January 10, 2019

Grace Millane: Murdered backpacker’s funeral held in Essex

Grace Millane: Murdered backpacker's funeral held in Essex Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMembers of Grace Millane's family carried her coffin The funeral service of murdered of British backpacker Grace Millane has taken place near her home in Essex. The 22-year-old was last seen at a hostel in Auckland, New Zealand on 1 December. Her body was found a week later on the outskirts of the city. A 26-year-old man has been charged with her murder and remains in custody. Hundreds of mourners gathered for the Requiem Mass at Brentwood Cathedral on what Miss Millane's family has called "Grace's Day". Miss Millane had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks, following a six-week group trip through South America. Her family in Wickford became concerned when the University of Lincoln graduate failed to respond to birthday messages on 2 December. Image copyright Lucie Blackman Trust Image caption The University of Lincoln graduate arrived..
January 10, 2019

Nepal woman and children die in banned ‘menstruation hut’

Nepal woman and children die in banned 'menstruation hut' Image copyright AFP Image caption "Chhaupadi" huts are outlawed but the practice continues in many rural areas (file pic) A Nepali mother and her two children have been found dead after the woman was banished to a "menstruation hut". The woman had lit a fire to keep her and her two young sons warm in bitter winter temperatures. All three are suspected to have died in their sleep due to smoke inhalation, officials told BBC Nepali. The traditional practice of exiling menstruating women from the family home is banned in Nepal but it is still widely practised in rural areas. This case is not the first tragedy to have occurred when women have been sent to sleep in the huts - a practice, known as chhaupadi, that was criminalised in 2017. There have been several cases of suffocation and at least one teenage girl has died after being bitten by a snake. Under the ancient practice, linked to Hinduism, women who have their peri..
January 10, 2019

Rahaf al-Qunun: Unpicking the tweets that may have saved her life

Rahaf al-Qunun: Unpicking the tweets that may have saved her life Image copyright Reuters Image caption She was afraid for her life and Twitter came to her rescue On the evening of Saturday, 5 January, a desperate situation began to unravel on a newly created Twitter account. Fleeing her family in Kuwait, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, sent out a series of tweets pleading for help from an airport hotel room in Bangkok. At the time she had 24 followers. "I'm the girl who ran away to Thailand. I'm now in real danger because the Saudi embassy is trying to force me to return," her first-ever tweet in Arabic read. Skip Twitter post by @rahaf84427714 اسمي رهف محمد، و سأقوم بنشر اسمي الكامل على الملاء إذا لم تتوقف عائلتي والسفاراة السعودية، ورجل السفارة الكويتية عن مطاردتي. — Rahaf Mohammed رهف محمد (@rahaf84427714) January 5, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by @rahaf84427714 Then she said something that would be hard to ignore: "I'm afraid. My family will kill me." People..
January 10, 2019

Thousands raised to free Aboriginal women jailed over debts

Thousands raised to free Aboriginal women jailed over debts Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Experts say the law disproportionately affects indigenous Australians Campaigners in Australia have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help free Aboriginal women jailed for being unable to pay fines. Western Australia is the nation's only state that regularly jails people for unpaid fines, often on minor crimes. Experts note the law disproportionately affects indigenous Australians, as well as poor and vulnerable people. The state government says it plans reforms this year that will make it harder for people to be jailed. In the meantime, campaigners have begun fundraising to pay for fines incurred by Aboriginal women, raising almost A$200,000 (£110,000; $143,000) since Saturday. A government report in 2016 noted that Aboriginal women were the most likely to be imprisoned for unpaid fines, due to high levels of disadvantage. "These are cases of very poor Aboriginal women..
January 10, 2019

Trade war: China says US talks ‘laid ground’ to resolve dispute

Trade war: China says US talks 'laid ground' to resolve dispute Image copyright Getty Images China said talks with the US "laid the foundations" to resolve a damaging trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. The negotiations in Beijing this week were "extensive, deep and detailed," China's commerce ministry said. The US highlighted China's pledge to purchase more agriculture and other goods, without providing specifics. Neither side has said when the two countries will meet again for further negotiations. The midlevel talks in Beijing concluded on Wednesday. They weren't expected to produce a final deal but optimism about progress had buoyed global stock markets this week. A statement from the US Trade Representative said the talks "focused on China's pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured, and other products and services from the United States". China's commerce ministry said the disc..
January 9, 2019

Japan to scrap UK beef ban imposed after BSE crisis

Japan to scrap UK beef ban imposed after BSE crisis Image copyright Getty Images Japan will end a ban on British beef and lamb that has been in place since the mad cow disease epidemic. The move comes ahead of a meeting between Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Theresa May. The leaders are expected to announce funding for technology collaborations at the Downing Street meeting on Thursday. Brexit is also expected to loom large over the talks, with Mr Abe expressing Japan's concerns. Downing Street says Japan's decision to drop the beef and lamb ban, which has been in place since 1996, will be worth £127m to British farmers over five years. Exports of red meat products from the UK surpassed £1.2 billion in 2017, according to Revenue and Customs Statistics. The two leaders will also announce £30m of initial funding for "cutting-edge technology to boost innovation, create high-skilled jobs and improve people's quality of life," a statement from Downing Street s..
January 9, 2019

Kim Jong-un leaves China with ‘backing for second Trump summit’

Kim Jong-un leaves China with 'backing for second Trump summit' Image copyright Reuters Image caption A train believed to be carrying the North Korean leader departs Beijing Railway Station on Wednesday After his surprise visit to China, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un left with backing for a possible second summit with US President Donald Trump, state media said. Mr Trump and Mr Kim first met last June, but progress over denuclearisation has since stalled. Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hoped the two leaders "meet each other halfway", Xinhua news agency reported China is the North's main ally and key trade partner. North Korean state media reported that Mr Kim expressed "concern" over the lack of progress towards denuclearisation but said Pyongyang's "basic position of pursuing a peaceful resolution through dialogue remains unchanged". According to the official KCNA news agency China supported the North's position. "Xi Jinping said that the legitimate i..
January 9, 2019

Australia consulate scares: Arrest over ’38 suspicious parcels’

Australia consulate scares: Arrest over '38 suspicious parcels' Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Police officers remove evidence from the Italian consulate in Melbourne Australian police have arrested a man who allegedly sent suspicious parcels to consulates and embassies in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Emergency crews were called to several consulates on Wednesday after being alerted by staff. Some packages were reported to be labelled asbestos. The contents of the parcels are still being identified. There were no reports of harm to staff. The man arrested sent 38 parcels, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege. There was no ongoing threat to the public, authorities said. The 48-year-old man was charged with sending dangerous articles to be carried by a postal service, an offence which carries a maximum 10-year jail term. Emergency workers had been seen at consulates belonging to the UK, US, Switzerland, Pakistan, India, Greece, South Korea, New Zealand..
January 9, 2019

South Korea porn: Co-founder of the Soranet site jailed

South Korea porn: Co-founder of the Soranet site jailed Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Women have led huge street protests against spy cam porn featured on sites like Soranet A co-founder of one of South Korea's largest pornography websites has been sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Seoul. The woman, surnamed Song, was found guilty of aiding and abetting the distribution of obscene material. Soranet had more than a million users and hosted thousands of illegal videos, many filmed with spy cameras and shared without the consent of women featured. Producing and disseminating pornography is illegal in South Korea. Soranet was shut following a public outcry. Last summer, women organised huge street protests across South Korea, calling on the government to take more serious action against illegal pornography. South Korea's spy cam porn epidemic Korean revenge porn site owner arrested City to check toilets daily for cameras Song was also fined 1.4 billion w..
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