August 16, 2018

Google employees criticise ‘censored China search engine’

Google employees criticise 'censored China search engine' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The new search app would block search terms like human rights and religion Hundreds of Google employees have written to the company to protest against plans to launch a "censored search engine" in China. They said the project raised "urgent moral and ethical questions" and urged the firm to be more transparent. "Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work," they added. Google, which has never spoken publicly about the plans, declined to comment. Google 'plans censored China search engine' Google 'to end Pentagon AI project' The firm, which is owned by Alphabet, quit China eight years ago in protest at the country's censorship laws and alleged government hacks. However, reports last month claimed it had been secretively working on a new Chinese search service, referred to internally as Dragonf..
August 16, 2018

‘Why I never want babies’

'Why I never want babies' An increasing number of South Korean women are choosing not to marry, not to have children, and not even to have relationships with men. With the lowest fertility rate in the world, the country's population will start shrinking unless something changes. "I have no plans to have children, ever," says 24-year-old Jang Yun-hwa, as we chat in a hipsterish cafe in the middle of Seoul. "I don't want the physical pain of childbirth. And it would be detrimental to my career." Like many young adults in South Korea's hyper-competitive job market, Yun-hwa, a web comic artist, has worked hard to get where she is and isn't ready to let all that hard graft go to waste. "Rather than be part of a family, I'd like to be independent and live alone and achieve my dreams," she says. Yun-hwa isn't the only young Korean woman who sees career and family as mutually exclusive. There are laws designed to prevent women being discriminated agains..
August 16, 2018

AB Vajpayee: The PM who consolidated India as a nuclear power

AB Vajpayee: The PM who consolidated India as a nuclear power Image copyright Getty Images Atal Behari Vajpayee's tenure as Indian prime minister brought his country's emergence as a nuclear power, triggering fears of conflict with Pakistan. These worries were heightened by increasing tension over the disputed region of Kashmir and a long confrontation between Indian and Pakistani troops. Throughout his time in office, Vajpayee struggled to hold a diverse coalition of parties together. But he gained a reputation as a man who fiercely defended India's interests. Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee was born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh state, on 25 December 1924. He studied politics and became a journalist and social worker while, at the same time, becoming active in the Quit India Movement, which campaigned to end British rule in the subcontinent. After independence Vajpayee became a close aide of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS..
August 16, 2018

Australia battles winter bushfires

New South Wales battles dozens of winter bushfires Image copyright EPA Image caption A firefighter at a blaze near Nowra, on the New South Wales coast Emergency crews in Australia are battling unseasonal bushfires which have erupted across drought-stricken New South Wales (NSW). Almost 80 fires were burning along the state's coast on Thursday, having ripped through more than 1,000 hectares in recent days. No lives or homes were in immediate danger, according to officials. Winter bushfires are uncommon but have flared up this year due to dry conditions, authorities say. Last week, the entire state of NSW was declared to be drought-affected. "It is fair to say that the fires we are seeing today is really a result of the drought," NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said on Thursday. How Australia's heat might be here to stay The strain of a crippling drought Nation's weather 'pushes us to limits' He said a combination of dry vegetation, lack o..
August 16, 2018

Australia lake killings: Mother granted reduced jail sentence

Australia lake killings: Mother granted reduced jail sentence Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Akon Guode (L) after her children's funeral in April 2015 A woman who killed three of her children by deliberately driving them into a lake in Australia has had her jail sentence reduced on appeal. Akon Guode was convicted last year of killing Bol, one, and twins Hanger and Madit, both four, in Melbourne in 2015. Her original maximum 26-year jail term was reduced to 18 years on Thursday. A judge the "manifestly excessive" first sentence had not given enough weight to Guode's mental state, and trauma she had endured in South Sudan. Last year Guode pleaded guilty to murder, infanticide, and attempted murder. She did not reveal a motive for the killings, a court heard. A fourth child, six-year-old Alual, had also been in the car but survived after witnesses rushed into the water. On Thursday, the Victorian Court of Appeal said Guode had "fatefully and irredeemably breached" ..
August 16, 2018

US Asians hire out cinemas to screen Crazy Rich Asians

US Asians hire out cinemas to screen Crazy Rich Asians Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The cast of Crazy Rich Asians attended the US premiere What's the best way to get a new film seen by as many people as possible? Give out free tickets, of course. That was the thinking behind the #GoldOpen campaign, started by Asian-Americans working in Silicon Valley. They wanted to promote the film Crazy Rich Asians and raise awareness about the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. Free screenings were put on across the US, funded by high profile, affluent Asia-Americans. Skip Twitter post by @henrygolding It's not just a movie anymore, it's something so much more important #GoldOpen. You guys ROCK 🔥 — Henry Golding (@henrygolding) August 14, 2018 Report End of Twitter post by @henrygolding Screenings took place in cities such as LA, New York and Houston. Andrew Chau, the co-founder of bubble tea brand Boba Guys, paid for screenings in S..
August 16, 2018

Fukushima nuclear disaster: UN says clean-up workers risk exploitation

Fukushima nuclear disaster: UN says clean-up workers risk exploitation Image copyright AFP Image caption The nuclear plant remains contaminated and in ruins Workers used to decontaminate the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan are at grave risk of exploitation, independent UN experts say. Tens of thousands, reportedly including migrants and homeless people, may be being deceived about the risks of exposure to radiation, they say. The UN is urging the Japanese government to act to protect them. The plant was hit by a tsunami in 2011, causing the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Fukushima's long road to recoveryThe UN experts, known as special rapporteurs, said they were also concerned that workers might be being coerced into accepting hazardous working conditions because of economic hardship and being given inadequate training and protection. "We are equally concerned about the impact that exposure to radiation may have on their physical and mental health," they added. ..
August 16, 2018

Islamic State claims Kabul’s latest deadly attacks

Islamic State claims Kabul's latest deadly attacks Image copyright EPA Image caption Afghan officials at least two attackers were killed at Kabul's intelligence training centre Militants from the Islamic State (IS) group have said they were behind two recent attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul in which dozens of people died. On Wednesday, 48 people were killed in the bombing of an education centre. Most of them were students studying for university entrance exams. On Thursday, a training centre for the intelligence services was attacked. IS said it carried out the "commando" operation and claimed to have caused high casualties. Afghan officials said at least two militants were killed but did not mention any other deaths or injuries. Also on Wednesday, Taliban militants said they could no longer guarantee safe passage for Red Cross staff working in Afghanistan, amid a row over the treatment of Taliban prisoners in a jail in Kabul. Taliban 'met senior US envoy' ..
August 16, 2018

Kim Jong-nam murder: ‘Enough evidence’ for women to go on trial

Kim Jong-nam murder: 'Enough evidence' for women to go on trial Image copyright AFP Image caption Doan Thi Huong (in yellow T-shirt) and Siti Aisyah (right) have said they thought they were taking part in a TV prank Two women who say they were tricked into killing the half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un will go on trial. Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Thuong are accused of smearing the toxic nerve agent VX on Kim Jong-nam's face in Kuala Lumpur airport last year. But they deny murder, saying they were told they taking part in a TV prank. A judge said there was enough evidence to suggest they knew what they were doing. They could face the death penalty if convicted. Four North Korean men also charged over the murder are still at large. What happened in the airport? Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un, had been waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau on 13 February last year when two women approached him in the departure area. CCTV footag..
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