July 3, 2018

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-PM Najib appears in court to face corruption charges

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-PM Najib appears in court to face corruption charges Image copyright AFP/ Getty Images Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak has arrived in court in Kuala Lumpur to face corruption charges. Mr Najib was arrested by anti-corruption authorities on Tuesday and spent the night in detention. He has been accused of pocketing $700m (£517m) from the state development fund 1MDB, which he set up. The ex-leader has been dogged by scandal for years and an investigation began after his shock election loss in May. He denies all wrongdoing. The Malaysian state news agency Bernama said Mr Najib is expected to face more than ten counts of committing criminal breach of trust, linked to a former subsidiary of 1MDB. In a pre-recorded video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, he appealed to the public not to believe the reports, saying that not all of the accusations were true. "I have not had a chance to defend myself," he said. Najib Razak: Malaysia's tainted political aristocrat 1MDB: M..
July 3, 2018

The assault on Pakistan media ahead of vote

The assault on Pakistan media ahead of vote Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The Dawn newspaper says it has been under attack since late 2016 Imagine waking up in New York without the New York Times, newspaper kiosks shut down and hawkers off the streets. That is what many Pakistanis have been feeling for months as Dawn - Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper - has disappeared from their breakfast tables. A massive bout of censorship of TV channels, newspapers and social media is setting the stage for parliamentary elections on 25 July. The media and some political parties are being micromanaged by an establishment alliance of the army and the judiciary, according to journalists and the former ruling party - the Pakistan Muslim League - and its leader Nawaz Sharif, who was prime minister until being ousted last year on corruption charges and barred from politics. The army and judiciary deny this. Fall from graceHowever, it is the battle between Dawn and t..
July 3, 2018

Japanese tourist dies while climbing Uluru in Australia

Japanese tourist dies while climbing Uluru in Australia Image caption Climbing Uluru will be prohibited from next year A Japanese tourist has died while climbing Uluru in central Australia, authorities have said. The man, 76, collapsed about halfway up the rock on Tuesday and could not be revived, according to police. His death is not being treated as suspicious. Since the 1950s at least 37 people have died on the climb, which will be banned from October 2019. Aboriginal Australians have long asked visitors not to scale the giant monolith because it is a sacred site. Northern Territory police said the tourist had been flown by helicopter to a nearby medical centre, where he was pronounced dead. More than 250,000 people visit the landmark, formerly known as Ayers Rock, each year. The most recent recorded death was in 2010. The sacred stories behind the ban Should I have climbed Uluru? According to authorities, only 16% of visitors made the climb between 2011 and 2015. Last year, the ..
July 3, 2018

Chinese woman denied teaching certificate because of height

Chinese woman denied teaching certificate because of height Image copyright Gary Waters Image caption Ms Li was told being 140cm tall meant she was too short to teach A Chinese woman has been told that she is unable to graduate as a teacher - because she is too short. The woman, identified only as Ms Li, failed to qualify as she was under 150cm (4ft 9in) tall, according to the official Shaanxi News Online. Height restrictions still exist for people seeking teaching qualifications in many Chinese provinces. Social media users have reacted angrily to the news - saying the rules are discriminatory. Many also say the case highlights wider problems in China's education system, with too much attention paid to things like height and not enough to other indicators. Dreams 'have been shattered'Ms Li is an English-language major studying in her final year at Shaanxi Normal University, having first enrolled in 2014. However, it took until May this year, shortly before graduation,..
July 3, 2018

World Cup 2018: Japan’s ‘psychic’ octopus killed and ‘sent to market’

World Cup 2018: Japan's 'psychic' octopus killed and 'sent to market' Image copyright Science Photo Library An octopus, who correctly predicted all of Japan's World Cup results, has been killed and turned into sashimi. The mollusc, named Rabio, was hailed as psychic after an experiment in a paddling pool. But Kimio Abe, the fisherman who caught Rabio, decided he'd make more money selling it for food than from its clairvoyance. Local media in Japan reports Kimio decided his livelihood was more important than viral fame. Here's Rabio in action. It's in Japanese but you get the idea. Image Copyright 北海道ニュースUHB 北海道ニュースUHB Report Rabio - a giant Pacific octopus - predicted Japan's win against Colombia and their draw with Senegal by moving to different parts of a paddling pool. Each sector - marked as win, lose or draw - had food placed to tempt the octopus. While Japan's footballers are left to dwell on what might have been, at least t..
July 3, 2018

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-Prime Minister Najib arrested by anti-corruption officials

Malaysia 1MDB: Ex-Prime Minister Najib arrested by anti-corruption officials Image copyright Reuters Image caption Najib Razak has been accused of pocketing $700m from a state fund Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been arrested by anti-corruption authorities and is due to be charged on Wednesday. Mr Najib, who has long been plagued by allegations of corruption, has been accused of pocketing $700m (£517m) from state development fund 1MDB. Billions of dollars are unaccounted for from the fund, set up by Mr Najib. He has been under investigation since his shock election loss in May. Mr Najib denies wrongdoing. According to a statement by the 1MDB special task force, Mr Najib was arrested at 14:35 local time (06:35 GMT) at his house in relation to matters dealing with SRC, a subsidiary of 1MDB. He will be charged at 08:30 on Wednesday at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. Corruption, money and Malaysia's election What is 1MDB? Raids in recent weeks have been carried out ac..
July 3, 2018

Mumbai rail bridge collapse strands thousands of commuters

Mumbai rail bridge collapse strands thousands of commuters Image copyright Prashant Nanaware Image caption The bridge collapse has disrupted train services A railway bridge collapse due to heavy monsoon rains in India's financial capital Mumbai has stranded thousands of commuters in the city. The collapse at Andheri station - one of the busiest of the city's western railway line - has also injured five people who have been sent to hospital. Services on the western line have been partially disrupted with railway stations getting increasingly crowded. Police have arrived at the scene and repair work has begun. BBC Marathi's Janhavi Moole, who is at the scene, said the disruption to the rail service has caused severe congestion on the roads. Image copyright Prashant Nanaware Image caption Traffic infrastructure has been severely affected, causing traffic jams Chandrashekhar Sawant, a train driver who had been pulling into Andheri station in the morning, told BBC Marathi t..
July 3, 2018

Trump administration seeks to block China Mobile in the US

Trump administration seeks to block China Mobile in the US Image copyright Getty Images Image caption State-owned China Mobile is the world's biggest mobile phone operator. It is listed in Hong Kong and New York The Trump administration has said it does not want one of the world's biggest phone carriers, China Mobile, to provide telecom services within the US, citing national security concerns. State-owned China Mobile applied to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a licence to do so in 2011. But the US Department of Commerce has recommended the licence request be denied. The advice comes amid rising trade tensions between the US and China. "After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved," said the assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department, David J Redl. "Therefore, the executive branch of the US government,..
July 3, 2018

HTC to axe about a quarter of its global workforce

HTC to axe about a quarter of its global workforce Image copyright Getty Images Smartphone-maker HTC is to cut 1,500 jobs in Taiwan, about a quarter of its global workforce. The job cuts are part of a "realignment of resources" across the organisation, the company said in a statement. The Taiwanese company has had a tough time competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung. The job cuts are the latest sign that HTC, once a major player in the smartphone market, is struggling to keep afloat in a competitive industry. "Today's reduction in manufacturing workforce announced by HTC is a decisive step in the realignment of resources across the organization, and will allow more flexible operations management," HTC said in a statement. HTC and Alphabet's Google struck a $1.1 bn deal last year - a move that some took as a sign that HTC needed extra money to keep going. Under the deal, half of HTC's smartphone research and development team - about 2,000 people - would go to Googl..
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