July 23, 2018

India ‘cow lynching’: Police accused of delaying help

India 'cow lynching': Police accused of delaying help Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is illegal in several states, including Rajasthan Police in India's western state of Rajasthan have been accused of delays in helping a man who was lynched for alleged cow smuggling and later died. Rakbar, 31, was attacked, allegedly by a mob of cow vigilantes, on Friday. It reportedly took police three hours to take him to the nearest hospital. Hindus consider cows sacred and killing them is illegal in several states, including Rajasthan. So-called cow vigilantism has risen, aimed at protecting them from slaughter. The issue has become a matter of fierce debate. Congress party president Rahul Gandhi said the latest lynching was an example of PM Narendra Modi's "brutal New India". Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party fired back, calling Mr Gandhi a "merchant of hate". A night patrol with India's cow protection vigilant..
July 23, 2018

Viewpoint: Pakistan’s dirtiest election in years

Viewpoint: Pakistan's dirtiest election in years Image copyright AFP Image caption PML-N supporters and others accuse the military of trying to rig the election The run-up to Pakistan's general election on Wednesday has been marred by allegations of pre-poll rigging, intimidation and the muzzling of the media, writes Gul Bukhari, who was briefly kidnapped by masked men in Lahore's army cantonment area in June. Until a few months ago, protest chants accusing Pakistan's powerful military of terrorism were rarely heard in the country's main cities. But they came to central Lahore on 13 July, the day former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam returned from London to begin their prison sentences. By last Friday, the chant - "ye jo dehshat gardi hai, is ke peehchay wardi hai" ("the military uniform is behind this terrorism") - could be heard on the streets of Rawalpindi, not far from military headquarters. Image Copyright @alimdar82 @alimdar82 Repo..
July 23, 2018

Brazil dam disaster: BHP Billiton faces lawsuit in Australia

Brazil dam disaster: BHP Billiton faces lawsuit in Australia Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Somarco dam collapse in 2015 caused a deadly mudslide Mining giant BHP Billiton says it will defend itself against a class action lawsuit in Australia over Brazil's 2015 dam disaster. The collapse of a dam at a Samarco mine killed 19 people and led to Brazil's largest environmental disaster. The Samarco mine is jointly owned by BHP Billiton and Brazil's Vale. More than 3,000 investors have signed up to the lawsuit, lodged in the Federal Court of Australia in May. The claim alleges that BHP Billiton failed to disclose the risk of the dam's failure to the stock market, and misled investors over the company's safety guarantees. The action from Australian law firm Phi Finney McDonald will seek to recover shareholder losses. The claim estimates more than A$25bn (£14bn; $18bn) was wiped off BHP's market value in the month following the November 2015 tragedy. T..
July 23, 2018

Change in Pakistan as women seize right to vote

Change in Pakistan as women seize right to vote Image caption Few could imagine women voting let alone standing for election in this remote area Hameeda Shahid is making history. She is standing for parliament in a conservative tribal area of Pakistan which borders Afghanistan. Dir was once a Taliban stronghold where women had few rights and were not even allowed vote. She is fighting for a seat on former cricketer Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf's ticket. The moment she steps outside her home, men start chanting the slogan "long live PTI". A few schoolboys stop and stare from a distance. "I thought that if a woman can cast a vote, she can also run for election, it changed my mind," says Hameeda Shahid. Last year, Pakistan's Election Commission refused to accept council election results in Dir as no woman had voted. It said at least 10% of voters must be women in each constituency for an election to be valid. Hameeda Shahid seized her chance. Image c..
July 23, 2018

Japan heatwave: Temperature breaks national record

Japan heatwave: Temperature breaks national record Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More than a dozen cities have seen temperatures of around 40C Temperatures in Japan have hit a record high, with officials issuing a fresh warning to stay safe. Japan has for days been in the grip of a deadly heatwave, although the numbers killed vary widely from 15 to as high as 40. On Monday, the thermometer peaked at 41.1C (106F) in Kumagaya, near Tokyo, breaking the previous national record of 41C from 2013. More than a dozen cities have seen temperatures of around 40C. Japan's disaster management agency urged people to stay in air-conditioned spaces, drink water and rest to prevent heat exhaustion. "People in areas where temperatures are as high as 35 degrees or higher should be extremely careful" to avoid heatstroke, a meteorological agency official told news agency AFP. "And even at lower temperatures, the heat can be dangerous for small children and elderly people, and depending ..
July 23, 2018

Chinese Premier calls for crackdown on vaccine industry

Chinese Premier calls for crackdown on vaccine industry Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China has seen a number of incidents involving medicine safety in recent years Authorities in China have ordered an investigation into a vaccination scandal as panic grows over product safety. Last week vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co was found to have falsified production data for its rabies vaccine. The firm has been ordered to halt production and recall rabies vaccines. There has been no evidence of harm from the vaccine, but the scandal has sparked a huge outcry in China. On Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged severe punishment for the people involved. "We will resolutely crack down on illegal and criminal acts that endanger the safety of peoples' lives, resolutely punish lawbreakers according to the law, and resolutely and severely criticise dereliction of duty in supervision," he said in a statement posted on a government website. How did all this happen?On ..
July 22, 2018

Gen Dostum is unhurt as explosion targets Kabul airport

Gen Dostum is unhurt as explosion targets Kabul airport Image copyright AFP Image caption Gen Dostum on banners. His return may be linked to the election next year An explosion has rocked Kabul airport shortly after Afghan Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum returned from self-imposed exile. The interior ministry said 10 people were killed in a square that Gen Dostum had just passed through. He was unhurt. The ethnic Uzbek and former warlord was cheered by supporters on arrival. He left for Turkey more than a year ago, accused of ordering his men to kidnap and rape a political rival, accusations he denies. The cause of the blast has not been officially determined but Afghan media said it was a suicide bombing. Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said a number of people were also injured in the blast, near the airport entrance. Some reports said Gen Dostum's convoy was departing as the blast was heard. He was in an armoured vehicle. Television footage showed Gen Dostum greetin..
July 21, 2018

The mega-machines helping China link the world

The mega-machines helping China link the world China is creating a network of ambitious land- and sea-based transport links to connect its booming economy with those of Europe and Africa. And it's wasting no time - designing incredible bespoke construction machines to get the job done fast. President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013, aims to connect two-thirds of the world's population across 70 countries through a network of land links (the "belt") and sea routes (the "road"). Officials talk about lifetime investments worth trillions of dollars, sourced from banks, participating countries and the Chinese government. The scheme is not without controversy. Critics point out that it burdens poor countries with billions of dollars of Chinese debt, and dismiss it as a projection of Chinese foreign policy. Nevertheless, evidence of the Belt and Road can already be seen in China and beyond, where a fleet of new machines is building railwa..
July 21, 2018

Pakistan election: Who’s who and why it matters

Pakistan election: Who's who and why it matters Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPakistan's election: Five things to know Tens of millions of Pakistanis are preparing to vote in a general election on Wednesday after a campaign tainted by violence and dominated by political controversy. What happens in this South Asian country of nearly 200 million matters: it is a nuclear-armed rival to India, a key developing economy and one the world's largest Muslim-majority nations. Here's what you need to know about the election, which has been called the dirtiest in Pakistan's history. Why it's important Since independence in 1947, Pakistan has oscillated between civilian and military rule. This election will mark the second time that one civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term - a historic landmark. But few in Pakistan are celebrating the strength of its democracy. The run-up to the vote has been marked by ..
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