August 9, 2018

Australian MPs field sudden requests for Queen portraits

Australian MPs field sudden requests for Queen portraits Image copyright Andrew Hastie Image caption MP Andrew Hastie with his own portrait of the Queen Australians have emailed MPs with dozens of requests for free portraits of the Queen, after the little-known entitlement was publicised this week. Under official rules, citizens may ask for "nationhood" material - things such as Australian flags, anthem recordings, and portraits of the head of state. One MP, Tim Watts, said most requests for images of the Queen were due to a case of "excellent trolling". It followed a Vice story that had drawn wide attention to the entitlement. "I can say before the before the story was published, I had received zero requests for portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth," Mr Watts told the ABC. "The last 24 hours, I would say [I have received] about four dozen. I think 99% were tongue firmly in cheek." Other lawmakers also noted the influx of requests, with some making light of it. Skip Twitter post ..
August 9, 2018

China hints at three-child policy with ‘happy family’ stamps

China hints at three-child policy with 'happy family' stamps Image copyright Reuters/China News Speculation is mounting in China that the country is set to further relax its two-child policy and allow people to have more children. Postage stamps unveiled earlier this week to mark the incoming Year of the Pig in February 2019 have led many social media users to question whether a loosening of family planning restrictions could be imminent. The stamps show a parent pig couple and three piglets. On the surface, it hardly appears to be a policy announcement. But users on the popular Sina Weibo microblog have pointed out that two years ago, before the one-child policy was abolished, China issued Year of the Monkey stamps featuring two baby monkeys. And in recent months, the Chinese government has been strongly encouraging couples to have more than one child. Local authorities have even been offering incentives, such as tax breaks, and education and housing subsidies. State media ..
August 9, 2018

Living with Australia’s drought: ‘It’s cheaper to shoot the cows’

Living with Australia's drought: 'It's cheaper to shoot the cows' Image copyright ASHLEY GAMBLE Image caption Farmer Ashley Gamble says he is struggling to feed his cows Farmers across eastern Australia are enduring what some have called the worst drought in living memory. On Wednesday, the entire state of New South Wales (NSW) was declared to be drought-affected. It is the same situation in more than half of neighbouring Queensland. Many farmers say they are struggling just to keep going, with little rain forecast for the coming months. "Farmers are getting out left, right and centre. It's gotten to the point where it's cheaper to shoot your cows than it is to feed them," NSW dairy farmer Jason Maloney told the BBC. "No-one likes doing that. You've bred them from birth - they've been part of your life. But it gets to a point of no return." Massive cost of feedFarmer Ashley Gamble says his family has been part of Queensland's dairy industr..
August 9, 2018

North Korea heatwave: Kim Jong-un strips to his vest

North Korea heatwave: Kim Jong-un strips to his vest Image copyright Rodong Sinmun Image caption State newspaper Rodong Sinmun shows Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju dutifully holding his jacket New photographs released by North Korean media show the country's leader Kim Jong-un stripped to his undershirt on an inspection visit to a fish pickling factory, while officials remained in full uniform in the heatwave which has hit the Korean peninsula. The photos, which filled the first two pages of state newspaper Rodong Sinmun, show the Supreme Leader inspecting the Kumsanpho fish pickling plant alongside his wife Ri Sol-ju. But as with most things North Korean, it's what's not been said by the distinctly "fishy" news release carefully-prepared by Pyongyang's Propaganda and Agitation Department which raises eyebrows. Not only can Mr Kim's style of dress tell a story of the haves and have nots in North Korea, but the very timing of the visit shows how seriously Pyongyang ..
August 9, 2018

Taiwan man rigs bike with 11 phones to play Pokemon Go

Taiwan man rigs bike with 11 phones to play Pokemon Go Image copyright EPA Image caption Chen San-yuan learnt about the game from his grandson If you're going to catch them all, you need to have the right kit. Grandfather Chen San-yuan has rigged 11 smart phones on his bicycle to play the augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. He plans to add four more. The Taiwanese man, affectionately known as Uncle Pokemon, learnt about the game from his grandson, and can play up to 20 hours straight before he runs out of battery power for his devices. He currently spends more than £1,000 ($1,290) a month on his habit. Image copyright EPA Image caption He powers his phones using battery packs kept in his basket, and can play for 20 hours straight Image copyright EPA Image caption The grandfather has become a local celebrity, and is known as Uncle Pokemon Pokemon Go players take to the streets Hiding Pikachu: Where Pokemon goes next Mr Chen uses portable battery packs to power his multiple device..
August 9, 2018

Chinese debate being young and stressed

Stressed by life and only 17: Chinese hashtag ignites debate Image copyright Visual China Group Image caption Three members of girl band Rocket Girls have quit due to stress The fast pace of life and the impact that has on young people's mental health has sparked a huge debate across Chinese social media. In particular, when a 17-year-old revealed her work stresses in a feature by China's Pear video website, the hashtag #17YearOldsReallyHaveAStressfulLife reached more than 33 million people on the social media platform Sina Weibo - China's equivalent to Twitter. Since its broadcast, the interview with the teenager, who's on her third job this summer supervising children in a Qingdao mall, has been viewed more than five million times. Image copyright Pear Video Image caption Pear video caption reads: "This millennial is on her third job this summer and struggling to study" She's apparently not alone, with 5,000 users - more than 3,000 on Weibo and 2,000 on Mia..
August 9, 2018

Shower porn: NZ man pleads guilty after filming 34 women

Shower porn: NZ man pleads guilty after filming 34 women Image copyright Sean Gallup/Getty Image caption The victims said they felt shocked and degraded by the man's actions A New Zealand man has pleaded guilty to filming 34 women at his guesthouse with covert cameras in shampoo bottles. The man from Hawke's Bay, North Island - who has not been named to protect his wife - made 219 secret recordings from December 2017 to February 2018. He also admitted posting the videos to a porn site, some with descriptions. Most of the victims were under 30 and the disguised cameras were placed to film between their shoulders and knees, though faces often came into view. It is not known if the disguised shampoo bottles were homemade devices or bought online. The women - who stayed between one night and two weeks - were tracked down by police and said in a statement they felt shocked, ashamed, angered and degraded by the man's actions. South Korea's spy cam porn epidemic My frie..
August 9, 2018

Billionaire holds House of Fraser’s fate in his hands

Who is House of Fraser's Yuan Yafei? Image copyright Getty Images He's been described as a wiley chain-smoking deal-maker who made his start in business selling computers by a toilet. But China's Yuan Yafei, a former government official, has come a long way since then. Today he is the Chinese billionaire who holds the fate of 17,500 House of Fraser workers in his hands. Mr Yuan's Sanpower Group, a firm he founded in 1993, snapped up 89% of a struggling House of Fraser in 2014. The self-made Chinese tycoon had grand plans to save the struggling 169-year-old retail chain and turn it into a global entity. Instead, the 54-year-old is now watching his famous department chain struggle to avoid administration. Stores are being earmarked for closure, and creditors are expected to decide House of Fraser's fate this week. So what's gone wrong? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy is House of Fraser failing? Based in eastern Nanjing in C..
August 9, 2018

‘Kiki challenge’ India men to clean station as punishment

'Kiki challenge' India men to clean station as punishment Image copyright Funcho Entertainment Three men in the western Indian city of Mumbai will clean a railway station for three days as punishment for doing the viral Kiki challenge on a train. Their "sentence" was decided by a magistrate after police arrested the men and produced them before a court. The video by the men portrays how people in different Indian states would perform the Kiki challenge. Also called the In My Feelings challenge, it involves jumping out of moving vehicles and dancing. Their video on YouTube, uploaded under the name Funcho Entertainment, has more than two million views. "We found the video on YouTube and found CCTV footage of them participating in the challenge at the Virar station," senior railway official Anup Shukla told the BBC. Will Smith has won the In My Feelings Challenge Drake's In My Feelings: What we learned from the new video A comment left by the administrators of Funcho E..
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