May 7, 2018

Afghanistan air strike: UN confirms 30 child deaths in April attack

Afghanistan air strike: UN confirms 30 child deaths in April attack Image copyright Reuters Image caption At least 51 children were injured A UN report has found that 30 children were killed and 51 injured in an Afghan air strike last month in the north-eastern province of Kunduz. The government said after the strike on 2 April that its air force had targeted a gathering of senior Taliban figures The investigation by the UN found six adults had also been killed in the air strike near a religious school, where an open-air ceremony was under way. There were "credible" reports the final toll could be higher, it noted. According to the UN report, hundreds of men and boys were attending the event in the Dasht-e Archi district when it came under rocket and heavy machine gun fire from helicopters. The Afghan government initially said 18 senior militants planning an attack had been killed and accused the Taliban of shooting civilians. Who are the Taliban? Taliban 'threaten 70% of Afgha..
May 7, 2018

Australia pledges cash to save declining koala population

Australia pledges cash to save declining koala population Image caption Australia's koala population has been under pressure due to loss of habitat The state of New South Wales in Australia (NSW) is to spend A$45m ($34m; £25m) protecting one of its most iconic creatures - the koala. The money will be used to establish forest reserves and build a hospital to care for the sick and injured animals. There will also be adjustments to roadkill hotspots as many koalas are killed by cars. The koala's decline has been blamed on habitat loss, dog attacks and climate change. Almost 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of state forest will become a koala habitat, for the animals to breed freely. You may also be interested in: Loyal waiting dog wins Chinese hearts Man wins lotto as he retires on birthday Korean cleaner may lose on gold bar find The koala population has dropped by about 26% over the past two decades in NSW, according to studies. "We know that there are around 36,000 koalas le..
May 7, 2018

Is Australia running out of fuel? PM orders supply review

Is Australia running out of fuel? PM orders supply review Image copyright Getty Images The Australian government has ordered a review of fuel security after experts warned the country only has weeks of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel supplies left in its reserves. The country's energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said it was the "prudent and proper thing to do" but should not be interpreted as Australia having a fuel security problem. The International Energy Agency expects countries to have 90-days worth of fuel in reserve, but Australia has not met those levels since 2012. So how low are Australia's fuel reserves?In January this year, the latest data available, Australia held just under 50 days worth of fuel stocks. Five years ago, it had nearly double that amount. The Australian Petroleum Statistics 2018 cites Australia as having 23 days worth of petrol, 20 days aviation fuel and 17 days diesel oil in reserve to use in an emergency. The remainder would come from overseas..
May 7, 2018

Paedophile-hunting policeman wins payout 46 years on

Paedophile-hunting policeman wins payout 46 years on Image copyright CHRIS KNIGHT Image caption Denis Ryan will be paid compensation by the state of Victoria Former Australian detective Denis Ryan was driven out of the police force in 1972 when he tried to bring a paedophile priest to justice. Now almost 50 years after he was ordered by superiors to drop the case - and deprived of a police pension - Mr Ryan will receive compensation. The 86-year-old man was recently awarded an undisclosed sum by the state government of Victoria. "When I heard the news, I near jumped out of my socks," he said. 'Destruction of my life'As a detective in the 1970s, Mr Ryan tried to charge Monsignor John Day with sexual offences in the regional city of Mildura. However, he was blocked by senior police officers and ordered to drop the case. Mr Ryan has blamed the decision on his superiors' "allegiance" to the Church. In 2015, he testified at a royal commission inquiry into child sexual abuse..
May 7, 2018

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say

India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Two recent cases of rape that made headlines have sparked massive outrage in India A 17-year-old girl in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand is in a critical condition after she was raped and then set on fire, police say. A local man has been arrested in connection with the attack. It is the second such incident to be reported in Jharkhand in recent days - another teenage girl who police say was raped and burned alive died on Sunday. Police have not indicated the two cases are connected. They come as India reels from a string of violent sexual crimes. In the latest Jharkhand case, the girl is undergoing treatment in hospital after suffering 95% burn injuries, police told BBC Hindi's Ravi Prakash. "The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn't ready," police officer Shailendra Barnwal said. They added that he attacked her on Friday in her relativ..
May 7, 2018

Phnom Penh Post’s sale to PR director increases media freedom fears

Phnom Penh Post's sale to PR director increases media freedom fears Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Founded in 1992, The Post has been described as an "independent and critical" newspaper A newspaper seen as Cambodia's last independent English daily has been sold to a Malaysian businessman, sparking fresh concerns about press freedom. The Phnom Penh Post's new owner is Sivakumar Ganapthy, director of a PR firm which has previously done work for the Cambodian government. He has said he will uphold the Post's legacy and editorial independence. But the sale comes amidst an increasing crackdown on independent media outlets, ahead of a general election in July. The Cambodia Daily, another independent newspaper, was last year forced to close after it was slapped with a $6.3m (£4.7m) tax bill that it could not pay. Other independent media outlets have also reportedly been accused of not complying with tax obligations. US government-funded Radio Free Asia recent..
May 6, 2018

Why Costa Ricans are being paid to marry Chinese migrants

Why Costa Ricans are being paid to marry Chinese migrants Image caption Officials are worried about the number of fake marriages between Costa Ricans and Chinese "Who wants to earn some money?" It was just a simple question, but it was enough to convince María (not her real name) to enter into what seemed like a simple deal. A young woman offered the 46-year-old Costa Rican woman 110 colones ($200; £140) to get married to a Chinese man so that he could get residency in the Central American country. At the time, María lived in one of the poorest areas of the Costa Rican capital, San José, and was desperate for help to feed her family. "We did not have anything to eat," María says of her decision to say yes. 'They look for prey'María's neighbourhood is not known for its safety. "Around here, the less you know, the longer you live," a resident warns. Image caption María is one of the Costa Ricans who took money to marry a Chinese migrant What happened to María is not unc..
May 6, 2018

Caste hatred in India – what it looks like

Caste hatred in India - what it looks like Image copyright Sudharak Olwe Image caption A photo of Sagar Shejwal A recent exhibition in the Indian city of Mumbai documented Dalit (formerly known as "untouchable") families that have lost a loved one because of discrimination and violence. The photographs by Sudharak Olwe capture the prejudice that remains a reality for millions of Dalits. They are some of the country's most downtrodden citizens because of an unforgiving Hindu caste hierarchy that condemns them to the bottom of the heap. Tens of thousands of Dalits recently took to the streets to protest against a Supreme Court ruling - they said it sought to weaken a law that was designed to protect them. The court had said that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, popularly known as the SC/ST Act, had been "misused" in the past but the order sparked massive outrage and the federal government asked the court to review its decision. The ..
May 6, 2018

Malaysia elections: Could Mahathir Mohamad make a comeback?

Malaysia elections: Could Mahathir Mohamad make a comeback? Image copyright EPA Image caption Mahathir Mohamad, left, has electrified Malaysia's election contest Among the torrent of election propaganda being produced in the campaigns to lead Malaysia for the next five years, one slickly-produced video stands out. In it, an adorable young Malay girl suddenly finds herself looking up at the grandfatherly face of the man who ruled and profoundly shaped Malaysia for 22 years, and now, at the astonishing age of 92, is leading the challenge to his former party, the United Malays National Organisation's (UMNO) monopoly on power. "I am already old," explains Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the girl, as tears fill his eyes. "I haven't much time left. I have to do some work to rebuild our country; perhaps because of mistakes I, myself, made in the past." In the background we hear the song Salam Terakhir (Final Greeting), by one of Malaysia's most popular performers Sudirman Arshad, ..
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