November 1, 2018

Australian cafe mocked after ‘inadvertent’ exam coincidence

Australian cafe mocked after 'inadvertent' exam coincidence Image copyright CALMER CAFE Image caption The Calmer Cafe in Melbourne was targeted by fake reviews An Australian cafe has been inundated with fake negative reviews online due to an "inadvertent" coincidence on a high school English exam. The state-wide exam in Victoria had featured a question involving a restaurant review of a fictitious coffee shop called the The Calmer Cafe. After the test on Wednesday, students discovered a real cafe had the same name and began mocking it online. Education officials have apologised, after the cafe expressed frustration. "[We] understand the posts have caused the business considerable effort and inconvenience," the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) said. "The VCAA has offered its assistance to have these posts removed as soon as possible." 'Hipster coffee' gets Australia hot and frothing Melbourne cafe charges men more for coffee Sydney 'squatte..
November 1, 2018

Lion Air crash: Black box retrieved from missing plane

Lion Air crash: Black box retrieved from missing plane Image copyright Reuters Image caption Divers have been scouring the sea bed for traces of the missing plane A "black box" flight recorder from Lion Air flight JT 610 has been found by divers off the coast of Indonesia. The plane, carrying 189 people, went down shortly after taking off Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, on Monday. It plummeted into the Java Sea - no survivors have been found, nor has the body of the Boeing 737. There is as yet no indication of what caused the crash, though there are reports the aircraft had experienced technical problems on earlier flights. The plane was making a one-hour journey to the western city of Pangkal Pinang when it went down. The pilot had asked air traffic control for permission to turn back to the airport, but then contact was lost. Buried on the sea floorA diver told reporters on board one of the search and rescue vessels scouring the Java Sea: "We dug and we got the black box." The di..
October 31, 2018

North Korea: Sexual violence against women ‘common’, report finds

North Korea: Sexual violence against women 'common', report finds Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The report calls on the country to treat sex abuse as a crime Sexual abuse against women in North Korea is so "common" it has become part of ordinary life, a report has claimed. Human Rights Watch based the report on interviews with 62 North Koreans who fled the country. They gave detailed accounts of rape and sexual abuse. HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power. One woman, who had been sexually assaulted many times, said officials considered women to be "sex toys". "Sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don't know why," Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told Human Rights Watch (HRW). Another woman, a former farmer in her 40s who was caught fleeing North Korea, also detailed abuse she faced from a police official who was questioning her in a pre-trial detention facility. "My life was ..
October 31, 2018

Blasphemy ruling: The judges risking their lives

Asia Bibi: Pakistan Supreme Court's 'historic' ruling Image caption Asia Bibi's case has been hugely divisive in religiously conservative Pakistan This could have been an open and shut case. The complainants had quarrelled with Asia Bibi, and could be reasonably suspected of having dragged her to the court out of malice. The fact that a formal police complaint was lodged at least five days after the incident created further suspicions that evidence could have been fabricated. And if that were not enough, some glaring disparities emerged in the depositions of different witnesses about the specifics of what happened when, where, and in whose presence. As in many countries, Pakistan's criminal justice system puts the burden of proof on the prosecution. It applies strict rules of evidence to ensure the case is proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The slightest deficiency anywhere along the process translates into a benefit for the defendant. But, for eight years, t..
October 31, 2018

Lion Air crash: Indonesian search homes in on black box

Lion Air crash: Indonesian search homes in on black box Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDebris found from Lion Air crash in sea A signal from the black box of the Lion Air plane which crashed on Monday with 189 people on board has been located, Indonesian rescuers believe. Indonesia's military chief said divers were trying to check the location some 30-40m (100-130ft) down in the Java Sea but had to battle strong currents. Flight JT610, a Boeing 737, went down shortly after take-off from Jakarta. No survivors have been found. Meanwhile Lion Air has sacked its technical director. The company said its dismissal of Muhammad Asif had come on the orders of the transport ministry. Representatives from Boeing are meeting Indonesian officials on Wednesday as part of the investigation. How could a brand new plane crash? Mourning siblings and mystery couple on ill-fated plane How likely are you to survive a plane crash? Air disasters timeline There is no indicatio..
October 31, 2018

Asia Bibi: Imran Khan attacks hardliners over court case

Asia Bibi: Imran Khan attacks hardliners over court case Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAsia Bibi's escape from Pakistan death row Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has attacked hardliners and appealed for calm after the acquittal of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy. In a televised broadcast, Mr Khan said hardliners were "inciting [people] for their own political gain", claiming they are "doing no service to Islam". The landmark Asia Bibi case has already set off violent protests by hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws. Her lawyer has told the BBC she would need to move to abroad for her safety. Asia Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but has spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement. Pakistan's 'historic' Asia Bibi ruling Why Pakistan's Christians are targeted Wednesday's verdic..
October 31, 2018

Jin Yong: The ‘Tolkien of Chinese literature’ dies at 94

Jin Yong: The 'Tolkien of Chinese literature' dies at 94 Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Cha is a legend in the Chinese literary world He's been referred to as the JRR Tolkien of Chinese literature and the grandfather of martial arts novels - but very few people have heard of him outside the Chinese-speaking world. Novelist Louis Cha, who wrote under the name Jin Yong, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Hong Kong at the age of 94. He had become a household name across many Chinese-speaking parts of Asia, having sold millions of books and inspiring a whole genre of TV shows, comics and even video games. "I don't think there's another writer that's been read by more people [in the Chinese-speaking world], period," Eileen Chow, a visiting associate professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University in North Carolina, told the BBC. "Like JRR Tolkien, his writing has really endured." A career stalled by Cultural RevolutionMr Cha was born ..
October 31, 2018

Australian awarded house in ‘bizarre’ 20-year squatting case

Australian awarded house in 'bizarre' 20-year squatting case Image copyright ABC Image caption Mr Gertos discovered the house was empty in 1998 Two decades ago, Australian property developer Bill Gertos found a house sitting empty in Sydney. So he changed the locks, repaired the property - and began leasing it to tenants. Now Mr Gertos has won a legal battle to be declared the official owner of the house - which is estimated to be worth A$1.6m (£0.9m; $1.1m). It followed a court battle with descendants of its previous owner. Mr Gertos was granted ownership under a law recognising squatters' rights. Squatting is when someone occupies an empty or abandoned property which they don't own or rent, and without the owner's permission. In New South Wales, squatters can be awarded ownership if they have occupied a property for more than 12 years. The court granted Mr Gertos those rights because he had repaired and maintained the property since 1998. Australian media ou..
October 31, 2018

Japan bullet train stops ‘scary’ safety drills

Japan bullet train stops 'scary' safety drills Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Japan has one of the world's most reliable railways and is known for its Shinkansen bullet trains A Japanese railway firm has stopped an unusual training drill that required employees to crouch in tunnels while trains rushed past to "feel" the wind speed. The West Japan Railway said the exercises were designed to improve safety awareness. Trainee mechanics observed the trains which can hit speeds of 300km per hour. The move to stop the practice, in place since 2016, comes after rising union pressure. Japan is known for its high-speed rail network where bullet trains, or Shinkansen, snake across the country at hundreds of kilometres per hour. Participants in the safety training would crouch down in a trench, in-between two sets of train tracks, as bullet trains whizzed by. Squatting in the ditches - which are around one metre deep and one metre wide - allowed the workers to "feel"..
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