September 4, 2018

Kerala: Flood-hit India state battles rat fever outbreak

Kerala: Flood-hit India state battles rat fever outbreak Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Health officials say they have been expecting outbreaks of disease as flood waters recede The flood-hit south Indian state of Kerala has declared a health alert after 11 people died of leptospirosis or rat fever in the last two days. The government has asked everyone who came into contact with flood waters to take medication as a precautionary measure to avoid an epidemic. Health officials in the state said there was no immediate cause for alarm and the situation was under control. Devastating flooding has killed around 400 people in Kerala since June. More than a million others were displaced, with many of them taking shelter in thousands of relief camps across the state. Doctors said that the outbreak had not come as a surprise and they were prepared to deal with it. Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly Kerala floods: Monsoon waters kill hundreds in Indian state Kerala floods: Vict..
September 4, 2018

Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of Afghan militant network, dies

Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of Afghan militant network, dies Image copyright AFP Image caption Jalaluddin Haqqani and the network have been behind many high profile terror attacks The founder of the Haqqani militant network has died after several years of illness, the Afghan Taliban has announced. Jalaluddin Haqqani was a significant militant figure in Afghanistan and had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Haqqani network has been behind many of the co-ordinated attacks on Afghan and Nato forces in recent years. His son is believed to have taken over control of the group in 2001. "Just as he endured great hardships for the religion of Allah during his youth and health, he also endured long illness during his later years," a statement from the Afghan Taliban said. There were no details in the statement about the date or place of his death. Rumours about Haqqani's death have circulated for years. In 2015, sources close to the group told the BBC that the leader had d..
September 3, 2018

Tortured and killed: Kashmir’s vulnerable policemen

Tortured and killed: Kashmir's vulnerable policemen Image copyright Sameer Yasir Image caption Mohammad Ashraf Dar was killed in front of his one-year-old daughter At least 31 policemen in Indian-administered Kashmir have been killed by militants this year, according to official estimates. Sameer Yasir reports on how the state's police force is bearing the brunt of the insurgency. Mohammad Ashraf Dar was killed in his kitchen in front of his one-year-old daughter on 22 August. It was the day of Eid-ul-Adha, a holy Muslim festival. The 45-year-old sub-inspector was posted to central Kashmir but he had come home to spend the holiday with his wife and three children. His family lives in the tiny village of Larve, surrounded by paddy fields and apple orchards, in southern Kashmir's Pulwama district. The region has witnessed a fresh spiral of deadly violence, sparked by the killing of a popular militant leader, Burhan Wani, in July 2016 by Indian security forces. The funer..
September 3, 2018

Kem Sokha: Jailed for standing up to Cambodia’s strongman

Kem Sokha: Jailed for standing up to Cambodia's strongman Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Kem Sokha came close to victory in 2013 The Cambodian ruling party's landslide win in recent elections came as little surprise - the widespread jailing of rivals meant there was almost no political opposition left. The most prominent of them remains in prison, with no immediate prospect of release, as George Wright reports. In the early hours of Sunday 3 September last year, Kem Monovithya, a politician and daughter of opposition leader Kem Sokha, received a call from her parents - armed police were attempting to break into their family home in the capital Phnom Penh. "My mum said there's more than 100 people trying to break into our house," Monovithya said in an interview last month. They had no warrant, but with their guards being held at gunpoint, her father decided it would be safer to open the door. "He told me he had to get off the phone because 'they are go..
September 3, 2018

Pole-dancing at Chinese nursery shocks parents

Pole-dancing at Chinese nursery shocks parents Image copyright Global Times Image caption Both parents and children watched a pole dancer perform at a Chinese preschool A Chinese nursery has come under fire for having a pole dancer perform at its welcome ceremony, it's reported. According to the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, parents and children were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Xinshahui Kindergarten in the southern city of Shenzhen on 3 September. As part of the programme, families were invited to watch a number of female performers perform in skimpy clothing, including a pole dancer. Footage of the pole dancer has widely circulated online, and thousands of users of the popular microblog Sina Weibo have commented on the school show. "I really don't want to know what the headmaster was thinking," one Weibo user says. Another adds "This type of dancing is not suitable for a kindergarten." And one says: "Nursery children should learn knowledge, but ..
September 3, 2018

Neighbours shows first same-sex TV Australian wedding

Neighbours shows first same-sex TV Australian wedding Image copyright Neighbours Image caption Neighbours' Matt Wilson and Takaya Honda play David and Aaron Neighbours has shown the first ever TV same-sex wedding in Australia. The soap is reflecting on marriage equality, after same-sex marriage was legalised in December. Executive producer Jason Herbison said representation of the LGBT community is "a priority". He told The Huffington Post that the marriage of David and Aaron is a "defining moment" in the show's history. David and Aaron's wedding aired in the UK on Monday on Channel 5. Back in 1987, Neighbours showed the wedding of Scott and Charlene, which remains one of the most famous soap weddings of all time. Image copyright Neighbours/Fremantle Image caption Ramsay Street's first same sex soap wedding is set to take place Herbison said: "It's no secret that the arts are filled with members of the LGBTQ community. "As storytellers, we have played a stro..
September 3, 2018

Tallest statue in the world takes shape in India

Tallest statue in the world takes shape in India Image copyright AFP Image caption The statue is being built as a tribute to a Hindu nationalist politician The world's tallest statue is nearing completion in India. It is designed to be a 182m (600ft) high tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a hero in India's independence struggle, in Gujarat state. The Spring Temple Buddha in China is currently the world's biggest statue at 128 metres. India's statue has cost 29.9bn rupees (£330m/$430m) and is seen as a pet project of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The "Statue of Unity", as it is known, will be inaugurated by the Indian leader on 31 October. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Sardar Patel is revered by many Hindu nationalists Mr Patel was a deputy to India's prime minister after independence in 1947. The nationalist was known as the "Iron Man of India" after he persuaded feuding states to unite and become part of the Indian state after independence. ..
September 3, 2018

China-Africa summit: Xi denies money being spent on vanity projects

China-Africa summit: Xi denies money being spent on vanity projects Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China's investments come with no "political strings", the president says China does not invest in "vanity projects" in Africa and is helping the continent build its infrastructure, President Xi Jinping has said. He pledged an extra $60bn (£42bn) for the continent's development, as he opened a summit with African leaders in Beijing to boost relations. China is the single largest bilateral financier of infrastructure in Africa. But critics warn that African nations have been going into unsustainable levels of debt with the Asian giant. Mr Xi admitted there was a need to look at the commercial viability of some projects and make co-operation more viable. "China's cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development," he told business leaders ahead of the opening of the two-day summit. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be..
September 3, 2018

LGBT rights: Malaysia women caned for attempting to have lesbian sex

LGBT rights: Malaysia women caned for attempting to have lesbian sex Image copyright Getty Images Image caption File photo of a woman in Indonesia who was previously caned in public Two Malaysian women convicted of attempting to have lesbian sex in a car have been caned in a religious court. The Muslim women, aged 22 and 32, were each caned six times in the Sharia High Court in the state of Terengganu. According to an official, this is the state's first conviction for same-sex relations and its first public caning. Human rights activists reacted with outrage. Homosexual activity is illegal under both secular and religious laws. The caning was witnessed by more than 100 people, according to local news outlet The Star. Why two LGBT portraits were removed from an exhibition Anger over 'how to spot gay person' list Malaysian rights group Women's Aid Organisation told Reuters news agency it was "appalled by this grave violation of human rights". A member of the Tereng..
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