May 6, 2018

Malaysia elections: Could Mahathir Mohamad make a comeback?

Malaysia elections: Could Mahathir Mohamad make a comeback? Image copyright EPA Image caption Mahathir Mohamad, left, has electrified Malaysia's election contest Among the torrent of election propaganda being produced in the campaigns to lead Malaysia for the next five years, one slickly-produced video stands out. In it, an adorable young Malay girl suddenly finds herself looking up at the grandfatherly face of the man who ruled and profoundly shaped Malaysia for 22 years, and now, at the astonishing age of 92, is leading the challenge to his former party, the United Malays National Organisation's (UMNO) monopoly on power. "I am already old," explains Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the girl, as tears fill his eyes. "I haven't much time left. I have to do some work to rebuild our country; perhaps because of mistakes I, myself, made in the past." In the background we hear the song Salam Terakhir (Final Greeting), by one of Malaysia's most popular performers Sudirman Arshad, ..
May 6, 2018

Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province

Indian engineers kidnapped in Afghanistan's Baghlan province Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Afghan security forces struggle to control parts of Baghlan province Seven Indian engineers have been kidnapped in Afghanistan along with their Afghan driver, police say. Gunmen grabbed them from a vehicle on the outskirts of the Baghlan provincial capital, Pul-e Khomri, on Sunday. No group has said it carried out the kidnapping. However, provincial governor Abdul Hai Nemati told Tolo TV that the Taliban was responsible. Kidnappings are a serious problem in Afghanistan where large areas are blighted by gangs or militant groups. Provincial council chairman Mohammad Safdar Mohseni said the group had ignored warnings to take a police escort through an area largely controlled by the Taliban. Indian officials in Kabul said the engineers worked for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat company that operates a power station in northern Baghlan. "We are in contact with the Afghan authorit..
May 6, 2018

Gunman injures Pakistan interior minister Ahsan Iqbal in Punjab

Gunman injures Pakistan interior minister Ahsan Iqbal in Punjab Image copyright Reuters Image caption Ahsan Iqbal (seen here last year) was reportedly hit by a pistol shot A gunman has shot and injured Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal while he was visiting the north-eastern city of Narowal, local media report. Mr Iqbal had just attended a meeting of his political party when he was hit at least once in the arm and taken to hospital. His life is not in danger. His attacker, said to be a man in his early 20s, was arrested and was being questioned, officials said. Mr Iqbal is a member of the governing Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Pakistan country profile
May 6, 2018

Afghanistan: At least 12 killed in Khost mosque blast

Afghanistan: At least 12 killed in Khost mosque blast At least 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded in an explosion at a mosque in the Afghan province of Khost, officials say. People had gathered for afternoon prayers at the mosque, which was also being used as a voter registration centre. Some of the injured are said to be in a critical condition. No group has claimed responsibility but the Islamic State group has carried out similar attacks in the past. There have been a number of attacks on voter registration centres since the process started last month for October's parliamentary elections. On 22 April, a suicide bomb attack at a voter registration centre in the capital Kabul killed at least 57 people. The Kabul attack was claimed by IS, but the Taliban has also warned people not to take part in the elections, which are said to be a key test of President Ashraf Ghani's credibility.
May 6, 2018

India police arrest main suspect after teen raped and burned alive

India police arrest main suspect after teen raped and burned alive Image copyright AFP Image caption Relatives of the 16-year-old mourn in the village of Raja Kendua Indian police say they have arrested the main suspect in an alleged gang-rape and murder of a teenage girl. Dhanu Bhuiyan and his accomplices are accused of burning the 16-year-old alive on Friday in the state of Jharkhand. She was killed after her parents complained to village elders that she had been raped, according to police. The elders had told two accused rapists to do 100 sit-ups and pay a 50,000 rupee (£550; $750) fine as punishment. The men were allegedly so enraged by the penalty that they beat the girl's parents then set her on fire. "The two accused thrashed the parents and rushed to the house where they set the girl ablaze with the help of their accomplices," Ashok Ram, the officer in charge of the local police station, told the AFP news agency. Police say they have arrested 15 of the 18 people they want..
May 6, 2018

US ‘provocation’ threatens peace, says North Korea

US 'provocation' threatens peace, says North Korea Image caption North Korea has made relatively little criticism of the US in recent weeks North Korea has warned the US about using "pressure and military threats" against it as the two countries prepare for a historic summit. A Foreign Ministry official said the US was deliberately provoking the North by suggesting sanctions will not be lifted until it gives up nuclear weapons. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are due to meet in the next few weeks. It will be the first ever meeting between the two countries' leaders. North and South Korean leaders agreed last month to denuclearise the region, at a border summit which came after months of warlike rhetoric from the North and Mr Trump. Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. N Korea nuclear test site 'to shut in May' Historic summit as it happened Five key moment..
May 5, 2018

Jessica Mauboy: Why would Oz’s answer to Beyonce enter Eurovision?

Jessica Mauboy: Why would Oz's answer to Beyonce enter Eurovision? Image copyright Peter Brew Bevan "I've already been looking up a lot of the contestants and seeing who I'm competing against," Jessica Mauboy conspiratorially admits. The effusive Australian sensation is the first to agree she's a touch competitive and she's going into Eurovision with her characteristic energy and determination. Her name may still be relatively unknown in the UK, but in Australia she's kind of a big deal. The 28-year-old has been referred to as "Australia's answer to Beyonce" - and she even supported the superstar on her I Am.. world tour. The pop princess burst onto the scene in 2006, when she sang a sweet, soulful a cappella rendition of Whitney's I Have Nothing at an audition in the outback for the fourth series of Australian Idol. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jessica came runner-up in the 2006 series of Australian Idol After coming runner-up in..
May 5, 2018

Myanmar Rohingya refugees brace for monsoon deluge in Bangladesh camps

Myanmar Rohingya refugees brace for monsoon deluge in Bangladesh camps Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe camps sprawl near the border with Myanmar In the Rohingya refugee camps of southern Bangladesh, where flimsy bamboo shelters sprawl across the steep hillsides and flood prone valleys, there has been a desperate effort to make ready for the coming cyclone and monsoon season. But the almost 900,000 refugees here remain very vulnerable. The BBC's Justin Rowlatt has spent weeks in the camps since the refugee crisis began in August last year. Here's his summary of who the Rohingya refugees are, how well prepared the world's largest and most densely populated refugee settlement is for the coming storms and when - if ever - the refugees will be able to return to their homes. Who are the Rohingya? The Rohingya are a more than a million-strong population of Muslims from majority-Buddhist Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. Is refugee cr..
May 5, 2018

Pakistan coal mine collapse kills 16 near Quetta

Pakistan coal mine collapse kills 16 near Quetta Image copyright EPA Image caption The injured have been taken to hospitals in Quetta At least 16 miners have been killed in a cave-in triggered by a gas explosion at a coal mine in western Pakistan, officials said. Nine others were injured in the incident in Marwaarh, east of the city of Quetta in Balochistan. Teams have been sent in to try to recover the bodies of the victims, officials added. Balochistan province is rich in minerals but its mines have a poor safety record. "The roof caved in following an explosion triggered by the accumulation of methane gas, killing 16 miners and wounding nine others, two of them seriously," government official Jawaid Shahwani told AFP news agency from Quetta. "We are trying our best to recover bodies but it will take time as most of the bodies are buried very deep," he added. Most of the miners came from the same village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Shangla district, officials told Pakistan's ..
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