July 25, 2018

Germany jails Vietnamese man for ‘Cold War’ kidnapping

Germany jails Vietnamese man for 'Cold War' kidnapping Image copyright AFP Image caption Trinh Xuan Thanh vanished from Berlin and reappeared in Vietnam, in an alleged state-sponsored kidnapping A Vietnamese man has been given almost four years in prison for taking part in the dramatic abduction of a businessman on the streets of Berlin last July. A Berlin court ruled the 47-year-old was guilty of taking part in activity for Vietnamese intelligence and hiring a car for the plot. Ex-oil executive Trinh Xuan Thanh, also Vietnamese, was seeking asylum in Germany when he was dragged into a van. He then turned up in Vietnam and was jailed for life on corruption charges. German prosecutors said the abduction was a "state-organised kidnapping" by Vietnam's secret service and that it was reminiscent of the Cold War. The man on trial, identified only as Long NH, confessed to his role and received a reduced sentence of three years and 10 months. The court said he was not involve..
July 25, 2018

China says there will be ‘no winner’ in global trade war

China says there will be 'no winner' in global trade war Image copyright PHILL MAGAKOE Image caption Presidents Xi and Ramaphosa - rejecting protectionism China has told developing nations there would be no winner in a global trade war. Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to reject protectionism. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also warned of the impact that tariff threats by US President Donald Trump would have on developing countries. They were speaking at a three-day meeting of BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa. The BRICS countries comprise more than 40% of the global population but have never worked as a co-ordinated economic bloc. "We should be resolute in rejecting unilateralism," Xi said at the opening ceremony. "A global trade war should be rejected because there will be no winner. "Unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to multilateralism. China will continue to d..
July 25, 2018

Prisoners in mass breakout after ‘riot’ at Australia jail

Prisoners in mass breakout after 'riot' at Australia jail Image copyright WA POLICE Image caption (L-R) Alan McDonald, Brendan Bartley and Darryl Councillor are back in custody Nine of 10 prisoners who escaped from an Australian jail on Tuesday have been recaptured, police say. The men had broken out of Greenough Regional Prison, 400km (250 miles) north of Perth, during what staff described as "a riot". It prompted police to send text messages to the public, warning them to treat the men as "unpredictable". Police said on Wednesday that only one prisoner, 35-year-old Bradley Silvester, remained at large. The 10 medium security inmates had used ladders to escape the jail during a disturbance late on Tuesday, prison officials said. "[The disturbance] started with a cell fire and then there were a couple of other fires lit in the prison," Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall told The West Australian newspaper. "They broke into some staff offices, got some equipment and..
July 25, 2018

Claremont ‘serial killings’: Australian man pleads not guilty

Claremont 'serial killings': Australian man pleads not guilty Image copyright CrimeStoppers Image caption (L-R) Ciara Glennon, Jane Rimmer and Sarah Spiers disappeared on separate nights in 1996 and 1997 An Australian man has pleaded not guilty to murdering three women, following one of the nation's highest-profile criminal investigations. Bradley Robert Edwards, 49, is accused of killing Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer, and Ciara Glennon on separate occasions in Perth in 1996 and 1997. Their disappearances, all from the same suburb of Claremont, were later alleged by police to be serial killings. Police charged Mr Edwards in 2016 after saying they had made a "breakthrough". On Wednesday, he was ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia after formally pleading not guilty to the murders. He also pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting women in 1988 and 1995. Two-decade mysteryMs Rimmer, 23, disappeared from the upmarket suburb after a night out with fr..
July 25, 2018

New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave

New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave Image caption The parliament in Wellington passed the bill in a 63-57 vote New Zealand's parliament has passed a law granting paid leave for victims of domestic violence. In a 63-57 vote, legislators approved the measure granting 10 days of extra leave a year, separate from annual holiday or sick leave. Green Party MP Jan Logie, who proposed the bill, said it would help victims "stop the violence and get help without worrying about losing their jobs". New Zealand is the second country after the Philippines to pass such a measure. The Philippines passed a law granting 10 days of paid leave for domestic violence victims in 2004. A number of Canada's provinces also provide some leave for domestic violence, while Australia's Labor party leader Bill Shorten has promised 10 days paid leave for victims if his party wins the next election. How photos are helping abuse victims love themselves One woman breaking Cuba'..
July 25, 2018

Japanese firm to launch wedding plaques into space

Japanese firm to launch wedding plaques into space Image copyright NASA Image caption The Japanese Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station is known colloquially as "Kibo" A Japanese company is offering newlyweds a novel way of showing that their love is eternal: by blasting wedding plaques with their names on into space. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the Warpspace start-up in the city of Tsukuba is working with Kibo, Japan's orbital science module, to launch wedding plaques from the International Space Station. The company, which is largely staffed by faculty members from the University of Tsubuka, says that it will engrave couples' names, messages, and other information on titanium plaques, measuring some 16 millimetres by eight millimetres. The plaques will then be loaded onto miniature cubic satellites, which can hold several hundred plaques, and be released into orbit. They will join the tens of thousands of satellites, man-made objects an..
July 25, 2018

The ‘angels’ at play in Pakistan election

The 'angels' at play in Pakistan election Image copyright AFP/GETTY Image caption Some see the military as a sovereign entity in its own right within Pakistan The run-up to Pakistan's general election has spawned a host of phrases in the media, including many alluding to dark forces at play. Among them are allegations that "angels" have been targeting "electables". Some of the terms being bandied about are fresh, others are old expressions with new connotations. Here are just a few. 'Celestial beings' (or 'angels')A folk expression in Urdu referring to supernatural beings called djinns - Aladdin's genie is an example - and translated in the English press as "angels". Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has used the term, which refers to members of the intelligence services, to criticise the military's alleged meddling in politics. The army denies the claims. Mr Sharif was ousted as prime minister a year ago and is now behind bars fighting a..
July 25, 2018

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man Image copyright facebook/elin.k.ersson Image caption Elin Ersson refused to sit until the Afghan was taken off the flight A stunt by a Swedish activist to stop the deportation of an Afghan refugee has been widely hailed on social media. University student Elin Ersson had booked the same flight as the Afghan and refused to sit down unless he was taken off the plane on Monday. She streamed her protest live on Facebook, showing a tense standoff with other passengers and airline crew. Reactions have been largely supportive of her action, although some people are accusing her of grandstanding. The video has since been widely shared and received almost two million views. Image copyright Facebook.com/elin.k.errson Ms Ersson explains to the other passengers and the viewers of Facebook that she does not agree with Swedish deportation policy, which classifies Afghanistan as a safe country and sends rejected asylum seekers back. She says Afghani..
July 25, 2018

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan Image copyright Reuters American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have become the latest carriers to change how they refer to Taiwan online, bowing to pressure from China. Beijing set 25 July as a deadline for companies and airlines to remove references to Taiwan as anything but a Chinese territory on their websites. The US carrier just lists Taipei, but Cathay refers to it as part of China. Taiwan has been self-ruling since 1949 but China regards it as a breakaway province to be reunited one day. The move was dismissed by the White House in May as "Orwellian nonsense", but many global carriers including Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Qantas decided to comply with the demand coming out of one of the world's biggest aviation markets. A number of US airlines, however, held out and currently Delta and United Airlines continue to list the city of Taipei as being in "Taiwan" and "TW" on their websites. American Airlines..
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