November 8, 2018

Delhi air: Eating berries and wearing masks to beat pollution

Delhi air: Eating berries and wearing masks to beat pollution Image copyright AFP Every winter, a thick blanket of smog descends on large parts of India and people begin a losing fight against the frightening levels of pollution. Thousands land up in doctors' clinics with breathlessness, fill up hospital beds with lung problems and many are forced to stay off school or work. And with measures announced by the federal and state governments to curb pollution not making any impact, many are finding their own ways of coping. Here are some of the most popular ways Indians try to beat pollution - but do any of them really work? Buying air purifiersA quick search on Amazon India for air purifiers throws up more than 2,000 results and a cursory glance shows they are not cheap. But in the past few years, many Indians have begun investing in indoor air purifiers in the belief that they will help improve the air quality. In March, a report said the government had bought a total of 140 p..
November 8, 2018

Delhi smog: Are Diwali fireworks to blame?

Delhi smog: Are Diwali fireworks to blame? Image copyright AFP Air pollution levels have shot up in the Indian capital, Delhi, during the current festive season of Diwali. A lot of attention has focused on the impact of fireworks and this year, as in previous years, India's Supreme Court has attempted to restrict their use. But how far are they really responsible for poor air quality? There are studies which show that levels of some hazardous pollutants rise significantly during the Diwali period, but there are also other factors that could account for poor air quality. Seasonal pollutionAir pollution has become a growing problem for India in recent years. Image copyright AFP Image caption Smog is a regular issue around this time of the year in Delhi The World Health Organization (WHO) database on air quality lists nine Indian cities in the top 20 worldwide for the highest annual concentrations of PM2.5 - one of the most harmful particles for human health. The levels are way abov..
November 8, 2018

Hong Kong Fire Service’s lycra-clad mascot causes a stir

Hong Kong Fire Service's lycra-clad mascot causes a stir Image copyright Hong Kong Fire Services Department Image caption 'Anyone' vows to help inform the public about fire prevention and safety In the world of social media, we can find lots of uplifting stories about heroes and helpers, but we can also find controversy caused by almost anyone. In Hong Kong 'Anyone' happens to be a character created for the Hong Kong Fire Service to raise safety awareness. The mascot, clad in blue lycra from head-to-toe, was brought out in a press conference on Monday, much to the shock and amusement of the journalists in the room. Anyone aims to convey that anybody can help in emergencies as part of an online campaign on the Fire Services Department's Facebook page. Since it was set up at the end of October, more than 30,000 people have followed the account. Skip Facebook post by 香港消防處 Hong Kong Fire Services Department 【多謝大家關注!】 任何仁:多謝大家關注! 我係乜人?任何仁就係每一個人,英文名叫Anyone..
November 8, 2018

Virat Kohli causes uproar with ‘leave India’ comment

Virat Kohli causes uproar with 'leave India' comment Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kohli's remarks have sparked outrage on social media India cricket captain Virat Kohli is embroiled in controversy after lashing out at a cricket fan who said he preferred English and Australian batsmen to Indian players. "I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else," Kohli told him in a video recording. He was responding to messages during the launch of his mobile app on Monday. The video went viral and has prompted a torrent of criticism against Kohli on social media. The 30-year-old cricketer has been hailed as the greatest batsmen in the world and is often touted as India's cricket megastar since national legend Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013. Virat Kohli becomes the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runsIn the video, Kohli is seen reading out a message from a cricket fan who described him as an "over rated batsman". He also said he enj..
November 8, 2018

Australia ramps up Pacific spending amid China debate

Australia ramps up Pacific spending amid China debate Image copyright AFP Image caption China has given money for Pacific projects, such as roadworks in Papua New Guinea Australia will create a multi-billion dollar fund for Pacific island nations to build infrastructure, in a move seen as a bid to counter China's influence. Delivering a major policy speech, PM Scott Morrison said he aimed to restore the Pacific to the "front and centre" of Australia's foreign outlook. Australia will offer up to A$2bn (£1.11bn; $1.45bn) in grants and loans to strengthen ties, he said. Analysts say it is a response to China's growing presence in the region. Mr Morrison said on Thursday: "Australia cannot take its influence in the south-west Pacific for granted. I think, sadly, too often we have. "This is our patch. This is where we have special responsibilities." The fund could be used for telecommunications, energy and transport infrastructure projects, Mr Morrison suggested. He added Au..
November 8, 2018

Deadly smog returns to Delhi after Diwali

Deadly smog returns to Delhi after Diwali Image copyright Reuters Image caption Residents awoke on Thursday to find the city blanketed in a toxic fog Air pollution in the Indian capital has risen to hazardous levels after firecrackers were set off to celebrate Diwali despite a court ban. Residents awoke on Thursday to find the city blanketed in a toxic fog. The Supreme Court had restricted the timeframe for setting off firecrackers to only two hours in the night, but the order was openly flouted. Diwali, the most important Hindu festival in north India, celebrates the victory of good over evil. The levels of tiny particulate matter (known as PM 2.5) that enter deep into the lungs reached as high as 999 micrograms per cubic metre in some areas of the capital on Thursday morning, according to reports. Delhi smog: Foul air came from India's farming revolutionThe US embassy tweeted that the air quality measure in Delhi had soared to 526, putting the pollution in the "severe" catego..
November 8, 2018

Japan’s Toshiba to withdraw from UK nuclear power project

Japan's Toshiba to withdraw from UK nuclear power project Image copyright NuGen Image caption An artist's impression of what Moorside nuclear plant would have looked like Japan's Toshiba is set to wind up NuGen, its UK-based nuclear arm, after efforts to offload the business failed. NuGen was behind the development of the Moorside nuclear power station project in Cumbria, in north-west England. Toshiba's move will put a dent in the UK's plans to develop new nuclear power stations as it continues efforts to move to a low carbon economy. The Japanese firm said in a statement that it would start the wind-up process in January 2019. "After considering the additional costs entailed in continuing to operate NuGen, Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen," the Toshiba statement said. Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) had been..
November 7, 2018

Australia deaths: Family found dead near broken-down vehicle in outback

Australia deaths: Family found dead near broken-down vehicle in outback Three people have died and a boy is missing after their vehicle broke down in outback Australia, police say. The bodies of two adults, both 19, and their three-year-old son were found near a remote road about 1,000km (620 miles) south of Darwin on Wednesday. The deaths are not being treated as suspicious. Authorities are investigating whether heat may have contributed to the tragedy. A search is under way for a 12-year-old boy, said Northern Territory Police. The group was last seen leaving Willowra, a small community, on Friday. The three bodies were found about 4.5km from the vehicle. "One of the avenues we are looking at is that they have walked off from a vehicle in extreme weather and may have got caught out," Supt Shaun Gill told the ABC. "Initially we thought it was the result of a car crash, however we are confident it's not." Police said the alarm had been raised by a "distraught" man who entered a h..
November 7, 2018

Samsung folding smartphone revealed to developers

Samsung folding smartphone revealed to developers Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH: How Samsung's flexible phone launch unfolded Samsung has unveiled a folding handset at an event in San Francisco. It described its Infinity Flex Display as "the foundation of the smartphone of tomorrow" and said it intended to start production within months. When unfolded, the device resembles a 7.3in (18.5cm) tablet. When closed, a separate smaller "cover display" on the handset's other side comes into use. Samsung has teased the concept for more than five years and had been vying with Huawei to show off a device first. Image copyright Samsung Image caption When closed a single screen is seen, but when open a separate display on the reverse comes into use However, both were upstaged a week ago when little-known start-up Royole unveiled a foldable phone of its own. Royole's bendy-screen FlexPai phone unveiled Huawei promises foldable phone within a year Sa..
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