July 25, 2018

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man Image copyright facebook/elin.k.ersson Image caption Elin Ersson refused to sit until the Afghan was taken off the flight A stunt by a Swedish activist to stop the deportation of an Afghan refugee has been widely hailed on social media. University student Elin Ersson had booked the same flight as the Afghan and refused to sit down unless he was taken off the plane on Monday. She streamed her protest live on Facebook, showing a tense standoff with other passengers and airline crew. Reactions have been largely supportive of her action, although some people are accusing her of grandstanding. The video has since been widely shared and received almost two million views. Image copyright Facebook.com/elin.k.errson Ms Ersson explains to the other passengers and the viewers of Facebook that she does not agree with Swedish deportation policy, which classifies Afghanistan as a safe country and sends rejected asylum seekers back. She says Afghani..
July 25, 2018

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan Image copyright Reuters American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have become the latest carriers to change how they refer to Taiwan online, bowing to pressure from China. Beijing set 25 July as a deadline for companies and airlines to remove references to Taiwan as anything but a Chinese territory on their websites. The US carrier just lists Taipei, but Cathay refers to it as part of China. Taiwan has been self-ruling since 1949 but China regards it as a breakaway province to be reunited one day. The move was dismissed by the White House in May as "Orwellian nonsense", but many global carriers including Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Qantas decided to comply with the demand coming out of one of the world's biggest aviation markets. A number of US airlines, however, held out and currently Delta and United Airlines continue to list the city of Taipei as being in "Taiwan" and "TW" on their websites. American Airlines..
July 24, 2018

Papua New Guinea makes a drama out of a TB crisis

Making a drama out of a TB crisis Image caption With low levels of literacy, Papua New Guinea has been using drama to deliver health messages about TB Tuberculosis might sometimes be perceived as a disease of the past. But in Papua New Guinea, TB is so rife the government has declared a state of emergency. It remains the leading cause of hospitalisation and death. At least 10 people die every day of TB and there is a growing emergence of drug resistance - making it far more costly and difficult to treat. More than a quarter of TB cases are children, due to a high transmission of the disease in crowded households. Even in rural areas, where space is ample, up to six family members will regularly sleep in the same room. In urban areas, such as the country's capital of Port Moresby - a TB hotspot - there is a severe lack of proper housing and infrastructure, meaning TB spreads quickly and aggressively. Working with 850 local languagesDr Luo Dapeng, Papua New Guinea representative..
July 24, 2018

Why North Korea is in no hurry to do what the US wants

Why North Korea is in no hurry to do what the US wants Image copyright Getty Images Meeting in Singapore last month, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un captured the world's attention and promised to work towards "new relations". Why have mixed messages followed? At the end of a summit billed as an "epochal event", ambitions were set high. North Korea reaffirmed its commitment to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", while the US said it would stop "provocative" war games with South Korea. Things have since taken a rockier path. Although Pyongyang appears to have begun dismantling a rocket site, there have been reports that it is secretly continuing its weapons programme. Meanwhile, Pyongyang has accused the US of "gangster-like" tactics. So, why has there been a lack of clear progress? A misfit power Image copyright Getty Images North Korea's notoriety and ability to capture global headlines may have led to its power being overestimated. ..
July 24, 2018

Laos dam collapse: Race to rescue flooded villagers

Laos dam collapse: Race to rescue flooded villagers Image copyright Getty Images Rescuers are racing to find survivors after a dam in Laos collapsed late on Monday, flooding several villages and killing at least 20 people. At least 100 people are still missing, and thousands have lost their homes. The authorities in Attapeu province have been using helicopters and boats to try to evacuate stranded villagers. The dam that collapsed is part of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric power project, which involves Laotian, Thai and South Korean firms. Local authorities have appealed to government bodies and other communities to provide emergency aid such as clothing, food, drinking water and medicine. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionVillagers seek refuge on roofs of submerged homes in Laos Footage of the disaster has shown survivors huddled on roof tops of their submerged homes, or wading through water, holding children and their belongings. One woman, seen in a vide..
July 24, 2018

Facebook plans office in China

Facebook plans office in China Image copyright Getty Images Facebook has secured a licence to set up an office in China in an apparent attempt to break into the lucrative market where its website is blocked. The firm said it would be an "innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups". If the office opens, it would be the firm's first formal presence in China. However, the office's registration has since been removed from the Chinese government website, suggesting possible complications, the New York Times says. China is the world's biggest social media market, but access to websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is blocked in the country. Instead, Chinese users can only access domestic social media sites such as Weibo, Renren and YouKu, which the government can monitor. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has already made several attempts to charm Chinese officials, even going so far as to learn Mandarin. The Facebook subsidiary has been re..
July 24, 2018

Pakistan’s Imran Khan vies for power as country goes to polls

Pakistan's Imran Khan vies for power as country goes to polls Image copyright Reuters Image caption Campaigning came to an end on Monday Pakistanis are preparing to vote after a campaign overshadowed by concerns of attempted manipulation and violence. Nearly 106 million people are registered to vote for members of the lower house of parliament and four provincial assemblies. The PTI party of former star cricketer Imran Khan is hoping to beat ex-leader Nawaz Sharif's PML-N. But the Human Rights Commission says there have been "blatant" attempts to manipulate the polls. Hundreds of thousands of troops will be deployed to secure the ballot, which opens at 08:00 (03:00 GMT). Votes will be cast for 272 National Assembly seats that are directly contestable. Another 70, reserved for women and minorities, are distributed between parties that win at least 5% of the vote. Voter turnout in the 2013 elections - won by the PML-N but without an outright majority - was 55%. What's th..
July 24, 2018

China fossil tells new supercontinent story

China fossil tells new supercontinent story Image copyright Zhang Zongda Image caption Artist's impression: Lingwulong shenqi means the "amazing dragon" of Lingwu A newly discovered dinosaur may be re-writing China's geological history, according to recent findings. The latest addition to the family of giant, long-necked dinosaurs known as sauropods, Lingwulong shenqi lived in the north of the country about 174 million years ago. At this time, East Asia was thought to have split from the supercontinent Pangaea. But Lingwulong may be evidence that that was not the case. Fossil of 'first giant' discovered Does Jurassic Park make scientific sense? Ancient sea reptile one of the largest animals ever Part of a subgroup called the neosauropods, which included brontosaurus, diplodocus and brachiosaurus, Lingwulong appeared exactly where it shouldn't - in northern China, 15 million years earlier than any other known dinosaurs from this group. Dr Philip Mannion from ..
July 24, 2018

Photographer hammered over India ‘poverty porn’ images

Photographer hammered over India 'poverty porn' images Image copyright World Press Photo/Instagram Image caption Photographer Alessio Mamo's series is called Dreaming Food An Italian photographer's series on hunger in India has triggered massive backlash online, with many calling the images exploitative and "poverty porn". Alessio Mamo posed poor Indians in front of a table with "fake food" on it and made them cover their eyes. They were shot in two Indian states which have high rates of malnutrition. The photos, part of a series titled Dreaming Food, were taken in 2011. They went viral after the World Press Photo Foundation shared them on Instagram. India's enduring problem with malnutrition India food law: The hungry republic In the caption to his series, Mr Mamo wrote that he "told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table". He described it as a "conceptual project about hunger issue in India". Image Copyright worldpressp..
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