January 29, 2019

Asia Bibi blasphemy acquittal upheld by Pakistan court

Asia Bibi blasphemy acquittal upheld by Pakistan court Image caption Asia Bibi's case had been hugely divisive in religiously conservative Pakistan Pakistan's top court has rejected a challenge to the acquittal of a Christian woman on blasphemy charges. The Supreme Court upheld its decision to overturn Asia Bibi's conviction and death sentence. She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours. Asia Bibi has always maintained her innocence in a case that has polarised Pakistan. The original ruling set off violent protests by religious hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws. What are Pakistan's blasphemy laws? Why are Pakistan's Christians targeted? Asia Bibi spent eight years on death row before the Supreme Court quashed her sentence last October. Hardliners had petitioned to overturn this ruling. "Based on merit, this petition is dismissed," Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosar said in cou..
January 29, 2019

Pitt Rivers: The museum that’s returning the dead

Pitt Rivers: The museum that's returning the dead Image copyright Alamy Image caption About 2,000 specimens at the Pitt Rivers Museum are of human remains Treasures seized during Britain's colonial past are kept in museums across the country. But as times change, how do such institutions deal with the sensitive issue of the human remains in their collections? In Oxford, the Pitt Rivers Museum - founded with the collection of a Victorian general, Augustus Pitt Rivers - holds about 2,000 such specimens. These body parts were brought back to Britain from across its empire, with little concern for the people from whom they'd been plundered. The Pitt Rivers is one of several British institutions that are under pressure to re-evaluate the many colonial prizes in their collections. "We can't undo history but we can be a part of the process of healing," says Laura van Broekhoven, director of the museum. She says the process is about having an "open conversation" with tho..
January 29, 2019

Huawei denies wrongdoing after US criminal charges

Huawei denies wrongdoing after US criminal charges Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Huawei is the world's second biggest smartphone maker by volume Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has denied any wrongdoing after US prosecutors filed a host of criminal charges against the firm. Huawei has also rejected criminal claims against its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada last month. The charges filed against Huawei in the US include bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology. The case could escalate tensions between China and the US. In a statement, Huawei said it was "disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today". It said it didn't commit "any of the asserted violations" and that it "is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng". The statement said the allegations of stealing trade secrets were the subject of a settled civil suit, in which a jury found "neither damages nor wilful and malicious conduct"..
January 29, 2019

Elderly women die in Malaysian food coupons stampede

Elderly women die in Malaysian food coupons stampede Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The event took place in a district in the capital of Kuala Lumpur Two elderly women in Malaysia have died in a crush caused by a crowd jostling to get free food coupons. Only 200 coupons were available but more than 1,000 people showed up at an indoor market in the Pudu district in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday. A security guard told local media he had heard "screams" and saw people "pushing each other". Law Ion Nang, 78, and Ah Poh, 85, are believed to have suffered difficulty breathing while waiting their turn. A management official of the Pudu Integrated Commercial Complex, where the event took place, told news outlet The Star that the event was to mark Lunar New Year, which occurs next week. The coupons were being given out to elderly people. She said a total of four people collapsed during the event. A 62-year-old security guard also told The Star that only four people were all..
January 28, 2019

Amy Shark: Stowaways found on singer’s bus near UK border

Amy Shark: Stowaways found on singer's bus near UK border Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Singer Amy Shark tweeted about the discovery of two stowaways Australian musician Amy Shark says two stowaways were found hiding in her tour bus as it prepared to cross a border into the UK, describing the discovery as "scary" and "heartbreaking". Shark said the pair were found in the vehicle's luggage compartment on a trip from Brussels to London. Both intruders swiftly left the bus after being discovered, Shark tweeted. She said it had given her crew a scare, but that she felt for those choosing a "dangerous way to chase a new life". "They didn't threaten us or say a word - they just walked away when found," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday. Shark, whose real name is Amy Louise Billings, is a prominent singer-songwriter in Australia best known for her songs Adore and I Said Hi. She wrote on Twitter that she had "no idea" how the pair had ente..
January 28, 2019

Kumbh Mela: How to find someone lost at the world’s biggest gathering

Kumbh Mela: How to find someone lost at the world's biggest gathering Image copyright Ankit Srinivas The ongoing Kumbh Mela festival in the northern Indian city of Allahabad (recently re-named Prayagraj) is billed as the largest gathering of humanity on earth, with 110 million people expected to attend over 49 days. But for the thousands who get lost among the crowds, help is at hand. The BBC's Geeta Pandey spent a day at the lost and found centres. "Most people we get are elderly, mostly women above 60 years," says Umesh Tiwari who heads the Bhule Bhatke Shivir (lost and found camp), run by local charity Bharat Seva Dal. Allahabad's oldest, this camp was set up by his father Raja Ram Tiwari in 1946 and has since helped reunite more than 1.5 million families. At the entrance, a policeman writes down the details of the new arrivals in a register - their names, addresses, where they came from, any details of who to contact. Inside, dozens of people who've been separa..
January 28, 2019

Trade war: Firms look to new factories as tariffs bite

Trade war: Firms look to new factories as tariffs bite Image copyright Getty Images The world's largest maker of industrial computers, Taiwan's Advantech, plans to boost US production to combat the hit from the trade war. Executive director Chaney Ho told the BBC the firm would avoid tariffs - imposed on 40% of its goods - if it assembled more products in the US. The company is one of many rethinking their supply chains in response to the US-China trade battle. The two sides will meet this week for talks crucial to resolving the dispute. The world's two biggest economies are trying to solve entrenched differences over trade policy that have seen both sides impose tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other's goods. A high-level Chinese delegation will visit Washington for two days of negotiations, beginning on Wednesday. Why China is under pressure to make a deal A quick guide to the US-China trade war What is a trade war and why should I worry? The cou..
January 28, 2019

US files charges against China’s Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou

US files charges against China's Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou Image copyright Reuters Image caption The US announced charges against Huawei, several of its subsidiaries, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou The US Justice Department has filed 13 charges against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. Among the charges are accusations of bank and wire fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology from US company T Mobile. Ms Meng was arrested in Canada last month on a US request for allegedly evading sanctions on Iran. The case has strained relations between China, Canada and the US. Both Ms Meng and Huawei deny the allegations. US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the Huawei charges were "wholly separate" from ongoing trade negotiations with China. These US charges come the day after Canada fired its ambassador to China, days after he publicly said the US extradition request for Ms Meng was flawed.
January 28, 2019

Singapore HIV registry data leaked online in health breach

Singapore HIV registry data leaked online in health breach Image copyright EPA Image caption Singapore issued a photo of US national Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, who they believe is behind the leak Confidential data about more than 14,000 people diagnosed with HIV, including foreign visitors, has been stolen in Singapore and leaked online. Authorities revealed details about the 2016 health data breach on Monday. They believe an HIV-positive American whose partner was a senior Singaporean doctor is behind the leak. The hack comes just months after the records of 1.5m Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were stolen last year. Confidential information including names, addresses, HIV status and other medical information is reportedly included in the latest breach. Officials say the details of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners dating up to January 2013 have been compromised. Singapore country profileUntil 2015, foreigners with HIV were not allowed to visit the city stat..
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