May 19, 2018

Santa Fe school shooting: Pakistan exchange student among victims

Santa Fe school shooting: Pakistan exchange student among victims Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption"It broke my heart to see what was going on" An exchange student from Pakistan is among the first named victims of a Texas high school shooting. Ten people were killed and 10 were injured at Santa Fe High School when a student opened fire. The suspect is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17. The embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC confirmed that student Sabika Sheikh was among the dead. Substitute teacher Cynthia Tisdale was also killed in the attack, her family told US media outlets. Mrs Tisdale's niece and brother-in-law both confirmed the news. Writing on Facebook, John Tisdale said his sister-in-law was an "amazing person". Sabika Sheikh, aged 18, had been on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad programme (YES). The programme is run by the US state department, and was set up in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks to bring students from Muslim-m..
May 19, 2018

South China Sea dispute: China lands bombers on island

South China Sea dispute: China lands bombers on island Image copyright Google/Digital Globe Image caption An H-6K bomber is believed to have landed on Woody Island China has for the first time landed bombers on disputed territory in the South China Sea, its air force said, prompting fresh US warnings that it is destabilising the region. The long-range H-6K bomber was among those which took part in drills on islands and reefs to improve China's ability to "reach all territory". The sea, a key trade route, is subject to overlapping claims by six countries. China has been accused of militarising the sea to support its vast claims. The latest move could provoke new tension in the region. Beijing's defence ministry did not specify where the bombers landed but said the training involved simulated strikes against sea targets. An H-6K pilot, Ge Daqing, was quoted in a statement as saying that the training "sharpens our courage and enhances our capabilities in a real war". Why is t..
May 18, 2018

The priest whose blunt billboards have gone global

The priest whose blunt billboards have gone global Image copyright ROD BOWER Image caption The church's billboard advocating for mental health awareness On a typical Sunday, Father Rod Bower draws about 200 people to his church service in a coastal town in Australia. But online, his messages are often viewed by millions. For years, he has been posting provocative statements on a roadside billboard outside his Gosford Anglican Church in New South Wales. Spelled out in 30cm (12in) block letters, his opinions - typically on progressive issues - have gained global attention on social media. One of his most shared comments followed the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February, when he wrote: "When will they love their kids more than their guns". His Facebook post on the billboard was viewed by more than three million people, and picked up by US news outlets. He has more than 70,000 followers on social media and "a higher engagement rate than the prime minister", he says. Image ..
May 18, 2018

The Indian lawmakers being guarded in ‘secret locations’

The Indian lawmakers being guarded in 'secret locations' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Many lawmakers were last seen in this bus India's Supreme Court has intervened after an election in the southern state of Karnataka led to a political crisis. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won the most seats in the recently concluded poll, rushed to swear in a chief minister although it did not have the numbers for a majority. This led to a stand-off with two opposition parties who cobbled together an alliance that gave them the numbers. The state governor had allowed the BJP 15 days to prove their majority. But amid massive outcry, the Supreme Court overruled him, and reduced the 15-day window to 24 hours. The BJP now have until 1600 (1030 GMT) on Saturday to try and win over eight members from the opposition alliance to form the government. The opposition parties have responded by hiding away their newly-elected lawmakers, and Indians are captivated by the d..
May 18, 2018

Malaysia politics: $4 sandals vs luxury Birkin bags

Malaysia politics: $4 sandals vs luxury Birkin bags Image copyright BATA/Getty Images Image caption Cheap but comfy sandals vs coveted Hermes Birkin bags There's a classic quote from Sex and the City that goes: "It's not a bag. It's a Birkin". The French luxury handbag, an international symbol of wealth and status, made a return to the spotlight this week in an unlikely place: a shopping trolley pushed by police in Malaysia. Late Wednesday night, dozens of armed police officers raided the private apartments of ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak, a week after his dramatic election defeat to former ally, Mahathir Mohammad. In further raids on properties linked to him, police seized more than 200 boxes of luxury items, along with 72 bags of jewellery, cash of various denominations, watches and other valuables. Image copyright EPA Image caption Boxes after boxes of Hermes Birkin bags were carted away on high security police trucks Among the haul were dozens of orange boxes co..
May 18, 2018

China drops sanctions probe into US sorghum imports

China drops sanctions probe into US sorghum imports Image copyright Reuters Image caption The US is the world's largest producer of sorghum China says it is dropping an anti-dumping probe into sorghum imports from the US, as the two sides discuss ways of easing trade tensions. In April, Beijing introduced a high tariff on the imports as part of a tit-for-tat trade spat between with the US. But China's commerce ministry has now said the measures affect consumers and are not in the public interest. The US is the world's leading producer of sorghum, and is the largest supplier of the grain to China. Sorghum is a grain used primarily to feed livestock, but it is also used to create ethanol, or drinking alcohol. China said a final ruling on whether to continue April's 178.6% tariffs would be made after a further investigation. Olive branchUnder his "America First" slogan, US President Donald Trump promised to counter what he describes as unfair global trade practices ..
May 17, 2018

Where are the missing Commonwealth Games athletes?

Where are the missing Commonwealth Games athletes? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou is one of missing Cameroon athletes It has been just over a month since several athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Australia disappeared. The first to be reported missing were eight teammates from the Cameroon delegation, however the estimated number is now between 20 and 100. They include athletes, coaches and team officials from several African countries. Since their entry visas expired on Tuesday, Australia has threatened to deport those overstaying illegally. However, they are permitted to stay in the country if they attempt to seek asylum. How many are missing?Australian news outlets have worked themselves into a frenzy trying to track down the missing groups. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Petit Minkoumba, from Cameroon, has also vanished since the Games They have quoted various refugee advice centres and immigration lawyers who state numbers ..
May 17, 2018

Malaysia police seize cash and luxury goods in Najib-linked raids

Malaysia police seize cash and luxury goods in Najib-linked raids Image copyright EPA Image caption Luxury handbags from Birkin, Hermes and Louis Vuitton were among the items seized Police in Malaysia say they have seized hundreds of boxes of luxury items and handbags full of foreign currency from properties linked to ex-PM Najib Razak. The raids on properties across the capital, Kuala Lumpur, were related to investigations into state development fund 1MDB, they said. Corruption claims against 1MDB were a major cause of Mr Najib's election loss to his former ally, Mahathir Mohammad. Billions of dollars are unaccounted for from the fund, which Mr Najib set up. Mr Najib himself was alleged to have pocketed $700m (£517m), which he has always denied. He has been cleared by Malaysian authorities but is being investigated by several other countries. Mr Mahathir has said he is considering reopening the case and that he believes the missing money can be recovered. He has banned Mr Najib..
May 17, 2018

The India village ‘on the verge of extinction’

The India village 'on the verge of extinction' Image copyright AFP Image caption Iron ore mining was a major source of jobs in Goa When India's Supreme Court banned iron ore mining in the western state of Goa in February 2018, many villages in the state had already been ravaged by decades of mining. Journalist Supriya Vohra visited Sonshi, one such village that is struggling to survive. "We were literally eating dust," says 45-year-old Kusum Gawade. The dozens of trucks going to and from the village's mining pits used to pass by Ms Gawade's house regularly. Nearly everyone who lives in Sonshi belongs to an indigenous tribe that has a common last name, Gawade. "I had to clean my house at least three times a day," Ms Gawade adds. "The dust was everywhere. It entered our rooms, sat on our utensils, went inside our food, our water. It was a part and parcel of our lives." Why mining in India is a source of corruption India's controversial iron mining boom The..
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