November 22, 2018

Why do billions of people still lack basic sanitation?

Why do billions of people still lack basic sanitation? Image copyright WSUP Image caption Dhaka, Bangladesh: Community leader Nasima shows off her village's new community toilet Hi-tech loos that use little or no water and can recycle waste products safely and sustainably promise to give billions of people around the world access to much-needed sanitation. So why do so many still lack this basic amenity? About 2.3 billion people still lack basic toilets, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And 4.5 billion don't have safely managed sanitation, with waste disposed in a way that won't contaminate drinking water. Each year contaminated water kills half a million children under five through diarrhoeal diseases, the WHO says. So many inventors, entrepreneurs and research institutions around the world have been working on hi-tech loos that can function without the need for expensive mains sewerage systems. Image copyright WSUP Image caption Millions of people liv..
November 22, 2018

D&G: China shopping sites pull products in ad backlash

D&G: China shopping sites pull products in ad backlash Image copyright Getty Images Dolce & Gabbana products have been pulled from Chinese e-commerce sites as the backlash against a controversial ad campaign grows. The firm posted videos this week showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta with chopsticks. The brand also apologised for social media posts criticising Chinese people, saying it had been hacked. The controversy risks alienating D&G from one of the world's biggest luxury markets. The Italian firm cancelled its fashion show in Shanghai earlier this week over the issue. D&G cancels show amid racism accusationsIt later said co-founder Stefano Gabbana's accounts were hacked and used to criticise Chinese people. "We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China," the apology message read. But the backlash continued as retailers in China retreated from the brand. E-commerce group Secoo Holding said it had pulled Dolce & Gabanna products, while Chi..
November 22, 2018

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Hubei fishery was a central part of a Chinese sturgeon breeding project Construction at a Chinese eco tourism zone is believed to have caused the death of 6,000 critically endangered Chinese sturgeon. A bridge in Hubei province was being built close to a farm on the Yangtze river which was breeding the long-living fish. A Chinese news site said the deaths were "directly linked to the shocks, noises and changes of water sources". All work has been halted while investigations are carried out. The Chinese sturgeon species dates back more than 140 million years. Individual fish can grow to up to 5m (16ft) in length and can live for up to 60 years, but will only spawn a few times during their life. Image copyright Getty Images The species is on the brink of extinction in the wild because of pollution, overfishing - for their meat and roe, sold as caviar - and environmental changes like..
November 22, 2018

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears Image caption China is backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders As levels of greenhouse gases reach a new record, concerns are growing about the role of China in global warming. For years, the increase in the number of Chinese coal-fired power stations has been criticised. Now environmental groups say China is also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Coal is the most damaging of the fossil fuels because of the quantity of carbon dioxide it releases when it's burned. Last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level for the past 3-5 million years, according to the latest research by the UN's weather agency, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). And last month the UN's climate science panel said that coal must be phased out by 2050 if the world is to have any chance of limiting the rise in temperatures. Greenhouse gas levels at new r..
November 22, 2018

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The complex will be replaced by a public park Officials in South Korea have started to dismantle the country's largest dog slaughterhouse. The Taepyeong-dong complex in Seongnam city, south of Seoul, will be cleared over two days and converted into a public park. Dog meat is a common delicacy in South Korea, with approximately one million dogs consumed there every year. Activists have sought to end the custom, while more South Koreans have chosen to keep dogs as pets. "This is a historic moment," Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) said in a statement. "It will open the door for more closures of dog meat slaughterhouses across the country, expediting the decline of the overall dog meat industry." The Taepyeong-dong complex - an important source of meat for restaurants across the country - housed at least six slaughterhouses, holding several hundred animals at a time. Campaigners fr..
November 22, 2018

Aboriginal Australia’s ‘mind-blowing’ struggle for a first treaty

Aboriginal Australia's 'mind-blowing' struggle for a first treaty Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Aboriginal elder Gary Murray says the process carries a risk of "symbolic genocide" Australia is the only Commonwealth country never to make a treaty with its indigenous peoples. Why has it proven so difficult? Kathy Marks looks at the vast challenges in Victoria alone - a state that is working towards a national first. Every school holiday, the train would pick up Daria Atkinson and her four siblings, all aged under 10, and transport them - along with thousands of other Aboriginal children from the countryside - to Melbourne, where they would spend up to two months living with a white family. "We had to call the adults mum and dad," recalls Ms Atkinson, now 56. "We were told how to sit at the table, how to eat properly. We weren't allowed to get dirty. We had to forget we were Aboriginal. But at least we got to go home - the Stolen Generations didn't."..
November 22, 2018

India and Pakistan reach Sikh temple deal

India and Pakistan reach Sikh temple deal India and Pakistan have agreed to construct a new border entry point and road to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit a shrine in Pakistan. Sikhism was born in Punjab, a region that was divided between the two countries during partition in 1947. The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is one of Sikhism's holiest shrines. The religion's founder, Guru Nanak, spent the last 18 years of his life there. The decision coincides with the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak's birth. Since the division of India and Pakistan into two separate nations, Indians have had limited access to the shrine, often struggling to get visas to visit, says BBC Punjabi's Dalip Kumar. BBC religion: What is Sikhism? Sikh soldier statue 'striking tribute' Delhi said it would fully fund construction on the Indian side, and Pakistan said it would do the same. Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry called the decision a "victory for the ..
November 22, 2018

Low-cost ‘four-hour’ bamboo house wins top prize

Low-cost 'four-hour' bamboo house wins top prize Image caption The CUBO housing units can be manufactured in a week, and built in just four hours A 23-year-old designer has won a top £50,000 prize after creating a low-cost bamboo housing unit to address the Philippines' slum crisis. Earl Patrick Forlales' design takes just four hours to construct, and at £50/sq metre it's highly affordable. He told the BBC World Service: "It's a functional home on its own, but it's more than just a house. "It's designed to turn community waste into energy and other valuable resources." Mr Forlales, who comes from Manila and studied material science engineering, will use the prize money from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cities for our Future competition to start work on his "CUBO" housing units next year. Manila has a population of 12 million people, four million of whom live in impoverished slums. Some 2.5 million more workers are expected t..
November 22, 2018

John Allen Chau ‘tribal death’: Family forgives killers

John Allen Chau 'tribal death': Family forgives killers Image copyright Instagram/John Chau Image caption On 21 October, @johnachau posted that he was travelling to the region The family of a US man reportedly killed by arrows fired by members of an endangered tribe in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands has said they forgive those who killed him. In a statement, they said John Allen Chau "loved God, life, helping those in need, and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people". Seven people who helped him reach North Sentinel island have been arrested. The Indian authorities say it may take "some days" to recover Mr Chau's body. Outsiders are banned from even approaching the island to protect the people who live there and their way of life. His family released a statement on Instagram, saying he had gone to the island of "his own free will". Image Copyright johnachau johnachau Report "We also ask for the release of those friends he had in the Andaman Islands...
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