April 5, 2019

WhatsApp: The ‘black hole’ of fake news in India’s election

WhatsApp: The 'black hole' of fake news in India's election Image copyright Reuters Image caption The victims of a suicide attack pictured in this 2014 photo were falsely identified as Pakistani militants WhatsApp, India's most popular messaging platform, has become a vehicle for misinformation and propaganda ahead of the upcoming election. The Facebook-owned app has announced new measures to fight this but experts say the scale of the problem is overwhelming. India was in the grip of patriotic fervour in early March when WhatsApp groups were flooded with photographs claiming to show proof that unprecedented Indian air strikes in Pakistani territory had been successful. While India's government said the 26 February strikes had killed a "large number of militants", Islamabad insisted there had been no casualties. But BBC fact-checkers found that the photos - purportedly of dead militants and a destroyed training camp - were old images that were being shared wit..
April 5, 2019

Fury over ‘womanspreading’ placard

The 'womanspreading' placard that caused fury in Pakistan Image copyright Facebook Image caption Photos of the poster quickly spread across social media When Rumisa Lakhani and Rashida Shabbir Hussain created a placard for an International Women's Day march in Pakistan, they had no idea just how much it would place them at the centre of a fierce national debate. The day before the event the two 22-year-old students attended a poster-making session at their university in Karachi. They wanted to come up with something that would attract attention and started brainstorming ideas. A friend happened to be sitting with her legs spread wide, and this inspired the poster that Rumisa and Rashida made. For Rumisa the way women should sit is a constant issue. "We have to be elegant; we have to worry about not showing the shape of our bodies. The men, they manspread and no-one bats an eye," she says. Rumisa's design depicted an unashamed womanspreader nonchalantly lounging i..
April 5, 2019

UK scientists discover world’s tallest tropical tree

UK scientists discover world's tallest tropical tree Image copyright Unding Jami Image caption The university said the tree is longer than a standard football pitch Scientists in the UK and Malaysia say they have discovered the world's tallest tropical tree measuring more than 100m (328ft) high. The lofty yellow meranti was spotted in a Borneo rainforest by a team from the University of Nottingham last year. Researchers from the University of Oxford then carried out 3D scans and drone flights to confirm the record. The tree, found in the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, has been named Menara, which is Malay for tower. Local climber Unding Jami, who scaled the tree with a measuring tape, said it was a "scary and windy" ascent. "But honestly the view from the top was incredible. I don't know what to say other than it was very, very, very amazing," he added. Image copyright Alexander Shenkin Image caption It is thought the tree could also be the world's ta..
April 5, 2019

Brunei hotels withdraw from social media amid anti-LGBT law backlash

Brunei hotels withdraw from social media amid anti-LGBT law backlash Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWill George Clooney's Brunei boycott really work? The social media accounts of Brunei-owned luxury hotels have been deleted or made inaccessible amid an ongoing backlash over anti-LGBT laws. Brunei introduced strict Islamic laws this week that make gay sex punishable by flogging or stoning to death. Celebrities including George Clooney are calling on the public to boycott Brunei-owned luxury hotels. Now the social media accounts of these hotels have become inaccessible following criticism online. Which hotels are owned by Brunei?The social backlash appears to have escalated after US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres shared a Twitter post naming the nine Brunei-owned hotels to boycott. Skip Twitter post by @TheEllenShow Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by th..
April 5, 2019

South Korea wildfires: Deadly blaze declared a national emergency

South Korea wildfires: Deadly blaze declared a national emergency Image copyright AFP Image caption The fire broke out late on Thursday and spread along the Korean coast South Korea has declared a national emergency in response to one of the largest wildfires on record. At least one person has died and more than 4,000 people have been evacuated. Thousands of soldiers have been helping firefighters from across South Korea extinguish the flames in the country's north-eastern mountainous region, close to the border with North Korea. Although the main fire has been brought under control, others are still burning, officials say. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed by the fire It is believed the fire, which broke out late on Thursday, originated from a spark at a transformer near Goseong in Gangwon Province, north-east of Seoul. Fanned by strong winds, it quickly spread through the mountain region which hosted the Winter Olympics last year..
April 5, 2019

5G: World’s first commercial services promise ‘great leap’

5G: World's first commercial services promise 'great leap' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A woman trials 5G services on a virtual reality device in Seoul South Korea and the US have this week launched the world's first commercial 5G services, promising a new wave of capabilities for smartphone users. Samsung said its Galaxy S10 5G device will offer speeds up to 20 times faster than current phones as it began selling the handsets on Friday. Countries are racing to build 5G networks that will be crucial for future tech such as driverless cars. Nations are also working to resolve security concerns tied to the networks. What is 5G? 5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity. Users will get more data faster, with less delay. It also promises wider coverage and more stable connections. Ed Barton, chief television and entertainment analyst at Ovum, said the shift from today's 4G networks to 5G will be significant. He said first-gener..
April 5, 2019

US and China edge closer to ‘epic’ trade deal, says Trump

US and China edge closer to 'epic' trade deal, says Trump Image copyright Getty Images President Donald Trump says the US has found agreement on some of the toughest points in trade talks with China. He said a deal could come in the next four weeks, but added some sticking points remained. The Chinese echoed the optimism, with President Xi Jinping touting substantial progress, according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. The US and China have been in talks since December trying to end a trade war that is hurting the global economy. Mr Trump said the US and China had agreed on "a lot of the most difficult points" but that "we have some ways to go". He was speaking from the White House, before a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The US president said if there was a deal, he would hold a summit with Xi Jinping. "This is an epic deal, historic - if it happens," said Mr Trump. "This is the Grand Daddy of them all and we'll see if it happens. It's got a ver..
April 4, 2019

Australia to hold national inquiry into disability abuse

Australia to hold national inquiry into disability abuse Image copyright Getty Images Image caption People with disabilities suffer disproportionately high rates of abuse, the Australian government says Australia will hold a three-year national inquiry into the abuse of people with disabilities, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced. In recent years, the nation has been shocked by harrowing cases of abuse and assault in homes and care settings. Disability advocates say that abuse and exploitation are systemic issues. Mr Morrison said the royal commission - Australia's highest form of public inquiry - aimed to "establish a culture of respect". "My government recognises that people with a disability are more likely to suffer abuse, violence and neglect, and exploitation," he told reporters on Friday. Mr Morrison dedicated the inquiry to Australians living with disabilities, including his own brother-in-law, Gary Warren, who has multiple sclerosis. "This is so above politics, ..
April 4, 2019

Hayabusa-2: Japanese probe set to ‘bomb’ an asteroid

Hayabusa-2: Japanese probe set to 'bomb' an asteroid Image copyright Akihiro Ikeshita Image caption Artwork: Scientists want to retrieve a pristine sample of material from the crater The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft is about to detonate an explosive charge on the asteroid it is exploring. The operation is designed to generate an artificial crater in the asteroid Ryugu, which the probe has been studying since June 2018. Hayabusa-2 will later descend into the crater to collect pristine samples of the asteroid that have not been exposed to the harsh environment of space. The charge is carried on the Small Carry-On Impactor (SCI) device. This is a 14kg conical container attached to Hayabusa-2 and packed with plastic explosive. Movie shows moment of asteroid landing Asteroid mission exploring a 'rubble pile' Metal world 'may have iron volcanoes' The SCI is due to separate from Hayabusa-2 at 01:56 GMT on Friday at an altitude of 500m above the surface of Ryug..
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