October 26, 2018

Sri Lanka former President Mahinda Rajapakse named as PM

Sri Lanka former President Mahinda Rajapakse named as PM Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of massive corruption and atrocities during the country's civil war Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has named his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the country's new prime minister after the collapse of the governing coalition. He sacked Premier Ranil Wickramasinghe after the president's United People's Freedom Alliance party (UPFA) quit the government. Mr Sirisena beat Mr Rajapaksa in the 2015 presidential election. Opponents say the move is unconstitutional. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera called his leader's sacking "an anti-democratic coup", saying Mr Wickramasinghe remained leader as he could not constitutionally be removed by the president. And Cabinet spokesman Raitha Senaratne told the BBC that Mr Wickramasinghe remained the country's prime minister. President Sirisena had bee..
October 26, 2018

US alienation drives Japan and China into unlikely friendship

US alienation drives Japan and China into unlikely friendship Image copyright EPA Image caption A Japanese flag is rare sight in Beijing Growing alienation with Washington has driven Japan and China into an unlikely friendship. Tokyo and Beijing have long been at odds over past military confrontations and and present territorial disputes. Yet on a crucial visit to Beijing, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now hailed a historic turning point. The two sides are seeking to boost economic ties and regional stability including North Korea. On Friday Mr Abe met his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, and he is due to meet President Xi Jinping later. How do China and Japan get along?Usually, not that great. The countries do trade with each other but politically, things have been quite fragile at times. Japan's World War Two occupation of parts of China remains a very emotional issue and there are several disputed islands that Tokyo and Beijing have yet to agree on. Mr Abe&#039..
October 26, 2018

The corruption scandal marring India’s CBI

The corruption scandal marring India's CBI Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Alok Verma says India's government has taken an "illegal" action by firing him as CBI chief The Indian government controversially removed the two men at the top of its main investigating agency earlier this week, sparking a political row over the decision. Alok Verma, the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and his deputy Rakesh Asthana, were relieved of their duties pending an inquiry, after each accused the other of corruption. The dramatic decision was made at midnight on Wednesday. The government said it had no choice after months of infighting, calling it an "extraordinary and unprecedented" situation. Opposition parties have accused the government of interfering in the CBI's internal matters, however. Mr Verma has also challenged his dismissal in India's Supreme Court, saying it was "illegal" and that the agency's independence has been compromised. T..
October 26, 2018

India’s Sabarimala: Over 2,000 arrested for blocking women from temple

India's Sabarimala: Over 2,000 arrested for blocking women from temple Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sabarimala authorities say they don't want women to "distract" the temple deity Police in India have arrested 2,200 people for protesting against the entry of women into a prominent Hindu temple in the southern state of Kerala. Hundreds clashed with women to prevent them from entering the Sabarimala shrine last week, despite a historic Supreme Court ruling. Violent protests were also held in different parts of the state, defying the police's appeal for peace. The temple has historically been closed to women of "menstruating age". A senior police officer told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that the protesters, including both men and women, have been arrested for rioting and unlawful assembly. "We have arrested those who prevented women from entering the temple and also those who violently protested against the court's order. We hope that this will act a..
October 26, 2018

Singapore trader denies laundering millions for North Korea

Singapore trader denies laundering millions for North Korea Image copyright FBI Image caption Mr Tan Wee Beng is the director of two companies in Singapore A Singaporean trader wanted by the FBI for allegedly helping North Korean entities evade US sanctions has flatly denied "all charges" against him. Tan Wee Beng told the BBC that he had only learned of criminal charges against him via news reports. "Nobody has contacted me. The FBI has not called me, the Singapore police have not called me," he said. US Federal Prosecutor Geoffrey Barman on Thursday called Mr Tan "a fugitive from American justice". In the same justice department statement, FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said the Singaporean "conducted illicit transactions totalling millions of dollars in support of North Korean entities in blatant violation of a host of economic sanctions the United States has established against North Korea and North Korean entities". The US Treasury has now placed sanctions on Mr Tan and t..
October 26, 2018

Chinese kindergarten children injured in knife attack

Chinese kindergarten children injured in knife attack At least 14 children have been injured in a knife attack at kindergarten in Chongqing, in south-west China. Police say a 39-year-old woman carrying a kitchen knife entered the school in Banan district on Friday morning, as the children were in the playground. The motive for the attack is unclear, though some reports on social media say the woman had a grievance against the government. The woman, whose surname was given as Liu, was arrested at the scene. Police have denied media reports that two children died, using social media to urge people not to pass on "rumours". China has faced a string of unrelated knife attacks in school and kindergartens in recent years. They have usually been carried out by people seeking revenge against officials or individuals, or who are suffering from mental health problem
October 25, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi journalist’s body parts found

By Alex Crawford, special correspondent, in Istanbul Body parts belonging to murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, according to two Sky sources. The sources have […]
October 25, 2018

Meghan and Harry unveil statue of forgotten British Fijian war hero

Meghan and Harry unveil statue of forgotten British Fijian war hero Image copyright British High Commission Fiji Image caption Sergeant Talaisa Labalala was part of the elite Special Air Services The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have unveiled a statue of a largely unknown British-Fijian war hero who died in battle after holding off hundreds of enemy soldiers for hours. Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Sergeant Talaisa Labalaba, who saved the lives of his fellow soldiers at the Battle of Mirbat in Oman in 1972. Only eight Fijians have joined the elite Special Air Services (SAS). The royal couple unveiled the statue at Nadi Airport on Thursday morning. They are on a 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Meghan's message of female empowerment in Fiji How to catch the eye of a royal 'He was a hero'Sgt Labalaba, who was born in 1942 in Fiji, was recruited into the British army in 1961 and quickly made his way into the SAS. Known to his colleagues as a "gentle ..
October 25, 2018

Cathay Pacific data hack hits 9.4 million passengers

Cathay Pacific data hack hits 9.4 million passengers Image copyright Getty Images Cathay Pacific says the personal data of up to 9.4 million passengers have been accessed in the latest security breach to hit the aviation industry. Passport numbers, email addresses and expired credit card details were among the data leaked. Chief executive Rupert Hogg apologised and said there was "no evidence" the information had been misused. It comes weeks after British Airways revealed a major data leak had hit its customers. The Hong Kong carrier said a wide range of personal information was accessed including passport details, identity card numbers, travel history and email addresses. No passwords were compromised. "We are very sorry for any concern this data security event may cause our passengers," the airline's chief executive Rupert Hogg said in a statement. He said there was "no evidence that any personal data has been misused" and that the airline was in the process of contacting..
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