March 12, 2019

George Pell: Australia court jails cardinal for six years

George Pell: Australia court jails cardinal for six years Image copyright Getty Images Image caption George Pell is the most senior Catholic ever to be convicted of sexual abuse Cardinal George Pell has been given a maximum six-year jail sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Australia. The former Vatican treasurer is the most senior Catholic figure ever to be found guilty of sexual offences against children. Pell abused the choir boys in Melbourne in 1996, a jury ruled last year. The cardinal, 77, maintains his innocence and is appealing against his convictions. In sentencing Pell on Wednesday, a judge said the cleric had committed "a brazen and forceful sexual attack on the two victims". "Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance," said Judge Peter Kidd. In December, a jury unanimously convicted Pell of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16. His conviction has rocked the..
March 12, 2019

Kim Jong-nam murder: Suspect Siti Aisyah ‘shocked’ at being released

Kim Jong-nam murder: Suspect Siti Aisyah 'shocked' at being released Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhile in prison, Siti Aisyah wondered: "Is this the end of my life?" The Indonesian woman freed after being accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea's leader says she was "shocked" when she learned of her release. Siti Aisyah had been accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong-nam's face in Kuala Lumpur airport. In an interview with the BBC, she said at one point she had thought: "Is this the end of my life?" She repeated that she was not involved in Mr Kim's murder in 2017. Ms Aisyah refused to go into details when asked about how she was recruited, and about the men who recruited her. She and her co-accused, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong - who also deny murder - say they thought they were part of a TV prank. Who are the two women of the Kim Jong-nam murder? The world's most unusual assassinations "I never [thought] t..
March 12, 2019

North Korea election: Surprise as leader Kim Jong-un ‘not on ballot’

North Korea election: Surprise as leader Kim Jong-un 'not on ballot' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption MP or not, Kim Jong-un retains an iron grip over North Korea North Korea's election has resulted in the expected landslide win for its authoritarian leadership - but in a big first for the country, Kim Jong-un does not appear to have been on the ballot. If confirmed, it would be the first time a North Korean leader has not run for its rubberstamp parliament. The vote did see his sister, Kim Yo-jong, elected to the body, however. The leader's younger sibling has been gradually moving into a more influential role. What it's like to 'vote' in North Korea Kim's hiding sister and other unreal moments North Korean sister with a 'tomboy streak' North Korea's parliamentary election is used by Pyongyang to legitimise its rule, but is condemned internationally as a meaningless exercise. Each voting slip has only one state-appr..
March 12, 2019

Boeing 737: Australia joins Singapore in barring Max planes

Boeing 737: Australia joins Singapore in barring Max planes Image copyright Reuters Image caption SilkAir's six Max 8 aircraft will remain grounded for now Singapore and Australia's aviation authorities have temporarily banned Boeing 737 Max aircraft from flying into and out of their countries. The decision comes after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing Max 8 crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people on board. It was the second fatal accident involving that model in less than five months. Singapore's Changi Airport is the world's sixth busiest and a major hub connecting Asia to Europe and the US. But only a handful of airlines operate Max aircraft in and out of the country. No Australian airlines operate the Boeing 737 Max, and only two foreign airlines - SilkAir and Fiji Airways - fly the model into the country. Shane Carmody, who is in charge of aviation safety at Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said the suspension would remain in place while the organi..
March 12, 2019

Raghuram Rajan says capitalism is ‘under serious threat’

Raghuram Rajan says capitalism is 'under serious threat' Image copyright AFP Former Indian central bank governor Raghuram Rajan has warned capitalism is "under serious threat" as it has stopped providing for the masses. Mr Rajan told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme "when that happens, the many revolt against capitalism". He said governments cannot afford to ignore social inequality when considering the economy. Mr Rajan led India's central bank and was also a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. He has been tipped by some as a possible successor to take over from Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England. "I think capitalism is under serious threat because it's stopped providing for the many, and when that happens, the many revolt against capitalism," he told the BBC. Mr Rajan said it was possible in the past to obtain a middle class job with "modest education". But the landscape has changed in the wake of the 2008 global financial..
March 12, 2019

Big Bang: K-pop star quits showbiz amid ‘sex bribery’ claims

Big Bang: K-pop star quits showbiz amid 'sex bribery' claims Image copyright VCG via Getty Images Image caption Seungri (left) is accused of trying to procure sex workers for his business investors (file picture) One of South Korea's most successful boyband stars has announced his retirement from showbiz, a day after he was charged with supplying prostitutes to business investors. Seungri will be leaving the five-piece group Big Bang, who have sold over 140 million records since their 2006 debut and are known as the "Kings of K-pop". The 28-year-old wrote on Instagram: "I have decided to retire because the controversy has become so big." He has denied procuring prostitutes. Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, had already cancelled all planned engagements in February, and the March shows of his solo tour. In a statement he apologised to his fans, and promised to "sincerely participate in investigations into all allegations". The world's most controversia..
March 12, 2019

Boeing 737: Singapore bars 737 Max planes from airspace

Boeing 737: Singapore bars 737 Max planes from airspace Image copyright Reuters Image caption SilkAir's six Max 8 aircraft will remain grounded for now Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) has temporarily suspended all Boeing 737 Max models from flying into and out of the country. The decision comes after an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crashed on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. It was the second fatal accident involving that model in less than five months. Singapore is a major travel hub, with flights connecting Asia to Europe and the US. Several airlines and regulators around the world have already grounded the Max 8 model, following the crash. Singapore is believed to be the first country to ban all variants of the Max family of aircraft. The suspension goes into effect from 14:00 local time (06:00 GMT). SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 Max aircraft will be affected, as will China Southern Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Shandong Airlines and Thai Lion Air,..
March 12, 2019

US ‘warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing’

US 'warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing' Image copyright Getty Images The US has told Germany it would curb intelligence sharing with Berlin if it allows Huawei to participate in its 5G mobile network. The warning came in a recent letter from the US ambassador to Germany seen by the Wall Street Journal. The US has been lobbying its allies to boycott Huawei due to national security risks. The firm has pushed back against claims it poses a security threat including suing the US government. US ambassador Richard Grenell said the US would not be able to keep the same level of co-operation with German security agencies if Germany allowed Huawei or other Chinese firms to participate in its next-generation 5G mobile network, the Wall Street Journal reported. The US cannot crush us, says Huawei boss Should we worry about Huawei? Could Huawei threaten the Five Eyes? In the letter to Germany's economics minister dated last Friday, Mr Grenell said secure c..
March 11, 2019

Why India is a world leader in waste paper

Why India is a world leader in waste paper Image caption Such mountains of imported waste paper are steadily growing in India Ever wondered what happens to the household waste paper thrown out for recycling in Europe and the US? Since China - once the world's major destination for paper recycling - introduced new restrictions on waste paper imports at the beginning of last year, a significant proportion is now being sent to India where it's reprocessed. At the NR Agarwal recycling plant in western Gujarat state, huge mountains of waste paper are piled up almost to the ceiling. The plant, in an industrial estate in the city of Vapi, is one of India's biggest - and the scale of the operation here is striking. Workers use bulldozers to break open massive bales of waste paper, and teams of women in brightly coloured saris sort the paper into different types. Image caption British newspapers also form a significant portion of the waste paper India imports In one pile the f..
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