September 26, 2018

ABC chair resigns over Australian political interference claims

ABC chair resigns over Australian political interference claims Image copyright EPA The chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has resigned following allegations of political interference. Justin Milne resigned from the national broadcaster amid reports he had asked for journalists to be fired because their reporting was disliked by the Australian government. The government has denied pressuring the broadcaster over its staff. ABC's managing director Michelle Guthrie was fired on Monday. Mr Milne said there had been no interference from Canberra, and he was stepping aside to "provide a release valve" from the public pressure. "Nobody from the Government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC," he said. The allegations against Mr Milne had prompted protests from ABC staff on Wednesday about protecting the broadcaster's editorial independence.
September 26, 2018

Viewpoint: World’s biggest ID scheme Aadhaar still poses risks

Viewpoint: World's biggest ID scheme Aadhaar still poses risks Image copyright AFP Image caption More than a billion Indians enrolled by giving their fingerprints and retina scans India's Supreme Court has ruled that Aadhaar - the world's largest and most controversial biometrics-based identity database - has sufficient legal grounds to exist. But the sole dissenting opinion expressed by one of the five judges holds valuable lessons, argue Ronald Abraham and Elizabeth S Bennett. More than 1.2 billion Indian residents, or one-sixth of humanity, have an Aadhaar number. The government has promoted - and indeed mandated - the use of Aadhaar for many services. However, India's civil society resisted, citing four main objections: legality, privacy, data security and efficacy. So, is the Aadhaar Act legal?India's parliament passed the Aadhaar act in 2016, seven years after the programme's inception and after more than a billion people had enrolled by giving th..
September 26, 2018

Trugo: A bizarre sport unique to Melbourne

Trugo: A bizarre sport unique to Melbourne Image caption John McMahon, 89, demonstrates trugo's distinctive hitting action Not many people have heard of trugo: a mix of croquet, golf, lawn bowls and the hammer. But, as James Bartlett writes, the unusual game that sprung from Melbourne's railway yards is trying to attract new fans. I'm very much a part-time member of the Yarraville Trugo club, and I haven't played an official game for them yet. I probably never will, as I live nearly 13,000km (8,000 miles) from the ground. Even so, I wear my canary-yellow team shirt with pride as I arrive. Training has begun for the upcoming season, and there's a good turnout of players old and new. Club captain John McMahon, 89, has already set up, and when I appear he asks "How ya going?" and offers me a cup of tea. He's a former world (yes, world) champion at a sport that's also around 90 years old, yet it's unknown anywhere else in the world - and is even a..
September 26, 2018

Western Australia police investigate ‘sickening’ kangaroo killings

Western Australia police investigate 'sickening' kangaroo killings Image caption The two videos of the attacks on kangaroos were shot in May and June Western Australia police are investigating footage of two kangaroos being "tortured and killed". The animals were reportedly stabbed and punched with knuckledusters in two attacks filmed in May and June. Local media say police refuse to release the footage, deeming it too graphic. Authorities released images of three men on Wednesday wanted in connection with the case. A fourth man has already been identified. Local newspaper The Western Australian reports he is helping the police with the investigation, and has not been charged. Animal cruelty cases hit four-year high Are we tough enough on animal cruelty? The paper quotes detectives working on the case as saying it was "one of the most horrific and sickening instances of animal cruelty they had ever seen". Image Copyright @brandilmelb @brandilmelb Report Image Copyright @..
September 26, 2018

Sri Lanka’s Pidurangala Rock: Bare bums stir trouble

Sri Lanka's Pidurangala Rock: Bare bums stir trouble Image copyright Sri Lankan police Sri Lankan police have arrested three men who were among a group who took semi-nude photos of themselves at an ancient sacred site. The young Sri Lankan men posted the images of themselves at Pidurangala Rock on Facebook. It prompted an angry reaction from people who considered them a religious insult, reports BBC Sinhala's Azzam Ameen in Colombo. Similar photos were posted on Instagram by foreigners, who were not arrested. Image copyright Sri Lankan police The arrests follow a complaint by a Buddhist monk who claims the photos, taken within sight of the Sigiriya rock fortress, a Unesco World Heritage site, are a religious insult. Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also ordered police to carry out an investigation, Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper reported. 'Brown bums' The viral photos taken by foreign travellers were posted on the Cheeky Exploits ..
September 26, 2018

‘I was lost at sea three times’: How one Indonesian teen defied fate

'I was lost at sea three times': How one Indonesian teen defied fate Image copyright Eva Aruperes Image caption Mr Adilang was working on a rompong when he was sent adrift into the sea An Indonesian teen was recently rescued after spending 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut. But as Aldi Novel Adilang reveals to BBC Indonesian, it's not his first tale of survival. Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, has survived not once, twice, but an incredible three times at sea. However his latest ordeal was by far the longest and has captured global attention. He was working on a floating fishing trap, known locally as a rompong, which is shaped like a hut and floats in the middle of the sea but is anchored to the seabed by ropes. On 14 July, he was anchored some 125km (77 miles) off Indonesia's Sulawesi island when the rope tethering him to the seabed snapped - sending him adrift. Image copyright EPA/Indonesian Consulate General Osaka Image caption A rompong is a floating fishing tr..
September 26, 2018

China coal power building boom sparks climate warning

China coal power building boom sparks climate warning Image copyright Getty Images Building work has restarted at hundreds of Chinese coal-fired power stations, according to an analysis of satellite imagery. The research, carried out by green campaigners CoalSwarm, suggests that 259 gigawatts of new capacity are under development in China. The authors say this is the same capacity to produce electricity as the entire US coal fleet. The study says government attempts to cancel many plants have failed. According to this study, there was a surge in new coal projects approved at provincial level in China between 2014 and 2016. This happened because of a decentralisation programme that shifted authority over coal plant construction approvals to local authorities. The report says that at present China has 993 gigawatts of coal power capacity, but the approved new plants would increase this by 25%. Climate kills ancient Antarctic moss 'Nature-based' plan to beat climate change Ima..
September 26, 2018

Rafale deal: Why French jets are at the centre of an Indian political storm

Rafale deal: Why French jets are at the centre of an Indian political storm Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Former French President François Hollande, left, and Indian PM Narendra Modi announced the Rafale deal in 2015 India's opposition parties are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of corruption in a multi-billion dollar fighter jet deal. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the main opposition Congress party, has alleged that Mr Modi "favoured" an Indian company that is part of the French deal. Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied the allegation, saying the government signed the deal to meet the Indian Air Force's combat requirements and had no role in choosing the French manufacturer's local partner. The issue has caused a political storm in India, and much of the debate in TV news shows has revolved around it in the past few days. Hollande drops a 'bombshell'India, the world's second-largest ..
September 26, 2018

Gujarat lion deaths: What killed 11 big cats?

Gujarat lion deaths: What killed 11 big cats? Image copyright AFP Image caption Gujarat government's last lion census in 2015 pegs their numbers at 523 Forestry officials in India say they are investigating the unusual deaths of 11 Asiatic lions in the western state Gujarat over the last fortnight. The Asiatic lion was listed as endangered in 2008 - an improvement on a critically endangered listing in 2000 - after numbers increased in the state's Gir forest. But the death of such a large number of lions in a short period highlights the intense competition between the animals in the Gir sanctuary, home to hundreds of lions. What happened to the lions?It remains unclear but officials mainly suspect that a group of lions from a different area killed them in a battle over territory. They are fairly certain that this is what happened to at least eight of the 11, including three cubs. Forest official GK Sinha told reporters at least three adult male lions from another area entere..
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