December 21, 2018

George HW Bush’s sponsorship made me successful, says Filipino man

George HW Bush's sponsorship made me successful, says Filipino man Image copyright Compassion International Image caption George HW Bush exchanged letters with Timothy Villalba for 10 years A Filipino man sponsored by George HW Bush as a boy has described how letters from the former US president helped him to become "successful and happy". "Out of so many kids... I was the one picked," Timothy Villalba told the TV network ABS-CBN, adding that Mr Bush had supplied him with gifts - such as a drawing set - that fed his creativity. Mr Bush, under the name George Walker, also helped with education and meals. Mr Villalba, now aged 25, was just seven when the sponsorship started. He learned his Compassion International sponsor's true identity when he left the scheme at 17 and was stunned. In an interview with ABS-CBN, Mr Villalba said he found it "shocking that he was indeed a president", adding: "I can't explain how I'm feeling". Image copyright Compassion Internationa..
December 21, 2018

Borneo’s Albino orangutan released back into the wild

Borneo's Albino orangutan released back into the wild The first-ever recorded albino orangutan has been released into the wild, nearly two years after it was first discovered by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF). Image copyright BOSF / AFP Alba was rescued by the government's Central Kalimantan Natural Resource Conservation Agency and the BOSF in April last year, when she was five years old and suffering from stress, dehydration and a parasite infection. The albino orangutan lacks pigment melanin in her hair and skin and was named after the Latin word for white, following a naming competition by BOSF in May 2017. Image copyright BOSF / AFP Alba's symptoms of albinism had to be taken into account in her rehabilitation strategy. Health complications - including poor eyesight, hearing and susceptibility to skin cancer - make her more vulnerable to predators. After many months of care at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, Alba recovered and th..
December 21, 2018

Papua leaders demand end to Indonesian military operation

Papua leaders demand end to Indonesian military operation Image copyright AFP Image caption The 17 workers killed in the Papua attack earlier this month were from other parts of Indonesia The governor of Indonesia's eastern Papua province has called for an end to an intense military operation against independence rebels in the remote jungle-covered region. Troops are hunting for members of the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), who killed at least 17 construction workers early this month. It was the deadliest attack for years. Local officials said at least four civilians had so far been killed in the military response. Hundreds more are said to have fled into the jungle to escape the violence. The children starving in a land of gold Indonesia country profile The OPM attack in the mountainous Nduga region represents a major escalation in the decades-old low-level insurgency. Previous reports had put the number of victims at 24. Papua declared independence from the Nether..
December 21, 2018

Chinese chemistry student charged with poisoning US roommate

Chinese chemistry student charged with poisoning US roommate Image copyright Pennsylvania police Image caption The student is a chemistry major and said he purchased the thallium to use on himself A Chinese chemistry student at a US university tried to poison his African American roommate over a period of several months, prosecutors allege. Yukai Yang was charged with attempted homicide and arrested on Thursday. Prosecutors say he laced the food and drink of Juwan Royal with thallium. Mr Royal still suffers symptoms. Mr Yang admits buying chemicals but says they were intended for his own use. He is also charged with writing racist graffiti in their dorm room. The alleged poisoning took place over several months in the spring of 2018 when Mr Royal, a fellow senior at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, sought medical help several times for feeling dizzy, passing out, throwing up and feeling shaky, prosecutors say. Mr Yang admitted to having purchased thallium and other chemicals on th..
December 21, 2018

Michael Kovrig arrest: Canadian held in China ‘not allowed to turn lights off ‘

Michael Kovrig arrest: Canadian held in China 'not allowed to turn lights off ' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Michael Kovrig was arrested on 10 December in China A former Canadian diplomat detained in China is being denied legal representation and is not allowed to turn the lights off at night, reports quoting unnamed sources say. Michael Kovrig was detained last week on accusations of harming national security. Canada drew Chinese protests after it arrested an executive at telecoms giant Huawei at the request of the US. China says it has guaranteed Mr Kovrig's lawful rights. "He's not allowed to apply for bail and not allowed to see a lawyer," one source told Reuters news agency, adding that Korvig was being held at an undisclosed location and being questioned every morning, afternoon and evening. He is not allowed to turn off the lights when he tries to sleep at night, the person added. "He is physically all right, but tired and stressed," a source tol..
December 21, 2018

India man held for rape of British woman in Goa

India man held for rape of British woman in Goa Image copyright AFP An Indian man has been arrested for allegedly raping and robbing a British tourist in the western state of Goa. The woman, 48, was attacked around 4:00 local time (22:30 GMT) on Thursday as she was walking to her hotel from a railway station, police told PTI news. The accused is a man from the southern state of Tamil Nadu. He fled after also taking three of her bags. Goa is one of India's top tourist destinations and its beaches attract thousands of foreigners every year. The woman is a regular visitor to the state. Police said she had been going there every year for the last 10 years. Police were able to track down the suspect with the help of CCTV footage from the railway station as well as the area where the crime occurred, according to the NDTV news website. Why India's rape crisis shows no signs of abating rA rape victim's two-year wait for justice This is one of several crimes against foreigne..
December 21, 2018

Why Australians are celebrating ‘gravy day’

Why Australians are celebrating 'gravy day' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption "Gravy day" has its origins in a 1996 song by Australian musician Paul Kelly It's not exactly a national holiday - yet - but "gravy day" is being well celebrated in Australia, thanks to a song and plenty of internet jokes. What is gravy day? It began with a 1996 song called How To Make Gravy by popular Australian singer Paul Kelly. Its lyrics tell a fictional tale of a man in jail writing to his family about longing to be with them at Christmas. That letter is penned on 21 December - a date that, in real life, has been deemed increasingly worth celebrating. And many Australians did on Friday, especially on social media. Image Copyright @ARJ7X @ARJ7X Report Image Copyright @ARJ7X @ARJ7X Report Image Copyright @ginarush @ginarush Report Image Copyright @ginarush @ginarush Report "GravyDay", "Paul Kelly" and "the 21st of December" were trending terms on Twitter, with many posts playing o..
December 20, 2018

President Trump ‘to pull thousands of troops’ from Afghanistan

President Trump 'to pull thousands of troops' from Afghanistan Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US troops are part of a Nato-led mission to train and assist Afghan forces The Trump administration is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, US media say. Reports, citing unnamed officials, say about 7,000 troops - roughly half the remaining US military presence in the country - could go home within months. The reports come a day after the president announced the country's military withdrawal from Syria. Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump's defence secretary, Jim Mattis, announced his resignation from his post. In his letter of departure, Gen Mattis mentioned his diverging views with the president, but did not cite troops withdrawals directly. Before his election, Mr Trump repeatedly publicly advocated leaving Afghanistan - where US forces have been since 2001. Afghanistan profile - Timeline Why Afghanistan is more dangerous than ever The White..
December 20, 2018

Ghosn: Auto tycoon re-arrested on new charges

Ghosn: Auto tycoon re-arrested on new charges Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Carlos Ghosn will for now remain in detention Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested on fresh charges, Japanese media report, one day after courts surprised observers by paving the way for his release on bail. Mr Ghosn has spent the last month in prison, accused of misusing funds and hiding $80m (£63m) of income. On Thursday, a court rejected a request to extend his detention, which meant he could apply to be released on bail. Friday's arrest is on a new charge of aggravated breach of trust, media say. According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, prosecutors now accuse Mr Ghosn of shifting a private investment loss of over $16m onto Nissan in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. A towering and revered figure in the auto industry, Mr Ghosn has not yet responded to the latest allegation but he has consistently denied all prior accusations made against him. He was first arreste..
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