April 28, 2018

Koreas summit: Will historic talks lead to lasting peace?

Koreas summit: Will historic talks lead to lasting peace? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWelcoming Kim Jong-un with pomp and ritual Friday's dramatic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart, Chairman Kim Jong-un, represents an unambiguous historic breakthrough at least in terms of the image of bilateral reconciliation and the emotional uplift it has given to South Korea public opinion. Whether the agreement announced at the meeting - the new Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula - offers, in substance, the right mix of concrete measures to propel the two Koreas and the wider international community towards a lasting peace remains an open question. The symbolic impact of a North Korean leader setting foot for the first time on South Korean soil cannot be underestimated. Mr Kim's bold decision to stride confidently into nominally hostile territory reflects the..
April 28, 2018

#MeToo: Why sexual harassment is a reality in Bollywood

#MeToo: Why sexual harassment is a reality in Bollywood Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBollywood actresses Radhika Apte and Usha Jadhav are speaking out about sexual harassment Every year thousands of young men and women head to the western city of Mumbai, India's film capital, in search of their own Bollywood dream. But for many the experience becomes a nightmare. The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan and Pratiksha Ghilidial spoke to several actresses who say they have been sexually harassed by directors and casting agents. Six years ago, Sujatha (not her real name) persuaded her conservative parents to let her leave her home in a small village in rural India so she could seek her fame and fortune as a Bollywood actress in Mumbai. She was just 19 at the time, with little acting experience and no contacts. But it didn't take her long to meet people who were willing to give her advice on how to break into the industry. One of her first offers came from..
April 28, 2018

Chinese university hosts ‘grenade-throwing’ contest

Chinese university hosts 'grenade-throwing' contest Image copyright Wikimedia Commons Image caption The North University of China wants students to put down their javelins and pick up their hand grenades A Chinese university has decided to liven up its annual sports day by hosting a grenade-tossing event, it's reported. According to the China Youth Daily newspaper, the North University of China in the city of Taiyuan, northern Shanxi province, has decided to introduce a "500-gram grenade toss" to its track and field event in May. One teacher, Li Jiangxi, told the paper that the school had noted the earlier reluctance of students to take part in annual javelin and discus contests. However, after the school decided to replace these contests with the grenade toss, Ms Li said that there had been a surge of interest. "Students rushed to sign up," she said. "Some came late and didn't qualify; they seemed really disappointed." The paper says that the idea originally ca..
April 28, 2018

Summit sparks cold noodle craze

Korean summit sparks cold noodle craze Image copyright NEWS 1 Kim Jong-un may have made history by crossing the military line into South Korea, but it was a throwaway quip about cold noodles that began the most unexpected of crazes. Once the handshake was done and dusted, the North and South Korean leaders were not averse to making jokes and Kim Jong-un's contribution to the jollity was a remark about how he had brought some of North Korea's famous cold noodles for the summit. According to media reports, he said: "I've been checking news and people are talking about food a lot. So I brought some Pyongyang cold noodles for President Moon to enjoy. Pres Moon, please feel easy and have some delicious Pyongyang noodles that we brought." Another translation suggested he also joked that the noodles had been brought "a long way... ah, we probably shouldn't say it is far". On the face of it, not a momentous statement of diplomacy - but his comments lit up South Korea and sp..
April 28, 2018

Philippines protests as Kuwait expels envoy over maid ‘rescues’

Philippines protests as Kuwait expels envoy over maid 'rescues' Image copyright AFP Image caption Philippine Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa was declared persona non grata by Kuwait The Philippines has demanded an explanation for Kuwait's decision to expel its ambassador amid a dispute over the treatment of domestic workers. The two nations have been attempting to resolve the dispute since February, when the body of a murdered Filipina maid was discovered in Kuwait. But last week videos emerged showing embassy staff "rescuing" Filipinos allegedly abused by their employers. Kuwait condemned the "violation of its laws" and told the ambassador to leave. Four Filipinos hired by the embassy were also arrested by Kuwaiti police and arrest warrants issued against three diplomatic personnel, according to the Philippines. Some 260,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, two-thirds of them as domestic helpers. Pair arrested in Kuwait frozen maid case Philippines stops workers going to Kuwa..
April 28, 2018

India state records 36,749 lightning strikes in 13 hours

India state records 36,749 lightning strikes in 13 hours Image copyright Getty Images Image caption At least 2,000 people have died in lightning strikes in India every year since 2005 The southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh recorded 36,749 lightning strikes in just a 13-hour period on Tuesday, officials say. The number is unusually high and the result of "extreme weather patterns", according to the state disaster management authority. Nine people, including a nine-year-old girl, have been killed in the state by lightning strikes since Tuesday. Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains. The season typically begins in June and lasts until September. However, this particular region usually sees increased lightning activity before the monsoon begins, Kishan Sanku, who runs the state emergency operation centre, told the BBC. Tuesday's bout of lightning is being considered an anomaly because data from last year shows that there were some 30,000 lighting s..
April 28, 2018

Tokio boy band member apologises for kissing schoolgirl

Tokio boy band member apologises for kissing schoolgirl Image copyright Reuters Image caption Yamaguchi apologised for being "intimidating" and "causing harm" A member of well-known Japanese boy band Tokio has apologised for forcibly kissing a girl of secondary school age. In February, 46-year-old Tatsuya Yamaguchi brought the girl to his home where the incident took place. Her precise age is not known. "No apology is enough," a tearful Yamaguchi told a press conference. Police referred the case to prosecutors last week, but the investigation could be dropped after the girl and her mother withdrew their complaint. Yamaguchi has suspended all his work with the band, and dropped other planned entertainment jobs. At a news conference to address the scandal, he said that in light of the police complaint, he would have stepped back from performances even if the story had not been widely reported in the media. Crying as he spoke, he told reporters: "She probably could not decline the invita..
April 28, 2018

K-pop superstars BTS announce world tour

K-pop superstars BTS announce UK tour dates Image copyright Getty Images South Korean boy band BTS have announced a mammoth world tour which includes two UK dates. The seven-member group will perform at the O2 Arena in London on 9 and 10 October. The tour, called Love Yourself, will start in their native South Korea before also heading to Canada, the Netherlands and Germany. BTS have become global stars and are one of the genre's most established acts. Image Copyright ibighit ibighit Report Since forming in 2013, the K-pop stars have been a sensation around the world and amassed a global following. Tour organisers, Big Hit Entertainment said: "BTS will launch a brand-new tour this year, titled Love Yourself, following last year's success of the Trilogy Episode begun in 2014." So far, only confirmed venues and dates have been announced but more will follow. The band will release their third studio album on 18 May and will premiere new single at the Billboard Music Awards ..
April 28, 2018

Australia’s Crown casino fined for ‘blanking’ slot machines

Australia's Crown casino fined for 'blanking' slot machines Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Melbourne's Crown casino says the tampering took place during a trial programme Australia's largest casino has been fined A$300,000 (£160,000; $225,000) for tampering with its slot machines to limit betting options. The penalty given to Melbourne's Crown casino is believed to be the largest of its kind issued by regulators in Australia, anti-gambling advocates say. Regulators found that buttons had been covered up on the slot machines, known locally as poker machines or pokies. Crown has been hit by other damaging allegations in recent times. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) said the casino had used "blanking plates" on 17 machines during a trial programme last year, meaning that gamblers were left with only maximum and minimum options. "This is the largest fine the commission has issued to Crown and reflects the seriou..
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