July 1, 2018

India rape: A victim’s two-year wait for justice

India rape: A victim's two-year wait for justice Image caption She became pregnant after she was raped when she was 14 years old A woman is raped in India every 13 minutes, according to the country's crime statistics but convictions are few and far between. Here is how an investigation by BBC Hindi's Sarvapriya Sangwan led to the first arrest in a two-year-old rape case. Lalitha (name changed on request) is 16 years old but her life is unlike that of most girls her age. She has a one-and-half-year-old son. She became pregnant in 2016 after she was allegedly raped by a friend of her family. Born in a poor Dalit (formerly untouchable) family in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, she is the second of two daughters. Her father, an illiterate daily wage labourer, is a widower. The accused, a 55-year-old friend of her father, allegedly offered to take her to state capital Lucknow in early 2016 to apply for a government scheme that would help pay for her weddi..
July 1, 2018

Afghanistan blast: Sikhs among 19 dead in Jalalabad suicide attack

Afghanistan blast: Sikhs among 19 dead in Jalalabad suicide attack Image copyright EPA Image caption Nearby buildings were damaged by the force of the blast A suicide bombing in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 19 people, most of them members of the country's Sikh minority. Police said they had been travelling in a vehicle to meet President Ashraf Ghani, who is visiting Nangarhar province, when the bomber struck. Among those killed was the only Sikh candidate who had planned to contest October's parliamentary elections. The Islamic State (IS) group said it carried out the attack. Hours earlier, Mr Ghani had opened a hospital in Jalalabad during his two-day visit to Nangarhar. Officials said he was not in the area when the suicide blast occurred. The Indian embassy in Kabul condemned the "cowardly terrorist" attack. It confirmed that Awtar Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate running in the 20 October elections, was among the dead. Militants '..
July 1, 2018

India: Extended family found hanged in Delhi house

India: Extended family found hanged in Delhi house Image caption The family were well-known in the local community Eleven members of the same family have been found dead in a house in India's capital, Delhi - 10 of them hanging from the ceiling, police say. At least two of the dead were children. A 77-year-old woman was the only one found lying on the floor. Most were blindfolded, gagged and with their hands tied behind the back. Police say handwritten notes suggested some "mystical practice". However, they have not ruled out murder as the motive. Only a pet dog was found alive in the family house in northern Delhi's Burari area. Post-mortem examinations have begun. Country profileBBC correspondents have reported a sense of panic in the area. The Bhatia family, originally from Rajasthan in north-western India, had lived in Delhi for over 20 years. They ran two shops on the ground floor of the three-storey building. Image caption Gurcharan Singh discovered the bodies when g..
July 1, 2018

Hong Kong pro-democracy protests draw low turnout

Hong Kong pro-democracy protests draw low turnout Image copyright EPA Image caption Students wore facemasks with crosses to protest against China's grip on Hong Kong An annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong saw one of its lowest turnouts in history on Sunday, amid sweltering heat in the administrative region of China. Protesters were marking the 21st anniversary of the former British colony's return to Chinese rule. Organisers said 50,000 protested, while police put the figure at 9,800 - the lowest recorded by both camps. Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement has been weakened in the past year, with prominent activists jailed. Image copyright AFP Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. Under the so-called "one country, two systems" formula, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy but not full democracy. Massive street demonstrations erupted in 2014 against Beijing. Protesters accused mainland China of encroaching more and more on the region. Hundreds of police wer..
July 1, 2018

Thai cave: Divers advance in effort to save trapped boys

Thai cave: Divers advance in effort to save trapped boys Image copyright EPA Image caption Divers are about 3km (2 miles) from where they think the missing boys might be Thai navy divers have reached closer to a flooded cave in northern Thailand where 12 boys and their football coach have been trapped for more than a week. They have been helped by falling water levels inside the cave, and there are plans to pump water out. Rescuers say they hope the boys aged 11 to 16 and their coach have reached a rock mound in an underground chamber. No contact has been made with them since they went to explore the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province. Heavy rain has led to fears that the boys and their coach might not survive. Their plight has gripped the country and led to an outpouring of support and hope. Drones, dogs, drilling and desperation Thais show their love for lost cave boys What to do to survive underground Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, commander of the Thai Navy Seals, said hi..
July 1, 2018

Australia sex abuse compensation scheme begins

Australia sex abuse compensation scheme begins Image copyright AFP Image caption Survivors faced long-lasting abuse at the hands of institutions, including religious organisations Australia has begun a compensation scheme for victims of institutional child sex abuse. Some 60,000 Australians will be eligible for compensation.the scheme, known as the National Redress Scheme. Australian authorities believe a A$4bn ($3bn; £2.23bn) compensation plan will help to ease the pain of victims. Financial redress was a key recommendation of a Royal Commission into decades-long child abuse in Australian institutions. The Commission spent five years investigating suffering and abuse in religious organisations, schools, charities, sports clubs and the military. The Australian government accepted almost all of the landmark inquiry recommendations. If victims apply for the redress scheme, they sign away their right to sue. "We stand united in support of the estimated 60,000 people who were abused by ..
June 30, 2018

Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent

Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of Afghan women attempt suicide each year (file photo) "I didn't want to live any more. That's why I tried to kill myself with poison." Jamila (not her real name) attempted suicide after she felt abandoned and betrayed by her fiancé - who decided, after a six-year-engagement, that he no longer wanted to marry her because she was "not a young woman any more". Jamila is 18 - and her family arranged her engagement when she was just 12. She was taken to a hospital in Herat by her mother and treated for poisoning last month. Jamila is one of thousands of Afghan women who try to kill themselves every year. About 3,000 Afghans attempt to take their own lives every year, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Herat province accounts for more than half of all cases nationwide. According to health officials in Herat, 1,800 people tried to kill themselv..
June 29, 2018

Thai cave rescue: Drones, dogs, drilling and desperation

Thai cave rescue: Drones, dogs, drilling and desperation Image copyright THANYARAT DOKSONE/BBC Image caption Rescue workers have deployed drilling machinery to try and create a new access point to the cave Last Saturday, 12 young boys went to explore a cave with their coach after football practice in northern Thailand. Their bikes were found abandoned at the entrance and shortly after, heavy rain sent torrents of water through the cave. Over the past week, rescuers have been mounting an increasingly desperate search, in the hope the group are alive deep inside the cave but trapped by floodwaters. Here's what the operation, in the jungle-covered hills around Chiang Rai, involves: Expert divers Thai navy divers been trying to access the deepest caverns of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, the fourth longest in Thailand. Four top British cave divers, along with some US military personnel, also joined the efforts. Image copyright Facebook/ekatol Image caption A Facebook photo shows ..
June 29, 2018

Steel firms Thyssenkrupp and Tata to merge

Steel firms Thyssenkrupp and Tata to merge Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tata owns the UK's largest steelworks at Port Talbot Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp have agreed a merger that will create Europe's second-biggest steelmaker, after Arcelor Mittal. German-owned Thyssenkrupp's supervisory board gave the go-ahead to the joint venture on Friday. The deal will mean Indian-owned Tata Steel's UK plants are merged into a pan-European venture with annual sales of about £13bn. These include the UK's biggest steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales. Almost 7,000 people are employed by Tata in Wales, including more than 4,000 in Port Talbot - the largest steel works in the UK. Port Talbot steelworks: Tata Thyssenkrupp agree mergerThe two companies have been in talks over a 50-50 tie-up since 2016. When details of an initial agreement emerged last September both sides said they expected about 4,000 jobs would go as a result of the merger, with half coming from ad..
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