June 28, 2018

BAE wins multi-billion pound Australian warship contract

BAE wins multi-billion pound Australian warship contract Image copyright BAE Systems British defence giant BAE Systems has won a multi-billion pound contract from the Australian government to build nine new warships, marking a significant victory for British military exports. BAE beat Italian and Spanish rivals to win a large slice of the £20bn spending programme. The ships will be built in Australia, but are based on the Type 26 design BAE is building for the Royal Navy. Theresa May said the deal was "an enormous boost" for the UK economy. It is the first export of a British design for new-build frigates since the 1970s, the government said. The prime minister said the deal reflected the government's strategy to "build on our close relationships with allies like Australia" as the UK prepares to leave the EU. Australian jobsThe "Hunter class" ships, which are anti-submarine warfare frigates, will be built in Adelaide by government-owned ASC Shipbuilding, creating up to 4,000 jobs..
June 28, 2018

Terrace House: Japan’s nice, calm Love Island alternative

Terrace House: Japan's nice, calm Love Island alternative Image copyright Netflix/Fuji TV/East Entertainment Image caption The cast of Terrace House are nothing like your average reality TV contestants A bunch of beautiful singletons. One huge villa. Gorgeous sprawling views. And a quest to find love. But this isn't Love island - the tempestuous show that has the UK hooked - it's Terrace House, the reality show which has taken over Japan. In Terrace House, six strangers - three men and three women from different walks of life - live under the same roof while getting to know and date each other. The concept might sound familiar but there's one significant difference - it's almost entirely drama-free. The contestants are polite to each other, apologise when they run into conflict and form romances at snail's pace. So what is it about this seemingly dull show that keeps people tuning in? No 'grafting'Terrace House, produced by Japanese televisi..
June 28, 2018

Banning the Uluru climb: ‘This rock means everything to us’

Banning the Uluru climb: 'This rock means everything to us' Image caption Traditional owner Pamela Taylor says Uluru holds many stories For decades the Anangu people in central Australia have asked tourists not to climb Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, because of its sacred value. From next year, scaling the giant monolith will be banned. The BBC's Rebecca Henschke reports on why the rock is so significant, and discovers her own personal link along the way. "When tourists come they just see this one big beautiful rock in the centre of Australia. But this rock means everything to us Anangu." Pamela Taylor stares up at the mighty rock. She is one of the traditional owners of Uluru and a holder of the ancient sacred stories that are enshrined within it. "The rock has got a lot of stories," she says as we sit down in the red sand. "Some of them I can't tell you. [They are] too sacred or we will be in trouble - I will be in trouble. Some I tell so people like you ca..
June 28, 2018

Shujhaat Bukhari: Pakistan militants blamed for journalist death

Shujhaat Bukhari: Pakistan militants blamed for journalist death Image copyright Shujaat Bukhari/Twitter Leading Indian newspaper journalist and editor Shujaat Bukhari was killed by a Pakistan-based militant outfit, police have said. Bukhari was shot dead in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, on 14 June while leaving his office. "Orders to kill Shujaat came from Pakistan," a policeman said, adding they had identified four suspects from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group (LeT). The LeT has denied involvement and no other group has claimed the killing. The LeT is one of the most feared groups fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir and is blamed for several deadly attacks on Indian soil. Police said one of the suspects escaped from police custody in January 2018, while two of them are Indian nationals who had joined the Pakistan-based group. A senior official told BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor that India and Pakistan would share evidence related to the murder as a part of a l..
June 28, 2018

China caps film stars’ pay over ‘money worship and tax evasion’

China caps film stars' pay over 'money worship and tax evasion' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Forbes ranked Fan Bingbing as the world's fifth highest-paid actress in 2016 China's authorities say they are capping the pay of actors as part of a move to crack down on tax evasion and "money worship" in the industry. Actors in Chinese films and TV programmes will have their pay capped at 40% of total production costs. Meanwhile, lead actors cannot be paid more than 70% of total cast pay, the government says. It comes after a debate on celebrity pay, and allegations of tax evasion in the film industry. Why is this happening now?The official announcement comes from a joint statement (in Chinese) from five government agencies, including the propaganda department, ministry of culture and tourism, and radio, TV and film regulators late on Wednesday. It does not specify why the government is cracking down on celebrity pay now - but says it is needed to deal with..
June 28, 2018

China hits back at US investment rules

China hits back at US investment rules Image copyright Getty Images The Chinese government has criticised a US move to expand the powers of its foreign investment watchdog. The government is worried that the move means the US will use national security concerns unfairly in order to restrict Chinese investments. The new investment rules will target Chinese companies investing in technology industries in the US. It comes as the US and China both prepare to slap tariffs on $34bn worth of each others' goods. What is the US government proposing? US President Donald Trump has said he supports legislation that would expand the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is an inter-agency body which scrutinizes the national security implications of business deals that would result in foreign ownership of US companies. It can make recommendations to the president, who can stop a deal from going though, although in practice a negative CFIUS find..
June 28, 2018

Australia passes foreign interference laws amid China tension

Australia passes foreign interference laws amid China tension Image copyright Reuters Image caption PM Malcolm Turnbull says the laws are not aimed at one country Australia's parliament has passed a package of new laws aimed at preventing foreign interference in the country. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the crackdown last December. Although he denied it was aimed specifically at China, the move has added to diplomatic tensions with Beijing in recent months. The wide-ranging laws, approved in the Senate on Thursday, target foreign interference in politics and other domestic affairs, as well as espionage. Among key provisions, they will require lobbyists for foreign governments to identify themselves on a pubic register. In December, Mr Turnbull said the crackdown followed warnings by intelligence agencies that were "necessarily classified". "Foreign powers are making unprecedented and increasingly sophisticated attempts to influence the political process, both here ..
June 28, 2018

Are trade issues spoiling the Trump-Modi bromance?

Are trade issues spoiling the Trump-Modi bromance? Image copyright AFP Image caption President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have forged a good relationship US President Donald Trump has singled out the European Union, China and several South American nations ever since he started his trade war. But his recent actions and rhetoric towards India have left many puzzled, says the BBC's Suranjana Tewari in Mumbai. President Trump seems to be standing firm on his decision to impose tariffs on goods imported into America despite an increasing number of threats and retaliatory taxes on US products. "We're the bank that everyone wants to steal from and plunder," he told reporters at the White House. India and the United States have had a historic strategic partnership, but on the economic front, President Trump seems to have adopted a different attitude. On Monday, he justified hiking tariffs on imports into the US by pointing out that India had up to a 100% tariff..
June 28, 2018

Australia charges former officer in East Timor spy case

Australia charges former officer in East Timor spy case Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The spying row sparked protests in East Timor in 2013 A former intelligence officer who exposed an Australia spying operation in East Timor is facing criminal prosecution, an MP has revealed. East Timor took Australia to a UN court in 2014 over the spying row, related to a border deal from a decade earlier. That treaty set out how the nations would divide lucrative gas reserves in the Timor Sea. East Timor later axed the deal after the spying revelations. A lawyer says newly laid charges in Australia will be contested. Andrew Wilkie, an independent Australian MP, used parliamentary privilege on Thursday to reveal that prosecutors had charged the former spy - known only as "Witness K" - and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery. Witness K had previously raised concerns about an Australian operation that allegedly planted listening devices in East Timor's cabinet rooms in 2004. At the time, th..
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