January 11, 2019

Tokyo 2020 Games: Japan Olympics chief ‘investigated in French corruption probe’

Tokyo 2020 Games: Japan Olympics chief 'investigated in French corruption probe' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Tsunekazu Takeda shown celebrating in 2013 with the award of the Games to Tokyo The head of Japan's Olympic Committee is being formally investigated in France for alleged corruption in the awarding of the 2020 Games to Tokyo, a French judicial source has said. Prosecutors have been investigating a €2m ($2.3m; £1.8m) payment allegedly made by Japan's bidding committee. Tsunekazu Takeda said he had not been indicted, was co-operating and that there was nothing new in the case. Tokyo was awarded the Games in 2013, beating Madrid and Istanbul. Olympics 2020: Tokyo wins race to host GamesThe Japanese government has always insisted its Tokyo bid is clean. The judicial source, quoted by various news agencies and Le Monde, said that Mr Takeda had been "mis en examen" by investigative judges in Paris last month. Mis en examen is the formal start of a crimin..
January 11, 2019

Chang’e-4: First panoramic images from China moon lander

Chang'e-4: First panoramic images from China moon lander Image copyright CLEP Image caption Cylinder projection of Von Kármán crater from one of the lander's cameras The Chinese space agency has released its first panoramic image of the lunar location where it landed spacecraft this month. The picture shows parts of the static lander and the robotic rover, which is now exploring the landing site at Von Kármán crater on the Moon's far side. The Chang'e-4 mission was the first such attempt to touch down on the side of the Moon that we don't see. The rover has just awoken from a period on "standby". Controllers placed it in this mode shortly after the touchdown as a precaution against high temperatures, as the Sun rose to its highest point over the landing site. Image copyright CLEP Image caption Azimuth projection of the landing site from one of the cameras on Chang'e-4's lander Those temperatures were expected to reach around 200C. But the Chinese Lun..
January 11, 2019

‘Chinese, Polish nationals’ arrested in Poland for ‘spying’

'Chinese, Polish nationals' arrested in Poland for 'spying' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Huawei has repeatedly been accused of being a proxy for the Chinese government, a claim it denies Polish security services have arrested a Chinese national and Polish national for spying, according to local press. Poland's public TV channel TVP reports that the Chinese national is a sales director at Chinese telecoms firm Huawei's Polish branch. Huawei told the BBC it had no immediate comment. The tech company has been a focal point of international scrutiny, with several countries raising security concerns about its products. TVP reports that the Polish national, "Piotr D" was a former high-ranking member of Poland's internal security agency (AWB). The news outlet says "Piotr D" left the AWB following allegations of corruption, but was never formally charged. The arrested pair will be held for three months, PAP reported, quoting a spokesperson for..
January 11, 2019

Myanmar rejects Reuters journalists’ appeals

Myanmar rejects Reuters journalists' appeals Image copyright AFP Image caption Kyaw Soe Oo (left) and Wa Lone have been in prison for one year A Myanmar court has rejected an appeal by two Reuters reporters convicted of breaking a state secrets act in September. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years in prison in a case widely condemned by other countries and human rights groups. But in a ruling, Judge Aung Naing called their terms "a suitable punishment". The defence did not provide enough evidence they were innocent, he said. Both were arrested carrying official documents handed to them by police officers. They maintain their innocence, saying the authorities set them up. When arrested the two were investigating a mass execution of Rohingyas, hundreds of thousands of whom have been forced to flee destruction and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar. Reporters held 'for investigating killings' Seeing through the official story in M..
January 11, 2019

Carlos Ghosn: Ex-Nissan chair faces ‘two new charges’

Carlos Ghosn: Ex-Nissan chair faces 'two new charges' Image copyright Getty Images Prosecutors in Japan have indicted former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn with two fresh charges, according to local media. Mr Ghosn, who has been detained since November, was charged with aggravated breach of trust and understating his income. He had already been indicted on a separate charge of underreporting his pay over five years. Mr Ghosn, whose detention has drawn some criticism, denies all wrongdoing. His lawyers said they would apply for bail, but experts say this request is very unlikely to be granted. The new charges will likely keep Mr Ghosn in prison until his first trial, according to his lawyers. One of the charges involves allegations that Mr Ghosn shifted lofty personal investment losses on foreign exchange dealings to Nissan. The 64-year-old was the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance, and brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016. Renault, which kept him on as chairman afte..
January 11, 2019

Hitachi says ‘no decision’ made on UK nuclear plant

Hitachi says 'no decision' made on UK nuclear plant Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The original Wylfa Nuclear power station was decommissioned in 2015 Hitachi said "no formal decision" has been made over the future of a UK nuclear plant following a report it would halt construction. The Nikkei Asian Review reported the firm's board would likely decide to suspend all work on the Wylfa Newydd plant next week. Shares in the Japanese company jumped 8% after the report. In December, the firm said it would do its utmost to ensure the nuclear power facility went ahead. It followed mounting speculation that Hitachi was considering scrapping the project due to potential increases in construction costs. On Friday, the firm said suspension of the project remained an option. "No formal decision has been made in this regard currently, while Hitachi has been assessing the Horizon Project including its potential suspension and related financial impacts in terms of econom..
January 11, 2019

Python covered with over 500 ticks rescued in Australia

Python covered with over 500 ticks rescued in Australia Image copyright Gold coast and brisbane snake catcher/facebook Snake catchers in Australia have rescued a carpet python which was found covered in hundreds of ticks. Video posted online showed the reptile, which was believed to be ill, coated in the parasites in a backyard swimming pool on the Gold Coast in Queensland. A professional handler removed the snake and took it for treatment at a wildlife clinic. Vets removed more than 500 ticks, snake catcher Tony Harris told the BBC, and it is expected to recover. 'Like holding a bag of marbles'Mr Harris said he believed the snake had been trying to drown the ticks in the pool. "Obviously, [the snake] was extremely uncomfortable," he said. Image copyright Gold coast and brisbane snake catcher/facebook "Its whole face was swollen and blooming and it was completely overwhelmed by the ticks breeding on him." He said removing the tick-laden snake had felt like "holding a bag ..
January 10, 2019

Craig McLachlan: Actor charged with assault and sex offences

Craig McLachlan: Actor charged with assault and sex offences Image copyright Getty Images Image caption McLachlan is a veteran of the Australian entertainment industry Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been charged with one count of common assault and eight counts of indecent assault by police. The former Neighbours star was accused of sexual misconduct by three women who worked with him in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show. The 53-year-old star was accused of inappropriate touching and harassment. He denied all allegations, saying they were "perhaps made for financial reasons [or] to gain notoriety". McLachlan is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 8 February.
January 10, 2019

The men who stay awake so Indians can sleep

The men who stay awake so Indians can sleep Image caption Ranjit Singh goes on foot patrols every night with his torch On a dimly-lit street, they look like lone warriors against unknown threats. From afar, their shadows loom over suburban Noida, a newly-gentrified satellite city on the outskirts of India's capital, Delhi. Heavy silence blankets the area, broken only by the occasional shrill blast from a whistle. Two men, dressed in dark blue jackets and caps with the word "security" sewn in bright yellow, have just begun their nightly patrol. "I have stopped thieves from stealing cars," 55-year-old Khushi Ram, who goes by a first name only, says with pride. "And then I handed them over to the police." He and Ranjit Singh, 40, are security guards. But they are not protecting banks, brightly-lit jewellery stores or corporate offices. They protect more than 300 posh homes every night - and they do this by going on foot patrol for hours. "I like my job because I feel like I&#03..
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