May 24, 2018

India PM Modi accepts fitness challenge from cricketer Virat Kohli

India PM Modi accepts fitness challenge from cricketer Virat Kohli Image copyright Getty Images Image caption PM Modi's "Fit India" campaign focuses on the benefits of yoga India's Twittersphere has exploded with workout videos from officials and athletes in response to a trending social media challenge. It started when sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore posted a video of himself doing push-ups, and urging people to join the #fitnesschallenge. India's cricket captain Virat Kohli posted a video of himself doing a plank and challenged PM Narendra Modi to share his own. Mr Modi has now said he will join in. Mr Rathore's tweet has been shared more than 9,000 times and has generated a lot of response on social media. Skip Twitter post by @Ra_THORe #HumFitTohIndiaFit 🇮🇳🏆 Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media. Here's my video 😀and I challenge @iHrithik, @imVkohli & @NSaina to join in🥊 pic..
May 24, 2018

North Korea calls US Vice-President Pence ‘stupid’

North Korea calls US Vice-President Pence 'stupid' Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mike Pence - a 'political dummy' says North Korea A senior North Korean official has accused US Vice-President Mike Pence of being "stupid" and warned of possible "nuclear showdown" if diplomacy fails. Choe Son-hui said Pyongyang would not "beg the US for dialogue" nor try to persuade them to attend talks. In recent days, both sides have warned that the 12 June Trump-Kim meeting could be delayed or even called off. Pyongyang said it would reconsider going if the US insisted on it giving up nuclear weapons unilaterally. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that it was the North that had to meet the conditions for the talks to go ahead. Pence warns N Korea not to 'play' TrumpNorth Korea crisis in 300 wordsPence a 'political dummy'Choe Son-hui has been involved in several diplomatic interactions with the US over the past decade. In an article carried by s..
May 23, 2018

New Zealand happy to forget the UK’s ‘betrayal’

New Zealand happy to forget the UK's 'betrayal' Image caption The UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973, before voters agreed in a 1975 referendum that it should remain It was a story of break-up and betrayal, and of a long-distance relationship that went sour. It's not a cliffhanger from Shortland Street, New Zealand's longest-running TV soap opera, but a real-life tale of abandonment. It happened back in January 1973 to the South Pacific nation when the UK joined the then European Economic Community (EEC), the precursor to today's European Union. At the time, about half of Kiwi exports were shipped 18,500 km (11,500 miles) to the UK, but access to those prized markets would effectively end as a result of the UK joining the EEC. "It was a massive shock. It was an emotional shock for New Zealand," says Asha Sundaram from the University of Auckland. "Almost 50% of New Zealand exports went to the UK at the time, and so there was huge anxiet..
May 23, 2018

Row over New Zealand student magazine’s ‘period issue’

Row over New Zealand student magazine's 'period issue' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Otago University seized more than 500 copies of the magazine's menstruation edition Graphic content warning: This story contains an image which some might find shocking A New Zealand university has confiscated a student magazine over its "offensive" menstruation theme - and people are seeing red. Staff from Otago University seized more than 500 copies of Critic Te Arohi, over fears that its cover was "objectionable to many people". The cover featured an cartoon of a supine figure with legs spread, bleeding from the genitals. Editor Joel MacManus said he was initially unaware of the issue's fate, and spent Tuesday seeking CCTV footage. The copies had in fact been dumped in a bin by Campus Watch - a team charged with maintaining "a safe and secure Campus environment" - overnight on Monday. The move caused consternation on social media, with one student tweeting: "M..
May 23, 2018

Maori facial tattoo slammed as cultural appropriation

Maori facial tattoo slammed as cultural appropriation Image copyright Image caption Sally Anderson's headshot from her life coaching business Facial tattoos have been a part of Maori culture for centuries, a sacred marker of the wearer's genealogy and heritage. But one woman's striking chin design- or moko - has generated huge debate in New Zealand, because she is white, with no Maori heritage. Sally Anderson, who is married to a Maori man, says her moko symbolises her personal struggles and life story. But she's been accused of appropriating Maori culture for personal gain. "We have to protect the last bastions that we have as Maori to make us different," said one expert. Why are moko so important to Maori?Moko are carved into the skin using chisels. They are a sacred tradition, denoting a person's links with their family and cultural identity. Facial tattoos - moko kauae - are of particular importance. Men's moko tend to cover ..
May 23, 2018

India’s Karnataka gets second chief minister in a week

India's Karnataka gets second chief minister in a week Image copyright Getty Images Image caption HD Kumaraswamy will lead a coalition of Congress and Janata Dal (S) A new chief minister has been sworn in in India's southern state of Karnataka, the second one to do so in a week. HD Kumaraswamy will head a coalition government of the main opposition Congress party and Janata Dal (S), a regional ally. He replaces BS Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who was in office for less than three days. Mr Yeddyurappa resigned on 19 May, minutes before a vote of confidence, having failed to secure a majority. India's BJP falls short of majority in crucial Karnataka state poll The Indian lawmakers being guarded in 'secret locations' The BJP won 104 of the 222 seats in recent state elections, eight seats short. The Congress emerged as the second largest party and declared an alliance with Janata Dal (S) - together they had enough seats to give their coalit..
May 23, 2018

Santa Fe school shooting: Hundreds at Sabika Sheikh funeral

Santa Fe school shooting: Hundreds at Sabika Sheikh funeral Image copyright AFP Image caption Wrapped in the Pakistani flag, Sabika Sheikh's coffin was taken to the funeral service The funeral of a Pakistani student killed in last week's Texas school shooting has taken place in Karachi. Sabika Sheikh, who was 17, was among the eight students and two teachers killed in the attack in Santa Fe. Her body was flown back to Pakistan on Wednesday. Senior politicians were among hundreds at the funeral. The gunman, identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held on murder charges and could face the death penalty. Sabika Sheikh had been due to return home to Pakistan in just a few weeks' time, ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid. Instead a coffin containing her body was flown back to Karachi airport in the early hours of the morning. Image copyright Sabika Sheikh family She had been studying in Texas for the last year as part of a US government programme to improve ..
May 22, 2018

Can English remain the ‘world’s favourite’ language?

Can English remain the 'world's favourite' language? Image copyright Getty Images English is spoken by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, but do the development of translation technology and "hybrid" languages threaten its status? Which country boasts the most English speakers, or people learning to speak English? The answer is China. According to a study published by Cambridge University Press, up to 350 million people there have at least some knowledge of English - and at least another 100 million in India. There are probably more people in China who speak English as a second language than there are Americans who speak it as their first. (A fifth of Americans speak a language other than English in their own homes.) But for how much longer will English qualify as the "world's favourite language"? The World Economic Forum estimates about 1.5 billion people around the world speak it - but fewer than 400 million have it as their first language. How American..
May 22, 2018

Archbishop Philip Wilson to step down after sex abuse cover-up

Archbishop Philip Wilson to step down after sex abuse cover-up Image copyright EPA Image caption Philip Wilson was found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse A Catholic archbishop in Australia convicted of concealing child sexual abuse will step down from his position. Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, South Australia, was found guilty of covering up the crimes of a paedophile priest by a court on Tuesday. He is the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the offence. Wilson said he would step aside from his duties on Friday. "It is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour's findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop," he said in a statement released on Wednesday. "If at any point in time it becomes necessary or appropriate for me to take more formal steps, including by resigning as Archbishop, then I will do so." He did not indicate whether he would appeal the Newcastle Local Court's conviction, for which he faces a maximum tw..
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