May 29, 2018

North Koreans dare to criticise ‘vampire leader’

North Koreans dare to criticise 'vampire leader' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Sun Hui' works in a market. Speaking to ordinary citizens inside North Korea is almost impossible, with visitors heavily policed and communication with the outside world blocked. But two residents were willing to speak to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, despite the threat of death or imprisonment. In North Korea, where leader Kim Jong-un has almost godlike status, to question him out loud is for many unthinkable. Citizens are taught he is all-knowing, and told to inform on dissenters - including their own family members. By speaking out, market trader Sun Hui - not her real name - knows she is putting her life at risk. "Mostly, people criticise Kim Jong-un for being a businessman," she says, reflecting wider discontent. "People say that he acts the same as us, but takes away our money. "[They say] the little man uses his head to suck up money li..
May 29, 2018

The grassroots movement that shut down an Indian copper plant

The grassroots movement that shut down an Indian copper plant Image caption At least 13 people died amid protests in Tamil Nadu on May 22 On Monday, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu ordered the shut down of a controversial copper plant that locals had been protesting against for more than 20 years. The order from the state government came days after police shot at a large crowd of protesters, killing at least 13 people. We take a look at the grassroots movement that mobilised tens of thousands of residents and led to the shut down the factory. Who are the protesters?Residents of Tuticorin, a port city in the state, have alleged that the copper plant has caused significant environmental damage, including air pollution and groundwater contamination. Mining firm Vedanta, which owns the copper smelter, has consistently denied these charges. The company has called the closure of the plant, which it has operated for more than 22 years, an "unfortunate development". The 400,000 tonn..
May 29, 2018

N Korea official Kim Yong-chol ‘heads to US for talks’

N Korea official Kim Yong-chol 'heads to US for talks' Image copyright AFP Image caption General Kim Yong-chol (pictured) is regularly seen at Kim Jong-un's side One of Kim Jong-un's most senior officials is thought to be travelling to the US, as preparations for a possible historic summit gather pace. South Korean news agency Yonhap said Gen Kim Yong-chol was due to arrive in the US on Wednesday, via Beijing. If confirmed, the visit would be part of a flurry of activity ahead of the proposed meeting between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. The meeting was thrown into doubt after Mr Trump pulled out last week. But both sides have been working to get the summit - scheduled for 12 June in Singapore - back on track. It would be the first time a North Korean leader has ever met a sitting US president. North Korea crisis in 300 words What does Kim Jong-un really want? The word Trump and Kim can't agree on Gen Kim was scheduled to fly to New York on Wedn..
May 29, 2018

MH370: Ocean Infinity’s search for missing plane formally ends

MH370: Ocean Infinity's search for missing plane formally ends Image copyright Reuters Image caption Some items of debris have been found along the east African coast A privately funded search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has drawn to a close. US-based company Ocean Infinity had been using a deep-sea vessel to conduct a 90-day survey of a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean. But it found nothing and Malaysia's government says it has no plans to begin any new searches. The plane disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. There are still fierce debates over how the flight ended. The hunt for the missing plane formed one of the largest surface and underwater searches in aviation history, covering more than 120,000 sq km (46,300 miles) of the Indian Ocean. Missing MH370: What we know MH370: Key pieces of debris found Too soon for MH370 memorial, say relatives Pieces of debris have been found as far away as M..
May 28, 2018

Cornelia Frances: Home and Away’s ‘Morag’ actress dies aged 77

Cornelia Frances: Home and Away's 'Morag' actress dies aged 77 Image copyright AAP Image caption Cornelia Frances had several popular television roles in Australia Australian actress Cornelia Frances has died following a battle with cancer, local media have reported. Liverpool-born Frances, 77, was best-known for her role as Morag Bellingham on the long-running soap Home and Away. The veteran actress had several other iconic roles on Australia's small screen, including as host of the local version of game show The Weakest Link. She had endured a series of health struggles in recent times after being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017. Her death was announced on Home and Away's local broadcaster, Seven Network, on Tuesday. Her co-stars and other Australian celebrities have been paying tribute on social media. Image Copyright @lincolnyounes1 @lincolnyounes1 Report Image Copyright @lincolnyounes1 @lincolnyounes1 Report Image Copyright @joelcreasey @joelcreas..
May 28, 2018

China Mao impersonator at blockchain conference causes furore

China Mao impersonator at blockchain conference causes furore Image copyright WeChat Image caption Mr Xu appeared on stage at a technology conference dressed as Chairman Mao A publicity stunt at a conference about blockchain technology in China, which saw an actor impersonate Mao Zedong, has sparked uproar on social media. Xu Guoxiang imitated Mao - by wearing a grey suit and speaking in his Hunan accent - at the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia in Hainan Province. China's law prohibits using the names and images of party leaders for commercial purposes. The event's organisers were forced to apologise for the stunt. The Boao Forum for Asia has issued a statement saying it is not affiliated with the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia. At the conference, Mr Xu said: "I sincerely hope this forum is a success. I thank you in the name of Mao Zedong!" He delivered a speech with "actor characteristics and personal opinion", according to China's Global Times news website. Blockcha..
May 28, 2018

Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink in Japan

Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink in Japan Image copyright www.cocacola.co.jp Coca-Cola has launched its first alcoholic drink, a lemon flavoured alcopop, in Japan in a bid to tap new markets and consumers. In a global first for the US drinks giant, three fizzy lemon drinks went on sale on Monday. The product aims at a growing market of young drinkers - especially women. Described by Coca-Cola as "unique" in the company's 125-year history, the three drinks range from 3% to 8% alcohol. In keeping with the company's tradition, the recipe is closely guarded but the drinks are modelled on the country's popular Chu-Hi drinks, usually a mix of local spirit and a range of fruit flavours. Image copyright AFP Image caption The drinks hit the shelves on Monday Chu-Hi - an abbreviation for shochu highball - has been marketed as an alternative to beer, proving especially popular with female drinkers. Local companies like Suntory, Asahi and Kirin currently dominate the s..
May 28, 2018

Savita parents hail Ireland abortion vote

Savita Halappanavar's parents hail Irish abortion vote Image copyright The Irish Times Image caption Savita Halappanavar died after a miscarriage in a Galway hospital in October 2012 Her story was one that galvanised a movement; her face became a symbol of that movement. Savita Halappanavar died from infection after miscarrying her first child in an Irish hospital in October 2012. Her family said she pleaded for a termination during the miscarriage, but medical staff refused her requests because there was still a foetal heartbeat. Mrs Halappanavar's death caused international controversy and sparked a campaign to have Ireland's abortion law liberalised. Irish abortion result a seismic shift Timeline: Ireland and abortion Savita and abortion law confusion Her parents have now said she will "rest in peace" after Irish voters backed a referendum to overturn the country's ban on abortion. The death of the 31-year-old dentist, who was originally from India, became a ..
May 28, 2018

Barnaby Joyce: Australia scandal MP’s ‘TV payment’ prompts anger

Barnaby Joyce: Australia scandal MP's 'TV payment' prompts anger Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBarnaby's battles: Dogs and dual citizenship Former Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has drawn criticism for agreeing to a reportedly lucrative TV interview alongside his partner and baby son. Mr Joyce quit his position in February after his relationship with Vikki Campion, an ex-staffer, raised scrutiny of his ministerial conduct. At the time, he pleaded for the media to give his family privacy. Mr Joyce has been now accused of hypocrisy, prompting a wider debate over payments for political interviews. The outspoken parliamentarian is perhaps best-known for once threatening to kill Johnny Depp's dogs over a quarantine violation, and for briefly losing his job over his New Zealand dual citizenship last year. What happened in February?Revelations that Mr Joyce had had an extramarital affair with Ms Campion, now his partner, set off politi..
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