January 8, 2019

Sterlite: India court orders reopening of controversial copper plant

Sterlite: India court orders reopening of controversial copper plant Image copyright Reuters Image caption The plant has been closed since May India's Supreme Court has ordered the reopening of a copper smelter that was shut down because of the environmental damage it was allegedly causing. The plant in the southern port city of Tuticorin was closed in May after police killed 13 people amid protests by residents. They said the smelter was polluting ground water in the area and threatened the fishing industry. India's environment court had cleared the plant's reopening in December. But the state government of Tamil Nadu had appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court. Nine die as Tuticorin Sterlite Copper protest turns violent The grassroots movement that shut down an Indian copper plant The plant, Sterlite Copper, is a subsidiary of the UK-based Vedanta conglomerate. Protests demanding its closure had been going on for months by the time it was shut in May. ..
January 8, 2019

Japanese magazine apologises over university ‘sex listing’

Japanese magazine apologises over university 'sex listing' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The article named some universities where it said female students were "easily available" A Japanese men's magazine has had to issue an apology after publishing a list ranking universities on how easy it is to convince female students to have sex at drinking parties. The list in the issue of the weekly magazine Spa! prompted outrage. One woman launched a campaign calling for an apology and for the article to be removed. It referred to the practice of gyaranomi - drinking parties where men pay women to attend. The article in the 25 December issue said the parties were popular among female college students and included an interview with the developer of an app intended to help men and women find potential attendees. Has 'womenomics' worked in Japan? Single women a burden, Japan MP says "We would like to apologise for using sensational language to appeal to reade..
January 8, 2019

Beijing school attacker injures 20 children

Beijing school attacker injures 20 children Image copyright iStock Image caption The attack took place in a school in Beijing (not pictured) Twenty primary school students in Beijing have been injured in an attack at their school by an unidentified man, say officials in China. The attack took place at around 11:00 local time (03:00 GMT) said Beijing's Xicheng district in a statement on social media site Weibo. Three children were reported to be seriously injured but stable. The alleged attacker has been arrested. It is not clear what motive the suspect might have had. The attack which took place at the Beijing No.1 Affliated Elementary School of Xuanwu Normal School, was carried out with a hammer, according to state-media outlet the Global Times. The Xicheng district said it would work together with other government authorities to carry out a full investigation. The attack comes a day after a Chinese man was put to death for injuring 12 children in a knife attack at a nursery ..
January 8, 2019

Virat Kohli: A giant stride towards cricketing greatness

Virat Kohli: A giant stride towards cricketing greatness Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kohli has become the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia Virat Kohli has changed the culture of the Indian cricket team. The last captain to do so, Tiger Pataudi, infused self-confidence into a team of talented but diffident individuals. That self-respect movement endorsed the cliché: India as a team of magical spinners and risk-taking batsmen. In their first series win in Australia under Kohli, India showed themselves to be a team of good fast bowlers and in Cheteshwar Pujara had a batsman willing to grind it out. Kohli, obsessed about winning abroad, and conscious of the weakness of a legacy without significant victories in the "SENA" countries - South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia - has converted the self-confidence into aggression, even arrogance. For generations, looking pretty and playing pretty was the Indian way. Kohli has changed that. To use a phra..
January 8, 2019

CBI: India’s top court reinstates police agency chief

CBI: India's top court reinstates police agency chief Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Alok Verma (r) and his deputy Rakesh Asthana accused each other of corruption India's top court has reinstated the chief of a federal investigation agency who was suspended by the government. The Supreme Court said there was no "provision" for the government to "divest the powers" of Alok Verma of the Central Bureau of Investigation. Mr Verma and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana had accused each other of corruption last year. They were both relieved of their duties pending an inquiry. Mr Verma had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court. The court, however, said that Mr Verma could not take "major policy decisions" until the completion of investigation of corruption cases against him. The corruption scandal marring India's CBIThe ruling is being seen as a setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP-led government. Opposition parties have welcomed the court's d..
January 8, 2019

Rahaf al-Qunun: UNHCR ‘grateful’ Saudi woman not deported

Rahaf al-Qunun: UNHCR 'grateful' Saudi woman not deported Image copyright EPA/THAI IMMIGRATION BUREAU Image caption Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, pictured at Bangkok airport, says she "wants to be free" away from Saudi Arabia The UN's refugee agency has said it is "very grateful" that officials in Thailand did not deport an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun refused to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on Monday and had barricaded herself into her airport hotel room. She said she feared her family would kill her as she had renounced Islam. Renunciation, known as apostasy, is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. Ms Mohammed al-Qunun left Bangkok airport "under the care" of the UNHCR. Thai immigration officials had said that she should return to Kuwait, where her family is. The UNHCR said that Ms Mohammed al-Qunun's asylum claim would take "several days" to assess. Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand has denied th..
January 7, 2019

CES 2019: Samsung adds rival Apple’s iTunes to smart TVs

CES 2019: Samsung adds rival Apple's iTunes to smart TVs Image copyright Samsung Image caption Arch-rivals Samsung and Apple have snuggled up together in Samsung's new Smart TVs Samsung has said that from spring 2019 its new smart TVs will include iTunes - software made by rival tech firm Apple. The move was "a true first", senior Samsung executive Dave Das told the CES tech show in Las Vegas. The service will offer sales and rentals of films and TV shows but not music. One analyst said the strategic move would benefit both companies. The deal comes ahead of Apple's expected launch of a rival to Netflix. Besides access to iTunes, the smart TVs will also feature AirPlay 2 support - allowing users to stream videos, photos and music from Apple devices. Samsung's previous generation of smart TVs will also gain the features via a firmware update. LG had earlier announced its new TVs would get AirPlay, but not iTunes. The BBC has contacted Apple to ask whether the iPho..
January 7, 2019

Carlos Ghosn makes his first court appearance since arrest

Carlos Ghosn makes his first court appearance since arrest Image copyright Getty Images Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has made his first appearance in court in Japan since his arrest last year. He was detained on allegations of financial misconduct in November, and re-arrested in December on a further claim of understating his pay. In a statement released before the hearing, Mr Ghosn said he has been "wrongly accused and unfairly detained". His lengthy detention has drawn some criticism outside Japan. Mr Ghosn has been accused of "significant acts of misconduct", including under-reporting his pay package and personal use of company assets. His defence team say the accusations against him are invalid because they do not relate to his salary, but to future payments that he was expected to receive after retirement. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Members of Carlos Ghosn's legal team ahead of his appearance at the Tokyo District court Mr Ghosn is expected to tell t..
January 7, 2019

Samsung warns of profit drop as chip demand slows

Samsung warns of profit drop as chip demand slows Image copyright Getty Images Samsung Electronics expects to post a 29% drop in quarterly operating profit as demand for smartphones and memory chips slows. The firm forecasts operating earnings of 10.8 trillion Korean won ($9.7bn; £7.6bn) for the last three months of 2018. It marks the first quarterly profit drop in two years as strong demand for chips had boosted earnings at the firm. Samsung also faces fierce competition from Apple and Chinese rivals. In a statement on Tuesday, the firm cited lacklustre demand and rising competition for its darkening outlook. "We expect earnings to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business," the South Korean tech giant said in a statement. Samsung's folding smartphone revealedIt forecasts revenue will decline 11% to 59 trillion won. Samsung will provide detailed earnings later this month. The firm had seen earnings surge in recent years..
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