June 20, 2018

Eighty tonnes in a single scoop: Mega-mining iron ore

Eighty tonnes in a single scoop: Mega-mining iron ore Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australia is the world's largest producer of iron ore It is the rock that has fortified Australia's recession-defying economy. Iron ore has helped to raise living standards in the country, supercharge pension funds, and bankroll governments. It is the key ingredient of steel, and is Australia's most lucrative export. Last year, the trade, mostly to China, as well as South Korea and Japan, was worth 63bn Australian dollars ($45bn; £35bn). Over the past decade booming export volumes have soared by more than 200%. It is without doubt an economic colossus, and Australia is the world's largest exporter of iron ore. But given that global iron ore prices have fallen sharply over the past decade, should Australia try to move away from the sector? The heart of iron ore extraction in Australia lies in the red, dry dirt of the Pilbara, a sparsely populated region in the north of W..
June 20, 2018

World Cup 2018: The Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi

World Cup 2018: The Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi Image copyright Clifin Francis Clifin Francis was sitting at home in southern India when a friend asked if he was going to the World Cup. "Of course," he replied. "I might even travel to Russia to watch the extravaganza." That was in August - but he had no idea how he would afford the air tickets from Kerala where he lives. Mr Francis is a freelance maths teacher and earns $40 (£30) a day. "I realised I wouldn't have enough money to travel to Russia and stay for a month. Then I asked myself - what could be the cheapest way of travelling? Bicycle was the answer." Friends didn't believe him, but by then he'd made up his mind. On 23 February, he started on an epic journey that took him by air to Dubai, and then ferry to Iran. From there the Russian capital is still more than 4,200km (2,600 miles) away by bike. The prize at the end - a chance to see his hero, Argentina's Lionel Messi, arguably the best foo..
June 20, 2018

Bithumb: Hackers ‘rob crypto-exchange of $32m’

Bithumb: Hackers 'rob crypto-exchange of $32m' Image copyright EPA Image caption Local reports describe Bithumb as South Korea's biggest crypto-currency exchange A leading crypto-coin exchange has halted trade after declaring that hackers had stolen some of the digital currencies it stored. Seoul-based Bithumb said that 35bn won (£24m; $31.6m) worth of cyber-cash had been "seized" overnight, adding that it would fully compensate affected customers. The values of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple all fell on the news. It is the second time in less than a year that Bithumb has been breached. Last July, it acknowledged an employee's PC had been hacked - exposing users' personal details. South Korea's spy agency later accused North Korea of being responsible after the stolen information was used to carry out scams. Cold walletBithumb notified a local regulator - the Korea Internet and Security Agency - of the latest attack, shortly before alerting the public via s..
June 20, 2018

Irrfan Khan: Bollywood actor flooded with support after cancer letter

Irrfan Khan: Bollywood actor flooded with support after cancer letter Image copyright NBCUniversal Image caption Irrfan Khan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan has been flooded with online support from fans after writing in an open letter about his cancer treatment in London. Khan posted on Twitter in March to say that he was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour. In letter published by the Times of India on Tuesday, the 51-year-old reflected on the "intensity" of his pain and the "uncertainty" of life. His fans shared the letter on Twitter with wishes for a speedy recovery. Skip Twitter post by @baradwajrangan This is so sad, and yet so beautiful You are one of the good guys, Irrfan Khan. Fight on. "I trust, I’ve surrendered, irrespective of the outcome" https://t.co/XTVJVx4IHi — Baradwaj Rangan (@baradwajrangan) June 19, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @baradwajrangan Skip Twitter post by @chitraparmar Get well soon! Our prayers and love wit..
June 20, 2018

Lake Toba ferry: Search goes on with 180 reported missing

Lake Toba ferry: Search goes on with 180 reported missing Image copyright AFP Image caption Devastated friends and families have been waiting for news on the shore More than 180 passengers are now believed to be missing after Monday's ferry disaster on Lake Toba, Indonesia. The number, revised up from 130, is three times the number of passengers the ferry was licensed to carry. The vast volcanic lake in Sumatra was busy with tourists celebrating the annual Eid holiday when the ferry went down. The lake had been hit by bad weather - many victims are thought to have been trapped inside the vessel. Indonesia's national search and rescue agency said only 18 survivors had been found, all within hours of the tragedy. Image copyright Reuters Image caption There is little hope of finding more survivors Desperate families have spent the past days desperately waiting for news and hoping that the search and rescue boats returning to shore might bring any news. "This is a test from G..
June 20, 2018

Afghan conflict: First Taliban launch attack since Eid truce

Afghan conflict: First Taliban launch attack since Eid truce Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption During the truce Taliban militants were feted by many Afghans The Taliban have launched their first attack on Afghan security forces since the militants ended the ceasefire they declared for the Eid festival. The number of casualties is unclear, but some officials say 30 soldiers died in the attack on an army checkpoint in the western Badghis province. The Taliban ended their three-day truce on Sunday night - when the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr ended. The government said it would continue to observe a unilateral ceasefire.
June 20, 2018

India Kashmir: Direct rule imposed after BJP quits alliance

India Kashmir: Direct rule imposed after BJP quits alliance Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) is seen here with Mehbooba Mufti in May, 2018 Indian-administered Kashmir has come under direct rule after its chief minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned. She quit on Monday after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of a coalition with her People's Democratic Party. The BJP said the three-year alliance had become "untenable" in the wake of increasing violence. The state's governor will rule until a new coalition is formed or fresh elections are called. The governor, N N Vohra, will take all key decisions to run the state on behalf of President Ram Nath Kovind. India Kashmir: BJP pulls out of controversial alliance Kashmir's first woman chief minister The BJP said "deteriorating security situation" in the state was one of its reasons to leave the coalition. It cited the killing of influential Kashmiri journalist Sh..
June 20, 2018

Australia launches national inquiry into sexual harassment

Australia launches national inquiry into sexual harassment Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australia says its inquiry will be unprecedented globally Australia has announced that it will hold a national inquiry into workplace sexual harassment. The investigation is in part a response to the global #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said. The government described the inquiry, to take 12 months, as the most comprehensive of its type globally. It will aim to develop sweeping new standards, including potentially the introduction of new criminal laws. "MeToo has resulted in a lot of women and men speaking out about sexual harassment and we know workplaces want to do better," Ms Jenkins said on Wednesday. How bad is harassment in Australia?The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has described sexual harassment as a "persistent and pervasive problem in Australian workplaces". It says more than 20% of Australians over the ag..
June 20, 2018

Peter Thomson: Australian golfer who won five British Opens dies

Peter Thomson: Australian golfer who won five British Opens dies Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Peter Thomson holds his third British Open trophy in 1956 Peter Thomson, one of Australia's greatest golfers and a five-time British Open winner, has died aged 88. Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his home in Melbourne on Wednesday, Golf Australia said. In 1954, he became the first Australian to claim the British Open. He is survived by his wife, Mary, four children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Among numerous accolades, Thomson was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979 and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001. Only four other golfers - Harry Vardon, JH Taylor, James Braid and Tom Watson - have won as many British Open titles. Thomson also had great success on the American circuit. In addition to his playing achievements, he went on to be president of the..
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