September 30, 2018

China Uighurs: All you need to know on Muslim ‘crackdown’

China Uighurs: All you need to know on Muslim 'crackdown' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A Muslim man leads the call to prayer in China's Xinjiang province in 2008 China is facing growing criticism over its persecution of some Muslim minority groups, huge numbers of whom are allegedly being held in internment camps. In August, a UN committee heard that up to one million Uighur Muslims and other Muslim groups could be being detained in the western Xinjiang region, where they're said to be undergoing "re-education" programmes. The claims were made by rights groups, but China denies the allegations. At the same time, there's growing evidence of oppressive surveillance against people living in Xinjiang. We've developed this new format to try and explain the story to you better.
September 30, 2018

Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation

Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation Image copyright BBC Marathi The discovery of rock carvings believed to be tens of thousands of years old in India's western state of Maharashtra has greatly excited archaeologists who believe they hold clues to a previously unknown civilisation, BBC Marathi's Mayuresh Konnur reports. The rock carvings - known as petroglyphs - have been discovered in their thousands atop hillocks in the Konkan region of western Maharashtra. Mostly discovered in the Ratnagiri and Rajapur areas, a majority of the images etched on the rocky, flat hilltops remained unnoticed for thousands of years. Image copyright BBC Marathi Most of them were hidden beneath layers of soil and mud. But a few were in the open - these were considered holy and worshipped by locals in some areas. The sheer variety of the rock carvings have stunned experts - animals, birds, human figures and geometrical designs are all depicted. The way the petroglyphs have been d..
September 30, 2018

Indonesia earthquake: Dozens feared trapped under quake rubble

Indonesia earthquake: Dozens feared trapped under quake rubble Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionRescuers have been digging by hand in the search for survivors Dozens of people are thought to be trapped under the rubble of buildings in the Indonesian city of Palu following an earthquake and tsunami. Rescuers are awaiting heavy machinery to search the ruins of a hotel and a shopping centre as aftershocks made it unsafe for them to go in. They have been getting water and food to some of those trapped, who have been screaming for help to get out. The quake and tsunami killed at least 832 people, officials say. In pictures: Search for survivorsThe national disaster agency has announced plans for mass graves and one that was being dug on Sunday night is expected to hold at least 300 bodies. Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the region to urge a "day and night" effort to rescue survivors. Patients and corpses side by sideBy Rebecca Henschke, BBC News, Palu L..
September 30, 2018

Powerful Typhoon Trami hits Japan, injuring dozens

Powerful Typhoon Trami hits Japan, injuring dozens Image copyright EPA Image caption The typhoon first hit the southern island of Okinawa, where 40 people were injured A powerful typhoon is battering Japan, causing widespread travel disruption. Typhoon Trami made landfall on Sunday at 20:00 local time (11:00 GMT) near the western city of Osaka, with gusts of up to 216 km/h (134 mph). Many flights and trains services were cancelled as the storm moved eastward. More than 750,000 homes lost power. At least 84 people suffered minor injuries. The typhoon comes less than a month after the country's strongest storm in 25 years hit western Japan. Typhoon Jebi caused widespread flooding at least seven deaths in early September. Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 1,000 flights were cancelled across Japan Image copyright EPA Image caption All train services are suspended at Osaka station Image copyright AFP Image caption Few people ventured out onto the streets in Tokyo Image c..
September 30, 2018

North Korea defector numbers ‘drop’ under Kim

North Korea defector numbers 'drop' under Kim Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA rare instance of a defector fleeing through the demilitarised zone was captured on CCTV in 2017 The number of North Korean defectors to South Korea has fallen since Kim Jong-un came to power seven years ago, a South Korean lawmaker has said. Park Byeong-seug, citing data from the South's unification ministry, said there had been 1,127 defections last year - compared with 2,706 in 2011. Mr Park said tighter border controls between North Korea and China and higher rates charged by people smugglers were key factors. Pyongyang has made no public comments. The vast majority of defectors from the North are eventually offered South Korean citizenship. My friend the North Korean defector Tough reality for North Korean defectors Seoul says more than 30,000 North Koreans have illegally crossed the border since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Most flee via China, which ha..
September 30, 2018

Indonesia tsunami: Rescuers dig through rubble for survivors

Indonesia tsunami: Rescuers dig through rubble for survivors Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDramatic video shows buildings being knocked down Rescuers have been digging by hand in the frantic search for survivors in the Indonesian city of Palu, which is reeling from an earthquake and tsunami. At least 408 people have been killed but there are fears the death toll could rise significantly as workers reach areas closer to the epicentre. Search efforts are being hampered by blocked roads and a collapsed bridge. The Red Cross estimates that more than 1.6 million people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. In pictures: Indonesia earthquake and tsunamiThere are particular concerns about the town of Donggala, where the impact is still unclear. "This is already a tragedy, but it could get much worse," the Red Cross said in a statement. Yenni Suryani, the Indonesia country manager for the aid agency Catholic Relief Services, said Donggala appears to be ..
September 29, 2018

Racism and stereotypes in colonial India’s ‘Instagram’

Racism and stereotypes in colonial India’s 'Instagram’ Image copyright Stephen Putnam Hughes and Emily Rose Stevenson Image caption Picture postcards pieced together stories about life in British Indian cities In the early 20th Century, picture postcards served as a kind of Instagram, giving Europeans a glimpse of the life their family and friends led in British colonial India. A recent exhibition at London's SOAS university showcased more than 1,000 such postcards that were sent from India to Europe between 1900 and the 1930s. "We don't want the postcards to be a vehicle of colonial nostalgia. It is the opposite of that," Stephen Putnam Hughes, a co-curator of the exhibition told the BBC. "We wanted to provide enough evidence from the colonial past and allow people to look at the images critically." This display was drawn from the private collection of Dr Hughes and Emily Rose Stevenson. They bought postcards on websites such as eBay, and at ephemera fairs, which sell ..
September 29, 2018

India airports: Has PM Modi built more than others?

India airports: Has PM Modi built more than others? Image copyright Reuters Is India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, correct to claim credit for an airport building boom in his country? The prime minister tweeted this week that India now had 100 airports and 35 of these had been completed in the past four years, after his BJP government came to power. In a dig at the opposition parties, he said: "In the 67 years since independence, up to 2014, there were only 65 airports. That's on average one airport built each year." These figures would suggest that under the current administration, airports have been built at a rate of almost nine per year. So, are these claims backed up by the official figures? Passenger demandThe Airports Authority of India, which is responsible for civil aviation infrastructure, currently lists 101 airports on its website. India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) - the body that regulates civil aviation - also has a figure of 101 dome..
September 29, 2018

North Korea ‘won’t disarm if sanctions continue’, minister says

North Korea 'won't disarm if sanctions continue', minister says Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Ri said sanctions would not "bring North Korea to its knees". North Korea's foreign minister has warned that there is "no way" his country will disarm while the US continues to enforce sanctions. Ri Yong-ho told the UN General Assembly the sanctions were deepening North Korean mistrust of the US. Pyongyang has repeatedly appealed for UN and US sanctions to be lifted and has support from Russia and China. But the Trump Administration has said that sanctions should stay in place until North Korea denuclearises. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at a landmark summit in June, which saw Mr Kim pledge to work towards nuclear disarmament. Tangible progress since then though has been scant. What did Ri say?He said the US was insisting on a "denuclearisation first" policy that "increased the level of sanctions". "The recent deadlock is because t..
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