March 24, 2019

Cyclone Veronica: Destructive winds and rain lash Australia

Cyclone Veronica: Destructive winds and rain lash Australia Image copyright EPA/NASA WORLDVIEW Image caption Satellite imagery shows Cyclone Veronica just off the north-west coast of Australia A second cyclone within 48 hours has brought destructive winds and torrential rains to coastal regions of Australia. Cyclone Veronica lingered about 95km (60 miles) off the nation's north-west coast on Monday, officials said. Despite no longer being expected to make landfall, the category two system is moving slowly and has prompted warnings for locals to remain indoors. Cyclone Trevor, a category four, hit the Northern Territory on Saturday. Heavy rain and large waves whipped up by Cyclone Veronica threaten to cause widespread flooding in Western Australia, according to authorities. An area stretching from Karratha to Port Hedland was enduring gale-force winds of more than 125km/h, the Bureau of Meteorology said. Similar conditions affected the Northern Territory on Saturday when Cyclone T..
March 24, 2019

Delhi Crime: New drama tells story of bus rape investigation

Delhi Crime: New drama tells story of bus rape investigation Image copyright Netflix Image caption Shefali Shah plays Vartika Chaturvedi, the woman in charge of the investigation There is no one in India who does not remember the Delhi bus rape - known as the Nirbhaya case. The horrific events of December 2012, when a young student was gang raped and assaulted as she travelled home from an evening at the cinema, were so shocking, it left a collective scar on the psyche of an entire country. So when it was revealed that the brutal attack was to be made into a police procedural drama for Netflix, many asked: Why? For actress Shefali Shah, though, there was never a question that this particular story should be told. "As a person - as a woman - yes, Nirbhaya was about the sheer loss of light, the pain, the agony," she told the BBC. "But when I read the script, I realised there was another woman - not a man - who picked this up and fought it through and got justice. She fought for all the ..
March 24, 2019

Jet Airways: The riches to rags story of India’s oldest private airline

Jet Airways: The riches to rags story of India's oldest private airline Image copyright Reuters Image caption For many, Jet Airways redefined the Indian flying experience For a long period of time, especially during the late 1990s and 2000s, Jet Airways was the shining face of Indian aviation. But now it finds itself on the verge of collapse. What went wrong? The BBC's India business correspondent Sameer Hashmi explains. Jet Airways won itself many loyal customers when it started operations because it redefined the Indian flying experience. It set itself apart in a market dominated by the national carrier, Air India, by offering world class service. Over the last decade it grew steadily - becoming India's largest international carrier. But the airline, which celebrated its silver jubilee just last year, is now fighting for its survival. In recent weeks it has cancelled thousands of flights, affecting passengers flying on both international and domestic routes. It has g..
March 24, 2019

Thailand election: Pro-military political party takes lead

Thailand election: Pro-military political party takes lead Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More than 50 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday's poll A pro-military political party in Thailand has taken an unexpected lead in the country's first election since the army took power five years ago. With more than 90% of ballots counted, the Palang Pracha Rath Party has gained 7.6 million votes - half a million more than opposition Pheu Thai (For Thais). Pheu Thai is linked to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, whose loyalists have won every election since 2001. The announcement of official results has been postponed until Monday. However it is now looking more likely that the pro-military party will be in a position to form a government under the current leader, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led the coup that ousted Mr Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. The preliminary result is unexpected, with the Palang Pracha Rath Party (PPRP) initially predict..
March 24, 2019

Huge fossil discovery made in China’s Hubei province

Huge fossil discovery made in China's Hubei province Image copyright Ao Sun Image caption Scientists say the fossils have been "exquisitely" preserved Scientists say they have discovered a "stunning" trove of thousands of fossils on a river bank in China. The fossils are estimated to be about 518 million years old, and are particularly unusual because the soft body tissue of many creatures, including their skin, eyes, and internal organs, have been "exquisitely" well preserved. Palaeontologists have called the findings "mind-blowing" - especially because more than half the fossils are previously undiscovered species. The fossils, known as the Qingjiang biota, were collected near Danshui river in Hubei province. Image copyright Ao Sun Image caption Fossils of soft-bodied creatures like jellyfish are extremely rare More than 20,000 specimens were collected, and a total of 4,351 have been analysed so far, including worms, jellyfish, sea anemones and algae. They will become a "ve..
March 23, 2019

Thailand votes in first post-coup election

Thailand votes in first post-coup election Image copyright AFP About 50 million voters are heading to the polls in Thailand for the first general election since the 2014 coup. Thailand has been buffeted by political instability for years, largely a battle between supporters of the military and ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. After seizing power the army promised to restore order and democracy, but has repeatedly postponed the vote. Critics say a new constitution the army introduced will ensure it remains influential whatever the outcome. Turnout is expected to be high for this first election since 2011. More than seven million people aged between 18-26 are eligible to vote for the first time and could be key to victory, so all parties have been keen to court their vote. A guide to Thailand's post-coup election Voting in Thailand's hybrid democracy The princess and Thailand's political games On the eve of the election, Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn i..
March 23, 2019

Italy joins China’s New Silk Road project

Italy joins China's New Silk Road project Image copyright Reuters Image caption There was long applause as the two leaders met to witness the signature of the deals Italy has become the first developed economy to sign up to China's global investment programme which has raised concerns among Italy's Western allies. A total of 29 deals amounting to €7bn ($8bn; £6bn) were signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Rome. The project is seen as a new Silk Road which, just like the ancient trade route, aims to link China to Europe. Italy's European Union allies and the United States have expressed concern at China's growing influence. What is the Chinese project about?The new Silk Road has another name - the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - and it involves a wave of Chinese funding for major infrastructure projects around the world, in a bid to speed Chinese goods to markets further afield. Critics see it as also representing a bold bid for geo-politi..
March 23, 2019

China chemical blast: Survivor found but toll rises again

China chemical blast: Survivor found but toll rises again Image copyright AFP Image caption The explosion and fire brought devastation Rescuers in China have found a survivor two days after a massive blast at a chemical plant - one of the deadliest industrial accidents in recent years. The man, said to be in his forties, was pulled from rubble on Saturday morning. But the death toll has risen again to 64, with more than two dozen others still missing. The explosion was so powerful it registered as an earthquake, causing a huge fire that reduced buildings in the area to blackened shells. Thursday's blast happened at a plant in Yancheng, eastern China, run by Tianjiayi Chemical. One survivor told the South China Morning Post she saw shards of glass "falling like rain" and had returned home to find a family member crushed to death in their home. Firefighters had to be brought in from across the region and it took hours for the resulting blaze to be brought under control. Chinese st..
March 23, 2019

Christchurch attacks: Al-Noor mosque reopens to worshippers

Christchurch attacks: Al-Noor mosque reopens to worshippers Image copyright AFP Image caption Small groups were allowed to enter the Al Noor mosque on Saturday Worshippers have returned to the Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch for the first time since a mass shooting there in which dozens of people were killed. The building had closed so police could investigate the attack but on Saturday small groups were allowed to return. Fifty people were killed in shootings at two mosques on 15 March. As the Al Noor mosque reopened, some 3,000 people walked through Christchurch on Saturday for a 'march for love' intended to honour victims. Many walked in silence and some carried placards calling for peace and opposing racism. Shila Nair, a migrant from India, travelled from Auckland to take part in the march. "We appreciate the solidarity, but it must be carried on," she said. "It cannot be allowed to fizzle out." The lives lost and the world they revealedAustralian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-y..
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