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Suicide of Australian Akubra hat ad star ‘Dolly’ sparks cyberbullying campaign

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 07:41
The father of a teenager who starred in adverts for a well-known Australian hat brand and killed herself after being bullied online has vowed her life “will not be wasted” as a campaign against cyberbullying gains traction. A memorial for 14-year-old Amy Everett, known as Dolly, who was once the face of the wide-brimmed Akubra hat, is being held Friday following her suicide on January 3 after constant harassment. Her family launched the #stopbullyingnow campaign, which has rapidly...

For first time, Myanmar military admits troops murdered Rohingya found in mass grave

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 06:09
Myanmar’s military said its soldiers had murdered 10 captured Muslim “terrorists” during insurgent attacks at the beginning of September, after Buddhist villagers had forced the captured men into a grave they had dug. “Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder,” the military said in a statement on Wednesday. It was a rare admission of wrongdoing by the Myanmar military during its operations in the western state of...

PM Shinzo Abe reveals ‘national secret’ to Miss Universe Japan … his best golf score

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 05:41
Japan’s golf-mad prime minister has finally revealed the “national secret” of his best score – in a good-natured brag to his country’s Miss Universe representative. A relaxed and beaming Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call at his office from Momoko Abe, 23, who told the prime minister that her best round was an impressive 68 and that she had tried to turn pro. “That’s amazing,” said the prime minister, asking her whether this was for a full 18...

North Korea: Donald Trump doesn’t expect war after top US general predicts ‘big fight’

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 05:04
US President Donald Trump predicted the crisis between the US and North Korea would be resolved without war after one of his top generals predicted “a big-ass fight”. Trump brushed aside fears of an armed conflict at a White House news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday. A Norwegian reporter asked about Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller’s remarks to Marines in Norway last month in which the general predicted “a big-ass fight,...

North Korean cheerleaders: ‘army of beauties’ set to invade South for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 04:34
With their good looks and sharp moves, North Korea’s female cheerleaders are a marked contrast to the regime’s menacing nuclear ambitions. Dubbed the “army of beauties” in South Korea, the young North Korean women – mostly in their late teens or early 20s – have attracted huge publicity whenever they have been sent to the South. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s future wife Ri Sol-ju was among the group who attended the 2005 Asian Athletics...

Donald Trump open to talks with North Korea while keeping up ‘maximum pressure’ campaign

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 21:45
US President Donald Trump told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in a phone call that the US would be open to talks with North Korea while continuing to maintain a “maximum pressure” campaign against Pyongyang aimed at halting its nuclear and missile programmes. During the call on Wednesday, Moon briefed Trump on the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting between North and South Korea, the first such inter-Korean dialogue in more than two years, and thanked Trump for his...

Gay Indian prince throws open his palace doors to vulnerable LGBT people

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 20:16
The only openly gay prince in India – where same sex relations are illegal – is welcoming lesbians, gays, transgender people and others shunned for their sexuality or gender into his palace. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, heir apparent to the throne of Rajpipla in western Gujarat state, said it was particularly hard to come out in small-town India, where traditional values hold sway and heterosexual relations are the norm. “People still face a lot of pressure from their...

South Korea’s President Moon calls for ‘heartfelt’ Japan apology for second world war sex slavery

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:29
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday called for a “heartfelt apology” from Japan to the victims of wartime sex slavery, condemning a 2015 agreement as a “wrongful” solution. Seoul said this week that it would not seek to renegotiate the deal, as it had been agreed by both Tokyo and the previous South Korean government. But it said it would no longer use Japanese money to compensate the survivors. The issue of women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese...

Seoul faces challenge of turning inter-Korean thaw into longer-term detente ahead of Winter Olympics

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 13:30
A day of smiles and jokes at the first inter-Korean talks in two years quickly evaporated on Tuesday night when the North’s chief negotiator threatened to walk out after the South Korean side brought up Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. “We had started in a good spirit but this came to an icky mood,” North Korea’s lead delegate Ri Son Gwon complained in closing remarks. His rebuke highlights the challenges that lie ahead for Seoul after the 11 hours of...

Malaysia signs US$50 million deal with exploration firm to find missing MH370, but will only pay up if aircraft is found

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:46
Malaysia signed a deal on Wednesday to pay a US seabed exploration firm up to US$50 million if it finds the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370 in a new search area in the Southern Indian Ocean. The disappearance of the aircraft en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people aboard ranks among the world’s greatest aviation mysteries. Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless AUD$200 million (US$157 million) search of an area of 120,000 sq km in January last...

Japanese man arrested for trying to kill acquaintance with mercury in tobacco

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:02
Police arrested a 36-year-old man on Wednesday for allegedly trying to kill an acquaintance with heat-not-burn tobacco laced with a lethal dose of mercury. Takashi Miyazaki of Otsu in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, was charged with attempted murder after allegedly giving a pack of the spiked tobacco product to the 37-year-old male acquaintance on the streets of Ritto in the prefecture on June 3 last year, according to the police. The man, who ended up using 14 of the 20 cartridges in the pack...

Will Trump kill the Iran nuclear deal this week? China better watch out

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:15
This week is crucial for the Iran nuclear deal, and by extension, stability in the Middle East. By Friday, US President Donald Trump is obligated to renew sanctions waivers on Iran. If he fails to do so, the US will violate the nuclear deal of 2015 and trigger a process that will likely see the deal collapse and bring the United States and Iran back on a path towards war. It’s been a year since Trump became president, and clearly the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is...

Thai island’s garbage mountain to be cleared away

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:04
By Supapong Chaolan and Gary Boyle The mountain of garbage, 45,000 tonnes of it, that is polluting Koh Tao island is to finally be removed with the signing of a contract with a new firm that has promised to properly dispose of it all. “We’ll certainly clear it up and make Koh Tao a perfect, pollution-free tourist attraction,” Surat Thani governor Witchawut Chinto said on Wednesday during a visit to inspect the mess on the island. The spreading eyesore of foul-smelling garbage...

New Zealanders kicked out of Australia at the rate of two a day

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:40
Kiwi criminals living in Australia are getting their marching orders from officials as figures reveal almost two New Zealanders a day are getting sent home. An investigation by The Courier Mail discovered 664 Kiwis had their visas cancelled in the last financial year after a law change in December 2014. More than 3000 foreigners have had their visas revoked over the past three years, including murderers and members of street gangs, the Courier Mail reported. Australian Immigration Minister...

Hackers have found a way to mine cryptocurrency and send it to North Korea

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:25
By Arjun Kharpal Researchers have discovered a piece of software that installs on a victim’s computer, mines a cryptocurrency called monero, and sends it to North Korea. AlienVault, a U.S. cybersecurity firm, said Monday that it had found a piece of malware, or malicious software, that places a mining application on a victim’s computer. Any mined currency is then sent to Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang. The researchers said, however, that the server the application is running...

Nepali woman suffocates in smoke-filled ‘menstruation hut’

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:22
A young Nepali woman has died of suspected smoke inhalation while she was banished to a shed for menstruating under an ancient tradition banned more than a decade ago, police said Wednesday. Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home, a practice known as chhaupadi. Gauri Bayak, 21, was found dead by her neighbours inside a smoke-filled hut on Monday morning in a village in the western district of...

Filipino traffic controller Ramon brings awesome dance moves to the streets of Manila

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:46
Deep in the heart of Quezon City, there’s a barangay with some extra bounce. While the local police may be out busting criminals, traffic controllers on this busy corner are busting moves. Led by Ramon Mangalindan the team directs cars, trucks, tricycles and bicycles all day, but at 7am and 4pm, they like to put on a show, getting down on the street to banging tunes from a speaker on to top of their booth. Ramon’s routine is not unique. There are Filipino traffic police famous for...

Meet the Virtual Currency Girls, the Japanese girl band dancing to the beat of bitcoin

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:56
Move over AKB48: Japan has a new all-girl “idol” band – the Virtual Currency Girls – on a mission to educate the public about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Each of the eight girls in the band, known in Japanese as “Kasotsuka Shojo”, plays a character representing a virtual currency such as bitcoin, ethereum or ripple. Promotional material shows the performers wearing character masks, frilly miniskirts and “maid” aprons complete with knee-...

‘It’s two sides fighting for power’: Vietnam watches elites on trial for corruption but will anything change?

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:36
Vietnam is gripped by its highest profile corruption trial in memory, but some spectators are questioning whether the Communist Party elite in the dock were charged because of infighting in the ruling class or a crackdown on abuse of office. Onlookers have gathered at the Hanoi People’s Court since Monday for a glimpse of Dinh La Thang, the first politburo member to be arrested in decades, and Trinh Xuan Thanh, a state oil firm executive who Germany says was kidnapped from Berlin by...

Reuters journalists charged under Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act after allegedly receiving classified documents from police

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 06:51
Two Reuters journalists were formally charged by police in a Myanmar court on Wednesday for breaching a colonial-era secrecy law that carries up to 14 years in jail, despite calls for their immediate release. Myanmar nationals Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested a month ago under the Official Secrets Act after they allegedly were given classified documents by two policemen over dinner. The pair had been reporting on the military campaign in the northern Rakhine state that has forced...

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