India rejects patent plea for ‘immoral’ sex toy

Image copyright We-Vibe India’s patent office has rejected a plea by a Canadian company to patent a vibrator because sex toys violate “public order and morality”. Invoking India’s obscenity law, the patent office said the law “has never engaged positively with the notion of sexual pleasure”. The patent office said sex toys are considered to […]

Philip Wilson: Ex-archbishop in cover-up to be detained at home

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Philip Wilson was convicted in May of concealing child sexual abuse A former Catholic archbishop will serve a maximum 12-month sentence in home detention for concealing child sexual abuse, an Australian court has confirmed. The decision means Philip Wilson, who resigned as archbishop of Adelaide after his conviction, will avoid […]

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

Image caption China says it is fighting separatism and Islamist militants in Xinjiang China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials admitted. The rare admission from Beijing […]

Afghanistan: Battle-torn Ghazni residents ‘can’t find food’

Image copyright EPA Image caption Some families have managed to get out of Ghazni, where food is running low Food supplies in the Afghan city of Ghazni are running low, as a battle with the Taliban rages for a fourth day, the UN has warned. “Life is getting hard for people, they can’t get food […]

Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world

The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is home to 10 million people but it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If this goes unchecked, parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050, say researchers. Is it too late? It sits on swampy land, the Java Sea lapping against it, and […]

Taliban attack on Afghan city of Ghazni rages for third day

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A soldier keeps watch on the Ghazni road A Taliban attack on Ghazni has continued for a third day – with intense fighting and conflicting claims over who controls the Afghan city. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the Afghan army’s chief-of-staff, said the strategic city was not under threat of falling into […]

Taliban attack on Afghan city of Ghazni enters third day

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A soldier keeps watch on the Ghazni road A Taliban attack on the Afghan city of Ghazni has entered its third day – with intense fighting and conflicting claims over who controls the strategic city. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the Afghan army’s chief-of-staff, said Ghazni was not under threat of falling […]

Indonesia plane crash: Boy, 12, survives Papua accident

Image copyright AFP Image caption Rescuers walked for two hours to reach the site of the crash A 12-year-old boy has been found alive in the wreckage of a plane crash which killed eight people in Indonesia. Photos from the scene show the boy conscious and looking at the camera. He was found with the […]

China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uighur protesters pictured in 2009 wield the ID cards of detained relatives A UN human rights committee has heard there are credible reports that China is holding a million Uighurs in “counter-extremism centres”. Gay McDougall, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, raised the […]

China mosque demolition sparks standoff in Ningxia

Image copyright Weibo Image caption The Weizhou mosque is a towering structure that features domes and minarets in a Middle Eastern style Hundreds of Muslims in north-western China are engaged in a standoff with authorities to prevent their mosque from being demolished. Officials said the newly built Weizhou Grand Mosque in the Ningxia region had […]