October 8, 2018

Sydney Opera House horse race advert ignites furore

Sydney Opera House horse race advert ignites furore Image copyright RACING NSW Image caption The promotion for "The Everest" is to take place on Tuesday A plan to advertise a horse race on the sails of the Sydney Opera House has prompted a large backlash in Australia. The World Heritage-listed site will show the advert on Tuesday, after an order by the New South Wales premier. Critics say the decision defies Sydney Opera House rules by effectively creating a "billboard" for the racing and gambling industries. But others, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have defended it as positive for the economy and tourism. Since Friday, more than 150,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the opera house to be "protected". The Sydney Opera House, inaugurated in 1973, is recognised by the UN as a "masterpiece of 20th Century architecture". It was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 2007. What prompted the controversy?Last week, the Sydney Opera House board rejected the ..
October 8, 2018

Brexit: Japan ‘would welcome’ UK to TPP says Abe

Brexit: Japan 'would welcome' UK to TPP says Abe Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May met Shinzo Abe on an official visit to Japan last year Britain would be welcomed into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with "open arms" after it leaves the EU, Japan's prime minister has said. While the UK would lose its role as a gateway to Europe after Brexit, it would retain its "global strength", Shinzo Abe told the Financial Times. He also urged the UK and EU to use "wisdom" to avoid a no-deal scenario. The TPP is a trade agreement between 11 countries, including Japan, Canada, Australia and Malaysia. US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement last year, soon after entering the White House. What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Could the UK really join TPP? Brexit: All you need to know Mr Abe's comments are likely to be welcomed by Brexit supporters, who argue Britain would be able to strike trade deals more easily outsid..
October 7, 2018

Dorset man killed by sea snake in Australia ‘was living dream’

Dorset man killed by sea snake in Australia 'was living dream' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Harry Evans was bitten by the snake as he pulled in a net, police said A British man who died after being bitten by a sea snake in Australia was "living his dream" working on a fishing boat, his mother said. Harry Evans, 23, from Poole, Dorset, was bitten while working on a trawler 400 miles off the coast of the Northern Territory on Thursday. Emergency crews were called to the boat, near island Groote Eylandt, but were unable to save him. His mother, Sharon Evans, said he was "working in a job he loved". Mr Evans was bitten by the venomous snake while pulling a net onto the boat at about 09:00 local time, police said. His mother told the Press Association: "We know Harry was bitten by a snake and died. "Harry was not a backpacker, he was working in a job he loved and was living his dream. "He had contact with his family and friends at home regularly and couldn't ha..
October 7, 2018

‘Sleepwalking’ with India’s Maoist guerrillas

'Sleepwalking' with India's Maoist guerrillas Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maoist guerrillas are active in several eastern and central states of India Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict between Maoist guerrillas and the Indian state. Alpa Shah lived among the tribal villagers in their guerrilla strongholds for a year and a half to understand why they shunned democracy to take up arms. Eyelids heavy, I struggled to keep my eyes open as we marched in single file, weaving our way across the open rice fields towards the safety of the forest, without even the light of a torch to guide us. I was walking with a platoon of India's Maoist guerrillas - armed rebels who say they are fighting for the rights of tribal people and the rural poor. It was my seventh night of walking with these fighters and we had covered more than 30km (18 miles) each night. They moved after dusk because Indian security forces undertook counter-insurgency patrols i..
October 7, 2018

Meng Hongwei: China confirms detention of Interpol chief

Meng Hongwei: China confirms detention of Interpol chief Image copyright AFP Image caption Meng Hongwei is a senior Communist Party official as well as Interpol president China has confirmed it is holding the missing head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei. Beijing said he was under investigation by the country's anti-corruption body for unspecified breaches of the law. Mr Meng, who is also listed as a vice-minister of public security in China, was reported missing after travelling from the city of Lyon in France, where Interpol is based, to China. His family had not heard from him since he left Interpol headquarters on 25 September. Earlier, his wife, Grace Meng, told journalists she thought he was in danger. She issued an emotional plea for international help to find her husband. She said he had sent her a message with a knife emoticon on her mobile phone signifying he was in danger. With her back to the cameras to avoid being identified, she held back sobs to read out a statement in Ch..
October 7, 2018

Indonesia tsunami: Search for victims to end, though hundreds still missing

Indonesia tsunami: Search for victims to end, though hundreds still missing Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 1,750 people were killed in the earthquake and tsunami Indonesian officials have said the search for victims of last month's earthquake and tsunami is to end on Thursday - despite the fact hundreds of people are still unaccounted for. The disaster struck part of Sulawesi two weeks ago, leaving at least 1,754 dead and another 2,549 injured. Officially, 683 people remain missing, though some put that figure far higher. No-one has been found alive since the third day of the search. The city of Palu has been hardest hit. Tsunami warning systems: How reliable are they? How Palu suffered a 'worst case scenario' tsunami How warning system failed the victims Why Sulawesi's tsunami is puzzling scientists The 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck on 28 September, bringing down buildings and, in some areas, turning the ground to liquid in a process called "liq..
October 7, 2018

Medical charity MSF ‘told to cease mental health work in Nauru’

Medical charity MSF 'told to cease mental health work in Nauru' Image copyright AFP Image caption Australia's detention centres have been criticised by human rights groups International medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru has ordered it to cease its work there. MSF says that for 11 months it has provided mental health care to both the Nauru population and asylum seekers housed in a detention centre set up by Australia. The charity has urged the Nauru government to reconsider, calling its own work life-saving. The authorities have not commented. The detention centre on Nauru was set up by Australia in a controversial deal to house boat people intercepted while trying to reach Australian shores. Nauru country profileCanberra maintains its policy prevents deaths at sea and discourages people smugglers but the tough immigration policy has been widely criticised. The centre on Nauru has been dogged by allegations of w..
October 6, 2018

Video shows monkey ‘driving’ bus in Karnataka, India

Video shows monkey 'driving' bus in Karnataka, India Image copyright YouTube Image caption This is not the face of a man who is concerned by events An Indian bus driver has been suspended - for letting a monkey "drive" his bus. This is despite not one of the 30-or-so passengers on board the vehicle in southern Karnataka state complaining about their furry chauffeur. However, when a video of the relaxed - and apparently competent - langur monkey taking the wheel went viral, the human driver's employers took action. The safety of passengers cannot be put at risk by "allowing a monkey on the steering" wheel, a spokesman said. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this has not been an entirely popular decision with internet users delighted by the short clip. "So sweet. Why suspend. He should have been warned not to repeat this," Parag Heda tweeted. Watch: Runaway race horse runs into a bar Why a national park is holding a 'Fat Bear Week' contest Elephant rudely interrupts BBC..
October 6, 2018

Interpol urges China to clarify status of missing president Meng Hongwei

Interpol urges China to clarify status of missing president Meng Hongwei Image copyright AFP Image caption Meng Hongwei is a senior Communist Party official as well as Interpol president International police agency Interpol has urged China to clarify the status of its president, Meng Hongwei, who has gone missing on a visit to the country. The agency said it was concerned about the well-being of its president. His family have not heard from him since he left Interpol HQ in the French city of Lyon on 25 September. China has made no official comment. The South China Morning Post quotes a source as saying Mr Meng, 64, was "taken away" for questioning in China. It is not clear why he was being investigated by "discipline authorities" or where he was being held, the Hong Kong-based newspaper adds. Chinese official to head InterpolEarlier this week, actress Fan Bingbing, who disappeared in China in July, emerged with a public apology and a fine of 883 million yuan ($129m; £98.9m) for tax ev..
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