May 31, 2018

US confident on plans for Trump-Kim talks

US confident on plans for Trump-Kim talks Image copyright Reuters Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said denuclearisation talks with North Korea are "moving in the right direction". After meeting in New York with a top Pyongyang official, Mr Pompeo said the talks could usher in "a new era of peace, prosperity and security". He said Kim Jong-un's right-hand man was heading to Washington to deliver a letter to President Donald Trump. Gen Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean to visit the US in nearly 20 years. President Trump cancelled plans for a summit on 12 June with the North Korean leader, but both sides are trying to revive the meeting. Scheduled to happen in Singapore, a bilateral between Mr Trump and Mr Kim would be the first between sitting US and North Korean leaders. At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Pompeo said this was a "pivotal moment in our relationship in which it could be nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste". Image copyright A..
May 31, 2018

Pakistan investigates Bahria College exam groping allegations

Pakistan investigates Bahria College exam groping allegations Image copyright iStock/Getty Images Plus Image caption The story has generated a huge discussion about the power examiners have over students (file photo) Pakistan's education department has launched an investigation against an examiner accused of groping several students during their biology exam. Teenagers at one of Islamabad's top schools have accused Sadat Bashir of harassing dozens of students during their final practical exams last week. One student alleged he touched her buttocks and traced her bra strap, and threatened to deduct marks, in a social media post that has gone viral. Mr Bashir has denied the allegations. The female students were taking part in practical biology exams, in their final year at Bahria College. In a Facebook post, one student wrote that Mr Bashir, an invigilator sent by a government examination board, made "sleazy comments" and groped her twice while she was working. Another studen..
May 31, 2018

Anger as film star supports police firing

Rajinikanth: Anger after actor justifies deadly police firing Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Rajinikanth is one of the most popular actors in Asia Officials in Tamil Nadu state have beefed up security at film star Rajinikanth's home after he justified a police decision to fire live bullets into a mass protest last week. The police action killed at least 13 people in the port city of Tuticorin. The star said that "anti-social elements" in the crowd had to be "dealt with an iron hand". The deadly protest against a copper smelting plant in the city caused authorities to shut it down. Locals allege that the Sterlite Copper plant owned by the Vedanta conglomerate has been causing ground water and air pollution. They have been protesting against it for more than 20 years now. Vedanta denies the charges. "The protest against the Sterlite unit was going on peacefully for 100 days, but the rally turned violent [on 22 May ] due to the intrusion of anti-social elements and ended..
May 31, 2018

Shimla water crisis: Tourists warned to avoid top Indian destination

Shimla water crisis: Tourists warned to avoid top Indian destination Image caption Shimla has been in the midst of a water crisis for more than a week Hotels and locals have urged tourists to stay away from the popular Indian tourist city of Shimla as it is suffering a severe water shortage. The Himalayan city has been hit by the crisis for more than a week, causing some hotels to shut. A social media campaign urging tourists to stay away and "let the place breathe for a while" has gone viral. On Tuesday, locals protested outside the chief minister's house and clashed with police. "It'll only get worse as tourists throng the place in large numbers during June, and it will make life really difficult for the locals," read a post that has been widely shared on social media. Image Copyright @NaughtyKiu @NaughtyKiu Report Image Copyright @NaughtyKiu @NaughtyKiu Report Image Copyright @AkSinghrawat007 @AkSinghrawat007 Report Image Copyright @AkSinghrawat007 @AkSinghrawat007 Repor..
May 31, 2018

Korean Air raided as ‘nut rage’ family investigated

Korean Air raided as 'nut rage' family investigated Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The owners of Korean Air have been under intense scrutiny since 2014 South Korean prosecutors have raided Korean Air's offices over suspected tax evasion and breach of trust by members of its founding family. The investigation is the latest involving the Cho family. They came under renewed scrutiny last month after the chairman's daughter, Cho Hyun-min, allegedly threw water at an attendee of a business meeting. She is the younger sister of Heather Cho, who was jailed in 2014 for a "nut rage" incident. Heather Cho had demanded a Korean Air plane return to its gate at JFK airport in New York after losing her temper about the way she was served nuts in a first class cabin. 'Nut rage' mother facing abuse claims 'Nut rage' sister apologises for outburst South Korea's Yonhap News agency said prosecutors were looking into accusations of tax evasion and..
May 31, 2018

Taliban officials ‘in talks with Afghan government’, US says

Taliban officials 'in talks with Afghan government', US says Image copyright EPA Image caption The Afghan army has suffered mounting casualties The Taliban have held secret meetings with Afghan officials to discuss a ceasefire, according to the US military. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said the talks also involved foreign governments and international organisations. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proposed negotiations in February, an offer the Taliban did not respond to at the time. Since then violence has continued with mounting casualties on both sides. On Wednesday, the militants launched an attack on the interior ministry in Kabul, demonstrating their ability to carry out strikes in the capital. The insurgents also claimed responsibility for another attack on a police station, in the capital of Logar province. Image copyright EPA Image caption President Ashraf Ghani wants a ceasefire The US, meanwhile, confirmed strikes against the insurge..
May 31, 2018

Thailand’s Maya Bay from the film The Beach shuts

Thailand's Maya Bay from the film The Beach shuts Image copyright Getty Images Christy Reid and Heather Mason walk up and down Thailand's famous Maya Bay trying to get the perfect picture for their Instagram. However, it's tough for the British tourists to get a photo where it looks like they're the only ones in it. "We came here and didn't think it would be this busy," says Christie. "It's still stunning though." But from 1 June the beach - made famous by Danny Boyle's film The Beach - is to close to tourists for the first time. Thai authorities are giving the short strip of sand on the island of Ko Phi Phi a chance to recover from the strain of thousands of daily visitors. Image caption Christy Reed, 22, and Heather Mason, 20, are friends from the UK who want the perfect Thailand photo Environmentalists say years of increasing tourism has caused damage to Maya Bay and its surroundings. "We are a beautiful country but we have to protect our natu..
May 31, 2018

US military renames Pacific Command

US military renames Pacific Command Image copyright AFP Image caption The command has about 375,000 military and civilian personnel The US is renaming its largest military command to reflect the growing importance of the Indian Ocean in America's strategic thinking. Defence Secretary James Mattis said the US Pacific Command would now be called the US Indo-Pacific Command. The command oversees US operations in Asia. It has about 375,000 military and civilian personnel. The name change comes amid tensions with China, which has been expanding its military activity in the region. China lands bombers in South China Sea China's 'globalised' military power "In recognition of the increasing connectivity of the Indian and Pacific Oceans today we rename the US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command," Mr Mattis said at a change-of-command ceremony in Hawaii. "It is our primary combatant command, it's standing watch and intimately engaged with over half of the e..
May 30, 2018

Australian minister Greg Hunt accused of misogyny

Australian minister Greg Hunt accused of misogyny Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has apologised for using "strong language" An Australian government minister has apologised for swearing repeatedly at the mayor of a Northern Territory town. Health Minister Greg Hunt said he was wrong to use "strong language" during a private conversation with Katherine Mayor Fay Miller in December. Ms Miller also accused him of wagging his finger in her face. She called his manner "misogynist", an assertion to which Mr Hunt has not responded. The pair had been discussing funding arrangements for a local health scare. During the conversation, Ms Miller said Mr Hunt's tone changed after she had asked him for more federal resources. "I turned on a switch of some sort because he relocated his chair, pointing towards me," she told reporters on Thursday. She said Mr Hunt then swore at her and told her to "get over it". "And then [he said] more sentences ..
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