November 22, 2018

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Hubei fishery was a central part of a Chinese sturgeon breeding project Construction at a Chinese eco tourism zone is believed to have caused the death of 6,000 critically endangered Chinese sturgeon. A bridge in Hubei province was being built close to a farm on the Yangtze river which was breeding the long-living fish. A Chinese news site said the deaths were "directly linked to the shocks, noises and changes of water sources". All work has been halted while investigations are carried out. The Chinese sturgeon species dates back more than 140 million years. Individual fish can grow to up to 5m (16ft) in length and can live for up to 60 years, but will only spawn a few times during their life. Image copyright Getty Images The species is on the brink of extinction in the wild because of pollution, overfishing - for their meat and roe, sold as caviar - and environmental changes like..
November 22, 2018

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears Image caption China is backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders As levels of greenhouse gases reach a new record, concerns are growing about the role of China in global warming. For years, the increase in the number of Chinese coal-fired power stations has been criticised. Now environmental groups say China is also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Coal is the most damaging of the fossil fuels because of the quantity of carbon dioxide it releases when it's burned. Last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level for the past 3-5 million years, according to the latest research by the UN's weather agency, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). And last month the UN's climate science panel said that coal must be phased out by 2050 if the world is to have any chance of limiting the rise in temperatures. Greenhouse gas levels at new r..
November 22, 2018

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The complex will be replaced by a public park Officials in South Korea have started to dismantle the country's largest dog slaughterhouse. The Taepyeong-dong complex in Seongnam city, south of Seoul, will be cleared over two days and converted into a public park. Dog meat is a common delicacy in South Korea, with approximately one million dogs consumed there every year. Activists have sought to end the custom, while more South Koreans have chosen to keep dogs as pets. "This is a historic moment," Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) said in a statement. "It will open the door for more closures of dog meat slaughterhouses across the country, expediting the decline of the overall dog meat industry." The Taepyeong-dong complex - an important source of meat for restaurants across the country - housed at least six slaughterhouses, holding several hundred animals at a time. Campaigners fr..
November 22, 2018

Aboriginal Australia’s ‘mind-blowing’ struggle for a first treaty

Aboriginal Australia's 'mind-blowing' struggle for a first treaty Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Aboriginal elder Gary Murray says the process carries a risk of "symbolic genocide" Australia is the only Commonwealth country never to make a treaty with its indigenous peoples. Why has it proven so difficult? Kathy Marks looks at the vast challenges in Victoria alone - a state that is working towards a national first. Every school holiday, the train would pick up Daria Atkinson and her four siblings, all aged under 10, and transport them - along with thousands of other Aboriginal children from the countryside - to Melbourne, where they would spend up to two months living with a white family. "We had to call the adults mum and dad," recalls Ms Atkinson, now 56. "We were told how to sit at the table, how to eat properly. We weren't allowed to get dirty. We had to forget we were Aboriginal. But at least we got to go home - the Stolen Generations didn't."..
November 22, 2018

India and Pakistan reach Sikh temple deal

India and Pakistan reach Sikh temple deal India and Pakistan have agreed to construct a new border entry point and road to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit a shrine in Pakistan. Sikhism was born in Punjab, a region that was divided between the two countries during partition in 1947. The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is one of Sikhism's holiest shrines. The religion's founder, Guru Nanak, spent the last 18 years of his life there. The decision coincides with the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak's birth. Since the division of India and Pakistan into two separate nations, Indians have had limited access to the shrine, often struggling to get visas to visit, says BBC Punjabi's Dalip Kumar. BBC religion: What is Sikhism? Sikh soldier statue 'striking tribute' Delhi said it would fully fund construction on the Indian side, and Pakistan said it would do the same. Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry called the decision a "victory for the ..
November 22, 2018

Low-cost ‘four-hour’ bamboo house wins top prize

Low-cost 'four-hour' bamboo house wins top prize Image caption The CUBO housing units can be manufactured in a week, and built in just four hours A 23-year-old designer has won a top £50,000 prize after creating a low-cost bamboo housing unit to address the Philippines' slum crisis. Earl Patrick Forlales' design takes just four hours to construct, and at £50/sq metre it's highly affordable. He told the BBC World Service: "It's a functional home on its own, but it's more than just a house. "It's designed to turn community waste into energy and other valuable resources." Mr Forlales, who comes from Manila and studied material science engineering, will use the prize money from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition to start work on his "CUBO" housing units next year. Manila has a population of 12 million people, four million of whom live in impoverished slums. Some 2.5 million more workers are expected t..
November 22, 2018

John Allen Chau ‘tribal death’: Family forgives killers

John Allen Chau 'tribal death': Family forgives killers Image copyright Instagram/John Chau Image caption On 21 October, @johnachau posted that he was travelling to the region The family of a US man reportedly killed by arrows fired by members of an endangered tribe in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands has said they forgive those who killed him. In a statement, they said John Allen Chau "loved God, life, helping those in need, and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people". Seven people who helped him reach North Sentinel island have been arrested. The Indian authorities say it may take "some days" to recover Mr Chau's body. Outsiders are banned from even approaching the island to protect the people who live there and their way of life. His family released a statement on Instagram, saying he had gone to the island of "his own free will". Image Copyright johnachau johnachau Report "We also ask for the release of those friends he had in the Andaman Islands...
November 22, 2018

Carlos Ghosn: Nissan board to decide chairman’s fate

Carlos Ghosn: Nissan board to decide chairman's fate Image copyright Getty Images Nissan's board will meet on Thursday to decide whether to remove Carlos Ghosn as chairman after he was arrested on allegations of financial misconduct. The board is expected to dismiss Mr Ghosn from his post. He has been accused by Nissan of under-reporting his salary and using company assets for personal use. But some see it as part of the firm's attempt to rebalance power in its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, which Mr Ghosn also chairs. A towering industry figure, the arrest of the Brazilian-born businessman this week has sent shockwaves through the sector. The 64-year-old is credited with turning around both Nissan and Renault, and was the architect of the tie-up between the three firms where Renault is seen as a dominant partner. Is Carlos Ghosn's arrest a ‘hatchet job’? The corporate scandals that rocked Japan Carlos Ghosn: The driven 'cost killer' What are ..
November 22, 2018

India Kashmir: Fax machine fuels political crisis

India Kashmir: Fax machine fuels political crisis Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Omar Abdullah (left) and Mehbooba Mufti (right) have staked a claim to form the government together A dramatic day involving a broken fax machine and frenetic tweets, ended with the dissolution of the assembly in India's Jammu and Kashmir state. An alliance of three rival political parties unsuccessfully tried to fax the governor's office to stake a claim to form the government on Wednesday. This prompted former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to tweet at him instead. Within an hour, the governor dissolved the assembly on the basis that the parties had "opposing ideologies". Local media quoted him as saying that it would be impossible to form "a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies". Jammu and Kashmir has been under direct rule since June, when India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of an alliance with M..
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