January 31, 2019

India job data spells trouble for Narendra Modi

India job data spells trouble for Narendra Modi Image copyright Getty Images Image caption One out of every five young people is out of work India's unemployment rate is the highest it has been since the 1970s, according to a government jobs report. Economist Vivek Kaul explains what this means and why it matters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which is accused of withholding the findings months before the general election. What does the report say?It says that India has a jobs problem. The country's unemployment rate - 6.1% - is the highest it has been since 1972-73, the earliest year for which comparable data is available. This is according to the latest employment survey, which was exclusively accessed by The Business Standard newspaper, after the government had allegedly refused to release it. On its own, an unemployment rate of 6.1% may not sound too dire, until you consider that in 2011-12, it was just 2.2%. And it's particularly high among pe..
January 30, 2019

China factory activity shrinks as slowdown worries rise

China factory activity shrinks as slowdown worries rise Image copyright Getty Images Chinese factory activity contracted for a second straight month in January, the official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed. The index ticked up to 49.5, but remained below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction. China reported its weakest economic expansion in 28 years in 2018, and growth is expected to slow further. Already, a number of multinationals have said sluggish growth in China has affected their bottom line. The manufacturing data was up slightly from the 49.4 level recorded in December. Marcel Thieliant, economist at Capital Economics, said while PMI didn't weaken any further in January, "it still suggests that the economy lost momentum at the start of the year". Other data, such as consumer sentiment and retail sales figures, also point to weakening demand in the world's second largest economy. Several international companies have warned on China&#03..
January 30, 2019

Foxconn reconsiders Wisconsin factory

Foxconn reconsiders Wisconsin factory plans Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Foxconn initially said it would invest $10bn in a new manufacturing facility in Wisconsin Foxconn, which raised hopes of a US manufacturing revival by announcing a new factory in Wisconsin, is now reconsidering its plans. The Taiwanese manufacturing giant no longer expects to make liquid crystal display panels at the Wisconsin plant, a company official told Reuters. It plans to hire mostly engineers and researchers not manufacturing workers. The changes are a significant shift from the firm's plans announced at a White House ceremony in 2017. At the time, US President Donald Trump claimed credit for landing the investment, which he said was a sign his policies were returning investment to the US. The yet-to-be-built facility was the "eighth wonder of the world", he said at a groundbreaking ceremony last summer. Foxconn, a major Apple supplier, had pledged to invest $10bn (£7.6bn) in the plant, whi..
January 30, 2019

The Indians sharing their villages with crocodiles

The Indians sharing their villages with crocodiles Image copyright Anirudh Vasava Image caption There are about 200 mugger crocodiles in the region In some villages in India's western state of Gujarat, locals live cheek by jowl with mugger crocodiles, which are considered extremely dangerous. Janaki Lenin visited the area to investigate an unusual coexistence. "The crocodiles will come out only around 10:00," the woman advised me as she hung up her laundry on a recent winter morning. I was not on a wildlife safari. I was in the courtyard of her house in Malataj village, scanning the surface of the pond beyond her front door. It looked like any other pond. But lurking among the fuchsia blossoms and green pads of water lilies were mugger crocodiles, one of India's three crocodilian species. And villagers - such as the housewife speaking to me - know the reptiles' habits from generations of coexisting with them. In most places, the sight of even a single crocodile would b..
January 30, 2019

Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail

Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail Japan is in the grip of an elderly crime wave - the proportion of crimes committed by people over the age of 65 has been steadily increasing for 20 years. The BBC's Ed Butler asks why. At a halfway house in Hiroshima - for criminals who are being released from jail back into the community - 69-year-old Toshio Takata tells me he broke the law because he was poor. He wanted somewhere to live free of charge, even if it was behind bars. "I reached pension age and then I ran out of money. So it occurred to me - perhaps I could live for free if I lived in jail," he says. "So I took a bicycle and rode it to the police station and told the guy there: 'Look, I took this.'" The plan worked. This was Toshio's first offence, committed when he was 62, but Japanese courts treat petty theft seriously, so it was enough to get him a one-year sentence. Small, slender, and with a tendency to giggle, Toshio looks nothing like a habitual..
January 30, 2019

DJI pledges painful action to tackle corruption

DJI pledges painful action to tackle corruption Image copyright Getty Images Image caption DJI was founded 13 years ago and has become one of China's best known tech brands DJI, the world's bestselling drone-maker, has published an open letter promising to take "painful" steps to tackle corruption within its company. The Chinese firm had previously revealed that some employees had inflated the cost of some of the components and materials it used, for personal gain. DJI blamed "inefficient and ineffective management processes" in part. But it added that it could not ignore cases of "outright theft". "While mature companies have established the training, controls and management protocols to limit these issues, DJI has in the past emphasised corporate growth over new internal processes," the statement added. "DJI will now take a leading role in developing clear policies, procedures and expectations to address corner-cutting and employee theft. We call on more companies to take ..
January 30, 2019

Bangkok: Toxic smog shuts schools in Thailand

Bangkok: Toxic smog shuts schools in Thailand Image copyright AFP/Getty Image Image caption The smog is among the worst Thailand has ever seen Toxic smog in Bangkok has forced more than 400 schools to close for the rest of the week, to protect children from its harmful effects. Thailand's capital city is experiencing some of its worst-ever air pollution levels, caused by ultra-fine dust particles known as PM2.5. Traffic exhaust, construction works, burning crops and pollution from factories are blamed for the haze. Authorities' efforts to clear the air have so far failed. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Specialist respirator masks to filter the particles have quickly sold out The government has tried seeding rain clouds, reducing traffic, and hosing down streets, with little impact. Those celebrating the Lunar New Year holidays next week have been asked not to burn incense or light fireworks. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The smog has sm..
January 30, 2019

Carlos Ghosn says ‘plot and treason’ behind arrest

Carlos Ghosn says 'plot and treason' behind arrest Image copyright Getty Images Nissan ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn has said his arrest in Japan was the result of a "plot and treason" against him. He was speaking in his first interview since his arrest in November on financial misconduct charges. Mr Ghosn said some Nissan executives wanted to stop his plan to integrate Renault, the French car firm he headed, with its Japanese alliance partners, Nissan and Mitsubishi. He said the plan had been discussed with Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa. Mr Ghosn is still being held in a Tokyo detention centre pending trial. The executive was the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance and brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016. After his arrest, he was sacked as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi. He resigned from his posts as chairman and chief executive of Renault earlier this month. Carlos Ghosn: Renault-Nissan's relentless 'cost killer' Renault and Nissan usher in new era Nissan..
January 30, 2019

Mother and four children murdered in India ‘witch hunt’

Mother and four children murdered in India 'witch hunt' Image caption The woman and her children were found dead in a well near their home Police are searching for more suspects in connection with the murder of a woman and her four children who were accused of being "witches". Six people in the eastern state of Orissa have already been arrested, but police believe more people were involved in the crime. The bodies of Mangri Munda and her children were found in a well near their home on January 26. "Witch hunts" targeting women are fairly common in parts of India. Senior police officer Kavita Jalan told the BBC that the main accused, who has been arrested, claimed to be a "witch doctor". He had accused Ms Munda and her children, who lived in a in a tribal settlement in Sundergarh district, were "casting spells" on another family in the village. On January 25, A group of men broke into Ms Munda's home late at night when she and her two sons and two daughters - aged one, ..
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