January 23, 2019

Kim Jong-un applauds Trump for second summit plans

Kim Jong-un applauds Trump for second summit plans Image copyright KCNA Image caption State media says Mr Kim is pleased with the progress towards a second summit North Korea's leader has expressed "great satisfaction," after receiving a letter from US President Donald Trump, the North's state media said. Kim Jong-un made the comments after meeting with one of his top aides who went to Washington last week. The two sides are planning a second summit by the end of February, according to the White House. However, little progress has been made on denuclearisation since their historic first summit last June. There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity towards a second summit this month. Kim Jong-un visited China for talks with President Xi Jinping, as he did before the Singapore summit, while his top negotiator Kim Yong-chol met President Trump at the White House. "Kim Jong-un said that we will believe in President Trump's positive way of thinking, wait with patience a..
January 23, 2019

Malaysia set to elect new king after unprecedented abdication

Malaysia set to elect new king after unprecedented abdication Image copyright AFP Image caption Malaysia's king Sultan Muhammad V unexpectedly abdicated the throne in January Malaysian royals are voting on a new king after the previous monarch, in an unprecedented move, abdicated the throne before the end of his term. A new ruler, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is usually picked every five years. But Sultan Muhammad V abdicated in January after just two years on the throne, a first in Malaysian history. Malaysia has a constitutional monarchy. However, the rulers do not participate in daily governance. A new ruler is expected to be sworn in on 31 January. In November, Sultan Muhammad V went on medical leave. Later that month, photos emerged on social media that appeared to show his wedding to a former Miss Moscow in the Russian capital. Muhammad V, who was just 47 when he was sworn in, has garnered a reputation for having relatively youthful interests. He is known for hi..
January 23, 2019

Yang Hengjun: Australian writer’s China arrest confirmed

Yang Hengjun: Australian writer's China arrest confirmed Image copyright YANG HENGJUN/TWITTER Image caption Yang Hengjun is a popular blogger and former Chinese diplomat A Chinese-Australian writer who went missing at the weekend has been detained in China, the Australian government says. Yang Hengjun, a blogger and former Chinese diplomat, has not been heard from since flying from New York to Guangzhou on Saturday. China has told the Australian embassy that the 53-year-old, a past critic of the Communist Party, is in custody. The reasons for his detention are not yet clear, Australian officials said. In a statement, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was trying to "obtain consular access to him... as a matter of priority". On Wednesday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said that she was "not aware" of the case. The Australian citizen had been travelling with his wife, Chinese national Yuan Rui Juan, and young stepson. It is believed that Ms Y..
January 23, 2019

Priyanka Gandhi launches political career ahead of key India polls

Priyanka Gandhi launches political career ahead of key India polls Image copyright AFP Image caption Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra connects easily with the voters Priyanka Gandhi, the charismatic sister of Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, has formally joined politics months ahead of general elections in India. Ms Gandhi has been appointed the party general secretary for the eastern part of the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. She has campaigned extensively for her brother and mother Sonia Gandhi in earlier elections, but had refused a formal political role for herself. Analysts say she will infuse fresh energy into the Congress campaign. The main opposition Congress party was routed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last general election in 2014 and has found it hard to recover. The party gained some ground in recent state elections, but faces a tough challenge to beat the BJP and regain power. Social media had been awash with rumours of Priyanka Ga..
January 23, 2019

Tonga hit by near-total internet blackout

Tonga hit by near-total internet blackout Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tonga is usually linked to the web via underwater cable Tonga is experiencing a near total blackout of mobile and internet services after the country's only undersea cable was damaged. The problem took the island nation of about 100,000 people by surprise on Sunday night. Bad weather is being blamed as the cause of the fault. A satellite link is providing limited bandwidth but officials say they may have to restrict social media use. Residents have been told fixing the problem could take several weeks. Blocking Facebook and YouTube?Tonga Cable said in a statement the fault occurred at 8:45pm local time (7:45 GMT) on Sunday and cites a "magnetic storm" and "lightening" as causes. A repair vessel is currently docked in Samoa and could be in Tonga within three days. The restoration work would then take one or two weeks, the company said. In the worst case scenario, it said fixing the 827km (514-..
January 23, 2019

Yang Hengjun: Australia seeks information on writer ‘missing’ in China

Yang Hengjun: Australia seeks information on writer 'missing' in China Image copyright YANG HENGJUN/TWITTER Image caption Yang Hengjun is a popular blogger and former Chinese diplomat The Australian government says it is investigating reports a Chinese-Australian writer has gone missing in China. Yang Hengjun, a blogger and former Chinese diplomat, has not been heard from since flying from New York to Guangzhou on Saturday, a friend said. Sydney academic Feng Chongyi said he feared that Mr Yang had been detained by Chinese authorities. Chinese officials have not yet commented. In response to a query about Mr Yang, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "seeking information about an Australian citizen who has been reported missing in China". Mr Yang is believed to have been travelling with his wife, Chinese national Yuan Rui Juan, and young stepson. A social media post by Ms Yuan appeared to show that she was in Beijing, Australian media reporte..
January 23, 2019

Sony to move Europe headquarters to avoid Brexit disruption

Sony to move Europe headquarters to avoid Brexit disruption Image copyright Getty Images Sony will move its European headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands to avoid disruptions caused by Brexit. The company said the move would help it avoid customs issues tied to Britain's exit from the EU, according to AFP. Despite the move, Sony won't shift personnel and operations from the existing UK operations. It is the latest Japanese company to flag a move to the continent in response to Brexit. The UK is on course to leave the European Union in March, but the two sides have yet to strike a deal. MPs put forward rival Brexit plans Brexit: A really simple guide On a recent trip to the UK, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concern over a no-deal Brexit. He said it could hurt Japanese companies, which employ up to 150,000 people in the UK. Electronics firms switch offSony spokesperson Takashi Iida told AFP the move would make Sony a "company based in the EU" so..
January 23, 2019

Sabarimala: India woman who defied temple ban ‘abandoned’ by family

Sabarimala: India woman who defied temple ban 'abandoned' by family Image caption Kanaka Durga was the first woman to enter the Sabarimala shrine An Indian woman who defied a historic ban to enter a prominent temple in the southern state of Kerala has been abandoned by her family, officials say. Kanaka Durga, 39, had been in hospital since 15 January after she was allegedly beaten by her mother-in-law for entering the Sabarimala shrine. The Hindu temple has traditionally been closed to women of "menstruating age" - defined as between 10 and 50. India's top court overturned the ban in September, sparking massive protests. Many women tried to enter the temple after the court ruling, but were stopped by angry mobs of protesters. Ms Kanaka Durga entered the shrine along with another woman, on 2 January. Thankachan Vithayatil, a social worker, told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that when Ms Kanaka Durga came home on Monday evening from the hospital, she had found the door ..
January 23, 2019

‘Racist’ D&G ad: Chinese model says campaign ruined her career

'Racist' D&G ad: Chinese model says campaign ruined her career Image copyright Dolce and Gabbana/Instagram Image caption The ad was supposed to show that '#DGLovesChina' The Chinese model featured in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign accused of racism has said the controversy almost ruined her career. Three videos, released in November, showed Zuo Ye struggling to eat Italian food including a cannoli and pizza with chopsticks. Widely seen as offensive it led to a severe backlash in China with several retailers pulling the brand's products. Ms Zuo said she felt "guilty and ashamed" but asked for understanding. Following her statement on Chinese social media network Weibo, the debate has flared up again with some people saying they hope that she can continue her career as a model and that they understand her hands were tied working with D&G. 'It nearly killed my career'In a long post on Monday, Ms Zuo said that usually working for an international brand ..
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