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'Real-life Cinderella' film delves into plight of Hong Kong maids

By Beh Lih Yi JAKARTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cyril Goliava cut an elegant figure in her yellow evening gown as she won a beauty pageant in Hong Kong, smiling to cheers from the crowd as she was presented with a tiara and trophy. Six days of stressful work, I'll be eating alone again and a full day of a repetitive job." The story of Goliava, a Filipina domestic helper, and her fellow workers is the subject of a new documentary that seeks to shatter stereotypes about the millions of women employed in households across the world. Directed by filmmaker Baby Ruth Villarama, "Sunday Beauty Queen" follows five domestic workers as they gear up for the annual Miss Philippines Tourism Hong Kong, a pageant organized by the maids in the Asian financial hub since 2008.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:07:33 -0400
Worker dies in 'work-related fatality' at World Cup stadium in Qatar

A football is seen at the construction site of Al Wakrah stadium, that is expected to host soccer matches during the 2022 World Cup, in Al WakrahA worker has died in a "work-related fatality" at the site of a 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar, the country's World Cup organizing body said late on Saturday. The incident occurred on Saturday morning at the Al Wakrah Stadium and is being investigated, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said in a statement. Al Wakrah was designed by the late British architect Zaha Hadid.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:07:30 -0400
Japanese suicide pensioner blows himself up in park, injures three others: NHK

The site where an explosion happened is seen in UtsunomiyaA 72 year-old retired soldier blew himself up in a park in the Japanese city of Utsunomiya, killing himself and injuring three other people in an apparent suicide, state broadcaster NHK reported. A second explosion, separate from the blast that killed the former Self Defence Force member, caused a fire in a nearby parking lot, while the man's home 8 km (5 miles) from the park burnt to the ground, the report said. Images broadcast by NHK showed two burnt out cars, one of which belonged to the dead man, about 200 meters (650 feet) from the park and a charred broken bench at the edge of the park, where a folk art festival was underway.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 05:57:37 -0400
Opium crops spread in Afghanistan as Taliban gains ground, U.N. says

Afghan men gather raw opium on a poppy field on the outskirts of JalalabadThe cultivation of opium poppy in Afghanistan, the world's main source of heroin, has risen to its third-highest level in more than 20 years, the United Nations confirmed on Sunday, as the Taliban insurgency gains ground. In the key findings of its annual Afghanistan opium survey, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the total area of land devoted to poppy cultivation had risen 10 percent in 2016 to 201,000 hectares (497,000 acres). "The survey shows a worrying reversal in efforts to combat the persistent problem of illicit drugs and their impact on development, health and security," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 01:11:15 -0400
Trump uses policy speech to attack media, promises to sue accusers

Trump delivers remarks at a campaign event in Gettysburg, PennsylvaniaU.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised on Saturday to foil a proposed deal for AT&T to buy Time Warner if he wins the Nov. 8 election, arguing it was an example of a "power structure" rigged against both him and voters. Trump, whose candidacy has caused ruptures in his party, listed his policy plans for the first 100 days of his presidency in a campaign speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, near the site of a Civil War battlefield and a celebrated address by President Abraham Lincoln. Many of the policy ideas Trump listed on Saturday were familiar, not least his promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico to deter illegal immigration and to renegotiate trade deals and to scrap the Obamacare health policy.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 21:07:43 -0400
White House condemns Syrian government forces use of toxic gas

The White House on Saturday condemned the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government after an international inquiry found its forces responsible for a third toxic gas attack in Syria's civil war. The fourth report from the 13-month-long inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the global chemical weapons watchdog, blamed Syrian government forces for a toxic gas attack in Qmenas in Idlib governorate on March 16, 2015, according to a text of the report seen by Reuters. In August, the third report by the inquiry blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for two chlorine attacks - in Talmenes on April 21, 2014 and Sarmin on March 16, 2015 - and said Islamic State fighters had used sulfur mustard gas.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 17:18:22 -0400
Burning sulfur near Mosul sends hundreds to hospital, U.S. troops don masks

By Babak Dehghanpisheh QAYYARA, Iraq (Reuters) - Up to 1,000 people have been treated for breathing problems linked to fumes from a sulfur plant set ablaze during fighting with Islamic State in northern Iraq and U.S. officials say U.S. forces at a nearby airfield are wearing protective masks. A cloud of white smoke blanketed the area around the Mishraq sulfur plant, near Mosul, mingling with black fumes from oil wells that the militants torched to cover their moves. Local residents and the U.S. military said Islamic State militants deliberately set the sulfur plant ablaze as they strive to repel an offensive by Iraqi government forces to drive them from Mosul, their last major stronghold in the country.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 13:02:31 -0400
Nearly 1,000 treated for breathing problems south of Mosul: hospital

Nearly 1,000 people have been treated for breathing problems linked to toxic gases from a sulfur plant which Islamic State militants are suspected to have set on fire near the city of Mosul, hospital sources said on Saturday. No deaths were reported in connection with the incident, said the sources at the hospital in Qayyara, a town south of Mosul. A sulfur plant caught fire earlier this week as the Iraqi army dislodged Islamic State fighters from the area of Mishraq, north of Qayyara.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:38:07 -0400
Zimbabwe's Mugabe skirts retirement talk at burial of friend

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe attends the burial of National Hero Charles Utete at the Heroes Acre in HarareBy Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe on Saturday avoided the controversial subject of his future as he buried a senior political colleague and friend who had been pressing him to retire. Mugabe, 92 and one of Africa's longest serving leaders, is eligible to seek re-election at the end of his current five-year term in 2018, but has increasingly looked frail, stoking a scramble in his ruling ZANU-PF party to succeed him. In an hour-long speech on Saturday at the state funeral of Cephas Msipa, a former cabinet minister and ZANU-PF member, Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, largely dwelt on his comrade's role in the 1960s-70s liberation struggle.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:27:42 -0400
India launches phone app to monitor New Delhi's pollution

A heap of grass and garbage burns in a field on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. The Indian capital, laboring under the label of being the world's most polluted city, is trying something new to help clean up its air. A smartphone application that allows citizens to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in public parks to authorities was launched Friday. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)NEW DELHI (AP) India's capital, laboring under the label of being the world's most polluted city, is trying something new to help clean up its air.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:49:21 -0400
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