January 28, 2019

Kumbh Mela: How to find someone lost at the world’s biggest gathering

Kumbh Mela: How to find someone lost at the world's biggest gathering Image copyright Ankit Srinivas The ongoing Kumbh Mela festival in the northern Indian city of Allahabad (recently re-named Prayagraj) is billed as the largest gathering of humanity on earth, with 110 million people expected to attend over 49 days. But for the thousands who get lost among the crowds, help is at hand. The BBC's Geeta Pandey spent a day at the lost and found centres. "Most people we get are elderly, mostly women above 60 years," says Umesh Tiwari who heads the Bhule Bhatke Shivir (lost and found camp), run by local charity Bharat Seva Dal. Allahabad's oldest, this camp was set up by his father Raja Ram Tiwari in 1946 and has since helped reunite more than 1.5 million families. At the entrance, a policeman writes down the details of the new arrivals in a register - their names, addresses, where they came from, any details of who to contact. Inside, dozens of people who've been separa..
January 28, 2019

Trade war: Firms look to new factories as tariffs bite

Trade war: Firms look to new factories as tariffs bite Image copyright Getty Images The world's largest maker of industrial computers, Taiwan's Advantech, plans to boost US production to combat the hit from the trade war. Executive director Chaney Ho told the BBC the firm would avoid tariffs - imposed on 40% of its goods - if it assembled more products in the US. The company is one of many rethinking their supply chains in response to the US-China trade battle. The two sides will meet this week for talks crucial to resolving the dispute. The world's two biggest economies are trying to solve entrenched differences over trade policy that have seen both sides impose tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other's goods. A high-level Chinese delegation will visit Washington for two days of negotiations, beginning on Wednesday. Why China is under pressure to make a deal A quick guide to the US-China trade war What is a trade war and why should I worry? The cou..
January 28, 2019

US files charges against China’s Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou

US files charges against China's Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou Image copyright Reuters Image caption The US announced charges against Huawei, several of its subsidiaries, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou The US Justice Department has filed 13 charges against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. Among the charges are accusations of bank and wire fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology from US company T Mobile. Ms Meng was arrested in Canada last month on a US request for allegedly evading sanctions on Iran. The case has strained relations between China, Canada and the US. Both Ms Meng and Huawei deny the allegations. US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the Huawei charges were "wholly separate" from ongoing trade negotiations with China. These US charges come the day after Canada fired its ambassador to China, days after he publicly said the US extradition request for Ms Meng was flawed.
January 28, 2019

Singapore HIV registry data leaked online in health breach

Singapore HIV registry data leaked online in health breach Image copyright EPA Image caption Singapore issued a photo of US national Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, who they believe is behind the leak Confidential data about more than 14,000 people diagnosed with HIV, including foreign visitors, has been stolen in Singapore and leaked online. Authorities revealed details about the 2016 health data breach on Monday. They believe an HIV-positive American whose partner was a senior Singaporean doctor is behind the leak. The hack comes just months after the records of 1.5m Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, were stolen last year. Confidential information including names, addresses, HIV status and other medical information is reportedly included in the latest breach. Officials say the details of 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners dating up to January 2013 have been compromised. Singapore country profileUntil 2015, foreigners with HIV were not allowed to visit the city stat..
January 28, 2019

Taliban talks: Draft framework for Afghanistan peace ‘agreed’

Taliban talks: Draft framework for Afghanistan peace 'agreed' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The conflict in Afghanistan is America's longest-ever war US and Taliban negotiators have agreed on a draft framework for a peace deal that would put an end to the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan, Washington's top negotiator has said. US negotiators held six days of talks with the Taliban in Qatar, last week. The Taliban have so far refused to hold direct talks with Afghan officials, whom they dismiss as "puppets". But analysts caution that it could be years until any substantive peace agreement is reached. Mr Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, was in Kabul to brief the Afghan government about the talks. "We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement," he told The New York Times in Kabul. The US State Department confirmed to the BBC that he had been correctly quoted. The Taliba..
January 28, 2019

US-Bangla crash: Nepal says pilot had ’emotional breakdown’

US-Bangla crash: Nepal says pilot had 'emotional breakdown' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The plane caught fire after making a dangerous landing attempt in Kathmandu last March The pilot of a plane that crashed in Nepal last March "seemed to have an emotional breakdown", according to a final report into the disaster. The flight carrying 71 people from Dhaka in Bangladesh caught fire as it landed in Kathmandu, killing 51 people. It was initially thought that poor communication with air traffic control may have been to blame. But investigators now say the pilot was ranting to crew members and even smoking in the cockpit, due to stress. Nepal's Accident Investigation Commission said in its report that the captain of US-Bangla Airlines flight BS211 was "very much emotionally disturbed and stressed" because a female colleague, who was not on board the plane, had "questioned his reputation" as a good flight instructor. The 52-year-old pilot was released from the ..
January 27, 2019

Wang Quanzhang: China jails leading human rights lawyer

Wang Quanzhang: China jails leading human rights lawyer Image copyright Family Image caption Wang Quanzhang went missing in a 2015 crackdown China has sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison for state subversion. Wang, 42, had defended political campaigners, victims of land seizures, as well as followers of the banned spiritual Falun Gong movement. He was one of several lawyers and activists arrested in 2015 crackdown, and was the last to go on trial. China has in recent years intensified its prosecution of rights lawyers. Mr Wang was "found guilty of subverting state power, sentenced to four years and six months in prison, and deprived of political rights for five years," the court in Tianjin said. The lawyer who simply disappeared 'My husband just vanished' The trial had been conducted behind closed doors with journalists and foreign diplomats barred from entering the courthouse. The BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing sa..
January 27, 2019

Trevor the Duck: Niue mourns ‘world’s loneliest duck’

Trevor the Duck: Niue mourns 'world's loneliest duck' Image copyright Trevor the duck/Facebook Image caption Trevor passed away after being attacked by dogs Trevor, once dubbed the world's loneliest duck, has died after being attacked by dogs on the remote Pacific island he called home. Trevor was something of a local celebrity in the tiny nation of Niue for being the only bird of his kind living on the island. He had arrived there in 2018 - it's unclear how he got there. He lived in a roadside puddle during his short life, where he was regularly fed and taken care of by locals. "He showed up in Niue in January last year after a big storm, we think he flew or blew here," said Rae Findlay, Niue's Chamber of Commerce chief and the person behind Trevor's Facebook page. "It's assumed he came from New Zealand but it's also possible he came from Tonga or another Pacific island. "He was a mallard duck so we called him Trevor Mallard after a loca..
January 27, 2019

Duke University professor removed over ‘Speak English’ email

Duke University professor removed over ‘Speak English’ email Image copyright Duke University Image caption The course attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds A US university professor has been removed as director of a graduate programme, amid a furore over an email she sent urging students not to speak Chinese. Megan Neely, an assistant professor at Duke University in North Carolina, said in an email to students that two unnamed faculty members of the biostatistics Masters programme had complained to her about students speaking Chinese in public areas in the department. She said that not speaking English could lead to "unintended consequences" for international students. Her email went viral on Twitter and Chinese social media, while Duke's medical faculty has promised to review its biostatistics programme. Many have criticised Dr Neely's email as racist or insensitive, and raised concerns that faculty members were discriminating against international students. Ho..
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