February 8, 2019

India capital Delhi enjoys unusual hail storm

India capital Delhi enjoys unusual hail storm Image copyright PTI Image caption Many people compared the unusual sight to scenes from Chicago or London India's capital Delhi was hit by a strong hailstorm on Thursday, turning the city white and leaving people stunned and delighted. Pictures and videos posted on social media show cherry-sized ice balls and streets covered in white. Many people compared the unusual sight to scenes from Chicago or London. Hailstorms "are not rare for Delhi, but their occurrence is infrequent," according to US website Accuweather's senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls. The severe weather also forced more than 30 flights to be diverted during the early hours of the evening. However, the hail and rain storm did have an upside. Apart from delighting Delhi's residents, it also helped improve the city's notoriously toxic air quality. Skip Twitter post by @kanchan_bhatia Hail storm in noida pic.twitter.com/macnuYsfiJ — Kanchan Bhatia (@ka..
February 8, 2019

Australia parliament hit by cyber-hack attempt

Australia parliament hit by cyber-hack attempt Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The attempted breach is the latest in a number of known attacks on the Australian government Authorities in Australia say they are investigating an attempt to hack into its parliament's computer network. Lawmakers said there was "no evidence" that information had been accessed or stolen, but politicians' passwords have been reset as a precaution. Local cyber-security experts have suggested the hack likely came from a foreign state. Australian PM Scott Morrison said he didn't intend to comment in depth on "the source or nature of this". He said there was "no suggestion" that government agencies or departments had been targeted. MPs and their staff use the parliament network to store emails, among other data. Australia defence data in 'extensive' hack 'Spies hacked' Australia weather bureau China denies Australia weather 'hack' Earlier, senior lawmakers ..
February 8, 2019

Japanese Fortnite pro ‘ashamed’ for age fake

Fortnite: Pro gamer RizArt 'deeply sorry' for faking age Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Epic Games pledged $100m (£77.2m) to fund prize pools for Fortnite competitions in 2019 A Japanese pro gamer has said he is "truly ashamed" after faking his age to gain YouTube subscribers. Known to his followers as RizArt, the gamer gained notoriety after beating a Fortnite world record in November, despite being only 12 years old. The number of subscribers to his YouTube channel more than doubled to 187,000 after his feat made international news. Then, this month, RizArt revealed he had been lying about his age. "I'm very sorry to have not been telling everyone the truth," he said in a video. "I am truly ashamed for having lied to all of you." RizArt revealed that he is 16 years old. Far from being at elementary school as he had claimed, he is now in his first year of high school. He said that it began when other gamers assumed he was younger than he was because of his ..
February 7, 2019

Thailand election: Thai princess to stand as PM candidate

Thailand election: Thai princess to stand as PM candidate Image copyright Reuters Image caption The princess, 67, is breaking with decades of royal tradition The sister of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has joined the race to be the country's next prime minister. Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi, 67, will stand for a party loyal to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to registration papers. Traditionally the Thai royal family stays out of politics, so this is an unprecedented move. Thailand's election is scheduled to take place on 24 March. The princess is the eldest sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and has registered for the Thai Raksa Chart party. The development raises questions about the future of other political candidates, amid speculation that no-one will run against a member of the royal family. Skip Twitter post by @pakhead In an astonishing move the elder sister of King Vajiralongkorn has submitted her name as the ..
February 7, 2019

Yanxi Palace: Why China turned against its most popular show

Yanxi Palace: Why China turned against its most popular show Image copyright IQiyi Image caption Yanxi Palace - a danger to Chinese society? It was one of China's most popular shows of 2018 - but it's now being pulled from TV screens across the country. The story of Yanxi Palace, a drama about life in imperial China, broke records when it was released last year. It was streamed more than 15 billion times on China Netflix-like iQiyi and became the most watched online drama in China for 39 consecutive days. All that changed in late January when a state media article criticised the "negative impact" of imperial dramas, and it wasn't long before Yanxi Palace was taken off air. So why has this blockbuster show fallen from grace? 'Bad for Chinese society'It all started when Theory Weekly - a title linked to state newspaper the Beijing Daily - posted an article criticising period dramas and singling out Yanxi Palace in particular. It listed several "negative impa..
February 7, 2019

US-India Farmington university row: ‘I fled after fake college raid’

US-India Farmington university row: 'I fled after fake college raid' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Moving to the US is a dream for ambitious Indian students The arrest of 129 Indian students in the US for enrolling in a fake university has sparked questions about how they ended up risking their future to study at a little-known institution. BBC Telugu's Deepthi Bathini reports. Veeresh, whose name has been changed on his request, was at home in California on 30 January when he heard the news - 130 students (the group included one Chinese national) enrolled at the University of Farmington had been arrested. The university, it turned out, was a sham run by undercover agents investigating immigration fraud. He panicked, he says, because he was one of the 600 students who had enrolled at the Michigan-based university. "I did not know what to believe. I thought it was a rumour but the whole story was out the next day." Fearing he too would be arrested, he left..
February 7, 2019

‘Oldest known elephant in captivity’ dies at 88 in India

'Oldest known elephant in captivity' dies at 88 in India Image copyright STR/AFP/Getty Image caption Dakshayani, pictured here in 2016, lived at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in southern Kerala state Dakshayani, thought to be the world's oldest elephant in captivity, has died at the age of 88 in India. Given the title Gaja Muthassi or elephant granny, Dakshayani took part in temple rituals and processions at the Chengalloor Mahadeva Temple in the southern state of Kerala. But her vet said the elephant stopped taking food and died on Tuesday. Keepers started feeding her pineapples and carrots in recent years after she began to have trouble moving around. She had not taken part in any public event for several years. The Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs the temple where she lived, says she was the oldest elephant in captivity and estimated her age at 88. However, the current Guinness World Record holder for oldest elephant in captivity is Lin Wang. The Asian elepha..
February 7, 2019

Japan sets date for asteroid ‘rock grab’

Japan sets date for asteroid 'rock grab' Image copyright DLR Image caption Artwork: Hayabusa2 arrived at the asteroid Ryugu in June last year The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will attempt to collect a sample of soil and rock from an asteroid on 22 February, the country's space agency (Jaxa) says. Hayabusa 2 reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth. It will descend to the surface and attempt to grab a sample of rock and soil from a pre-chosen site. The spacecraft will return to Earth with the samples in 2020 after its exploration of Ryugu is complete. Jaxa officials had to delay the touchdown last October, after they found the asteroid's surface was more rugged than expected. 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 is fired into the rocky surface at 300m/s. The particles kicked up by ..
February 7, 2019

New Tonga island ‘now home to flowers and owls’

New Tonga island 'now home to flowers and owls' Image copyright Sea Education Association/SEA Semester Image caption The new Tongan island has only existed for four years Scientists have found signs of life on one of the world's newest islands, just four years after it was spawned by a volcanic eruption. Unofficially known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, it lies in the kingdom of Tonga, and is already nurturing pink flowering plants, sooty tern birds, and even barn owls. Tonga is made up of over 170 islands in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. A team from the Sea Education Association and Nasa visited the small land mass in October, having previously kept watch through satellite imaging. How exactly was the island formed?Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai - named after the two islands it is nestled between - was born in December 2014 after a submarine volcano erupted, sending a stream of steam, ash and rock into the air. When the ash finally settled, it interacted w..
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