June 7, 2018

Oldest ‘footprints’ found in China

Oldest 'footprints' found in China Image copyright AFP Image caption The trackways date to the Ediacaran Period The oldest known "footprints" left by an animal have been uncovered in southern China. The identity of the creature that made the 546-million-year-old tracks is still unknown, but they come from the period when the earliest animals are thought to have evolved. The fossil consists of two rows of imprints that represent the earliest known record of an animal with legs. The research by a Chinese team appears in Science Advances journal. Team-members are unclear whether the creature had two legs or several. But they say the tracks probably belong to a bilaterian. This is a group of animals characterised by having paired appendages - in this case, perhaps, paired legs. They are one of the most diverse animal groups in existence today. These legs raised the animal's body above the sediment it was moving across. The trackways were found in the Yangtze Gorges area of..
June 7, 2018

Monsoon ‘becoming very active’ in India

The southwest monsoon has arrived in parts of southern and western India, bringing a risk of torrential rain and flooding over the coming days. Chris Fawkes has more.
June 7, 2018

Kaala: Rajinikanth film on limited Karnataka release after delay

Kaala: Rajinikanth film on limited Karnataka release after delay Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The actor got into controversy over remarks on a long-running water dispute Kaala, a film by Indian superstar Rajinikanth, has gone on limited release in the southern state of Karnataka, despite protests. Screenings earlier on Thursday did not go ahead amid threats from regional groups. Protesters are furious because they feel the star is against Karnataka, which is in a water dispute with Tamil Nadu, where Rajinikanth lives. The star has millions of fans, especially in the southern states. Earlier on Thursday, protesters had reportedly stopped people from buying tickets. Chaos outside cinema halls prompted a delay in screening the film, even though three different courts refused to prevent its release. It was initially banned by a local film association board last week. A senior police official told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that it seemed that cinema officials had decide..
June 7, 2018

Police officer piggybacks man across busy road

June 7, 2018

Afghanistan calls temporary Eid ceasefire with Taliban

Afghanistan calls temporary Eid ceasefire with Taliban Image copyright EPA Image caption Afghan troops will keep fighting Islamic State militants and others The Afghan government has announced a temporary ceasefire with the Taliban but says fighting with other militants will continue. President Ashraf Ghani said the ceasefire would coincide with the end of the Ramadan fasting month, Eid. The Taliban have yet to respond. Last week they denied they were in secret talks with Afghan officials. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed since US-led troops drove the Taliban from power in 2001. Foreign combat forces withdrew in 2014. Since then the Taliban have extended their influence over swathes of the country, and areas previously taken from them are now back under their control. The Afghan army has suffered mounting casualties, although the Taliban are also reported to have been hard hit by US air strikes. A BBC investigation published in January found the militants now have an a..
June 7, 2018

US embassy pulls more China staff over mystery illness

US embassy pulls more China staff over mystery illness Image copyright AFP Image caption US consulate staff in Guangzhou fear they might be being targeted The US has removed several more officials from China over fears they have contracted the same mysterious illness that affected staff in Cuba. The employees, who were working in the southern city of Guangzhou, had reported hearing odd noises. Last year, 24 US staff working at the Cuba embassy suffered brain injuries after reporting "auditory sensations". The incidents have raised concerns that a government or agency may be targeting the US with a new type of sonic weapon. The cases come at a time when China-US relations have been strained amid fears of a trade war. Earlier this month, the State Department issued a health warning to its staff saying an employee in China had reported "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure". It said it was taking the reports seriously, but did not yet know the cause, and warne..
June 7, 2018

Australia jails man over Malaysia Airlines plane bomb threat

Australia jails man over Malaysia Airlines plane bomb threat Image copyright Andrew Leoncelli Image caption Police board the plane after it landed at Melbourne Airport last year A Sri Lankan man who threatened to detonate a bomb on a Malaysia Airlines plane has been jailed in Australia. Manodh Marks, 26, forced Kuala Lumpur-bound jet MH128 to turn back to Melbourne in May last year after he tried to access the cockpit. He was later found not to be carrying explosives and in a drug-induced psychosis, a court heard. It is the first time Australia has jailed a person for attempting to take control of an aircraft. Marks will be deported after serving a maximum sentence of 12 years, judge Michael McInerney told the County Court of Victoria on Thursday. "The passengers and crew certainly were not only concerned, but convinced, that you were indeed in possession of a bomb," the judge said in his sentencing remarks. The flight, carrying more than 200 people, landed safely about 15 minutes aft..
June 7, 2018

Trump-Kim summit: Abe heads to US amid surge of diplomacy

Trump-Kim summit: Abe heads to US amid surge of diplomacy Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Abe has been a frequent guest in Washington Japan's PM Shinzo Abe is set to hold a last-minute meeting with Donald Trump, days before the US president meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Mr Abe's visit is part of a surge of diplomacy ahead of the unprecedented summit on 12 June in Singapore. Few details of the agenda for the Trump-Kim meeting have been confirmed. When he meets Mr Trump in Washington on Thursday, Mr Abe is expected to push for Japan's security concerns to be reflected. Also on Thursday, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan headed to Pyongyang to meet his counterpart Ri Yong-ho. Pushing Tokyo's concernsMr Abe has held regular meetings with Mr Trump since the US president took office. Once it was announced that Mr Trump intended to meet the North Korean leader - a break with decades of US policy - Mr Abe has been eager to brief him on..
June 7, 2018

Spencer Tunick: Supermarket chain halts artist’s nude shoot

Spencer Tunick: Supermarket chain halts artist's nude shoot Image copyright HEIDY ELAINNE Image caption Thousands of people posed for the artist outside the Sydney Opera House in 2010 Photographer Spencer Tunick has started a petition against a decision by an Australian supermarket chain to halt plans for his latest mass nudes shoot. More than 10,000 people had volunteered to pose for the renowned US artist on a rooftop car park in Melbourne. But supermarket giant Woolworths, which owns the location, said the shoot would inconvenience customers. A local business group has protested against the decision, describing it as "prudish". New York-based Mr Tunick is famed for his pictures of naked crowds, sometimes at global landmarks. A Woolworths spokeswoman said: "The request for the photo was for the weekend, which is the busiest time of the week for shopping in our stores." But Mr Tunick said that his shoot had been scheduled to take place early in the morning to minimise disrupti..
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