September 4, 2018

India Andhra Pradesh: What happened to the newest state capital?

India Andhra Pradesh: What happened to the newest state capital? Image copyright AFP photo/PIB Image caption India hoped Amaravati would put Andhra Pradesh on the global map India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a new capital in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in 2015. But three years later nothing has been built in Amaravati, which was touted as a city that could "make India proud", reports Sriram Karri. The state was forced to look for a new capital after it was split in two to create India's 29th state, Telangana. The current capital Hyderabad went to the new state, although both states were to share it for 10 years. The plans for Amaravati were ambitious to say the least. The city was to be developed over 7,500 sq km (2,895 sq miles) over the next 10 years, and it was envisaged it would be 10 times bigger than Singapore. The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu, who was widely held to be responsible for converting Hyderab..
September 4, 2018

Flowerboys and the appeal of ‘soft masculinity’ in South Korea

Flowerboys and the appeal of 'soft masculinity' in South Korea A man wearing make-up on the street may elicit unwelcome glares, questions about his masculinity and even his sexuality. But in South Korea, ideas about how to look good as a man are changing attitudes and influencing the world, as the BBC's Saira Asher reports. When the BBC posted a video about the make-up routine of a 16-year-old YouTuber in Seoul on Facebook, the reactions ranged from intrigued to downright vitriolic. Some assumed this meant he was gay, while others admonished him for his choice saying "real men don't wear make-up". There were, of course, those that argued for his freedom to live life however he pleased and against the "fragile masculinities" on show. But Kim Seung-hwan is used to it. He says he's been called gay by some Koreans online for as long as he's been doing make-up tutorials. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA YouTube vlogger talks about w..
September 4, 2018

The challenge of ‘farming the desert’ in Australia

The challenge of 'farming the desert' in Australia Image copyright EPA Image caption The entire state of New South Wales is currently drought-affected The plight of drought-hit farmers in Australia has prompted an outpouring of sympathy across a country that has long mythologised the inhospitable "bush" and its inhabitants. But it has also raised questions about subsidising those eking a living in agriculturally marginal areas, writes Kathy Marks in Sydney. Mellissa Conomos runs beef cattle on a 300-acre property in Gunnedah, in north-western New South Wales. This year, her dams are dry and her paddocks are bare. "They're living on dirt," she says. "Even the weeds are gone. You've got sheep walking away from newborn lambs because they know they've got no chance of raising them." Gunnedah has been hard hit by the prolonged dry weather crippling eastern Australia, which is being compared to the "Millennium Drought" that scorched the country during the 2000s. Ms ..
September 4, 2018

People feared trapped after India bridge collapse

People feared trapped after India bridge collapse Image copyright Reuters Image caption Local TV channels have shown a number of vehicles stuck in the caved section of the bridge A section of a bridge has collapsed in India's eastern city of Kolkata, and a number of people are feared trapped. One person died and several others were injured, local media reports say. Rescue teams and the army have been deployed to help pull out those who could be under the rubble of the Majerhat bridge. The bridge stood over rail tracks in an old part of the city. It was not immediately clear what had caused the structure to partially collapse. Footage on local TV channels have shown a bus, a few cars and some motorcycles stuck in the caved in section of the bridge. The Chief Minister of West Bengal state, Mamata Banerjee, was quoted as saying by NDTV that the priority now was "relief and rescue". "The rest of the investigation will be done later," the minister added. This is the second such incide..
September 4, 2018

India bombing: Two convicted over Hyderabad twin blasts

India bombing: Two convicted over Hyderabad twin blasts Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Police inspect the interior after the blast at Gokul Chat in Hyderabad An Indian court has convicted two men for their involvement in 2007 twin blasts in the southern city of Hyderabad. At least 42 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in explosions at an open-air auditorium and a restaurant. The two men will be sentenced on 10 September. There have been at least nine attacks in Hyderabad since 1992, with the most recent one in 2013 when two explosions killed 12 people. Five men, who were accused of playing a role in the 2007 blasts, were arrested by an anti-terrorism squad in 2008. Only two of them were convicted on Tuesday while two others were acquitted. The court will reportedly announce its verdict on the fifth accused on Monday. About 170 witnesses were examined and questioned during the trial in Hyderabad, one of southern India's main commercial hubs. "In the course of ..
September 4, 2018

Japan hit by strongest typhoon in 25 years

Japan hit by strongest typhoon in 25 years Image copyright Kyodo/via REUTERS Image caption Hundreds of flights, trains and ferries had to be cancelled Japan has been hit by its strongest typhoon in 25 years, with more than a million people told to evacuate. Typhoon Jebi made landfall in the west of the country, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 216km/h (135 mph). In Osaka Bay it swept a tanker into a bridge and in Kyoto parts of the train station roof came down. There are warned of high waves and mudslides. There are no reports of casualties and the storm is expected to weaken as it continues to move across the country. Skip Twitter post by @CRAZY904Kaz 京都駅の天井崩落の瞬間が目の前で。 まさか、、台風の力すごい。気を付けて!! — 森山和彦(Kaz) CRAZY (@CRAZY904Kaz) September 4, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @CRAZY904Kaz The storm made landfall on Shikoku island around noon on Tuesday local time and then moved across Japan's largest main island of Honshu. It already left tens of..
September 4, 2018

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern defends $50,000 flight

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern defends $50,000 flight Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Ms Ardern has said that there would have been "equal criticism" had she chosen not to go New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended a decision to have a plane make an extra flight so she can spend less time away from her baby. Ms Ardern, who still breastfeeds her baby, is headed to the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru for a day on Wednesday. The air force plane that dropped her deputy Winston Peters there on Monday is being sent back to New Zealand to pick her up. The round trip will cost taxpayers an estimated NZ$80,000 ($52,873; £41,173). Nauru: The island where children have given up on life"I weighed this up. I even went to the extent of checking whether or not I could hitch a ride with Australia. We checked multiple options to try to find alternate ways for me to get there," she told the NZ Herald newspaper on Monday. "The option was go for a short time or not go at all. If I..
September 4, 2018

Woman held for calling India ruling BJP ‘fascist’

Woman held for calling India ruling BJP 'fascist' Image copyright Facebook Image caption The arrest of Sofia Lois has prompted outrage A woman has been arrested in the southern state of Tamil Nadu for calling India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "fascist". Sofia Lois made the remark when she saw BJP politician Tamilisai Soundararajan, who then filed a police complaint. The incident occurred on Monday at an airport in the state and a video of the two women arguing soon went viral. Ms Lois was released on bail on Tuesday. Her lawyer told BBC Tamil that she was asked to apologise. When Ms Lois refused, Ms Soundararajan filed a complaint against her for causing hurt and inconvenience. Ms Soundararajan told The Indian Express newspaper that she felt "threatened" by Ms Lois. Nine die as Tuticorin Sterlite Copper protest turns violent Why an Indian 'freedom' speech has become a viral remix "No innocent girl will use that word. I questioned her. She replied t..
September 4, 2018

Kerala: Flood-hit India state battles rat fever outbreak

Kerala: Flood-hit India state battles rat fever outbreak Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Health officials say they have been expecting outbreaks of disease as flood waters recede The flood-hit south Indian state of Kerala has declared a health alert after 11 people died of leptospirosis or rat fever in the last two days. The government has asked everyone who came into contact with flood waters to take medication as a precautionary measure to avoid an epidemic. Health officials in the state said there was no immediate cause for alarm and the situation was under control. Devastating flooding has killed around 400 people in Kerala since June. More than a million others were displaced, with many of them taking shelter in thousands of relief camps across the state. Doctors said that the outbreak had not come as a surprise and they were prepared to deal with it. Why the Kerala floods proved so deadly Kerala floods: Monsoon waters kill hundreds in Indian state Kerala floods: Vict..
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