January 6, 2019

US-China officials to begin trade war talks in Beijing

US-China officials to begin trade war talks in Beijing Image copyright Getty Images US and Chinese officials will begin talks on Monday aimed at resolving their damaging trade dispute. Last year, both countries imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on one another's goods. The two-day talks mark the first formal meeting since the pair agreed to refrain from any further tariffs for 90 days. The meeting comes amid rising concern about the impact of trade tensions on the global economy. The US delegation will be led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish. Ahead of the meeting in Beijing, US President Donald Trump said negotiations between the two sides were going "very well". "I think China wants to get it resolved. Their economy's not doing very well," he told reporters on Sunday. "I think that gives them a great incentive to negotiate." Trade war truce: A win for the US or China? How worrying is China's slowdown? US and China agree to suspend new tariffs..
January 6, 2019

Bluebottle jellyfish: Thousands of Queensland beachgoers stung

Bluebottle jellyfish: Thousands of Queensland beachgoers stung Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bluebottle jellyfish stings can be painful Vast numbers of bluebottle jellyfish have swarmed beaches in Queensland, Australia, stinging thousands of people and forcing the closure of swim spots. Surf Life Saving Queensland said over 2,600 people received treatment at the weekend. Bluebottle stings are painful but typically not life-threatening. Unusually strong winds pushed the jellyfish colonies close to shore. About 13,000 stings were recorded in the past week - three times more than in the corresponding period last year. Most incidents took place in Queensland's heavily populated Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions. Skip Twitter post by @lifesavingqld #CLOSED #BLUEBOTTLE A wall of bluebottles is approaching #Rainbow beach. Lifesavers are closing the beach. Please stay out of the water. — Surf Life Saving QLD (@lifesavingqld) January 6, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by ..
January 6, 2019

Behind India’s construction boom: ‘We risk our lives to build your homes’

Behind India's construction boom: 'We risk our lives to build your homes' Image copyright Ankit Srinivas Image caption Ram Bhavan has been working as a construction worker for 10 years It was an early morning in November when Mir Hasan arrived at a construction site in Noida - a suburb of India's capital Delhi - to start his daily shift. He drank a bottle of water and began work right away - this was his routine every day. But a few hours later, he fell from the high-rise building and died. He should have had a harness, a good protective helmet, boots with a firm grip and an insurance policy against accidents. But he did not have any of these things, which construction firms are legally required to give workers. However, many firms do not follow the rules in order to save money, and end up neglecting the wellbeing of the very people who form the backbone of their business. Mir Hasan's death wasn't an isolated incident - more than five workers died in 201..
January 6, 2019

Saudi embassy says woman ‘still has her passport’

Saudi embassy says woman 'still has her passport' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun said her passport was seized at Bangkok airport A young Saudi woman reportedly trapped at Bangkok's main airport is being held for not having a return ticket, Saudi officials have said. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, says she is trying to flee her family, and that Saudi authorities took her passport on arrival in Thailand. But the Saudi embassy in Bangkok said she was being held for not having a return ticket. The statement also said she still had her passport. Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was on a trip to Kuwait with her family when she fled on a flight two days ago. She was trying to head to Australia via a connecting flight in Bangkok. She told the BBC that she had renounced Islam, and feared she would be forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia and killed by her family. The BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says Ms Mohammed al-Qunun is frightened and confused. She say..
January 6, 2019

Chang’e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon

Chang'e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon Image caption An image of the rover rolling off the lander A Chinese robotic rover has got its wheels dirty after rolling off its landing craft and onto the lunar soil. The Chang'e-4 spacecraft touched down on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 Beijing time (02:26 GMT) on Thursday. Lunar exploration chief Wu Weiren echoed Neil Armstrong's famous quote, telling state media the event marked a "huge stride" for China. The rover and lander are carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region's geology. It represents the first ever such attempt and landing on the far side of the Moon, which has distinct characteristics to the near side we can see from Earth. According to the Guardian newspaper, Weiren told the state broadcaster CCTV: "The separation of Chang'e 4's rover was smooth and perfect." "The rover rolled only a small step on to the Moon, but it represented a huge stride for the Chinese nation." The rover ..
January 6, 2019

US and North Korea negotiating location for second summit – Trump

US and North Korea negotiating location for second summit - Trump Image copyright EPA Image caption President Trump spoke to reporters before leaving for Camp David, Maryland US President Donald Trump has said that a location for another summit with North Korea is being negotiated. Mr Trump told reporters in Washington DC that "a good dialogue" was taking place with North Korea, but sanctions on Pyongyang would remain in place. Mr Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last June, the first such meeting for a sitting US president. No tangible progress has been achieved so far on the main US goal: North Korea's denuclearisation. President Trump said last week that he had received a "great letter" from Mr Kim, although he did not reveal its contents. North Korea crisis in 300 words Did Trump and Kim really achieve anything in Singapore? What were the results of the Trump-Kim summit? "We are negotiating a location," he told reporters at the White House on Sunday. "It will be annou..
January 6, 2019

Malaysia king: Sultan Muhammad V abdicates in historic first

Malaysia king: Sultan Muhammad V abdicates in historic first Image copyright AFP Image caption Malaysia is the only country in the world to have a rotational monarchy Malaysia's king, Sultan Muhammad V, has unexpectedly abdicated in an historic first. No Malaysian monarch has stepped away from the throne since the country gained independence from the UK more than 60 years ago. The National Palace did not give a reason for his resignation but said it would take effect immediately. It comes amid intense speculation about Muhammad V's private life following reports that he has married a Russian. He went on medical leave in November and, later that month, photographs emerged that appeared to show him marrying a former Miss Moscow in the Russian capital. Image Copyright @RosMathieson @RosMathieson Report Image Copyright @RosMathieson @RosMathieson Report Officials have not commented on the rumours or given any further details about his health. The sultan and the showgirl Sultan ..
January 6, 2019

Bangladesh election: ‘Gang rape’ suspects detained

Bangladesh election: 'Gang rape' suspects detained Image copyright NurPhoto/Getty Image caption News of the gang rape has sparked protests and anger in Bangladesh A court in Bangladesh has remanded seven men in custody, including a local leader of the governing Awami League party, over a suspected gang rape. The mother of four alleges she was raped by a group of men because she voted for the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in last week's poll. The election night attack has triggered protests and anger on social media. The men have denied the accusations, and the Awami League leader has been expelled from the party. The Awami League won a landslide victory in last Sunday's election, which was marred by violence, intimidation and vote rigging claims. At least 17 people died in clashes between ruling party and opposition supporters. On Friday, the UN expressed concern over what it described as reprisals against the political opposition by ruling party activis..
January 6, 2019

Afghanistan gold mine collapse in Badakhshan kills 30

Afghanistan gold mine collapse in Badakhshan kills 30 At least 30 people have been killed in the collapse of a gold mine in north-eastern Afghanistan, officials say. The collapse occurred in the Kohistan district of Badakhshan province. Villagers had reportedly dug a deep but makeshift shaft in a river bed to hunt for gold and were caught in its collapse. Afghanistan has vast resources of minerals but many of the mines are old and poorly maintained, creating severe safety issues.
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