March 1, 2019

Australia experiences hottest summer on record

Australia experiences hottest summer on record Image copyright EPA Image caption Most regions of Australia experienced prolonged summer heatwaves, meteorologists say Australia has experienced its hottest summer on record, according to the nation's Bureau of Meteorology. Hundreds of individual heat records were shattered across the country over the past three months. The warm weather - 2.14C above the long-term average - caused bushfires, blackouts and a rise in hospital admissions. Wildlife also suffered, with reports of mass deaths of wild horses, native bats and fish. "The real standout was just how widespread and prolonged each heatwave was - almost everywhere was affected," climatologist Blair Trewin told the BBC. Temperatures had exceeded the previous hottest summer in 2012-13 by nearly 1C, he added - "a very large margin for a national record". In pictures: How they weathered the heat Australia boils in record-breaking heat Why Australia's extreme heat might be here ..
February 28, 2019

N Korea: We won’t move on talks with Trump

N Korea: We won't move on talks with Trump North Korea's foreign minister says Pyongyang's position will not change even if the US seeks further talks. Ri Yong Ho was speaking after a summit in Vietnam between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement. Mr Trump said the US had refused demands for all sanctions to be lifted. But at a late night news conference, Mr Ri insisted the North had only asked for partial sanctions relief, not a complete lifting.
February 28, 2019

Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse?

Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse? Image copyright Reuters Image caption See you at the next summit? The second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ended without any deal or agreement. Washington insists though that dialogue with Pyongyang will continue and the collapse of the Hanoi summit is not a major disappointment. Here's a roundup of North Korea experts looking at the summit and what to make of its sudden end. A predictable 'no deal'Ankit Panda, senior editor, The Diplomat The "no deal" outcome could have been seen coming a mile away. Indeed, a serious reading of public North Korean statements since last year's Singapore summit would have revealed the core issue that resulted in a lack of agreement. The day after the Singapore summit, North Korean state media paraphrased Kim Jong-un as noting Pyongyang would take "additional good-will measures" if the US took "genuine measures." By that d..
February 28, 2019

Yongbyon: The heart of North Korea’s nuclear programme

Yongbyon: The heart of North Korea's nuclear programme Image copyright MOD After the US-North Korea summit talks in Hanoi ended abruptly, President Donald Trump said his stumbling block with Kim Jong-un was over one key point: What North Korea would get in exchange for disabling its Yongbyon nuclear facility. Yongbyon is the site that produces material that could be used in North Korea's nuclear weapons. Long ahead of the Hanoi talks, rumours have swirled that Pyongyang could offer to shut Yongbyon, or parts of it, in exchange for sanctions relief. Melissa Hanham, defence expert at One Earth Future, explains the notorious site which is the heart of North Korea's nuclear programme. The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre is a sprawling campus that primarily serves a military mission - producing fissile material for North Korea's nuclear weapons. Its construction began in 1961, after North Korea reached two nuclear agreements with the Soviet Union. The Ku..
February 28, 2019

Trump Kim summit: Kim’s hiding sister and other unreal moments

Trump Kim summit: Kim's hiding sister and other unreal moments Image copyright AFP Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un went for dinner together and then spent a day in talks, but were ultimately unable to reach an agreement. The summit was punctuated with photo opportunities displaying the camaraderie between the leaders, and they took every opportunity to flatter each other with looks and words. It was also notable for having significantly more time in the glare of the camera which recorded all - scripted and unscripted. Here are the most extraordinary moments. Kim Jong-un took his first question from a foreign reporterYou might think answering questions from an international journalist is hardly noteworthy, but with North Korea things are always different. Asked by a reporter if he was confident about a deal, Mr Kim said through an interpreter: "It's too early to tell, but I wouldn't say I'm pessimistic. For what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results ..
February 28, 2019

Pakistan ‘to free Indian pilot on Friday’

Pakistan 'to free Indian pilot on Friday' Image copyright Pakistan Information Ministry (ISPR) Image caption Pakistan says Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is being treated well Pakistan will release a captured Indian pilot as a "peace gesture" on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said. Mr Khan revealed the decision in parliament after a speech in which he said Pakistan was focused on de-escalation. Pakistan shot down the pilot's jet on Wednesday, as tensions rose with India over the disputed region of Kashmir. The capture of Abhinandan Varthaman was a major setback for India. Both sides are under pressure to calm tensions. Villagers recount dramatic capture of pilot India and Pakistan in uncharted waters India struck targets in Pakistan on Tuesday after a militant attack on its security forces earlier this month that it blamed on its neighbour. Pakistan said it had no choice but to retaliate with air strikes on Wednesday, which led to a dogfight and the Indian..
February 28, 2019

Trump-Kim talks end ‘without agreement’

Trump-Kim talks end 'without agreement' Image copyright Reuters Image caption The two leaders had dinner together on Wednesday A summit between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ended with no agreement, the White House announced. "No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. There had been some expectation the pair would announce an agreement on the thorny issue of nuclear disarmament. Mr Kim had said his presence indicated his willingness to denuclearise. "If I'm not willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now," he told reporters earlier on Thursday. "That might be the best answer you've ever heard," Mr Trump replied. The original White House programme for the day had planned for a "Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony" as well as a working lunch for the two leaders, but expectations were abruptly dashed with the can..
February 28, 2019

Mike Hall: UK endurance cyclist’s death in Australia ‘avoidable’

Mike Hall: UK endurance cyclist's death in Australia 'avoidable' Image copyright Gene Kehoe Image caption Mike Hall was fatally struck by a car during a road race in Australia The death of champion British cyclist Mike Hall in a road race in Australia was "avoidable", a coroner has found. Mr Hall, 35, died almost instantly when he was hit by a car on a highway near Canberra in 2017. One of the world's best ultra-endurance cyclists, he had been riding in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race at the time. A coroner noted the accident happened in the dark and said it should prompt a thorough review of local road and bicycle laws. "Mr Hall's death was avoidable, which makes the loss of this remarkable person even more keenly felt by his family and the community," Dr Bernadette Boss said on Thursday. The inquest had heard that the coast-to-coast race - in which cyclists ride a 5,500km (3,400 miles) route from Fremantle to Sydney - was known for its difficulty. Mr Hall, fr..
February 28, 2019

Abhinandan: Who is the Indian pilot captured by Pakistan?

Abhinandan: Who is the Indian pilot captured by Pakistan? Image copyright AFP Image caption Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Indian air force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, captured by Pakistani forces on Wednesday, has become the point of focus amid tensions between the two countries. The fighter pilot, who has 16 years of experience, is from the southern city of Chennai (formerly known as Madras). His jet was shot down in what Islamabad called a "retaliation" to India conducting airstrikes in its territory. His capture is being seen as a major setback for India. The government has demanded his immediate release and Indian social media is full of tweets about him, with many calling him a hero and praying for his safe return. Skip Twitter post by @emraanhashmi Such calm and resilience in the face of adversity . Prayers for our brave pilot #AbhinandanVarthaman . Hope for his safe return. #AbhinandanMyHero — Emraan Hashmi (@emraanhashmi) February 28, 2019 Report End of Twitter post by @..
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