December 19, 2018

Vanuatu uses drones to deliver vaccines to remote island

Vanuatu uses drones to deliver vaccines to remote island Image copyright unicef Image caption The drone carried the medicine in a small styrofoam box A baby on a small Pacific island has become the first person given a vaccine delivered by a commercial drone. Unicef arranged for the drone to be flown some 40km (25 miles) across rugged mountains in Vanuatu that otherwise take hours to cross. About 20% of children in Vanuatu don't receive important vaccinations because the supply is too difficult. The UN children's organisation hopes that drone delivery will in future be of vital importance in remote areas. "Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health," Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore said. "With the world still struggling to immunize the hardest to reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child." Image copyright Unicef Image caption The first baby boy getting a vaccine delivered sho..
December 18, 2018

Six baby seals found decapitated in New Zealand bay

Six baby seals found decapitated in New Zealand bay Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The "cruel and senseless" killing of six baby seals took place at Scenery Nook The bodies of six fur seal pups have been found decapitated in a popular bay on New Zealand's South Island. The 11-month-old seals were discovered on Monday by a tourism operator in Scenery Nook in Christchurch, said the Department of Conservation (DOC). The seals' heads could not be found and the DOC believe the seals were killed elsewhere before being dumped from a boat. It has called the incident "cruel and senseless". "Due to the disturbing, brutal and violent nature of this crime against defenceless seal pups, it has been reported to the police," said DOC Mahaanui Operations Manager Andy Thompson in a statement. 'The night I found 145 stranded whales'He said the DOC had ruled out a shark attack, saying it was "incredibly unlikely sharks would have "bitten the heads off seals but left the ..
December 18, 2018

SoftBank shares down on Tokyo market debut

SoftBank shares down on Tokyo market debut Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHow the Softbank IPO could change your life The mobile unit of Japanese tech giant SoftBank has had a disappointing debut on the Tokyo stock market. The firm aims to raise up to 2.6 trillion yen ($23bn; £18bn) by selling shares at 1,500 yen each in one of the world's largest ever stock offerings. But as markets opened in Tokyo on Wednesday, shares were trading down at 1,463 yen. Originally a telecoms firm SoftBank has become a vast conglomerate, covering robotics, chips and investments. The firm was founded by Japan's richest man Masayoshi Son. While you can already buy shares in SoftBank itself, it's now the telecommunications unit that will be listed and media reports suggest they were nearly double subscribed ahead of Wednesday. The initial public offering (IPO) is seen as cementing the company's move from domestic telecommunication provider to a global tech inv..
December 18, 2018

How Greenland could become China’s Arctic base

How Greenland could become China's Arctic base Image caption Greenland's capital, Nuuk, needs investment - but could it come from China? China is flexing its muscles. As the second richest economy in the world, its businessmen and politicians are involved just about everywhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Now, though, China is taking a big interest in a very different part of the world: the Arctic. It has started calling itself a "near-Arctic" power, even though Beijing is almost 3,000km (1,800 miles) from the Arctic Circle. It has bought or commissioned several ice-breakers - including nuclear-powered ones - to carve out new routes for its goods through the Arctic ice. And it is eyeing Greenland as a particularly useful way-station on its polar silk road. Greenland is self-governing, though still nominally controlled by Denmark. It is important strategically for the United States, which maintains a vast military base at Thule, in the far north. Both the Danes and th..
December 18, 2018

Transgender women pray at India’s Sabarimala temple

Transgender women pray at India's Sabarimala temple Image copyright A S Satheesh Image caption The transwomen were accompanied by some 20 police officers Four transgender women have been allowed to pray at an Indian temple at the centre of a bitter row over whether women should be permitted to enter. Despite a Supreme Court ruling allowing women devotees into the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala state, they have been blocked repeatedly by mobs. The transgender women, all wearing black sarees, were allowed to enter on Tuesday under police protection. The temple has historically been closed to women of "menstruating age". The group of transgender women had been blocked from accessing the temple on Sunday by police, citing security concerns. Image copyright A S Satheesh Image caption The four joined prayers at the temple on Tuesday Before September's Supreme Court ruling, transgender women were allowed to enter the shrine, but since the decision - which sparked violent protests - so..
December 18, 2018

The ‘wary’ #MeToo conversation in Australia

The 'wary' #MeToo conversation in Australia Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Actress Yael Stone has accused her former co-star Geoffrey Rush of misconduct On Monday, Australia was transfixed by fresh sexual misconduct allegations against Geoffrey Rush - one of the nation's most celebrated actors. Australian actress Yael Stone alleged that Mr Rush behaved inappropriately towards her during a theatre production in Sydney in 2010-11. Mr Rush, 67, has denied her accusations. Ms Stone, 33, said that she had feared speaking out because of personal and career reasons, echoing concerns raised by many women around the world since the #MeToo movement began last year. But she also raised concerns that she could face legal consequences - because under Australia's strong defamation laws, people or publications making allegations often face threats of legal action. Experts say worries like this are a key reason why the #MeToo movement has not gathered as much momentum i..
December 18, 2018

Google China: Has search firm put Project Dragonfly on hold?

Google China: Has search firm put Project Dragonfly on hold? Image caption Google's plans for a Chinese search engine have reportedly halted Google has reportedly "effectively ended" plans for a censored search engine in China. The Intercept, which revealed the existence of Project Dragonfly in August, says Google has been "forced to shut down a data analysis system it was using" to feed the project. And access to data "integral to Dragonfly... has been suspended for now, which has stopped progress". Google said it had no immediate plans to launch a Chinese search engine. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Google has faced protests about the search engine it was working on for China What is The Intercept reporting?Citing internal Google documents and inside sources, the Intercept says Project Dragonfly began in the spring of 2017 and accelerated in December after Google's chief executive, Sundar Pichai, met a Chinese government official, An Android app with version..
December 18, 2018

Lil Pump: Rapper labelled ‘racist’ over song

Lil Pump: Rapper labelled 'racist' over song Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Lil Pump has more than 17.4 million followers on Instagram US-Colombian rapper Lil Pump has been accused of racism after he teased a new song which uses a derogatory term. In the song's lyrics, Pump says "they call me [Chinese basketball player] Yao Ming because my eyes real low" before adding the phrase "ching chong". In a video posted to his 17.4 million Instagram followers teasing the song, Pump pulls back his eyes as he mimes to the lyrics. Lil Pump rose to international prominence in 2017 with his song Gucci Gang, which has been viewed over 847 million times on YouTube. The rapper has faced a backlash on social media, with Chinese users flooding his Instagram posts with comments calling him "racist" and "disgusting". Meanwhile on Chinese social media site Sina Weibo, thousands of users have added their voices to the criticism, with many posting screengrabs to prove they have repo..
December 18, 2018

Meng Wanzhou: China park rewards Huawei phone owners

Meng Wanzhou: China park rewards Huawei phone owners Image copyright EPA Image caption Ms Meng is chief financial officer of Huawei, the world's second-biggest smartphone maker A popular tourist attraction has become the latest Chinese company to show solidarity with Huawei's chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada on 1 December. Shennong Mountain Scenic Park in eastern Henan province said it would waive the $9.40 (65 yuan) ticket fee for anyone carrying a Huawei phone. Ms Meng, who was given bail in Canada, faces extradition to the US on charges of breaking Iran sanctions. Her case has upped tensions with China. "Use Huawei phones, shoot grand photos on the mountain," a notice on the Shennong park's social media account said. "We wish friends around the world who support Huawei success and bliss." The offer would last until 29 December, the South China Morning Post reported. But it was met with some criticism among China's social media us..
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