June 26, 2018

Thai teenage football team trapped in cave may be ‘still alive’

Thai teenage football team trapped in cave may be 'still alive' Image copyright AFP Image caption Navy divers armed with oxygen tanks and food continued their search for the missing teenagers on Tuesday Thailand's deputy PM has said he is optimistic a group of young footballers trapped inside a cave are still alive, as the search enters a third day. The boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach entered the cave in Chiang Rai province on Saturday. Navy divers sent into search resumed their efforts on Tuesday after rising waters halted the search. They had reportedly seen fresh footprints inside the cave complex, raising hopes for the group's safety. "We are still optimistic they are all alive," Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Tuesday. "Even though they may not have anything to eat, they should have water to drink." The Tham Luang Nang Non cave is a tourist attraction which runs for many kilometres underground. The boys and their 25-year-old c..
June 26, 2018

Most expensive city for expats revealed

Most expensive city for expats revealed Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Hong Kong has some of the most crowded housing on the planet Hong Kong is back in top spot as the most expensive city to live in the world as an expat, according to research. The city of skyscrapers had dropped to second place last year behind Luanda, the capital of Angola. But it now heads the Asia-dominated list again, according to the 24th annual cost of living survey carried out by advisory firm Mercer. The survey covers costs ranging from housing and clothes to bread and beer. It examines the cost of 200 items in each location, including accommodation, transport, clothes, food and entertainment, comparing prices such as a cinema ticket, a pair of jeans, a litre of water, a cup of coffee, a litre of petrol and a litre of milk. In this year's rankings, Tokyo is the second most expensive city followed by Zurich and Singapore, with Seoul in fifth. This means that four out of five of the world&#039..
June 26, 2018

Philippine President Duterte calls God ‘stupid’

Philippine President Duterte calls God 'stupid' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Duterte is known for being outspoken in his views Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called God "stupid", sparking anger in the largely Catholic country. In a televised speech, he slammed the story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace in the Bible and the logic behind the Christian concept of original sin. Mr Duterte is well known known for his outrageous statements and unfiltered attacks on his rivals. While the church and many citizens condemned his remarks, his office said he was expressing personal beliefs. The president has in the past also criticised the Pope in crude language and has racked up a string of other statements widely deemed as highly offensive, cruel or misogynist. His latest comments came at a speech in Davao, the city he governed as a major before running as president. Skip Twitter post by @kaesuin Duterte has crossed the line when he gave that statemen..
June 25, 2018

Cockatoo identified in 13th Century European book

Cockatoo identified in 13th Century European book Image copyright BIBLIOTECA APOSTOLICA VATICANA Image caption The cockatoo belongs to either the triton or yellow-crested species, researchers say Researchers have discovered the oldest-known European illustrations of an Australasian cockatoo, in a manuscript from the 13th Century. Four drawings of the white bird were found in a falconry book once owned by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The book is now in the Vatican Library. They pre-date other European depictions of cockatoos by 250 years. Researchers say the images in the book, dated between 1241-1248, provide insight into medieval trade routes. "The fact that a cockatoo reached Sicily during the 13th Century shows that merchants plying their trade to the north of Australia were part of a flourishing network that reached west to the Middle East and beyond," said co-author Dr Heather Dalton, from the University of Melbourne. The bird was either a yellow-crested or a triton cockatoo,..
June 25, 2018

Benazir Bhutto assassination: ‘Most wanted’ in murder resurfaces

Benazir Bhutto assassination: 'Most wanted' in murder resurfaces Image caption Ikramullah is thought to have been a back-up suicide bomber, should the first have failed A militant alleged to have been part of the cell that murdered former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto has appeared in a Taliban video denying his involvement. Ikramullah is believed to have been a back-up suicide bomber, who was meant to detonate his explosive vest if the first attacker did not succeed. But officials say he walked away after the other bomber blew himself up, killing Ms Bhutto and at least 20 others at rally in Rawalpindi in 2007. A senior Bhutto aide said he was lying. In his first public statement on the case, Ikramullah appears in a video produced by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban which was obtained by the BBC. It is believed to have been filmed in eastern Afghanistan, where the militants are based. Obituary: Benazir Bhutto How Benazir Bhutto's assassination was covered up De..
June 25, 2018

Plastic garbage patch: Medical tests ‘inspired me to investigate’

Plastic garbage patch: Medical tests 'inspired me to investigate' Image copyright Emily Penn Image caption Emily Penn is concerned about the effects of plastic on human health Experienced sailor Emily Penn has set out with an all-female crew to investigate the world's largest accumulation of marine plastic. Her team will carry out scientific experiments on the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", now said to be three times the size of France. Ms Penn said her own medical tests had convinced her of the potential toxic impacts of plastic, especially for women. Data will be shared with universities. Why is this story important?In March this year, scientists published their latest estimate of the size of what's officially termed the North Pacific Gyre - this moving mess of plastic is better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and is formed by winds and ocean currents that swirl the material around, in the same way that water spirals down a drain. The study concluded t..
June 25, 2018

Tourists banned from Malaysia mosque after provocative dance

Tourists banned from Malaysia mosque after provocative dance Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Kota Kinabalu mosque in Borneo is famous for its dome and minarets A mosque in Malaysia has banned tourists from visiting after a video of two women dancing in front of the site was shared online. The two women, who were wearing shorts and with bare midriffs, were filmed dancing on a wall in front of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque on Borneo island. Authorities are trying to identify the pair, who have been described as foreigners of east Asian appearance. Footage of the incident has been viewed around 270,000 times on Facebook. Buddha tattoos and e-cigs: Things that get you arrested abroadAn official from Sabah state's tourism ministry said the video showed a "lack of respect to our Muslim worshippers as well as the hospitality extended" to the visitors. Image copyright Saba Info Image caption A local official said the incident showed a "lack of respect" On Sunday, the mosqu..
June 25, 2018

Chinese villagers give up coffins in funeral reform

Chinese villagers give up coffins in funeral reform Image copyright Beijing News Image caption Thousands of coffins have been destroyed in southern Jiangxi province A controversial campaign for Chinese villagers to give up their coffins in favour of environmentally friendly cremations is raising eyebrows in China. Influential news website The Paper highlighted on 23 June that more than 5,000 residents in south-east Jiangxi province gave up coffins over the weekend, with some reports saying that many were "forcibly" made to do so. Media are sharing pictures of wooden coffins piled up onto carts, or being transported down from high buildings for removal in the city of Gao'an. China is attempting to change public perceptions about traditionally favoured burials, and encourage cremations, in order to tackle its land resource problem. Traditionally, Chinese people believe that burial is "the proper way to handle a dead body", the official Xinhua News Agency says. Chinese people in..
June 25, 2018

Phillip Hancock: Rare foreign organ donor praised in China

Phillip Hancock: Rare foreign organ donor praised in China Image copyright PETER HANCOCK Image caption Phillip Hancock is the first foreigner to be an organ donor in Chongqing Phillip Hancock had been working as an English teacher in China when he unexpectedly fell ill and died last month. The posthumous gift of the Australian's organs has been lauded in China, a nation with few foreign donors, and changed five lives. Mr Hancock, 27, died from complications related to type 1 diabetes in the city of Chongqing on 9 May. According to the Red Cross Society of China, he became Chongqing's first foreign organ donor and only the seventh in the nation's history. Mr Hancock's liver and kidneys were used in three life-saving operations. His corneas helped two people to see again. Organ donation remains uncommon in China, which has one of the lowest donor rates in the world. Mr Hancock's gift struck a chord with many Chinese on social media, with some calling him a "her..
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