October 24, 2018

Harry Potter to ‘inspire’ budding India lawyers

Harry Potter to 'inspire' budding India lawyers Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Harry Potter series is extremely popular in India A top Indian law university in the eastern state of West Bengal has introduced a course based on the fictional world of Harry Potter. The course uses the role of law in the series to draw parallels between the stories and real-life situations. Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, who designed it, says it is an "experiment" to "encourage creative thinking." Several universities in the US and at least one in the UK also offer courses inspired by the famous series. The course in India, which is entitled "An interface between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special focus on Rowling's Potterverse", is expected to include a total of 45 hours of discussion-based teaching. Some of the topics mentioned in the course module point out how social and class rights in India can be equated with the "enslavement of house-elves and the marginali..
October 24, 2018

Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge: World’s longest sea crossing opens to quiet start

Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge: World's longest sea crossing opens to quiet start Image copyright Reuters Image caption Officials said traffic was not expected to be busy on the first day The world's longest sea-crossing bridge opened to the public on Wednesday but traffic was light on its first day. Officials said they did not expect many vehicles to immediately take to the road, adding that it could take "time to build". The $20bn (£15.3bn) bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. It was officially opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday. "Every big infrastructure [project] has a relatively low volume of passenger and traffic flow in the initial period. It takes time to build up" transport secretary Frank Chan told reporters. There were virtually no cars or lorries to be seen on the bridge but the route was plied by private shuttle buses, said the BBC's Martin Yip, who crossed from Hong Kong to Macau on ..
October 23, 2018

The Indian animal trainer who became a circus legend

The Indian animal trainer who became a circus legend Image copyright Mahendra Dhotre Collection Image caption Damoo Dhotre was known for daredevil acts During a circus performance in Shanghai in 1927, a writer stepped into a cage to interview a legendary animal trainer from India. They had five tigers and four leopards for company. This was an extraordinary setting for an interview. But then nothing about Damoo Dhotre was ordinary. Although only 25, he had already become famous for his daredevil circus acts. And he wanted the writer to observe first-hand how effortlessly he controlled wild animals. Although Damoo went on to become one of the greats of the circus world, very little is known about him in India. His grandson, Mahendra Dhotre, has researched his grandfather's life and wants young people to know about his achievements. Image copyright Mahendra Dhotre Collection Image caption Damoo Dhotre won many awards during his career "His story is remarkable," Mr Dhotre says. "..
October 23, 2018

Jumpei Yasuda: Japanese journalist held hostage in Syria ‘freed’

Jumpei Yasuda: Japanese journalist held hostage in Syria 'freed' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Jumpei Yasuda went missing after crossing into Syria from Turkey, where this photo was taken A man believed to be a Japanese freelance journalist held hostage in Syria for the past three years has been released, Japan's government says. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan had been informed by Qatar that a man likely to be Jumpei Yasuda was now in Turkey. Mr Yasuda went missing in June 2015 after travelling from Turkey to Syria to report on the country's civil war. He was reportedly held by the al-Qaeda-linked group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. HTS, which was once known al-Nusra Front, is the dominant force in the opposition-held north-western Syrian province of Idlib. Japan hostage photo from Syria 'genuine' Why is there a war in Syria? Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Mr Suga said Japanese officials had been told that the ..
October 23, 2018

Harry and Meghan: Duke sips kava drink as royals land in Fiji

Harry and Meghan: Duke sips kava drink as royals land in Fiji Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPeople cheered as Prince Harry brought the cup of kava to his lips. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived in Fiji, where Prince Harry has tried kava - a traditional non-alcoholic social drink. He tried the beverage at a ceremony which featured chants and dancing. Crowds cheered as Prince Harry sipped the kava, which is used to treat anxiety and stress in some countries but cannot be imported to the EU. Harry and Meghan were then met by huge crowds of people at the Grand Pacific Hotel, where they waved from a balcony. The pair's 16-day tour which will also take them to New Zealand, Tonga and return to Australia. The duke and duchess, who are expecting their first baby, visited Albert Park in Fiji's capital Suva - the same place visited by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh 65 years ago. Image copyright Getty Images/Reuters Image caption Harry and Meghan ..
October 23, 2018

Taiwan train crash driver disabled speed controls

Taiwan train crash driver disabled speed controls Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe Puyuma Express 6432 service came off the tracks close to Xinma station The driver of the train that crashed in Taiwan on Sunday killing 18 people has said he turned off its speed-control system before the accident. He told a court he had disabled the system after earlier in the day it had slowed down the train because of a fault. Prosecutors accuse the driver of negligence for failing to switch the system back on. The deadly crash is the territory's worst rail accident in 27 years. Train kills dozens at Indian festival Children in cart killed in Dutch rail crash A total of 366 passengers were on the train when all eight of its carriages derailed. At least three children are among the dead. The train came off the rails while moving at almost 140km/h (87mph), nearly twice the speed limit imposed due to a curve in the track, officials said. Prosecutors questioned the in..
October 23, 2018

Geoffrey Rush: Actor gives emotional evidence in ‘groping’ story case

Geoffrey Rush: Actor gives emotional evidence in 'groping' story case Image copyright EPA Image caption Geoffrey Rush (centre) arriving at the Federal Court in Sydney Actor Geoffrey Rush has given emotional testimony in court as he sues an Australian newspaper over stories that he says depicted him as a pervert. The Oscar winner is suing the Daily Telegraph's publishers Nationwide News, which ran stories saying he had been accused of "inappropriate behaviour". During a defamation hearing in Sydney, he denied inappropriately touching an actress with whom he appeared on stage. The company is standing by the stories, which were published in late 2017. The paper's original story carried the headline "King Leer" and reported that Rush had been the subject of a complaint about his behaviour during a production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016. The court has heard that the allegations relate to his behaviour towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill, who played Cordelia. Text messag..
October 23, 2018

Invictus Games: Athlete comforted in moving on-court moment

Invictus Games: Athlete comforted in moving on-court moment Image copyright Getty Images/Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Image caption Paul Guest was quickly comforted by his team-mate Edwin Vermetten A British athlete has been comforted by his team-mate in a moving moment at the Invictus Games, after becoming unsettled by the sound of a helicopter. Former mine warfare specialist Paul Guest was playing in a wheelchair tennis match in Sydney on Monday when the helicopter flew overhead. It prompted his doubles partner, Dutch athlete Edwin Vermetten, to embrace him on the court. The moment left some spectators in tears, the event said on its website. Guest, from Essex, then returned to the court, and the pair went on to narrowly win the match against a US side. Speaking after the match, Vermetten said he had helped his team-mate by encouraging him to sing Let It Go from the Disney film Frozen. "I took him by the face and said: 'Look at me. We are a team so let it go,'" he said, acco..
October 22, 2018

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge: World’s longest sea crossing to open

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge: World's longest sea crossing to open Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China has been working on the bridge since 2009 The world's longest sea crossing bridge is set to open on Tuesday, nine years after construction first began. Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. Chinese President Xi Jinping is believed to be attending the opening ceremony on the Zhuhai side on Tuesday. The bridge has cost about $20bn (£15.3bn), but critics have said it is an unnecessary "white elephant". Construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers have died on the project, officials say. The bridge will officially open to regular traffic on Wednesday. What's so special about this bridge?The crossing connects three key coastal cities in southern China - Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. The bridge, designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, wa..
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