Wednesday 18 September 2019

Gunmen shoot dead female journalist

Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed a female Afghan journalist and adviser to the country's parliament in the capital Kabul.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said Mena Mangal, a cultural adviser for the lower house of the parliament and former TV presenter, was killed on her way to work yesterday morning, adding that one or possibly more assailants escaped from the scene. Kabul police have launched an investigation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Kabul police said it was not clear whether the murder was a terror act or the result of a personal dispute. Both Islamic State group and Taliban militants regularly carry out attacks in the capital.

China 'optimistic' over talks on tariffs war

China's leading envoy to trade talks in Washington said the failure to strike a deal in the tariffs war with the US was "just a small setback" and negotiations would continue despite increases in import duties on American imports from China.

Vice Premier Liu He said he was cautiously optimistic but that a deal would require the Trump administration to agree to end the punitive tariffs it has imposed on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods. Liu said the remaining differences are crucial ones having to do with principles, "and we will make no concessions on matters of principle". He added that he did not believe the negotiations had broken down.

Armitage named as UK Poet Laureate

Simon Armitage has been named the UK's new Poet Laureate, succeeding Carol Ann Duffy in the 10-year post.

Queen Elizabeth II has approved the appointment, Britain's highest literary honour. It dates back to the 17th century, and previous laureates have included John Dryden, William Wordsworth and Ted Hughes. It is up to the poet to decide whether or not to produce poetry for national and royal occasions. Armitage, a professor of poetry at the University of Leeds, has published 28 collections of poetry

Theroux 'confused' over Savile friendship

Documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux has said he is still "confused" about how he maintained a friendship with Jimmy Savile. Theroux spent three months with Savile while making a documentary about the DJ in 2000, which failed to expose him as a paedophile. He went on to have a friendship with the former Jim'll Fix It presenter, even staying at his house.

Theroux told BBC Radio's Desert Island Discs: "There's a slightly naive view that if abuse happens you recognise it as abuse straight away... I'm still a bit confused about how was I able to experience him as a somewhat likeable person in the year or two after making it."

Stones thrown at police after woman dies

German police said it took them several hours to recover the body of a woman from an asylum center in the Bavarian city of Regensburg because angry residents pelted officers with stones and other objects.

Police said they were told of the 31-year-old African woman's death yesterday morning but that extra officers had to be called in before they were able to enter the shelter to retrieve the body. Police could not immediately give the cause of death.

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