July 25, 2018

New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave

New Zealand grants domestic violence victims paid leave Image caption The parliament in Wellington passed the bill in a 63-57 vote New Zealand's parliament has passed a law granting paid leave for victims of domestic violence. In a 63-57 vote, legislators approved the measure granting 10 days of extra leave a year, separate from annual holiday or sick leave. Green Party MP Jan Logie, who proposed the bill, said it would help victims "stop the violence and get help without worrying about losing their jobs". New Zealand is the second country after the Philippines to pass such a measure. The Philippines passed a law granting 10 days of paid leave for domestic violence victims in 2004. A number of Canada's provinces also provide some leave for domestic violence, while Australia's Labor party leader Bill Shorten has promised 10 days paid leave for victims if his party wins the next election. How photos are helping abuse victims love themselves One woman breaking Cuba'..
July 25, 2018

Japanese firm to launch wedding plaques into space

Japanese firm to launch wedding plaques into space Image copyright NASA Image caption The Japanese Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station is known colloquially as "Kibo" A Japanese company is offering newlyweds a novel way of showing that their love is eternal: by blasting wedding plaques with their names on into space. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the Warpspace start-up in the city of Tsukuba is working with Kibo, Japan's orbital science module, to launch wedding plaques from the International Space Station. The company, which is largely staffed by faculty members from the University of Tsubuka, says that it will engrave couples' names, messages, and other information on titanium plaques, measuring some 16 millimetres by eight millimetres. The plaques will then be loaded onto miniature cubic satellites, which can hold several hundred plaques, and be released into orbit. They will join the tens of thousands of satellites, man-made objects an..
July 25, 2018

The ‘angels’ at play in Pakistan election

The 'angels' at play in Pakistan election Image copyright AFP/GETTY Image caption Some see the military as a sovereign entity in its own right within Pakistan The run-up to Pakistan's general election has spawned a host of phrases in the media, including many alluding to dark forces at play. Among them are allegations that "angels" have been targeting "electables". Some of the terms being bandied about are fresh, others are old expressions with new connotations. Here are just a few. 'Celestial beings' (or 'angels')A folk expression in Urdu referring to supernatural beings called djinns - Aladdin's genie is an example - and translated in the English press as "angels". Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has used the term, which refers to members of the intelligence services, to criticise the military's alleged meddling in politics. The army denies the claims. Mr Sharif was ousted as prime minister a year ago and is now behind bars fighting a..
July 25, 2018

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man

Swedish activist stops deportation of Afghan man Image copyright facebook/elin.k.ersson Image caption Elin Ersson refused to sit until the Afghan was taken off the flight A stunt by a Swedish activist to stop the deportation of an Afghan refugee has been widely hailed on social media. University student Elin Ersson had booked the same flight as the Afghan and refused to sit down unless he was taken off the plane on Monday. She streamed her protest live on Facebook, showing a tense standoff with other passengers and airline crew. Reactions have been largely supportive of her action, although some people are accusing her of grandstanding. The video has since been widely shared and received almost two million views. Image copyright Facebook.com/elin.k.errson Ms Ersson explains to the other passengers and the viewers of Facebook that she does not agree with Swedish deportation policy, which classifies Afghanistan as a safe country and sends rejected asylum seekers back. She says Afghani..
July 25, 2018

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan

American Airlines and Cathay Pacific bow to China pressure on Taiwan Image copyright Reuters American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have become the latest carriers to change how they refer to Taiwan online, bowing to pressure from China. Beijing set 25 July as a deadline for companies and airlines to remove references to Taiwan as anything but a Chinese territory on their websites. The US carrier just lists Taipei, but Cathay refers to it as part of China. Taiwan has been self-ruling since 1949 but China regards it as a breakaway province to be reunited one day. The move was dismissed by the White House in May as "Orwellian nonsense", but many global carriers including Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Qantas decided to comply with the demand coming out of one of the world's biggest aviation markets. A number of US airlines, however, held out and currently Delta and United Airlines continue to list the city of Taipei as being in "Taiwan" and "TW" on their websites. American Airlines..
July 24, 2018

Papua New Guinea makes a drama out of a TB crisis

Making a drama out of a TB crisis Image caption With low levels of literacy, Papua New Guinea has been using drama to deliver health messages about TB Tuberculosis might sometimes be perceived as a disease of the past. But in Papua New Guinea, TB is so rife the government has declared a state of emergency. It remains the leading cause of hospitalisation and death. At least 10 people die every day of TB and there is a growing emergence of drug resistance - making it far more costly and difficult to treat. More than a quarter of TB cases are children, due to a high transmission of the disease in crowded households. Even in rural areas, where space is ample, up to six family members will regularly sleep in the same room. In urban areas, such as the country's capital of Port Moresby - a TB hotspot - there is a severe lack of proper housing and infrastructure, meaning TB spreads quickly and aggressively. Working with 850 local languagesDr Luo Dapeng, Papua New Guinea representative..
July 24, 2018

Why North Korea is in no hurry to do what the US wants

Why North Korea is in no hurry to do what the US wants Image copyright Getty Images Meeting in Singapore last month, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un captured the world's attention and promised to work towards "new relations". Why have mixed messages followed? At the end of a summit billed as an "epochal event", ambitions were set high. North Korea reaffirmed its commitment to the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", while the US said it would stop "provocative" war games with South Korea. Things have since taken a rockier path. Although Pyongyang appears to have begun dismantling a rocket site, there have been reports that it is secretly continuing its weapons programme. Meanwhile, Pyongyang has accused the US of "gangster-like" tactics. So, why has there been a lack of clear progress? A misfit power Image copyright Getty Images North Korea's notoriety and ability to capture global headlines may have led to its power being overestimated. ..
July 24, 2018

Laos dam collapse: Race to rescue flooded villagers

Laos dam collapse: Race to rescue flooded villagers Image copyright Getty Images Rescuers are racing to find survivors after a dam in Laos collapsed late on Monday, flooding several villages and killing at least 20 people. At least 100 people are still missing, and thousands have lost their homes. The authorities in Attapeu province have been using helicopters and boats to try to evacuate stranded villagers. The dam that collapsed is part of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric power project, which involves Laotian, Thai and South Korean firms. Local authorities have appealed to government bodies and other communities to provide emergency aid such as clothing, food, drinking water and medicine. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionVillagers seek refuge on roofs of submerged homes in Laos Footage of the disaster has shown survivors huddled on roof tops of their submerged homes, or wading through water, holding children and their belongings. One woman, seen in a vide..
July 24, 2018

Facebook plans office in China

Facebook plans office in China Image copyright Getty Images Facebook has secured a licence to set up an office in China in an apparent attempt to break into the lucrative market where its website is blocked. The firm said it would be an "innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups". If the office opens, it would be the firm's first formal presence in China. However, the office's registration has since been removed from the Chinese government website, suggesting possible complications, the New York Times says. China is the world's biggest social media market, but access to websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is blocked in the country. Instead, Chinese users can only access domestic social media sites such as Weibo, Renren and YouKu, which the government can monitor. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has already made several attempts to charm Chinese officials, even going so far as to learn Mandarin. The Facebook subsidiary has been re..
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