August 3, 2018

My Indian Life: Kalki tells stories of young India in BBC podcast

My Indian Life: Kalki tells stories of young India in BBC podcast Image caption The brand new podcast from BBC World Service will launch on Saturday Long before television brought moving images to our homes, there was radio. As a child growing up in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in the 1970s, I remember my mother always had the radio playing in the background as she did the house work. It was the size of two bricks and the state-run All India Radio was her prime source of entertainment. She got her news from it and heard Bollywood songs on it. On the nights my father would be away travelling on business, my sister and I would get into her bed and the three of us would together listen to Hawa Mahal, a hugely popular programme which aired fictionalised radio dramas. Though television made its first appearance in India in 1950, it invaded our homes only in the 1980s. We huddled around TV sets watching soaps, Bollywood films and songs; and radio was relegated to t..
August 3, 2018

North Korea warns of ‘natural disaster’ amid heatwave

North Korea warns of 'natural disaster' amid heatwave Image copyright AFP Image caption Pyongyang has seen record temperatures North Korea says a heatwave is threatening a "natural disaster" and has called on its citizens to help protect crops from drought. The Korean peninsula is experiencing record temperatures and South Korea has reported 28 deaths from the heat. In the North, which has previously suffered bouts of famine, state media warned that key crops such rice and corn were under threat. It called on citizens to "join the struggle" to safeguard harvests. "This year's high temperature is an unprecedented natural disaster but it is not an insurmountable difficulty," it said. "Officials and working people in all fields and units... should turn out as one and devotedly work out of patriotism in the campaign to prevent damage by high temperature and drought," an editorial in the state-run newspaper Rodong said. "All people should fully display their patriotic zeal ..
August 3, 2018

Indian officials say Assam register does not target Muslims

Indian officials say Assam register does not target Muslims Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'The Indian government is tearing my family apart' Indian officials leading a charge to identify illegal migrants in the north-eastern state of Assam have said that the process "is not targeting Muslims". Opposition parties have accused the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of destroying lives. Four million people were excluded from the National Citizens Registry (NCR) list, which was published on Monday. NCR head Prateek Hajela told the BBC that those left out "are people from different religions and groups". The NCR is a list of people who can prove that they arrived in Assam prior to 24 March 1971, before neighbouring Bangladesh declared independence. The exercise, in a state with a history of communal violence, has stirred controversy. Mr Hajela, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to handle the NCR, told BBC Urdu's Shakeel Akh..
August 3, 2018

Afghanistan mosque attack: At least 25 Shia worshippers killed in Gardez

Afghanistan mosque attack: At least 25 Shia worshippers killed in Gardez A suicide bomber has killed 25 people and injured at least 23 more in an attack on a Shia mosque in Afghanistan, an official has told the BBC. The attacker struck as people were attending Friday prayers in the eastern city of Gardez, Paktia province spokesman Abdullah Asrat said. Some reports suggest two gunmen entered the mosque, opening fire on worshippers before detonating the explosives. No group has yet said it carried out the attack. There are fears the number of dead and injured could rise. Gen Raz Mohammad Mandozai, Paktia's provincial police chief, told news agency AFP "around 50" people had been injured. Afghan civilian deaths hit record high, says UNThis is the latest in a series of attacks on cities across the country. On Tuesday, at least 15 people were killed in an attack on a government building in Jalalabad, north-east of Gardez, while 11 people were killed in the western province of Farah wh..
August 3, 2018

Japan airport to gift people who hand in old suitcases

Japan airport to gift people who hand in old suitcases Image copyright AFP Image caption Asahi Shimbun says that the increased number of foreign tourists in Kansai has led to the surge of suitcases being dumped A Japanese airport is going to start giving gifts to people who turn in their unwanted suitcases, to avoid them being dumped around the building, it's reported. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture is going to start offering travellers ballpoint pens, notebooks and similar small gifts if they turn their unwanted suitcases over to staff on the departure floor. The paper says that the airport has been finding sometimes as many as 10 suitcases a day discarded outside bins, or around the airport building. Asahi Shimbun notes that the airport has been running out of space because of the overflow of abandoned suitcases, even with many subsequently being handed over to the police. It says that this is largely due to an incre..
August 3, 2018

Sydney axe attack: Woman guilty of trying to kill strangers

Sydney axe attack: Woman guilty of trying to kill strangers Image copyright NSW DISTRICT COURT Image caption Evie Amati (centre) wounded two shoppers in the attack in Sydney A woman who attacked two people with an axe in an Australian convenience store has been convicted of attempted murder. Evie Amati, 26, carried out the unprovoked attack in Sydney last year. After entering the 7-Eleven store, Amati used the axe to strike a man in the face and a woman in the back of the head. Both victims suffered serious injuries. Amati had pleaded not guilty, arguing that she was experiencing a psychosis at the time of the attack. The New South Wales District Court convicted her of three charges on Friday, after almost two days of deliberations by a jury. During the trial, the court heard that Amati's victims thought she had come from a costume party when she entered the store about 02:00 on 7 January last year. Image copyright NSW DISTRICT COURT Image caption Amati attacked Ben Rimmer (pict..
August 3, 2018

Sun Wenguang: Chinese activist’s live interview shut down by police

Sun Wenguang: Chinese activist's live interview shut down by police Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Prof Sun is a well-known critic of the Chinese government "I have my freedom of speech," are the last words a retired university professor is heard saying before the line goes dead. On Wednesday, Sun Wenguang, 84, was in the middle of an interview with US-funded broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) when police broke into his home in Jinan, China and forced him off air. Prof Sun has in the past been openly critical of the Chinese government. A friend confirmed to the BBC that Prof Sun had been taken from his home by Jinan city police officers. VOA says it has not been able to reach Prof Sun since then. What was he saying in the interview?Prof Sun had been talking to the Mandarin language service of VOA about Chinese government's foreign investments It followed an open letter he wrote recently criticising President Mr Xi's decision to spend money on foreign aid, ..
August 3, 2018

Toyota surprises with 7.2% jump in quarterly profits

Toyota surprises with 7.2% jump in quarterly profits Image copyright Getty Images Japanese car giant Toyota has posted a 7.2% jump in quarterly net profits, beating expectations and surprising analysts. Net income came to 657.3bn yen ($5.88bn; £4.52bn), up from the 613.0bn yen recorded in the same period a year earlier. Many analysts had said they expected Toyota's earnings to be flat. But strong sales in Asia and some cost reductions on the home front helped boost the firm's bottom line. The firm said it sold 2,236,131 vehicles during the period, an increase of 21,020. "Toyota has been doing very well in parts of Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations)," Janet Lewis, head of industrials and transportation in Asia for the Macquarie Group, told the BBC. "Particularly in Thailand, where Toyota is having a very strong year. And that has been supportive, because margins in Asean tend to be very good," she said. Who's the world's biggest carmaker? Japane..
August 2, 2018

Family reunited with lost portrait found 1,000 miles away

Family reunited with lost portrait found 1,000 miles away Image copyright Leisa Cearney Leisa Cearney was instantly struck by the portrait of a well-dressed couple abandoned at a rubbish dump in rural Australia. She was determined to reunite them with their family. Through the power of social media and some good luck, she did just that. "I was instantly drawn to the picture," said Ms Cearney. "I just couldn't leave the beautiful pair at the dump." Ms Cearney lives in Stanthorpe in the south of Queensland, near the border with New South Wales. She is a historian and "passionate about family history" and turned to Facebook in her hunt for relatives of the couple. "I assumed it must be a local couple, so I put it on a community page," she said. However, it was not a local relative who came forward. Image copyright Eleanor Torta Image caption Tom and Amelia Jones About 1,500km (935 miles) further north in Home Hill, near Townsville, 78-year-old Eleanor Torta was scrolling throug..
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