July 26, 2018

Syphilis: How deadly disease has spread in Australia

Syphilis: How deadly disease has spread in Australia Image copyright SA HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE Image caption Authorities are raising awareness about syphilis through TV adverts such as this one Less than a decade ago, doctors in Australia believed they were close to eliminating syphilis from remote indigenous communities - the centre of national efforts to fight the disease. Since then, however, the sexually transmitted infection has grown into an outbreak spanning three states and a territory. Doctors say six babies have died from congenital syphilis since 2011. During the same period, they say the outbreak overwhelmingly affecting indigenous Australians has risen from about 120 people to more than 2,100. Health experts have characterised it as a crisis, saying the nation faces a "big task" to bring the problem under control. How did this happen?The majority of syphilis sufferers in Australia are young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in regional ..
July 26, 2018

Pakistan election: Khan claims victory amid rigging claims

Pakistan election: Khan claims victory amid rigging claims Image copyright Reuters Image caption Imran Khan giving his televised speech from his home on the outskirts of Islamabad Former cricketer Imran Khan has claimed victory in Pakistan's election, amid accusations of vote rigging by rivals. In a television address, he said: "We were successful and we were given a mandate." His PTI party is still expected to fall short of an overall majority and to seek coalition partners. Campaigning has been marred by violence. On voting day a bomb killed 31 people at a polling station. Mr Khan, the charismatic aristocrat who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long shed his celebrity playboy image and has recently faced accusations that his election challenge was benefiting from military interference in the nuclear-armed republic. In his address he also appealed to his rivals to join hands with him to develop Pakistan. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media..
July 26, 2018

Air India blames weather for bed bugs infestation

Air India blames weather for bed bugs infestation Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air India is India's biggest international carrier India's national carrier, Air India, has blamed the weather for a bed bug infestation on one of its recent flights from New York to the western city of Mumbai. Photos of a few business class passengers bitten by bed bugs were widely shared online in the past week. Air India has since apologised and ordered an inquiry. It also promised to "rigorously fumigate" the plane. India's biggest international carrier, the airline is in severe debt. Air India sale: Who'll buy the debt-laden carrier?Adding to its woes, the company has lost market share to new entrants and suffers a bad reputation of having poor service and cancelling flights. A few years ago, an Air India plane travelling from Mumbai to London was forced to turn back mid-flight after a rat was spotted on board. Air India: The airline everyone loves to hateAyeshea Pe..
July 26, 2018

India matchmaker apologises for “sexist” ad

India matchmaker apologises for "sexist" ad Image copyright AFP Image caption It's common for matrimonial agencies to organise events in India An Indian matchmaking service has apologised after it was criticised for an advertisement that categorised "beautiful girls" as "young achievers". The advert was for an event which was trying to bring together "highly successful young achievers" and people from "ultra-rich families". It was carried out on the front page of a national daily and went viral online. It is common for matrimonial agencies to organise events in India, where arranged marriages are still prevalent. The advertisement listed their ideal clientele, which included a "young achievers" category inviting entrepreneurs, professionals, graduates from top universities and "beautiful girls". After the advert appeared on Wednesday, people criticised it for being "sexist", "classist" and "elitist". Many criticised it for listing beauty as an achievement for young women. Skip..
July 26, 2018

Myanmar flooding displaces more than 16,000 people

Myanmar flooding displaces more than 16,000 people Image copyright EPA More than 16,000 people are thought to have been displaced by floods following heavy monsoon rains in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The flood began at the weekend and worst hit the country's eastern Kayin state on the border with Thailand. Large areas have been evacuated and people were moved to shelters to wait for the waters to subside. The summer monsoon has brought heavy rain across most of Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Japan. Image copyright EPA Image caption Many villages had to be evacuated According to the Myanmar Times, residents of the state capital Hpa-an say that while each year there is flooding, this time things are much worse. More than 10,000 residents of the city had to leave their homes. The extreme flooding comes just days after a burst dam in Laos flooded several villages leaving many dead and hundreds more missing. Race to rescue flooded Laos villagers Japan reels from worst f..
July 26, 2018

Japan’s Iga city ‘does not need ninjas’ after reports it was hiring

Japan's Iga city 'does not need ninjas' after reports it was hiring Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Hoping to be a ninja? Sorry, but the Japanese city of Iga is not hiring A Japanese city has been forced to clarify it is not in fact recruiting ninjas, following reports that it was facing a shortage of skilled assassins. Local officials in Iga, which styles itself as the birthplace of ninja-dom, had received a flood of applications from around the world. But they said in a statement (in Japanese) that they were not officially hiring any, "so please be careful". The mix-up apparently began with a report by a US broadcaster. A ninja shortage?On 16 July, National Public Radio (NPR) reported in its The Indicator from Planet Money podcast that Iga was struggling to expand its ninja-based tourism strategy because of a labour shortage. "Iga will build a second ninja museum [but faces a] labour shortage.... [which] also extends to ninjas," said journalist Sally Hershi..
July 26, 2018

Death sentences for Indian police torturers welcomed by victim’s mother

Death sentences for Indian police torturers welcomed by victim's mother Image copyright Kaviyoot Santosh Image caption Prabhavathi Amma, the victim's mother, had been fighting the case for 13 years Death sentences awarded to two Indian police officers found guilty of killing a man in custody have been welcomed by the victim's mother. "God has heard a mother's prayers," said Prabhavathi Amma, who spent 13 years fighting the case in the southern state of Kerala. A special court found the two officers guilty of torturing a man to death in a case of mistaken identity. These are the first death sentences given for a custodial death in Kerala. One more officer had also been found guilty of the crime, but died before the sentence was pronounced. The court also sentenced two senior officers to three years in prison for attempting to cover up the murder. Udaykumar, the 26-year-old victim, a daily wage labourer, was detained on 27 September 2005 on suspicion of being a thi..
July 26, 2018

Beijing blast: Bomb detonated close to US embassy in China

Beijing blast: Bomb detonated close to US embassy in China Image copyright AFP Image caption There was a significant police presence outside the US embassy An explosive device was detonated close to the US embassy in Beijing, US officials have confirmed. Apart from the bomber, there were no other injuries reported and officials say police responded immediately. Video and images posted on social media show smoke rising from the vicinity of the embassy in the heart of the Chinese capital with crowds gathering. State media outlet Global Times tweeted local residents heard a "thunder-like bang" at 1330 local time (0530 GMT). The BBC's Stephen McDonell at the scene says that normal activities have since resumed at the embassy, with people still lining up for visa applications. There were earlier reports that police had taken away a woman who had tried to set herself on fire near the embassy at 11am local time, several hours before the reported blast. It is unclear if the two incide..
July 26, 2018

Qualcomm axes NXP deal after failing to get Chinese approval

Qualcomm axes NXP deal after failing to get Chinese approval Image copyright Getty Images Chipmaker Qualcomm has abandoned its $44bn bid for Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure approval from Chinese regulators. A deadline for the transaction, which needed China's sign-off, was set for 11:59pm (03:59 GMT) New York time under the agreement. The deal had already won the necessary regulatory approvals in eight of nine countries. It would have been one of the biggest deals between technology companies. It comes as US-China trade tensions have escalated, prompting speculation this latest development is a retaliation to US tariffs. "We intend to terminate our purchase agreement to acquire NXP when the agreement expires at the end of the day today, pending any new material developments," said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, in the company's third quarter fiscal results. Qualcomm needed China's approval because it accounted for nearly two-thirds of its rev..
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