July 13, 2018

The full story of Thailand’s extraordinary cave rescue

The full story of Thailand’s extraordinary cave rescue On 23 June, 12 boys went exploring in Thailand's Chiang Rai province with their football coach - and ended up trapped deep inside a cave underneath a mountain. What happened over the following two weeks has gripped the world. It is a remarkable story of friendship, human endurance - and the lengths some people will go to save someone else's child. This is the story of the Wild Boars. The birthday party that went wrongIt all began with a birthday. On Saturday 23 June, Peerapat "Night" Sompiangjai turned 17 - an milestone most young people around the world would want to celebrate in style. His family had prepared a bright yellow SpongeBob SquarePants birthday cake and several colourfully wrapped presents at their home in a rural village in Mae Sai district. Image copyright AFP But Night wasn't rushing home that day. He was out with his friends, the other members of local youth football team the Wild Boars, and thei..
July 13, 2018

US lifts order against China’s ZTE

US lifts order against China's ZTE Image copyright Getty Images The US has lifted an order that blocked Chinese tech giant ZTE from doing business with US companies, forcing the firm to halt major operations. US President Donald Trump had intervened to end the ban, which was imposed in April and tied to ZTE violations of US sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Instead the US said ZTE would be fined and forced to shake up its management. The US Commerce Department said the firm had now complied with all steps. ZTE paid a $1bn penalty last month and has now placed an additional $400m in a holding account against further violations, the Commerce Department said on Friday. "While we lifted the ban on ZTE, the Department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE's actions to ensure compliance with all US laws and regulations," US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. ZTE, China's second largest telecoms manufacturer, depends on American-made components for the product..
July 13, 2018

Pakistan election: Scores killed in bomb attacks on poll rallies

Pakistan election: Scores killed in bomb attacks on poll rallies Image copyright EPA Image caption It is the deadliest militant attack in Pakistan in more than a year A suicide bomber has killed at least 70 people and injured about 120 in an attack on a campaign rally in south-western Pakistan, police say. They say a provincial candidate was among the dead in the town of Mastung, near Quetta. Earlier on Friday, a bomb attack on another election-related gathering killed four people and wounded more than 30 in the northern town of Bannu. There are fears of further violence ahead of general elections on 25 July. On Tuesday, a suicide bomber hit a campaign gathering in the northern city of Peshawar, killing 22 people - including a provincial candidate. The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out that attack. The assault on Pakistan media ahead of vote Bhutto seeks 'progressive Pakistan' votes Imran Khan in 'new Pakistan' vote pitch Tensions across the country have been..
July 13, 2018

Wittenoom: Tourists urged to stay away from asbestos town

Wittenoom: Tourists urged to stay away from asbestos town Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHundreds, possibly thousands, of Wittenoom residents have died from exposure to asbestos It is the ghost town in Western Australia that was built on an asbestos mine. Now authorities are concerned that curious tourists and thrill-seekers are returning to the outback town of Wittenoom, which was shut down in the 1970s. Local officials issued a notice this week warning people against visiting Wittenoom, located 1,100km (680 miles) north of Perth. The former mining town is officially classified as a contaminated site. Thousands of its former residents and visitors have died from asbestos exposure. The state government has referred to Wittenoom as "the greatest occupational health and safety tragedy in Australia - comparable to the Chernobyl and Bhopal catastrophes." Road signs warn people against visiting the town, which still retains a handful of residents. However, a stea..
July 13, 2018

Thai cave rescue: Rick Stanton says he is ‘not a hero’

Thai cave rescue: Rick Stanton says he is 'not a hero' Image copyright REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Image caption Seven British divers who aided in the rescue returned to the UK on Friday One of the British divers who helped to save 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in Thailand has insisted he was not a hero. Rick Stanton, from Coventry, said he was using a "very unique skill set" to "give something back to the community". He and other British divers who aided in the rescue returned to Heathrow on Friday morning. Mr Stanton and John Volanthen were the first to reach the group, which had been trapped for nine days. How the boys were saved The heroes of the Thai cave rescue Key questions of cave rescue How would you survive in a cave? The pair are both members of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThai cave rescue: Diver describes finding boys alive Mr Stanton told reporters: "This was completely un..
July 13, 2018

India student dies after being pushed from roof in safety drill

India student dies after being pushed from roof in safety drill Image copyright BBC Tamil Image caption N Logeswari died after she was forced to jump off a building as part of a safety drill Indian police have arrested a training instructor in the southern state of Tamil Nadu after a 19-year-old college student died in a safety exercise. Police said N Logeshwari died after she was forced to jump off a building into a safety net held by fellow students. They say the instructor pushed her as she was reluctant to jump. She suffered injuries after hitting the roof of the first floor. Police have also registered a case against the college. "The college didn't apply for permission for any such training. This is against the law. Any school or college has to get prior permission from the government before conducting an exercise like this. Police are investigating the issue and the trainer has been arrested," senior government official Hariharan told BBC Tamil. Inside India's comp..
July 13, 2018

‘Vaping’ pilot caused Air China plane to plunge 6,500m

'Vaping' pilot caused Air China plane to plunge 6,500m Image copyright Reuters Image caption Air China is one of the country's main carriers A co-pilot smoking an e-cigarette on an Air China flight caused the plane to start a rapid emergency descent, investigators have said. They say he tried to hide the fact that he was smoking but accidentally shut off the air-conditioning, causing oxygen levels to fall. The crew on Tuesday's flight from Hong Kong to the city of Dalian released oxygen masks and brought the plane more than 6,500m (21.000ft) lower. It later returned to cruising altitude. An initial probe by China's Civil Aviation Administration in China has shown that the co-pilot tried to turn off a fan to stop smoke reaching the passenger cabin without telling the captain, but turned off the air-conditioning unit instead. Passengers say they were told to fasten their seat belts as the plane had to descend. Image copyright Weibo Image caption People posted i..
July 12, 2018

China industrial park explosion kills 19

China industrial park explosion kills 19 An explosion at an industrial park in China's Sichuan province has left 19 people dead and 12 others injured, according to state news agency Xinhua. In a statement quoted by Reuters, the authorities in Jiang'an county said the blast happened at a chemical plant run by Yibin Hengda Technology. Photos on Chinese social media showed a huge fire and plumes of smoke rising from the facility. It is not clear what caused the explosion. It follows previous high-profile disasters at chemical plants in China. In 2015, 173 people died in an explosion in a chemical warehouse in the north-eastern port city of Tianjin.
July 12, 2018

Why Bengalis are split over their food

The 'vegetarian' mutton curry that unites Bengalis Image copyright Rajyasree Sen Image caption East and West Bengal have long been arguing over who boasts a better cuisine Bengalis, people from the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh, constantly war over which of the two regions boasts the better cuisine. Columnist Rajyasree Sen traces this culinary clash through her own family's history. I grew up in a home with grandparents from both sides of the border - my paternal grandmother was from erstwhile East Bengal, which is now Bangladesh, and her husband, my grandfather, was from West Bengal. Bengal, a vast and fertile province, was partitioned in 1947 when India became independent from the British. The largely Hindu western part remained with India while the predominantly Muslim eastern half joined Pakistan. Then in 1971, East Bengal split from Pakistan to become an independent country, Bangladesh. But wherever they may live, a Bengali who doesn't have an opi..
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