January 18, 2019

Meng Hongwei: Wife of ex-Interpol chief seeks France asylum

Meng Hongwei: Wife of ex-Interpol chief seeks France asylum Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGrace Meng says "cruel" China is persecuting her husband The wife of Meng Hongwei, the Interpol president held in China since September, has sought asylum in France for herself and her twin children. Grace Meng and the seven-year-olds live in Lyon, the international police agency's headquarters. Meng Hongwei disappeared during a visit to China. In October the Chinese authorities said Mr Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking. His wife and children are under police protection, having received threats. Quoted by France Inter radio on Friday, she said, "I fear they will kidnap me." "I've received strange phone calls. Even my car was damaged. Two Chinese - a man and woman - followed me to the hotel," she said. In media interviews she has refused to show her face, fearing for her safety. On the day her husband went missing, she said he had sent ..
January 18, 2019

Australia swelters through record-breaking heatwave

Australia swelters through record-breaking heatwave Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption Australians have flocked to beaches and watering holes to cool off Australia has just sweltered through at least five of its 10 warmest days on record, authorities estimate. An extreme heatwave has afflicted the nation since Saturday, causing wildlife deaths, bushfires and an increase in hospital admissions. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said preliminary readings showed daily national temperature highs of 40C. The town of Noona in New South Wales meanwhile recorded a night-time temperature of 35.9C. It was the highest minimum temperature ever recorded anywhere in Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said. Temperatures on Friday will soar above 42C in "broad areas", the bureau predicted, before a cool change in southern and central areas of the country over the weekend. However parts of Western Australia are expected to see temperatures up to 14 degrees higher than average. Forec..
January 18, 2019

A virtual Singapore and the cities of the future

Virtual cities: Designing the metropolises of the future Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The cities of the future will be informed by data as much as by design Simulation software that can create accurate "digital twins" of entire cities is enabling planners, designers and engineers to improve their designs and measure the effect changes will have on the lives of citizens. Cities are hugely complex and dynamic creations. They live and breathe. Think about all the parts: millions of people, schools, offices, shops, parks, utilities, hospitals, homes and transport systems. Changing one aspect affects many others. Which is why planning is such a hard job. So imagine having a tool at your disposal that could answer questions such as "What will happen to pedestrian and traffic flow if we put the new metro station here?" or "How can we persuade more people to leave their cars at home when they go to work?" This is where 3D simulation software is coming into its own. Architects, ..
January 17, 2019

Germany ‘considers ban on Huawei’ amid global backlash

Germany 'considers ban on Huawei' amid global backlash Image copyright Getty Images Germany is considering ways to block Huawei from its next generation mobile phone network, according to reports. Berlin is exploring stricter security requirements which may prevent Huawei products being used in its 5G network. Many countries have pushed against the involvement of the Chinese technology firm in their 5G networks over security concerns. The networks represent the next big wave of mobile infrastructure. The Chinese company, one of the world's biggest producers of telecoms equipment, has faced resistance from foreign governments over the risk that its technology could be used for espionage. Huawei has denied claims it poses a spying risk. What's going on with Huawei? What is 5G and what will it mean for you? Grappling with China's growing power Germany's interior ministry had previously said it opposes banning any suppliers from its 5G network. But it ma..
January 17, 2019

Sydney axe attacks: Woman jailed for wounding 7-Eleven customers

Sydney axe attacks: Woman jailed for wounding 7-Eleven customers Image copyright NSW DISTRICT COURT Image caption Evie Amati (centre) wounded two shoppers in the attack in Sydney A woman who randomly attacked two people with an axe in an Australian convenience store has been jailed. Evie Amati, 26, seriously wounded the man and woman at a 7-Eleven in Sydney in January 2017. She swung her axe at a third customer but did not injure him. Amati pleaded not guilty on mental health grounds at a trial last year, but a court rejected her argument. On Friday, a judge sentenced her to a maximum nine years in prison for the "very serious" incident. "The risk of death was high in each cases and the fact that death did not occur was entirely a matter of good fortune," Judge Mark Williams told the New South Wales District Court. Security footage played during the trial showed Amati approaching her first victim, Ben Rimmer, as he waited to buy a meat pie. After a brief conversation, she struck Mr Ri..
January 17, 2019

Graffiti spotted in Tokyo could be Banksy artwork

Graffiti spotted in Tokyo could be Banksy artwork Image copyright AFP Image caption Could this be the work of Banksy? A piece of graffiti found at a monorail station in Tokyo, Japan, could be the work of British artist Banksy, say local officials. The drawing bears resemblance to a famous Banksy painting "Umbrella rat", which similarly pictures a rat parachuting with an umbrella. It is not clear when the work was painted but officials said they had known about it for a long time. They only realised it could be a Banksy after being contacted by residents. The drawing is sprayed on a door near the Hinode monorail station in central Tokyo. Image copyright AFP Image caption Can you spot the 'Banksy' work? In a tweet, the capital's Governor Yuriko Koike called the artwork a possible "gift to Tokyo". Image Copyright @ecoyuri @ecoyuri Report Image Copyright @ecoyuri @ecoyuri Report The door has now been removed and placed in storage to prevent any damage to it, government ..
January 17, 2019

Manmohan Singh: India’s ‘accidental PM’ biopic causes stir

Manmohan Singh: India’s ‘accidental PM’ biopic causes stir Image copyright The Accidental Prime Minister Image caption Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher plays Manmohan Singh in the film Manmohan Singh was one of India's longest serving prime ministers and widely regarded as the architect of the country's economic reforms. But critics say a new Bollywood biopic months before a general election reduces him to a caricature. Sudha G Tilak reports. In The Accidental Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh sits in a garishly decorated office. He looks befuddled when he takes orders from Sonia Gandhi, then president of the Congress party which was in power at the time. The film, critics say, could have been an engaging exploration of the career of one of India's most enigmatic leaders. Instead, many see it as a hatchet job on Mr Singh and Congress. One called it a "bad propaganda film". According to veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, who plays Mr Singh, the filmmakers "worked har..
January 17, 2019

Why is Chinese state media blurring these actors’ ears?

Why is Chinese state media blurring these actors' ears? Image copyright iQiyi Image caption Actor Wang Linkai's ears are blurred in an episode of the TV show Sister's Flower Shop The decision by a popular Chinese video streaming platform to censor the ears of actors wearing earrings has sparked a heated debate online. Images taken from programmes produced by the Netflix-like streaming service iQiyi, show actors with large blobs covering their earlobes and have been widely shared online. The hashtag #MaleTVStarsCantWearEarrings has been used more than 88,000 times on Weibo where many users are expressing their outrage at the censorship. The controversy is the latest example of the heavy-handed blurring of TV programmes in China. Hip-hop culture, tattoos and LGBT symbols have all been censored. Image copyright iQiyi Image caption Some on Weibo pointed out the difference between actor Jing Boran's ears in episode one (L) and episode three (R) of the TV show 'I..
January 17, 2019

Oxford University suspends Huawei donations and sponsorships

Oxford University suspends Huawei donations and sponsorships Image copyright Getty Images The University of Oxford has suspended donations and sponsorships from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. The firm is facing accusations from the US and other countries that its equipment could be used for espionage. Huawei has denied those claims, saying it doesn't pose a spying risk. The US is also reportedly investigating Huawei for "stealing trade secrets" from US businesses, and has accused it of contravening sanctions by lying about its business in Iran. Oxford University said it would provide more details shortly.
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