March 7, 2019

Thailand elections: Party that nominated Princess Ubolratana for PM dissolved

Thailand elections: Party that nominated Princess Ubolratana for PM dissolved Image copyright AFP Image caption Princess Ubolratana's support for the party undermined the monarchy, the court ruled Thailand's top court has dissolved an opposition party that nominated the king's sister as its candidate for prime minister. Thai Raksa Chart is backed by exiled ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed by a military coup in 2006. Analysts say dissolving the party will make it harder for Mr Thaksin's supporters to win the national election due later this month. Thailand is run by the military, which took over in a coup five years ago. The Constitutional Court, which issued Thursday's ruling, said Princess Ubolratana's nomination threatened the neutrality of the monarchy. The party's executive board members have been banned from politics for 10 years, and it can no longer contest the election. Princess power play renews old rivalries in Thailand Who is Pr..
March 7, 2019

Trump ‘disappointed’ if North Korea rebuilding Sohae launch site

Trump 'disappointed' if North Korea rebuilding Sohae launch site Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Trump prides himself on his good personal relationship with Mr Kim US President Donald Trump has said he would be "disappointed" if North Korea is confirmed to be rebuilding a rocket launch site. Satellite images published on Wednesday suggest Pyongyang is restoring a site it had pledged to scrap. Work to dismantle the Sohae satellite launch site began last year and was seen as a concession by Pyongyang. Talks between Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke down at a summit in Vietnam last week. What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse? Is North Korea sticking with its nukes? Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said it was too early to tell if the information was true. "I would be very disappointed if that were happening," Mr Trump said on Wednesday in response to the reports about the launch site. "It's a very early report. I would be very, very disappoin..
March 6, 2019

Huawei sues US government over product ban

Huawei sues US government over product ban Image copyright Getty Images Huawei has filed a lawsuit against the US government over a ban that restricts government agencies from using its products. In a statement, the firm said the US Congress has "failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions". The US has also been lobbying allies to shun Huawei equipment on national security grounds. The Chinese telecoms has gone on the offensive after months of intense international scrutiny. "The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort," Huawei Rotating chairman Guo Ping said. "This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers." Separately, Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is suing Canada over her arrest at the request of the US. The Chinese telecoms firm ma..
March 6, 2019

The British woman who fought for India’s freedom

The British woman who fought for India's freedom Image caption Freda Bedi's is a remarkable story Freda Bedi lived an unusual life. Born in a small town in England, she moved to India for love and ended up joining the independence movement. Her biographer, Andrew Whitehead, writes about her remarkable story. "There are things deeper than labels and colour and prejudice, and love is one of them." These were the words of Freda Bedi, an English woman who overcame prejudice to marry an Indian Sikh and went on to challenge Indian notions about the role of a woman and a wife. Freda and her boyfriend, Baba Pyare Lal Bedi (his friends called him BPL), met at Oxford where both were students. This was the early 1930s and romances across the racial divide were rare - almost as rare as a girl from Freda's background securing a spot at a top university. She was born, quite literally, above the shop in the city of Derby in England's East Midlands, where her father ran a jewell..
March 6, 2019

George Pell: The backlash to cardinal’s sexual abuse conviction

George Pell: The backlash to cardinal's sexual abuse conviction Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Cardinal George Pell was one of the world's most powerful Catholic clerics Cardinal George Pell is awaiting sentencing for sexually abusing two boys in 1996. The verdict, which he is appealing against, has stunned and divided Australia in the past week. It has sparked strong reactions from the cardinal's most prominent supporters, some of whom have cast doubt on his conviction in a wider attack on Australia's legal system. The largely conservative backlash features some of Australia's most prominent media figures, a university vice-chancellor and a leading Jesuit academic, among others. Former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott also continue to maintain their public support for the ex-Vatican treasurer. But critics of the backlash have raised concerns about its broader impact on abuse victims. Cardinal Pell guilty of child sexual abuseDivisio..
March 5, 2019

Pakistan detains relatives of JeM militant leader

Pakistan detains relatives of JeM militant leader Image copyright AFP Image caption Two relatives of JEM founder Masood Azhar are among those held Pakistan has detained dozens of suspected militants following the attack in Indian-administered Kashmir which sparked a crisis with India. They include the son and brother of Masood Azhar, founder of militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. Officials said 44 suspected militants are in "preventative detention". Pakistan has been under international pressure to crack down on militant networks since the 14 February attack. It triggered a crisis with India that threatened to escalate into military conflict, and Delhi said it had carried out air strikes on a JeM training camp in response. Addressing the militant detentions, Pakistan's Interior Secretary Azam Suleman Khan told the BBC that if investigators find "evidence against them, they will be proceeded against," and if not they will b..
March 5, 2019

North Korea rebuilding Sohae rocket launch site, say observers

North Korea rebuilding Sohae rocket launch site, say observers Image copyright AFP Image caption Sohae has been the site of North Korea's controversial satellite launches New satellite images of North Korea suggest it is restoring a rocket launch site it had pledged to dismantle, say analysts. The images were taken two days after talks between the leaders of the US and North Korea ended without them reaching a deal on denuclearisation. The Tongchang-ri site has been used for satellite launches and engine testing, never for ballistic missile launches. Work to dismantle it began last year but stopped as the US talks stalled. The pledge to dismantle it had been seen as a confidence-building measure between Pyongyang and Washington. Meanwhile, the US has warned North Korea could face yet more sanctions should Pyongyang not take steps to denuclearise. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Satellite pictures show the site has been rebuilt The satellite evidence, coming from severa..
March 5, 2019

Uzbek president tells police to lose weight

Uzbek president tells police to lose weight Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Shavkat Mirziyoyev president of Uzbekistan The president of Uzbekistan has demanded that police and military personnel lose weight. He made the remarks, reported on local news website, on 1 March on a visit to the eastern city of Namangan. Urging overweight police officers and ministry of defence employees to slim down, he said: "We do not need an overweight officer or policeman. How can he catch a criminal in this condition?" He suggested that corpulent employees should take up sports to help them shed the pounds. "We will set a deadline of three or six months," he said. However, President Mirziyoyev did not say what would happen to those who didn't meet the deadline. You may also like: Bid to raise Hawaii smoking age to 100 India policemen told to slim down or lose job Which countries eat the most meat? The announcement provoked hilarity among some Facebook users in the country. "Th..
March 5, 2019

Air India demands crew ‘hail motherland’

Air India demands crew 'hail motherland' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air India is India's oldest running commercial airline India's national airline has told its crew to end every in-flight announcement with the patriotic phrase, "Jai Hind" (Hail the motherland) - and this has tickled social media users. Air India's company advisory instructs crew to say the phrase after a "slight pause and with much fervour". This quickly inspired tweets of imaginary in-flight announcements that end with "Jai Hind". But many wondered if patriotism was the right focus for the struggling airline. Image Copyright @hvgoenka @hvgoenka Report Image Copyright @hvgoenka @hvgoenka Report Air India, which is in severe debt, has not turned a profit since 2007 and a government offer to sell a controlling stake in it failed to attract any takers. Air India sale: Who'll buy the debt-laden carrier? Indians emulate pilot's 'hero moustache' The directive..
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