May 17, 2018

Is removing ‘Aboriginal’ from birth certificates whitewashing history

Is removing 'Aboriginal' from birth certificates whitewashing history? Image copyright GARRY SMITH Image caption Garry Smith wants Western Australia to stop altering historical birth records It was never a requirement, but back in the 1800s some clerks in Australia took it upon themselves to add notes about ethnicity to some birth certificates. As the BBC's Frances Mao in Sydney writes, a move to reverse that has generated a new problem. Garry Smith just wanted to complete a family tree documenting his Aboriginal heritage. However in 2013, when he retrieved the 19th Century birth certificate for his great-grandmother, he noticed a glaring omission: the word "Aboriginal" had been covered over. He asked authorities what had happened, and was told the word had been erased due to its "offensive" connotations. "Having somebody telling you it's offensive, I just stood there and felt a bit sick," he told the BBC. "Was I supposed to be embarrassed or ashamed to have Aborig..
May 17, 2018

WeChat’s owner Tencent sees profits soar by more than 60%

WeChat's owner Tencent sees profits soar by more than 60% Image copyright Reuters Image caption WeChat has evolved into China's biggest social network Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has posted a record quarterly profit for the three months to March, sending its shares up more than 5% on Thursday. The firm, which owns the popular messaging app WeChat, posted a 61% year-on-year jump in profit, to 23.29bn yuan ($3.7bn; £2.73bn). Tencent's online games, like the hugely popular Honour of Kings, boosted revenues by 26%. WeChat, which is a bit like WhatsApp, is now China's biggest social network. It is also an important source of revenue for Tencent - though the firm continues to remain reasonably vague on those details in its earnings reports. Are you one of the WeChat billion? 'Poison': China's most vilified online game Tencent chief 'richer than Google founders' Where does the money come from? Analysts have said that most of Tencent&#03..
May 17, 2018

Japanese train departs 25 seconds early – again

Japanese train departs 25 seconds early - again Image copyright Getty Images A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months. The operator said the "great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable". If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a train last November left 20 seconds early while this time it was a full 25 seconds premature. As was to be expected, social media has been making the most of the story. Image Copyright @HarrisAzhari @HarrisAzhari Report Image Copyright @HarrisAzhari @HarrisAzhari Report Reality Check: When is a train on time?According to Japan Today, the train conductor thought his train was scheduled to leave Notogawa Station at 07:11 instead of the actual scheduled time of 07:12 on Friday. After closing the doors to the commuter train one minute early he realised his mistake and still could have averted the looming embarrassme..
May 16, 2018

North Korea summit: US hopeful Trump-Kim meet will go ahead

North Korea summit: US hopeful Trump-Kim meet will go ahead Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy North Korea is angry at this man The Trump administration is hopeful its summit with North Korea will go ahead, despite threats of cancellation. A White House spokesperson said the US president remained ready. Hours earlier, North Korea released an angry statement saying it might pull out of the meeting if the US insisted it gave up its nuclear weapons. The highly anticipated meeting between Mr Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un is due to take place on 12 June. "The president is ready if the meeting takes place," said White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders. "If it doesn't, we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign that's been ongoing." When asked if it would go ahead, Mr Trump later said: "We'll have to see". He reiterated that the US would still insist on denuclearisation. How rival agendas threaten the summit with Kim North Korea c..
May 16, 2018

How rival agendas threaten Trump’s summit with Kim

How rival agendas threaten Trump's summit with Kim Image copyright EPA Image caption The two leaders are due to meet in Singapore on 12 June North Korea is making its demands clear. This has very little to do with military drills and more to do with the Sunday talk shows in the US during which John Bolton, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, outlined what might be on offer if Kim Jong-un gave up his nuclear weapons. The North Koreans have been watching and they do not like what they have heard. The whole reason the state has spent years building up a nuclear arsenal, at such a great cost, is for survival. So to compare denuclearisation in North Korea with Libya - as John Bolton did on Sunday - is not going to offer much comfort. The regime collapsed and its leader did not survive. The root of the problem is one of language and interpretation. Rival agendasFor months, the world has heard that North Korea is willing to..
May 16, 2018

Malaysia’s political drama is worthy of Shakespeare

Malaysia's political drama is worthy of Shakespeare Image copyright Reuters Image caption All smiles now - but today's posters hide a story of betrayal and restitution The release of Anwar Ibrahim is an important step in a new beginning for Malaysia, building on the stunning electoral victory that ousted the ruling party on 9 May. It's also a test of loyalty between two men with a long rivalry, one of whom was the other's jailor, writes Bridget Welsh. The story of the relationship between just-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim is so full of drama it would be fitting for Shakespeare - loyalty, betrayal, tragedy and irony meld together in a narrative for the ages. Dr Mahathir, now 92, first put Anwar in prison on corruption and sodomy charges in politically charged circumstances in 1999. But he has now come out of retirement, won a second stint as prime minister - and provided the key to his former deputy's release nearly two decades late..
May 16, 2018

Malaysia’s Najib Razak has home searched by police

Malaysia's Najib Razak has home searched by police Image copyright Reuters Image caption The crowded scene outside Najib Razak's house on Wednesday night Malaysian police have searched the home of ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak, one week after he lost the national election. Multiple police vehicles were seen circulating in front of his house after night fall, according to local media. The new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, previously said he was looking into re-opening corruption investigations against his former ally. Mr Najib denies any wrongdoing. He was put under a travel ban at the weekend. He had attempted to leave the country to go on holiday with his wife on Saturday. Police confirmed the search of his property, but did not give any further details, the New Straits Times newspaper reported. Mr Najib has long been dogged by corruption allegations related to a state fund he founded. In 2015, he was accused of diverting $700m (£517m) from the fund, but he was cl..
May 16, 2018

India Andhra Pradesh boat capsize: Several feared drowned

India Andhra Pradesh boat capsize: Several feared drowned Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The accident happened on the Godavari river on Tuesday evening At least 15 people are missing after a boat capsized in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Reports say some 25 people were on board the vessel, many of them on their way back home from a weekly market. The accident happened on the Godavari river on Tuesday evening. What caused the boat to capsize is unclear. Officials say 10 passengers swam ashore. Rescue agencies, led by a federal disaster relief agency, are searching for bodies in the river. None of the passengers were wearing lifejackets although they were available on the boat, police told BBC Telugu's Sangeetham Prabhakar. They added that the boat was a private, licensed vessel and the owner, who had also been operating the boat, is now in police custody. A senior police official told The Indian Express newspaper that the medium-sized boat was "ferrying ..
May 16, 2018

Indonesia violence: Samurai sword-armed men target police station

Indonesia violence: Samurai sword-armed men target police station Image copyright AFP Image caption The attack on a Sumatran police station comes after suicide bombings shocked the country in recent days. Four men who attacked a police station with samurai swords in Indonesia have been shot dead, authorities say. The group began the assault by ramming a car into the police headquarters in the Sumatran town of Riau. A police officer was killed and one of the assailants arrested. The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed the attack via its news outlet. It comes after a series of suicide attacks carried out by families that have shocked the country. Police blame a local IS-inspired group, Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), for the attacks. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. Following the 2002 Bali bombings, it had been widely praised for its sustained anti-terrorism crackdown. Parents who bring their children to die Why is Indonesia a target for IS militants..
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