December 14, 2018

Eleven die and dozens ill after eating rice at Indian temple

Eleven die and dozens ill after eating rice at Indian temple Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Witnesses say people quickly fell ill after eating rice following a consecration ceremony Eleven people have died and dozens more have fallen ill after eating rice at a temple in India, police say. About 70 people have been admitted to hospital after eating the food following a ceremony in the southern state of Karnataka. A police spokesman told the BBC that 11 patients are in a critical condition. Two people have reportedly been arrested following the incident, and one health official told local media that the food may have been poisoned. "We were offered tomato rice [which] was smelling," one person who attended the ceremony told reporters. "All those who threw it away are fine," they added. "Those who ate [it] started vomiting and complained of stomach pain." The incident happened at the Maramma temple in the Chamarajanagar district on Friday, where a special event was taking pl..
December 14, 2018

Japan medical schools ‘rigged women’s results’

Japan medical schools 'rigged women's results' Image copyright AFP Image caption Tokyo Medical University has admitted it acted to keep women out At least nine Japanese medical schools manipulated admissions, in part to exclude female students, a government investigation has found. The inquiry was launched in August, after the prestigious Tokyo Medical University (TMU) was found to have tampered with the scores of female applicants from as early as 2006. Reports cited concerns that many women would not go on to practise medicine. Japan's education minister said the scandal was "deeply disappointing". "I want the universities to make immediate and courteous responses regarding the situation of the applicants," Masahiko Shibayama was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency after the report was published on Friday. Japan's government has been trying to boost women in the workforce and especially into senior positions. The medical schools' sexism scandal ha..
December 14, 2018

India boy travels 280km to meet cricket idol Navjot Singh Sidhu

India boy travels 280km to meet cricket idol Navjot Singh Sidhu Image caption Navjot Singh Sidhu (R) with Waris Dhillon and his father A seven-year-old boy in the northern Indian state of Punjab travelled 280km (124 miles) from his home to get an autograph from cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. Waris Dhillon had begged his father to drive him to Chandigarh city so that he could meet his idol. Dressed in a gold jacket and red bow tie, Waris waited for six hours before Mr Sidhu signed his cricket bat. "He is my favourite cricketer," the boy told BBC Punjabi's Arvind Chhabra. Waris waited patiently for his turn on Friday amid the many journalists who had gathered outside the home of Mr Sidhu, who is in charge of three ministries in Punjab. After the crowd dispersed, someone told Mr Sidhu that a "little fan" had been waiting for hours to get an autograph. The politician called him in and hugged him before signing two cricket bats that Waris had brought along. Image ..
December 14, 2018

Queensland Cyclone Owen: Powerful system may ‘wreak havoc’

Queensland Cyclone Owen: Powerful system may 'wreak havoc' Image copyright EPA Image caption Australia's east coast has been pummelled by heavy rain in recent days Australian authorities have issued a warning about a powerful cyclone that is tracking towards the coast of Queensland. Cyclone Owen is moving slowly over waters off the Northern Territory with winds of up to 200km/h (124 mph), meteorologists said. It is expected to intensify into a category four system before making landfall sometime early on Saturday local time (late on Friday GMT). Residents have been urged to stay safe. Forecasters predict the cyclone will travel from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Queensland's east coast, bringing destructive winds inland for hundreds of kilometres. "Owen will wreak havoc across our state and come down the east coast," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the Seven network on Friday. Parts of the state were likely to receive up to 400mm of rain in coming days, Australia&..
December 14, 2018

India PM Narendra Modi avoids probe over France Rafale jet deal

India PM Narendra Modi avoids probe over France Rafale jet deal Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Former French President François Hollande, left, and Indian PM Narendra Modi announced the Rafale deal in 2015 India's top court has dismissed demands for an investigation into the country's decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault. There was massive political furore over the deal as India's opposition parties have alleged corruption and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision is being seen as a victory for the government in India. Both Dassault and the government have consistently denied any wrongdoing. The three-judge bench said they could find no reason to "intervene" in the deal, adding that they had "no doubt in the process" that was used to purchase the aircraft. The deal sparked controversy in September when Francois Hollande, who was the French president at the time of the deal, told news website M..
December 13, 2018

China buys US soybeans for first time since trade war

China buys US soybeans for first time since trade war Image copyright Reuters Image caption China's purchase of 1.13 million tonnes of US soybeans has been hailed as a wonderful, great step by US officials. China has bought US soybeans for the first time since the trade war between the two countries started in July - a move hailed as a "great step" by US officials. One of the biggest casualties of the US-China trade war has been the US soybean sector. China is by far the world's biggest importer of soybeans. And Beijing's high tariffs placed on US soybeans this year has been severely hurting US farmers. A trade truce between China and the US was reached earlier this month however, and there had been much anticipation that China would soon return to the US soybean market. But while China's purchase of 1.13 million tonnes of US soybeans on Thursday was meet with much applause from some, others said the purchase was too small, and not a sign that the trade war was c..
December 13, 2018

Indian national jailed over sex assault on US flight

Indian national jailed over sex assault on US flight Image copyright Wayne County Sheriff's Office Image caption The accused was sitting next to his wife when he allegedly assaulted someone sitting next to him A US court has sentenced an Indian man to nine years in jail for sexually assaulting a woman who sat next to him on a US flight in January. Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was sitting between his wife and the victim, who said she was asleep at the time. The woman said she had woken up to find her shirt and trousers unbuttoned and his hand in her trousers. Ramamoorthy will be deported back to India after he serves his sentence, a federal court in Detroit said. The prosecution had originally sought a 11-year jail term. But the US District Judge Terrence Berg concluded that nine years was sufficient for what he described as "an extremely serious offence," according to the Detroit Free Press. When the accusations against Ramamoorthy surfaced, he had denied them, telling police he cou..
December 13, 2018

My Neighbour Totoro: Studio Ghibli classic gets China release after 30 years

My Neighbour Totoro: Studio Ghibli classic gets China release after 30 years Image copyright GKids/1988 Studio Ghibli Japanese animation classic My Neighbour Totoro is finally being screened in Chinese cinemas, 30 years after it was first released. The film, by Studio Ghibli and famed director Hayao Miyazaki, follows the story of two sisters who encounter Totoro and other forest creatures. Despite the movie's cult following, it has never been publicly shown in China. But many Chinese viewers have already caught it on DVDs or pirated downloads while growing up. Studio Ghibli co-founder dies 'Totoro' theme park to open in Japan Grave of the Fireflies: Ghibli's darkest film Hayao Miyazaki: Japan's godfather of animation The critically acclaimed animation is one of Japan's most beloved children's films. While some viewers draw parallels with Alice in Wonderland, the 1988 film was said to have been inspired by director Hayao Miyazaki's own experienc..
December 13, 2018

The fight over the Indian baby born in a bank queue

The fight over the Indian baby born in a bank queue Image caption Khazanchi Nath was born two years ago as his mother Sarvesha Devi stood in a bank queue to withdraw cash He arrived in the world with a bang. His birth in a bank queue made global news. But two-year-old Khazanchi Nath is now at the centre of a bitter fight between the two sides of his family and two villages because of his celebrity status. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travels to rural Kanpur in northern India to piece together the toddler's story. Khazanchi, which means "treasurer", was born in the state of Uttar Pradesh on 2 December 2016, less than a month after the Indian government banned 1,000 and 500 rupee notes overnight. The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, locally called demonetisation, led to a major cash crunch and for weeks millions of Indians were seen queuing outside banks to withdraw new currency notes. A very heavily pregnant Sarvesha Devi had walked from her home in Sardar Pur village to th..
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