August 23, 2018

India’s ‘biggest’ pet rescue operation in Kerala floods

India's 'biggest' pet rescue operation in Kerala floods Image copyright Shravan Krishnan Image caption Many pet dogs were rescued from flooded homes When rescuers in India's flood-ravaged southern state of Kerala reached a flooded hut in the city of Thrissur, the couple living there refused to leave without their 25 dogs. The water was rising, and the dogs were huddled on a single bed. The rescue workers had arrived on boats, and Sunitha, who uses only one name, flatly told them she and her husband would not leave without their stray and abandoned pets. "Our neighbours had been moved to schools and camps nearby. Rescue workers said that we could not bring our dogs to the relief camp," she said. So the workers went back and got in touch with an animal rescue group. Sally Varma of Humane Society International told the BBC that their volunteers arrived soon, and arranged for the dogs to be taken to a special shelter for affected animals. Ms Varma said she has started ..
August 22, 2018

Qantas profits soar nearly 15% despite rising fuel costs

Qantas profits soar nearly 15% despite rising fuel costs Image copyright Getty Images Australia's national airline has posted a 15% jump in annual net profit with healthy returns across its business, despite a rise in the price of fuel. Net profit rose to $A980m ($719m; £557m) in the year to the end of June, up from $A852m. Qantas put the results down to strong demand for domestic travel, as well as efforts to improve its business. An aggressive restructure recently has seen jobs slashed, its fleet reduced and the cutting of loss-making routes. Those measures saw Australia's biggest airline deliver its second highest profit in its 97-year history last year. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said this year's numbers "show a company that's delivering across the board". The biggest contributor to the rise in profits was strong demand for domestic travel, but international travel also saw a 7% increase. First non-stop flight arrives in London from PerthMr Joyce said ..
August 22, 2018

Trade wars: US set to impose fresh tariffs on China

Trade wars: US set to impose fresh tariffs on China Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A worker checks wind turbine blades at a factory in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province The US and China are expected to impose fresh tariffs on $16bn (£12.4bn) of each other's goods on Thursday as their tit-for-tat trade war rages on. The second round of tariffs will see a total of $50bn worth of goods from each side that will now be taxed. Since the opening salvo in July, tensions between the world's two largest economies have escalated, hurting their companies and economies. The tariffs come into effect as officials meet for talks in Washington. They are due to wrap up two days of low-level trade negotiations on Thursday, but few hope for a breakthrough. US tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods will come into effect at 12pm Beijing time (0500 BST). The new 25% tax will affect nearly 280 Chinese goods, including chemical products, agricultural equipment, motorcycles and antennas. China is..
August 22, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull: Australia PM faces second leadership challenge

Malcolm Turnbull: Australia PM faces second leadership challenge Image copyright EPA Image caption Malcolm Turnbull is facing calls for a second leadership vote Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull is facing a demand by a party rival for a second leadership challenge, as he fights to retain his grip on power. On Tuesday, former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton lost an internal party vote by a slim 13-vote margin. Australian media reported that Mr Turnbull was resisting Mr Dutton's calls for a second vote on Thursday. Mr Turnbull is under pressure over poor polling and a push by conservative members of his party to replace him. On Thursday, the prime minister lost the support of three key backers - a move seen by commentators as a blow to his chances of remaining leader. Mr Dutton asserted that Mr Turnbull had lost a majority of colleagues' support. Skip Twitter post by @PeterDutton_MP A few minutes ago I spoke with Malcolm Turnbull to advise him I believed the majority of the p..
August 22, 2018

Xiaomi’s Poco F1 phone threatens a price war

Xiaomi's Poco F1 phone threatens a price war Image copyright Xiaomi Image caption Marketing for the Poco F1 centres on the speed of its processor Xiaomi has unveiled a smartphone with high-end features and a budget price, under a new brand. The Poco F1 features the latest Snapdragon chip, a larger-than-normal 4,000mAh battery and up to eight gigabytes of RAM - matching Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 in those specifications. But it will cost substantially less than flagship models from rival "affordable" brands when sold in India. One expert said the launch may force other firms to rethink their prices. "It's got the best Qualcomm processor you can get right now while in essence costing about half the price of some rivals," said Mike Lowe, reviews editor of the gadget site Pocket-lint, who has tested the device. "It's very powerful with a massive battery, and the consumers it is targeting are not going to worry too much about the fact it's a bit bulky. "This is Xiaom..
August 22, 2018

eSwatini stands by Taiwan despite Chinese pressure

eSwatini stands by Taiwan despite Chinese pressure Image copyright AFP Image caption The Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is one of the world's last absolute monarchies eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has chosen to maintain relations with Taiwan after a diplomatic tussle between Taiwan and China. The tiny country is Taiwan's last remaining ally in Africa. China had said it wants eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, to establish diplomatic links with Beijing. However, Taiwan says its relationship with the African nation is "extremely firm". The Chinese government does not allow countries to have official ties with both itself and Taiwan, which Beijing considers its own territory. Officials from eSwatini say there are no plans to switch allegiance. The Kingdom of eSwatini is one of the world's last remaining absolute monarchies. What's the history of eSwatini? eSwatini country profile King Mswati III rules by decree over his million subject..
August 22, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan ‘dodged Singapore national service’

Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan 'dodged Singapore national service' Image copyright JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX Image caption Kevin Kwan left Singapore when he was 11 The author whose book Crazy Rich Asians was adapted into a box office hit is wanted by Singapore for failing to report for military service, the Ministry of Defence has said. Kevin Kwan, 44, did not register for national service (NS) in 1990 despite being sent notices, the ministry said. He later applied twice to renounce his citizenship, but was rejected as he had not first served NS. He could face up to three years in jail if he returns to Singapore. All Singaporean men over 18 have to undertake two years of national service (NS). "Mr Kevin Kwan failed to register for NS in 1990 despite letters sent to his overseas address," said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement to the BBC. He also didn't have the right permit for a long term stay overseas. "Mr Kwan is therefore wanted for defaulting on h..
August 22, 2018

How I caught the ‘black widow’ who killed my brother

How I caught the ‘black widow’ who killed my brother Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Lee-Anne Cartier carrying her brother Phil's ashes - with another brother, Andrew, and a nephew When Phil Nisbet died in May 2009, the empty pill packets made it seem like suicide. But his sister, Lee-Anne Cartier, soon began to suspect her brother's wife, and eventually presented the police with evidence they could not ignore. "His biggest fault was that he trusted people too much," says Lee-Anne Cartier. "He didn't see that there were bad people out there or that people would do the wrong thing." Her brother Phil was the oldest of the four siblings, while Lee-Anne was the youngest - there were two other boys, Andrew and Roger, between them. She remembers riding on the back of Phil's motorbike, as he took her to Girl's Brigade, when she was only eight years old. He was the "goody-good" of the family, she says. "He didn't go to a pub until he was 21." That was ..
August 22, 2018

Australian drought: Muslims hold Eid event to pray for rain

Australian drought: Muslims hold Eid event to pray for rain Image copyright Lebanese Muslim Association Image caption Thousands showed up at the Eid event in western Sydney About 30,000 Australian Muslims gathered in Sydney on Tuesday to pray for an end to what's been called the worst drought in living memory. Worshippers from 16 mosques came together "in a show of solidarity and unity" with farmers and others affected by the drought. The event took place to mark Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. A fundraising campaign is also being held for affected farmers. Living with the strain of a devastating drought Australia's drought seen from the air The event was organised by the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney. "As one Australian family, we all need to do our part and stand in solidarity with those who are in need," said Samier Dandan, the president of the LMA. "It is now our time to be united and extend our hands in..
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