July 24, 2018

‘Hundreds missing’ after Laos dam collapse

'Hundreds missing' after Laos dam collapse Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam collapsed in south-east Laos, state media reported. The collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapeu province late on Monday sent flash floods through six villages, Laos News Agency said. "Several human lives" were lost and "several hundreds of people [are] missing", it added. More than 6,600 people have been made homeless by the floods, reports said. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.
July 24, 2018

Japan heatwave declared natural disaster as death toll mounts

Japan heatwave declared natural disaster as death toll mounts Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The public are being advised to take every precaution to avoid the extreme heat Japan's weather agency has declared a heatwave sweeping the country a natural disaster, with at least 65 deaths recorded in the past two weeks. An agency spokesman warned that "unprecedented levels of heat" were being seen in some areas. More than 22,000 people have been admitted to hospital with heat stroke, nearly half of them elderly, emergency officials say. The heatwave shows no sign of abating, forecasters say. On Monday, the city of Kumagaya reported a temperature of 41.1C (106F), the highest ever recorded in Japan. In central Tokyo, temperatures over 40C were also registered for the first time. Five places that have just broken heat recordsThe Japan Meteorological Agency warned that temperatures of 35C or higher would continue until early August. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption..
July 24, 2018

Australia eyeliner warning over lead-poisoned children

Australia eyeliner warning over lead-poisoned children Image copyright NSW GOVERNMENT Image caption Health authorities found high concentrations of lead in the eyeliner products Three children in Australia are suspected to have fallen ill from using eyeliner contaminated with lead, authorities say. The New South Wales state government issued a public health alert over the Pakistan-made Hashmi brand products. The kohl cosmetics were found to contain 84% lead, as well as other dangerous metals. The products were legally imported but contained dangerously misleading packaging, the government said. Doctors had raised concerns when they found lead in the blood of the children, all of whom were related. "An investigation indicated the health concerns were likely to have been caused by one of the Hashmi brand eyeliners," said Matt Kean, the state minister overseeing regulation. Other nations have previously issued health warnings about Hashmi brand eyeliners. The products are banned for sal..
July 24, 2018

Thai cave boys to be ordained in Buddhist ceremony

Thai cave boys to be ordained in Buddhist ceremony Image copyright AFP Image caption Several of the boys had previously attended a religious ceremony at a Buddhist temple Most members of the Thai youth football team rescued from a flooded cave will have their heads shaved and don robes to be ordained as novices in a Buddhist ceremony on Tuesday. Their coach will also receive monk's orders. One of the boys will not join the ceremony as he is a Christian. The group will spend nine days living in a monastery, a tradition for males in Thailand who experience adversity. They were trapped for more than two weeks before a dramatic rescue. The boys were all released from hospital last week and are said to be in good health after their ordeal in the snaking caverns of the Tham Luang caves of northern Thailand. This step is intended to be a "spiritual cleansing" for the group. "They should spend time in a monastery. It's for their protection," Seewad Sompiangjai, grandfather of Ni..
July 24, 2018

Bangladesh cafe siege: Briton Hasnat Karim freed without charge

Bangladesh cafe siege: Briton Hasnat Karim freed without charge Image copyright AFP Image caption British national Hasnat Karim has been acquitted of involvement in the 2016 cafe siege A British man detained in Bangladesh following a deadly cafe siege two years ago has been freed without charge. Hasnat Karim was celebrating his daughter's 13th birthday at the Holey Artisan cafe with his family in the capital Dhaka in July 2016 when it was targeted by Islamist militants. Twenty-two people, mostly foreigners, were killed over the course of the 12-hour siege, in what was the country's worst terrorist attack. Eight suspects other have been charged. Mr Karim, who is in his late forties and has dual British-Bangladeshi citizenship, was taken hostage when gunmen stormed the cafe. Eyewitnesses at the time said he became a police suspect because he agreed to become a human shield during the siege. Human rights group Amnesty International had campaigned against Mr Karim's continu..
July 23, 2018

Yuko Fujii, the judo coach overthrowing gender stereotypes

Yuko Fujii, the judo coach overthrowing gender stereotypes Image caption Yuko Fujii is unlikely to be thrown head first on the mat these days At Yuko Fujii's first judo practice, over 30 years ago in Japan, a little boy threw her head-first on the mat, and she never wanted to practise the martial art again. Today, she has made history as the first female head coach of Brazilian men's judo. In traditionally macho Brazil and in the male-dominant sports world, a female coach of the country's renowned judo programme was practically unthinkable. In professional sports, it is uncommon for women to coach even women's teams, and almost unheard of for women to coach men's teams. So Yuko's appointment was an unexpected and welcome step forward for women, not just in judo but also in sports in general. Image caption The 35-year-old says that she just wants to contribute "everything I have" to the team Women often face discrimination in sports in Brazil. In footba..
July 23, 2018

N Korea ‘begins dismantling’ rocket launch site

N Korea 'begins dismantling' rocket launch site Image copyright Reuters Image caption North Korea has used the Sohae station to launch rockets North Korea appears to have begun dismantling part of a key rocket launch site in the country's north-west. Satellite images of the Sohae station seen by US-based monitoring group 38 North suggest Pyongyang is complying with a promise made to the US in June. President Donald Trump said North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to destroy an engine test site, but did specify which one. Pyongyang has maintained that Sohae is a satellite launch site. But US officials suspect that it has been used to test ballistic missiles. Image copyright AFP PHOTO/ Pleiades CNES 2018 Image caption The satellite imagery appears to show the dismantling of facilities at North Korea's Sohae site During a landmark meeting between President and Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month, the two leaders signed a deal to work towards the "complete ..
July 23, 2018

Pakistan election raises fears of ‘creeping coup’

Pakistan election raises fears of 'creeping coup' Image copyright AFP A day before Pakistan's 11th national election, the country's dream of undiluted democracy appears to be receding - again. In its 70-year history, Pakistan has alternated between quasi-democracy and pure military rule. In the process it has become embroiled in international conflicts and morphed into a home base for Islamist militancy. Over the past decade, Pakistanis have witnessed democracy at its most undiluted thus far, but it's now under threat from what some say appears to be a "democratic coup" of sorts. And just as in the past, the country's powerful military establishment remains the chief suspect behind the fresh round of political manipulation. In the past, the military used to either stage a direct coup or use special powers to sack an elected government and then manipulate elections to ensure it wasn't re-elected. In 2008, those special powers were done away with, lead..
July 23, 2018

WhatsApp ‘admin’ spends five months in an Indian jail

WhatsApp ‘admin’ spends five months in an Indian jail Image copyright Reuters A student has spent five months in an Indian jail over a WhatsApp message he did not send. Local reports say the 21-year-old man was charged with sedition because of "objectionable" content, although it is not clear what the message said. Police allege the man was the administrator of the WhatsApp group, when a complaint was filed. His family argue he was made a "default admin" only after the the original administrators had fled the group. India lynchings: WhatsApp sets new rules after mob killings Who can stop India WhatsApp lynchings? How WhatsApp helped turn an Indian village into a lynch mob Junaid Khan, a student from the town of Talen in India's central Madhya Pradesh state was arrested on 14 February. According to local reports, the charges stem from a message that was forwarded in a WhatsApp group of which he was a part, leading to him being accused of sedition. The BBC has confirmed that Mr K..
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