January 19, 2019

What China’s slowdown means for UK

China's slowdown and what it means for the UK Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Exporters and investors will be looking at China's GDP figures closely Monday sees the release of China's GDP figures, and they'll be even more closely watched than usual. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, blamed cautious Chinese consumers in part for his company's failure to sell as many iPhones as he hoped, sending share prices down around the globe. Car sales in the country, meanwhile, have dropped for the first time in two decades. On the back of such evidence, investors and policymakers are becoming increasingly jittery about the state of such a crucial engine of world growth. How concerned should they be?Measuring an economy's output is never easy but China's data comes with a bigger health warning than most. Rather than 6.5%, independent economists say the GDP figure may actually be closer to 5% - or even lower. Xiang Songzuo, a finance professor and forme..
January 19, 2019

Thai Buddhist monks killed in temple shooting

Thai Buddhist monks killed in temple shooting Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Armed police were deployed to the temple in Narathiwat province Two Buddhist monks have been fatally shot and two others wounded inside a temple in southern Thailand. Witnesses described seeing gunmen dressed in black arrive on motorbikes before storming the Rattanaupap temple, shooting the monks at close range. No one has claimed Friday's attack, but it took place in Narathiwat province near the border with Malaysia, which for years has seen rebel violence. Muslim separatists there are fighting the Buddhist-majority Thai state. Some 7,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the insurgency began in 2004. The violence in the region has resulted in the deaths of at least 23 monks, according to the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW). Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thailand's military rulers have said those behind the attack will be "punished" Muslim and Budd..
January 18, 2019

Trump-Kim summit: Second meeting by end of February

Trump-Kim summit: Second meeting by end of February Image copyright EPA Image caption Kim Yong-chol, who visited the White House on Friday, is close to the North Korean leader US President Donald Trump is to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a second summit by the end of February, the White House says. The announcement came after Mr Trump met top North Korean negotiator Kim Yong-chol at the White House. He had been expected to deliver a letter from Kim Jong-un to Mr Trump. Little progress has been made on denuclearisation since their historic summit in Singapore last June. No venue has been announced for the new summit. Speculation is mounting that it could be held in Vietnam. North Korea's breakdown of communication Handshake moment explained in pictures Kim Yong-chol's visit to Washington is the first sign of movement in nuclear diplomacy with North Korea for months, BBC state department correspondent Barbara Plett Usher reports. Skip Twitter post by @WhiteHouse Pr..
January 18, 2019

Saiga ranger’s death sparks Kazakh call for justice

Saiga ranger's death sparks Kazakh call for justice Image caption Mr Nurgaliev and Mr Nitsyk appeared in a BBC video in May 2018 On 13 January two Kazakh rangers were on their usual patrol when they saw something strange - fresh car tracks. In the remote uninhabited steppe, this could mean only one thing - poachers. Yerlan Nurgaliev and Pyotr Nitsyk quickly gave chase, firing warning shots to stop the cars speeding away. When the cars stopped, armed men got out. The rangers were badly beaten up, trying to arrest the criminals. Mr Nurgaliev died in hospital two days later. This is the first time in the history of Okhotzooprom, the agency that protects Kazakhstan's wildlife, that poachers have killed a state ranger. Mr Nurgaliev's death has caused a huge outcry with many people urging authorities not to let the criminals get away with this murder. The prosecutor-general is personally overseeing the investigation of this case. Deeper issueBut this incident has also e..
January 18, 2019

Trump to meet North Korea’s Kim Yong-chol at White House

Trump to meet North Korea's Kim Yong-chol at White House Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kim Yong-chol has emerged as North Korea's lead negotiator in talks with the US US President Donald Trump will meet a top North Korean negotiator amid speculation about a possible new summit between the two countries' leaders. Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says the talks at the White House later with Kim Yong-chol will focus on North Korean de-nuclearisation. He is reportedly carrying a letter from leader Kim Jong-un to Mr Trump. Little progress has been made on de-nuclearisation since their historic summit in Singapore last June. Watch: Inside train used by Kim on China visit North Korea's breakdown of communication Speculation is mounting that a second meeting could be held in Vietnam. Who is Kim Yong-chol?Gen Kim, a former spymaster often referred to as Kim Jong-un's right-hand man, has emerged as North Korea's lead negotiator in recent talks with the US. He is..
January 18, 2019

US citizen arrested for war crimes in Bangladesh ‘was only 13’

US citizen arrested for war crimes in Bangladesh 'was only 13' Image copyright Supplied Image caption Mr Monir's family told the BBC they believe he is being held unjustly A US citizen of Bangladeshi descent has been arrested during a visit to his native country for allegedly committing "war crimes" during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971 - a year when his family say he was only 13. Mohamed Jubair Monir, a New York based businessman, was arrested in a village on 19 December - four weeks after he landed in Bangladesh. His family in the US say he has not yet even been allowed to make a phone call home. Mr Monir will be tried by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) - a court set up by the Bangladeshi government in 2010 to prosecute those accused of committing war crimes in 1971. Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan after a war in which hundreds of thousands were killed and more than 10 million fled their homes. The Bangladeshi government says that three mill..
January 18, 2019

Meng Hongwei: Wife of ex-Interpol chief seeks France asylum

Meng Hongwei: Wife of ex-Interpol chief seeks France asylum Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGrace Meng says "cruel" China is persecuting her husband The wife of Meng Hongwei, the Interpol president held in China since September, has sought asylum in France for herself and her twin children. Grace Meng and the seven-year-olds live in Lyon, the international police agency's headquarters. Meng Hongwei disappeared during a visit to China. In October the Chinese authorities said Mr Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking. His wife and children are under police protection, having received threats. Quoted by France Inter radio on Friday, she said, "I fear they will kidnap me." "I've received strange phone calls. Even my car was damaged. Two Chinese - a man and woman - followed me to the hotel," she said. In media interviews she has refused to show her face, fearing for her safety. On the day her husband went missing, she said he had sent ..
January 18, 2019

Australia swelters through record-breaking heatwave

Australia swelters through record-breaking heatwave Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Australians have flocked to beaches and watering holes to cool off Australia has just sweltered through at least five of its 10 warmest days on record, authorities estimate. An extreme heatwave has afflicted the nation since Saturday, causing wildlife deaths, bushfires and an increase in hospital admissions. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said preliminary readings showed daily national temperature highs of 40C. The town of Noona in New South Wales meanwhile recorded a night-time temperature of 35.9C. It was the highest minimum temperature ever recorded anywhere in Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said. Temperatures on Friday will soar above 42C in "broad areas", the bureau predicted, before a cool change in southern and central areas of the country over the weekend. However parts of Western Australia are expected to see temperatures up to 14 degrees higher than average. Forec..
January 18, 2019

A virtual Singapore and the cities of the future

Virtual cities: Designing the metropolises of the future Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The cities of the future will be informed by data as much as by design Simulation software that can create accurate "digital twins" of entire cities is enabling planners, designers and engineers to improve their designs and measure the effect changes will have on the lives of citizens. Cities are hugely complex and dynamic creations. They live and breathe. Think about all the parts: millions of people, schools, offices, shops, parks, utilities, hospitals, homes and transport systems. Changing one aspect affects many others. Which is why planning is such a hard job. So imagine having a tool at your disposal that could answer questions such as "What will happen to pedestrian and traffic flow if we put the new metro station here?" or "How can we persuade more people to leave their cars at home when they go to work?" This is where 3D simulation software is coming into its own. Architects, ..
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