November 29, 2018

Queensland bushfires: The town spared an ‘uncharted’ catastrophe

Queensland bushfires: The town spared an 'uncharted' catastrophe Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionQueensland is battling more than 100 fires across the state The first ever "catastrophic" bushfire warning in Queensland, Australia, prompted a large-scale evacuation on Wednesday. The main town under threat was spared, but the intensity of fire conditions has caused concern. As the sky blackened and her horses whinnied in the smoke, Fayleen Zemlicoff debated the "very last minute" she could remain at home. Ferocious winds were flicking embers from a bushfire towards her. The smoke was so intense it was "like a volcano had gone off", she said. But she and her adult daughter, Anja, were trying frantically to load the horses into a vehicle. Unsettled, the animals were resisting. Ultimately the pair, along with three elderly relatives, made a choice to leave. Image copyright FAYLEEN ZEMLICOFF Image caption Fayleen Zemlicoff, pictured with daughter Anja, sa..
November 29, 2018

Mitsubishi Heavy ordered to compensate forced S Korean war workers

Mitsubishi Heavy ordered to compensate forced S Korean war workers Image copyright EPA Image caption Kim Sung-joo (C) was among the victims and relatives celebrating the victory in Seoul South Korea's top court has ordered a Japanese firm to compensate Koreans it used as forced labour in World War Two. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited has been ordered to pay up to 150m won ($133,000; £104,000) to 28 South Korean victims or their families. The court's ruling upholds two separate damages suits against the firm. About 150,000 Koreans were conscripted to work in factories and mines in Japan in the war, and issue from the era continue to sour diplomatic relations. The latest move follows a landmark case in October that found in favour of Koreans seeking compensation from Japan's Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp for wartime forced labour. Mitsubishi Heavy said the court's ruling was "deeply regrettable", and that it would take appropriate measures, Reuters repor..
November 28, 2018

Philippines drug war: Police found guilty of murdering Kian Delos Santos

Philippines drug war: Police found guilty of murdering Kian Delos Santos Image copyright NOEL CELIS Image caption The killing of Kian Delos Santos was one of the most high-profile deaths in the campaign Three Philippine police officers have been found guilty of the high-profile murder of a teenager, the first such convictions since President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs" began. A court sentenced them to up to 40 years in prison each for the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in 2017. President Duterte launched the anti-narcotics campaign in 2016, to deal with a rampant drug problem. Since then 5,000 dealers or users have been killed, according to police. President Duterte has been criticised by human rights groups for what is seen as sanctioning the extra-judicial killings and promising to pardon police officers convicted for "drug war" killings. "A shoot first, think later attitude can never be countenanced in a civilised society," said Thursday's ruling by Judge ..
November 28, 2018

John Jarratt: Wolf Creek actor to stand trial on rape charge

John Jarratt: Wolf Creek actor to stand trial on rape charge Image copyright Getty Images Image caption John Jarratt has denied a charge of rape Australian actor John Jarratt is to stand trial over an alleged rape in Sydney in 1976, a court has ruled. Mr Jarratt, best known for his role in horror film Wolf Creek, was charged by police in August. It is alleged that the actor, then aged 24, raped an 18-year-old woman at a house in a suburb of inner Sydney. Mr Jarratt, now 66, has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer told a court that it would be a "short, sharp" trial. The actor stood and nodded on Thursday when told by a magistrate that his trial would begin late next year, Australian media reported. Police began investigating the case last December after being contacted by the alleged victim. Mr Jarratt is a veteran actor of Australian film and television, appearing in numerous roles over more than four decades. He first played Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek in 2005 - a film about a killer who p..
November 28, 2018

Form an orderly queue: Recreating the perfect Instagram photo in New Zealand

Form an orderly queue: Recreating the perfect Instagram photo in New Zealand Image copyright Tomas Alfoldi Image caption Tomas Alfoldi queued for a photo at Roy's Peak You've seen the picture on social media, walked for miles, hiked up a mountain and you finally arrive at that perfect isolated spot - only to find a queue of people waiting to take the very same photo. An image of people queuing to take photos at the summit of Roy's Peak, in Wanaka, New Zealand, is proving very popular on Reddit, where it received more than 75,000 upvotes in 24 hours. Image copyright LUKAS STEFANKO A spokesperson for New Zealand's Department of Conservation said visitor numbers to the Peak had increased by 12% to 73,000 between 2016 and 2018, because the spot had become a "quintessential icon for the Wanaka region through social media". However, she added that queuing on the top to get the perfect photo is not obligatory: "It's just the way some people on any given day will so..
November 28, 2018

Huawei: Why has UK not blocked Chinese firm’s 5G kit?

Huawei: Why has UK not blocked Chinese firm's 5G kit? New Zealand government's move to prevent Huawei supplying a local mobile network with 5G equipment has raised questions about why the UK appears less concerned about use of the Chinese company's technology. A press release from Spark, the New Zealand company involved, said it had been deemed that the deployment posed "significant security risks" - a polite way of saying that Beijing might use the technology to spy on the country or disrupt its communications in a future dispute. The US and Australia had already closed the door on Huawei's involvement in their next-generation mobile networks. That means three members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance have now acted against the Shenzhen-based company. And one other member, Canada, is carrying out a security review of its own. So, there's a prospect that the UK could soon be the sole holdout, allowing Huawei to play a key role in delivering the data that ..
November 28, 2018

Au pairs in Australia ‘exploited by families’

Au pairs in Australia 'exploited by families' Image caption Ryleigh Brown says previous jobs left her isolated A majority of young holidaymakers working as au pairs in Australia are being exploited, a study suggests. Au pairs are typically given board and some payment by an overseas family in return for minding children and doing light housework. But many end up being effectively used as employees earning well below the minimum wage, the report says. The Australian government said it did not tolerate "exploitative practices". The study, billed as the biggest of its kind, surveyed 1,500 international au pairs working across Australia. "The demand for au pairing is often explained by Australian families' need for affordable childcare," said co-author Laurie Berg from the University of Technology, Sydney. "But we found that the majority of families were taking advantage of a large supply of working holidaymakers to get cheap housekeepers as well. So au pairs are working as..
November 28, 2018

G4S: Kabul compound attacked with bomb and gunfire

G4S: Kabul compound attacked with bomb and gunfire Image copyright EPA Image caption Staff at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital treated the wounded At least 10 people have died and 19 were injured after a compound for British security firm G4S was attacked, authorities said. Gunmen stormed the compound after a car bomb was detonated outside, according to an Afghan interior ministry spokesman. A security source has told the BBC that foreigners were among the casualties. There was reportedly a heavy exchange of gunfire. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. While the interior ministry confirmed the death toll, it also warned the number could well rise. Why Afghanistan is more dangerous than ever Afghanistan profile - Timeline G4S, one of the world's largest security groups, helps guard the area around the British embassy. "We can confirm that there has been an incident at one of our locations in Kabul," a G4S spokesperson told news agency AFP. "The situation is ongoing a..
November 28, 2018

Pakistan blasphemy case: UK prime minister asked about asylum bid

Pakistan blasphemy case: UK prime minister asked about asylum bid Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionZac Goldsmith: Did Theresa May stop UK offering Asia Bibi sanctuary? Theresa May has defended herself after being asked whether she had intervened to stop the UK government offering asylum to a Pakistani Christian woman. The prime minister was asked to "put the record straight" by Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith after reports she had blocked an asylum bid for Asia Bibi. The Pakistani mother was acquitted of blasphemy last month and has been held in a secure location since her release. Her husband has previously pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. He says the family are in danger. Almost 50 MPs have signed a motion calling on the UK to offer her unconditional asylum. However, the Sun newspaper reported Mrs May had decided against offering her asylum over fears for the safety of diplomats in Pakistan. Pakistan's 'historic' Asia Bibi ruling W..
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