August 26, 2018

Sri Lanka mass grave: Dozens of skeletons found in Mannar

Sri Lanka mass grave: Dozens of skeletons found in Mannar Image caption Forensic archaeologists were brought in after building workers unearthed human remains Experts in northern Sri Lanka are trying to identify the remains of dozens of bodies in a mass grave in the country's former war zone. So far the skeletal remains of more than 90 people have been unearthed in the north-western town of Mannar. The mass grave is the second biggest found in the north since the end of the conflict in 2009. The 26-year war between troops and separatist Tamil rebels left at least 100,000 people dead, and many missing. A court ordered detailed excavations at the site - a former co-operative wholesale depot near the main bus terminus - after human remains were found by workers digging foundations for a new building earlier this year. "The entire area can be divided into two parts. In one segment we have a proper cemetery. In the second part, you have a collection of human skeletons which have be..
August 26, 2018

Australia: Illegal boat runs aground in Queensland crocodile swamp

Australia: Illegal boat runs aground in Queensland crocodile swamp Image copyright PA Image caption The local mayor said those on board were "putting themselves at risk in known crocodile habitat" An illegal fishing boat has run aground and been found abandoned in crocodile-infested waters in northern Queensland, Australia. Authorities have found 11 people and think more are hiding in mangroves near Daintree, north of Cairns. It is unknown if those on board were illegally fishing or if they are refugees, but border force officers are on the scene. About 40 people are thought to have been on board, reports say. The Department of Home Affairs said the first priority was to confirm all those on the boat were safe. Queensland state MP Michael Healy told ABC News that the situation was unclear but officers were at the scene. "We don't know whether these are illegal refugees or we don't know if these are fishermen who were maybe fishing illegally and have ended up in Australian w..
August 26, 2018

Afghanistan Islamic State leader ‘killed in air strike’

Afghanistan Islamic State leader 'killed in air strike' Image copyright Reuters Image caption About 150 members of the group surrendered in north-western Afghanistan this month The leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan was killed in an air strike on Saturday, Afghan officials say. Abu Saad Erhabi and 10 other members are said to have died in an operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar, near the border with Pakistan. He is the fourth Afghan leader of the group to be killed in recent years. The IS affiliate has been active there since 2014, claiming a number of deadly recent attacks. It is sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan after a historic name for Afghanistan and surrounding areas. How successful has IS been in Afghanistan? Afghanistan country profile The National Directorate of Security in Kabul said the strikes that killed Erhabi were part of a joint air and ground operation conducted alongside US-led coalition forces. US officials did not con..
August 26, 2018

Didi Chuxing suspends carpool service after woman killed

Didi Chuxing suspends carpool service after woman killed Image copyright Reuters Image caption This is the latest instance of violence against Didi passengers China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has suspended its carpool service after police said a driver raped and killed a female passenger. A company statement said the incident showed there were deficiencies in its processes, and so it would suspend its Hitch system for re-evaluation. Authorities said the 20-year-old woman hailed the ride Friday in the eastern city of Wenzhou. A similar incident happened just months ago. In May the company suspended and changed Didi Hitch, which pairs car owners and passengers, after a 21-year-old flight attendant died after using the service in Zhengzhou. China car app plans change after murder Women switch gender on China taxi app after murder China's Uber says it's time to go global In the latest incident, police said the woman got into the taxi at 1300 local time (0500 GMT) an..
August 25, 2018

Julie Bishop ‘to resign as foreign minister’

Julie Bishop 'to resign as foreign minister' Image copyright Reuters Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is planning to resign, according to media reports. The reports come as new Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepares to announce his new cabinet after winning a bruising leadership contest on Friday. Ms Bishop is also expected to announce that she will not stand at the next general election, due in 2019. She had sought the prime minister's job after Malcolm Turnbull stood aside, but was eliminated in the first round. The leadership fight also ended her 11-year tenure as deputy leader of the Liberal Party. The 62-year-old from Western Australia has been a federal politician for two decades. A PM felled by revolts and revenge"Who needs Game of Thrones?" - Australians react to political chaosLast week's leadership crisis arose after Mr Turnbull came under pressure from poor polling and what he described as an "insurgency" by conservative MPs. How did Tur..
August 25, 2018

Where men cut their skin to resemble crocodiles

Why some men in Papua New Guinea cut their skin to resemble crocodiles In Papua New Guinea, on the western half of the world's second-biggest island, 80% of people live in rural villages - and many in the most remote and isolated regions have little contact with the outside world at all. Here, as Mark Stratton found, traditional rituals still survive. The dappled light, cast through the worn thatched roof of the men's spirit house in Parambei village, reveals the rippling scars across the chests of several male initiates. The spirit houses - or Haus Tambaran - along the Sepik river in northern Papua New Guinea are the focal points for a regional belief system which reveres spirits manifesting as animals. These houses are richly decorated with murals and carvings of all manner of creatures - from pigs and cassowaries to snakes and eagles. Yet it is the crocodile that truly embodies animist power along the Sepik. In one of the world's most extreme initiation ceremonies,..
August 25, 2018

Asian Games: India’s elderly bridge players aim for glory

Asian Games: India's elderly bridge players aim for glory Image copyright AFP Image caption It's the first time bridge has been featured as a sport in the Asian Games For the first time, the card game bridge has been featured as a sport at the Asian Games. The BBC's Vandana Vijay speaks to two elderly women representing India. Until her 50s, Hema Deora was busy taking care of her sons in Delhi, or touring the country with her politician husband Murli Deora, a former petroleum minister. Now at the age of 67, she is representing India in a sport she often played with her friends at home every Saturday. Her teammate Rita Choksi is 79 and one of the oldest competitors at the Games, which began in Jakarta on 18 August and will end on 2 September. Ms Deora and Ms Choksi never thought they would play bridge at the Asian Games, let alone represent their country. Their dreams came true after the organisers of the Asian Games recognised bridge as a sport in 2018. Bridge and che..
August 25, 2018

US North Korea visit: China says Trump criticism is ‘irresponsible’

US North Korea visit: China says Trump criticism is 'irresponsible' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Problem solved - according to Mr Trump after his June summit with Kim Jong-un China has said it is "irresponsible" of President Trump to suggest it was not putting enough pressure on North Korea over its nuclear programme. Mr Trump had tweeted that China was "not helping" because of trade tensions with the US. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said this was "contrary to basic facts" and China was "seriously concerned". On Thursday Mr Trump called off US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea. He said that insufficient progress was being made in dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programme. Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump ...Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)... — Dona..
August 25, 2018

Rohingya refugees protest Myanmar crackdown anniversary

Rohingya refugees protest Myanmar crackdown anniversary Image copyright EPA Image caption Thousands marched in what become the world's largest refugee camp Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have held protests on the first anniversary of Myanmar's crackdown on the predominantly Muslim minority. People in the world's largest refugee camp demanded justice and brandished a banner proclaiming "Never Again". Myanmar's military launched its crackdown on the ethnic group after Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Rakhine state on 25 August. More than 700,000 Rohingya have since fled the country. What you need to know about the Rohingya crisis Tales of horror from Myanmar Could Aung San Suu Kyi face Rohingya genocide charges? The United Nations described the military offensive in Rakhine as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and refugees who have fled the violence have told horrific stories of sexual violence and torture. According to Medecins Sans Frontieres (..
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