December 7, 2018

Chang’e-4: China mission targets Moon’s far side

Chang'e-4: China mission targets Moon's far side Image copyright CNSA Image caption Artwork: The Chang'e-4 rover will explore a huge impact bason on the far side China is about to launch the first mission to land robotic craft on the far side of the Moon. The Chang'e-4 mission will see a static lander and rover touch down in Von Kármán crater, located on the side of the Moon which never faces Earth. The payload is set to launch on a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center at about 18:30 GMT. The mission will pave the way for the country to deliver samples of Moon rock and soil to Earth. The landing will not occur until early January, when the probe will descend on thrusters and touch down on the rugged terrain of the lunar far side. Von Kármán crater is of interest to scientists because it is located within the oldest and largest impact feature on the Moon - the South Pole-Aitken Basin. This was probably formed by a giant asteroid impact billions..
December 7, 2018

What’s going on with Huawei?

What's going on with Huawei? Image copyright Reuters Image caption Huawei is now the second biggest smartphone-maker after Samsung Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been the focus of international scrutiny, with several countries raising security concerns about its products. Then on 1 December, the company's chief financial officer was arrested in Canada. A bail hearing is expected to take place on Friday. It has now been reported that Japan's government will stop buying equipment from Huawei, and rival Chinese manufacturer ZTE. What are countries worried about?There are fears that China is using Huawei as a proxy so it can spy on rival nations and scoop up useful information. Huawei has said it is independent and gives nothing to the country's government, apart from relevant taxes. Critics question how free any major Chinese business can be from Beijing's influence. They point out that its media-shy founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a former engineer in the country&..
December 7, 2018

Backpacker Grace Millane missing in New Zealand ‘last seen with man’

Backpacker Grace Millane missing in New Zealand 'last seen with man' Image copyright Lucie Blackman Trust Image caption The 22-year-old was backpacking after graduating from university in September Missing backpacker Grace Millane was last seen at a hotel with a "male companion", police have revealed. The 22-year-old, from Essex, described by her father as "lovely" and "family-orientated", vanished in New Zealand six days ago. Detectives in Auckland say they have spoken to the man and have identified an apartment at the Citylife Hotel as a location of interest. Det Insp Scott Beard said police "hold grave fears for her safety". Miss Millane's father David told a press conference in Auckland: "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter. "She's usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media." Image copyright Millane Family Miss Millane, who graduated from the University of L..
December 7, 2018

Priyanka Chopra: ‘Racist’ article sees mocking Indians defend star

Priyanka Chopra: 'Racist' article sees mocking Indians defend star Image copyright EPA Image caption Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra (L) and US musician Nick Jonas Indians on social media are rallying behind Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra after an American website article called her a "scam artist". The article in The Cut, which has now been taken down, sparked outrage for suggesting that she had trapped US singer Nick Jonas into marrying her to further her career. Indians, many of whom were earlier disparaging about the wedding, have now jumped to defend her. Many said the article was racist. In a way, the piece has marked a turning point in the entire saga of the couple in India - from feeling very much "over it" when it came to wedding updates, there is now a rush to defend Chopra. Even those who felt that the wedding was "extra" - thanks to features like Chopra's 75ft veil which needed a team of people to carry it- are up in arms. Image Copyright @ivadixit @iva..
December 7, 2018

Australia data encryption laws explained

Australia data encryption laws explained Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Australian police can now order tech firms to access the encrypted messages of suspects Australia has passed controversial laws designed to compel technology companies to grant police and security agencies access to encrypted messages. The government says the laws, a world first, are necessary to help combat terrorism and crime. However critics have listed wide-ranging concerns, including that the laws could undermine the overall security and privacy of users. The laws were rushed through parliament on its final day of the year. The Labor opposition said it had reluctantly supported the laws to help protect Australians during the Christmas period, but on Friday it said that "legitimate concerns" about them remained. Cyber-security experts have warned the laws could now create a "global weak point" for companies as Facebook and Apple. Why are encrypted messages an issue?Australia already has laws which..
December 6, 2018

Golden Globes: Constance Wu is first Asian woman nominated in decades

Golden Globes: Constance Wu is first Asian woman nominated in decades Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Wu said she 'didn't think' she would be nominated Constance Wu has scored a Golden Globe best lead actress nomination, the first Asian woman in 44 years to be named in the category. Wu, who was nominated for her role in Crazy Rich Asians, said she was "ecstatic but also in shock". The Hollywood film, the first in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast, also won a nomination for best film musical or comedy. It has so far made around $238m (£186m) worldwide since its premiere in August. The film's director, Jon M Chu, tweeted that the twin nominations were the "proudest moment of [his] career." Skip Twitter post by @ConstanceWu What a morning to have had my phone on Do Not Disturb Mode till now... I’m ecstatic but also in shock! Thank you @goldenglobes !!! — Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) December 6, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @ConstanceWu Wu is com..
December 6, 2018

India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released

India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released Image copyright Facebook Image caption Abhijit Iyer-Mitra had been in prison since 23 October An Indian man has been released from prison after more than a month, for posting satirical tweets about erotic sculptures in a temple. In September, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, posted a video in which he makes disparaging comments about the famous Konark temple in the eastern state of Orissa and the people of the state. He was arrested after two locals complained he "hurt public sentiment". The state assembly pardoned him on Thursday. Mr Iyer-Mitra had been slapped with an array of charges for his tweets about the erotic sculptures. His other tweets appear to be making fun of the people of the state and another of its famous temples. The Indian man in prison for cracking 'offensive' jokesHe was accused of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and race in a place of worship, insulting religious feel..
December 6, 2018

The blind woman developing tech for the good of others

The blind woman developing tech for the good of others Image copyright IBM Image caption Chieko Asakawa received Japan's Medal of Honour for her contribution to accessibility research An accident in a swimming pool left Chieko Asakawa blind at the age of 14. For the past three decades she's worked to create technology - now with a big focus on artificial intelligence (AI) - to transform life for the visually impaired. "When I started out there was no assistive technology," Japanese-born Dr Asakawa says. "I couldn't read any information by myself. I couldn't go anywhere by myself." Those "painful experiences" set her on a path of learning that began with a computer science course for blind people. A job at IBM soon followed, where she earned a doctorate and started her pioneering work on accessibility that continues today. She's behind early digital Braille innovations and created the world's first practical web-to-speech browser. Those browsers are commo..
December 6, 2018

Huawei arrest: Justin Trudeau denies political motivation

Huawei arrest: Justin Trudeau denies political motivation Image copyright Reuters Image caption Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of the company's founder Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government had no involvement in the arrest of a top executive from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Meng Wanzhou was detained at Vancouver airport on Saturday on an extradition request from the US. China has demanded her release, and called the arrest a human rights violation. The charges remain unknown but the US has been probing Huawei over possible violation of Iran sanctions. Huawei said it was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng". She faces a bail hearing on Friday. Speaking to reporters in Montreal, Mr Trudeau said his government was told about the arrest a few days beforehand, but it did not play a role.
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