May 9, 2018

Trains, boats and planes: Kim Jong-un’s modes of transport

Trains, boats and planes: Kim Jong-un's modes of transport Image copyright KCNA Image caption Don't call it Air Force Un - the aircraft's official designation is "Chammae-1" A mysterious North Korean aircraft stationed at China's Dalian airport was the subject of much speculation on 7 and 8 May. The plane was eventually confirmed to be that of leader Kim Jong-un, who it turned out was meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coastal city. Mr Kim's increasing international engagement has given the wider world a view of how he travels, with each visit showcasing a different form of transport. Image copyright KCNA Image caption Kim Jong-un was afforded a guard of honour on his arrival in Dalian Aircraft - just an IlyushinKim Jong-un's China visit this week marks his first confirmed international flight since assuming power, but media reports suggest he has previously used his private jet for travel within North Korea. The aircraft that flew him to China w..
May 9, 2018

Korean Air: Chair’s wife in travel ban over abuse claims

Korean Air: Chair's wife in travel ban over abuse claims Image copyright AFP Image caption His wife, Lee Myung-hee, is the latest of the family of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho (pictured) to face damaging claims of abusive behaviour Police have banned the wife of the chair of Korean Air from leaving South Korea as they investigate claims she verbally and physically abused staff. Lee Myung-hee is facing multiple accusations from employees of the Hanjin Group chaebol, or conglomerate, which owns Korean Air. It is the latest in a string of claims of bad behaviour by members of the powerful family. One of her daughters was jailed after a 2014 conflict over a packet of nuts. Korean Air has apologised for one incident involving Ms Lee at a hotel, which also took place in 2014. Video footage has been published showing a woman resembling Ms Lee, throwing items and screaming at construction workers who were remodelling the hotel. But the company denies other claims of verbal and physic..
May 9, 2018

India police parade ‘Nasa conmen’ in space suits

India police parade 'Nasa conmen' in space suits Image copyright Courtesy: Delhi Police Image caption Dressed in "space suits", the two men were arrested by police for conning a businessman Indian police paraded a man and his son in "space suits" before arresting them for allegedly defrauding a businessman by pretending to work for Nasa. The duo allegedly convinced the businessman to buy a copper plate for $213,156 (£157,600), which they claimed had "special properties", police said. They had told him that with his investment, they could sell the plate to the US space agency for a profit. The men were arrested after the businessman complained to the police. India woman held for 'posing' as groom for a dowry Cows to planes: Indian ministers who rewrote scientific history The two men have not responded to the charges or commented on their public humiliation, which has caused hilarity on social media. Photos and a video of the father and son, dressed in silver spac..
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..
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