June 22, 2018

What does it take to relocate a 195kg tiger in India?

What does it take to relocate a 195kg tiger in India? A male tiger weighing 195kg (420lb) was relocated from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to a sanctuary in the eastern state of Orissa 600km (410 miles) away. The massive operation involved numerous forest officers, wildlife veterinarians - and five elephants. The three-year-old tiger, known to forest officials as MB2, lived in Kanha National Park, a vast bird sanctuary and tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. On 20 June MB2 became the first tiger to be relocated for this project. It was also the first time such an operation had been carried out in India, the forest department said in a statement. MB2 is one of five male tigers identified for relocation to the Satkosia reserve in Orissa as part of a campaign to increase the region's tiger population. Image caption MB2 is the first tiger to be relocated under a new project to increase the big cat population in Orissa "Hopefully, this tiger will fulfil the objective of t..
June 22, 2018

North and South Korea agree to resume rare family reunions

North and South Korea agree to resume rare family reunions Image copyright AFP Image caption A daughter whispers to her father during a brief reunion in 2015 North and South Korea have agreed to resume reunions for families who were separated when the Korean War sealed the border between two nations. Millions were separated from loved ones by the 1950-1953 conflict, with many dying before they could be reunited. The reunion, to be held in August, will be the first since October 2015, and comes amid a thaw in diplomatic relations on the Korean peninsula. The resumption of the events was agreed at an April summit between the Koreas. Officials from North and South then met on Friday at Mount Kumgang resort in the North and set a date for late August. "The reunion will be held from August 20 to 26, and 100 participants will be selected from each side," said a joint statement. The lucky few are just a fraction of the 57,000 people registered with the South Korean Red Cross who are separate..
June 22, 2018

Japan: Cannabis plants found growing near MPs’ offices

Japan: Cannabis plants found growing near MPs' offices Image copyright PA Cannabis plants have been found growing in the grounds of a Japanese parliamentary building in Tokyo. The country has a strict no-tolerance policy towards drugs and possession of even a small amount of cannabis carries a jail term of up to five years. The four plants were removed after they were discovered by a visitor. It's not clear how they got there. A parliamentary official said cannabis seeds could be carried by the wind or in bird droppings. The building contains offices used by members of the upper house. You may also like: Japan fans tidy up World Cup stadium Booze smuggled in binoculars at World Cup Canada legalises recreational cannabis use "After we reported it to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, two Tokyo officials visited," the parliamentary official told AFP news agency. "They said the plants looked to be about two months old." There will be a follow-up visit to ensure the plants wer..
June 22, 2018

India police ‘sorry’ for lynching photo

India police 'sorry' for lynching photo Image caption Police apologised after this picture went viral on social media Police in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have apologised after a photograph of a lynched man being dragged by a crowd in the presence of three officers caused outrage. The victim, identified as Kasim, died soon after the picture was taken, while on the way to hospital. Police say he was beaten up after a "minor tiff" over a motorcycle accident. They deny he was attacked over reports of cow slaughter. The state police tweeted the apology. Image Copyright @Uppolice @Uppolice Report Image Copyright @Uppolice @Uppolice Report Speaking to the BBC, the chief spokesperson of the state police, Rahul Srivastava, said the pictures were "misleading" and the "policemen did not support lynching". "The picture shows that man is being dragged and the policemen are doing nothing about it, but that's not true - the mob just wanted to continue attacking the ..
June 22, 2018

India activists performing street play abducted and raped

India activists performing street play abducted and raped Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jharkhand has been in the spotlight after three teenagers were raped and burnt alive Five Indian anti-trafficking activists performing a street play were gang raped at gunpoint in the eastern state of Jharkhand, police have confirmed. The women were forced into cars and raped in a "secluded area", police told BBC Hindi. Police say they are investigating the incident but have not made any arrests. The survivors were working with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to raise awareness about human trafficking in the remote Khunti district. "After performing, they headed towards a local mission school. Around the same time, some armed people reached the school. They abducted five girls from their team and took them to a jungle and raped them," senior police official AV Homkar told BBC Hindi's Niraj Sinha. "We have dedicated three teams of police to interrogate several people," he ad..
June 22, 2018

Home and Away’s Orpheus Pledger helped stop street attack

Home and Away's Orpheus Pledger helped stop street attack Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Orpheus Pledger plays Mason Morgan on Home and Away Home and Away actor Orpheus Pledger has described how he intervened to help a woman who was being attacked on an Australian street. The 25-year-old, who plays Mason Morgan in the Australian soap, said he had spotted the woman apparently being followed by a man in Sydney last year. When the woman was approached and thrown to the ground, Pledger grabbed the attacker and helped restrain him. The man, 28, was convicted of assault this week, Australian media reported. Pledger said he had noticed a "suspicious character" emerge from an alleyway during a walk at night. "I instantly drew my attention to this person - my instinct told me something was wrong," said Pledger, who gave evidence to a court in April. Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported that Pledger could not speak publicly about the case, an attempted robbery, until it had c..
June 22, 2018

Indonesian Islamic State cleric gets death sentence for Jakarta attack

Indonesian Islamic State cleric gets death sentence for Jakarta attack Image copyright EPA Image caption The Indonesia cleric is considered to be the de facto head of IS supporters in the country An Indonesian cleric found guilty of masterminding a 2016 terror attack in Jakarta which left four civilians dead has been sentenced to death. Aman Aburrahman was convicted of planning the attack which saw a suicide bomber blow himself up at a Starbucks. The cleric, who had declared his support for the Islamic State (IS), is also the spiritual leader of a local extremist network. The 2016 attack was the first linked to IS in Indonesia. Aburrahman, 46, has been in prison since 2010 but the court heard he planned the attacks from his jail cell. The judge said in the sentencing on Friday that Abdurrahman had been proven guilty of "carrying out terrorism". He had pleaded not guilty, saying he had inspired his followers to travel to Syria to fight with IS but had had not ordered attacks in Indon..
June 21, 2018

The Indian women lighting the way for change

The Indian women lighting the way for change Image caption Frontier Markets founder Ajaita Shah with some of the women in her local sales force In India's desert state of Rajasthan, rural women are becoming the surprise agents of change, convincing coal-reliant communities to switch to solar. They are called "Solar Sahelis" or "solar friends", and their job is to convince their neighbours to invest in solar-powered solutions. But it's not easy. For decades, rural India has been flooded with poor quality solar products, most of which have ended up in landfill. For the Solar Sahelis, their first hurdle is helping people to overcome their scepticism, that renewables are a failed technology. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Children studying by solar light at a night school in Ajmer, Rajasthan With the fastest growing population on the planet, India's energy needs are staggering. Nearly a quarter of its population has no access to electricity, and for many others..
June 21, 2018

Viewpoint: Why the Kashmir government fall is a tragedy

Viewpoint: Why the Kashmir government fall is a tragedy Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's swearing-in ceremony in Jammu in 2015 The break-up of the three-year-old coalition government in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is a setback for peace hopes in the region. The so-called "unnatural" alliance between the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the only way forward, writes Sumantra Bose. How, it was asked, could the PDP, a pro-autonomy party formed in 1999, and the BJP, a Hindu nationalist party which has advocated a disciplinarian approach to Kashmir since the early 1950s, cohabit and co-operate? Their arrangement prompted puzzlement and derision but this missed a vital point. The constructive potential of the coalition lay precisely in its "unnatural" quality, because it signalled engagement between very different perspectives on the Kashmir ..
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