April 1, 2019

China to curb all types of fentanyl, following US demands

China to curb all types of fentanyl, following US demands Image copyright Reuters Image caption The illegal sale of fentanyl is fuelling the US opioid crisis China says it will crack down on all types of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, following a plea from the US. All fentanyl-related substances will be added to China's list of controlled narcotic drugs from 1 May, officials said. It follows a pledge Beijing made during US-China trade talks in December. The powerful painkiller, much of it believed to be made in China, is said to be driving a huge rise in drug addiction in the US. The number of deaths from painkillers such as fentanyl led to President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency in 2017. China's production of the drug has long been a source of tension between the two countries. "The US is concerned about all variants [of fentanyl] and it has all been resolved," Liu Yuejin, deputy director of China's narcotics control commission, told a news conference. ..
April 1, 2019

PewDiePie loses YouTube crown to T-Series

PewDiePie loses YouTube crown to T-Series Image copyright PewDiePie/YouTube Image caption PewDiePie posted a video congratulating - and poking fun at - his rival Swedish gamer and video-maker PewDiePie has lost his crown as the YouTube star with the most subscribers. He is now in second place, behind Indian channel T-Series. T-Series shares Bollywood film trailers and music videos, while PewDiePie posts video game commentaries and sketches. PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, had been battling T-Series to retain the top spot for several months. On Sunday, he posted a video congratulating his rival. He also threw some shade at the Bollywood-themed channel. "All it took was a massive corporate entity with every song in Bollywood," he sings in the video, referring to his defeat. Image copyright YouTube/T-Series Image caption T-Series posts film trailers and music videos On Monday, T-Series was about 15,500 subscribers ahead of PewDiePie, who has more than 92 million subscribers. In r..
April 1, 2019

Chinese firefighters die as blaze sweeps forest in Sichuan

Chinese firefighters die as blaze sweeps forest in Sichuan At least 26 firefighters have died while tackling a huge forest fire in south-western China, officials say. Fire crews had been battling the blaze in the mountains of Sichuan province on Sunday when a change in wind direction caused "a huge fireball", trapping them, the emergency ministry said. Contact with 30 firefighters was lost. Twenty-six were later confirmed dead and a search is continuing for the others, authorities said. The blaze broke out on Saturday. About 700 firefighters have been trying to control the flames in a remote area of Muli county, state media reported. Skip Twitter post by @XHNews 26 firefighters are confirmed to have died while battling a forest fire in Sichuan, China pic.twitter.com/vmXUxGhOGN — China Xinhua News (@XHNews) April 1, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by @XHNews A separate forest fire in the northern province of Shanxi was brought under control on Sunday after burning for two days, the of..
April 1, 2019

Jakarta launches metro to battle notorious traffic problems

Jakarta launches metro to battle notorious traffic problems Image caption A promising alternative to spending hours in traffic? Jakarta has begun commercial operation of its first metro line, with many hoping it will ease the notorious traffic in Indonesia's capital. The new line is the first phase of a larger Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, covering a 16km route so far. It follows two weeks of a trial run where people could use the trains for free. Other public transport initiatives have failed to ease traffic, as most people use private cars, correspondents say. The new MRT is a significant step for Indonesia's capital where there have been discussions about an underground metro dating back to 1985. The second phase is expected to be completed in 2024 with additional extensions planned for later. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The train system runs above and below ground 'Getting people to use the MRT is a real challenge'By Abraham Utama, BBC In..
April 1, 2019

Nepal thunderstorm: At least 30 killed in southern districts

Nepal thunderstorm: At least 30 killed in southern districts Image copyright EPA Image caption Homes were flattened in Managadwa village in Bara district At least 30 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a violent thunderstorm that hit southern Nepal. The freak storm destroyed houses, overturned vehicles, uprooted trees and brought down power lines in Bara and Parsa districts, officials said. The casualties included passengers in a bus that was blown off a road, witnesses said. Special forces have been sent to the area to help with rescue and relief operations. Thunderstorms are common during the Nepalese spring, correspondents say, but are rarely violent enough to cause many casualties. "I've never seen anything like this. The winds took away everything, my home and my family," said Ram Babu Patel, whose wife died in the storm. "I was at home getting ready for dinner when the storm hit. It was unbelievable. We have nothing left," he told AFP news agency. Image..
April 1, 2019

China economy: Manufacturing sector returns to growth in March

China economy: Manufacturing sector returns to growth in March Image copyright Getty Images China's manufacturing sector saw a surprise return to growth in March following government efforts to boost the economy. The Caixin/Markit survey, released on Monday, rose to 50.8 in March from 49.9 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Official manufacturing figures published a day earlier also pointed to a jump in activity. Beijing has taken steps to support the economy to combat slowing growth. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to an eight-month high of 50.8 in March, beating the 49.9 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. The result echoed China's official PMI data released on Sunday. It showed manufacturing activity rose to 50.5 in March, from 49.2 in February. The official PMI data looks at activity at larger manufacturers, while the private survey from Caixin and Markit focuses on smaller to medium-sized companies in..
April 1, 2019

Kim Jong-nam murder: Vietnamese woman pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kim Jong-nam murder: Vietnamese woman pleads guilty to lesser charge Image copyright EPA Image caption Doan Thi Huong would have faced the death penalty if convicted of murder A Vietnamese woman accused of killing Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing hurt by potentially deadly means. A Malaysian court sentenced Doan Thi Huong to three years and four months in jail, starting from her arrest in February 2017. She is likely to be freed in May, said her lawyer. Ms Huong would have faced the death penalty if found guilty of the murder. Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un, was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur Airport in 2017 in broad daylight, with the toxic nerve agent VX. The development effectively means no-one has been held accountable for Mr Kim's death. What happens now?"In the first week of May, she will go home," Ms Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told reporters at t..
March 31, 2019

Japan reveals name of new imperial era

Japan reveals name of new imperial era Image copyright Reuters Image caption Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga unveils the new era name "Reiwa" at a press conference Japan has announced the name of its new imperial era, set to begin on 1 May, will be "Reiwa" - signifying order and harmony. The country's current era, Heisei, will end in a month when Emperor Akihito steps down in a historic abdication. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced the highly-anticipated name on Monday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will explain its meaning shortly in a national address. Each Japanese emperor's reign, or "gengo", is given a name which is used alongside the Western calendar to mark time. The era's name aims to set the tone for the upcoming decades, and remains significant to most Japanese in their daily life. It appears on coins, newspapers, driving licences and official paperwork. Japan's current emperor, the 85-year old Akihito, deci..
March 31, 2019

India election 2019: Has security improved under Modi?

India election 2019: Has security improved under Modi? Image copyright Getty Images Ahead of the Indian election, which gets under way on 11 April, the main political parties are arguing over who has tackled national security more effectively. The opposition Congress party - which held power from 2004 until 2014 - says that terror incidents have risen by 260% and infiltration by militants across the border has doubled under the current BJP government. The Congress also says that almost four times more militants were killed under its rule than during the current administration. Skip Twitter post by @INCIndia Terrorists effectively eliminated under UPA - 4,239 Terrorists effectively eliminated under BJP - 876 In addition, infiltration attempts have doubled under your rule. While you believe in using jawans to win votes, we believe in securing our borders & protecting our jawans. https://t.co/Mg12S5X3w7 — Congress (@INCIndia) March 1, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by @INCIndia The ..
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