February 1, 2019

Amazon forced to pull products in India as new rules bite

Amazon forced to pull products in India as new rules bite Image copyright Getty Images Amazon has been forced to remove an array of products from its website in India to comply with new regulations. The rules prevent online retailers from selling products through vendors in which they hold an equity stake. The regulations are expected to have a far-reaching impact on India's e-commerce sector, which has drawn billions in foreign investment. Amazon and Flipkart lobbied against the laws which aim to protect small businesses. The changes to foreign direct investment rules, which come into force 1 February, also stop online retailers from making deals to sell exclusively on their platforms. Amazon sparks fears with sales forecast Walmart wins battle for Flipkart Amazon launches Hindi version of website Small retailers in India have long pushed for tougher competition rules, arguing the major players have an unfair advantage. But Amazon and Walmart, which owns a majority stake in ..
February 1, 2019

Year of the Pig: Is it really a problem for Muslims?

Year of the Pig: Is it really a problem for Muslims? Image copyright Reuters Image caption Muslim teachers attend a Chinese calligraphy event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to mark the Year of the Pig Communities around the world are gearing up celebrate the lunar new year, which this time ushers in the Year of the Pig. New Year celebrations usually mean the animal is depicted everywhere - in decorations, toys, gifts and advertising. But the pig, the last animal on the Chinese zodiac calendar, is considered unclean by Muslims and a sin to consume. So does this cause problems for people celebrating lunar new year in Muslim-majority countries in South East Asia? Like most Chinese-Malaysian families, the Lunar New Year is serious business for the Chow family, who live in the sleepy town of Batu Pahat in Johor, Malaysia. This year is particularly significant because Chow Yoon Kee, his wife Stella and their daughter were all born in pig years. "We will display lots of lucky pig ornaments at..
January 31, 2019

Australian air strike may have killed Iraqi civilians, officials say

Australian air strike may have killed Iraqi civilians, officials say Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The city of Mosul, Iraq, was the scene of heavy fighting The Australian Defence Force (ADF) says its fighter jets may have caused the deaths of up to 18 civilians in a strike on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq. The incident in 2017 was part of the US-led coalition's bid to retake Mosul. However, the ADF said it was impossible to "definitively know" whether its forces, another coalition strike or "other actors" killed the civilians. The deaths were "highly regrettable", military officials said. Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said two Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets had bombed IS militants in a residential area on 13 June 2017, following a request by Iraqi ground forces. A separate strike by unidentified coalition force took place simultaneously in the same street. Despite post-strike surveys failing to detect civilian deaths, "credible" reports of casualties later eme..
January 31, 2019

US envoy Stephen Biegun reveals North Korea nuclear pledge

US envoy Stephen Biegun reveals North Korea nuclear pledge Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun revealed the pledge in a Stanford University speech North Korea has pledged to destroy all its nuclear material enrichment facilities, the US special envoy says. Stephen Biegun said he planned to discuss "corresponding measures" the US can take in return for the country's denuclearisation. The US would first however need "complete understanding" of the country's weapons programmes. President Donald Trump earlier said both countries had made "tremendous progress". Speaking in the Oval Office, the president said he would soon announce the date and location of a planned summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. The pair met in Singapore last year, the first meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. Second Trump-Kim meeting 'within weeks' When Trump met Kim: What happened next? In a speech at ..
January 31, 2019

China pledges ‘tremendous’ US soy purchases

China pledges 'tremendous' US soy purchases Image copyright EPA Image caption Vice Premier Liu He and President Donald Trump talk to the press about trade China has pledged to increase its purchases of US soybeans, as the two countries attempt to hammer out a trade deal. US President Donald Trump touted the promise, made at the end of two days of talks in Washington, as evidence that the two sides were making progress. "Before we make a deal, it's a fantastic sign of faith," he said, But the president's top negotiator also warned many issues remained unresolved. "At this point, it's impossible for me to predict success," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said. Mr Trump, who said he hoped to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to hash out a final deal, was more upbeat. "We have made tremendous progress," he said. "That doesn't mean you're going to have a deal but there's a tremendous relationship and a warm feeling."
January 31, 2019

Nastya Rybka: Model who got caught up in the Trump-Russia row

Nastya Rybka: Model who got caught up in the Trump-Russia row Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionNastya Rybka talks about her visit from the FBI during her time in a Thai prison Nastya Rybka spent a few days "just partying" with a Russian billionaire on his yacht, and boasted to the world about her coup. But that billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, a powerful friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And she later claimed she had evidence of Russian interference in the Trump election campaign. Rybka herself, a Belarusian model, was to spend a year in prison in Thailand, in her eyes an unwitting victim used by others. "I fell in love. He is a very handsome man and has beautiful eyes. Why not?" she said of Mr Deripaska in an interview with BBC Russian in Moscow. US lifts sanctions on Putin ally Deripaska's firms US slaps sanctions on key Putin allies All she wanted was to be on Mr Deripaska's yacht, she says. She got what she wanted in 2016, but talking ab..
January 31, 2019

Behrouz Boochani: Refugee who wrote book with WhatsApp wins top prize

Behrouz Boochani: Refugee who wrote book with WhatsApp wins top prize Image copyright Ashley Gilbertson/VII/Redux/eyevine Image caption Behrouz Boochani has become a chronicler of the lives of aslyum seekers on Manus Island An asylum seeker and journalist detained for years by Australia on an island in the Pacific has been awarded the country's richest literary prize. Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurd, wrote No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by text message from inside a detention centre. It won the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature, worth A$100,000 (£55,000). Boochani remains on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and is not allowed to enter Australia. The controversial detention centre in which he was held was closed in late 2017, he - and hundreds of others - have since been moved to alternative accommodation. Australia has a strict policy on any asylum seekers who arrive by boat, vowing that they will never be resettled in Australia, even if found to ..
January 31, 2019

India Love Commandos head arrested after couples report abuse

India Love Commandos head arrested after couples report abuse Image copyright AFP Image caption Sanjoy Sachdev offered safe houses to desperate couples Police in India are questioning the head of an organisation known as Love Commandos for alleged extortion and abuse of couples living in his shelter. Sanjoy Sachdev was arrested and four couples were rescued on a complaint by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). Mr Sachdev set up the group to provide safe houses to couples who had angered their families by marrying outside of their caste or religion. Some of the couples alleged they were being held against their will. Love Commandos, an NGO founded in 2010, grew in popularity after Mr Sachdev appeared on the popular TV show Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs), hosted by Bollywood star Aamir Khan. The 'love commandos' protecting young couples A hideaway for India's rebel couples In largely conservative India, relationships in the same village - outside caste and fait..
January 31, 2019

India job data spells trouble for Narendra Modi

India job data spells trouble for Narendra Modi Image copyright Getty Images Image caption One out of every five young people is out of work India's unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the 1970s, according to a government jobs report. Economist Vivek Kaul explains what this means and why it matters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which is accused of withholding the findings months before the general election. What does the report say?It says that India has a jobs problem. The country's unemployment rate - 6.1% - is the highest it has been since 1972-73, the earliest year for which comparable data is available. This is according to the latest employment survey, which was exclusively accessed by The Business Standard newspaper, after the government had allegedly refused to release it. On its own, an unemployment rate of 6.1% may not sound too dire, until you consider that in 2011-12, it was just 2.2%. And it's particularly high among pe..
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