July 26, 2018

The country that’s ‘high risk, high return’ for start-ups

The country that's 'high risk, high return' for start-ups Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A Buddhist monk takes a selfie at the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda in Myanmar After decades of dictatorship and international sanctions, Myanmar (formerly called Burma) is now home to a small but fast-growing tech start-up scene, offering everything from home-cooked food deliveries to comic apps. But the country is still considered too risky by many big international investors. Dressed in a traditional Burmese longhi and a conical hat offering much-needed shade from the blistering sun, a farmer planting rice seedlings in a paddy field in the Shan state stops work briefly to flip out his phone and check Facebook. Just five years ago, when mobile phone SIM cards cost up to $500 (£380), this scene would have been unthinkable. Myanmar country profileBut since international telecoms companies opened networks in Myanmar, SIM card prices have come crashing down to around a dollar, and four..
July 26, 2018

Custody battle after Briton Michael Simpson murdered in China

Custody battle after Briton Michael Simpson murdered in China Image copyright The Simpson Family Image caption Michael Simpson with his children Alice and Jack In a rural town in China, two young children are living, completely unaware that their British father is dead after being murdered by their Chinese mother. Seven-year-old Jack and his six-year-old sister Alice are also unaware they are now at the centre of an increasingly bitter custody battle between their British and Chinese grandparents. Now sharing a bedroom with their cousin, they were taken to live in Nanzhang after their mother Weiwei Fu was jailed for life earlier this month. The children's father, Michael Simpson, was 34 when he was stabbed to death by his estranged wife at his apartment in Shanghai in November. The couple had met and married after he moved to China to work in the supply business of the British retailer Next. They had been living separately for a year and Michael's family say the children sp..
July 26, 2018

Brics back ‘open world economy’ that benefits all nations

Brics back 'open world economy' that benefits all nations Image copyright Getty Images The leaders of the Brics emerging economies have signed a declaration stressing the importance of an "open world economy", in which all countries benefit from globalisation. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also backed an "open and inclusive" multilateral trading system under World Trade Organization rules. But they said the multilateral trading system faced unprecedented challenges. Their comments come amid mounting trade tensions sparked by US tariffs. The leaders have been meeting at the 10th Brics summit in Johannesburg. US and EU retreat from brink on tradeWhat is a trade war and why should I worryTrade row may hurt global growth says G20"We reaffirm the centrality of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organization, that promotes a predictable trade environment and the centralit..
July 26, 2018

Laos dam collapse: Survivors and NGOs query official toll

Laos dam collapse: Survivors and NGOs query official toll Image caption Conditions were basic at this emergency shelter in Paksong The death toll from the dam collapse in Laos could be much higher than the official figure of 27, local people and aid agencies have told the BBC. Few details of the rescue operation are being released by the Laotian authorities - but a BBC team managed to gain brief access to the site and survivors, despite a ban on foreign media. At the main hospital in Attapeau, the town closest to the disaster zone, those who were injured and rescued have been receiving treatment. They include La and his wife Aun, whose two daughters were swept away. La described how the current pulled the boat carrying his one-year-old daughter out of his hands. "I put my daughter and my wife on the boat. I tried to hold it but the water was very strong. I couldn't hold it any longer and the boat flipped over and my daughter fell into the water," he said. Image caption La and A..
July 26, 2018

Syphilis: How deadly disease has spread in Australia

Syphilis: How deadly disease has spread in Australia Image copyright SA HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE Image caption Authorities are raising awareness about syphilis through TV adverts such as this one Less than a decade ago, doctors in Australia believed they were close to eliminating syphilis from remote indigenous communities - the centre of national efforts to fight the disease. Since then, however, the sexually transmitted infection has grown into an outbreak spanning three states and a territory. Doctors say six babies have died from congenital syphilis since 2011. During the same period, they say the outbreak overwhelmingly affecting indigenous Australians has risen from about 120 people to more than 2,100. Health experts have characterised it as a crisis, saying the nation faces a "big task" to bring the problem under control. How did this happen?The majority of syphilis sufferers in Australia are young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in regional ..
July 26, 2018

Pakistan election: Khan claims victory amid rigging claims

Pakistan election: Khan claims victory amid rigging claims Image copyright Reuters Image caption Imran Khan giving his televised speech from his home on the outskirts of Islamabad Former cricketer Imran Khan has claimed victory in Pakistan's election, amid accusations of vote rigging by rivals. In a television address, he said: "We were successful and we were given a mandate." His PTI party is still expected to fall short of an overall majority and to seek coalition partners. Campaigning has been marred by violence. On voting day a bomb killed 31 people at a polling station. Mr Khan, the charismatic aristocrat who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long shed his celebrity playboy image and has recently faced accusations that his election challenge was benefiting from military interference in the nuclear-armed republic. In his address he also appealed to his rivals to join hands with him to develop Pakistan. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media..
July 26, 2018

Air India blames weather for bed bugs infestation

Air India blames weather for bed bugs infestation Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air India is India's biggest international carrier India's national carrier, Air India, has blamed the weather for a bed bug infestation on one of its recent flights from New York to the western city of Mumbai. Photos of a few business class passengers bitten by bed bugs were widely shared online in the past week. Air India has since apologised and ordered an inquiry. It also promised to "rigorously fumigate" the plane. India's biggest international carrier, the airline is in severe debt. Air India sale: Who'll buy the debt-laden carrier?Adding to its woes, the company has lost market share to new entrants and suffers a bad reputation of having poor service and cancelling flights. A few years ago, an Air India plane travelling from Mumbai to London was forced to turn back mid-flight after a rat was spotted on board. Air India: The airline everyone loves to hateAyeshea Pe..
July 26, 2018

India matchmaker apologises for “sexist” ad

India matchmaker apologises for "sexist" ad Image copyright AFP Image caption It's common for matrimonial agencies to organise events in India An Indian matchmaking service has apologised after it was criticised for an advertisement that categorised "beautiful girls" as "young achievers". The advert was for an event which was trying to bring together "highly successful young achievers" and people from "ultra-rich families". It was carried out on the front page of a national daily and went viral online. It is common for matrimonial agencies to organise events in India, where arranged marriages are still prevalent. The advertisement listed their ideal clientele, which included a "young achievers" category inviting entrepreneurs, professionals, graduates from top universities and "beautiful girls". After the advert appeared on Wednesday, people criticised it for being "sexist", "classist" and "elitist". Many criticised it for listing beauty as an achievement for young women. Skip..
July 26, 2018

Myanmar flooding displaces more than 16,000 people

Myanmar flooding displaces more than 16,000 people Image copyright EPA More than 16,000 people are thought to have been displaced by floods following heavy monsoon rains in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The flood began at the weekend and worst hit the country's eastern Kayin state on the border with Thailand. Large areas have been evacuated and people were moved to shelters to wait for the waters to subside. The summer monsoon has brought heavy rain across most of Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Japan. Image copyright EPA Image caption Many villages had to be evacuated According to the Myanmar Times, residents of the state capital Hpa-an say that while each year there is flooding, this time things are much worse. More than 10,000 residents of the city had to leave their homes. The extreme flooding comes just days after a burst dam in Laos flooded several villages leaving many dead and hundreds more missing. Race to rescue flooded Laos villagers Japan reels from worst f..
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