Chinese president Xi Jinping
A file photo of Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, China. | Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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The first turbaned Sikh guard of Buckhimgham Palace busted for cocaine abuse, and German Catholic Church comes clean on historical sexual abuse.

China calls new Maldives leader with hope of continued friendship

With the pro-Beijing Abdulla Yameen voted out of power in the Maldives, China is trying to reach out to the new administration set to take charge under Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. In their congratulatory message to the former opposition leader, China has called for continuity and stability in China-Maldives relations, The Global Times reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang is said to have congratulated Solih and said that China respected the Maldivian people’s choice and wanted to consolidate their friendship.

Highlighting the “benefits reaped by both countries from the Belt and Road Initiative by both countries”, Geng said, “We hope that the Maldives side can preserve continuity and stability of the relevant policies, and create good operating conditions for Chinese companies working there.”

How BBC used satellite imagery to decode a viral murder video

In July 2017, a video circulated on social media showed two women and two young children being guided by purported soldiers through a path in an unknown African country before being shot to death.

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There were whispers that it was from Cameroon, which was then cracking down on the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, but the east African country’s government had dismissed all such reports as “fake news”.

With no clarity on where these extrajudicial killings took place, BBC employed satellite imagery and some simple science to determine not just the location and time of the killings, but also the weapons used. Sources then told the BBC team the exact identity of the killers. The result: They were members of the Cameroonian military.

When presented with the findings, the Cameroon government launched an investigation of its own and announced the arrest of seven military personnel involved.

However, the military personnel enjoy the presumption of innocence until proved guilty. Something, as the BBC report points out, these women and children were never given.

Royal guard of Indian origin involved in drug abuse busted 

A Sikh soldier of the British army has tested positive for cocaine and now faces the risk of being dismissed from service, The Sun reported. Charanpreet Singh Lall, 22, had made headlines this June as the first guard to wear the turban — instead of the traditional bearskin — at a march to celebrate the queen’s birth.

Lall is one of three soldiers who failed a random drug test conducted at the Victoria Barracks last week. According to insider sources quoted by the tabloid, Lall was found to have “high levels of cocaine”.  “Guardsman Lall has been discussing it openly in the barracks,” The Sun quoted sources as saying.

Now, German Catholic Church comes clean on sexual abuse allegations

The extent of sexual abuse of minors in the German Catholic Church was revealed at a press conference Tuesday, where a study detailing a four-year investigation was revealed, reports DW News.

The study, commissioned by the German Bishops’ Conference in 2014, revealed that 1,670 clerics, mostly priests, were found to have committed sexual abuse between 1946 and 2014, and that there were at least 3,677 victims, most of them minor boys.

German justice minister Katarina Barley called the study shocking and “probably just the tip of the iceberg”. She also asked the church to take responsibility for “decades of concealment, cover-ups and denials” by working with investigative agencies to bring every case to justice, the report added.

“Many people no longer believe in us,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, said after the study’s release.

New Zealand PM brings 3-month-old baby to UN assembly hall

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Tuesday pulled off a historic first for women juggling careers and families, by bringing her three-month-old daughter to the United Nations assembly hall, CNN reported.

Ardern, who gave birth in June, only the second leader of a nation to do so while in office, was photographed kissing her daughter Neve Ardern Gayford at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. The PM was accompanied by her partner Clarke Gayford, who the couple describe as the main caregiver of the baby.

The New Zealand Prime Ministers was quoted as telling a newspaper that she “one day it will be normal” for women leaders to have children while in office.

Michael Kors is buying Versace for $2.1 billion 

American fashion giant Michael Kors is buying Italian rival Versace for $2.1 billion, CNN reported Tuesday.

According to the CNN report, following the deal, Michael Kors will change its corporate name to Capri Holdings — a name it says is inspired by the “iconic, glamorous and luxury destination”.

With a plan to open more stores, improve its e-commerce services and expand its accessories and footwear businesses, Michael Kors aims to grow Versace’s sales to $2 billion annually.

Donatella Versace, sister of the fashion house’s late founder Gianni Versace, will continue to lead the “company’s creative vision”, CNN added.

According to the report, the purchase could help the US brand compete against rival groups like Louis Vuitton owner LVMH and Tapestry. Last year, Michael Kors snapped up London-based shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.

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