August 17, 2018

100 Women: The artist redrawing ‘sexist’ comic book covers

100 Women: The artist redrawing 'sexist' comic book covers Image copyright Shreya Arora Image caption An issue of The Sensational She-Hulk (left), with Shreya Arora's reimagination (right) An artist in India is challenging sexist drawings of women in comic books by parodying them using male heroes in poses typically associated with women. She-Hulk has superhuman strength and speed and is one of the most formidable hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel world. Like Hulk, not only does she have physical power, she's also completely green. Yet, on a 1991 comic book cover, she is shown in a seductive pose, wearing a G-string bikini, with her curves sharply accentuated. Indian artist Shreya Arora was shocked when she saw the image. "For Hulk, the visual representation focuses on his strength. For She-Hulk, all we see is an emphasis on sexuality," says Arora, who grew up reading comic books. The 21-year-old graphic designer decided she wanted to flip the narrative. Image..
August 17, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians: The film burdened with ‘crazy’ Asian expectations

Crazy Rich Asians: The film burdened with 'crazy' Asian expectations Image copyright Warner Brothers Image caption Meet the "tiger mum": Malaysian superstar Michelle Yeoh (left) plays the wealthy matriarch Eleanor Young in the movie With its bold claims of Asian representation, the Hollywood film extravaganza Crazy Rich Asians was destined for intense scrutiny, coming as it does after bitter debates about whitewashing and "yellowface" casting - where white actors attempt to make themselves look Asian. But like the proverbial "tiger mum", many Asians have huge expectations for the film - might the weight of it all prove too much? A wealthy elite, backstabbing intrigue, and a grand romance set in a gilded world of opulence. Last weekend, a record-breaking half a billion people in China tuned in online to watch their very own crazy rich Asian drama, The Story of Yanxi Palace. It's not just Chinese soap operas that are doing well these days. From Bollywood films to Korean..
August 17, 2018

The immigrants who built Australia’s ‘fairytale’ castles

The immigrants who built Australia's 'fairytale' castles Image copyright Fairy Park Image caption Fairy Park, built in the 1950s by German immigrants, won over initially sceptical locals In 20th Century Australia, nostalgic European immigrants far from home chose unlikely settings to build shrines to old traditions and in the process created Australia's first theme parks. When asked what it was like growing up in Australia's first theme park, Garry Mayer says his mind goes straight to the parties. "They were big get-togethers for people who like a bit of wine," he says wryly. "Every weekend." The Mayers originated from Germany's Black Forest area. It's known as the "fairytale trail", immortalised by the Brothers Grimm. "The tradition at weekends was to walk up the hill to your local rundown castle, and have a cake and a coffee or a wine," Garry explains. And so it was that, in the late 1950s, nostalgic immigrants in the state of Victoria rolled up th..
August 17, 2018

South Korean capital gets ‘first deaf taxi drivers’

South Korean capital gets 'first deaf taxi drivers' Image copyright Goyohan Taxi Image caption Dual tablets with voice-to-text capability enable passengers to connect with hearing-impaired drivers South Korea's capital Seoul has seen its first ever deaf taxi drivers take to the road this week, thanks to new software that's been launched to help reduce the local stigma of hiring hearing-impaired people, it's reported. According to the Korean Times news website, two deaf taxi drivers began transporting passengers around the city this week, aided by software developed by the local Coactus start-up. Describing how it works, the Yonhap News Agency says that dual tablets have been installed in the front and back seat of taxis, which is linked to the firm's "Goyohan Taxi" or "Silent Taxi" app. The app includes voice-to-text conversion, and enables passengers to specify both destination and preferred drop-off point, as well as their payment method of choice. I..
August 17, 2018

Asian Games: Indonesia police kill dozens in criminal crackdown

Asian Games: Indonesia police kill dozens in criminal crackdown Image copyright NurPhoto/Getty Image caption Authorities say police have been told to act with force if resistance is met Indonesian police have fatally shot dozens of "petty criminals" in the lead up the 2018 Asian Games, rights group Amnesty International says. The group condemned the deaths, calling for an investigation into the "shoot first and ask questions later policy". At least 77 people have reportedly been shot dead since January, Amnesty said, with 31 deaths in police raids meant to clean up host cities for the Games. Authorities have said that people were shot after resisting the police. The raids began in July with high-ranking officials telling their officers "don't hesitate to take firm action", BBC's Indonesian service reported. The two-week-long Asian Games, which starts on Saturday, will take place in the capital Jakarta and Palembang. Bridge, bicycle kicks & jet-skis - welcome to the Asian G..
August 17, 2018

Imran Khan to be confirmed as Pakistan prime minister

Imran Khan to be confirmed as Pakistan prime minister Image copyright EPA Image caption National Assembly members, including Mr Khan, voted for other key positions earlier this week. Former cricket star Imran Khan is expected to be elected the next prime minister of Pakistan shortly in a vote at the National Assembly. His PTI party won the most seats in July's elections - setting up Mr Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics. He will be sworn in on Saturday. Mr Khan, 65, will inherit a country with a mounting economic crisis and he has vowed to create a "new Pakistan". The charismatic sports star, who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long shed his celebrity playboy image and now styles himself as a pious, populist, anti-poverty reformer. He ran on an anti-corruption platform that pledged to improve the lives of the country's poor with an "Islamic welfare state". Can Imran Khan change Paki..
August 17, 2018

India mourns former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee

India mourns former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee Image caption Thousands lined the streets to pay their respects Tributes have been pouring in for former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has died aged 93. Vajpayee was being treated for age-related illnesses in capital Delhi's AIIMS hospital. Thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects during his funeral procession amid tight security. Vajpayee served as prime minister three times between 1996 and 2004 and was instrumental in making India a global nuclear power. He was also one of the founding members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently governs India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, members of his cabinet and other political leaders gathered at the BJP's headquarters in Delhi where Vajpayee lay in state to pay tributes. Vajpayee will be cremated with full state honours in a national memorial estate in Delhi at 16:00 IST (10:30 GMT). Image copyright Getty Images Image..
August 17, 2018

Artist’s Aboriginal portraits back in Tasmania after 170 years

Artist's Aboriginal portraits back in Tasmania after 170 years Image copyright BRITISH MUSEUM Image caption A portrait by Thomas Bock of Aboriginal woman Wortabowigee A collection of 19th Century paintings of Aboriginal Tasmanians has gone on display in Australia for the first time. English convict artist Thomas Bock painted the portraits of indigenous leaders in Tasmania in the 1830s - a time of infamous frontier conflicts. The artworks have been kept in Britain, mostly in storage, since the 1840s. The exhibition in Hobart has stirred up complex feelings for descendants of those featured in the paintings. The works, on loan from the British Museum, went on display at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) on Friday. Museum curators have welcomed the return of the 19 paintings, which were completed with watercolour and pencil. Dr Gaye Sculthorpe, a British Museum curator who is an indigenous Tasmanian, called the portraits "significant cultural documents". Image copyright B..
August 17, 2018

China ‘training for strikes’ on US targets

China 'training for strikes' on US targets Image copyright EPA Image caption The Chinese Liberation Army is being reformed China's military "is likely training for strikes" against US and allied targets in the Pacific, a Pentagon report warns. The annual report to Congress says China is increasing its ability to send bomber planes further afield. The report highlights its increasing military capability, including defence spending estimated at $190bn (£150bn) - a third that of the US. China has not yet commented on the report. "Over the last three years, the PLA [People's Liberation Army] has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets," the report says. It goes on to say it is not clear what China is trying to prove by such flights. The People's Liberation Army may demonstrate the "capability to strike US and allied forces and military bas..
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