July 10, 2018

World’s ‘oldest coloured molecules’ are bright pink

World's 'oldest coloured molecules' are bright pink Image copyright LANNON HARLEY Image caption The pink pigments are the fossilised molecules of ancient sea organisms Scientists in Australia have discovered what they say are the world's oldest biological colours, from ancient rocks beneath the Sahara desert. The 1.1 billion-year-old pigments have a bright pink hue, but range from blood red to deep purple in their concentrated form. The pigments are fossilised molecules of chlorophyll produced by ancient sea organisms, scientists said. Researchers ground shale rocks into powder to extract the pigment. "Imagine you could find a fossilised dinosaur skin that still has its original colour, green or blue... that is exactly the type of discovery that we've made," Associate Prof Jochen Brocks from the Australian National University (ANU) told the BBC. "These are actual molecules, the oldest coloured molecules in the world. "When held against the sunlight, they are a..
July 10, 2018

Dissident Liu Xiaobo’s widow ‘allowed to leave China’

Dissident Liu Xiaobo's widow 'allowed to leave China' Image copyright Handout/AFP Image caption Liu Xia (right) with Liu Xiaobo in 2002 The widow of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has been allowed to leave the country, boarding a flight for Germany, reports say. Liu Xia, who had been under house arrest since her husband won the prize in 2010, took a plane to Berlin, family friends told the BBC. Her husband, a university professor turned human rights campaigner, was jailed in 2009 for inciting subversion. He died of liver cancer last year and his body was buried at sea. Liu Xia has never been charged with any crime but said in May she was ready to die in protest at her continued detention. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLiu Xiaobo: China's most influential dissident
July 9, 2018

Australia and NZ recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Australia and NZ recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears Image copyright FOOD STANDARDS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Image caption A range of frozen vegetable products have been recalled from Australian shops Australia has become caught up in a European food scare, with supermarkets across the country recalling bags of frozen vegetables over fears they may contain a deadly bacteria. It follows similar moves in Britain last week over vegetable products from supplier Greenyard Frozen. Food authorities said the vegetables could carry listeria monocytogenes which can cause listeriosis. Listeria in tainted melon killed seven people in Australia earlier this year. UK supermarkets recall frozen vegetables Food Standards Australia and New Zealand have recalled nine products - a mix of corn, carrot, pea and broccoli ranges - that originated from Britain, Belgium and Hungary. They were sold in supermarket chains Woolworths, Aldi and IGA. "The products affected contain a particularly dangerous..
July 9, 2018

Japan floods: 126 killed after torrential rain and landslides

Japan floods: 126 killed after torrential rain and landslides Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is the worst death toll triggered by rains Japan has seen since 1982, when nearly 300 people died At least 126 people are now known to have died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan, says the government. It is the highest death toll caused by rainfall that Japan has seen in more than three decades. Rescuers are now digging through mud and rubble in a race to find survivors, as dozens are still missing. About two million people have evacuated the region after rivers burst their banks. "I have asked my family to prepare for the worst," 38-year-old Kosuke Kiyohara, who has not heard from his sister and her two sons, told AFP. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also cancelled an overseas trip to deal with the flood crisis. Image copyright AFP Image caption More than 70,000 emergency workers have been deployed across western Japan Image copyright G..
July 9, 2018

How India viral messages helped catch rape suspect

How India viral messages helped catch rape suspect Image copyright EPA Image caption Hundreds of people poured onto the streets demanding justice for the girl Viral WhatsApp messages spreading rumours have been blamed for a spate of recent lynchings across India. But police in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh used the platform to track down a rape suspect, reports BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava. The victim, a seven-year-old girl, was reported missing on 26 June by her parents when she didn't return home from school in the town of Mandsaur. The following morning, a vegetable seller found the girl bleeding and unconscious behind a bus stop in a quieter part of the town. She was rushed to a local hospital where doctors confirmed that she had been raped. She is still recovering from grievous injuries, including stab wounds. As news of the brutal attack spread quickly in the small town of some 200,000 people, hundreds of them poured onto the streets demanding justice for t..
July 9, 2018

Cave rescue: Divers ready to save remaining five Thais

Cave rescue: Divers ready to save remaining five Thais Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The boys, aged between 11 and 17, became trapped with their coach on 23 June Divers are preparing to resume a high-risk rescue operation to free the last five members of a group who became trapped in a vast cave system in northern Thailand last month. The health of the four boys and their football coach is said to be good as they ready to be guided through the narrow flooded passages of the complex. Eight boys have been brought out of the caves over the past two days. The operation inside the Tham Luang caves has attracted global attention. The group became trapped on 23 June after heavy rains caused flooding. They were found last week by divers. Who are the Thai boys trapped in a cave? How risky is the Thai boys rescue? How are the rescued boys?The eight boys have not been seen in public, but have been pronounced to be in reasonable health. The four who came out on Monday were stretchere..
July 9, 2018

First eastern quolls born in Australian wild for half a century

First eastern quolls born in Australian wild for half a century Image copyright AFP Image caption The eastern quoll was driven to extinction on the Australian mainland by predators and disease A rare species of marsupial, the eastern quoll, has been born in the wild on the Australian mainland for the first time in more than 50 years. The native animals were once found along Australia's east coast until they were devastated by foxes and disease. Scientists in New South Wales (NSW) reintroduced the species from Tasmania earlier this year and now three females are carrying joeys in their pouches. The bean-sized babies will stay growing inside the pouches for three months. Nick Dexter, who works for the Booderee National Park where the species was reintroduced, said the development marked an important step. "There remains challenges ahead to establish a sustainable population, but to have thirty percent of the female quolls produce pouch young from this pilot project is a move in the..
July 9, 2018

India Delhi bus gang rapists lose death row plea

India Delhi bus gang rapists lose death row plea Image copyright Delhi police Image caption The four men had pleaded not guilty India's Supreme Court has rejected a petition seeking to overturn the death sentences of four men convicted of the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi. Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh had challenged the court's 2017 ruling upholding their death penalty. The brutal gang rape led to nationwide outrage and new anti-rape laws. They have exhausted all their legal options but can still file a mercy petition before India's president. Akshay Singh, the fourth convict, had not challenged his death sentence, but this ruling will also apply to him. Was Delhi gang rape India's #Metoo moment? Profiles: Delhi gang rapists How life has changed for Delhi rape victim's family The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was attacked on a bus that she had boarded with her male friend as they returned home from watching a film in December 2012..
July 9, 2018

India trains delayed due to ‘drunk’ station master

India trains delayed due to 'drunk' station master Image copyright Getty Images Image caption India runs 11,000 trains every day, of which 7,000 are passenger trains Several trains were delayed in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after the station master got drunk and fell asleep while on duty, officials said. Deep Singh did not respond to repeated calls from officials, causing them to rush to the Murshadpur train station. According to local media, Mr Singh was found sleeping in his office with empty liquor bottles under his cot. Authorities said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident. They added that a medical examination showed a high level of alcohol in his blood. "He was dead drunk and could barely walk," a senior railway official is quoted as saying in The Hindu newspaper. He added that it was "a very serious matter" which would be further investigated. India engineless train rolls back for miles India train travels 160km in 'wrong direction'..
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