October 18, 2018

Australian woman ‘who faked cancer for cash’ is charged

Australian woman 'who faked cancer for cash' is charged Image copyright Google Image caption Ms Wieland was granted bail after appearing at Townsville Magistrates Court in Queensland A woman in Australia has been charged for allegedly gaining A$55,000 ($39,000; £30,000) from a fundraising site after faking a cancer diagnosis. Lucy Wieland, 27, used social media to document a fraudulent journey through ovarian cancer treatment, a court in Townsville, Queensland, was told. Ms Wieland set up a GoFundMe account to appeal for financial help in a breach of public trust, police said. She was arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public, they added. Images posted to her Instagram account earlier this year include photos of Ms Wieland with what appears to be medical equipment such as oxygen masks and walking aids. Image Copyright lu_wieland lu_wieland Report Image Copyright lu_wieland lu_wieland Report Others appear to show her receiving treatment through intravenous medicati..
October 18, 2018

Afghanistan election: What’s at stake in the parliament vote?

Afghanistan election: What's at stake in the parliament vote? Image copyright Reuters Image caption Election posters on a main road in Kabul, where over 800 candidates are vying for 33 seats Afghans are once again set to defy threats, insecurity and fears over electoral fraud as they prepare to vote in parliamentary elections on 20 October. The poll is long overdue. Bitter wrangling over electoral reform since the stalemate of the 2014 presidential poll has delayed it by three-and-a-half years. So what's at stake for Afghans and their fledgling democracy, four years since most Nato troops left the country? Why do the elections matter? Image copyright EPA Image caption A woman in a camp for internally displaced people in Kabul holds an election pamphlet Most Afghans are desperate for a better life, jobs, education and an end to the war with the Taliban. For the country's foreign partners, seeing a flourishing democracy would be the return they're seeking after many..
October 18, 2018

Royal tour: Harry and Meghan brighten up Bondi Beach

Royal tour: Harry and Meghan brighten up Bondi Beach Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The duke and duchess were greeted by colourful outfits at Bondi Beach It may be a grey day in Sydney but hundreds of people have brought colour to Bondi Beach to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan are meeting members of One Wave, a surfing community group, as they take part in "Fluro Friday". It means there is a lot of neon and colourful garlands being worn at the session, which encourages the discussion of mental health issues. The royals kicked off their shoes to walk on the sand at the beach. The couple were greeted by cheers and screams as they arrived at Bondi, the latest stop on their Australian tour, just before 08:30 local time on Friday morning. Skip Twitter post by @KensingtonRoyal 🏄‍♀️🏄‍♂️ Good morning Bondi Beach! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are joining a OneWave Fluro Friday Sunrise session #OneRoyalFluroWave #RoyalVisitAustralia pic.twitter.com/ln5lDjAxkV..
October 18, 2018

US commander survives Afghan gun attack in which police chief dies

US commander survives Afghan gun attack in which police chief dies Image copyright Reuters Image caption US General Scott Miller was unharmed in the attack, Nato said A senior US commander has narrowly escaped a gun attack in which top Afghan security officials were killed. The gunman, reported to be acting as a bodyguard, opened fire as officials left a meeting in Kandahar province. Provincial police chief Gen Abdul Raziq died, as did the head of the NDS intelligence service, reports said. The Kandahar governor was badly wounded. US commander Gen Scott Miller escaped unhurt but two other US citizens were injured, Nato said. Initial reports say the attacker was killed. The Taliban said they carried out the attack. In a statement, the group referred to Gen Raziq as a "brutal police chief". Violence in Afghanistan has been escalating ahead of Saturday's elections. Afghan and international security officials said Gen Raziq had been shot in the back as he left the meeting and di..
October 17, 2018

Mother Mushroom: Vietnam releases well-known dissident into US exile

Mother Mushroom: Vietnam releases well-known dissident into US exile Image copyright Vietnam Bloggers Network Image caption Mother Mushroom was allowed to take her family along to the US The high-profile Vietnamese dissident and writer known as Mother Mushroom has been released from prison and is on her way to the United States with her two children and mother. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh left Vietnam on Wednesday for Taipei and then Houston, Texas after an early morning release. In 2017, she was sentenced to 10 years in jail for distributing propaganda against the state. Vietnam's one-party communist regime frequently jails its critics. News that Ms Quynh had been released emerged soon after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis left Vietnam after a short visit. It is unclear if he pressed for her release and the Pentagon is yet to comment. Rights groups widely welcomed the activist's release but warned that freedom of speech in the country remained severely limited. Vietnam blogger..
October 17, 2018

Cherry blossoms bloom unexpectedly in Japan

Cherry blossoms bloom unexpectedly in Japan Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Many people come from across the world to see Japan's famous cherry blossoms Some of Japan's famed cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, have bloomed unexpectedly this fall. The famous pink and white flowers are typically visible for about two weeks in the spring- a phenomenon tourists from around the world come to witness. But more than 300 people have reported cherry blossoms in their neighbourhood in October, according to meteorological company Weathernews. Experts say a series of typhoons could have contributed to the phenomenon. "This has happened in the past, but I don't remember seeing something of this scale," Hiroyuki Wada, a tree doctor at the Flower Association of Japan told local outlet NHK. Cherry blossoms around the world Chasing Japan's cherry blossom season Mr Wada said that the cherry trees' leaves usually release a hormone that stops the floral buds from g..
October 17, 2018

Sri Lanka’s Sirisena calls India over ‘murder plot’

Sri Lanka's Sirisena calls India over 'murder plot' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Sri Lanka's president (R) told India's PM (2nd L) that reports of him saying India was trying to kill him were untrue Sri Lanka's president has called India's prime minister to deny a report that quoted him as saying the Indian secret service was plotting to kill him. Maithripala Sirisena told Narendra Modi he "categorically rejected" the report, carried in The Hindu newspaper. It said Mr Sirisena had made the statement at a cabinet meeting to the "shock" of assembled ministers. Embarrassing headlines have dogged Mr Sirisena in recent weeks. Last month, he raged at the country's national airline for serving him some cashew nuts "which were not fit for human consumption". Within a week he was in the headlines again after recalling the country's Austrian ambassador and his entire staff for not answering the official embassy phones. He said he had made ..
October 17, 2018

Tasmania penguin deaths: Dozens killed in suspected dog attack

Tasmania penguin deaths: Dozens killed in suspected dog attack Image copyright Auscape/Getty Image caption The little penguins, which grow to around 30cm, were returning for breeding season Wildlife officials are investigating a suspected dog attack in Tasmania, after 58 penguins were found mauled to death. A member of the public alerted rangers to the dozens of penguin bodies strewn across a beach on the north coast of Australia's island state. This is the second dog attack in months on local little penguins - the smallest penguin species - according to reports. Authorities said dog owners must take responsibility for their pets and earlier warned of hefty fines. "We would like to remind dog owners of the need to take responsibility for their animals at all times as dogs have the capacity to do a lot of damage to penguin colonies in a short period of time," Tasmania's department of parks, water and environment said in a statement. It said all reports of alleged unlawful ha..
October 17, 2018

Chinese firm fined $1.3bn for illegal production of rabies vaccine

Chinese firm fined $1.3bn for illegal production of rabies vaccine Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is not the first time substandard vaccines have been produced in China A Chinese vaccination firm has been fined $1.3bn (£988m) after it was found to have illegally produced the human rabies vaccine. Changchun Changsheng had blended different batches of vaccine fluid and used expired fluid to produce some of the batches, according to state news agency Xinhua. The company also falsified production data for the vaccine. This is not the first major vaccine scandal to hit China. Changchun Changsheng's pharmaceutical production licence has also been revoked and its illegally produced vaccines have been confiscated. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption It was revealed earlier in July that Changchun Changsheng had falsified production data Some of the company's executives may also face criminal charges. "This is the most stringent administrative penalty on reco..
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