May 28, 2018

China Mao impersonator at blockchain conference causes furore

China Mao impersonator at blockchain conference causes furore Image copyright WeChat Image caption Mr Xu appeared on stage at a technology conference dressed as Chairman Mao A publicity stunt at a conference about blockchain technology in China, which saw an actor impersonate Mao Zedong, has sparked uproar on social media. Xu Guoxiang imitated Mao - by wearing a grey suit and speaking in his Hunan accent - at the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia in Hainan Province. China's law prohibits using the names and images of party leaders for commercial purposes. The event's organisers were forced to apologise for the stunt. The Boao Forum for Asia has issued a statement saying it is not affiliated with the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia. At the conference, Mr Xu said: "I sincerely hope this forum is a success. I thank you in the name of Mao Zedong!" He delivered a speech with "actor characteristics and personal opinion", according to China's Global Times news website. Blockcha..
May 28, 2018

Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink in Japan

Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink in Japan Image copyright Coca-Cola has launched its first alcoholic drink, a lemon flavoured alcopop, in Japan in a bid to tap new markets and consumers. In a global first for the US drinks giant, three fizzy lemon drinks went on sale on Monday. The product aims at a growing market of young drinkers - especially women. Described by Coca-Cola as "unique" in the company's 125-year history, the three drinks range from 3% to 8% alcohol. In keeping with the company's tradition, the recipe is closely guarded but the drinks are modelled on the country's popular Chu-Hi drinks, usually a mix of local spirit and a range of fruit flavours. Image copyright AFP Image caption The drinks hit the shelves on Monday Chu-Hi - an abbreviation for shochu highball - has been marketed as an alternative to beer, proving especially popular with female drinkers. Local companies like Suntory, Asahi and Kirin currently dominate the s..
May 28, 2018

Savita parents hail Ireland abortion vote

Savita Halappanavar's parents hail Irish abortion vote Image copyright The Irish Times Image caption Savita Halappanavar died after a miscarriage in a Galway hospital in October 2012 Her story was one that galvanised a movement; her face became a symbol of that movement. Savita Halappanavar died from infection after miscarrying her first child in an Irish hospital in October 2012. Her family said she pleaded for a termination during the miscarriage, but medical staff refused her requests because there was still a foetal heartbeat. Mrs Halappanavar's death caused international controversy and sparked a campaign to have Ireland's abortion law liberalised. Irish abortion result a seismic shift Timeline: Ireland and abortion Savita and abortion law confusion Her parents have now said she will "rest in peace" after Irish voters backed a referendum to overturn the country's ban on abortion. The death of the 31-year-old dentist, who was originally from India, became a ..
May 28, 2018

Barnaby Joyce: Australia scandal MP’s ‘TV payment’ prompts anger

Barnaby Joyce: Australia scandal MP's 'TV payment' prompts anger Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBarnaby's battles: Dogs and dual citizenship Former Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has drawn criticism for agreeing to a reportedly lucrative TV interview alongside his partner and baby son. Mr Joyce quit his position in February after his relationship with Vikki Campion, an ex-staffer, raised scrutiny of his ministerial conduct. At the time, he pleaded for the media to give his family privacy. Mr Joyce has been now accused of hypocrisy, prompting a wider debate over payments for political interviews. The outspoken parliamentarian is perhaps best-known for once threatening to kill Johnny Depp's dogs over a quarantine violation, and for briefly losing his job over his New Zealand dual citizenship last year. What happened in February?Revelations that Mr Joyce had had an extramarital affair with Ms Campion, now his partner, set off politi..
May 28, 2018

Trump-Kim summit: President Moon could attend, says South Korea

Trump-Kim summit: President Moon could attend, says South Korea Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Moon first brought up the idea of a three-way summit last month at Panmunjom South Korean officials have said President Moon Jae-in could attend a possible summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Any attendance by Mr Moon would be dependent on the progress of pre-summit talks between the US and North Korean leaders, said the Blue House. The historic meeting is scheduled to take place on 12 June in Singapore. But it has been thrown into uncertainty, after Mr Trump said he would no longer be attending. But both sides have since been working to get it back on track. It would be the first meeting between sitting leaders of the US and North Korea. Last week, Mr Trump said he was pulling out, blaming the North's "open hostility". He later said the US was talking to North Korea and it could still go ahead. Please upgrade your browser to view this content. Timeline hide..
May 28, 2018

Figures reveal art auction gender imbalance

Figures reveal art auction gender imbalance Image caption Yayoi Kusama, who is known for her polka dots, is the world's best-selling female artist Of the top 100 artists whose works fetched the highest amounts at auction in 2017, just 13 were women, an analysis of sales data shows. The top female artist was Japan's Yayoi Kusama, whose works sold for $65.6m (£48.9m) - putting her 13th overall, according to figures from MutualArt. The 13 women in the top 100 accounted for sales of $263m (£175m) - 7.4% of the overall total of $3.5bn (£2.6bn). The Art Newspaper's Anna Brady said she was "depressingly unsurprised". Leonardo da Vinci was top of the 2017 auction rankings, thanks to the $450m (£337m) sale of the Salvator Mundi painting last November. He was followed by Jean Michel Basquiat - whose works fetched $338m (£253m) in 2017 - then Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Roy Lichtenstein. At the age of 89, Kusama is the only living woman in the top 50. After her, the top-selling w..
May 28, 2018

BTS become first K-pop band to top US album charts

BTS become first K-pop band to top US album charts Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The boy band have taken the global stage by storm South Korean boy band BTS have become the first K-pop artists to reach number one on the US album charts. The K-pop superstars are part of the so-called Korean Wave, the global rise of Korean music, drama and film. Known for their meticulously choreographed dance style and boyish good looks, the seven-member group is one of the country's best selling musical exports. They have developed a fiercely devoted fan base, who call themselves the ARMY. The new BTS new album, Love Yourself: Tear, topped the Billboard 200 music charts on Sunday, which are based sales, downloads and streams of albums. It had been released earlier in May. Its first single, Fake Love, premiered at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Sung in Korean, the album is "the first primarily foreign-language No. 1 album in over 12 years," according to Billboard. For the..
May 27, 2018

A war of nerves between Pakistan’s military and Sharif

A war of nerves between Pakistan's military and Sharif Image copyright Reuters Image caption There have been protests for Mr Sharif... Pakistan's oldest and most prestigious newspaper, Dawn, is feeling the squeeze, weeks before a general election. Its distribution remains suspended across large parts of urban Pakistan that are controlled by the army's real estate giant, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), as well as in military garrison areas where many civilians live. And Dawn is not alone. In March, the country's largest television news network, Geo, was widely blocked by cable providers in military-controlled areas, while elsewhere it was moved lower down the channels list. Both developments suggest an escalating war of nerves between deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the powerful military. What prompted the blockades? Pakistan's civilian authorities say they have not ordered them. So attention turned to the security establishment. Image copyright A..
May 27, 2018

US and North Korea preparing Trump-Kim summit

US and North Korea preparing Trump-Kim summit Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionKorean leaders' surprise "Hollywood" meeting A US team is holding talks with North Korean officials to prepare a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un. The talks in the village of Panmunjom, in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas, is the latest sign that the summit could take place after all. On Thursday Mr Trump called off the meeting - due in Singapore next month - citing the North's "hostility". But both sides have since been working to get it back on track. On Saturday Mr Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held an unannounced meeting. Mr Moon said the North's leader had "again made clear his commitment to a complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula". Mr Kim Jong-un later spoke of his "fixed will" that the summit should go ahead. Mr Trump said things were "moving along very nicely". Rush ..
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