January 2, 2019

Australian police Google Maps blunder ‘missed location of body’

Australian police Google Maps blunder 'missed location of body' Image copyright Getty Images A missing man in Australia may have been found dead 18 months earlier had search teams not relied on wrong Google Maps information, a coroner has noted. Darrell Simon, 46, was last seen in November 2014 at his partner's house about 80km (50 miles) west of Brisbane. Search crews scoured Mr Simon's nearby rural property at the time, but his remains were not found there until May 2016. His death was ruled a suicide. A printed map used by police had shown incorrect boundaries on the property. It meant that search volunteers covered only about half of Mr Simon's property in Laidley Creek West, said Queensland deputy state coroner John Lock. "The fact the ground search was conducted over only half the property was very regretful and should not have happened," he said in his report completed last month. The delay in finding Mr Simon's body had "compounded the grief felt ..
January 1, 2019

Xi Jinping says Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with China

Xi Jinping says Taiwan "must and will be" reunited with China Image copyright Getty Images Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the people of Taiwan to accept it "must and will be" reunited with China. In a speech marking 40 years since the thaw in cross-strait relation, he reiterated Beijing's call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis. However, he said China reserved the right to use force. While Taiwan is self-governed and de-facto independent, Beijing considers the island to be a breakaway province. The Chinese president said both sides were part of the same Chinese family and that Taiwanese independence was "an adverse current from history and a dead end". Taiwanese people "must understand that independence will only bring hardship," Mr Xi said, adding Beijing would never tolerate any form of activity promoting Taiwanese independence. He also stressed that relations with Taiwan were "part of China's domestic politics" and that "foreign interf..
January 1, 2019

The Indian men who make money selling trash

The Indian men who make money selling trash Image copyright Mansi Thapliyal Image caption Govind says he does not want to be identified as a scrap dealer "Weekends are the busiest," says Govind, surrounded by piles of trash, on a recent Sunday afternoon. The 34-year-old, who prefers to go by his first name only, is standing in the middle of a scrapyard that he and his brother own in Gurgaon, a dusty suburb of glass and concrete near Delhi. On his left are gunny bags bursting with paper. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's face stares up from a stack of newspapers, and a hefty guide to the "Principles of Corporate Finance" lies on the ground. Then comes a mound of glass, plastic, metal and more - a quick glance throws up a can of Lacoste deodorant, plastic bottles of Coca-Cola's Glaceau Smartwater, a brown suitcase and a few bicycles. This is Shiv Scrap Dealers, owned by Govind and his brother, Joginder, seasoned purveyors of trash: for more than 10 years, they have been sifting..
January 1, 2019

Sabarimala temple: Indian women form ‘620km human chain’ for equality

Sabarimala temple: Indian women form '620km human chain' for equality Image copyright CV Lenin Image caption The demonstration was a response to protests that prevented women from entering a Hindu temple Women in the southern Indian state of Kerala have formed a 620km (385-mile) human chain "in support of gender equality", amid a row over access to a prominent Hindu temple. The Sabarimala shrine was historically closed to women of "menstruating age" - defined as between 10 and 50. India's top court overturned the ban in September, but protesters have since attacked female visitors. The "women's wall" was organised by the state's left-wing coalition government. Officials told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that around five million women from various parts of Kerala had gathered across all national highways to form the chain, which stretched from the northern tip of Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvanthapuram. Organisers had predicted a turnout of around..
December 31, 2018

Van ploughs into Tokyo pedestrians headed for New Year’s prayers

Van ploughs into Tokyo pedestrians headed for New Year's prayers Image copyright Reuters A small van has ploughed into pedestrians celebrating the New Year on one of Tokyo's most famous streets. Eight people were injured, one seriously, by the attacker who struck in the Harajuku fashion district shortly after midnight. The street, which was sealed off to traffic, was packed with people heading to a shrine for New Year's prayers. A man was arrested, with a police spokesman telling AFP news agency he had an "intent to murder". The 21-year-old was identified as Kazuhiro Kusakabe. Police told NHK news agency that he initially told then he had conducted a terrorist act, but then later claimed it was related to executions. It was not clear if he was referring to a specific execution or capital punishment in general. Takeshita Street in Shibuya ward is a popular shopping area for young people. One male university student is in critical condition in hospital.
December 31, 2018

Kim Jong-un warns of change in direction on denuclearisation

Kim Jong-un warns of change in direction on denuclearisation Image copyright Europoean Photopress Agency North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said he is committed to denuclearisation, but warned he will change course if the US continues its sanctions. He made the remarks during his closely-watched annual New Year address. Last year's speech set the country on an unprecedented path of international diplomacy with South Korea and the US. Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump to discuss denuclearisation in June 2018 but with few results so far. Last year's rapprochement came after a turbulent 2017 marked by North Korea testing missiles that could reach the US mainland and an escalation in rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington with both sides trading insults and threats of nuclear destruction. When Trump met Kim: What happened next? North Korea's sidelined human rights crisis North Korea's breakdown of communication In the speech broadcast on state television early ..
December 31, 2018

Pete Tong NYE ‘balloon drop’ cancelled after protests

Pete Tong NYE 'balloon drop' cancelled after protests Image copyright AFP Image caption The Manila resort had hoped to get into the Guinness book of World Records A plan to break records by releasing 130,000 balloons at a resort in the Philippines on New Year's Eve has been cancelled after a backlash over its potential environmental impact. The party, at Okada Manila, is being headlined by British DJ Pete Tong. Organisers had insisted the indoor event held no environmental risk as the balloons would be recycled. But on Sunday both the resort and Tong confirmed it had been cancelled after the government got involved. In a statement, Okada Manila said it "voluntarily" decided to cancel the event "as a sign of respect" for the government's campaign to protect the environment. It came after they received a letter from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Sunday encouraging a change of plan. Why do we celebrate New Year on 1 January? Scientist..
December 31, 2018

Duterte: Outrage as Philippines president says he touched a maid

Duterte: Outrage as Philippines president says he touched a maid Image copyright AFP There has been a wave of criticism after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he sexually assaulted a maid when he was a teenager. In a speech, he recalled confessing to a priest how he reached into the maid's underwear as she slept. Women's rights group Gabriela said Mr Duterte was "unworthy of his position and should resign". The Philippines president has sparked outrage with a number of provocative comments but remains popular. In his latest remarks, he described entering the room of his maid while she was sleeping. "I lifted the blanket... I tried to touch what was inside the panty," he said. "I was touching. She woke up so I left the room." It is common for well-off families in the Philippines to employ maids and many women also work as domestic helpers across other Asian countries and the Middle East. His spokesman since said Mr Duterte had merely "made up" and "added and splic..
December 31, 2018

Philippines deadly storm and landslides kill more than 60

Philippines deadly storm and landslides kill more than 60 Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption The storm is the second deadliest to hit the Philippines in 2018 More than 60 people have died after a powerful storm struck the Philippines, with locals reportedly taken by surprise by its strength. Storm Usman hit the Bicol region southeast of capital Manila on Saturday. At least 17 people are missing and the death toll is expected to rise. One official told AFP news agency that people did not take precautions as it was not classed as a typhoon under the government's alert system. "People were overconfident because they were on vacation mode and there was no tropical cyclone warning," Bicol civil defence director Claudio Yucot said. Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones: What's the difference? How to survive a monster storm Although the storm did not have strong winds, it brought heavy rains which triggered deadly landslides. The tropical depression has destroyed infrastructure an..
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