March 28, 2019

India’s ‘last electrified village’ Leisang still fighting darkness

India's 'last electrified village' Leisang still fighting darkness Image copyright Jinen Maibam Image caption Several of the families in Leisang have bought television sets As India enters full election mode, political leaders are criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country, addressing rallies. The high-decibel campaigns have lots of sound and fury, but rarely address the issues that actually affect millions of people. The BBC's Geeta Pandey is travelling across India to report on some of them. The tiny village of Leisang in the north-eastern state of Manipur made global news last year when it became the "last Indian village to be electrified". For decades, political parties have been promising bijli (electricity) - along with sadak and pani (road and water) - in their election manifestos. So in April 2018, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying "Leisang had been powered and empowered", it seemed that the government had addressed at least one of t..
March 28, 2019

Christchurch attacks: National remembrance service held

Christchurch attacks: National remembrance service held Image copyright Reuters Image caption Cat Stevens has rarely performed since converting to Islam A memorial service has been held in Christchurch, New Zealand - and screened around the nation - to honour the victims of shootings on March 15. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at the televised event, along with Muslim leaders and a survivor of the attack. Cat Stevens, the British singer who converted to Islam in the 1970s, also performed. More than 20,000 people attended the event at the city's Hagley Park, amid tight security. The lives lost and the world they revealedAddressing the crowd, Ms Ardern said the focus of the event - the theme of which was "We are one" - should be on New Zealand's Muslim community. "This is an event that has affected New Zealand deeply, but it was our Muslim New Zealanders who were targeted in this act of hatred," she said. "Rightly so, that will be reflected in the remembrance service...
March 27, 2019

Nissan boss was too powerful report finds

Nissan boss was too powerful report finds Image copyright Getty Images Too much authority was given to former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, an external panel of experts has found. Its report was commissioned to find ways to improve management and corporate governance at Nissan. It found a "concentration of all authority" in the former chairman. Mr Ghosn was arrested and charged last year with underreporting his pay package for five years from 2010 to 2015. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. He has said his arrest was the result of a "plot and treason" against him - a bid by some Nissan executives wanting to stop his plan to integrate Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The report acknowledges that the panel did not interview Mr Ghosn. But it said that Mr Ghosn had concentrated so much power in his office, that other departments which should have provided checks and balances "did not necessarily function effectively". Ghosn says 'plot and treason' behind arrest Five char..
March 27, 2019

UK man arrested fleeing Australia on jet ski, police say

UK man arrested fleeing Australia on jet ski, police say Image copyright AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE Image caption The man had left from the northern tip of Australia's mainland, police say A UK man has been arrested on a remote island in Australia while trying to flee the country on a jet ski, authorities say. The 57-year-old man was taken into custody on Saibai Island, about 4km (2.5 miles) south of Papua New Guinea. Police said he had launched his jet ski on Monday from the tip of Australia's mainland, about 150km to the south. The man, who had been wanted on drugs charges, was thought to have been carrying a crossbow, authorities said. He was found on mudflats on Saibai Island, one of a string of islands in the Torres Strait which belong to Australia. "This arrest sends a strong message to would-be fugitives - our reach across Australia is second to none," an Australian Federal Police spokesperson said on Wednesday. The man was tracked by federal and state police on an Aus..
March 27, 2019

Austrian far-right activist probed over links to Christchurch attacks

Austrian far-right activist probed over links to Christchurch attacks Image copyright AFP Image caption Martin Sellner has denied any involvement in the Christchurch attacks Austrian investigators have raided the home of the leader of a far-right group in connection with the investigation into the New Zealand mosque attacks. Martin Sellner, of the Identitarian Movement Austria (IBÖ), said in a video he had received a donation, possibly from the chief suspect in the Christchurch shootings. But he denied any involvement in the attacks. Fifty people died and dozens more wounded in the 15 March shootings. Australian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one murder and is expected to face further charges. Martin Sellner: The new face of the far right in Europe Anti-Islam activists refused entry to the UK In a video posted online on Monday, Mr Sellner said he had received an email containing a "disproportionally large" donation from a person..
March 26, 2019

Cathay Pacific to buy budget airline Hong Kong Express

Cathay Pacific to buy budget airline Hong Kong Express Image copyright Getty Images Cathay Pacific will buy low-cost carrier Hong Kong Express for $4.93bn Hong Kong dollars ($628m). The purchase will be made in cash and through promissory loan notes, the company said in a stock filing. Hong Kong Express, which flies to destinations across Asia, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "We intend to continue to operate Hong Kong Express as a stand-alone airline using the low-cost carrier business model," a Cathay Pacific spokesperson said in a statement. Cathay Pacific had a challenging 2018 after posting its first ever back-to-back annual loss in March last year. It was the subject of a data breach in its IT systems in October, jeopardising the personal information of up to 9.4 million passengers. The airline has struggled against competition, particularly from low-cost Chinese carriers covering Hon..
March 26, 2019

Where is the Islamic State group still active around the world?

Where is the Islamic State group still active around the world? Image copyright EPA Image caption The Philippines has seen an uptick in IS attacks in recent years After months of fighting, the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) has finally lost Baghuz, a village in eastern Syria that came to represent the final chapter in its self-styled caliphate. While this is a major blow, the loss of the small enclave near the Iraqi border does not spell the end of IS as a militant group capable of mounting deadly attacks worldwide. IS and its affiliates continue to be active in various countries, claiming attacks on a daily basis through the group's online propaganda outlets. Data collected by BBC Monitoring shows that despite having lost most of its territory in Syria and Iraq at the end of 2017, IS said it was behind 3,670 attacks worldwide last year - an average of 11 attacks per day - and 502 attacks in the first two months of 2019, while Baghuz was under siege. There was a peak in IS att..
March 26, 2019

India election 2019: PM Narendra Modi’s Tamil Nadu problem

India election 2019: PM Narendra Modi's Tamil Nadu problem Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Modi's BJP won no seats in Tamil Nadu at the 2014 elections, despite a huge overall victory Politicians often make strange promises on the campaign trail. But even so, a pledge relating to in-flight announcements is not quite what you would expect to hear at a large political rally. And especially in a country like India where much of the population has never seen the inside of an airport, let alone a plane. Yet that is exactly what India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about to a large gathering in Kancheepuram in the southern state of Tamil Nadu earlier this month. "We are also seriously thinking about ensuring that flights flying to and from Tamil Nadu have in-flight announcement in Tamil language," he told the crowd in halting English with the aid of a Tamil translator. The chief minister of the state, whose AIADMK party had recently signed an alliance with ..
March 26, 2019

Canada arrest over Chinese student kidnap

Canada police make arrest in Chinese student abduction Image copyright York Regional Police Image caption Officers say the student was "taken against his will" Canadian police have made an arrest in the armed kidnapping investigation of a 22-year-old Chinese student. Three men grabbed Wanzhen Lu and forced him into a van in an underground car park in Markham, a suburb north of Toronto, on 23 March, police say. York Regional Police said on Tuesday that they had arrested a 35-year-old Toronto man believed to be involved in the kidnapping. The victim, who also goes by the name Peter, has not been located. Police say they will not release the name of the suspect in custody as he has not yet been charged. The black Dodge Caravan used in the abduction was also found in Toronto on Monday. Officers say they continue to fear for the well-being of Mr Lu. "With this new development, the suspects are once again urged to release Mr Lu unharmed," police said in a statement. "We strongly recom..
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