December 1, 2018

What are private security companies doing in Afghanistan?

What are private security companies doing in Afghanistan? Image copyright STR/AFP/Getty Images Image caption Staff at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital treated the wounded The Taliban has said it carried out an attack in Afghanistan on the base of the British security firm G4S. A British man was among five employees killed when gunmen stormed their compound. G4S, one of the world's largest security groups, helps guard the area around the British embassy in Kabul. The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 contributed to a boom in the private security business. In recent years, the presence of contractors has decreased, mirroring the withdrawal of foreign troops. However, insecurity in Afghanistan remains widespread, there are still thousands of Nato troops and the demand for armed security at foreign embassies, military bases, and for NGOs is still high. So how many private security firms are operating in Afghanistan?The Afghan interior ministry says the government-run Afghan Public P..
December 1, 2018

G20: Talks between Trump and Xi ‘go well’ amid trade tensions

G20: Talks between Trump and Xi 'go well' amid trade tensions Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Trump (front right) last met Mr Xi (front left) last year Donald Trump has met China's President Xi Jinping for nearly two and a half hours in their first talks since a trade war erupted earlier this year. Trump adviser Larry Kudlow said the meeting, a working dinner after the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, had gone "very well" without giving details. A Chinese journalist quoted by Reuters said the talks had apparently gone well and "consensus was reached". At the summit earlier on Saturday, the G20 leaders agreed a joint declaration. The document notes divisions over trade but does not criticise protectionist activity. During the working dinner the Chinese leader said co-operation was the best choice for their nations, state news agency Xinhua reports. Mr Trump had earlier said the pair shared a "very special" relationship. "I think that's going to be a very primary..
December 1, 2018

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas marry in India

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas marry in India Image Copyright priyankachopra priyankachopra Report Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra have married in a Christian ceremony at a royal palace in India. The Bollywood superstar and the Texan singer, formerly part of the Jonas Brothers, wed before family and friends in Jodhpur's Umaid Bhavan Palace. People magazine said the ceremony was officiated by Jonas's father Paul Kevin Jonas. The couple will have a traditional Hindu ceremony on Sunday. The couple became engaged four months ago after a whirlwind romance. They both confirmed the wedding had taken place on their respective Instagram accounts. Skip Twitter post by @nickjonas One of the most special things that our relationship has given us is a merging of families who love and respect each other’s faiths and cultures. And so planning our wedding with an amalgamation of both was so so amazing. — Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) December 1, 2018 Report End of Twitte..
November 30, 2018

Growing up Afghan: ‘My parents were told to swap me for a boy’

Growing up Afghan: 'My parents were told to swap me for a boy' Image copyright Nargis Taraki Image caption Nargis now campaigns for women's education in her home country When Nargis Taraki became the fifth girl born to her parents in Afghanistan, her parents were told they should swap her with another baby in the village. Now 21, she has made it her life ambition to prove they were right to keep her. Nargis now campaigns for women's education and empowerment in her home country, and is one of the BBC's 2018 100 Women. In 1997 I opened my eyes to the world as my parents' fifth child, and their fifth girl. My father's sister, and other relatives, immediately put pressure on my mum to agree to my father taking a second wife. Taking a second or even third wife is not uncommon in Afghanistan, and is sometimes done because they believe a new wife could mean a new chance to have a male child. When she refused, they suggested that my father swap me for a bo..
November 30, 2018

Space Odyssey helps launch first 8K TV channel

Space Odyssey helps launch first 8K TV channel Image copyright Warner Bros Image caption 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968 Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey will help launch the world's first super-high definition 8K television channel on Saturday. Japanese broadcaster NHK said it had asked Warner Bros to scan the original film negatives in 8K for its new channel. Super-high definition 8K pictures offer 16 times the resolution of HD TV. However, few people currently have the necessary television or equipment to receive the broadcasts. Super hi-visionNHK says it has been developing 8K, which it calls super-hi vision, since 1995. As well as improved picture resolution, broadcasts can include 24 channels of audio for immersive surround sound experiences. It is hoping to broadcast the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games using the new format. Television manufacturers including Samsung and LG have announced 8K-capable television sets, but they are still pr..
November 30, 2018

Modi’s arrival at the G20 summit ‘announced with Apu meme’

Modi's arrival at the G20 summit 'announced with Apu meme' Image copyright TCFFC Image caption Some Indian-Americans have complained that the Simpsons character is racist An Argentine news channel has come under fire for displaying an image of the Simpsons character Apu as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Buenos Aires. Cronica TV used the headline "Apu arrives" as the Indian PM's plane touched down for the G20 summit. Some say the portrayal of the Indian shopkeeper is racist. Social media users responded angrily to the use of the image. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has been part of the animation series since 1990 and is voiced by Hank Azaria, a white actor, who puts on a heavy Indian accent. Skip Twitter post by @Pat_Gillespie Argentine TV outlet @CronicaTV displays this racist image with the headline “Apu Arrived” as India Prime Minister @narendramodi arrives in Buenos Aires for the #G20. — Patrick Gillespie (@Pat_Gillespie) N..
November 30, 2018

New Zealand stranded whales: Why are so many washing up on beaches?

New Zealand stranded whales: Why are so many washing up on beaches? Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAlmost 150 whales die in mass stranding The pictures are striking: dozens of whales lie stranded on an idyllic beach in a remote part of New Zealand. The group were found by a walker on Stewart Island earlier this week. And just a few days later, a further 51 pilot whales died after becoming stranded on a beach on the Chatham Islands. While whale strandings are not uncommon, they usually involve just a single animal rather than a whole group. The recent flurry of mass strandings has brought a renewed focus on the mysterious, and rare, phenomenon. So why does it happen? While the exact reasons remain unclear, experts say many different factors could play a part. Sickness and injury"Quite often animals that turn up on a beach are getting exhausted, they're malnourished, or they haven't eaten because they're ill," says Dr Simon Ingram, a Professor of..
November 30, 2018

Indian woman arrested for marrying ’17-year-old’

Indian woman arrested for marrying '17-year-old' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 years for men Police in the Indian city of Mumbai have arrested a 20-year-old woman for marrying a 17-year-old boy. The woman and the couple's five-month-old daughter have been in prison for the past fortnight. She was arrested after the teenager's mother lodged a police complaint. She has been charged under the stringent child sex abuse act. The woman says their relationship is consensual, and also contests the claim that her husband is underage. Although the age of consent for sex in India for all genders is 18, the legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 21 years for men. So in this case, police have also charged the woman under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi says it's a rare case where a woman has been arrested for marrying an underage man. There are many..
November 30, 2018

Afghanistan war: US strike in Helmand killed 23 civilians, UN says

Afghanistan war: US strike in Helmand killed 23 civilians, UN says Image copyright EPA Image caption Up to 10 children were killed and three others injured A US airstrike in Afghanistan on Tuesday killed as many as 23 civilians, with most victims women and children, the UN says. The strike on a compound in Helmand province was called in during a joint operation between Afghan and US forces. Investigators said up to 10 children and eight women may have been killed. US forces say they are investigating. Civilian casualties from aerial attacks have surged since the US announced a new Afghan strategy last year. President Trump committed more troops to America's longest war and significantly boosted the number of strikes targeting Taliban and Islamic State group positions in August 2017. The rules of engagement were also loosened, allowing more bombings. The US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan said that Tuesday's helicopter strike took place amid a firefight between US-advised Afg..
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