February 15, 2019

Hong Kong seizes $1m worth of rhino horn at airport

Hong Kong seizes $1m worth of rhino horn at airport Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption The haul accounts for 20% of Hong Kong's rhino horn seizures in five years Airport authorities in Hong Kong have arrested two men smuggling a record number of suspected rhino horns worth $1m (£780,000) on Thursday. Some 24 severed rhino horns weighing 40kg (88lb) were found in the bust - Hong Kong's largest ever seizure. The alleged smugglers were in transit to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from Johannesburg in South Africa. Customs officials said the illegal haul was brazenly transported through the terminal in two cardboard boxes. The airport incident comes just two weeks after Hong Kong seized a record eight tonnes of pangolin scales and more than 1,000 elephant tusks. A local environmental group said Thursday's rhino horns accounted for 20% of the total amount of Hong Kong's seizures since 2013. Sniffer dog finds 116kg of rhino horn SA 'court bribes' linked to r..
February 15, 2019

Family acquitted over Italy woman’s Pakistan ‘honour killing’

Family acquitted over Italy woman's Pakistan 'honour killing' Image copyright Instagram/Sana_Cheema2014 Image caption Sana Cheema was born in Pakistan, but was an Italian citizen A court in Pakistan has acquitted the father, brother and uncle of a woman who died in a suspected honour killing last year. Sana Cheema, 26, lived in Italy but died while visiting her family in Gujrat in April 2018. She was originally buried without an autopsy - but when exhumed a cause of death was identified as strangulation. It was widely reported that she had been brought back to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, but refused. Her friends also alleged Ms Cheema had wanted to marry a Pakistani-Italian man in Italy - a match her family objected to. Ms Cheema was born in Pakistan, but lived in the northern Italian city of Brescia for most of her life. After she died during a visit back to her home country, her family blamed natural causes and buried her locally. Karachi teen lovers 'we..
February 15, 2019

Afghan government ‘cannot be sidelined’ in peace talks

February 15, 2019

Chinese actor quits doctorate over plagiarism admission

Chinese actor quits doctorate over plagiarism admission Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Zhai Tianlin enjoys the red carpet, here at the 2018 Bazaar Men of the Year in Beijing Zhai Tianlin - also known as Ronald Zhai - is a well-known actor in China who is used to the limelight. With more than 11 million followers on the social media website Sina Weibo, he's more accustomed to positive comments and praise from fans. However, this week he has received extra attention, for all the wrong reasons. At first, he was jubilant after being accepted into Peking University, one of the country's most prestigious institutions, to study for a doctorate at the Guanghua School of Management. He posted his admittance letter confirming his place saying: "A new journey, please cheer for little Zhai!" Image copyright Sina Weibo Image caption Zhai's acceptance letter from the Peking University This had 48,000 shares, and 79,000 comments. It led to a number of people searching..
February 15, 2019

Viewpoint: How far might India go to ‘punish’ Pakistan?

Viewpoint: How far might India go to 'punish' Pakistan? Image copyright EPA Image caption The attack is the deadliest on Indian forces in disputed Kashmir for years A suicide attack killed more than 40 members of the Indian security forces in restive Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February. Threats from Indian leaders, who face a tricky general election before May, raise the spectre of Indian military retaliation against Pakistan for alleged "state-sponsored terrorism", writes Indian defence analyst Ajai Shukla. Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi has pledged to give security forces free rein to respond to the militant attack - the deadliest in the region in three decades. "Terrorist organisations and their backers", he said, will pay a "heavy price". Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan for the attack and threatened a "strong reply". Influential Indian television networks are baying for revenge. The car bombing has been claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad..
February 15, 2019

Electric shocks: Trainer Ben Currie charged over ‘serious welfare breaches’

Australian trainer Ben Currie is charged with several "serious welfare breaches" including giving electric shocks to horses.
February 15, 2019

Ko Ni: Gunman get death penalty in murder of Myanmar Muslim lawyer

Ko Ni: Gunman get death penalty in murder of Myanmar Muslim lawyer Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Ko Ni was one of few prominent Muslims in a country dominated by Buddhists Two men have been sentenced to death in Myanmar for the murder of a Muslim lawyer, Ko Ni, in broad daylight at Yangon International Airport in January 2017. Nick Beake reports from Yangon. It's hard to imagine a more chilling photograph. The assassin has crept up on his elderly target, who's holding his grandson in his arms. The gun's practically touching the head of the unsuspecting victim. What happens in the next second - captured on camera - will rob a family of a grandfather and Myanmar of arguably its best hope of a more democratic future. The murder of prominent lawyer Ko Ni shocked Myanmar to its core. For many, it was a brutal and brazen reminder that although this country may have a civilian government, the Burmese military still calls the shots. Kyi Lin, who fired the gun, ..
February 15, 2019

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More and more people want to see the world's tallest peak China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don't have climbing permits. Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site. The ban means tourists can only go as far as a monastery slightly below the 5,200m (17,060ft) base camp level. More people visit the mountain from the southern side in Nepal, but over the past years numbers have been rising steadily on the Chinese side as well. The Chinese base camp, located in Tibet, is popular as it is accessible by car - whereas the Nepalese camp can only be reached by a hike of almost two weeks. Tonnes of rubbish cleared from Everest Human cost of clamour to conquer Everest The world's highest peak has been struggling with escalating levels of rubbish for years, as the number of visitors rises. The Chi..
February 15, 2019

Why did gay Muslim comics disappear from Instagram?

Why did gay Muslim comics disappear from Instagram? Image copyright Twitter/Instagram Earlier this week, an Instagram account which posted comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia vanished from the social media site. Indonesia's communications ministry was quick to claim credit, saying it had asked Instagram to take the account down because it contained "pornographic content". Instagram later denied this claim, saying it had not removed the account. So where has it disappeared to, and why? What happened?The Instagram account - under the username @Alpantuni - featured comic strips that showed the abuse and discrimination faced by a gay Muslim character. It had almost 6,000 followers. One comic showed the character being told to "burn in hell" and having faeces thrown at him. Local media outlets say the communications ministry had threatened to block Instagram if @Alpantuni's account was not removed. According to BBC Indonesia, the ministry also said..
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