Zebra captured after three hours on the run in Seoul

Animal, which is thought to have broken out of its zoo enclosure, was tranquillised after being on the loose in South Korean capital

A young zebra walked, trotted and galloped for hours through the busy streets of Seoul before emergency workers tranquillised the animal and brought it back to a zoo.

The zebra – a male named Sero who was born in the zoo in 2021 – was in a stable condition and being examined by veterinarians on Thursday evening, said Choi Ye-ra, an official at the Children’s Grand Park in South Korea’s capital.

Continue reading...
Bheed review – lockdown thriller cuts across India’s class conflict

A tense, state-of-the-nation drama set in Covid-era India successfully exposes how the caste system underpins much of the country’s division and strife

‘No one ever plans for the poor,” says a young police officer in this tense, painful pandemic drama from India. Shot in black and white, it’s set at the start of the government-imposed lockdown in May 2020 that led to the exodus of 10 million migrant workers from India’s cities. The police officer has been put in charge of a rural roadblock to stop poor workers returning to their families and villages – preventing the spread of the virus. But realising that no help is arriving, the crowd, feeling hungry and abandoned, get angry. The results are explosive, exposing the fault lines of caste prejudice and class conflict.

The officer Surya (Rajkummar Rao), is himself from a lower-caste family, but he’s climbing the ladder; he is a competent, decent cop who refuses kickbacks or bribes (just what a modern police force needs). Still, his boss never lets him forget his place, and we see how Surya has internalised prejudice too. All of society turns up at his checkpoint. A rich upper-caste woman (Dia Mirza) waltzes over accompanied by her driver, fully expecting to sail through. A young woman who worked as a maid in the city risks her life to get her alcoholic father home to their village. There’s an elderly security guard travelling on a bus; then a film crew arrives from a TV news channel.

Continue reading...
Canadian lawmaker resigns following claims he secretly advised Chinese diplomat

Han Dong reportedly met with Chinese diplomat and suggested officials delay freeing two Canadians held by China

A Canadian lawmaker has resigned from the governing Liberal party following allegations that he secretly met with a Chinese diplomat and advised Beijing not to release two Canadian captives.

Han Dong announced in the House of Commons late on Wednesday that he would sit as an independent. Global News reported that he met with Han Tao, China’s consul-general in Toronto in February 2021 and suggested officials in Beijing delay freeing Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians being held by China at the time. He is also alleged to have suggested releasing the two men would benefit the rival Conservative party.

Continue reading...
Pakistan delays Punjab election despite supreme court ruling

Former prime minister Imran Khan says election commission’s move is violation of Pakistan’s constitution

Pakistan has postponed elections in Punjab, the country’s most populated province, in a move that spurns a recent supreme court ruling and is likely to cause more sparks between supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan and the government.

In an eight-page order seen by the Guardian, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) claimed that “it is not possible to hold and organise the elections honestly, justly, fairly, in a peaceful manner”, blaming security threats and financial problems. It said it would be unable to provide a “level playing field” to all political parties as a result.

Continue reading...
Spanish PM to discuss Ukraine with Xi Jinping on visit to China

Pedro Sánchez says he will tell Chinese leader it must be Ukrainians who ‘lay down conditions’ for any peace agreement

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, will visit China next week to meet President Xi Jinping, where he is expected to stress that it will be up to Ukraine to decide on the foundations of any peace agreement with Russia.

News of Sánchez’s visit emerged on Wednesday evening, as Xi – who is trying to position himself as a mediator in the war between Russia and Ukraine – wrapped up a symbolic, two-day trip to Moscow.

Continue reading...
Rahul Gandhi found guilty of defaming Narendra Modi

Indian opposition leader accused of implying prime minister was a criminal in remark made in 2019

A court in India has found the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi guilty of defamation for a remark implying the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, was a criminal.

On Thursday, Gandhi, 52, was sentenced to two years in prison but was granted bail after his lawyers announced their intention to appeal.

Continue reading...
India reduces security outside UK high commission in New Delhi

Barriers also removed from high commissioner’s residence after Sikhs protest at Indian mission in London

New Delhi has reduced security outside the British high commission and the high commissioner’s residence in the Indian capital, removing the usual yellow metal barriers that provide an extra layer of protection.

Political analysts say it is retaliation for the UK police failing to stop a violent protest by Sikhs outside the Indian mission in London on Sunday when they vandalised the premises and pulled down the Indian flag.

Continue reading...
Children are dying. We need a worldwide medicines treaty to avoid further tragedies | Dinesh S Thakur and Prashant Reddy Thikkavarapu

Recent deaths linked to drugs made in India underline the need for a global framework for quality control and swift cross-border action when things go wrong

In the last six months, there have been four global alerts from the World Health Organization (WHO) for “Made in India” medicine where patients have either died, been blinded or suffered adverse incidents.

Two alerts, one in October and the other in January, were for adulterated cough syrups manufactured by two different Indian companies. These syrups are suspected to have caused the deaths of up to 71 children in the Gambia and 18 children in Uzbekistan. A third alert, in December, involved a cancer drug sold in Yemen and Lebanon which was found to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The fourth alert, in February, was for eyedrops sold in 55 countries that the WHO recommend be removed from circulation due to quality issues.

Continue reading...
New Zealand child poverty rate remains static despite Ardern-era push

The then leader had made improving the lives of the poorest children a key plank of her agenda

New Zealand’s child poverty rates have plateaued, despite government efforts and former leader Jacinda Ardern making it a central priority of her prime ministership.

Reducing the country’s stubborn child poverty rates has been a central commitment of the Labour government since Ardern ran on the issue in 2017, creating a new minister for child poverty, introducing legislation to ensure child poverty data was measured and published yearly, and bringing in a series of additional financial support packages for low-income families.

Continue reading...
Former New Zealand soldier killed fighting Russian forces in Ukraine

Kane Te Tai fought with the International Legion and was known for documenting battles and daily life in Ukraine on social media

A former New Zealand soldier who drew an online following with his dispatches from the frontline of the Ukraine war has been killed in fighting there.

The death of Kane Te Tai, 38, was confirmed by New Zealand’s foreign ministry Thursday, citing Ukrainian government sources.

Continue reading...
Chinese startup invents long-distance kissing machine

The device, which transmits users’ kiss data collected through motion sensors hidden in silicon lips, makes sounds and warms up slightly when kissed

A Chinese start-up has invented a long-distance kissing machine that transmits users’ kiss data collected through motion sensors hidden in silicon lips, which simultaneously move when replaying kisses received.

MUA – named after the sound people commonly make when blowing a kiss – also captures and replays sound and warms up slightly during kissing, making the experience more authentic, said Beijing-based Siweifushe.

Continue reading...
UK begins inquiry into alleged SAS extrajudicial killings in Afghanistan

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave issues call for evidence, saying it is critical law-breakers be referred to authorities

A judge investigating allegations of more than 50 summary killings by SAS soldiers in Afghanistan has issued a call for anyone with evidence to come forward, saying it was critical that law-breakers be referred to authorities.

Launching his independent inquiry, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave said he was “very hopeful” there would be “full cooperation” with his work, which he said was ultimately about restoring the reputation of the military and “moral authority”.

Continue reading...
People flee homes as earthquake hits Pakistan and Afghanistan – video

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake has shaken much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing at least 11 people, officials have said. The powerful tremors sent many people fleeing from their homes and offices in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Footage shared on social media showed cracks had appeared in some of the city's residential blocks

Continue reading...
Chinese state company wins contract to redevelop Solomon Islands port, prompting cautious response

Samoa’s prime minister says port ‘might morph into something else’ and suggests Pacific countries may have to monitor situation

A Chinese state company has won a major contract to redevelop the port in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, prompting a cautious response from Pacific neighbours.

The prime minister of Samoa, Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa, raised concerns that the commercial port “might morph into something else” and suggested that Pacific countries may have to monitor the situation.

Continue reading...
‘I skip meals to make my insulin last’: the cost of diabetes in the global south

The three firms that control the insulin market are to cut costs in the US, but elsewhere users can spend all their pay to get the life-saving drug

‘I ration my insulin every month,” says Khushi Ahuja, a law student from Delhi who has type 1 diabetes and relies on human insulin manufactured by the US company Eli Lilly to manage her condition. While insulin is available at no cost in some public hospitals in India, it is mostly up to individuals to buy the drug.

“Every month I hear about insulin prices rising and I feel guilty about burdening my parents,” Ahuja says. “I skip meals to make my insulin last longer.”

Continue reading...