maldives election: Celebrations as opposition claims victory

Maldives election: Celebrations as opposition claims victory Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Solih's supporters are already celebrating what they claim to be a victory Supporters of Maldives opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have taken to the streets in celebration after he claimed victory over President Abdulla Yameen in the general election. The national electoral commission has not yet announced official results. But Mr Solih has said he won Sunday's vote by a 16% margin, with 92% of the votes counted. He has already called on President Abdulla Yameen to "accept the will of the people". "The message is loud and clear. The people of Maldives want change, peace and justice," Mr Solih, widely known as Ibu, told reporters in the capital, Male. President Yameen, who had been widely expected to win another term in office, has not yet commented publicly. Mr Yameen's government stands accused of crushing dissent and observers had believed the election was r..
September 23, 2018

US-China trade: US set to impose biggest round of tariffs yet

US-China trade: US set to impose biggest round of tariffs yet Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The latest raft of trade tariffs mark an escalation in the trade war between the US and China A new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods are due to come into effect, the largest yet in the trade war. The US is due to start imposing tariffs on $200bn ($152bn) worth of Chinese products from 12:01 Beijing time (04:01 GMT), in response to what it says are unfair trading practices by China. China has said it will target $60bn of US goods with extra duties in response. It marks a major escalation in the trade war between the world's two largest economies. The latest move takes the total amount of Chinese imports hit by US tariffs since July up to $250bn. This means about half of all Chinese imports to the US are now subject to these new duties. China has accused the US of launching the "largest trade war in economic history". What is happening on Monday?As of the deadline, US compan..
September 23, 2018

Melbourne plane crash: Pilot error in fatal shopping centre incident

Melbourne plane crash: Pilot error in fatal shopping centre incident Image copyright ATSB Image caption All five people on board were killed in the crash last year Pilot error was responsible for a small plane crash which killed five people in Melbourne last year, Australian authorities say. The flight hit a shopping centre just after take-off, killing pilot Max Quartermain and his four US passengers. No-one on the ground was hurt. Aviation safety authorities said the plane's rudder trim had been in the wrong position, causing the crash. The problem should have been found in pre-flight checks, they said. Passengers Greg Reynolds De Haven, Russell Munsch, Glenn Garland and John Washburn had been heading to visit Tasmania's King Island on a golf trip when the accident happened in February last year. Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said it was the worst civilian aviation accident in the state in 30 years. Mayday callsMr Quartermain, an experienced pilot, issued seven may..
September 23, 2018

The truth behind Kim Jong-un’s ‘cute’ K-pop sign

The truth behind Kim Jong-un's 'cute' K-pop sign Image copyright South Korea Blue House twitter Image caption The photo seems to show the North Korean leader's playful side This photo of Kim Jong-un trying to form a South Korean gesture of friendship has melted hearts in Seoul. But focusing on this one image means losing sight of the bigger picture. For the uninitiated, the Korean heart is formed if you put the tips of your thumb and index finger together. It started as a gesture of love used by K-pop stars to thank their fans, and has morphed into the pose of choice for selfies with friends in South Korea. We first heard about Mr Kim's attempt at the gesture from a spokesman for South Korea's Blue House, who told a press conference that he tried to do it alongside South Korean cabinet ministers. "How do you do it? I can't quite make the shape," Mr Kim was quoted as saying. Image copyright VCG/Getty Images Image caption South Korean pop stars use ..
September 23, 2018

Fentanyl crisis: Is China a major source of illegal drugs?

Fentanyl crisis: Is China a major source of illegal drugs? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China has one of the largest chemical industries in the world Amid tension between China and the US over trade, there's also friction over another issue - the illegal trade in synthetic drugs. The US believes factory-produced opioids - powerful painkillers increasingly abused by US citizens - are being made in China and sold from there too. One of the main ones is fentanyl - 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine - which is only approved in the US for severe pain arising in cases like treatment for cancer. President Trump has called out China publicly. Image copyright Twitter China, while not denying there's a problem, has hit back at claims that most illegal fentanyl is from China. A senior Chinese official, Yu Haibin of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said there was "no proof" of this, and described President Trump's comments and "unacceptable" and "irresp..
September 23, 2018

Australia fruit scare: Needles found in New Zealand strawberries

Australia fruit scare: Needles found in New Zealand strawberries Image copyright EPA Image caption There have been over 100 reports of needles being found in supermarket fruit in Australia The Australian scare over needles found in strawberries has spread to New Zealand after needles were found in a punnet of the fruit in an Auckland supermarket. The Countdown supermarket chain said it had taken a brand of Australian strawberries off the shelves. There have been over 100 reports of needles being found in supermarket fruit in Australia. Many are thought to be copycat cases or social media jokes, however. Why would someone hide a needle in fruit? Australia's strawberry needle scare widens Apple and banana in Australia needle scares The strawberries in Auckland, originally from Western Australia state, were sold in New Zealand Countdown stores nationwide last week. "We take food safety very seriously," the company said in a statement. "Customers can return any Choice brand of st..
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