September 18, 2018

North and South Korea: Kim and Moon hail new future

North and South Korea: Kim and Moon hail new future South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North's Kim Jong-un have hailed a new future for the two Koreas, signing a wide-ranging agreement in Pyongyang. The two sides have "agreed on a way to achieve denuclearisation," Mr Moon said. North and South Korea also plan to link up railways, allow family reunions and co-operate on health care. The summit results were described by Mr Kim as a "leap forward" towards military peace. "The North agreed to permanently close the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and missile launch facility in the presence of experts from relevant nations," Mr Moon said after the signing. Mr Kim said he had promised his Southern counterpart he would "visit Seoul in the near future". The two countries will also seek to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics. The South's defence minister and the head of the North Korean military also signed a agreement. North Korea has embarked on an unprecedented seri..
September 18, 2018

ICC opens Myanmar Rohingya crimes probe

ICC opens Myanmar Rohingya crimes probe Image copyright Getty Images Image caption There have been widespread allegations of human rights abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims The International Criminal Court has opened a preliminary examination into Myanmar's alleged crimes against its Rohingya Muslim minority. The move could pave the way to a full investigation into Myanmar's military crackdown that has seen thousands killed and over 700,000 displaced. Last month Myanmar rejected a UN report calling for Burmese military figures to be investigated for genocide. The army has previously cleared itself of wrongdoing in the Rohingya crisis. However, that military report was criticised by human rights groups as an attempted "whitewash". The military launched a crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state last year after Rohingya militants carried out deadly attacks on police posts. Hundreds of thousands have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. There have been widespread..
September 18, 2018

Qantas mulls plane gyms as prepares for 20-hour flights

Qantas mulls plane gyms as prepares for 20-hour flights Image copyright QANTAS Image caption Qantas already operates non-stop flights between London and Perth Australian airline Qantas has said it is considering putting gyms on the planes making its planned non-stop flights between London and Sydney. A bar, creche, sleeping areas and berths are also being considered for the 20 hour flight, it said. The airline wants to launch the service from 2022, and has asked Boeing and Airbus to suggest planes for the route. Chief executive Alan Joyce told the BBC's Today Programme he was confident there would be demand for the flight. "Business traffic and general leisure customers would rather have the certainty of getting there direct, not having to stop, not having connections gone wrong, the extra speed that that entails is really important," he said. Jet makes history on flight from Australia How UK-Australia travel evolved to one flight It's the world's longest non-stop flig..
September 18, 2018

‘I lost my entire family to a cult’: How one woman escaped Grace Road

'I lost my entire family to a cult': How one woman escaped Grace Road Image copyright Seoyeon Lee Image caption Seoyeon was an ordinary university student until she was "tricked" into moving to Fiji A South Korean church which believes global famine is imminent has set up base in Fiji, where it's gained considerable influence but faced growing allegations of abuse. One woman who fled what she believes is a cult told the BBC's Yvette Tan she lost her family in the process - but has no regrets. Seoyeon Lee had one chance to escape and she took it, running down the road in Fiji in her pyjamas and flip-flops. "I was crying and I looked hysterical," she told the BBC. The then 21-year-old was being pursued by members of Grace Road - including her own mother - who she says had tricked her into going to the Pacific island nation. "I would have killed myself if they'd made me stay," she says. 'I think it's a cult'A year earlier, in 2013, Seoyeon had co..
September 18, 2018

Chinese city debuts ‘bus-pooling’ service

Chinese city debuts 'bus-pooling' service Image copyright AFP Image caption Some 8m people take the bus per month in the Chinese capital The Chinese capital Beijing is hoping to put an end to the frustrations of disgruntled bus passengers complaining about long waiting times, by introducing "public bus-pooling" to the city. According to the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper, the local public transport authority is setting up a "quasi door-to-door" bus service, that will enable passengers to go online and detail what their individual needs are for a bus journey. It says that it will focus on serving large, residential communities, with the aim of providing bus routes more catered to where there are large groups of people, rather than serving existing stops and making people sit through a pre-defined route. It is also hoping to make the service safe by helping passengers find others to travel with, should they be concerned about making journeys alone. Beijing Youth Daily says: ..
September 18, 2018

Yusaku Maezawa: The Japanese billionaire who wants to fly to the Moon

Yusaku Maezawa: The Japanese billionaire who wants to fly to the Moon Image copyright AFP Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa first entered the public eye as a drummer in a hardcore punk band. He went on to make a fortune as an online fashion tycoon, and is best known outside Japan for spending tens of millions of dollars at record-breaking art auctions. Mr Maezawa's ambitions now stretch beyond Earth. He hopes to be the first civilian passenger to fly to the Moon, as part of an ambitious project with Elon Musk's SpaceX. The colourful executive wants to take a group of artists with him on the flight slated for 2023. Mr Maezawa, 42, has not revealed how much he paid for the trip, which brings together two eccentric billionaires who are not averse to being in the global spotlight. The Japanese entrepreneur began selling rare CDs and records in 1998 through a company he founded called Start Today. The mail-order catalogue business moved online at the turn of the millennium an..
September 18, 2018

The heartbreaking photo that raised $43,000 in one day

The heartbreaking photo that raised $43,000 in one day Image copyright Twitter A photograph of a boy weeping next to his father's body moved Indian social media users to raise more than three million rupees ($43,829; £33,350) for his family in a day. The picture was shared on Twitter more than 7,000 times. Anil, 27, was a sewer worker in the capital Delhi, who died when the rope lowering him into a sewer snapped, causing him to fall inside. By some estimates, about 100 sewer workers die in India every year. Unions have alleged that this is because they are not given proper safety equipment. Shiv Sunny, a reporter at The Hindustan Times, who tweeted the picture on Monday, told the BBC that he was "shaken" by the sight of the man's grieving son, who is 11. Image Copyright @shivsunny @shivsunny Report Image Copyright @shivsunny @shivsunny Report "I am a crime reporter and I have seen a lot of tragedy. But this was something I had never seen." Mr Sunny said he took the photogr..
September 18, 2018

Amanda Reid: Australian Paralympian ‘exaggerated symptoms’

Amanda Reid: Australian Paralympian 'exaggerated symptoms' Image caption Amanda Reid competed as a swimmer during the 2012 London Paralympic Games A Paralympic athlete has been accused of exaggerating symptoms, a BBC investigation has found. Amanda Reid (formerly Fowler) won a silver medal in cycling for Australia at the Rio Games in 2016. Her former coach and other athletes who spoke to the BBC's File on 4 said they were highly suspicious about the changes in her condition. Reid and her mother did not respond to detailed BBC questions about the allegations. The Australian Paralympic Committee strongly denied any knowledge of misconduct relating to classification. It said Reid had multiple disabilities and had undergone the same rigorous medical testing as other athletes. 'No sign of physical impairment'Reid, who was then known as Amanda Fowler, was classified as an intellectually disabled swimmer when she competed at the London Paralympics in 2012, finish..
September 18, 2018

UK and Pakistan to step up money laundering action

UK and Pakistan to step up money laundering action Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Javid said Pakistan would always have a special place in his heart The UK will work closely with the Pakistani authorities in their fight against money laundering, Sajid Javid has said on a visit to the country. The British Home Secretary said the two nations would share evidence to enable more prosecutions to be brought. Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised to bring back money he alleges has been "stolen" and invested or hidden abroad. Although there have been ad hoc extraditions from the UK in the past, no formal legal arrangements exist. Earlier this year the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in jail for failing to explain where the money came from to buy four flats in central London. Two of his sons and the former Pakistani Finance Minister are currently living in the UK, but are wanted for trial on corruption charges in Pakistan. Imran Khan sworn in as Pakista..
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