September 2, 2018

Should Africa be wary of Chinese debt?

Should Africa be wary of Chinese debt? Image copyright AFP African countries have shown a healthy appetite for Chinese loans but some experts now worry that the continent is gorging on debt, and could soon choke. The Entebbe-Kampala Expressway is still something of a tourist attraction for Ugandans, nearly three months after it opened. The 51km (31 mile), four-lane highway that connects the country's capital to the Entebbe International Airport was built by a Chinese company using a $476m (£366m) loan from the China Exim Bank. It has cut what was a torturous two-hour journey through some of Africa's worst traffic into a scenic 45-minute drive into the East Africa nation's capital. Image caption The new expressway was financed with millions of dollars from China Uganda has taken $3bn of Chinese loans as part of a wider trend that Kampala-based economist Ramathan Ggoobi calls its "unrivalled willingness to avail unconditional capital to Africa". "This debt acquired fro..
September 2, 2018

India Assam: ‘I won’t die before I prove my Indian citizenship’

India Assam: 'I won't die before I prove my Indian citizenship' Image caption (L-R) Suchandra Goswami, Chandradhar Das and Ajit Das have all spent time in a detention camp Some 1,000 people have been sent to detention centres in India's north-eastern state of Assam after being declared illegal citizens. BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava reports on what life has been like for some of them. Ajit Das, 33, fears he may never recover from the three months he spent in a detention camp in the city of Silchar. He was granted bail a few weeks ago to help his wife care for their four-year-old daughter, who is autistic. During his time in the camp, Mr Das lost his job, his health deteriorated and his wife spent a large portion of their savings to visit him regularly. "I lost 5kg in three months. The food was awful and often half-cooked," he says. Mr Das was sent to the detention camp after he was declared an illegal citizen by a special court set up to identify illegal imm..
September 2, 2018

Myanmar Rohingya: How a ‘genocide’ was investigated

Myanmar Rohingya: How a 'genocide' was investigated Image copyright Getty Images Image caption About 725,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar over the past 12 months, many for Bangladesh Indiscriminate killing; villages burned to the ground; children assaulted; women gang-raped - these are the findings of United Nations investigators who allege that "the gravest crimes under international law" were committed in Myanmar last August. Such was their severity, the report said, the army must be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine state. The investigators' conclusions came despite them not being granted access to Myanmar by the government there, which has since rejected the report. This is how the investigators came to their conclusions. The build-upOn 24 March 2017, the UN Human Rights Council agreed to form an independent fact-finding mission on Myanmar to look into "alleged recent human rights violations by military and security f..
September 2, 2018

Seoul to check public toilets daily for hidden cameras

Seoul to check public toilets daily for hidden cameras Image copyright AFP Image caption There are teams dedicated to searching public toilets for hidden cameras The South Korean capital, Seoul, has pledged to carry out daily checks in all public toilets for hidden cameras. Secret cameras in toilets and changing rooms are a serious problem in South Korea - with more than 6,000 cases of "spy cam porn" reported last year. The videos are often uploaded online without the knowledge of the victims. Earlier this year, tens of thousands of women protested against hidden cameras, carrying signs with messages like "my life is not your porn". Activists say women live in constant fear of being photographed or filmed without their knowledge. About 80% of the victims of spy camera porn are women. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption There have been several protests against spy camera porn this year Seoul's public toilets are currently only inspected for hidden cameras about once a mon..
September 2, 2018

Babies’ remains found dumped in Kolkata

Babies' remains found dumped in Kolkata Police in Kolkata (Calcutta) are investigating after the bodies of 14 babies and foetuses were found wrapped in plastic bags during construction work. Local media said the remains were found on Sunday when workers dug up a vacant plot of land in the Haridevpur neighbourhood. A real estate company had bought the land recently, the Hindustan Times said. It is not yet clear what happened. "The 14 bodies, wrapped separately in plastic, were in two bags," Kolkata's mayor Sovan Chatterjee said. "A thorough search of the entire area, including nearby waterbodies, will be conducted to see if there are more bodies. It appears the bodies were soaked in chemicals." Skip Twitter post by @ANI Condition of skeletons can be determined only after postmortem. We'll investigate. We're also checking the CCTV footage in the area. A complete search will be done tomorrow morning: Nilanjan Biswas, DC (Behala) on skeletons of 14 babies found in Ko..
September 1, 2018

The Mughal queen who became a feminist icon

The Mughal queen who became a feminist icon Image copyright Penguin Image caption Nur Jahan was the only female ruler in the Mughal dynasty Empress Nur Jahan was the most powerful woman in 17th Century India. She played an unprecedented role in running the vast Mughal empire. Historian Ruby Lal explains why the history of her leadership is important to understand today. She was named Mihr un-Nisa at birth and was later named Nur Jahan (light of the world) by her husband, the Mughal emperor, Jahangir. She was born only a few decades after Queen Elizabeth I, yet she ruled a territory far more diverse than that of her British counterpart. The Mughals ruled much of the Indian subcontinent for more than 300 years after they came to power early in the 16th century. It was one of India's biggest and most powerful dynasties. Many of its emperors and royal women, including Nur Jahan, were patrons of art, music and architecture - they built grand cities and majestic forts, mosques and tomb..
September 1, 2018

Rocket woman: How to cook curry and get a spacecraft into Mars orbit

Rocket woman: How to cook curry and get a spacecraft into Mars orbit Can you guide a spacecraft into orbit around Mars and cook for eight people morning and night? Yes, if you get up at 5am, and your name is BP Dakshayani. Here the former head of flight dynamics and space navigation for the Indian space agency explains how she did it - and the housework too. They became known as the Rocket Women or the Women from Mars. Four years ago, the picture of a group of women in saris celebrating as an Indian spacecraft successfully entered Mars orbit shone a light on the role played by women in the country's space programme - among them BP Dakshayani. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This picture of women at India's space agency celebrating the Mars orbit went viral She led the team that kept an eye on the satellite, telling it exactly where to go, and ensuring that it did not deviate from its path. One of her colleagues (also female) described the task as like hitting a go..
September 1, 2018

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ puts spotlight on region’s inequalities

'Crazy Rich Asians' puts spotlight on region's inequalities Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Constance Wu at the premier of the movie Crazy Rich Asians The film Crazy Rich Asians hit the box office this month, and the glossy rom-com has put a spotlight on the region's growing number of super-rich. Just go to any shopping mall in Singapore - where the movie is based - and you will see designer shops full of customers carrying bags from Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. It's much like that in other cities. But the region, which was once considered a model of equitable growth, has also seen increased inequality. According to Oxfam the number of super-rich in the Asia-Pacific has surpassed that of North America and Europe. It is also home to the greatest number of millionaires and billionaires in the world, but also hosts nearly two-thirds of the world's working poor. "Wealth inequality has reached alarming levels in a number of countries in the regio..
September 1, 2018

US military to cancel $300m in Pakistan aid over terror groups

US military to cancel $300m in Pakistan aid over terror groups Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Pakistan has previously rejected US accusations that it provides a safe haven for militants The US military says it is cancelling $300m (£230m) in aid to Pakistan over what it calls Islamabad's failure to take action against militant groups. President Donald Trump has previously accused Pakistan of deceiving the US while receiving billions of dollars. Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Koné Faulkner said the US military would aim to spend the money on other "urgent priorities". The move, which needs to be approved by US Congress, is part of a broader suspension announced in January. The US state department has criticised Pakistan, a key ally, for failing to deal with terrorist networks operating on its soil, including the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban. "We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups," Col Faulkner said in a statement on Saturda..
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