March 29, 2019

How a single word defines Japan

New emperor, new era: How a single word defines Japan Image copyright Reuters Image caption Crown Prince Naruhito, pictured with his wife Princess Masako, will soon become the country's emperor If you had to pick a word to define your country's future, what would it be? That is the question facing officials in Japan, where a change of emperor is about to usher in a new era. Every emperor's reign, or "gengo", has a name, which is used alongside the Western calendar to count years - so the choice is taken pretty seriously. As millions of Japanese wait for the big announcement on 1 April, here's a guide to the secretive selection process. What's the era name used for?There's a practical answer, and a philosophical one. The gengo name appears on coins, newspapers, driving licences and official paperwork as a way of marking time. But it also represents the spirit of a period - just as saying "the 90s" or "the Victorian era" conjures up the culture and events..
March 29, 2019

Indigenous Australians turned away from Adelaide Oval AFL match

Indigenous Australians turned away from Adelaide Oval AFL match Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Adelaide Oval claims instructions from the police were "misinterpreted" A member of staff at Adelaide Oval's box office says she was told not to sell Aboriginal people tickets to a sporting event. The sports fans were attempting to see an Aussie Rules football match that celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander cultures last July. The staff member claims she had to tell people the game was sold out. Adelaide Oval apologised and said that directions from police were misinterpreted by staff. The woman, employed by McArthur Recruitment, told ABC News that the box office supervisor "turned around and told everyone in the box office we'd been told not to sell tickets to any more Aboriginal people". A spokesperson for McArthur Recruitment said: "The ticket office staff followed the instructions of police and security and did not sell tickets to anyone for around ..
March 29, 2019

Bangladesh fire: Emergency exits in Dhaka high-rise ‘were locked’

Bangladesh fire: Emergency exits in Dhaka high-rise 'were locked' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe fire broke out in an upmarket area of Dhaka Victims of a tower block fire in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Thursday may have been trapped because emergency exits were locked, officials say. At least 25 people died and 70 others were injured in the blaze. Six of the victims are believed to have fallen to their deaths when they jumped from the burning high-rise building. Shajahan Shikdar, from Dhaka's fire department, told the BBC's Bengali Service that there was also a shortage of fire safety equipment inside. It is not yet clear what caused the fire in the commercial district of Banani. The government has ordered an investigation. Image copyright AFP Image caption Officials are now inspecting the burnt-out shell of the tall building Mostaq Ahmed, from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told local media on Friday that 25 victims had been rec..
March 29, 2019

Tom Hiddleston: Why China loves the ‘creepy’ Centrum ad

Tom Hiddleston: Why China loves the 'creepy' Centrum ad Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Hiddleston is the star of a new Chinese ad campaign Creepy, uncomfortable and downright weird are just some things an advertisement starring Tom Hiddleston has been called, but none of that will matter as it's found success with its intended audience - Chinese women, as the BBC's Yvette Tan explains. Imagine waking up in the morning, walking down to your stylish kitchen and finding actor Tom Hiddleston making breakfast for you. It's a fantasy vitamin company Centrum is cashing in on for its new Chinese advertisement. It may have been widely mocked in the Western media, but the made-for-mobile ad has been remarkably well-received in China. 'I'm his wife'The minute-long video filmed in vertical format was posted from Hiddleston's official Weibo account on Wednesday. It's filmed from the perspective of Hiddleston's partner sitting at..
March 29, 2019

Saravana Bhavan: India ‘dosa king’ life sentence upheld

Saravana Bhavan: India 'dosa king' life sentence upheld Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The chain employs thousands and has 80 outlets across the world. The owner of Saravana Bhavan - a global Indian restaurant chain - has had a murder conviction against him upheld by the Supreme Court. P Rajagopalan, 71, was convicted for ordering the murder of one of his employees in order to marry his wife. A local court sentenced Rajagopalan and five others to life in prison in 2009. The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal against that verdict. Saravana Bhavan has 80 outlets across the world and employs thousands. Despite the life sentence, Rajagopal served only 11 months in prison and continued to expand his hugely popular chain, which has been lauded as one of the best south Indian restaurants in the world. How McDonald's conquered India The Indian street food bringing theatre to your plate A New York Times report from 2014 said Rajagopal was determined to marry the d..
March 29, 2019

Thailand election: Where are we now?

Thailand election: Where are we now? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Under a new complex system, how many seats each party will end up is still unclear Nearly a week after Thailand's election, the first since the coup of 2014, it remains unclear which party could form a government. On Thursday, the Election Commission (EC) released the unofficial results, showing the pro-military party had won the popular vote. However, the count has been marred by concerns over voting irregularities and official results are due by 9 May. Sunday's election had been billed as a return to democracy for Thailand. But the military was criticised for taking steps to ensure it would remain influential in politics, including appointing all 250 seats in the upper house. A complicated system of allocating seats in parliaments based on vote share, introduced by the military, means it remains unclear how many seats each party will ultimately have. The BBC's South East Asia corresponden..
March 29, 2019

Huawei sales top $100bn despite US-led pressure

Huawei sales top $100bn despite US-led pressure Image copyright Getty Images Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said revenues topped $100bn in 2018 despite a US-led campaign against the business on fears it poses a security threat. The firm said revenue for 2018 hit 721.2bn yuan ($107bn), while net profit jumped 25% to 59.3bn yuan. The US and others have restricted the company over concerns that its ties to Beijing represent a security threat. Huawei says it is independent and strongly denies its products pose a security risk. The Shenzhen-based firm said global revenue surged 19.5% in 2018, its fastest pace of growth in two years. The result was supported by strong sales of smartphones in China. At the same time its carrier business, which sells telecoms infrastructure to countries around the world, eased 1.3%. Huawei is the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment. It faces a growing backlash from Western countries on concerns over the security of its products used in next-g..
March 29, 2019

Maria Ressa: Philippine journalist is arrested again

Maria Ressa: Philippine journalist is arrested again Image copyright Reuters Image caption Maria Ressa was detained on arrival at Manila's main international airport Prominent Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has been arrested at a Manila airport, allegedly for violating laws barring foreign ownership of media. Ms Ressa, the founder of news site Rappler, was also arrested last month over an alleged internet libel case. Press freedom advocates say the veteran reporter is being targeted by President Rodrigo Duterte because of Rappler's critical reporting on the government. Eleven legal cases have been filed against Rappler since January 2018 Ms Ressa, who was named Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018, spoke to reporters as she was arrested. "Obviously this is yet another abuse of my rights. I am being treated like a criminal when my only crime is to be an independent journalist," she said. After her previous arrest, last month, she spent a night in jail before being rel..
March 29, 2019

Pink lake in Australia attracts and delights tourists

Pink lake in Australia attracts and delights tourists A lake in a Melbourne park has naturally turned pink, drawing throngs of admirers keen to snap a rosy picture. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The vivid shade is produced by lots of sunlight, low rainfall and warm temperatures Image copyright EPA Image caption The man-made salt lake in Westgate Park turned pink again in February Image copyright EPA Image caption In those conditions, the lake's algae produces a red pigment called beto carotene Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The result has seen tourists flock to the waters almost every summer since 2013 Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Some dress up and colour co-ordinate for their pictures against the pink background Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption However, authorities ask visitors to not get too close to the water because of the high salt levels and sparse vegetation Image copyright EPA Image caption On social media, people a..
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