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&#..
May 8, 2018

Kashmir: India tourist killed by stone throwing protesters

Kashmir: India tourist killed by stone throwing protesters Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Clashes between militants and government forces are common in the region An Indian tourist has died after being hit by a stone thrown by protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir. The man, who was from the southern city of Chennai (formerly Madras), was travelling to Gulmarg, a popular skiing destination in the region, when his vehicle got caught in the protests, police told BBC Urdu. A local teenager was also injured. Police are investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made. It is unclear what the protests were about. While clashes with security forces are frequent in the region, protesters in Kashmir have generally not targeted tourists. Since 1989, the Muslim-majority state has seen an armed revolt against Indian rule. Is India losing Kashmir? Kashmir: Curfew after 20 dead in fierce clashes Firing at stone-throwers in Indian-administered Kashmir The election where n..
May 8, 2018

Sun Zhengcai: Former top Chinese official jailed for life

Sun Zhengcai: Former top Chinese official jailed for life Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sun will have all his "illegal gains" confiscated A former Chinese Communist Party official once tipped for a top leadership position has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery. Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member, is the latest senior figure to fall in President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign. He was found guilty of taking bribes of more than $26.7m (£19.6m). The 54-year-old, also the former party chief of Chongqing, pleaded guilty to the charges in April. According to state media outlet Xinhua, Sun's "illegal gains" would be confiscated. What is China's new 'super anti-corruption agency'?President Xi has made it his personal mission to tackle the widespread corruption in China. More than a million officials have been punished since he became president. But critics accuse him of using the anti-corruption campaign to silence his political opp..
May 7, 2018

Tourism’s carbon impact three times larger than estimated

Tourism's carbon impact three times larger than estimated Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Travellers from affluent countries are a key part of emissions growth in tourism A new study says global tourism accounts for 8% of carbon emissions, around three times greater than previous estimates. The new assessment is bigger because it includes emissions from travel, plus the full life-cycle of carbon in tourists' food, hotels and shopping. Driving the increase are visitors from affluent countries who travel to other wealthy destinations. The US tops the rankings followed by China, Germany and India. Tourism is a huge and booming global industry worth over $7 trillion, and employs one in ten workers around the world. It's growing at around 4% per annum. Previous estimates of the impact of all this travel on carbon suggested that tourism accounted for 2.5-3% of emissions. However in what is claimed to be the most comprehensive assessment to date, this new study ..
May 7, 2018

How a child rape became a religious flashpoint for India

How a child rape became a religious flashpoint for India Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Protests demanding justice for the girl were held in many parts of the country India's top court has moved the trial in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl out of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The BBC's Yogita Limaye spoke to people in the community about the divisions that led to the court's decision. "I just want justice for my child," her mother says. "I want her attackers to go through the same pain that she went through. The way they have made us cry, I want them to cry." In India, a rape victim cannot be identified according to the law but everyone knows which religion the girl belonged to. Police allege that her religion is at the centre of the brutal crime. She was from the Muslim Bakarwal nomadic tribe who roam the hills and valleys of Jammu and Kashmir. In the summer they graze their sheep, goats and horses high up in the mountains. As winter..
May 7, 2018

Malaysia’s election: A battle of old allies

Malaysia's election: A battle of old allies Image copyright AFP Image caption Dawn of a new political era for Malaysia? Malaysia is holding a general election on Wednesday. While incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak looks likely to secure another term, he is facing a strong challenge from his long-time ally, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has made a surprise return to politics at the age of 92. Here's what you need to know. Who runs Malaysia at the moment?Malaysian politics has been dominated since independence in 1957 by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its major party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Najib is weighed down by allegations of corruption Najib Razak won a second term as prime minister in 2013 but with a weakened majority in the face of the strongest opposition ever. Opponents alleged electoral fraud at the time and critics have also repeatedly accused his administration of ..
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..
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