September 15, 2018

Uzbekistan: Land of a thousand shrines

Uzbekistan: Land of a thousand shrines Image caption Uzbekistan boasts hundreds of holy places and shrines attracting pilgrims from home and abroad Uzbekistan has aspirations to become a second Mecca, a destination for pilgrims from all over the world. Central Asia's most populous country boasts a wealth of well-preserved mosques and shrines in famous silk road cities like Samarkand and Bukhara. For millions of Uzbeks these are sacred places. But for the Uzbek government they also represent an opportunity to boost tourism as the country opens up after decades of isolationist, authoritarian rule. Samarkand is home to dozens of magnificent tombs. Notable figures like the emperor Tamerlane, the astronomer Ulughbek and Kusam Ibn Abbas, the cousin of the prophet Muhammad, who brought Islam to this land in the 7th Century, are all buried here. Image caption Some of the most famous religious leaders and scientists are buried in Samarkand But there is one grave that is unlike any oth..
September 15, 2018

In pictures: Typhoon Mangkhut rips through Philippines

In pictures: Typhoon Mangkhut rips through Philippines Image copyright EPA Typhoon Mangkhut has wreaked damage across the Philippines' main island of Luzon, reportedly killing 14 people. It made landfall at Baggao in Cagayan Province at about 01:40 local time on Saturday (17:40 GMT on Friday). Officials said about 1,000 homes in the province had sustained damage. Image copyright EPA Here an elderly resident of the town of Aparri on the north coast of Luzon is seen during the high winds and rain. In pictures: Philippines braces for super typhoon How to survive a monster storm Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones: What's the difference? The evacuation centre in the town is said to have been destroyed and phone networks are down. Image copyright EPA Some in Aparri however found amusement amid the waves. Image copyright AFP The storm packed winds of 185km/h (115mph). Four million people were in its path, and thousands were evacuated amid warnings of 6m (20ft) storm surges. Home..
September 15, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut: Philippines wakes to storm destruction

Typhoon Mangkhut: Philippines wakes to storm destruction Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSuper typhoon reaches the Philippines Areas of the northern Philippines have woken up to destruction wrought by the strong winds and heavy rains of a massive storm, Typhoon Mangkhut. Almost all buildings in the city of Tuguegarao sustained some damage, a government official said, and communications were down in places. However, there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths. More than four million people are directly in the path of the storm, with sustained winds of 185km/h (115mph). Thousands were evacuated amid warnings of 6m (20ft) storm surges. The typhoon is forecast to barrel toward China across the weekend. The deadliest storm on record in the country was Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed more than 7,000. In pictures: Philippines braces for super typhoon How to survive a monster storm Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones: What's the difference? ..
September 14, 2018

Singapore’s Mandai eco-resort: Paving paradise to put up an eco-resort

Singapore's Mandai eco-resort: Paving paradise to put up an eco-resort Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The endangered Sunda pangolin is one of a few animals that have become a victim of roadkill Singaporeans are getting a new wildlife paradise to bring them closer to nature, but as the BBC's Yvette Tan writes, the development is carving into the jungle and pushing rare animals into the path of danger. It might be tiny, densely populated and commonly referred to as a concrete jungle, but Singapore has more wild space than most people realise. Its 63 islands are home to hundreds of types of flora and fauna, including some of the most endangered species on the planet. But these green spaces are shrinking fast amid rapid development. One of the few places left relatively wild is the Mandai district in the north, where work is under way to create a sprawling eco-tourism hub, in which people can pay to experience nature close up. Image copyright MPH Image caption An ..
September 14, 2018

Hurricanes and typhoons: How to survive a major storm

Hurricanes and typhoons: How to survive a major storm Image copyright AFP On opposite sides of the world, two major storms have forced people to flee their homes and are threatening to bulldoze infrastructure and buildings. In the US, officials warn that Hurricane Florence could cause "catastrophic" flooding which could kill "a lot of people" on the country's east coast. Meanwhile, a super typhoon has arrived in the Philippines and officials say more than five million people are in its path. The looming disasters have prompted people to prepare their homes and stock up on supplies. But what is best practice? And how can you cope once a storm has hit? Here's what officials from both countries advise... Housing Image copyright Reuters Images of people in the US boarding up the windows of their homes and businesses are commonplace when a hurricane is nearing land. But the government's advice, posted as part of the Ready Campaign, suggests that installing permanent storm s..
September 14, 2018

Trump ‘orders further China tariffs’

Trump 'orders further China tariffs' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Workers unload bags of chemicals at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province US President Donald Trump has instructed staff to move forward with the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods, US media have reported. The tariffs are expected to apply to about $200bn worth of imports from China, including electronic parts and consumer goods such as handbags. It remains unclear when the new import taxes - which could be as high as 25% - will go into effect. Officials are reportedly still working on the final list of products. President Trump ordered his staff to start preparing the tariffs this summer, escalating a dispute over what the US says are China's unfair trade practices, such as state subsidies. The new duties would add to tariffs the US has already imposed on $50bn in Chinese goods as part of that dispute, as well as tariffs that China levied on $50bn in US goods i..
September 14, 2018

North Korea claims NHS and Sony hack suspect ‘doesn’t exist’

North Korea claims NHS and Sony hack suspect 'doesn't exist' Image copyright FBI.gov Image caption The FBI has released a 'wanted' poster for a man North Korea says doesn't exist North Korea has said that a man charged with hacking Sony Pictures in 2014 is a "non-existent" individual and warned the US that its accusation could have a negative effect on relations between the two countries. The US Justice Department charged Park Jin-hyok on 6 September with conspiring in "multiple destructive cyber-attacks around the world", including the the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures. It alleged he created the malicious software used to cripple the UK's National Health Service in 2017. The US Treasury Department also added Mr Park to its list of sanctioned individuals. He is allegedly linked to Lab 110, one of the North Korean government's hacking organisations, also known as the Lazarus Group. A commentary from North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ..
September 14, 2018

Strawberry needle scare: Contamination affects six brands in Australia

Strawberry needle scare: Contamination affects six brands in Australia Image caption Health officials have warned people purchasing strawberries to be cautious (file photo) Australians have been warned to cut fresh strawberries before biting into them after several people found sewing needles hidden inside the fruit. Contaminated punnets have been reported in supermarkets in the states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. One man was taken in hospital after eating a strawberry with a needle inside. A nine-year old boy bit into a contaminated fruit but did not swallow. Several brands of strawberries have been withdrawn. These include Donnybrook strawberries and those sold by the Woolworths Group under the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious names. Health officials have urged people purchasing the fruit to be cautious. Pomegranate contamination kills woman in AustraliaThe warnings came after a contaminated punnet was reported by Joshua Gane, who wrote in a Facebook post that a 21..
September 14, 2018

North and South Korea set up liaison office to ‘talk 24/7’

North and South Korea set up liaison office to 'talk 24/7' Image copyright Reuters Image caption The office was opened with great fanfare on Friday The two Koreas have opened a "liaison office" that will allow them to communicate on a regular basis for the first time since the Korean War. The office, on the North's side of the militarised border, will be staffed by up to 20 people from each side. The Koreas will be able to "directly discuss issues 24 hours, 365 days", Seoul's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said. The opening comes ahead of a meeting between North and South leaders. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet in Pyongyang next week, in their third summit. Since US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim met at a historic meeting in June, little progress has been made on North Korean denuclearisation. But Mr Kim recently requested another meeting with Mr Trump, who hailed his "very warm" letter. Kim 'warmly&..
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