June 25, 2018

Authorities search for football team trapped in Thai cave

Authorities search for football team trapped in Thai cave Image copyright MAE SAI PROVINCIAL POLICE STATION/Facebook Image caption Rescue efforts are underway in Thailand's northern Chiang Rai province Rescue divers are searching for 12 members of a youth football team thought to be trapped in a cave in northern Thailand. Authorities believe the boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province on Saturday. The group were apparently trapped after heavy rains flooded a stream at the cave's entrance, according to reports. The cave is a tourist attraction which runs for many kilometres underground. According to the Bangkok Post newspaper, visitors must cross a small stream to enter Tham Luang Nang Non, making it inaccessible if the stream floods. Police Colonel Komsan Saardluan told news agency AP the cave can flood up to 5m (16ft) during Thailand's rainy season, which runs from June to October. Image copyright MA..
June 24, 2018

How Amazon and Netflix are changing comedy in India

How Amazon and Netflix are changing comedy in India Image copyright Amazon Prime Video Image caption Kanan Gill is one of India's best known stand-up comics Standing on a stage facing an amused audience, Indian stand-up comic Kanan Gill recounts his experience of going for "handwriting analysis". "The guy looked at my handwriting and said, 'Sir, you are very gullible,'" he says. "I was like, 'How do you know that?'" "And he's like, 'Because you came here.'" The audience howls with laughter. This is a clip from Mr Gill's hour-long Amazon Prime special, Keep It Real, which was released in 2017. Mr Gill is one of several Indian comedians who have made shows for international streaming sites. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video launched in India in 2016 and almost immediately started tapping into the country's stand-up comedy talent. Image copyright Zakir Khan Image caption Zakir Khan, 30, started out as a stand-up comic on YouTube Comedy wa..
June 24, 2018

The forgotten Burmese heroes of World War Two

Searching for Burma's forgotten World War Two heroes Image caption Saw Berny was one of tens of thousands from all over Burma who volunteered to fight for Britain against the Japanese The soldiers who fought for Britain in Burma (now Myanmar) in World War Two have often been called the Forgotten Army, but the Burmese who formed part of this army were truly forgotten by the UK in the decades after the war. For the last 11 years, reports film-maker Alex Bescoby, a group of British volunteers has been struggling to find survivors and to help them in the final years of their lives. The year is 1944, and darkness is falling over the thick jungle of Burma's eastern hills. Under the dripping canopy, a young Karen man holds his breath as he carefully conceals a landmine in the undergrowth beside a jungle track. He scrambles up the steep hillside, uncoiling wire as he goes. At the top of the hill, he removes the fuse from a hand-grenade and connects it to the wire. He settles into pos..
June 23, 2018

Trump says North Korea still ‘extraordinary threat’

Trump says North Korea still 'extraordinary threat' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhy do North Koreans revere a mountain? US President Donald Trump has renewed sanctions on North Korea, citing an "extraordinary threat" from its nuclear weapons - just 10 days after saying there was no risk from Pyongyang. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea," he tweeted on 13 June, a day after meeting the country's leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. The move came as the US and South Korea cancelled two more training exercises. The Pentagon said the goal was to support diplomatic negotiations. It follows the decision earlier this week to suspend a major joint military exercise between the US and South Korea that had been planned for August. President Trump promised to end the annual "war games" between the allies in an unexpected concession at his summit with Mr Kim, calling them "provocative" and "expensive". That came as a shock to many, as t..
June 22, 2018

The Kashmiri art bringing Hindus and Muslims together

The Kashmiri art bringing Hindus and Muslims together Image caption A unique art exhibition in Kashmir showcased work from Hindu and Muslim communities An art exhibition bringing together Hindu artists - who had to flee Indian-administered Kashmir - with their Muslim counterparts has struck an emotional chord with locals, reports Sameer Yasir. Avtar Krishan Raina, a Kashmiri Hindu or Pandit, has returned to the home he fled for the first time since he left in 1990 in order to participate in a unique exhibition that has brought artists and sculptors from his community together with Muslim artists. Mr Raina is one of an estimated 200,000 people in his community who were forced to leave the state in the early 1990s under threat from Muslim militants who had initiated a violent insurgency against Indian rule in the region. One day, he says, he came home to find that separatist militants had stuck a poster outside his home. It demanded that he poison his dog, which barked whenever they wer..
June 22, 2018

North Korean propaganda changes its tune

North Korean propaganda changes its tune Image copyright DPRKToday Image caption This poster calls for an easing of tension to counter "the danger of war" Over the past few months, it seems, North Korea's propaganda has been changing its tune. Banners and posters displayed across the capital and other towns have typically featured the US as a brutal imperialist aggressor and South Korea or Japan as Washington's willing allies. But visitors to the country say they've seen those posters replaced by propaganda pushing economic progress and the inter-Korean rapprochement. Leading newspapers in the tightly controlled country have also seen a shift in tone, a sign the country is starting to reflect its recent diplomatic thaw to the people. US no longer an enemy?The vast majority of North Koreans have very little access to information, so state media and propaganda have a far greater impact than elsewhere in the world. With the US traditionally depicted as the main enemy, ..
June 22, 2018

Why does India’s air look different from space?

Why does India's air look different from space? Image copyright COPERNICUS SENTINEL DATA 2018/BIRA-IASB/DLR Image caption Formaldehyde as measured by S5P-Tropomi: The map contains four months of observations up to April this year There is something very distinct about the air over India and the surrounding countries in South Asia. It is the presence of formaldehyde - a colourless gas that is naturally released by vegetation but also from a number of polluting activities. The elevated concentrations have been observed by Europe's new Sentinel-5P satellite, which was launched last October to track air quality worldwide. It is information that will inform policies to clean up the atmosphere. Tracking ships' dirty fumes from orbit Sentinel tracks California smoke plume New Sentinel satellite tracks dirty air Compared to the major constituents like nitrogen and oxygen, the formaldehyde signal is actually very small; in every billion air molecules just a few will be CH₂O...
June 22, 2018

Is racism worsening Australia’s China influence row?

Is racism worsening Australia's China influence row? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIs China trying to influence Australian politics? In recent months, Australia has been struggling with a vexing issue - how to stand up for its values and deal with China's increasing influence. Australia has been moving to address the issue on various levels, from its politics to its economy and its universities. But hand-in-hand comes another question: how can this be done - and discussed - without inflaming China, its biggest economic support, and Chinese Australians? Is the "China influence" debate at risk of becoming racist? The scrutiny explained"It almost feels like a lynch mob has been sent to question each and every one of us Chinese Australians about our loyalties," Erin Chew, co-founder of lobby group Asian Australia Alliance, told the BBC. The question of whether China is exerting too much influence over Australia reached a peak last year when Canberra..
June 22, 2018

Chinese park grants free entry to heavier women

Chinese park grants free entry to heavier women Image copyright BTIME Image caption Women had to sit in a large weighing scale if they wanted free entry to the park A theme park in northern China offered free entry tickets this week to women if they weighed over nine and a half stone (61.8kg), it's reported. According to the China Daily newspaper, the Tang Paradise park in the northern city of Xi'an granted hundreds of women free entry from 15-19 June if they were heavier than a Tang Dynasty imperial concubine. It says that the Tang Dynasty-themed park had chosen 61.8kg as this was the approximate weight of Yang Guifei, an eighth century consort and one of China's "four great beauties". The promotion highlighted that being "slightly overweight" was a beauty standard during the ancient dynasty (618-907 AD). Female visitors tested whether they were eligible for a free ticket by sitting in a giant weighing scale, and those who were heavier were also entered into a compet..
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