August 2, 2018

Australia senator sues opponent over ‘sexist slurs’

Australia senator sues opponent over 'sexist slurs' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSarah Hanson-Young: "I can't ignore it any more. I want it to stop" Australian senator Sarah Hanson-Young has filed a lawsuit against a political opponent who made "sexist slurs" towards her. The Greens senator, 36, is the first Australian sitting politician to sue another for defamation. She alleges Senator David Leyonhjelm made "defamatory statements" about her personal life in parliament and in the Australian media. Mr Leyonhjelm, 66, has said he will strenuously defend himself. The Liberal Democrat senator was widely criticised in June after he told Ms Hanson-Young to "stop shagging men" during a debate in the Senate about curbing violence against women. After Ms Hanson-Young spoke out about the remarks, he repeated similar comments in television and radio interviews. 'I'm calling this out'Ms Hanson-Young said Mr Leyonhjelm's comments wer..
August 1, 2018

Toddler mauled by dog dies in Australia

Toddler mauled by dog dies in Australia Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The toddler was mauled by a German Wirehaired Pointer (not pictured) A 14-month-old girl has died after she was attacked by a dog in Australia, police say. The toddler was bitten by a German Wirehaired Pointer at a rural property at Neerim Junction, 120km (75 miles) east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Police and paramedics were called to the home early Wednesday morning but were unable to save the girl. Australian media reported she had been bitten on the face. The toddler's mother had attempted to intervene in the attack but failed to stop the dog, Seven News reported. The dog has since been seized by council officials, police said. Can you ever trust a dog around children?
August 1, 2018

The European populists monitoring ‘sham’ elections

The European populists monitoring 'sham' elections Image copyright Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom Image caption Former MEP Fabrizio Bertot (second from left) and Italian ex-senator Antonio Razzi (far right) gave Cambodia's election the thumbs-up A group of European populist and nationalist politicians descended upon Cambodia last weekend to observe national elections - which they lauded with glowing reviews as being free and fair. They were driven around in vans provided by a five-star hotel to seemingly predetermined polling stations, mostly confined to the capital, Phnom Penh. Their remit was to observe the vote on election day and to make sure all procedures were carried out properly - which by all accounts they were. But they are facing criticism for ignoring the wider context - that the only viable opposition party has been dissolved and its leader is in jail. For this reason the vote was not seen as credible by the European Union, United Kingdom and United States. But ..
August 1, 2018

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern returns from maternity leave

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern returns from maternity leave Image copyright Getty Images New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has returned to work after spending six weeks away on maternity leave. Ms Ardern, 38, gave birth to her first child in June, making her only the second world leader to give birth while in office. On Saturday she recorded a Facebook video where she outlined what she would be doing in her first week back. Ms Ardern had passed on her duties to her deputy, Winston Peters. "I'm going to be focused on getting straight back into it," Ms Ardern said in her Facebook Live video. On 21 June she gave birth to her first child, Neve Gayford, four days after her due date. Image copyright Getty Images The prime minister had continued to read cabinet papers and was consulted on significant issues during her time away. Ms Ardern, who was elected in October, announced in January that she and her partner Clarke Gayford were expecting a baby. "I am not the first wo..
August 1, 2018

Trump threatens higher tariffs on Chinese imports

Trump threatens higher tariffs on Chinese imports Image copyright Getty Images The US is considering 25% tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods - more than double the 10% initially planned. The review of the higher tariff is a request from President Donald Trump, who wants China to change its trade practices. However, the decision risks escalating tensions between the world's two largest economies. China has already warned it would retaliate if the US went ahead with the plan, accusing Washington of blackmail. "If the US side takes steps to further escalate the situation, we will definitely take countermeasures to resolutely safeguard our legitimate and legal rights and interests," said foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Wednesday. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said: "The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behaviour ..
August 1, 2018

Chinese takeover of German firm Leifeld collapses

Chinese takeover of German firm Leifeld collapses Image copyright Leifeld The German government has vetoed the takeover of an engineering company by a Chinese firm on the grounds of national security. China's Yantai had planned to buy machine tool maker Leifeld, but the move raised political concerns. Yantai pulled its bid after Berlin signalled that it would invoke new powers to block foreign takeovers. Leifeld specialises in manufacturing for Germany's aerospace and nuclear industries. Last year, Germany tightened rules on foreign investment, giving itself wider powers to block takeovers. The Leifeld deal is the first time the new rules have been brought into play. Leifeld's majority owner, Georg Koffler, told Reuters that Yantai had dropped its attempt to buy the company ahead of the veto by Berlin. He criticised Berlin's willingness to intervene, telling Reuters: "We believe these security policy concerns are unjustified." US weighs plans to curb Chinese inv..
August 1, 2018

‘Disappearance’ of top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing concerns fans

'Disappearance' of top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing concerns fans Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Fan Bingbing recently received global attention for her appearance as Blink in the X-Men film franchise Chinese social media users are questioning the whereabouts of one of China's biggest film stars. Fan Bingbing is one of the world's highest paid actors, but media reports in the country say that she hasn't been seen in public since 1 July when she visited a children's hospital. Social media users are also noting her unusual silence on the popular Sina Weibo microblog, where she has more than 62 million followers. She has not been active on her account since 23 July, when she "liked" a number of posts. In May, prominent TV presenter Cui Yongyuan appeared to accuse Fan Bingbing of tax evasion. Her studio has denied any wrongdoing, It has not commented on her whereabouts. Social media concernMs Fan is known internationally as a singer and model,..
August 1, 2018

NZ shop in battle over Weetabix imports

New Zealand shop battles in court over Weetabix imports Image copyright Jeff Greenberg Image caption Weet-bix is one of Australia and New Zealand's best-known brands A shop owner in New Zealand is involved in a battle of the breakfast cereals after her plans to import British favourite Weetabix ended up in court. British expat Lisa Wilson wanted to sell the wheat-based breakfast to homesick Britons in her Canterbury-based shop A Little Bit of Britain, but has come up against domestic manufacturer Sanitarium, which says the brand name is too similar to their own local brand Weet-Bix, Radio New Zealand reports. Customs officials seized a shipment of Weetabix last August after a complaint by Sanitarium. Weet-Bix is a hugely popular brand in both Australia and New Zealand complete with celebrity endorsements, and Sanitarium are keen to protect their trademark. "The issue is the potential and real threat of Weetabix coming into this market and cashing in on this great brand that Kiwis..
August 1, 2018

Dengue fever outbreak stopped by special mosquitoes

Dengue fever outbreak stopped by special mosquitoes Image copyright Peter Illiciev/Fiocruz Image caption The specially bred mosquitoes carry the bacteria Wolbachia which reduces the transmission of viruses Australian researchers say for the first time an entire city has been protected from viral disease dengue. Captive-bred mosquitoes with a naturally occurring bacteria were released in the city of Townsville, where they mated with local mosquitoes. By spreading the bacteria Wolbachia, which hinders dengue transmission, the city has been dengue-free since 2014. Researchers from Monash University also believe their work could stop mosquito-borne diseases Zika and malaria. "Nothing we've got is slowing these diseases down - they are getting worse," said Scott O'Neill, director of the World Mosquito Program, quoted by the Guardian. "I think we've got something here that's going to have a significant impact and I think this study is the first indication that it'..
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