May 22, 2018

Nipah virus death toll rises in India

Nipah virus death toll rises in India Image copyright SK MOHAN Image caption Authorities have ordered emergency measures to control the spread of the infection At least 10 people have died in the Nipah virus outbreak in the southern Indian state of Kerala, doctors say. Two others who have tested positive for the virus are critically ill. Some 40 people have been put into quarantine following the deaths. The virus is hard to diagnose. Symptoms of infection include fever, vomiting and headaches. Nipah has a mortality rate of 70% and there is no vaccine. It can be transmitted to humans from animals. Nipah virus is also "top of the list" of 10 priority diseases that the World Health Organization has identified as a potential next major outbreak. Did India hide its first cases of Zika virus? At the epicentre of Delhi's chikungunya epidemic Dealing with dengue: Lessons from the fever crippling Delhi Authorities have ordered emergency measures to control the spread of the infection i..
May 22, 2018

Who is India’s hugging saint Kanye West tweeted about?

Who is India's hugging saint Kanye West tweeted about? Image copyright AFP Amid a series of tweets warning against the evils of smartphone addiction, US rapper Kanye West suddenly posted a picture of India's "hugging saint". Accompanied with the caption "sometimes we all need hugs", West also said that "Amma Mata" had given more than 32 million hugs. Amma, which means mother, is famous for the "healing power" of her hugs. It is unclear if she has hugged the rapper. Thousands of her devotees the world over line up for hours to hug her. "Amma", whose real name is Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, was born in the southern Indian state of Kerala in 1953. "My message for the world is peace, love and compassion. Those are universal, like honey. You take honey anywhere it remains sweet," she told the BBC in 2012, while on a hugging mission to Australia. She has hugged millions of people the world over, including in Malaysia, the UK, US, Australia, Brazil and Sri Lanka, and does so ..
May 22, 2018

‘Living fossil’ giant salamander heading for extinction

'Living fossil' giant salamander heading for extinction Image copyright Robert Murphy Image caption Jing Che of the Chinese Academy of Sciences lifts a giant salamander The world's largest amphibian is in "catastrophic" decline, with possibly only a handful left in the wild. Field surveys carried out over four years suggest the Chinese giant salamander has all but disappeared from its natural habitat. In contrast, millions of the animals live in commercial farms, where they are sold to luxury restaurants. Remaining largely unchanged for 170 million years, this "living fossil" is seen as a global conservation priority. "The overexploitation of these incredible animals for human consumption has had a catastrophic effect on their numbers in the wild over an amazingly short time-span," said study researcher Dr Samuel Turvey of the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). "Unless co-ordinated conservation measures are put in place as a matter of urgen..
May 22, 2018

Chinese study finds eggs may cut stroke risk

An egg a day to keep the doctor away? Image copyright Getty Images A study of nearly half a million people in China suggests a daily egg may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Experts stress any egg consumption needs to be part of healthy lifestyle to be beneficial. But fears that eating too many eggs can be bad for you appear to have been laid to rest. "One can deliberate on the many limitations and caveats of nutritional research, but the take-home message of this research from a large study from China is that at the very least up to one egg a day is not linked with raised cardiovascular risk, and at best up to one egg a day may even have health benefits," says Prof Nita Forouhi, of the University of Cambridge. The study, in the journal Heart, follows years of bad press for the humble egg - from salmonella scares to cholesterol fears. BBC News takes a crack at separating the issues. How many?These days most doctors encourage the eating of eggs as part of a healthy diet, ..
May 21, 2018

Sony buys controlling stake in EMI record label

Sony buys controlling stake in EMI record label Image copyright AFP Image caption Sony is set to announce its latest strategic plan for growth later on Tuesday Sony says it has agreed to buy a controlling stake in EMI Music Publishing for $2.3bn (£1.71bn) as it looks to boost its music portfolio. The deal would mean Sony would indirectly own about 90% of the record label and its some two million songs by artists from Queen and Carole King to Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams. Sony said it was thrilled with the deal, which is subject to approval. The announcement comes as Sony prepares to unveil its mid-term plan on Tuesday. EMI, which has its headquarters in London, is currently owned by a consortium led by Sony. It is one of the world's biggest music publishing firms. Sony already owns 2.3 million music copyrights, including the Beatles catalogue. The Japanese tech giant's deal, announced on Tuesday with the Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, will mean EMI will bec..
May 21, 2018

Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses

Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson outside the city's cathedral in 2002 An Australian court has found a Catholic archbishop guilty of concealing child sexual abuse. Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence. He was found to have covered up the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest in New South Wales in the 1970s. During his trial he denied any memory of being told about the abuse by two of the boys. He told the Newcastle Local Court he had not been aware of priest James Fletcher's abuse, which took place while he was an assistant priest in Maitland. Fletcher was convicted of nine child sexual abuse charges in 2004, and died in jail in 2006. One of his victims, Peter Creigh, told the court he had described the abuse to Wilson in detail when he was 15, five years aft..
May 21, 2018

North Korea summit: Pence warns Kim Jong-un not to ‘play Trump’

North Korea summit: Pence warns Kim Jong-un not to 'play Trump' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mike Pence made the comments in a Fox News interview to be broadcast on Monday night US Vice President Mike Pence has warned North Korea's Kim Jong-un not to "play" President Donald Trump if they meet next month. "It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong-un to think he could play Donald Trump," Mr Pence said, according to excerpts of a Fox News interview. Mr Pence also said Mr Trump could walk away from the 12 June summit. North Korea has threatened to pull out of the meeting after comments by US National Security Adviser John Bolton. The country reacted furiously when Mr Bolton suggested it would follow a "Libya model" of denuclearisation. Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed with Western powers in 2003 to dismantle his programme in return for the lifting of sanctions. Eight years later he was killed at the hands of Western-backed rebels. Media play..
May 21, 2018

China launch will prep for Moon landing

China launch will prep for Moon landing Image copyright AFP Image caption The satellite launched on a Long March-4C rocket from the Xichang launch centre China has launched a relay satellite to prepare for a lunar rover mission planned for later in the year. The Queqiao spacecraft will establish a communications link between Earth and the landing mission, which looks set to launch in the next six months. The satellite was launched at 22:28 BST on Sunday (05:28 local time) from Xichang launch centre in the country's south-west. It will settle in an orbit about 455,000 km (282,555 miles) from Earth. This orbit will also take it more than 60,000 km from the lunar farside, where China will aim to put down with a lander and rover - a mission called Chang'e 4. Queqiao should be well-positioned to provide near-continuous contact between China's robotic assets on the lunar farside and a ground station on Earth. Image copyright AFP "The launch is a key step for China to realise..
May 21, 2018

Could North Korean defectors affect Trump summit?

Could North Korean defectors affect Trump summit? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A file photo of Baengnyeong island, where the North Korean defectors were found by South Korean officials Two North Koreans defected to the South at the weekend, highlighting an issue that has been a source of constant tension over the years. Could the latest defection - the first since a historic North-South summit last month - have an impact on the finely-balanced 12 June summit planned between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump? Who were the defectors and what took place?According to Yonhap news agency, the men were spotted by a South Korean naval vessel early on Saturday. They were in a small boat in the Yellow Sea, near the western sea border which separates both countries. The pair, said to be in their 40s, were initially described by Yonhap as a military officer and a civilian. However, later reports said that they were in fact both civilians. North Korea cris..
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