Ex-Chinese internment camp detainee denied US visa despite Congress invitation | World news

An outspoken former detainee in China’s internment camps for Muslims has said that his application for a visa to visit the United States was rejected even though he had been invited to speak at Congress about his ordeal. Kazakh national Omir Bekali was asked to travel to Washington in September by the chairs of the …

New Look to pull out of China with closure of 120 stores | Business

New Look is to close all its 120 shops in China by the end of the year after disappointing sales, as it continues to battle tough conditions on the UK high street. The fashion chain, which persuaded landlords to back the closure of up to 60 of its 593 UK stores and rent reductions on …

Typhoons ‘trick’ Japan’s cherry trees into blooming months early | World news

The arrival of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms is the cue for groups of office workers to eat and drink, cast off their inhibitions and ponder the transient nature of life against a backdrop of pale pink petals falling to the ground. But the nationally observed rite of spring has come early, with reports from hundreds …

‘There is hope here’: Fukushima turns to tourism after nuclear meltdown | World news

Even now, almost eight years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the disaster’s physical legacy is impossible to avoid. The shells of gutted homes stand in barren rice paddies that lay in the path of waves that killed more than 18,000 people across three prefectures …

Nine climbers killed in Himalayan storm | World news

Five South Korean climbers and their four Nepali guides have been killed after a storm devastated their base camp in the Himalayas, local police and hiking officials have said. The record-breaking climber Kim Chang-ho was among those killed in Nepal’s worst climbing accident for two years. Police official Bir Bahadur Budhamagar said locals had helped …

Papua New Guinea imports 40 Maseratis to transport Apec delegates | World news

Papua New Guineans have reacted with anger at its government importing a fleet of Maseratis to drive international delegates around the Apec conference next month, amid a health and poverty crisis, struggling economy, and ongoing efforts after a devastating earthquake. The PNG government has defended its decision, expressing confidence that all 40 luxury cars will …

Inside the psychiatric hospitals and churches of rural China – in pictures | Art and design

A woman with lamb, holding a cross in Shaanxi, 1992 Lu says: ‘My visual treatments are influenced by two great painters, Piero della Francesca and Johannes Vermeer. Francesca’s works have a quiet, solemn atmosphere; they have clear spatial structure and the figuration is unassuming yet powerful. Vermeer’s pictures portray simple settings that are serene yet …

World stock markets dive as Trump attacks ‘crazy’ US rate hikes | Business

A jittery, volatile week on global financial markets has burst into a frenzy of selling, triggered by heavy losses on Wall Street and comments by Donald Trump describing US interest rate hikes as “crazy”. The Nikkei index in Tokyo fell by almost 4% on Thursday, while in Hong Kong the index was down 3.25% and …

Myanmar must back ‘credible’ Rohingya inquiry, Japanese PM tells Suu Kyi | World news

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has told Myanmar’s leader that a credible investigation into alleged human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims is key to resolving the crisis. Abe told a joint news conference after talks with Aung San Suu Kyi that Japan would support efforts by Myanmar to accommodate Rohingya who returned home from refugee …

Indonesia earthquake death toll could reach 5,000 as officials count missing | World news

About 5,000 people are still missing, feared death, after an earthquake and tsunami hit Sulawesi just over a week ago. The official death toll stands at 1,944 but officials believe that when casualties from two of the hardest-hit areas of Palu – Balaroa and Petobo – are determined, that number could almost triple. Those searching …