January 22, 2019

Taliban militants kill dozens at Afghan intelligence base

Taliban militants kill dozens at Afghan intelligence base Image copyright AFP Image caption Insurgents bombed the military intelligence base in Wardak province Dozens of Afghan security personnel were killed by Taliban militants who overran a military intelligence base near Kabul, officials have confirmed. At least 43 people were killed and 54 injured in the attack, the NDS intelligence service told the BBC. Insurgents blew their way into the base using a car bomb before opening fire. Some reports put the toll at over 100. It is one of the deadliest attacks on the secret service and follows a string of battlefield setbacks for the army. Monday's attack on the National Directorate for Security (NDS) base in central Wardak province came hours before the Taliban held another round of peace talks with US diplomats in Qatar. Reports say the base in Maidan Shahr, about 30km (19 miles) south-west of Kabul, is a training centre for pro-government militia members. The militants smashed t..
January 22, 2019

Brexit: New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern says trade deal ‘a priority’

Brexit: New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern says trade deal 'a priority' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Theresa May is a woman of remarkable resilience' New Zealand's prime minister has said she is "ready and willing" to sign a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK. Jacinda Ardern said negotiating a free trade agreement would be a "real priority" once the UK had left the EU. She is meeting British Prime Minister Theresa May before heading to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. New Zealand says it imported £1.41bn in goods and services from the UK in the year to September 2018, sending £1.54bn of trade in the opposite direction. That accounts for about a third of its trade with the EU as a whole. New Zealand is negotiating a free trade agreement with Brussels and Ms Ardern said she would be promoting the talks while visiting Europe. New Zealand happy to forget the UK's 'betrayal' Brexit Basics: Free trade She s..
January 22, 2019

Sex abuse scandal hits South Korea’s elite skating scene

Sex abuse scandal hits South Korea's elite skating scene Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Speed skating is one of Korea's most prestigious sports The prized elite world of South Korean speed skating has been mired in scandal following a wave of allegations from female skaters who say that they were were sexually abused by their coaches and that it was covered up. For a country that is a world leader in speed skating, having won 24 Olympic gold medals, this is a serious development. Other sporting federations say they are also now investigating claims of inappropriate behaviour. Many see this as South Korea's #MeToo movement finally being taken seriously, even if only through the prism of elite sport. A pressure group making headlines In the latest development, five unnamed female skaters have come forward accusing their coaches of abuse. One skater alleged that a coach forcibly kissed her and then verbally abused her when she rejected his advances. The women..
January 22, 2019

Lamb industry should not be nervous about New Zealand, Ardern says

Lamb industry should not be nervous about New Zealand, Ardern says Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jacinda Ardern (R) met Theresa May (L) in Downing Street on Monday The Welsh lamb industry should not be "nervous" about New Zealand products gaining greater access to the UK market, according the country's prime minister. Jacinda Ardern said that a future free trade deal between the UK and NZ would be of "benefit" to British consumers. She was speaking ahead of a meeting with Theresa May. The Welsh Government has warned that an influx of New Zealand lamb would "destroy the Welsh lamb industry". Meanwhile prime minister Theresa May has said she has met Welsh farmers in favour of a no-deal Brexit - despite farming unions in Wales warning of the consequences if the UK crashes out. Mrs May has already spoken of the potential of a new trading agreement between both countries. The Farmers' Union of Wales has also warned of the possibility of Welsh lamb could be priced of..
January 22, 2019

Ex-Nissan boss faces more time in custody as bail denied

Ex-Nissan boss faces more time in custody as bail denied Image copyright Reuters A Tokyo court has rejected Carlos Ghosn's latest request for bail, despite his promise to wear an electronic tag to secure his release. The former Nissan boss has been in detention since 19 November on allegations of financial misconduct. Lawyers for Mr Ghosn, who denies any wrongdoing, have said he could remain in custody for months. Though bail is rarely granted in Japan without a confession, the length of his detention has drawn some criticism. Mr Ghosn's lawyers had offered a series of conditions in a bid to secure bail, including a promise to stay in Japan. Carlos Ghosn: The driven 'cost killer' Five charts on the Ghosn scandal Wife criticises 'harsh' detention He offered to hand over his three passports, wear an electronic tagging device and hire guards to monitor him. No decision for the denial was provided, but the court had previously rejected bail on grounds th..
January 21, 2019

Taiwan ‘bikini hiker’ dies on solo climb despite search efforts

Taiwan 'bikini hiker' dies on solo climb despite search efforts Image copyright Facebook/Gigiwu.bgn Image caption The bikini shots from her successful summits had gained her many followers A Taiwanese hiker known for posting bikini clad photos from her summits has died after falling into a ravine during a solo trek. Gigi Wu managed to contact emergency services but bad weather delayed rescue operations, local media reports say. The 36-year-old is thought to have died of hypothermia. She was a popular figures on social media figure and messages on her Facebook pages pay tribute to her as an inspirational hiker. Ms Wu was alone on a multi-day tour of a mountain range in Taiwan's Yushan National Park, the reports say. While she was famous for posting pictures of herself in bikinis from summits, she was an experienced hiker, appearing to use proper equipment and precautions during her expeditions. Image copyright Facebook/GigiWu.bng Image caption Gigi Wu was a long-tim..
January 21, 2019

Indonesia reviews release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir

Indonesia reviews release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir Image copyright AFP Image caption Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, pictured in a 2016 court appearance, is said to be in poor health Indonesia is reviewing a decision to release the jailed mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing after an intervention by Australian PM Scott Morrison. A security minister said President Joko Widodo had asked him to review all aspects of the planned release of radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. This came hours after Mr Morrison asked Indonesia to show "great respect" for Australia. The nightclub bombing killed more than 200 people, many of them Australian. Ba'asyir, 80, is considered the spiritual leader of banned group Jemaah Islamiah, which was blamed for the attack. Last week's decision by President Widodo to release him on medical grounds drew widespread criticism. Profile: Abu Bakar Ba'asyir Bali marks deadly bombings 10 years on At a hastily called news conference on Monday..
January 21, 2019

Year of the Pig? Peppa takes China by storm

Year of the Pig? Peppa takes China by storm Image copyright PA She's unlikely to feature on many lists of the all-time top British cultural icons. But Peppa Pig - the UK-made children's cartoon character - is right up there with the best of them, at least in China. With the series racking up 18 billion online views since its launch here seven years ago, the story of Peppa and her unfeasibly English middle-class family is, arguably, doing more for Brand Britain than the Beatles, Manchester United and any of the culinary delights for which the UK is rightly so renowned put together. It is then no surprise that, when a Peppa-shaped opportunity came knocking, the British powers that be seized the moment. Chinese Peppa Pig fans wish to meet Queen Peppa Pig blocked from China's Douyin video platform China brings home the bacon for Peppa Pig After watching an episode in which the precocious piglet and her friends visit the Queen in Buckingham Palace - and encourage her to joi..
January 21, 2019

Should trains have separate compartments for ‘bear children’?

Should trains have separate compartments for 'bear children'? Image copyright China News Service Image caption Should children be seated in a different compartment from child-free adults? As millions of people travel on trains across China in order to celebrate the new year, they are asking: "Should trains have children's compartments?" The hashtag #ChineseNewYearTravel2019 has been viewed more than 879 million times on Weibo where thousands of people are debating the issue. China's flagship radio station (CNR) discussed the question on air. A senior official at the China Railway Corporation, Huang Xin, thinks the idea is very creative. Billions travel for Chinese new yearNearly three billion trips - including train, road, air and boat - are expected to be completed between Jan 21 and March 1 this year, with 413 million of those by rail, according to China media. With so many people moving across the country at the same time it is perhaps inevitable that social ..
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