May 4, 2018

MH370 search helped unravel shipwreck mysteries

MH370 search helped unravel shipwreck mysteries Image copyright AUSTRALIAN TRANSPORT SAFETY BUREAU Image caption A sonar image of one of the shipwrecks discovered in 2015 Two shipwrecks found during a failed search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 were merchant vessels that sank in the 19th Century, researchers say. The ships, discovered 2,300km (1,400 miles) off Western Australia, have been narrowed down by experts to a handful of coal-carrying British vessels. Searchers stumbled on the wrecks during a trawl of the Indian Ocean in 2015. Australian maritime researchers used sonar pictures and shipping records in their efforts to identify the vessels. The location of MH370 remains unknown more than four years after it disappeared, carrying 239 people, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Unexpected discoveriesOne of the ships, spotted in December 2015, was identified as an iron barque. Dr Ross Anderson, curator of maritime archaeology from the Western Australian Museum, said it was ..
May 4, 2018

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore named busiest international air route

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore named busiest international air route Image copyright Getty Images A flight linking Singapore and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur has become the busiest international route in the world, research shows. Planes made 30,537 trips between the two airports in the year to February 2018, OAG Aviation said. The route overtook Hong Kong-Taipei in a list dominated by Asian destinations. Flying between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur takes about an hour, and there are plans to build a high-speed rail link between the two. The figures mean an average of 84 flights per day plied the route. The trip is carried out by a host of budget carriers such as Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia and Malindo Air as well as the two country's flagship carriers Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. In five charts: How Asia aviation took offOAG's report found that the busiest international route outside of Asia was between New York's LaGuardia airport and Toronto Pearson - a route wh..
May 3, 2018

India dust storms: More than 125 killed as storms continue

India dust storms: More than 125 killed as storms continue Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe storms destroyed homes and uprooted trees At least 125 people are now reported to have died in fierce dust storms in northern India, with officials warning of more bad weather to come. High-speed winds and lightning have devastated many villages, brought down walls and left scores injured. A spokesperson for the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner's office told AFP the death toll was the highest from such storms in at least 20 years. Officials have said the death toll could rise over the coming days. Image copyright Reuters India's Meteorological Department said more storms were likely across a wider area before the weekend. "People should be alert," the relief commissioner's office told AFP. In the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the storm has brought down electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and killed livestock. The district..
May 3, 2018

CIA director Gina Haspel’s Thailand torture ties

CIA director Gina Haspel's Thailand torture ties Image copyright CIA Image caption Gina Haspel faces criticism over her past role in the CIA When Gina Haspel was nominated as the next head of the CIA in March, it re-opened debate on a murky period of recent US history - the use of secretive overseas prisons to torture terror suspects. As the BBC's South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head reports, the spotlight has fallen on Thailand, and one such "black site" which Haspel once ran. In early April 2002, a plane took off from an undisclosed air base in Pakistan, en route to Thailand. On board was a special passenger. Abu Zubaydah, a 31-year-old Saudi-born Palestinian, believed to be one of Osama Bin Laden's top lieutenants, had been captured a few days earlier in a joint US-Pakistani raid on Al Qaeda safe houses in Faisalabad. He was now in the hands of CIA agents, who had decided to make him the first "high-value detainee" to be subjected to what they called "enhanced..
May 3, 2018

Afghan interpreters able to stay in UK – home secretary

Afghan interpreters able to stay in UK - home secretary Image copyright PA Image caption Afghan interpreters worked with the Army on the frontline in Helmand Province Afghan interpreters who served with British troops fighting against the Taliban will be able to stay in the UK for free, the home secretary has said. More than 150 Afghans given five-year residency permits said they faced being sent back to Afghanistan when they expire, unless they paid £2,389 to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Sajid Javid said the fees have been waived. He said the interpreters "had put their lives at risk" for the country. The home secretary said about 400 former Afghan interpreters have relocated to the UK as part of the government scheme. Mr Javid said: "The local Afghan interpreters worked in dangerous and challenging situations, regularly putting their lives at risk. 'Waiting for death'"We have always been clear that they will be able to stay in the UK with their families and today ..
May 3, 2018

The indigenous cricketers honouring Australia’s 1868 ‘heroes’

The indigenous cricketers honouring Australia's 1868 'heroes' Image copyright CRICKET AUSTRALIA Image caption Nick Boland will be part of a tour by two indigenous cricket teams to the UK next month When cricketer Nick Boland walks out on to The Oval in London next month he will be wearing the Aboriginal flag on his sleeve and the name of another player on his back. That player, Grongarrong, was a batsman in Australia's first international sporting side - an indigenous cricket team that toured England in 1868. The 13 Aboriginal players who went on the tour deserve to be better acknowledged today as pioneers, according to Australian cricketers and officials. "It's a story that hasn't been told enough," Mr Boland tells the BBC. He is part of an indigenous men's team that, along with a women's side, will travel to the UK in June to play in a commemorative tour 150 years on. "Our roles as players in the legacy of this tour is to become the next gener..
May 3, 2018

Sridevi Kapoor: Bollywood star wins posthumous acting gong

Sridevi Kapoor: Bollywood star wins posthumous acting gong Image copyright Reuters Image caption Sridevi, as she was simply known, died aged 54 Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor, who died in February, has been named Best Actress at India's National Film Awards for her last role. Her husband and daughters received the prize on her behalf. The superstar's death shocked the Indian film world. Sridevi, as she was known, was 54 when she died during a visit to Dubai to attend a family wedding. She was found unresponsive in her hotel bathtub. Initial reports said she had died of a heart attack but police later said it had been "due to accidental drowning following loss of consciousness". "Sridevi would have been very happy today," her widower Boney Kapoor told Indian media after the awards ceremony. "We miss her, it is a very proud moment at the same time." Sridevi death puts spotlight on Bollywood Crowds say goodbye to Bollywood’s Sridevi He accepted, alongside their daughters, t..
May 3, 2018

Afghan interpreters should be able to stay in UK – defence secretary

Afghan interpreters should be able to stay in UK - defence secretary Image copyright Reuters Image caption The defence secretary said he would be "amazed" if interpreters who helped the Army were deported Afghan interpreters who fought the Taliban alongside British troops should be able to stay in the UK, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said, after a group of them raised concerns. More than 150 Afghans given sanctuary after serving with the Army say they face being sent back as their five-year visas expire, unless they pay £2,389. Mr Williamson said he expected the Home Office to waive the visa fees. The UK owed them gratitude, he said, and they had "every right" to remain. Afghan interpreter 'will die if deported' BBC reporter killed in Afghanistan attack In a letter to the Home Office and Mr Williamson - which has been seen by the BBC - the interpreters said they had been left in "limbo" and urged the government to grant them and their families the right to live in ..
May 3, 2018

Chinese Nobel widow Liu Xia ready to ‘die at home’ in protest

Chinese Nobel widow Liu Xia ready to 'die at home' in protest Image copyright Reuters Image caption Chinese authorities insist that Liu Xia is a free citizen The widow of China's Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has said she is ready to die in protest at being held under house arrest by Chinese authorities. Liu Xia, 57, has been under house arrest since 2010, after her husband was awarded the Nobel prize. She has never been charged with any crime. Liu Xiaobo was one of China's foremost pro-democracy campaigners and a fierce critic of the state. He died last year while serving an 11-year jail sentence for "subversion". There has been growing concern for Ms Liu since her husband's death. The poet is said to be suffering from depression after spending years under heavy surveillance, and her friends and lawyer say they believe she is being held "incommunicado". Journalists have been blocked from visiting her. Advocacy groups have for years called on Beijing to..
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