February 15, 2019

Viewpoint: How far might India go to ‘punish’ Pakistan?

Viewpoint: How far might India go to 'punish' Pakistan? Image copyright EPA Image caption The attack is the deadliest on Indian forces in disputed Kashmir for years A suicide attack killed more than 40 members of the Indian security forces in restive Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February. Threats from Indian leaders, who face a tricky general election before May, raise the spectre of Indian military retaliation against Pakistan for alleged "state-sponsored terrorism", writes Indian defence analyst Ajai Shukla. Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi has pledged to give security forces free rein to respond to the militant attack - the deadliest in the region in three decades. "Terrorist organisations and their backers", he said, will pay a "heavy price". Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan for the attack and threatened a "strong reply". Influential Indian television networks are baying for revenge. The car bombing has been claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad..
February 15, 2019

Ko Ni: Gunman get death penalty in murder of Myanmar Muslim lawyer

Ko Ni: Gunman get death penalty in murder of Myanmar Muslim lawyer Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Ko Ni was one of few prominent Muslims in a country dominated by Buddhists Two men have been sentenced to death in Myanmar for the murder of a Muslim lawyer, Ko Ni, in broad daylight at Yangon International Airport in January 2017. Nick Beake reports from Yangon. It's hard to imagine a more chilling photograph. The assassin has crept up on his elderly target, who's holding his grandson in his arms. The gun's practically touching the head of the unsuspecting victim. What happens in the next second - captured on camera - will rob a family of a grandfather and Myanmar of arguably its best hope of a more democratic future. The murder of prominent lawyer Ko Ni shocked Myanmar to its core. For many, it was a brutal and brazen reminder that although this country may have a civilian government, the Burmese military still calls the shots. Kyi Lin, who fired the gun, ..
February 15, 2019

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More and more people want to see the world's tallest peak China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don't have climbing permits. Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site. The ban means tourists can only go as far as a monastery slightly below the 5,200m (17,060ft) base camp level. More people visit the mountain from the southern side in Nepal, but over the past years numbers have been rising steadily on the Chinese side as well. The Chinese base camp, located in Tibet, is popular as it is accessible by car - whereas the Nepalese camp can only be reached by a hike of almost two weeks. Tonnes of rubbish cleared from Everest Human cost of clamour to conquer Everest The world's highest peak has been struggling with escalating levels of rubbish for years, as the number of visitors rises. The Chi..
February 15, 2019

Why did gay Muslim comics disappear from Instagram?

Why did gay Muslim comics disappear from Instagram? Image copyright Twitter/Instagram Earlier this week, an Instagram account which posted comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia vanished from the social media site. Indonesia's communications ministry was quick to claim credit, saying it had asked Instagram to take the account down because it contained "pornographic content". Instagram later denied this claim, saying it had not removed the account. So where has it disappeared to, and why? What happened?The Instagram account - under the username @Alpantuni - featured comic strips that showed the abuse and discrimination faced by a gay Muslim character. It had almost 6,000 followers. One comic showed the character being told to "burn in hell" and having faeces thrown at him. Local media outlets say the communications ministry had threatened to block Instagram if @Alpantuni's account was not removed. According to BBC Indonesia, the ministry also said..
February 14, 2019

Cheryl Grimmer: Murder charge in toddler’s 1970 disappearance dropped

Cheryl Grimmer: Murder charge in toddler's 1970 disappearance dropped Image copyright NSW Police Image caption Cheryl disappeared shortly after her family migrated to Australia Australian prosecutors have dropped their case against a man who had been accused of murdering a UK-born toddler almost 50 years ago. The disappearance of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer from a New South Wales beach in 1970 is one of Australia's longest-running mysteries. A man was arrested in 2017, and he later pleaded not guilty to murder. On Friday, a judge ruled that a key part of the prosecution case could not be used as evidence in a trial. It concerned statements made by the man during a police interview in 1971, when he was aged 17. The Supreme Court of New South Wales ruled that the evidence could not be heard because the teenager had not had a parent or adult representative present during the interview. Justice Robert Allan Hulme : "The Crown accepts that its case cannot succeed without it." F..
February 14, 2019

Masood Azhar: India wants militant sanctioned after Kashmir blast

Masood Azhar: India wants militant sanctioned after Kashmir blast Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe blast took place on a heavily guarded highway India has called for sanctions against the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group it says carried out Thursday's suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. Delhi asks for the leader of the Pakistan-based group to be listed as a terrorist by the UN. The attack has killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police and has been the worst in decades in the region. Pakistan said it was gravely concerned by the bombing but rejected allegations that it was responsible for it. The bomber used a vehicle packed with explosives to ram into a convoy of India's security forces. It is the deadliest militant attack on Indian forces in Kashmir since the insurgency against Indian rule began in 1989. Both India and Pakistan claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but only control parts of it. The attack has been widely condemned..
February 14, 2019

Australian floods send dirty water across Great Barrier Reef

Australian floods send dirty water across Great Barrier Reef Image copyright MATT CURNOCK/TROPWATER JCU Image caption The floodwaters have spread more than 60km (37 miles) offshore Dirty water from a flood crisis in northern Australia has spread to parts of the Great Barrier Reef, placing it under stress, scientists say. The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Aerial pictures show that run-off from one river has blanketed some reef areas more than 60km (37 miles) from shore. Scientists fear the sediment-laden waters may be blocking out light and effectively "smothering" coral. Tests are yet to be undertaken. Queensland flood crisis: Two found dead Crocodiles spotted in flooded streets The Great Barrier Reef, located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, is a diverse World Heritage site that spans an area of 344,400 sq km (133,000 sq mi). In recent weeks, run-off from several rivers has coalesced to affect an approximately 600km stretch of the ree..
February 14, 2019

Why Australia’s PM is talking of dark threats and ‘evil’

Why Australia's PM is talking of dark threats and 'evil' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Scott Morrison is to face a general election within months Australian politics doesn't really do nuance. If a minister wants to get a message through to the voters, they forget the dog whistle and go straight for the foghorn. That tactic has been firmly in action this week, as the government declares that paedophiles, rapists and murderers will come into the country as a result of it losing a vote on the medical treatment of refugees. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warns people-smuggling operations out of Indonesia will resume immediately, asserting that many more asylum seekers will start heading to these shores. Australia government loses refugee vote Opposition accuses PM of 'deceit' The mini-crisis of losing a parliamentary vote has been turned into a national emergency, as ministers raise the stakes on border protection. Image copyright Getty Images I..
February 14, 2019

Australia refugee centre detainee wins top human rights award

Australia refugee centre detainee wins top human rights award Image copyright EPA Image caption The Martin Ennals Award recognised Abdul Aziz Muhamat's "extraordinary tenacity" A Sudanese refugee detainee has received a top human rights award for exposing what he has described as Australia's "inhumane" treatment of asylum seekers. Abdul Aziz Muhamat, 26, was held at the Manus Island detention centre after fleeing violence in Darfur. Over six years, he sent thousands of WhatsApp messages to a journalist who told his story in a podcast. The Martin Ennals Award recognised his "extraordinary tenacity and courage". Mr Muhamat described the camp's conditions, which have long been criticised by the United Nations. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionInside the Manus Island refugee camp He said he was stripped of his name and referred to as a number- QNK002. Prisoners were fed through a chain-link fence and treated worse than animals, he added. Designed..
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