August 21, 2018

Peter Dutton: The ex-policeman who nearly ousted Australia’s PM

Peter Dutton: The ex-policeman who nearly ousted Australia's PM Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Peter Dutton speaks to reporters after his failed challenge on Tuesday Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has narrowly failed to seize the prime ministership from Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Dutton, who lost an internal party vote 35-48, is a polarising figure whose ministerial duties were last year expanded into a super portfolio - giving him considerable power. He is a more hardline conservative than Mr Turnbull and is best known for overseeing Australia's tough and controversial policies on asylum seekers. Mr Dutton alluded to such perceptions in a press briefing after his failed leadership challenge on Tuesday. "It is good to be in front of the cameras where I can smile and maybe show a different side," he said. Rise to leading conservativeBorn in Brisbane, Mr Dutton spent nine years in the police force before being elected to the House of Representatives i..
August 21, 2018

Is India ready to send someone to space?

Is India ready to send someone to space? Image copyright Reuters Image caption India's "monster rocket" carried a huge satellite into space in 2017 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India will carry out a manned space flight by 2022. Science writer Pallava Bagla asks whether the country's space agency can pick up the gauntlet. Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) reckon they will need $1.28bn (£1.01bn) to fulfil Mr Modi's challenge - and they think they can launch the flight within 40 months. There are many reasons why they believe it can be done. They hope to use the country's heaviest rocket - the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III or GSLV Mk-III - for the space flight. Four reasons India is going big on space Inequality in India can be seen from outer space This 640-tonne, 43-metre tall rocket was launched successfully in 2017. The coverage of the launch was euphoric, and often colourful, with websites compari..
August 21, 2018

Cricket is tackling sexism in India’s schools

Cricket is tackling sexism in India's schools Image caption The project has got girls playing cricket and boys learning how to dance Hundreds of thousands of pupils in schools across India are getting lessons in the art of cricket. But for a country which counts the sport as a national passion, these classes are not about finding another cricket superstar such as Virat Kohli. Instead the aim is to challenge gender stereotypes and promote equality between the sexes. Sumita Kumari, a teacher at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya school in Dakshin Dinajpur, West Bengal says around 80% of India's population is from rural areas, where many children are likely to face "certain notions about gender roles". Rejecting 'ridicule'"In a rural environment, a big division can be seen in the development of the two genders. "Firstly, there is restriction on the freedom of girls. Secondly, there is a clear division of work between boys and girls," she says. Image caption India's passi..
August 21, 2018

Quit-smoking helpline number on India packs

Quit-smoking helpline number on India cigarette packs Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Smoking kills nearly a million people every year in India India says tobacco firms must print a helpline number to combat smoking on all cigarette packs from 1 September. The health ministry has also released new pictorial warnings, showing images of diseased organs and rotting teeth. The government has asked companies to continue covering 80% of the surface of the packs with picture and text warnings. India has more than 100 million smokers and the government says smoking kills nearly a million people every year. All cigarette packs will have the words "tobacco causes painful death" printed on them along with the helpline number, 1800-11-2356, the government has said. It added that any company failing to follow the new guidelines would be prosecuted. In recent years, India has come up with stringent rules to curb the use of tobacco. It made graphic pictorial warnings mandatory on all ci..
August 21, 2018

Rockets hit Kabul’s diplomatic area during Eid speech

Rockets hit Kabul's diplomatic area during Eid speech Image copyright Reuters Image caption Afghan security forces patrolled the area after the rocket attack Militants have fired rockets at the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital Kabul during a speech by the president to mark a Muslim holiday. President Ashraf Ghani was speaking live on television to celebrate Eid al-Adha when explosions were heard, some of them near the presidential palace. Smoke and helicopters could be seen above the Reka Khana district, an AFP news agency photographer said. Mr Ghani's call for an Eid ceasefire was rejected by Taliban militants. As troops secured the area targeted, it was still not clear who had fired the rockets or if any casualties had been caused.
August 21, 2018

Radioactive device goes missing in Malaysia

Radioactive device goes missing in Malaysia Image copyright Getty Images Malaysia is hunting for a radioactive device which went missing from a pickup truck earlier this month. Authorities say the radioactive substance inside the radiography device could spread dangerous contamination if dismantled improperly. There are also fears it could be used as part of a weapon - a so-called dirty bomb - if it fell into the wrong hands. Authorities have confirmed the device is missing but have insisted that "everything is under control". The missing object is used in industrial radiography - it belonged to a firm that does tests, calibrations and inspections for oil and gas companies and other heavy industry firms. The 23kg (50lbs) large metal tube with a carrying handle had reportedly been used to spot cracks in metal. It contains the radioactive isotope iridium-192 which can cause radiation exposure or be used as a weapon if combined with a conventional explosive device. The Inspector-G..
August 20, 2018

Trump accuses China of ‘manipulating’ its currency

Trump accuses China of 'manipulating' its currency Image copyright Reuters Image caption Donald Trump sits for an interview with Reuters US President Donald Trump has accused China of manipulating its currency to combat US tariffs. The accusation, made in an interview with Reuters news agency, resembles claims Mr Trump made during his 2016 campaign but had avoided more recently. It comes as the two countries prepare to meet in Washington this week to discuss the ongoing trade fight. Many doubt that the talks, which involve lower level officials, will be successful at defusing the tensions. Mr Trump told Reuters he does not expect much out of the meeting, which follows failed negotiations this spring. He also said he had "no time frame" in mind to bring the clash between the economic giants to a close. Trade war in progressIn July, the two countries imposed a first round of tit-for-tat tariffs, on trade worth $34bn. The US plans to impose import duties on a further $16bn (£1..
August 20, 2018

My green idea: Recycling India’s floral waste

My green idea: Recycling India's floral waste Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sacred flowers are taken for worship on the hand at the river Ganges India is a place of flowers. Lots of them. Piles of marigolds, roses, carnations and other flowers are left at temples, mosques and sikh gurudwaras for use in religious ceremonies. Afterwards, the flowers can prove difficult to dispose of. Tipping the discarded petals into flowing waters is one option, but this can add to the burdens for India's often heavily polluted waterways. Chemical engineer and eco-entrepreneur, Parimala Shivaprasad, thinks she has the solution. The 26-year-old from Bangalore, currently a postgraduate student at the University of Bath, wants to turn the leftover flowers into a useful product. Image copyright University of Bath Image caption Parimala Shivaprasad in the lab at Bath University Her big idea is to build a social enterprise that will enable temples in India to extract essential oils ..
August 20, 2018

Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly

Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHundreds of troops have been rescuing trapped residents in Kerala Floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala have killed more than 350 people since June. The BBC's Navin Singh Khadka explains why the floods were so deadly this time. The devastating floods in Kerala peaked last week. The monsoon rains have since begun to ease and rescue teams have been deployed, but thousands remain marooned. But the state should have been prepared for this - just one month earlier, a government report had warned that Kerala was the worst performer among south Indian states in effective management of water resources. With 42 points, it was ranked number 12. The top three states were Gujarat in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the centre and Andhra Pradesh in the south, with a score of 79, 69 and 68 respectively. One month down the line, Kerala seems to have confirmed the report's finding. Kerala ..
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