Afghan government and Nato killing more civilians than the Taliban

UN figures for first half of 2019 blame 717 deaths on pro-Kabul forces and 531 on militants

Afghan forces and their international allies killed more civilians in the first half of 2019 than the Taliban and other militant groups, UN figures show, extending a trend that began in the first quarter of the year.

This year is the first time since civilian casualty records started over a decade ago that pro-government forces have caused more deaths than insurgents, raising serious questions about the western mission there.

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Redesigning Delhi’s Champs Élysées: ‘It represents all that’s complex about urban India’

From heaving traffic and dense crowds to car-free and tranquil: that’s the vision for Chandni Chowk. But is it achievable?

The Champs Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, but you could say the French were beaten to it by the Mughals. About 15 years before the avenue was laid out in 1667 in Paris, India’s Mughal emperor Shah Jehan built a grand mile-long street in his capital to reflect the glory of the empire at its height.

It ran from Fatehpuri mosque at one end to the colossal Red Fort at the other and was lined with trees, elegant mansions, mosques and gardens. Provisions for the Red Fort, the imperial residence, were carried down the boulevard by elephants, camels and horse-drawn carriages.

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Children in Pacific suffer ‘shockingly high’ levels of violence, report finds

Aid organisations call out ‘dramatic underinvestment’ by Australia and other donors in tackling ‘endemic’ problem

Violence against children in the Pacific region has reached “endemic” levels, with children subject to brutal physical discipline in the home, as well as sexual violence, a new report has found.

More than 4 million children across the region had experienced violent discipline in the home and in Papua New Guinea 27% of parents or caregivers used physical punishment “over and over as hard as they could”, the report by leading NGOs working in the region found.

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Pakistan military plane crash kills 17 in Rawalpindi suburb

Plane came down in poor district creating ‘huge explosion’ and fireball in the middle of the night

Seventeen people were killed when a small military plane crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, officials have said.

The crash created a fireball that lit up the night sky and terrified residents after the plane came down in a poor village in the garrison city that is home to the army’s headquarters.

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Henderson Island: the Pacific paradise groaning under 18 tonnes of plastic waste

Rubbish has been washing up on its isolated beaches in the Pitcairn chain at a rate of several thousand bits of plastic a day

Henderson Island, uninhabited and a day’s sea crossing from the nearest sign of civilisation, should be an untouched paradise.

Instead its beaches, which were awarded Unesco world heritage status in 1988, are a monument to humanity’s destructive, disposable culture.

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India’s strongman PM: Modi to appear on Bear Grylls’ Man vs Wild

Narendra Modi claims the programme will showcase India’s ‘beautiful mountains and mighty rivers’, in the latest in a string of choreographed media appearances

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, will appear with Bear Grylls in a wilderness survival television programme, the latest in a series of Putin-style media appearances in which the 68-year-old leader projects himself as a man of action and a champion of the environment.

A trailer for the programme, Man vs Wild, which will air in India on 12 August, shows the two men cutting through forests, sniffing animal dung and floating down a river on a makeshift raft. In one scene, Modi holds an improvised spear and tells Grylls: “I’ll hold this for you.”

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Indian teenager who accused politician of rape injured in crash

Family says car crash that left two relatives dead was attempt to silence alleged victim

A teenager who alleged she had been raped by a ruling party official in India is critically injured in hospital after a car crash.

Two female relatives were killed in the crash, which occurred on Sunday when a truck collided with their car in Uttar Pradesh. Her lawyer was also badly injured.

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China’s first ‘cyber-dissident’ jailed for 12 years

Huang Qi, who ran a website reporting on sensitive topics, is accused of leaking state secrets

China’s first “cyber-dissident”, whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for leaking state secrets.

Huang Qi ran a website called 64 Tianwang – named after the bloody 4 June 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters.

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China calls for Hong Kong to swiftly punish ‘radical’ protesters

Beijing offers full support to region’s leader in rare remarks from government office

China has offered its full support to Hong Kong’s embattled leader and its police force, and said violent protesters must be swiftly punished, in rare remarks by the government office that oversees policy towards the territory.

Hong Kong has been rocked by two months of escalating pro-democracy protests that have posed the most significant challenge to Beijing’s authority since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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India’s wild tiger population up 30% in four years to 3,000

Prime minister describes 30% surge after conservation efforts as ‘historic achievement’

India’s wild tiger population has increased by more than 30% in four years, raising hopes for the survival of the endangered species.

A census found 2,967 tigers, up from 2,226 four years ago, in what the prime minister called a “historic achievement”.

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Kabul attack: 20 killed, 50 injured in bombing and gun battle at politician’s office

Attack occurred at office of vice presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh, who was slightly injured

At least 20 people were killed and 50 injured in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday in a suicide bombing and gun battle at vice presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh’s office, the government said in a statement on Monday.

Saleh, a running mate of Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, was slightly injured in the attack.

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Vietnam seizes 125kg of smuggled rhino tusks worth $7.5m

Shipment found at Hanoi airport is one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases in south-east Asia

More than 125kg of smuggled rhino horns have been seized in Vietnam in one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases ever seen in south-east Asia.

The horns, which had been smuggled in from the United Arab Emirates on an Etihad airways flight, were found in Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport concealed in thick plaster. It took over half a day for the customs teams to break all 55 packages all open.

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Hong Kong police fire teargas at protesters in third day of unrest – video

Police fired several rounds of teargas at protesters in resdiential areas of Hong Kong in the third day of mass protests as political unrest deepens. Riot police advanced through thick clouds of tear gas as they fired rounds towards protesters, with protesters arming themselves with umbrellas, scrambling to douse the gas canisters with water and throwing them back towards police lines in the city's Sai Wan district. Police were seen arresting a handful of protesters who were led away in handcuffs.

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Hong Kong police fire teargas as protests enter third day

Demonstrators defy ban on marching and set up barricades as unrest deepens

Police fired several rounds of teargas at protesters in residential areas of Hong Kong in the third day of mass protests as political unrest in Hong Kong deepens.

Groups of protesters attending an anti-government rally on Sunday defied police orders and fanned out from the sanctioned area in central Hong Kong, streaming west and east, occupying roads and setting up barricades, prompting major roads and shops to close.

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Police and protesters clash throughout Hong Kong on third day of unrest

Authorities fire teargas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who defied ban on rallying

Hong Kong has had its third consecutive day of mass protests as demonstrators and riot police firing teargas and rubber bullets clashed in several locations throughout the city.

Tens of thousands of protesters, dressed in black and armed with umbrellas and hardhats, defied police orders to keep Sunday’s rally constrained to a park in central Hong Kong and fanned out across the city in the early evening. They streamed west and east, occupying main roads, setting up barricades, and chanting: “Reclaim Hong Kong!”

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