July 11, 2018

India government is ‘failing’ to protect Taj Mahal

India government is 'failing' to protect Taj Mahal Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Taj Mahal is located in the northern Indian city of Agra India's Supreme Court has criticised the government for what it calls a "failure" to protect the Taj Mahal. The court said both the federal and state government had shown "lethargy" in taking steps to tackle the monument's deteriorating condition. The court comments came in response to a petition citing concerns about the impact of pollution on the 17th Century monument. The Taj Mahal is one of the world's leading tourist attractions. It draws as many as 70,000 people every day. In May this year, the court had already instructed the government to seek foreign help to fix the "worrying change in colour" of the marble structure. The court had said then, that the famous tomb, built from white marble and other materials, had turned yellow and was now turning brown and green. Pollution, construction and insec..
July 11, 2018

India Delhi school ‘locks girls in basement’ over fees delay

India Delhi school 'locks girls in basement' over fees delay Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A school official told local media that the girls were kept in an "activity centre" Police in India's capital Delhi have registered a complaint against a girls' school where 16 students were locked up in the basement for five hours. The girls were reportedly detained because their parents had not paid the school fees. All the detained girls are kindergarten students and are believed to be between four and six years old. School officials told local media that the students were kept in an "activity centre" but did not comment further. Parents say they found out their daughters were being detained when they went to the school to pick them up but did not find them in the classroom. According to the police complaint lodged by the parents, the girls were in the school's basement from 7.30am to 12.30pm. The parents alleged that it was very hot in the basement a..
July 11, 2018

At least 179 dead as Japan reels from its worst flood in decades

At least 179 dead as Japan reels from its worst flood in decades Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is the worst weather disaster the country has seen since 1982 Japan is still reeling from one of its worst flooding disasters in decades, which has killed at least 179 people and left 70 missing. Torrential rains triggered landslides and floods in central and western areas. More than 8 million people have been ordered to evacuate their homes. The rain has relented but the country is still struggling to deal with the extensive damage left in its wake. This is the highest death toll caused by rainfall in Japan since 1982. 'Our memories are all gone'Some 270,000 households across the country have had their water supplies cut, and thousands of other homes remain without electricity. The prefectures of Okayama, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi were the hardest hit, with pictures showing extensive damage especially in Okayama. Some 8.63m people across 23 prefectures have bee..
July 11, 2018

Afghanistan: UK to send 440 more non-combat troops

Afghanistan: UK to send 440 more non-combat troops Image copyright PA The UK is to send 440 more non-combat troops to Afghanistan, the prime minister will announce at the Brussels Nato summit. The commitment to Nato's mission in Afghanistan will take the total number of UK troops in the country to 1,090. Around half of the troops will deploy from the Welsh Guards in August and the remainder will follow by February 2019. They will help "bring the stability and security that the Afghan people deserve," Theresa May said. At the height of the war, Nato had more than 130,000 troops from 50 nations in Afghanistan. The UK had 9,500 personnel and 137 bases in Helmand province alone. As of last month, the number of Nato personnel stood at 16,000 from 39 countries, operating mainly from Kabul and focusing on training and assisting the army and police. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - who wrote to Mrs May recommending more troops - said "whenever the call comes, the UK is always one of..
July 11, 2018

China says it is ‘shocked’ by US actions in trade dispute

China says it is 'shocked' by US actions in trade dispute Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Washington says the tariffs are in response to unfair trade practices by China China said it is "shocked" after the US announced plans for fresh tariffs, escalating a trade war between the two countries. The US listed $200bn (£150bn) worth of additional products it intends to place tariffs on as soon as September. The move comes just days after the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs of $34bn on each other's goods. Beijing described Washington's latest threat as "totally unacceptable," saying it would hurt the world. "The behaviour of the US is hurting China, hurting the world, and hurting itself," a spokesperson for China's commerce ministry said in a statement. The list names more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags. The public will have until the end of August to comment on the list before the new ta..
July 11, 2018

Thailand cave rescue: ‘Tiny bit of hope became reality’

July 11, 2018

Cave rescue: ‘Hope became reality’ says Navy Seal chief

Cave rescue: 'Hope became reality' says Navy Seal chief Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionRear Adm. Arpakorn Yuukongkaew, head of the Thai navy seals: "There was only a tiny bit of hope" The head of the Thai Navy Seals has said "hope became reality" with the successful rescue of 12 boys and their coach from the Tham Luang cave. "We had a little bit of hope that they might still be alive but we had to do it, we just had to move forward," Rear Adm Arpakorn Yukongkaew told the BBC. "There was only a tiny bit of hope, but that's all we had to work with." The group was trapped in the cave by rising water and rescued in a dramatic operation that captivated the world. They survived underground for 17 days by drinking water dripping down the cave walls, officials have said. Authorities have been giving a health update after the rescue mission ended on Tuesday. All 13 are now in hospital and are recovering well, health officials said. Image copyright ..
July 11, 2018

Qin Yongmin: Prominent Chinese dissident jailed for 13 years

Qin Yongmin: Prominent Chinese dissident jailed for 13 years Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Chinese dissident Qin Yongmin, who is now 64, pictured in 1993 One of China's highest-profile democracy campaigners has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for "subversion of state power". Qin Yongmin, 64, has already spent a total of 22 years behind bars. Qin had "refused to cooperate with the court" and stayed silent throughout his trial, human rights lawyer Lin Qilei earlier told the AFP news agency. The guilty verdict was confirmed online by the Wuhan City Intermediate People's Court, in central China. Frances Eve, a researcher at the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders, said Mr Qin had been "prosecuted for his belief in a democratic China as well as his actions in advocating for human rights". "Authorities have been unable to build a case against him despite three years of investigation," she added. Qin is a co-founder of the China Democracy Party, and was hande..
July 10, 2018

The doctor who chose to stay

Cave rescue: The Australian diving doctor who stayed with the boys Image copyright OZTEK/RICHARD HARRIS Image caption Dr Richard Harris spent three days underground with the young Thais and their coach It was his rare combination of talents that led Australian doctor Richard Harris deep into the Tham Luang cave in Thailand. When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help. He went in to assess the boys' health and stayed with them for three days. It was under his direction that the weakest boys were first led out with the others successfully following in the complex operation. Dr Harris, known as Harry, is believed to have been one of the last rescuers out of the cave. The heroes who saved the 'Wild Boars' How the operation unfolded In pictures: the story of the rescue Seventeen days in darkness But relief and celebration were suddenly..
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