June 2, 2018

PC Sorcar: India’s ‘maharajah of magic’ who terrified the UK

PC Sorcar: India's 'maharajah of magic' who terrified the UK Image copyright Collection of Saileswar Mukherjee Image caption Sorcar took Indian magic where it had never gone before At 9.15pm on 9 April 1956, the BBC's switchboard suddenly lit up with calls from hundreds of viewers convinced they had just witnessed a gruesome murder live on their television screens. A mysterious-looking oriental magician had put a 17-year-old girl in a trance, laid her on a table and sliced her body in half with a massive buzz saw as if she were a slab of meat on a butcher's table. It was meant to be the climatic finale to that evening's top-rated Panorama programme, but something appeared to have gone terribly wrong. When the magician rubbed his assistant's hands and tried to revive her, she did not respond. As he shook his head and covered her face with a black cloth, presenter Richard Dimbleby stepped in front of the camera and announced the programme was over. A..
June 2, 2018

North Korea’s human rights: What Trump and Kim won’t talk about

North Korea’s human rights: What Trump and Kim won't talk about Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Most children receive basic education, though some are forced to drop out of school early US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un will soon be meeting face-to-face, if their historic summit goes ahead. The UN says North Koreans live under "systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations". But human rights will almost certainly not be on the table when they two leaders meet. Here are just some of the issues on the back burner for now. Total government controlIsolated from the rest of the world, North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family for three generations, and its citizens are required to pay complete devotion to the family and its current leader, Kim Jong-un. The state controls everything, and actively spies on its citizens using a vast surveillance networks. The economy is also strictly controlled and the government funnels mon..
June 2, 2018

Whale that died off Thailand had eaten 80 plastic bags

Whale that died off Thailand had eaten 80 plastic bags Image copyright AFP/THAIWHALES Image caption Helpers tried to stabilise the whale but it died on Friday afternoon A pilot whale has died off southern Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags, Thai marine officials say. The whale vomited five bags during a vain attempt by conservation officials to save it in a canal in Songkhla province. The bags, weighing about 8kg (17lbs), had made it impossible for the whale to eat food, a marine expert said. A recent report warned the amount of plastic in the ocean could triple in a decade unless litter was curbed. Thailand is a major user of plastic bags and its government last month announced it was considering a levy on them. Ocean plastic a 'planetary crisis' - UN 'Shame and anger' at plastic ocean pollution Plastic pollution: Images of a global problem They are believed to kill hundreds of marine animals there each year. The small male pilot whale had been discovered a..
June 2, 2018

Australia alert after ship loses 83 containers

Australia alert after ship loses 83 containers Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Taiwanese-owned ship got into difficulty in a heavy swell in the Tasman Sea on Thursday Maritime authorities in Australia have issued an alert after 83 shipping containers fell from a vessel off the coast of New South Wales. Sanitary products, surgical masks and nappies have begun washing up on beaches north of Sydney. There are concerns the items could prove dangerous to whales and other animals if they swallow them. The containers tumbled off a Taiwanese-owned ship in a heavy swell in the Tasman Sea on Thursday. Video showed some containers split open and hanging from the ship. Thirty were damaged. Search for MH370 uncovered old shipwrecks Are ships more polluting than Germany? Some partly submerged containers pose a threat to leisure boats and commercial shipping. "They're 40-ft containers, they sit about a foot or two off the water. Even in the best of conditions they're difficul..
June 2, 2018

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks ‘irresponsible’ US comments

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks 'irresponsible' US comments Image copyright Reuters Image caption A photograph from 2015 shows Chinese vessels around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands China has branded as "irresponsible" US comments that it is intimidating its neighbours with its military deployment in the South China Sea. A top Chinese general said China had the right to deploy troops and weapons "on its own territory". Earlier US Defence Secretary James Mattis said Beijing's actions called into question its broader goals. Six countries have competing claims in the sea, but China has backed its own with island-building and patrols. Gen Mattis had made his critical comments at a security summit in Singapore. Why is the South China Sea contentious? China's 'globalised' military power Speaking at the same conference, China's Lt Gen He Lei said: "Any irresponsible comments from other countries cannot be accepted." Gen He said Beiji..
June 2, 2018

Kashmir unrest as protester run over by police dies

Kashmir unrest as protester run over by police dies Image copyright AFP Anti-India protests have flared in Indian-administered Kashmir after one of two demonstrators run over by police on Friday died in hospital. Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters as hundreds attended the funeral of Kaiser Bhat, crushed by a jeep, in the summer capital Srinagar. The authorities have imposed a curfew in parts of the city and blocked internet services. Kashmir is the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan. Friday's incident happened during protests against alleged police heavy-handedness in a raid during Ramadan on a city mosque they consider to be a hotbed of militants. Security forces say the police were defending themselves from attack, but some local people say they deliberately drove into the crowd. Graphic images have been circulating on social media of the young man's face as the paramilitary jeep drives over him. Why India and Pakistan dispute Kashmir T..
June 2, 2018

South China Sea dispute: Mattis says China ‘intimidating neighbours’

South China Sea dispute: Mattis says China 'intimidating neighbours' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Beijing has been turning islands into military bases China is deploying missiles in the disputed South China Sea to intimidate and coerce its neighbours, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said. Speaking in Singapore, General Mattis said Beijing's actions called into question its broader goals. He also said the issue of US troops in South Korea was "not on the table" at this month's summit between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. The US wanted complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, he added. South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo also told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit that US forces in South Korea was a "separate issue from North Korea's nuclear issue". There are currently about 28,500 US troops based in South Korea. Trump says summit with Kim is back on What does Kim Jong-un really want? The political g..
June 1, 2018

Trump says summit with Kim is back on

Trump says summit with Kim is back on Donald Trump's summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June is back on, the US president says, a week after it was scrapped. Mr Trump made the announcement after talks with a senior North Korean envoy at the White House. He also said that North Korea "wanted to do denuclearisation", although the North did not confirm this. The envoy, Gen Kim Yong-chol, hand-delivered a letter from the North Korean leader to President Trump. Mr Trump said it was "a very interesting letter and at some point it may be appropriate" to share it. He also said the issue of human rights was not discussed. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.
June 1, 2018

Vietnamese boy found inside a suitcase at Port of Dover

Vietnamese boy found inside a suitcase at Port of Dover Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The boy was discovered during checks at the Port of Dover A man has been charged with smuggling after a Vietnamese child was found inside a suitcase at the Port of Dover. The boy, believed to be aged 16, was taken to hospital in a life threatening condition following his discovery by UK Border Force officials at about 20:30 BST on Wednesday. Andrei Iancu, 20, from Buzau in Romania, was charged with attempting to smuggle a person into the UK. He remains in custody and is due to appear before Medway magistrates later. The suitcase was found in the boot of a silver Skoda Octavia stopped at a search area for vehicles arriving in the UK from France. Kent Police said the boy's condition has since improved.
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