August 20, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut

Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut Image copyright Warner Brothers Image caption 'Crazy Rich Asians' is seen as a turning point for Asian representation in Hollywood Crazy Rich Asians beat expectations to take the top spot at the US box office on its opening weekend. The Warner Brothers film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding is the first romantic comedy in three years to take the top spot. Since it opened five days ago, the film - which cost $30m to produce - has made $34m at the box office. It is the first Hollywood film since 'The Joy Luck Club' 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast. Adapted from Kevin Kwan's best-seller, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an Asian-American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend's ultra-wealthy family in Singapore. Analysts have said its universal themes and entertainment value proved popular with moviegoers. 'Culturally significant'Jeff Goldstein, Warner Brother..
August 20, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull: Under-pressure Australia PM drops climate policy

Malcolm Turnbull: Under-pressure Australia PM drops climate policy Image copyright EPA Image caption Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure over his leadership Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his government has abandoned plans to set an emissions reduction target in legislation. Mr Turnbull's U-turn alters a key plank of his signature energy policy, and follows a revolt by conservative MPs within his government. It comes amid media reports that Mr Turnbull could face a leadership challenge if the issue is not resolved. Mr Turnbull said the climate policy was not supported by all of his colleagues. "In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver," Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday. The original commitment would have set in legislation Australia's pledge for a 26% cut in emissions, based on 2005 levels, by 2030. Australia remains on track to meet its Paris climate accord commitments, despite the change in policy. Mr Turnbull said he retained the support ..
August 19, 2018

Kerala floods: Relief teams rescue 22,000 as rains ease

Kerala floods: Relief teams rescue 22,000 as rains ease Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Relief supplies were taken to stranded residents in Chengannur About 22,000 people were rescued from the flood-hit Indian state of Kerala on Sunday, officials say, after monsoon rains finally eased. Military teams as well as disaster response forces and local fishermen reached some of the worst hit areas. Helicopters also brought much-needed supplies to communities cut-off by two weeks of incessant rain. More than 350 people have been killed, most of them in landslides, since the monsoon started in June. Kerala's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the number of people taking refuge in the 5,645 relief camps now stood at 725,000. But he vowed on Sunday "to save even the last person stranded". Meanwhile, the head of the state's disaster management team, Anil Vasudevan, said he was preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of waterborne and airborne diseases in temporary relie..
August 19, 2018

North Korea to host emotional family reunions

North Korea to host emotional family reunions Image copyright EPA Image caption Lee Chun-ja shows a picture of her wedding which she intends to give to her relatives in North Korea A group of 89 elderly South Koreans are travelling into North Korea to see relatives they have not seen since the Korean War of 1950-1953. The war left the Korean peninsula divided and people who lived on the northern side were unable to leave. The two Koreas, which are technically still at war, have organised reunion events before, but this is the first in three years. The South Koreans were chosen by lottery - the oldest of them is 101. One woman, aged 92, told reporters she was going to be seeing her son for the first since the end of the war. Lee Keum-seom said she lost track of her son, then aged four, and her husband in the panic of trying to flee, reported AFP. "I never imagined this day would come," she said. "I didn't even know if he was alive or not." Eighty-three North Koreans will be tak..
August 19, 2018

Australia drought: New South Wales town ‘mobbed’ by thirsty emus

Australia drought: New South Wales town 'mobbed' by thirsty emus Image copyright Reuters Image caption At least five emus have been hit by cars in the town of Broken Hill Large numbers of emus have been flocking to an outback mining town in New South Wales as Australia continues to struggle with extreme drought. The flightless birds are desperately searching for food and water in Broken Hill, local animal rescue services say. "They're actually walking down our main street. We're seeing mobs of them," wildlife worker Emma Singleton said. Separately, the Australian PM has announced extra aid for farmers hit by the drought. "I want to say to our farmers, we have your back," Malcolm Turnbull told reporters, as he announced a A$1.8bn (US$1.3bn; £1.03bn) increase in funds to help deal with extreme aridity in New South Wales. Australia's most populous state, which produces about a quarter of the country's agricultural output, was officially declared entirely in ..
August 19, 2018

China arrests over Tang Dynasty relic thefts

China arrests over Tang Dynasty relic thefts Image copyright AFP Image caption Ancient relics have been stolen from a Tang Dynasty burial site, Chinese police say Chinese police have arrested 26 people suspected of stealing relics from an ancient burial site. The gang allegedly seized almost 650 objects, including gold and silver cutlery and jewellery, from the Dulan Tombs, which lie on the ancient Silk Road in northwest China. The stolen items date back to the 7th Century, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. The suspects allegedly tried to sell them for about $11m (£7.8m). The objects were said to have been illegally excavated from the tombs, located in the north-western province of Qinghai. Image copyright AFP Image caption The Tang dynasty is famous for its gold and silver ware Silk, gold, silver, bronze ware and other items have been unearthed at the tombs, of which there are more than 2,000, since 1982. Experts believe that many of the items are of huge ..
August 19, 2018

Kerala floods: Rescue efforts step up as rains begin to ease

Kerala floods: Rescue efforts step up as rains begin to ease Image copyright Reuters Image caption Torrents of water have rushed through towns and villages in the southern Indian state of Kerala Rescue efforts are being stepped up in the flood-hit Indian state of Kerala, where monsoon rains have eased for now. The India Meteorological Department has removed a red alert in several districts, though some areas are still under water. India's air force and navy helicopters are airlifting stranded people from rooftops, and dropping food supplies to those they cannot yet reach. More than 350 people have died in the floods. Thousands remain marooned. Officials said rescue teams are focused on the riverside town of Chengannur, where as many as 5,000 are feared to be trapped. A local politician, Saji Cherian, broke down in tears on TV on Friday describing the crisis there. "Please give us a helicopter. I am begging you. Please help me, people in my place will die. Please help us. There is..
August 19, 2018

New Zealand politician cycles to hospital to give birth

New Zealand politician cycles to hospital to give birth Image copyright Julie Genter/Instagram Image caption Ms Genter and her partner cycled to hospital where she would have their first child New Zealand's minister for women has cycled to hospital to give birth to her first child at 42 weeks. The Green Party's Julie Genter went by bicycle to be induced because "there wasn't enough space in the car". She posted pictures on Instagram of her and her partner enjoying the "beautiful Sunday morning" ride. In June, PM Jacinda Ardern became the second world leader to give birth in office. Both she and Ms Genter attended the public Auckland City Hospital. NZ PM Ardern returns from maternity leave Female politicians and the baby question Ms Genter, 38, also the country's associate transport minister, is a well-known and outspoken cycling advocate. "This is it, wish us luck!" she wrote to her followers, adding: "My partner and I cycled because there wasn't enough room ..
August 19, 2018

UK probes WW2 shipwreck looting claims

UK investigates WW2 shipwreck looting claims Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The wreck of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Repulse was reported to have been damaged or destroyed by thieves The UK will investigate allegations that British World War Two wrecks in Asia have been targeted by scavengers, the defence secretary says. Gavin Williamson said he was "very concerned" to hear claims that four shipwrecks off the Malaysian and Indonesian coasts had been looted. The Mail on Sunday said HMS Tien Kwang, HMS Kuala, HMS Banka and SS Loch Ranza were targeted for their metal. They are thought to be the graves of Royal Navy sailors and civilians. It comes after six wrecks, including Royal Navy battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, were reported to have been damaged or destroyed by thieves. The UK government "absolutely condemns" the unauthorised disturbance of any wreck containing human remains, Mr Williamson said. "I am very concerned to hear any allegations of incidents..
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