April 29, 2018

North Korea: ‘Real opportunity’ for nuclear deal, Pompeo says

North Korea: 'Real opportunity' for nuclear deal, Pompeo says Image copyright DigitalGlobe Image caption A satellite image of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says there is a "real opportunity" for a deal when President Trump meets the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Interviewed by ABC News, he said North Korea must take "irreversible" steps to get rid of its nuclear arms programme. Mr Pompeo met Mr Kim secretly in Pyongyang earlier this month as CIA director. Details only emerged later. Mr Trump is expected to meet the North Korean leader next month to discuss denuclearising the Korean peninsula. Mr Pompeo said Mr Trump had clearly told him to raise the issue of a verifiable mechanism to make sure North Korea does denuclearise. He also raised the topic of US citizens held by the North Koreans. Separately, new US National Security Advisor John Bolton told Fox News that an agreement with Libya on eliminating its weapons of..
April 29, 2018

Thailand protesters in rare rally over Chiang Mai development

Thailand protesters in rare rally over Chiang Mai development Image caption Environmental protesters wore green ribbons at the rally Protesters in Thailand have staged one of the country's biggest demonstrations since the 2014 military coup as they campaign against a luxury housing development on forested land. More than 1,000 people gathered in the northern city of Chiang Mai. They rallied against a housing project being built for judges and officials in the foothills of a sacred mountain. The march went ahead in defiance of a ban on public gatherings imposed by the junta, which seized power in 2014. "Around 1,250 people took part in the protest," Police Colonel Paisan, deputy commander of Chiang Mai Police, told Reuters news agency. "The protesters were focused on environmental issues and not politics, and they cleaned the street afterwards." Image caption Demonstrators held a placard showing an aerial view of the development Demonstrators, many wearing green ribbons, demande..
April 29, 2018

Fuller: Intricate map artist circles Beijing

Fuller: Intricate map artist circles Beijing Image copyright Fuller Maps Image caption Fuller said when he tells locals he has walked Beijing's six rings roads by foot they "look very bemused" A UK artist known for his intricate maps has walked hundreds of miles in circles in Beijing to document the Chinese capital. Fuller said he was inspired after a cycling tour of the Great Wall of China in 2014 and "felt compelled" to move to the "Chinese mega city" last year. He said he "underestimated" Beijing's scale after walking 861 miles (1.386km) in nine months around its ring roads. Fuller - pen name of Gareth Wood - has also drawn maps of Bristol and London. Image copyright Fuller Maps Image caption The Temple of Shopping is nestled in the busy commercial district of Sanlitun and the flags of various embassies "fly above an official building like an inkwell", Fuller said He said Beijingers had been "very positive about the art" and he has also created a group on Chinese social..
April 29, 2018

Rotten durian causes Melbourne university evacuation

Rotten durian causes Melbourne university evacuation Image copyright Reuters Image caption The rotting durian was found in a library cupboard More than 500 students and teachers were evacuated from a university in Melbourne, Australia, as a result of a smell initially suspected to be gas. But it turned out the "gas" that students smelt at a Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology library was a rotting durian found in a cupboard. The durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong, stinky smell. Firefighters said the smell had moved through the building via the air conditioning system. The building has now been reopened, Melbourne's Metropolitan Fire Brigade said in a statement. 'Turpentine and onions'After staff and students at the university reported a smell they thought to be gas in a library building, they were evacuated by the local police force. The fire brigade said the building stores potentially dangerous chemicals, triggering an investigation into the source of..
April 29, 2018

Australia to fund Great Barrier Reef restoration and protection

Australia to fund Great Barrier Reef restoration and protection Image copyright AFP Image caption The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from coral bleaching and damage from crown-of-thorns starfish Australia has pledged A$500 million (£275m; $379m) to protect the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. In recent years, the reef has lost 30% of its coral due to bleaching linked to rising sea temperatures and damage from crown-of-thorns starfish. The funding will be used to reduce the runoff of agricultural pesticides and improve water quality. Some of the money will be used to help farmers near the reef modify their practices. Threats to the reef include "large amounts of sediment, nitrogen and pesticide run-off" as well as the crown-of-thorns starfish species, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said. The reef can be seen from space and was listed as a world heritage site in 1981 by the United Nations cultural body Unesco. Damage to Australia's reef 'unprecedented'..
April 29, 2018

How accurate is the Miss Fisher murder rate?

How accurate is the murder rate in Miss Fisher’s Melbourne? Image copyright Every Cloud Productions Image caption Australian actress Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher in Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries One of Australia's most popular TV shows, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, is set in 1920s Melbourne against a backdrop of jazz clubs, communist plots, alleyways and fabulous outfits. Its protagonist, private detective Phryne Fisher, has a knack for finding herself embroiled in murder cases week after week. Armed with a quick wit and "modern" outlook, Miss Fisher is shown living a glamorous - albeit often perilous - life. But watching the series, the team behind BBC Radio 4's More or Less became suspicious: surely the murder rate on the show must be astronomical in comparison to real life? Other TV murder mystery shows have proved to be very deadly. More or Less has previously investigated the UK's Midsomer Murders series, which is set in a group of sleepy rural vi..
April 29, 2018

Florida school shooting: ‘It was like a war zone’

Florida school shooting: ‘It was like a war zone’ Image caption Shanti Viswanathan teaches algebra at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shanti Viswanathan, a US teacher of Indian origin, saved the lives of her students during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on 14 February. In her first media interview, an exclusive, she spoke to BBC Tamil's Aarthi Gnanasekaran about how that day unfolded. It was around 2.15pm. Ms Viswanathan was half-way through her fourth period algebra class at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when they heard gunshots. "As soon as I heard the shots fired, I said drop everything, leave everything," Ms Viswanathan said. Florida shooting: How the attack happened How teenagers started a political campaign in 30 days She said students who were working on their laptops asked if they should put them away. "I said leave the laptops," she recalled. She told them to crouch or hide in corners so they wouldn't be visible from the small glass ..
April 29, 2018

#MeToo Japan: What happened when women broke their silence

#MeToo Japan: What happened when women broke their silence Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Shiori Ito accused a high-profile journalist of raping her in 2015 In the space of a fortnight in Japan, a model accused a renowned photographer of exploitation and two top officials resigned over sex scandals. This has re-ignited the #MeToo debate in a country which has been reluctant to acknowledge it as a hard reality for women, as the BBC's Sakiko Shiraishi reports. In Japan, where the spectre of public censure looms large, it is unsurprising that women are often discouraged from speaking out. A US state department human rights report notes that sexual harassment in the workplace remains "widespread". But in the space of just a few weeks a spate of allegations has led to public figures being shamed, top officials resigning and also a backlash against the women behind the claims. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Junichi Fukuda has resigned but denies all allegatio..
April 29, 2018

North Korea nuclear test site to close in May, South Korea says

North Korea nuclear test site to close in May, South Korea says Image copyright Reuters Image caption A satellite image of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea North Korea's nuclear test site will close in May, the South Korean president's office has said. A spokesman said the closure of the Punggye-ri site would be done in public and foreign experts from South Korea and the US would be invited to watch. On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in agreed to work to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. Their summit came after months of warlike rhetoric from the North. On Saturday, US President Donald Trump he would likely hold talks with the North Korean leadership "over the next three or four weeks" about the denuclearisation of the peninsula. What did South Korea say?Presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said that Mr Kim had stated he "would carry out the closing of the nuclear test site in May". Mr Yoon added ..
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