November 19, 2018

Australia’s Fairfax gets green light to merge with Nine

Australia's Fairfax gets green light to merge with Nine Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The new entity will retain the Nine name only Australia's Fairfax has got the green light from its shareholders to merge with television network Nine Entertainment in a massive shake-up of the nation's media industry. Fairfax shareholders gave "overwhelming" support for the multi-billion dollar merger. The deal was possible after Australia relaxed its media ownership laws last year. The new business will be called Nine, losing the well-known Fairfax name. Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon said the change was expected to be implemented on 7 December, subject to court approval. The deal wraps in Nine's television network, one of the nation's biggest, and Fairfax newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne's The Age and The Australian Financial Review. It also includes Fairfax's many radio and digital assets, including news websites in other citi..
November 19, 2018

Hong Kong activists on trial for pioneering the ‘Umbrella’ protests

Hong Kong activists on trial for pioneering the 'Umbrella' protests Image copyright EPA Image caption The nine were met by more than a hundred supporters outside the court Nine pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have pleaded not guilty in a trial seen as a test of judicial independence from Beijing. They have been charged with "public nuisance" over the 2014 "Umbrella" movement that demanded Hong Kong choose its own leader. Three of those accused founded the civil disobedience movement before student groups joined in. At its peak, thousands of protesters paralysed parts of the city for months. The charges carry jail terms of up to seven years. The trial has been described as "politically motivated prosecution" amounting to "an attack on free speech and peaceful assembly" by rights group Amnesty International. Image copyright Reuters Image caption The 2014 umbrella protests paralysed central Hong Kong for almost three months Beijing's struggle to win Hong Kong's..
November 18, 2018

Pamela Anderson criticises Australia PM for ‘smutty’ comment

Pamela Anderson criticises Australia PM for 'smutty' comment Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Pamela Anderson has been a vocal supporter of Julian Assange Actress Pamela Anderson has criticised Australia's prime minister for making "smutty" remarks about her, after earlier asking him to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Ms Anderson had urged Scott Morrison to bring Mr Assange to Australia. Mr Morrison rejected her plea, but said he had "plenty of mates who have asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort out the issue with Pamela". A government minister defended his comment as being "light-hearted". Mr Morrison has not responded to Ms Anderson's criticism. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, claimed asylum in Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations - a case that has since been dropped. He has remained in the embassy over fears of extradition to the US. Last week, US media reported offic..
November 18, 2018

Viewpoint: The ‘feminist’ ruling angering Indian women

Viewpoint: The 'feminist' ruling angering Indian women Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Protesting women feel that no one cares to understand their worldview A recent Supreme Court ruling, which has been hailed as a feminist victory, has instead angered the Indian women it was meant to empower, says commentator Shyam Krishnakumar. At the Sabarimala temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala, a tense stand-off is under way between women who are determined to use a judicial verdict to enter the temple and large groups of devotees including women, making a last-ditch effort to preserve the integrity of their age-old traditions. The issue began with a recent Supreme Court verdict allowing the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50, which was prohibited by the temple's traditions. Why has a seemingly feminist verdict caused a groundswell of protest including from the very subaltern women it was meant to empower? Sabarimala commands a massive following cut..
November 18, 2018

Karachi Press Club: Shock as police raid ‘island of freedom’

Karachi Press Club: Shock as police raid ‘island of freedom’ Image copyright BBC Sport Image caption Pioneering journalists acquired a mansion and founded the Karachi Press Club in 1958 Through decades of military coups, civil unrest and martial law, the Karachi Press Club has remained off-limits to Pakistan's powerful military and intelligence agencies. But this island of democratic resistance in a country prone to religious bigotry and militarisation has finally been violated. Late at night on 8 November, more than a dozen plainclothes men carrying guns forced their way into the club - examining rooms and shooting videos and photos of the premises. The group, who arrived at the club in half a dozen trucks led by a police van, quickly left when confronted by members. Police later said they were tracking signals from the mobile phone of a wanted man they thought was in the building. The next day, security agencies arrested a senior journalist at his home on charges of keeping Isla..
November 18, 2018

Rescued migrants refuse to leave ship taking them to Libya

Rescued migrants refuse to leave ship taking them to Libya Image copyright MSF Sea Image caption The cargo ship has been docked in Libya for eight days Dozens of increasingly desperate migrants rescued by a cargo ship in the Mediterranean have been refusing to leave after it docked in a Libyan port. Some told journalists they would rather die than be forced to disembark in Libya where they say they were held captive and tortured by smugglers. The ship brought them to Misrata on 10 November after picking them up from a boat off Libya's western coast. They are said to be from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Reality Check: Who is responsible for migrants at sea? EU's Med migrant crisis: Just a mess or cynical politics? Fourteen people including unaccompanied children and a mother and baby left the ship on Wednesday for official detention centres in Libya but, according to Qatar-based broadcaster al-Jazeera, 77 migrants remained on board on Sunday. Skip Twitter post by @A..
November 18, 2018

Australian wedding magazine White shuts after LGBT row

Australian wedding magazine White shuts after LGBT row Image copyright iStock / Getty Images One of Australia's leading wedding magazines is shutting down after it refused to feature same-sex couples. Luke and Carla Burrell, founders of White magazine, said advertisers had abandoned them in droves. The Christian couple said they made the choice because they had "no desire to create a social, political or legal war". Australia legalised gay marriage in December last year after the country overwhelmingly voted in favour of it. In a farewell post on its website, the magazine's founders said they had been targeted by "a flood of judgement," and that couples they featured had been sent online abuse. "White Magazine has always been a secular publication, but as its publishers, we are Christian. We have no agenda but to love," they wrote. "Like many people, we have had to reflect on our beliefs," the founders wrote. "It's a long and continuing journey." Was Australia's..
November 18, 2018

Sheikh Hasina: Lawsuit threat over Bangladesh PM ‘tail’ error

Sheikh Hasina: Lawsuit threat over Bangladesh PM 'tail' error Image copyright Reuters Image caption The film follows Sheikh Hasina's life and career A supporter of Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina has threatened to sue a cinema over a spelling error that inadvertently said she had a "tail". The Blockbuster cinema in Dhaka misspelled the correct title of the biopic, Hasina: A Daughter's Tale. Hasina supporter Saad Chowdhury said the word tail was "elfish"; suggested part of an animal, and was humiliating. He demanded the cinema correct the error and apologise publicly or face a lawsuit for $90m (£70m). Bangladesh will hold a general election next month, with Prime Minister Hasina and her Awami League hoping to retain power. How a traffic accident stopped a city of 18 million The women who use traditional make-up as sunscreen What is Bangladesh like? Mr Chowdhury, a former general secretary of the Bangladesh Awami British Law Students Union, is not acting officially on b..
November 18, 2018

Olympic Games: Why cities are snubbing the ‘greatest show on Earth’

Olympic Games: Why cities are snubbing the 'greatest show on Earth' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Demonstrators protest against Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics It has long been billed as the greatest show on Earth. Both the summer and winter versions of the Olympic Games are multi-billion dollar spectacles that bring together the world's top athletes and draw masses of media coverage. So when residents in the Canadian city of Calgary voted on whether to bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics last week, you might have expected an enthusiastic thumbs-up. But instead their verdict was clear: thanks, but no thanks. Their rejection, motivated by fears about high costs and questions about the economic benefits, came after three other cities all withdrew from bidding earlier this year. This is part of a bigger problem that experts say could threaten the very future of the Olympic Games: fewer and fewer cities around the world want to play host. Just co..
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