June 8, 2018

Chinese house demolition halted because of swallow residents

Chinese house demolition halted because of swallow residents Image copyright De Agostini Image caption A family of swallows have pushed the demolition of a house back by a month Farmers in eastern China have suspended the demolition of an old house because of a family of resident swallows, it's reported. According to the People's Daily newspaper, an old rural house was scheduled to be demolished by 5 June in the town of Zhuyuan, eastern Zhejiang province, because its location was deemed to be high risk for geological disasters. However, while engineers were working in the house, they heard tweeting, and found four swallow nests, and a family of hungry baby birds. "Four young swallows were chirping for food, with their heads peeking out from one of the nests," Xu Zheng, the person in charge of the demolition, told the Xinhua News Agency. He added that the team had also found seven swallow eggs. Xinhua says that the demolition team reached out to the local Zhejiang Wild Bir..
June 8, 2018

Airbnb cancels thousands of bookings in Japan

Airbnb cancels thousands of bookings in Japan Image copyright Getty Images Travelling to Japan in June? If you've made a booking with Airbnb, you may have to find alternative accommodation. The online home-sharing giant has had to cancel thousands of reservations after Japan's government put in place a new law around home-sharing. The law regulates Airbnb's most popular destination market in the Asia Pacific region. Airbnb said changes to the guidance around its implementation meant reservations would now be affected. Under the new law, hosts are required to register their listing and display their licence number by 15 June to remain active. But the Japanese government said on 1 June that any host without a licence number had to cancel upcoming reservations that were booked before 15 June. Airbnb said it would therefore cancel any reservation made by a guest arriving between 15 June and 19 June at a listing in Japan that does not currently have a licence. "We know this..
June 8, 2018

Kim Trump summit: S Korean reporters arrested over N Korea ‘trespass’

Kim Trump summit: S Korean reporters arrested over N Korea 'trespass' Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Reporters have also been camping out outside the hotel North Korean officials are staying in Police in Singapore have arrested two South Korean journalists who are accused of trespassing in the home of the North Korean ambassador ahead of next week's Trump-Kim summit. Police said they were called to the residence on Thursday afternoon. Two men working for South Korean broadcaster KBS were arrested and two others are under investigation. About 3,000 journalists are expected in Singapore for talks between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Mr Trump has said he will consider inviting Mr Kim to the White House if the Singapore meeting goes well. The US and its regional allies want to see North Korea give up its nuclear weapons but Mr Trump has acknowledged that it "will take longer" than one meeting to realise that goal. Trump and Kim: A Huge Dea..
June 8, 2018

Making food crops that feed themselves

Making food crops that feed themselves Image caption Three times a year, Vietnamese farmers transplant rice seedlings out into the paddy fields By 2050, the world's population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. With limited land, and intensive farming already causing irreversible environmental damage, how can we feed the world without exhausting its natural resources? All over Vietnam it's transplanting season. In every direction farmers with their famous conical hats are pushing tiny rice seedlings deep into the mud. Rice farming is essential for Vietnam's food supply and economy, but such a booming industry comes with an environmental cost. Farmers are dependent on nitrogen-based fertilizers to boost yields. But excess nitrogen can wash away, polluting rivers and oceans, as well as evaporating into the atmosphere. Image caption Within the last decade, women have taken over running the fields, as men have left to earn more working in construction Travelling two hours..
June 8, 2018

What are N Koreans hearing about the summit?

Trump Kim summit: What North Koreans are being told Image copyright Getty Images Image caption What North Korea's citizens are allowed to know is tightly controlled by the state There are just days to go before the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but Pyongyang's state-controlled media seems to be rationing what North Koreans hear of it. North Korea, which goes to enormous lengths to control what information reaches the eyes and ears of its citizens, tends not to report on important events until after they happen and has not directly mentioned the 12 June meeting. Over the last month, the notion of a summit has only been mentioned a few times - when Pyongyang threatened to pull out of the meeting in mid-May, then again a few days later when it urged that it should take place after all. Instead, reports on TV, radio and in newspapers speak of "dialogue" with the US as part of peace efforts initiated by Mr Kim in his New Year's ..
June 8, 2018

Australia indigenous treaties: Historic steps ‘beginning of journey’

Australia indigenous treaties: Historic steps 'beginning of journey' Image copyright EPA Image caption Australia has not negotiated a treaty with its indigenous people Australian states have taken historic steps this week towards the nation's first treaties with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australia is the only Commonwealth country that does not have a treaty with its indigenous populations. In a national first, a bill committing to a treaty was approved in Victoria's lower house of parliament on Thursday. The Northern Territory and Western Australia have pledged their own, separate actions in recent days. All of this has intensified discussion about whether others, including the Australian government, will follow suit. What is a treaty?It is a formal agreement that can define the relationship between a government and indigenous peoples. A treaty might include binding pacts on specific issues, such as protecting rights and acknowledging past wron..
June 8, 2018

Arjun Tendulkar: Sachin’s son named in India under-19 squad

Arjun Tendulkar: Sachin's son named in India under-19 squad Image copyright ABC Image caption Arjun is the only son of Sachin Tendulkar, who also has a older daughter named Sara The son of legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun, has been picked for the national under-19 team. The team will play five one-day internationals and two four-day matches in Sri Lanka in July. Sachin, who remains the most revered sportsman in India, said his son's selection "was an important milestone in his cricketing life". Experts have praised Arjun Tendulkar's ability to perform well in junior cricket despite intense media scrutiny. In an interview with BBC Sport in January, Tendulkar Jr said his dream was to play for India. "Yes, I'm working very hard to. That's my ultimate dream," he said. Taller and thinner than his legendary father, when asked about the stresses of continuing the name associated globally with an icon, he says: "I don't take that pressure. "When I..
June 7, 2018

Korean woman survives six days in Australian wilderness

Korean woman survives six days in Australian wilderness Image copyright Queensland Police Image caption Joohee Han was taking pictures from the summit of a Queensland mountain when she fell A Korean woman who survived for six days in the Australian wilderness after falling from a steep cliff has been found by emergency crews. Joohee Han, 25, was climbing Mount Tyson near Tully, Queensland when she slipped and tumbled into a deep ravine. She was knocked unconscious, but managed to crawl to a waterfall where she stayed for days without any food. Her friends raised the alarm on Wednesday after she failed to return to her backpacker's accommodation. "The woman was located... in bushland suffering from dehydration and exposure after being lost in the bush for six days," a police statement said. "The woman was airlifted from the site by helicopter and later transported to hospital for treatment." Incredible stories of survival at sea One family's life in the wilderness Officials ..
June 7, 2018

Viewpoint: Will Pakistan mend its ways on terror?

Viewpoint: Will Pakistan mend its ways on terror? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Can Pakistan's army be trusted to rid the country of militants? A global terror financing watchdog is putting pressure on Pakistan to do more to rein in terrorist groups operating from its soil - or face the consequences. When the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meets on Friday Pakistan faces going onto a "grey list", the first stage on the road to sanctions. Unless it eliminates terrorism, it could end up on a blacklist, which would lead to a much harsher regime of punitive measures. Western nations have also warned Pakistan it would face sanctions and a reduction in aid if it insists on evicting some 22 international non-governmental organisations, which have operated in Pakistan for many years. For decades Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies are suspected of having given sanctuary to extremist groups which subscribe to the state's anti-India agenda or support i..
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