May 9, 2018

Walmart wins battle for India’s Flipkart

Walmart wins battle for India's Flipkart Image copyright Reuters Walmart will pay about $16bn to take control of Flipkart, India's biggest online retailer, in a deal that puts it head to head with Amazon. The world's largest retailer will take a 77% stake, valuing the Indian company at more than $20bn. Flipkart has been under pressure from Amazon since it arrived in India five years ago. Amazon had been considering making its own offer for the Indian firm, which has more than 100 million users. Walmart has been looking to expand in India for years and is flush with cash from recent US tax cuts. Founded in 2007, Flipkart has high-profile investors including Microsoft, Tencent and Softbank that will retain their stakes. The combination with Walmart could be controversial, with concerns about how a deal might affect India's smaller retailers. Online sales in India were worth $21bn last year, according to market research firm Forrester. That total is expected to so..
May 9, 2018

Taiwanese flag on bull artwork painted over in Australia

Taiwanese flag on bull artwork painted over in Australia Image copyright NADJA LO Image caption The blue and red Taiwanese flag was painted to represent the school's cultural diversity An Australian city council has been criticised after it covered up Taiwanese flags painted by school students on a public artwork. The flags were painted on a bull statue displayed for a beef industry event in Queensland. Rockhampton Regional Council said it altered the work to reflect the Australian government's policy of not recognising Taiwan as a country. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province. The fibreglass statue was one of six school artworks commissioned by the council and Beef Australia for a week-long festival in Rockhampton, 600km (370 miles) north of Brisbane. North Rockhampton State School said students had created the design, which featured various national flags in the shape of fish, to celebrate the cultural diversity of their community. T..
May 9, 2018

Five takeaways from Australia’s budget

Five takeaways from Australia's budget Image copyright EPA Image caption Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers his budget speech to parliament The Australian government has delivered an annual budget that prioritises tax cuts, aged care spending and a schedule for returning the economy to surplus. The budget is expected to be PM Malcolm Turnbull's last before he seeks re-election, likely to be next year. As its centrepiece, the budget sets out tax relief for low and middle income earners. Political opponents said they would support some measures, but criticised others as "a mirage". Treasurer Scott Morrison said: "The economy is improving and all Australians should share in that." Here are five things that the budget sets out. 1. Tax cuts in the short term, and plans for moreFrom next year, people earning between A$37,000 (£20,000; $27,000) and A$90,000 will receive annual savings of A$200-A$530. Then from 2024, a majority of Australians will be taxed at the same rate of 32.5% -..
May 9, 2018

Five Australian politicians ousted over dual citizenship

Five Australian politicians ousted over dual citizenship Image copyright Parliament of Australia Image caption Susan Lamb is among the parliamentarians who resigned on Wednesday Five new Australian parliamentarians have been ousted for holding dual citizenship when they were elected. Last year, 10 MPs and senators were removed from office for violating a constitutional rule that prohibits federal political candidates from being dual nationals. On Wednesday, Senator Katy Gallagher was ruled ineligible by a court in what was widely viewed as a fresh test case. Four other politicians who were under scrutiny resigned after the verdict. Ms Gallagher and lower house MPs Justine Keay, Josh Wilson and Susan Lamb are members of the opposition Labor party. The fifth MP, Rebekha Sharkie, is part of minor party Centre Alliance. The dual citizenship saga has destabilised Australian politics since last July, at times threatening Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's majority in the House of Repres..
May 8, 2018

Pompeo heads to North Korea ahead of Trump-Kim talks

Pompeo heads to North Korea ahead of Trump-Kim talks Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Pompeo (left) said a "good relationship" had been formed at an April meeting with Mr Kim US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Pyongyang ahead of a landmark meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump. Mr Pompeo said he hoped to finalise plans for talks on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. He also said he hoped North Korea would "do the right thing" and release three US citizens detained in the country. It is Mr Pompeo's second trip to Pyongyang after a meeting with Mr Kim last month while he was CIA director. He later said that a "good relationship" was formed at the meeting in April, which marked the highest level US contact with North Korea since 2000. On Tuesday, Mr Pompeo said the release of three imprisoned Americans held in North Korea would be "a great gesture". "We've been asking for the release of these detainees for 17 mo..
May 8, 2018

‘Paedophilia-defending’ YouTuber has channel removed

'Paedophilia-defending' YouTuber has channel removed Image copyright Reuters Image caption Amos Yee has faced scrutiny over his controversial videos A Singaporean YouTuber who allegedly posted videos defending paedophilia has had his channel terminated. Amos Yee, 19, is currently living in the United States having been granted asylum there. He had previously been imprisoned twice in Singapore over videos that criticised religion and state authorities. His YouTube channel had attracted 40,000 subscribers, according to the South China Morning Post. On Facebook, a post on Mr Yee's page said: "My YouTube channel and all the videos there have been completely taken down because of my views defending paedophilia." He also tweeted about the removal. The BBC has contacted Mr Yee for comment. The Sun newspaper reported on 20 April that the US Toy Association, a trade body, had removed its advertisements from YouTube after one of its campaigns had been found on Mr Yee's Chann..
May 8, 2018

Malaysia heads to polls on election day

Malaysia heads to polls on election day Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Malaysians will soon have their fingers marked with indelible ink, showing that they have voted Over 14 million voters in Malaysia are heading to the polls in an election that will see the incumbent leader facing off against his 92-year-old former mentor. Opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad will be up against current PM Najib Razak's ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. An opposition victory would be unprecedented in Malaysia, where BN has ruled for 61 years. But critics have raised concerns the election will not be free and fair. Malaysian politics have been dominated since independence by the BN coalition and its major party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). But the coalition has been losing ground over recent general elections. In the last election, in 2013, the opposition made unprecedented gains - winning the popular vote - although it failed to win enough seats to form a ma..
May 8, 2018

Horse trainers guilty in Australia’s ‘biggest’ racing scandal

Horse trainers guilty in Australia's 'biggest' racing scandal Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Trainer Robert Smerdon is among those facing penalties Eight horse racing professionals have been found guilty of doping offences over what has been called the biggest scandal to hit the sport in Australia. A tribunal found the five trainers and three stablehands had given banned race-day treatments to horses before more than 100 races. It had involved "a litany of brazen attempts to cheat" over a seven-year period from 2010, the tribunal said. The trainers and stablehands face fines and lengthy bans from the sport. The eight, all linked to the now-defunct Aquanita Racing stable, faced a total of 271 charges at a racing tribunal in Victoria. None of the eight had pleaded guilty. Victoria's Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board said the case "involves probably the biggest scandal and the most widespread investigation in the history of Australian racing". Banned ..
May 8, 2018

India says no to day-night Australia Test

India says no to day-night Australia Test Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australia have played four day-night Tests in Adelaide and won all of them Australia has scrapped a day-night cricket Test match after India refused to play, officials say. The game scheduled for December in Adelaide using the pink ball will now be held in normal daylight hours. Australia have played four day-night Tests since 2015 - three of them in Adelaide - and won all of them. Analysts say India, who have not played a pink-ball Test, are reluctant to give the hosts an advantage as they seek a first Test series win in Australia. "We can confirm that we have received advice from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it is not prepared to participate in a proposed day-night Test in Adelaide this summer," Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said in a statement quoted by the AFP news agency. "As a result, we can now confirm this Test match will be a day format." India, the world&#..
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