May 8, 2018

Sun Zhengcai: Former top Chinese official jailed for life

Sun Zhengcai: Former top Chinese official jailed for life Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sun will have all his "illegal gains" confiscated A former Chinese Communist Party official once tipped for a top leadership position has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery. Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member, is the latest senior figure to fall in President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign. He was found guilty of taking bribes of more than $26.7m (£19.6m). The 54-year-old, also the former party chief of Chongqing, pleaded guilty to the charges in April. According to state media outlet Xinhua, Sun's "illegal gains" would be confiscated. What is China's new 'super anti-corruption agency'?President Xi has made it his personal mission to tackle the widespread corruption in China. More than a million officials have been punished since he became president. But critics accuse him of using the anti-corruption campaign to silence his political opp..
May 7, 2018

Tourism’s carbon impact three times larger than estimated

Tourism's carbon impact three times larger than estimated Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Travellers from affluent countries are a key part of emissions growth in tourism A new study says global tourism accounts for 8% of carbon emissions, around three times greater than previous estimates. The new assessment is bigger because it includes emissions from travel, plus the full life-cycle of carbon in tourists' food, hotels and shopping. Driving the increase are visitors from affluent countries who travel to other wealthy destinations. The US tops the rankings followed by China, Germany and India. Tourism is a huge and booming global industry worth over $7 trillion, and employs one in ten workers around the world. It's growing at around 4% per annum. Previous estimates of the impact of all this travel on carbon suggested that tourism accounted for 2.5-3% of emissions. However in what is claimed to be the most comprehensive assessment to date, this new study ..
May 7, 2018

How a child rape became a religious flashpoint for India

How a child rape became a religious flashpoint for India Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Protests demanding justice for the girl were held in many parts of the country India's top court has moved the trial in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl out of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The BBC's Yogita Limaye spoke to people in the community about the divisions that led to the court's decision. "I just want justice for my child," her mother says. "I want her attackers to go through the same pain that she went through. The way they have made us cry, I want them to cry." In India, a rape victim cannot be identified according to the law but everyone knows which religion the girl belonged to. Police allege that her religion is at the centre of the brutal crime. She was from the Muslim Bakarwal nomadic tribe who roam the hills and valleys of Jammu and Kashmir. In the summer they graze their sheep, goats and horses high up in the mountains. As winter..
May 7, 2018

Malaysia’s election: A battle of old allies

Malaysia's election: A battle of old allies Image copyright AFP Image caption Dawn of a new political era for Malaysia? Malaysia is holding a general election on Wednesday. While incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak looks likely to secure another term, he is facing a strong challenge from his long-time ally, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has made a surprise return to politics at the age of 92. Here's what you need to know. Who runs Malaysia at the moment?Malaysian politics has been dominated since independence in 1957 by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its major party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Najib is weighed down by allegations of corruption Najib Razak won a second term as prime minister in 2013 but with a weakened majority in the face of the strongest opposition ever. Opponents alleged electoral fraud at the time and critics have also repeatedly accused his administration of ..
May 7, 2018

Afghanistan air strike: UN confirms 30 child deaths in April attack

Afghanistan air strike: UN confirms 30 child deaths in April attack Image copyright Reuters Image caption At least 51 children were injured A UN report has found that 30 children were killed and 51 injured in an Afghan air strike last month in the north-eastern province of Kunduz. The government said after the strike on 2 April that its air force had targeted a gathering of senior Taliban figures The investigation by the UN found six adults had also been killed in the air strike near a religious school, where an open-air ceremony was under way. There were "credible" reports the final toll could be higher, it noted. According to the UN report, hundreds of men and boys were attending the event in the Dasht-e Archi district when it came under rocket and heavy machine gun fire from helicopters. The Afghan government initially said 18 senior militants planning an attack had been killed and accused the Taliban of shooting civilians. Who are the Taliban? Taliban 'threaten 70% of Afgha..
May 7, 2018

Australia pledges cash to save declining koala population

Australia pledges cash to save declining koala population Image caption Australia's koala population has been under pressure due to loss of habitat The state of New South Wales in Australia (NSW) is to spend A$45m ($34m; £25m) protecting one of its most iconic creatures - the koala. The money will be used to establish forest reserves and build a hospital to care for the sick and injured animals. There will also be adjustments to roadkill hotspots as many koalas are killed by cars. The koala's decline has been blamed on habitat loss, dog attacks and climate change. Almost 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of state forest will become a koala habitat, for the animals to breed freely. You may also be interested in: Loyal waiting dog wins Chinese hearts Man wins lotto as he retires on birthday Korean cleaner may lose on gold bar find The koala population has dropped by about 26% over the past two decades in NSW, according to studies. "We know that there are around 36,000 koalas le..
May 7, 2018

Is Australia running out of fuel? PM orders supply review

Is Australia running out of fuel? PM orders supply review Image copyright Getty Images The Australian government has ordered a review of fuel security after experts warned the country only has weeks of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel supplies left in its reserves. The country's energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said it was the "prudent and proper thing to do" but should not be interpreted as Australia having a fuel security problem. The International Energy Agency expects countries to have 90-days worth of fuel in reserve, but Australia has not met those levels since 2012. So how low are Australia's fuel reserves?In January this year, the latest data available, Australia held just under 50 days worth of fuel stocks. Five years ago, it had nearly double that amount. The Australian Petroleum Statistics 2018 cites Australia as having 23 days worth of petrol, 20 days aviation fuel and 17 days diesel oil in reserve to use in an emergency. The remainder would come from overseas..
May 7, 2018

Paedophile-hunting policeman wins payout 46 years on

Paedophile-hunting policeman wins payout 46 years on Image copyright CHRIS KNIGHT Image caption Denis Ryan will be paid compensation by the state of Victoria Former Australian detective Denis Ryan was driven out of the police force in 1972 when he tried to bring a paedophile priest to justice. Now almost 50 years after he was ordered by superiors to drop the case - and deprived of a police pension - Mr Ryan will receive compensation. The 86-year-old man was recently awarded an undisclosed sum by the state government of Victoria. "When I heard the news, I near jumped out of my socks," he said. 'Destruction of my life'As a detective in the 1970s, Mr Ryan tried to charge Monsignor John Day with sexual offences in the regional city of Mildura. However, he was blocked by senior police officers and ordered to drop the case. Mr Ryan has blamed the decision on his superiors' "allegiance" to the Church. In 2015, he testified at a royal commission inquiry into child sexual abuse..
May 7, 2018

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Two recent cases of rape that made headlines have sparked massive outrage in India A 17-year-old girl in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand is in a critical condition after she was raped and then set on fire, police say. A local man has been arrested in connection with the attack. It is the second such incident to be reported in Jharkhand in recent days - another teenage girl who police say was raped and burned alive died on Sunday. Police have not indicated the two cases are connected. They come as India reels from a string of violent sexual crimes. In the latest Jharkhand case, the girl is undergoing treatment in hospital after suffering 95% burn injuries, police told BBC Hindi's Ravi Prakash. "The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn't ready," police officer Shailendra Barnwal said. They added that he attacked her on Friday in her relativ..
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