August 12, 2018

Taliban attack on Afghan city of Ghazni enters third day

Taliban attack on Afghan city of Ghazni enters third day Image copyright Reuters Image caption A soldier keeps watch on the Ghazni road A Taliban attack on the Afghan city of Ghazni has entered its third day - with intense fighting and conflicting claims over who controls the strategic city. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the Afghan army's chief-of-staff, said Ghazni was not under threat of falling into the militants' hands. But people inside Ghazni say it has been overrun, with very little still under government control. The Taliban launched the assault in the early hours of Friday. By late Friday morning, at at least 16 people had been killed and many more injured. Local television station 1TV says the number of fatalities has risen to more than 100, but there is no official confirmation. News of what exactly is happening in Ghazni, a provincial capital on the key road between Kabul and Kandahar, is difficult to get after the militants damaged a telecommunications tower. Afghan..
August 12, 2018

Indonesia plane crash: Boy, 12, survives Papua accident

Indonesia plane crash: Boy, 12, survives Papua accident Image copyright AFP Image caption Rescuers walked for two hours to reach the site of the crash A 12-year-old boy has been found alive in the wreckage of a plane crash which killed eight people in Indonesia. Photos from the scene show the boy conscious and looking at the camera. He was found with the wreckage on a mountainside near the border with Papua New Guinea on Sunday morning. The Swiss-made Pilatus aircraft he had been travelling in lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday afternoon, shortly before it was due to land at Oksibil airport. The plane, owned by private charter Dimonim Air, had been travelling from Tanah Merah, about 40 minutes flight south, to Oksibil in the province of Papua when it went down. It was carrying nine people, including two crew members. Image copyright AFP Image caption The boy was bought down on a stretcher According to news agency AFP, nearby villagers heard a "loud roar followed by an ..
August 10, 2018

China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told

China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uighur protesters pictured in 2009 wield the ID cards of detained relatives A UN human rights committee has heard there are credible reports that China is holding a million Uighurs in "counter-extremism centres". Gay McDougall, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, raised the claims at a two-day UN meeting on China. She said she was concerned by reports that Beijing had "turned the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp". China did not immediately respond. Its 50-strong delegation said it would address questions on Monday, when the session in Geneva continues. It has previously denied the existence of such camps. Who are the Uighurs? The Uighurs are a Muslim ethnic minority mostly based in the Xinjiang province of China. Xinjiang is officially designated an autonomous region within the country, like Tibet..
August 10, 2018

India Sikh wrestler quits international tournament over turban row

India Sikh wrestler quits international tournament over turban row Image copyright Ravinder Singh Robin Image caption Mr Gill says he has no regrets over pulling out of the tournament An Indian Sikh wrestler has pulled out of an international tournament in Turkey after being told he cannot compete while wearing a turban. Jaskanwar Singh Gill told BBC Punjabi that he "refused" to remove his turban since it was made of cloth and would not hurt his opponent during a match. Any head gear that can harm an opponent is not allowed in the ring, according to international wrestling rules. Mr Gill says he is "proud of his decision and has no regrets". "It keeps my hair away from my face and eyes so it helps me during a fight," he told BBC Punjabi's Ravinder Singh Robin. The United World Wrestling (UWW) tournament in Turkey would have been Mr Gill's first international competition. He told local media that as he was "the only Sikh wrestler in a team of 25", he felt compelled to "figh..
August 10, 2018

Japan’s economy rebounds in the second quarter

Japan's economy rebounds in the second quarter Image copyright Getty Images Japan's economy rebounded in the second quarter, returning to growth despite growing global trade tensions. The economy expanded by a faster-than-expected annualised pace of 1.9%, supported by private consumption. The growth came after Japan's economy shrank in the first quarter of 2018 for the first time in two years. The release of the data comes as Japanese officials are in Washington discussing trade amid rising global trade tensions with the US. Momentum 'slowing'Japan's rate of growth in the April-to-June period beat analysts' expectations of an annualised rate of 1.4%, and came after the world's third-largest economy contracted by a revised 0.9% in the first quarter. Consumer spending underpinned the economy between April and June, but external demand - exports minus imports - weighed on growth. "While real GDP growth in Q2 was both strong and higher than the cons..
August 10, 2018

India MP shocks with Hitler costume protest in parliament

India MP shocks with Hitler costume protest in parliament Image copyright Getty Images An Indian MP attended parliament dressed as Adolf Hitler to protest against what he called a "broken promise" by the prime minister. This is not the first time Naramalli Sivaprasad, 67, has used costumes to register dissent. His costume choices in the past include a mythological character, a Hindu god, a spiritual guru and a woman. "What I am doing will grab attention quickly. It will make people think," he told BBC Telugu's Ravi Shankar. A former actor, Mr Sivaprasad is an MP from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. He belongs to the state's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP). But his controversial choice of costume on this occasion has caused some shock. One Twitter user said: "An elected MP attended parliament dressed as Hitler - the man who sent millions to their deaths in gas chambers and war. It only caused amusement. Any surprise then that hate is so normalised in India." Image co..
August 10, 2018

China mosque demolition sparks stand-off in Ningxia

China mosque demolition sparks stand-off in Ningxia Image copyright Weibo Image caption The Weizhou mosque is a towering structure that features domes and minarets in a Middle Eastern style Hundreds of Muslims in western China are engaged in a standoff with authorities to prevent their mosque from being demolished. Officials said the newly completed Weizhou Grand Mosque in Ningxia had not been given proper building permits. But worshippers refused to back down - one resident said they "won't let the government touch the mosque". China is home to some 23 million Muslims, and Islam has been prominent in Ningxia province for centuries. But rights groups say there is increasing official hostility towards Muslims in China. How did the protests begin?Officials had on 3 August posted a notice that the mosque would be "forcibly demolished" as it had not been granted the necessary planning and construction permits. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Hui are one of China&#0..
August 10, 2018

Taliban attack strategic Afghan city of Ghazni

Taliban attack strategic Afghan city of Ghazni Image copyright AFP Image caption Few pictures have emerged from the city since the assault began The Taliban have launched a major night-time assault on the Afghan city of Ghazni, a provincial capital on the key highway between Kabul and Kandahar. The militants took control of parts of the city before being pushed back to the outskirts, officials said. Thirty Taliban fighters and one Afghan security forces' member were killed, according to the provincial government. The number of casualties is expected to rise as many houses were destroyed. At least eight civilians and seven government security personnel were injured, provincial government spokesman Mohammad Arif Noori Ghazni told the BBC. Sporadic gunfire could still be heard in the city, where Afghan special forces have been deployed. The assault marks the fourth time that the Taliban have entered a provincial city in recent years. The militant group earlier said that hundreds of ..
August 10, 2018

North Korea lashes out at US diplomats over sanctions

North Korea lashes out at US diplomats over sanctions Image copyright AFP Image caption Is the rhetoric returning to the big guns? North Korea has lashed out at the US for continuing to push for sanctions enforcement. Pyongyang said there would be no progress towards denuclearisation if the US followed an "outdated script". It accused US negotiators of going against the intentions of President Donald Trump and the spirit of the summit in Singapore. Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at the June meeting to work towards denuclearisation. But the details of that process remain vague - North Korea did not commit to unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons and the UN says its nuclear programme is continuing. The US has insisted it is vital to maintain diplomatic and economic pressure on the North. Image copyright Reuters Image caption It's a long way from handshake to denuclearisation "As long as the US denies even the basic decorum for its dialogue partner and cli..
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