May 30, 2018

Italian political crisis hits Asian stocks

Italian political crisis hits Asian stocks Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Worries over political unrest in Italy was hurting investor sentiment in Asia Asia stocks joined a global market sell-off on Wednesday as a political crisis in Italy rattled investors. The prospect of early elections and the possibility of eurosceptic parties strengthening their position raised concerns about eurozone stability. Europe has struggled in recent years with a debt crisis and the UK's vote to leave the European Union. Short-term Italian borrowing costs saw their biggest daily jump in 26 years, making it costlier for Italy to borrow. Also hurting sentiment, the US said it planned to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese imports "shortly" after mid-June. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.4%, South Korea's Kospi dropped more than 1.8% and Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng was down 1.4%. "Italian political unrest remains in focus and has risk assets quivering whic..
May 30, 2018

India thunderstorms and lightning strikes kill 50

India thunderstorms and lightning strikes kill 50 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains At least 50 people are reported to have died amid heavy thunder and lightning that battered parts of northern India on Tuesday, officials said. High-speed winds and lighting strikes devastated many villages, bringing down walls and leaving dozens injured. The eastern state of Bihar was the worst hit, with 20 confirmed deaths due to lightning. The latest incidents come weeks after devastating dust storms killed more than 100 people across north India. Lightning strikes are common in India during heavy monsoon rains. Fifteen people have been killed in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and at least 12 have died in the eastern state of Jharkhand, officials told BBC Hindi. Three children died after a tree collapsed on them in the northern state of Uttarakhand, according to the PTI news agency. Why were India's dust storms so..
May 29, 2018

Facebook to be banned in Papua New Guinea for a month

Facebook to be banned in Papua New Guinea for a month Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in America Papua New Guinea will ban Facebook for a month while it identifies fake profiles and considers the website's effect on the country. Communication minister Sam Basil said users posting pornography and false information would be identified. He also suggested the country could set up its own rival social network. Facebook has faced scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and has been criticised over the way it has tried to tackle fake news. 'More conducive'Although only about 10% of people in Papua New Guinea have internet access, the country is proving proactive in its regulation of online services. The government aims to use the month-long ban to analyse how Facebook is being used and prosecute those breaching the country's 2016 cyber-crime law. Mr Basil told the country's Post-Courier: ..
May 29, 2018

The lawyer who became a social media star

The sign language lawyer who became a social media star Image copyright Tang Shuai Image caption The video that energised the Chinese deaf community, featuring Tang Shuai When a lawyer posted a video in sign language about the danger of Ponzi schemes, his post went viral and hundreds of deaf people got in touch with their legal troubles, from fraud to domestic violence. He had uncovered a huge community in need of help. Tang Shuai was simply trying to improve legal knowledge among the deaf community when he posted the video on China's WeChat messaging app in February. It was an instant hit. Mr Tang was flooded with so many friend requests that he had to ask WeChat to boost the friend limit from 5,000 to 10,000. So why did it strike such a chord? The answer goes way beyond legal difficulties and into the complex world of sign language in China. Language barriers There are two types of sign language in the country. Chinese Sign Language (CSL) is taught in schools and used by most ..
May 29, 2018

North Koreans dare to criticise ‘vampire leader’

North Koreans dare to criticise 'vampire leader' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Sun Hui' works in a market. Speaking to ordinary citizens inside North Korea is almost impossible, with visitors heavily policed and communication with the outside world blocked. But two residents were willing to speak to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, despite the threat of death or imprisonment. In North Korea, where leader Kim Jong-un has almost godlike status, to question him out loud is for many unthinkable. Citizens are taught he is all-knowing, and told to inform on dissenters - including their own family members. By speaking out, market trader Sun Hui - not her real name - knows she is putting her life at risk. "Mostly, people criticise Kim Jong-un for being a businessman," she says, reflecting wider discontent. "People say that he acts the same as us, but takes away our money. "[They say] the little man uses his head to suck up money li..
May 29, 2018

The grassroots movement that shut down an Indian copper plant

The grassroots movement that shut down an Indian copper plant Image caption At least 13 people died amid protests in Tamil Nadu on May 22 On Monday, the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu ordered the shut down of a controversial copper plant that locals had been protesting against for more than 20 years. The order from the state government came days after police shot at a large crowd of protesters, killing at least 13 people. We take a look at the grassroots movement that mobilised tens of thousands of residents and led to the shut down the factory. Who are the protesters?Residents of Tuticorin, a port city in the state, have alleged that the copper plant has caused significant environmental damage, including air pollution and groundwater contamination. Mining firm Vedanta, which owns the copper smelter, has consistently denied these charges. The company has called the closure of the plant, which it has operated for more than 22 years, an "unfortunate development". The 400,000 tonn..
May 29, 2018

N Korea official Kim Yong-chol ‘heads to US for talks’

N Korea official Kim Yong-chol 'heads to US for talks' Image copyright AFP Image caption General Kim Yong-chol (pictured) is regularly seen at Kim Jong-un's side One of Kim Jong-un's most senior officials is thought to be travelling to the US, as preparations for a possible historic summit gather pace. South Korean news agency Yonhap said Gen Kim Yong-chol was due to arrive in the US on Wednesday, via Beijing. If confirmed, the visit would be part of a flurry of activity ahead of the proposed meeting between Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump. The meeting was thrown into doubt after Mr Trump pulled out last week. But both sides have been working to get the summit - scheduled for 12 June in Singapore - back on track. It would be the first time a North Korean leader has ever met a sitting US president. North Korea crisis in 300 words What does Kim Jong-un really want? The word Trump and Kim can't agree on Gen Kim was scheduled to fly to New York on Wedn..
May 29, 2018

MH370: Ocean Infinity’s search for missing plane formally ends

MH370: Ocean Infinity's search for missing plane formally ends Image copyright Reuters Image caption Some items of debris have been found along the east African coast A privately funded search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has drawn to a close. US-based company Ocean Infinity had been using a deep-sea vessel to conduct a 90-day survey of a vast area of the southern Indian Ocean. But it found nothing and Malaysia's government says it has no plans to begin any new searches. The plane disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. There are still fierce debates over how the flight ended. The hunt for the missing plane formed one of the largest surface and underwater searches in aviation history, covering more than 120,000 sq km (46,300 miles) of the Indian Ocean. Missing MH370: What we know MH370: Key pieces of debris found Too soon for MH370 memorial, say relatives Pieces of debris have been found as far away as M..
May 28, 2018

Cornelia Frances: Home and Away’s ‘Morag’ actress dies aged 77

Cornelia Frances: Home and Away's 'Morag' actress dies aged 77 Image copyright AAP Image caption Cornelia Frances had several popular television roles in Australia Australian actress Cornelia Frances has died following a battle with cancer, local media have reported. Liverpool-born Frances, 77, was best-known for her role as Morag Bellingham on the long-running soap Home and Away. The veteran actress had several other iconic roles on Australia's small screen, including as host of the local version of game show The Weakest Link. She had endured a series of health struggles in recent times after being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017. Her death was announced on Home and Away's local broadcaster, Seven Network, on Tuesday. Her co-stars and other Australian celebrities have been paying tribute on social media. Image Copyright @lincolnyounes1 @lincolnyounes1 Report Image Copyright @lincolnyounes1 @lincolnyounes1 Report Image Copyright @joelcreasey @joelcreas..
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