January 16, 2019

Monika Billen: German tourist found dead in Australian outback

Monika Billen: German tourist found dead in Australian outback Image copyright NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE Image caption Monika Billen had been travelling alone in Australia Australian police say they have found the body of a German tourist near a bush track in the Northern Territory. Monika Billen, 62, was last seen on 2 January at a popular outback tourist spot near the town of Alice Springs. Her body was found beneath a tree about 3km (1.8 miles) away on Wednesday. Police have not said how she died. Ms Billen had been reported missing last week, prompting her family in Cologne to issue an emotional plea for information. Police suspended their search for Ms Billen after five days, but resumed it after receiving location data from her phone providers. "It is deeply upsetting that we have to tell her family this sad news, but we are relieved to be able to provide them with answer," said Supt Pauline Vicary from Northern Territory Police. Described as an experienced solo traveller by he..
January 16, 2019

Goldman boss apologises for 1MDB scandal

Goldman boss apologises for 1MDB scandal Image copyright Getty Images Goldman Sachs new boss has apologised to Malaysia for the role an ex-partner played in the corruption scandal at one of the country's wealth funds. However, chief executive David Solomon also distanced the bank from the scheme, which saw billions embezzled from the state development fund, 1MDB. He said Goldman, which had helped to raise money for the fund, had been deceived about details of the deals. Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman last month. It accused the investment bank of helping to misappropriate money intended for the fund. The US and other countries are also investigating its role. Tim Leissner, who served as Goldman's South East Asia chairman, pleaded guilty in the US last month for his role in the money laundering and bribery scheme. Mr Leissner left Goldman in 2016. On a call with financial analysts Mr Solomon said: "It is very clear that the people of Malaysia were defrauded ..
January 16, 2019

Kisenosato, Japan’s last sumo remaining champion, retires

Kisenosato, Japan's last sumo remaining champion, retires Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kisenosato gave a tearful news conference to announce his retirement Japan's last remaining home-grown sumo champion has announced his retirement after a string of tournament losses. Kisenosato Yutaka said he had been struggling with injuries but had wanted to continue wrestling to repay fans for their support. In 2017, he became the first Japan-born wrestler in almost two decades to reach the rank of grand champion, known in Japanese as "yokozuna". The only two wrestlers left at the elite level are both from Mongolia. Japan gets first sumo champion in 19 years Inside the scandal-hit world of sumo Sumo wrestling's growing sexism problem "I feel that I did everything I could," a tearful Kisenosato told reporters at a news conference. "I was supported by so many people... I have nothing but gratitude." Image copyright AFP Image caption Kisenosato performs a ring-entering ce..
January 16, 2019

Malaysia revises ‘victim-shaming’ school text book

Malaysia revises 'victim-shaming' school text book Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The school textbook told girls to dress modestly or risk being rejected by their friends Malaysia's Education Ministry has said it shouldn't have published an infographic in a school textbook that said girls must protect their modesty or risk being shamed and ostracised. The textbook, aimed at nine year olds, was distributed to all national primary schools in Malaysia. A picture of the graphic was shared on social media by people who said it was encouraging victim-blaming. Critics said it showed why better sex education was needed in schools. Skip Twitter post by @azrulmohdkhalib From a Darjah 3 textbook. Victim-blaming is not acceptable. Not only does this put the responsibility of preventing sexual harrassment solely on the shoulders of a girl, it also implies that she had it coming! Shaming kids is not acceptable. @hannahyeoh @maszlee @KemPelajaran pic.twitter.com/qO..
January 16, 2019

India woman makes historic ascent of ‘banned’ sacred peak

India woman makes historic ascent of 'banned' sacred peak Image copyright Dhanya Sanal Image caption Dhanya Sanal was the first woman to scale the peak An Indian woman has climbed a mountain, where only men were allowed until now for religious reasons. Dhanya Sanal's ascent to the summit of Agasthyakoodam in southern Kerala state came after a court ruling in November. Local tribespeople oppose women climbing it because of a statue of a Hindu sage on top they say is celibate. Ms Sanal, 38, told the BBC she had not been stopped by locals or protesters. Campaigners say it's a victory in the fight to end gender discrimination. Ms Sanal said she had been "ready to turn back" if tribespeople stopped her, but while she did encounter protesters, she said they had not prevented her from continuing her trek. Sabarimala: Indian women make history by entering temple The Indian god who bars women from his temple In November, the high court in Kerala ruled that women could tr..
January 16, 2019

Why a 1,200-year-old calligraphy piece angered China

Why a 1,200-year-old calligraphy piece angered China Image copyright National Palace Museum Image caption Yan Zhenqing is one of China's most famous calligraphers A decision by Taiwan's National Palace Museum to lend a rare calligraphy to Japan's Tokyo National Museum has sparked outrage across China. On paper it seemed like a straightforward cultural exchange, so why has this prized masterpiece created 1,200 years ago caused so much anger today? A household name in ChinaThe calligraphy, titled Requiem to My Nephew, was painted by Yan Zhenqing - considered to be one of the greatest calligraphers in China. He lived between 709 to 785 AD. Yan Zhenqing wrote the piece in 759 AD, after he found that his nephew had died. "He's a household name in China," Fine Arts professor Tong Kam Tang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong told the BBC. "When you're young and you study Chinese art, you'll learn [about him]." Mr Tong said the piece of work was a draft by Y..
January 16, 2019

Asia moves to reassure firms as Brexit uncertainty spikes

Asia moves to reassure firms as Brexit uncertainty spikes Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Trade between the UK and Japan hit £28bn last year Countries in Asia have moved to reassure businesses as the defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal creates fresh uncertainty for their economies and trade. Japan, a vocal critic of a no-deal Brexit, said it would seek clarity on the outlook and support firms. South Korea and Australia said they would continue to negotiate on new or existing trade deals. Market reaction in Asia following the vote was muted. The BBC's Asia business correspondent Karishma Vaswani said there was little movement in the pound in Asia hours on Wednesday as traders said "Brexit fatigue" had crept in. Pound rises after Brexit vote Theresa May faces confidence vote But countries in the region moved to reassure local businesses after the rejection of a Brexit deal stoked fresh uncertainty. Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said the go..
January 16, 2019

Kevin Mallory: The churchgoing patriot who spied for China

Kevin Mallory: The churchgoing patriot who spied for China Image copyright Police handout US officials say China is trying to influence US policymakers, steal secrets and spy on the US government. But how? The story of Kevin Mallory, a man who seemed to lead a typical suburban life in Virginia, provides the answer. FBI agents pointed their weapons at Jeremiah Mallory, a teenager standing in the doorway of his house one morning in June 2017, and told him to get on his knees. "They've got guns in his face," says Patsy Clark, a family friend. They were looking for evidence against his father, Kevin Mallory, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer who had been spying for the Chinese government. One of Mallory's neighbours, a dog walker, was heading down the block: "All of a sudden I hear this yelling." The roar of helicopters woke another neighbour, Delrose Winter, who says she saw police cars and black vans at the house. Cameron Norris, a student who lived nearby, ..
January 16, 2019

Flight attendant smuggled drugs in ‘highly organised’ ring, police say

Flight attendant smuggled drugs in 'highly organised' ring, police say Image copyright AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE Image caption Police say the drugs were smuggled by a flight attendant Australian police say they have busted a "highly organised" drug ring which allegedly used a flight attendant to smuggle drugs into the country. The Melbourne-based Vietnamese syndicate had been operating for at least five years, Australian Federal Police said. Eight people, including one Malindo Air employee, were arrested in Melbourne last week. Malindo Air, a small airline based in Malaysia, has not commented publicly. Police said the syndicate had illegally imported at least A$20m (£11m; $14.5m) worth of drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine, from Malaysia. Four men and four women, all aged between 26 and 48, were charged with drug trafficking offences. Police did not state their individual nationalities. "The cabin crew were used as the drug couriers," said AFP Assistant Commission..
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