September 12, 2018

Viewpoint: What can stop India’s rupee plunge?

Viewpoint: What can stop India's rupee plunge? Image copyright Getty Images The Indian rupee is languishing at a record low, hit by a combination of forces including higher oil prices and fleeing foreign investors. Pressure is mounting on India's central bank to act as a weak rupee stokes fears in the country's swelling middle class, writes Vivek Kaul. At the beginning of April, one US dollar was worth 65.1 rupees. On 11 September, the value of one dollar touched a record low of 72.7 rupees. In a little over six months, India's currency has slumped more than 11%. Why is the rupee falling? One big factor is oil. India imports more than 80% of the oil it consumes. That dependency - coupled with higher oil prices - has seen the country's oil import bill shoot up this year. The oil import bill for the first three months of the financial year was $28.9bn (£22.2bn), up from $18.8bn last year. A higher oil import bill basically translates into a greater demand for d..
September 12, 2018

Sri Lanka to ban Hindu animal sacrifice

Sri Lanka to ban Hindu animal sacrifice Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Some Hindus sacrifice animals as an act of religious devotion - though the majority do not Sri Lanka's government has agreed to ban the ritual sacrifice of animals and birds at Hindu temples on the island. A government spokesman told the BBC the move was proposed by the Hindu Religious Affairs ministry, and said most moderate Hindu groups support it. Some Hindus sacrifice goats, buffalo calves and chickens at temples as an offering to their deities. But the practice has attracted years of protests in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, where critics call it inhumane. Animals sacrificed at Hindu and Muslim religious festivals are often left to bleed to death, which angers animal rights activists and some Buddhist groups. Many practicing Hindus choose not to sacrifice animals - but those who do have argued that the ban would impinge on their religious freedoms. They say such sacrifices are an ancient part o..
September 12, 2018

China: Car rams into Hunan square killing three

China: Car rams into Hunan square killing three A man has driven a car into a busy square in southern China, killing at least three people and injuring 43, local government officials say. The red SUV drove into Binjiang square in Hengyang city, Hunan province, at 19:40 local time (11:40 GMT). Local media say that some victims appeared to have been stabbed. The driver, who has a criminal record, has been detained, officials say. Officials have not said whether the incident is terror related. Video footage from the scene on Chinese media shows people running out of a packed square. Others kneel down to help or carry the injured away, as bodies lie on the ground. Police have reportedly named the suspect as a 54-year-old man, Yang Zanyun. Local media say criminal records show Mr Yang served time in prison for arson and drugs related offences. Skip Twitter post by @PMBreakingNews Breaking: At least 3 dead and more than 40 injured after an SUV rammed into a crowd of people in Hengyang, C..
September 12, 2018

Australian schoolgirl Harper Nielsen’s national anthem protest

Australian schoolgirl Harper Nielsen's national anthem protest Image copyright AFP Image caption An Australian schoolgirl claims the national anthem disregards the country's indigenous people A nine-year-old girl has stirred controversy after refusing to stand for Australia's national anthem in protest at alleged institutional racism. Harper Nielsen claimed the song "Advance Australia Fair" ignored the nation's indigenous people. "When it says 'we are young' it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us," she told ABC news Australia. Australian politician Pauline Hanson later labelled Harper a "brat". The schoolgirl was given detention last week for "blatant disrespect" over her failure to participate with classmates during a rendition of the song at Kenmore South State School in Brisbane. Harper, whose parents said they were "proud" of her for showing "incredible bravery", said she felt it was time to "raise awareness and g..
September 12, 2018

Afghanistan attack: Nangarhar suicide blast toll soars

Afghanistan attack: Nangarhar suicide blast toll soars Image copyright EPA Image caption The death toll from Tuesday's suicide bombing soared overnight A suicide bombing in east Afghanistan has killed at least 68 people, officials say, in one of the deadliest insurgent attacks in recent months. The bomber struck in a crowd of people protesting against a local police chief in Nangarhar province near Pakistan. The death toll from Tuesday's blast soared overnight. Another 165 people were injured - local hospitals struggled to cope with the casualties. Hundreds have died in a wave of recent attacks. Elections are due in October. No group has said it carried out the suicide bombing in the crowd of protesters in Nangarhar's Momand Dara district, but Islamic State militants are active in the province. Earlier, five people were injured in two bomb attacks near a school in the same province. The violence follows recent diplomatic efforts to end the lengthy war between the Afgh..
September 12, 2018

James Stannard: UK tourist cleared of assaulting rugby star

James Stannard: UK tourist cleared of assaulting rugby star Image copyright PA Image caption Sam Oliver has been cleared over a late-night confrontation in Sydney A British tourist has been found not guilty of assaulting Australia's former Rugby Sevens captain James Stannard. Sam Oliver, 23, had been accused of knocking Stannard to the pavement with a single punch, leaving him with a fractured skull. The confrontation took place outside a Sydney kebab shop in the early hours of 30 March. Mr Oliver, from Newcastle, argued that he had acted in self-defence. On Wednesday, Magistrate Richard Funston found Mr Oliver not guilty of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm. "I have come to the view that I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this very serious charge can be made out," Magistrate Funston said. He said "alcohol played a huge part" in the "unfortunate incident" and both men had been heavily intoxicated at the time. Witnesses had also been intoxicated and relayed inco..
September 12, 2018

Vietnamese capital Hanoi asks people not to eat dog meat

Vietnamese capital Hanoi asks people not to eat dog meat Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Over 1,000 stores in Hanoi still sell dog and cat meat Officials in Vietnam's capital Hanoi are urging residents to stop eating dog meat as it could hurt the city's reputation and lead to diseases like rabies. The Hanoi People's Committee said the practice could tarnish the city's image as a "civilised and modern capital". The city office added that consuming the meat could lead to the spread of diseases like rabies and leptospirosis. Over 1,000 stores in Hanoi still sell dog and cat meat. The committee also urged residents to stop eating cat meat, which is less popular but still available. It highlighted the fact that many of the animals were cruelly killed. There are an estimated 490,000 dogs and cats in Hanoi - the majority of which are pets. What is rabies? The controversial Chinese dog meat festival Can you eat dogs in the UK? A growing number of people in ..
September 12, 2018

Lynette Dawson: Police begin dig in podcast-highlighted mystery

Lynette Dawson: Police begin dig in podcast-highlighted mystery Image copyright SUPPLIED Image caption Lynette Dawson, a mother of two, was last seen in 1982 Australian police have begun digging at the former home of a Sydney woman whose disappearance in 1982 has recently attracted global attention. Lynette Dawson, a mother of two, vanished without a trace. Her husband, Chris Dawson, said she had left the family - perhaps for a religious group. Mr Dawson has denied murdering his wife after two coroners' inquests found she had been killed by a "known person". A popular podcast, The Teacher's Pet, has brought wide attention to the case. On Wednesday, police said they had begun a five-day forensic search of the couple's former home in the suburb of Bayview. "This is all about getting justice for Lyn," said Supt Scott Cook from New South Wales Police. Supt Cook said police would pursue charges against Mr Dawson regardless of the outcome of the search. Previous investigat..
September 12, 2018

India thieves ‘ate from stolen royal gold lunchbox’

India thieves 'ate from stolen royal gold lunchbox' Image caption The gold lunchbox is worth millions of dollars Thieves who stole a gold, diamond-studded lunchbox that belonged to a former royal family were using it to eat their meals, Indian police say. The lunchbox, stolen last week, was recovered along with a ruby and gold teacup, saucer and teaspoon. Two men from the southern city of Hyderabad have been arrested. The items, valued at $7m (£5.4m), once belonged to Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam (king) of Hyderabad and once the richest man in the world. Police allege the two men had fled to the western city of Mumbai in the hopes of finding a buyer for the stolen goods where they lived a "fancy life" in a five-star hotel for a few days. However, they were unable to find a buyer and returned to Hyderabad were they where arrested after a massive manhunt. Talks over Maharajah's millionsThe 'unlucky' building spooking an Indian ministerOfficers had initia..
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