June 16, 2018

Spencer Tunick: Melbourne Woolworths to allow nude photo shoot

Spencer Tunick: Melbourne Woolworths to allow nude photo shoot Image copyright SPENCER TUNICK Image caption On 9th July, this Melbourne car park will be full of naked people Australian supermarket chain Woolworths says US artist Spencer Tunick can use a car park on top of one of its Melbourne stores for a mass naked photo shoot, reversing an earlier decision. In April, Woolworths turned down Mr Tunick's request to use the location in Prahran, saying it would be too disruptive on a Saturday. An online petition was launched. Now Woolworths says he can use the car park for an hour on a Monday morning. "It's a good outcome," said the store. How it feels to strip down for nude art Thousands strip naked for Tunick artwork The photo shoot is part of the Chapel Street Provocare arts festival in the upmarket district of Victoria's state capital. "In further discussions with the festival organisers, they indicated a willingness to be flexible with dates and times to ensure the s..
June 16, 2018

Thai king takes control of some $30bn crown assets

Thai king takes control of some $30bn crown assets Image copyright EPA Image caption Maha Vajiralongkorn became king in December 2016 Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been granted full, personal ownership of royal assets thought to be worth at least $30bn (£22bn). The Crown Property Bureau, which controlled the royal fortune on behalf of the monarchy, said it transferred ownership of the assets following a change in the law last year. It means taxes are liable on royal assets for the first time. Maha Vajiralongkorn, 65, became king in December 2016. He succeeded his much-revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was the world's longest-reigning monarch when he died in October 2016. Thailand has strict lese majeste laws, which ban criticism of the monarchy. The laws have also shielded the royal family from public view and scrutiny. Profile: King Maha VajiralongkornThailand's lese-majeste law explained The Crown Property Bureau said in a statement it was require..
June 16, 2018

Taliban and Afghan forces embrace in Eid ceasefire

Taliban and Afghan forces embrace in Eid ceasefire Image copyright EPAs Image caption Taliban militants, soldiers and residents mingle in Kunduz In scenes that would have seemed impossible a few days ago, members of the Afghan Taliban have been pictured embracing Afghan security forces amid a three-day ceasefire called to mark Eid. Video and images of similar incidents across the country have been posted by local media. Militants have also been pictured meeting Interior Minister Wais Barmak in the capital Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani wants the ceasefire to lead to a longer peace. He has called for the Taliban to negotiate. Earlier this month the Taliban denied that they were in secret talks with the Afghan government. What's life like under the Taliban? Militants 'threaten 70% of Afghanistan' Who are the Taliban? Mr Ghani has also confirmed the death of the commander of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, in a US drone strike in Afghanistan. Extraordinary scen..
June 16, 2018

Harvard University ‘discriminates against Asian-Americans’

Harvard University 'discriminates against Asian-Americans' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Harvard is one of the world's most prestigious universities Harvard University is discriminating against Asian-American applicants, a non-profit group suing the flagship US academic institution has claimed. Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) said Harvard preferred white, black and Hispanic applicants, some less qualified than Asian-American ones. It said Harvard consistently ranked Asian-American applicants lowest on personal traits such as likeability. Harvard denied this, saying admission rates for Asian-Americans had grown. Asian-Americans currently make up 22.2% of students admitted to Harvard, according to the university website. African-Americans constitute 14.6%, Hispanic or Latino 11.6%, Native American or Pacific Islander 2.5%. A category of all others, mainly white students, is just under 50%. 10 things about Harvard graduates: Liberals, virgins and iPhones..
June 16, 2018

Trade tariffs: Chinese media in Trump ‘fools build walls’ jibe

Trade tariffs: Chinese media in Trump 'fools build walls' jibe Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Soybeans are among US exports to be hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs Chinese media have mocked US President Donald Trump over plans to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, saying "wise men build bridges but fools build walls". Mr Trump announced the tariffs on Friday, accusing Beijing of intellectual copyright theft. China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 US goods worth $50bn. Stock markets fell after the announcements amid fear of a trade war. The US had earlier warned that it will impose even more tariffs should China retaliate. Mr Trump said the tariffs were "essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs." The Chinese product lines that have been hit range from aircraft tyres to turbines and commercial dishwashers. What is..
June 15, 2018

From Lashkar Gar to Kabul: Afghanistan’s march for peace

From Lashkar Gar to Kabul: Afghanistan's march for peace Image caption Just seven men began the journey back in March in Lashkar Gah Over the past four weeks, a small but growing band of ordinary Afghans have been marching from Helmand to Kabul to demand an end to 40 years of war and violence. It's a protest unlike any other and in a country short on hope, it's captured the imagination of many Afghans. BBC Kabul's Karim Haidari went to meet them. In Wardak province, 50 kilometres (31 miles) south west of Kabul, an extraordinary procession is making its way down a dusty road in the countryside. Around 80 men, young and old, wearing turbans and hats to protect them from the burning sun, are greeted with garlands and cheers by local people. Carpets have been laid out on the ground to offer them a chance to rest and break their Ramadan fast. Image caption The march has been taking place in the hot Afghan summer After another long day's marching, the cool wind tha..
June 15, 2018

Shujhaat Bukhari: A man who epitomised the best of Kashmir

Shujhaat Bukhari: A man who epitomised the best of Kashmir Image copyright Rising Kashmir Image caption Shujaat Bukhari was killed along with his two bodyguards as he was leaving his office on Thursday Andrew Whitehead, a former BBC India correspondent, has been travelling to and reporting on Kashmir for 25 years. He offers this tribute to his friend, Shujaat Bukhari, editor of Rising Kashmir, who was shot dead in Srinagar on Thursday evening. Kashmir is a conflict which consumes the best of its people. Shujaat Bukhari was a proud Kashmiri, a champion of its language and culture, and someone who sought dialogue over slogans and violence. His independence of mind has cost him his life. One of the chinks of light in Kashmir is the growth of a vigorous local press. On the newsstands in downtown Srinagar, you can see 10 or so English language daily newspapers alongside titles in Urdu and Kashmiri. Rising Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari's paper, shines with energy and editorial vigour. Shuja..
June 15, 2018

Dark Mofo: The provocative festival changing Tasmania’s reputation

Dark Mofo: The provocative festival changing Tasmania's reputation Image copyright EPA Image caption Artist Mike Parr entered this beneath-street chamber on Thursday Once the focus of police concern, Tasmania's Dark Mofo festival remains renowned for confronting, headline-grabbing art. But it has also changed how the state presents itself to the world, writes Adam Morton in Hobart. It is 21:00 on a Thursday, the winter freeze is setting in, and a 73-year-old-man is easing himself down a ladder into a hole in the middle of the main road in the centre of Hobart. As Mike Parr settles into a small steel chamber, council workers fit the lid on the container and seal the road above him. More than 1,000 people have turned out to watch a man be buried alive. He'll stay down there for 72 hours, meditating, reading Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore and being repeatedly run over until he is released on Sunday night. All in the name of art. For the people of Hobart, this is no ..
June 15, 2018

India v Afghanistan: Test debutants beaten inside two days

Afghanistan lose 20 wickets in a day as their Test debut ends in a two-day defeat by India in Bangalore.
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