August 20, 2018

My green idea: Recycling India’s floral waste

My green idea: Recycling India's floral waste Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sacred flowers are taken for worship on the hand at the river Ganges India is a place of flowers. Lots of them. Piles of marigolds, roses, carnations and other flowers are left at temples, mosques and sikh gurudwaras for use in religious ceremonies. Afterwards, the flowers can prove difficult to dispose of. Tipping the discarded petals into flowing waters is one option, but this can add to the burdens for India's often heavily polluted waterways. Chemical engineer and eco-entrepreneur, Parimala Shivaprasad, thinks she has the solution. The 26-year-old from Bangalore, currently a postgraduate student at the University of Bath, wants to turn the leftover flowers into a useful product. Image copyright University of Bath Image caption Parimala Shivaprasad in the lab at Bath University Her big idea is to build a social enterprise that will enable temples in India to extract essential oils ..
August 20, 2018

Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly

Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHundreds of troops have been rescuing trapped residents in Kerala Floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala have killed more than 350 people since June. The BBC's Navin Singh Khadka explains why the floods were so deadly this time. The devastating floods in Kerala peaked last week. The monsoon rains have since begun to ease and rescue teams have been deployed, but thousands remain marooned. But the state should have been prepared for this - just one month earlier, a government report had warned that Kerala was the worst performer among south Indian states in effective management of water resources. With 42 points, it was ranked number 12. The top three states were Gujarat in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the centre and Andhra Pradesh in the south, with a score of 79, 69 and 68 respectively. One month down the line, Kerala seems to have confirmed the report's finding. Kerala ..
August 20, 2018

Australia PM survives leadership challenge – reports

Malcolm Turnbull: Australian PM survives leadership challenge Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has survived a challenge to his leadership by a senior government colleague. Mr Turnbull defeated Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in a party room ballot in Canberra on Tuesday. The prime minister won the vote 48-35, the party's chief whip told reporters.
August 20, 2018

Human rights groups call for children to be taken off Nauru

Human rights groups call for children to be taken off Nauru Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Nauru is a tiny island in the Pacific, north-east of Australia A group of human rights organisations has demanded the Australian government remove all child asylum seekers held on the Pacific island of Nauru. It comes as reports of a 12-year-old boy on a weeks-long hunger strike fuelled fresh fears about their health. The #KidsOffNauru coalition wants the 119 children on the island resettled by November. Australia's controversial offshore detention policy has been criticised for its toll on asylum seekers. The facility on Nauru was established under the country's hardline immigration policy, which sees asylum seekers who try to reach the country by boat processed at offshore centres. Nauru country profile Image copyright World Vision Australia Image caption A World Vision image of Melanie, three, an asylum seeker in Nauru The centre on Nauru has been dogged by allegation..
August 20, 2018

How Indians are using social media to help flood-hit Kerala

How Indians are using social media to help flood-hit Kerala Image copyright AFP Image caption Residents have been hit by flooding across the southern state Indians from different parts of the country are using social media to help people stranded in the flood-hit southern state of Kerala. Hundreds have taken to social media platforms to co-ordinate search, rescue and food distribution efforts and also to reach out to people who need help. More than 350 people have died and thousands are marooned due to the worst flooding in Kerala in a century. Monsoon rains have eased for now and rescue efforts are being stepped up. Skip Twitter post by @TheRestlessQuil 3 hours and we've raised close to 20K Thank you. Deeply. If you want to donate money: the registered charitable trust's details. Ac name: CARSEL Foundation Ac status: Current Ac # : 0810073000000045 IFSCODE:SIBL0000810 Bank: South Indian Bank Branch: Pampakuda SWIFT: SOININ55 https://t.co/gaXVk2zEUU — Sandhya Menon (@TheRes..
August 20, 2018

Apple ‘pulls gambling apps from China App Store’

Apple 'pulls gambling apps from China App Store' Image copyright Getty Images Apple has removed thousands of gambling apps from its China app store, according to reports. The tech giant would not confirm reports suggesting it had pulled 25,000 apps, but in a statement the firm said "gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China". The cull follows criticism from state broadcaster CCTV for not doing enough to filter out banned material. Apple currently offers more than 1.8 million apps in China. The removal of the gambling apps has been widely reported, but originated from CCTV which claimed that Apple had carried out a "large-scale removal of illegal apps that sold fake lottery tickets and offered gambling services". In its statement, Apple said: "We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store." Und..
August 20, 2018

Afghan Taliban kidnap dozens of bus passengers near Kunduz

Afghan Taliban kidnap dozens of bus passengers near Kunduz More than 100 people are reported to have been kidnapped after Taliban militants launched an ambush on three buses in northern Afghanistan. Security forces sent to the area near Kunduz are said to be involved in fierce clashes with the militants. It comes a day after the government offered a conditional ceasefire. President Ashraf Ghani said it would come into effect on Monday if the Taliban accepted, but the militants have not responded yet. BBC reporter's terrifying days amid Taliban assault Esmatullah Muradi, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor, told Reuters news agency the bus passengers were taken to "an undisclosed location" after being forced from the buses on Monday morning. Mr Muradi told the BBC the area was under Taliban control. There are conflicting reports of how many people have been taken. Afghanistan's Tolo News said the number could be as high as 170. Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, Kunduz's provincial..
August 20, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut

Crazy Rich Asians tops US box office in weekend debut Image copyright Warner Brothers Image caption 'Crazy Rich Asians' is seen as a turning point for Asian representation in Hollywood Crazy Rich Asians beat expectations to take the top spot at the US box office on its opening weekend. The Warner Brothers film starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding is the first romantic comedy in three years to take the top spot. Since it opened five days ago, the film - which cost $30m to produce - has made $34m at the box office. It is the first Hollywood film since 'The Joy Luck Club' 25 years ago to feature an all-Asian cast. Adapted from Kevin Kwan's best-seller, Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of an Asian-American woman who gets a culture shock meeting her boyfriend's ultra-wealthy family in Singapore. Analysts have said its universal themes and entertainment value proved popular with moviegoers. 'Culturally significant'Jeff Goldstein, Warner Brother..
August 20, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull: Under-pressure Australia PM drops climate policy

Malcolm Turnbull: Under-pressure Australia PM drops climate policy Image copyright EPA Image caption Malcolm Turnbull is facing pressure over his leadership Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says his government has abandoned plans to set an emissions reduction target in legislation. Mr Turnbull's U-turn alters a key plank of his signature energy policy, and follows a revolt by conservative MPs within his government. It comes amid media reports that Mr Turnbull could face a leadership challenge if the issue is not resolved. Mr Turnbull said the climate policy was not supported by all of his colleagues. "In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver," Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday. The original commitment would have set in legislation Australia's pledge for a 26% cut in emissions, based on 2005 levels, by 2030. Australia remains on track to meet its Paris climate accord commitments, despite the change in policy. Mr Turnbull said he retained the support ..
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