August 7, 2018

Beijing Olympics: Were the dreams fulfilled?

Beijing Olympics 2008: A hope lost or fulfilled? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Bird's Nest stadium where the Olympics were held is one of Beijing's most famous buildings Ten years ago this week, the Beijing Olympic Games drummed themselves onto television screens across the globe. It brought waves of hype in China that the country was preparing to celebrate not only a festival of sport but the return of the "Middle Kingdom" to the centre of the universe. At least that is how it felt at the time. In the years leading up to the Olympics it was as if there was nothing this place could not achieve. The economy was charging ahead, newspapers were starting to dig up investigative stories, millions of poor people were able to buy electrical goods for the first time and bars and restaurants were heaving with 24-hour hedonistic temptation. "There was a party every night. That's how I felt," laughs 45-year-old architect Dong Hao. "The whole city; the whole country..
August 7, 2018

BBC websites blocked in China after security change

BBC websites blocked in China after security change The BBC's web services are all currently blocked in China, following a decision by the corporation to change the website's format. It has altered all of its addresses from beginning "HTTP" to "HTTPS", which is widely considered to be a more secure connection but is routinely blocked in China. In a statement, the BBC recommended the use of either a virtual private network (VPN) or the Psiphon app. Both of these can circumvent the block. Why HTTPS?In a recent blog post, James Donohue, principal software engineer in BBC News, explained why the website had made the transition and why BBC pages now had a green padlock next to the address on the top left hand side. "In a climate of anxiety around fake news, it's vital that users are able to determine that articles have not been tampered with and that their browsing history is private to them," he wrote. "HTTPS achieves both of these as it makes it far more difficult for ISPs..
August 7, 2018

M Karunanidhi: The radical wordsmith who shook up Indian politics

M Karunanidhi: The radical wordsmith who shook up Indian politics Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Born to a working class family, Karunanidhi's public life began at age 14 The passing of Muthuvel Karunanidhi at 94 marks the end of one of India's most prolific political careers, writes Sudha G Tilak. Karunanidhi, who was chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu five times between 1969 and 2011, was born to poor working class parents in Tiruvarur town in 1929. His public life began at age 14 when he dropped out of school to join the student wing of the Justice Party, which later became a movement to bolster Tamil identity. Even as the rest of India was in the throes of a freedom movement against British rule, the Justice Party stood out for challenging elitism, religious dogma and caste orthodoxies in south India. It was stringent about civil rights, opted for civil disobedience to demand affirmative action and was outspoken for Tamil identity against nat..
August 7, 2018

Indonesian woman ‘held captive in cave for 15 years’

Indonesian woman 'held captive in cave for 15 years' Image copyright Police handout Image caption Indonesian police published this photo of the cave Police in Sulawesi, Indonesia say they have freed a 28-year-old woman who was held captive in a cave for 15 years by a village shaman. The 83-year-old man is alleged to have kidnapped the woman when she was 13, and brainwashed her into believing he was possessed by a spirit or "jin". He allegedly took her back to his home at night where he sexually abused her for more than a decade. The man has been charged under sex abuse and child protection laws. According to local media, the man - named as Jago - was known as an alternative healer and for performing black magic. Police say that in 2003, the 13-year-old girl was brought to him for treatment by her own family and stayed behind with him. Image copyright Police handout Image caption The 83-year old faces 15 years in prison if found guilty Later that same year, she disappeared..
August 7, 2018

Ola to challenge Uber in UK ride-hailing market

Ola to challenge Uber in UK ride-hailing market Image copyright Ola Indian taxi-hailing giant Ola is moving into the UK as it continues to challenge Uber around the world. The company, which was founded in 2011, has 125 million customers and is already present in 110 cities. It plans to start operating in South Wales and Greater Manchester. Unlike Uber it will offer a choice of a private hire vehicle or black taxi. It says it is working with local authorities across the UK to expand nationwide by the end of 2018. Ola says it will begin UK operations in South Wales in the next month. Image copyright Ola This move is the first serious challenge in the UK to market-leading taxi-hailing app Uber, which was founded two years earlier than Ola, has three million drivers and operates in 600 cities in 65 countries. Currently, Ola only operates in two countries, the UK will be its third, after starting its first operations in Australia earlier this year. Both companies count Japan's Sof..
August 7, 2018

M Karunanidhi: Veteran Indian politician dies at 94

M Karunanidhi: Veteran Indian politician dies at 94 Image copyright NATHAN G Veteran Indian politician Muthuvel Karunanidhi has died at the age of 94. He was being treated for age-related illnesses in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India's Tamil Nadu state. Mr Karunanidhi served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu five times between 1969 and 2011, and also played a key role in federal politics. Police have increased security amid fears of unrest among his supporters, who have gathered in the streets. Mr Karunanidhi died at 18:10 local time, the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai said. He was active in politics until his death and most recently contested the 2016 state assembly against his long-time opponent and bitter rival Jayaram Jayalalitha, who died later that year. An atheist and self-declared rationalist, Mr Karunanidhi rose to political prominence in the 1940s as part of the Dravidian movement - which challenged the caste supremacy of Brahmins - and through his participati..
August 7, 2018

Japan blue whale: Rare dead calf washed ashore on beach

Japan blue whale: Rare dead calf washed ashore on beach Image copyright Reuters Image caption It is the first time the world's largest animal has been seen in Japan, experts say A dead blue whale calf has been found washed ashore in Japan - the first time that the rare species has been seen in the country, experts say. The carcass was discovered on Sunday at a beach in Kamakura, a city 70km (43 miles) south of Tokyo, on Japan's southern coast. Blue whales are the largest of all animals. They can grow to 30m (98ft) in length and weigh up to 170 tons. The cause of the whale calf's death is not yet known. Image copyright Reuters Image caption The whale will be dissected by experts to find out more about how it got there Its remains are to be studied by experts and tents have been put up on the Kamakura beach to allow a dissection to take place. The male calf measured 10.52m and was born this year, an expert from the National Museum of Nature and Science told Japanese medi..
August 7, 2018

Shipwreck claim: Police probe Shinil Group over ‘Russian treasure find’

Shipwreck claim: Police probe Shinil Group over 'Russian treasure find' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Treasure-seekers have spent years hunting for the Dmitrii Donskoi Police have raided the offices of a South Korean company which claims to have found a treasure-laden shipwreck. Shinil Group said in July that it had found the Russian cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi, which sank in 1905 and was rumoured to hold gold worth billions of dollars. Speculation has since spread that the alleged find might have been a scam to trick investors. Shinil chief Choi Yong-seok has been banned from leaving South Korea. Treasure hunters have searched for the Dmitrii Donskoi for decades, and the announcement of its discovery in July made headlines around the globe. Shinil released submarine footage showing what it said were parts of the wreck near the island of Ulleungdo, between South Korea and Japan. Image copyright Shinil Group Image caption Shinil Group says this is the nameplate of ..
August 7, 2018

Pink cancels more shows after being admitted to hospital in Australia

Pink cancels more shows after being admitted to hospital in Australia Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The singer was initially treated for dehydration before being diagnosed with gastric flu Pop star Pink has been forced to cancel a series of concerts in Australia after contracting a gastric virus. The US star initially postponed one date last week "with great frustration" but battled through a performance on Saturday night. She was subsequently admitted to hospital in Sydney twice, according to promoter Live Nation. Monday's concert was called off as fans began to arrive at the venue, while Tuesday's show was also postponed. "Pink will remain in hospital overnight, continuing her treatment and recovery," said a tweet from Live Nation. Skip Twitter post by @LiveNationOzNz P!NK’s performance scheduled for tonight at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena has been postponed. Pink was admitted to Hospital on Sunday night, treated and discharged. She was readmitted on Monday. A fu..
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