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..
November 7, 2018

Allahabad: The name change that killed my city’s soul

Allahabad: The name change that killed my city's soul Image copyright Ankit Srinivas Image caption Allahabad railway station is a major transport hub What is your name? Where are you from? This is how most introductions start in India. And my answer to the second question has always been Allahabad, the city of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. But I won't be able to say that any longer because Allahabad has been renamed Prayagraj. Allahabad is in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The state government has said the decision was taken to restore the city's ancient identity as a major Hindu pilgrimage centre. BJP leaders have taken issue with the fact that the city's 435-year-old name was given by a Muslim ruler. Image copyright Ankit Srinivas Image caption Thousands of sadhus (holy men) come to the city during the Kumbh Mela Allahabad was i..
November 7, 2018

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from prison

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from prison Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAsia Bibi's escape from Pakistan death row A Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has been freed from prison, her lawyer has told the BBC. Saif ul Malook told AFP that Asia Bibi was "on a plane but no one knows where she is landing". Asia Bibi's acquittal sparked violent protests and the government agreed to bar her from leaving the country. Her husband has said they are in great danger in Pakistan and pleaded for asylum in the UK, US or Canada. A prison official told AFP that the order to release her had been sent to the prison in the city of Multan, where she was being held. Pakistan's 'historic' Asia Bibi ruling Why Pakistan's Christians are targeted Blasphemy laws around the world Asia Noreen - commonly known as Asia Bibi - was convicted in 2010 of insulting the Prophet Muhammad during a row with ne..
November 7, 2018

South Korea apologises for rapes during 1980 Gwangju protest crackdown

South Korea apologises for rapes during 1980 Gwangju protest crackdown Image copyright EPA Image caption South Korean Defence Minister, Jeong Kyeong-doo, bows his head to the nation South Korea has apologised for the rape of women by troops sent to crush an anti-government protest 38 years ago. The defence minister bowed as he described how soldiers inflicted "unspeakable pain" on innocent women in the city of Gwangju in 1980. A recent government investigation confirmed 17 cases of sexual assault, including against teenagers and a pregnant woman. But some victims said an apology was not enough. Kim Sun-ok, who was raped, said "a million apologies" were worthless without the guilty troops being "duly punished". The south-western city of Gwangju was the centre of an uprising against martial law in South Korea, imposed after a military coup in 1979 led by General Chun Doo-hwan. A brutal military crackdown left more than 200 people dead or missing, according to official figures. Although ..
November 7, 2018

Why Australia is worried about upsetting Indonesia

Why Australia is worried about upsetting Indonesia Image copyright EPA Image caption Indonesian President Joko Widodo with former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull last week Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's recent announcement that he is considering recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital took many by surprise, and none more so than Indonesia, perhaps Canberra's most crucial regional ally. Enter some unusual diplomacy to mend ties, writes Kathy Marks in Sydney. He was dumped as prime minister, relinquished his seat and insists he is now just a private citizen. Yet last week Malcolm Turnbull was in Bali, meeting senior Indonesian leaders in an attempt to calm diplomatic tensions created by the man who ousted him, Scott Morrison. Indonesians could be forgiven for feeling confused. Certainly, they are perplexed and angry, following Mr Morrison's announcement last month that Australia is considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem and recognising the contested..
November 7, 2018

‘Vietnamese’ children found in lorry

Eleven children found in refrigerated lorry in Newhaven Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Border Force staff check lorries and trucks arriving at the UK border as they leave a cross-channel ferry that has just arrived from France Twenty-one people, including children as young as 12, have been found inside a refrigerated lorry entering the UK. The group, thought to be from Vietnam, was concealed among a load of sparkling water at the port of Newhaven in Sussex on Thursday. Details of the Border Force operation have only just emerged, but a criminal investigation is under way. A Romanian man, believed to be the driver, has been charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK. It had earlier been reported 15 children had been found in the lorry, but the figure was later revised by the Home Office. A spokesman said the group included 17 people claiming to be aged between 12 and 17 who "presented themselves as Vietnamese". "A total of 11 were later confirmed to be minors. They..
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