December 17, 2018

Sajjan Kumar: Milestone conviction in deadly anti-Sikh riots

Sajjan Kumar: Milestone conviction in deadly anti-Sikh riots Image copyright Getty Images A senior Congress party politician has been jailed for life in what is being seen as the most important conviction so far over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Sajjan Kumar, who was an MP at the time, was found guilty of inciting crowds to kill Sikhs. In a scathing verdict, the Delhi high court judges said the accused evaded justice due to "political patronage". More than 3,000 Sikhs died in riots following the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. They were angry at her decision to send the army into the Golden Temple - Sikhism's holiest shrine - to flush out militants earlier in the year. The killing of Mrs Gandhi, who belonged to the Congress - now India's main opposition party- saw mobs attack and murder members of the Sikh community across the country. For 34 years, high-profile politicians accused of involvement in the anti-Sikh riots had evaded justice - on Mo..
December 17, 2018

Pageant-mad Philippines celebrates Miss Universe win

Pageant-mad Philippines celebrates Miss Universe win Image copyright Reuters The Philippines, a country obsessed with beauty pageants, is celebrating its fourth Miss Universe win, sparking a wave of pride and support online. Catriona Gray beat her global contestants in an early morning final in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday. While hugely popular, such pageants are often accused of objectifying women and promoting gender inequality. Activists have described Miss Universe as a "display of flesh" which sets "unattainable beauty standards". Skip Twitter post by @MissUniverse Miss Universe 2018 is... PHILIPPINES! — Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) December 17, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @MissUniverse 'Beauty pageants break the internet'Howard Johnson, BBC News, Manila Beauty pageants are a very big deal in the Philippines. Families crowd round TVs to watch. Chat groups are set up to provide a running commentary on costumes and stage blunders. This..
December 17, 2018

Andrew Broad: Australian minister quits amid ‘sugar baby’ allegations

Andrew Broad: Australian minister quits amid 'sugar baby' allegations Image copyright ABC Image caption Australian MP Andrew Broad will remain on the backbench An Australian government minister has resigned from his position over allegations of inappropriate conduct. Andrew Broad, a junior minister, used a "sugar baby" website to meet a woman for dinner in Hong Kong last month, Australian magazine New Idea reported. The government said Mr Broad had quit "due to the nature of the allegations" against him, but did not elaborate. Mr Broad told the magazine that "the person making the allegation may have engaged in criminal activity". His office did not comment further on Monday. The married MP had been assistant minister to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack since September. On Monday, Mr McCormack said Mr Broad had reported the allegations to police. "They will uncover if there has been impropriety done," Mr McCormack said, adding that the issue was "an unnecessary distra..
December 16, 2018

Gay Singaporean man wins landmark appeal to adopt surrogate child

Gay Singaporean man wins landmark appeal to adopt surrogate child Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A 46-year-old man has won a landmark case in Singapore A gay Singaporean man has won a landmark court case which will allow him to adopt a child he fathered through a surrogate. The man, 46, and his long-term partner carried out the process in the US at a cost of $200,000 (£159,000), as surrogacy is illegal in Singapore. He tried to legally adopt the child but the bid was rejected last year, leaving him with no legal parental rights. Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Singapore and gay sex is illegal. The four-year-old child is considered illegitimate in the eyes of the law as the surrogate mother and biological father are not married. The mother - who waived all her rights under the surrogacy deal - is also foreign, making the child ineligible to automatically qualify for Singaporean citizenship. The egg donor has never been identified. The father was left with no leg..
December 16, 2018

Three-year-old assaulted on Delhi bus rape anniversary

Three-year-old assaulted on Delhi bus rape anniversary Image copyright AFP A three-year-old Indian girl is in critical condition after she was allegedly raped by her neighbour in the capital Delhi. The accused, a 40-year-old security guard who worked in the building the child lived in, has been arrested. Police found the girl unconscious and rushed her to hospital where she is undergoing surgery. The incident occurred on Sunday, which was the sixth anniversary of the brutal gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus. Delhi Women's Commissioner Swati Maliwal said the incident "let down" the bus rape victim, whose attack saw country-wide protests and a tightening of rape laws. Skip Twitter post by @SwatiJaiHind Today a 3 year old girl has been brutally raped in Bindapur, Delhi. She is bleeding profusely & is v critical. Am on my way to meet her. How more can this city let down Nirbhaya that even on her 6th death anniversary children are raped! @narendramodi ji, for nth time, pl help! ..
December 16, 2018

Laura Ashley shuts UK stores to focus on China

Laura Ashley to close 40 UK stores amid a push into China Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Originally based in Wales, Laura Ashley grew from a small factory in Carno Fashion and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley will close some 40 stores in the UK as it plans to expand its presence in China. Laura Ashley, which is owned by Malayan United Industries (MUI), has already closed some 40 UK stores since 2015. Retailers in the UK have had a difficult year as consumer confidence wanes and fewer shoppers visit stores. A recent report has shown that some 14 shops are closing every day in the UK amid the tough trading climate. Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, MUI's newly appointed executive chairman, told reporters in Malaysia earlier this month that he expected the business to see some tough headwinds across the next two years. He also said MUI would be restructuring some arms of its business and rationalising assets. Mr Khoo said that he wanted to see fewer Laura Ashley stores, but ..
December 16, 2018

What can New Zealand teach us about Brexit?

What can New Zealand teach us about Brexit? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption New Zealand's economy was forced to diversify after the UK joined the European Economic Community Brexit is, to put it mildly, an unusual event. But there are precedents for some aspects of it. New Zealand provides one example. The country faced a sudden, adverse change in access to a key export market when the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC), as it was then, in 1973. When countries have changed their trade arrangements through negotiation in recent decades it has usually been to reduce barriers to cross-border commerce. We don't know exactly what Brexit will bring, but it certainly could - or perhaps we should say probably will - mean more barriers to trade between the UK and EU. And it could all happen very quickly, especially if the UK does leave the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement in March next year. There aren't many precedents for that. What happened to N..
December 16, 2018

Narendra Modi: Is hardline Hindu politics failing India’s PM?

Narendra Modi: Is hardline Hindu politics failing India's PM? Image copyright Getty Images Last week's electoral losses in five states for India's ruling party has led to speculation that its agenda of promoting hardline Hindu politics has backfired. The BBC's Priyanka Pathak reports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost to the main opposition Congress party in the Hindi-speaking heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, all of which they previously governed. Local parties swept up the other two states - Telangana and Mizoram - putting the BJP in a tough place ahead of general elections next year. It appears that after winning no less than 13 state elections since coming to power in 2014, the BJP's seemingly invincible electoral juggernaut is losing steam. There is a great deal of introspection within and outside the party. And the main question is: has the BJP's recent pursuit of a hardline Hindu age..
December 16, 2018

North Korea condemns latest US sanctions

North Korea condemns latest US sanctions Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tension on the DMZ has eased but US-North Korea talks appear stalled North Korea has denounced the latest US sanctions, saying they could "block the path to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula forever". Washington said it put the sanctions on three top officials, after a report threw up a raft of human rights abuses. A historic summit between the nations' leaders this summer appeared to point the path towards better relations. The period since then has seen North Korea engage both in angry exchanges and actions that have reduced tension. North Korea crisis in 300 wordsThere have been suggestions of a second leaders' summit. Although President Donald Trump has indicated he is open to the idea he said this week that he was in no hurry. What has North Korea said?In a statement, the North Korean administration expressed "shock and indignation" at the new US sanctions. The statement carried b..
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