February 3, 2019

Nauru migrants: Last four children to leave island for US

Nauru migrants: Last four children to leave island for US Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australia set up a detention centre in Nauru in 2013 Australia says the last four migrant children detained at a camp on the Pacific island of Nauru are being moved to the US. The children will be flown with their families as part of a resettlement deal agreed with Washington. Australia has held asylum seekers arriving by sea on Nauru since detentions began there in 2013. Last August it held 109 children. Australia refused to resettle them under its tough immigration policies. In a statement issued on Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "every asylum seeker child has now been removed from Nauru... or has a clear path off the island". He said that children would no longer be detained there. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Families attempting to reach Australia by boat have for years been taken to Nauru The organisers of a campaign to have all children r..
February 3, 2019

Australia weather: Townsville warned as floodgates open

Australia weather: Townsville warned as floodgates open Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMeteorologists have warned of a "risk to life and property" Thousands of residents in and around the Australian city of Townsville have been warned of "unprecedented flooding" after dam gates were fully opened on Sunday as monsoon rains continued. Rain in the state of Queensland, where Townsville is located, has swollen the Ross River dam beyond its capacity. Officials earlier warned that up to 20,000 homes could be flooded. Cars and livestock have already been swept away around the coastal city in the north-eastern state. On Sunday, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology warned of "risk to life and property" as the dam gates serving the Ross River were "opened to their full setting". Image copyright EPA Image caption Townsville has received more than a metre of rain in just a week "Conditions will change rapidly and continuously. Stay informed, look for updates and follow a..
February 3, 2019

World War One grenade among potatoes at Hong Kong crisp factory

World War One grenade among potatoes at Hong Kong crisp factory Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The grenade is believed to have been dug up accidentally in France A World War One-era German hand grenade has been found among a delivery of potatoes shipped from France to a crisp factory in Hong Kong, police say. The muddy device, which was 3in (8cm) wide, was "in an unstable condition" because it had been discharged but had failed to detonate, officials said. It was discovered at the Calbee crisp-making factory in the eastern Sai Kung district on Saturday morning. The bombe de terre was safely detonated on site by bomb disposal officers. "All the information to date suggests that the grenade was imported from France together with the other potatoes," Superintendant Wong Ho-hon told reporters. He added that the device was defused using a "high-pressure water firing technique". Video: World War Two bomb defused in Hong KongIt is believed to have been dug up accidentally with ..
February 2, 2019

Leopard cub found in passenger’s luggage at Indian airport

Leopard cub found in passenger's luggage at Indian airport Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The leopard cub was hidden in a plastic grocery basket An air passenger who arrived in India from Thailand has been detained at the airport after customs officers found a month-old leopard cub in his luggage. Suspicious were raised when officials heard noises coming from his bag, which was found to contain the 2.2lb (1kg) cub hidden in a plastic grocery basket. The man had arrived at Chennai airport on Saturday on a flight from Bangkok. Authorities are investigating whether the suspect is part of an international smuggling ring, officials told AFP. The 45-year-old, who has not yet been officially named, was said to have been "evasive in his replies" when questioned about his luggage by customs officers. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Airport officials said the cub looked "weak" "The animal was in a state of shock and was making trill sounds, and appeared to be weak,..
February 1, 2019

Chanda Kochhar: The rise and fall of India’s celebrated CEO

Chanda Kochhar: The rise and fall of India's celebrated CEO Image copyright Getty Images The fall of Chanda Kochhar, the iconic banking CEO and a poster woman for Indian industry, holds a cautionary tale for the entire business community, writes the BBC's business correspondent Sameer Hashmi. India's third-largest lender, ICICI Bank, on Wednesday found the former chief executive guilty of violating internal bank policies and professional misconduct. It was the culmination of an investigation set up by the bank to look into allegations of conflict of interest. It concluded that she had failed to make mandatory disclosures and her actions were not in line with the bank's internal processes. The bank also announced it planned to "claw back" all bonuses paid to Ms Kochhar between April 2009 and March 2018, an amount estimated to run into millions of dollars. Ms Kochhar had risen through the ranks of ICICI to become its chief executive in 2009. But she went on indefin..
February 1, 2019

Xinjiang: Ex-Blackwater chief’s security firm linked to China training centre

Xinjiang: Ex-Blackwater chief's security firm linked to China training centre Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Erik Prince, seen here in Washington DC in 2017, says he has "no knowledge" of the deal A security firm founded by ex-Blackwater chief Erik Prince has signed a preliminary deal to build a training centre in China's Xinjiang region, according to a company statement. Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG) announced the deal on its website in a now deleted post. Blackwater guards hired by the US played a controversial role in Iraq. Xinjiang has recently been the focus of a security crackdown that has seen mass detentions of Uighur Muslims. China has defended its use of internment camps in Xinjiang, describing them as "vocational training centres" that it says are proving effective in staving off terrorism through "thought transformation". But it has come under international criticism for allegedly having held up to a million people. Long read: Xinji..
February 1, 2019

EU-Japan trade: Five things about the world’s biggest deal

EU-Japan trade: Five things about the world's biggest deal Image copyright EPA Image caption European wines could see revived sales in Japan Cheaper wine and cheese for Japan, cheaper cars for the EU - part of what the EU-Japan trade deal, now in force, means. The world's biggest such deal, it covers nearly a third of global GDP and 635 million people. However there are warnings that the UK could lose its benefits if it leaves the EU without a deal. It comes as a trade war rages between the US and China, who have slapped tariffs on each others' products. The EU's Jean-Claude Juncker said the pact, which took years to agree, was about "values and principles". Here are five things about the deal: 1) Services as well as sancerre and SuzukisThe deal's headline is about scrapping duties on 97% and 99% of Japanese and European imports respectively. Dairy and other food products are among the EU's biggest exports to Japan and the progressive reduction of nearly ..
February 1, 2019

India budget: Will India buy Narendra Modi’s story of hope again?

India budget: Will India buy Narendra Modi's story of hope again? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Modi (c) has tried to woo voters with this year's budget With India's general election just months away, the annual budget was all about Prime Minister Narendra Modi trying to resell his 2014 election pledge of hope. The question is will it work, asks economist Vivek Kaul. Around an hour into his speech, finance minister Piyush Goyal spoke about a recent Bollywood film, Uri: The Surgical Strike. It celebrates the Indian army's strikes in 2016 against suspected militants in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He said while watching the film he'd been impressed with the audience's passionate reaction, reportedly inspired by the movie's overt nationalism. If there was any doubt this was an election-minded budget, it was put to rest by Mr Goyal's reference to Uri. India job data spells trouble for Narendra Modi Why India's government is..
February 1, 2019

Pangolins: Hong Kong finds ‘record’ haul of scales in shipping container

Pangolins: Hong Kong finds 'record' haul of scales in shipping container Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPangolin: The most trafficked mammal in the world A record eight tonnes of pangolin scales and more than 1,000 elephant tusks have been seized from a shipping container in Hong Kong, officials say. The container, from Nigeria and said to be carrying frozen beef, was searched after a tip-off. The illegal cargo has an estimated value of about $8m (£6m). Two arrests were made, officials say. The scales of the pangolin, an endangered anteater, are said to have medicinal value in parts of Asia. Image copyright EPA Image caption Customs officers in Hong Kong said the shipment contained 8,300kg of pangolin scales (left) They have previously been smuggled into countries from Africa in huge quantities, with the pangolin thought to be the world's most trafficked mammal. Pangolin survival: How 'following the money' could save livesOn Frida..
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