February 21, 2019

World’s biggest bee found alive

World's biggest bee found alive Image copyright Clay Bolt Image caption A single female Wallace's giant bee was found The world's biggest bee has been re-discovered, after decades thought lost to science. The giant bee - which is as long as an adult's thumb - was found on a little-explored Indonesian island. After days of searching, wildlife experts found a single live female, which they photographed and filmed. Known as Wallace's giant bee, the insect is named after the British naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace, who described it in 1858. Scientists found several specimens in 1981, but it has not been seen since. In January, a team followed in Wallace's footsteps on a journey through Indonesia in an attempt to find and photograph the bee. Image copyright Clay Bolt Image caption Eli Wyman with one of the few known Wallace's giant bee samples "It was absolutely breathtaking to see this 'flying bulldog' of an insect that we weren&..
February 21, 2019

Melbourne car rampage: James Gargasoulas jailed for six murders

Melbourne car rampage: James Gargasoulas jailed for six murders Image copyright EPA Image caption James Gargasoulas drove his car into pedestrians in Melbourne in 2017 An Australian man has been sentenced to life in jail for murdering six people and injuring 27 more in a vehicle attack in Melbourne. James Gargasoulas, 29, deliberately ploughed a stolen car into pedestrians in the city centre in January 2017. He later told a court in a confusing speech that he had carried out the attack after receiving a premonition. On Friday, a judge described it as one of the worst mass murders in Australian history. "You made no attempt to avoid people or to slow down. You simply ploughed through them, quite deliberately," Justice Mark Weinberg said, according to a report by Seven News. The attack killed three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Thalia Hakin, 10, Jess Mudie, 22, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Bhavita Patel, 33, and Matthew Si, 33. Gargasoulas will be eligible for parole after 46 years. He had pleaded not..
February 21, 2019

Singapore HIV data leak shakes a vulnerable community

Singapore HIV data leak shakes a vulnerable community Image copyright Getty Images Just a few weeks ago, "Joyce" received a phone call that threw her life in the air. Joyce is HIV positive, and was told in the call that this information - along with details of more than 14,000 other infected people in Singapore - had been made public in a massive data breach. "I'm still very shocked and sad at how this happened," Joyce told the BBC. "How is it that the place that I thought was safe is now not safe for us?" The scandal has gripped the Singaporean media for weeks. The government has blamed the leak on the American partner of a local doctor, who had access to the records kept on all known HIV-positive people in Singapore. Authorities say the leak has been contained, but this is little relief to a vulnerable community in a society that continues to stigmatise the condition. Image copyright AFP Image caption The data leak raised questions about how safely Singapore stores data on ..
February 21, 2019

Trump-Kim summit: The sorry fate of North Korea’s diplomat defectors

Trump-Kim summit: The sorry fate of North Korea's diplomat defectors Image copyright ED JONES Image caption North Korean defector activists like to float supplies with news of the South towards the North - increasingly something of a dilemma for the authorities in Seoul North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is about to attend his second summit with US President Donald Trump. But as the North inches its way out of near-total isolation and tentatively engages with the world, the question of what to do about high-profile North Korean diplomatic defectors becomes that much thornier. It can't be easy. Deciding to defect from North Korea can put your life and those you love in danger. For Pyongyang's diplomats, who have enjoyed a life of prestige and power, the danger in defecting is that much more real. These men and women are the Juche ideology foreign front line. Their main role is to raise capital for the regime, but although they are the elite in their home country, they are ..
February 21, 2019

Brexit: Japan trade deal will not be ready by deadline

Brexit: Japan trade deal will not be ready by deadline The UK won't be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said. It was one of the most important EU trade deals the UK hoped to replicate ahead of the 29 March withdrawal date. The Department of International Trade also said that the EU's customs union deal with Turkey will not be ready. In 2017 Mr Fox said the UK would be able to replicate 40 EU free trade deals by Brexit day. But so far his department has only been able to finalise "continuity agreements" with seven of the 69 countries and regions with which the EU has trade deals. These include Switzerland, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Eastern and Southern Africa, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The UK also has mutual recognition agreements signed with the US, Australia and New Zealand. Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?Industry group the CBI said deals with Japan and Turkey not being concluded on t..
February 21, 2019

Fans ‘save’ red squirrels for BTS star

J-Hope: BTS fans 'save' squirrels for K-pop star's birthday Image copyright Katherine Wood Image caption The endangered red squirrel is the UK's only native squirrel K-pop star J-Hope from BTS has had Scottish red squirrels adopted in his name by fans for his 25th birthday. The South Korean singer's British fans raised over £600 for the endangered species, while fans from around the world raised money for other charities. The BTS army, as the group's fans are called, responded to J-Hope's call for birthday donations instead of gifts. The singer reportedly donated £68,000 to ChildFund Korea for the upkeep of his former high school in Gwangju. The wildlife group Saving Scottish Red Squirrels was approached by a British university student who fundraised enough to adopt 37 red squirrels - a quarter of the total red squirrel adoptions the charity had last year. "J-Hope already knows about the red squirrel adoptions, he came across it in a Korean article,"..
February 21, 2019

Hayabusa-2: Japan mission set to ‘bite an asteroid’

Hayabusa-2: Japan mission set to 'bite an asteroid' Image copyright DLR Image caption Artwork: Hayabusa-2 arrived at asteroid Ryugu in June last year A Japanese spacecraft is set to "bite an asteroid" as it descends to collect a sample of rock from the surface. The Hayabusa-2 probe will try to grab the sample from a pre-chosen site on the asteroid Ryugu at 23:00 GMT on 21 February. The spacecraft reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth. It is is expected to return to Earth with the rocky material it has cached in 2020. During sample collection, the spacecraft will approach the 1km-wide asteroid with an instrument called the sampler horn. On touchdown, a 5g projectile made of the metal tantalum will be fired into the rocky surface at 300m/s. The particles kicked up by the impact should be caught by the sampler horn. The spacecraft began descending from its "home position" of 20km above the asteroid's surface in the early hours..
February 21, 2019

Trump-Kim summit: How might Kim Jong-un travel to Vietnam?

Trump-Kim summit: How might Kim Jong-un travel to Vietnam? Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Kim had earlier taken a train from North Korea to Beijing It's not the most conventional journey, but some reports suggest that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could soon be making his way to Vietnam by train, for an upcoming summit with US leader Donald Trump. If such a journey does take place, it's expected to take at least two days and could see Pyongyang's leader travel more than 3,000km (1,860 miles) kilometres to Hanoi. But Mr Kim's travel plans often remain highly secret. The last summit between the two leaders in Singapore was similarly shrouded in mystery. It was clear Mr Kim would have to fly in but it wasn't clear what plane he would be coming in on until the very last minute. Similarly, it's highly likely we won't find out much about his chosen mode of transport or route until he actually arrives. But what would such a journey look like?..
February 21, 2019

Julie Bishop: Ex-contender for Australian PM to leave politics

Julie Bishop: Ex-contender for Australian PM to leave politics Image copyright Reuters Image caption Julie Bishop has been a federal MP for two decades Former Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, the highest-ranking woman to serve in the two-term government, has announced she is leaving politics. Ms Bishop had faced months of speculation about her future after losing an internal party ballot to become prime minister last August. The vote handed the job to Scott Morrison. The upheaval also ended her 11-year tenure as deputy leader of the party. Ms Bishop said she would not contest the next election, expected in May. She said it had been an "immense honour" to serve as the Liberal Party's first female deputy leader, as well as her Perth electorate of Curtin for two decades. "I am also proud of the fact that I am the first woman to contest a leadership ballot of the Liberal Party in its 75-year history," she told the parliament on Thursday. Ms Bishop had been on the government&..
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