November 23, 2018

British brothers held in Thailand over suspected drug offences

British brothers held in Thailand over suspected drug offences Image copyright Thailand Police Image caption Thai immigration police arrested the brothers on 17 November, it has emerged Two brothers wanted by police in Merseyside over suspected drug trafficking offences have been arrested in Thailand. Joseph and Gregory Mulhare from Wirral were detained on 17 November in Pattaya by Thai immigration police, it emerged. The pair, aged 43 and 38, are being held under warrants from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit. They are suspected of trafficking cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine in the UK. Image copyright Merseyside Police Image caption The brothers were wanted by police in Merseyside for suspected drug offences Merseyside Police issued an appeal to speak to the brothers on 14 November. The Foreign Office said: "We are providing assistance to two British men following their arrest and detention in Thailand." Latest news and updates from the North West of England
November 23, 2018

Modified Boeing 737 used to fight wildfire for first time

Modified Boeing 737 used to fight wildfire for first time Image copyright NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE Image caption The modified plane was used to fight a fire in New South Wales A modified Boeing 737 has been used to fight a wildfire for the first time, Australian authorities say. The former passenger jet was deployed as a water-bombing aircraft in New South Wales on Thursday and Friday. It can carry more than 15,000 litres (4,000 gallons) of water and fire retardant - a powerful volume, but less than some other water-bombing planes. However, officials say it offers greater flexibility because it can hold up to 63 firefighters in addition. The plane dropped several loads of retardant on a fire that has threatened houses at Port Stephens, 150km (90 miles) north of Sydney. Late on Friday local time, the blaze was not considered an immediate threat to lives. It had burnt through about 1,500 hectares. Image copyright TROY GRANT Image caption The fire has threatened houses and damaged sheds ..
November 23, 2018

Gunfire and blast heard near Chinese consulate in Karachi -reports

Gunfire and blast heard near Chinese consulate in Karachi -reports A blast has been heard and shots fired near the Chinese consulate in Karachi, media reports say. An attack still seems to be under way, according to initial reports from eyewitnesses. Security forces have been deployed and the area has been cordoned off, according to Pakistan's Geo TV. This is a breaking news story - more to follow.
November 22, 2018

Why do billions of people still lack basic sanitation?

Why do billions of people still lack basic sanitation? Image copyright WSUP Image caption Dhaka, Bangladesh: Community leader Nasima shows off her village's new community toilet Hi-tech loos that use little or no water and can recycle waste products safely and sustainably promise to give billions of people around the world access to much-needed sanitation. So why do so many still lack this basic amenity? About 2.3 billion people still lack basic toilets, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And 4.5 billion don't have safely managed sanitation, with waste disposed in a way that won't contaminate drinking water. Each year contaminated water kills half a million children under five through diarrhoeal diseases, the WHO says. So many inventors, entrepreneurs and research institutions around the world have been working on hi-tech loos that can function without the need for expensive mains sewerage systems. Image copyright WSUP Image caption Millions of people liv..
November 22, 2018

D&G: China shopping sites pull products in ad backlash

D&G: China shopping sites pull products in ad backlash Image copyright Getty Images Dolce & Gabbana products have been pulled from Chinese e-commerce sites as the backlash against a controversial ad campaign grows. The firm posted videos this week showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta with chopsticks. The brand also apologised for social media posts criticising Chinese people, saying it had been hacked. The controversy risks alienating D&G from one of the world's biggest luxury markets. The Italian firm cancelled its fashion show in Shanghai earlier this week over the issue. D&G cancels show amid racism accusationsIt later said co-founder Stefano Gabbana's accounts were hacked and used to criticise Chinese people. "We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China," the apology message read. But the backlash continued as retailers in China retreated from the brand. E-commerce group Secoo Holding said it had pulled Dolce & Gabanna products, while Chi..
November 22, 2018

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction

Dead Chinese sturgeons halt China eco resort construction Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Hubei fishery was a central part of a Chinese sturgeon breeding project Construction at a Chinese eco tourism zone is believed to have caused the death of 6,000 critically endangered Chinese sturgeon. A bridge in Hubei province was being built close to a farm on the Yangtze river which was breeding the long-living fish. A Chinese news site said the deaths were "directly linked to the shocks, noises and changes of water sources". All work has been halted while investigations are carried out. The Chinese sturgeon species dates back more than 140 million years. Individual fish can grow to up to 5m (16ft) in length and can live for up to 60 years, but will only spawn a few times during their life. Image copyright Getty Images The species is on the brink of extinction in the wild because of pollution, overfishing - for their meat and roe, sold as caviar - and environmental changes like..
November 22, 2018

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears

China-backed coal projects prompt climate change fears Image caption China is backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders As levels of greenhouse gases reach a new record, concerns are growing about the role of China in global warming. For years, the increase in the number of Chinese coal-fired power stations has been criticised. Now environmental groups say China is also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Coal is the most damaging of the fossil fuels because of the quantity of carbon dioxide it releases when it's burned. Last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level for the past 3-5 million years, according to the latest research by the UN's weather agency, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). And last month the UN's climate science panel said that coal must be phased out by 2050 if the world is to have any chance of limiting the rise in temperatures. Greenhouse gas levels at new r..
November 22, 2018

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse

South Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The complex will be replaced by a public park Officials in South Korea have started to dismantle the country's largest dog slaughterhouse. The Taepyeong-dong complex in Seongnam city, south of Seoul, will be cleared over two days and converted into a public park. Dog meat is a common delicacy in South Korea, with approximately one million dogs consumed there every year. Activists have sought to end the custom, while more South Koreans have chosen to keep dogs as pets. "This is a historic moment," Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) said in a statement. "It will open the door for more closures of dog meat slaughterhouses across the country, expediting the decline of the overall dog meat industry." The Taepyeong-dong complex - an important source of meat for restaurants across the country - housed at least six slaughterhouses, holding several hundred animals at a time. Campaigners fr..
November 22, 2018

Aboriginal Australia’s ‘mind-blowing’ struggle for a first treaty

Aboriginal Australia's 'mind-blowing' struggle for a first treaty Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Aboriginal elder Gary Murray says the process carries a risk of "symbolic genocide" Australia is the only Commonwealth country never to make a treaty with its indigenous peoples. Why has it proven so difficult? Kathy Marks looks at the vast challenges in Victoria alone - a state that is working towards a national first. Every school holiday, the train would pick up Daria Atkinson and her four siblings, all aged under 10, and transport them - along with thousands of other Aboriginal children from the countryside - to Melbourne, where they would spend up to two months living with a white family. "We had to call the adults mum and dad," recalls Ms Atkinson, now 56. "We were told how to sit at the table, how to eat properly. We weren't allowed to get dirty. We had to forget we were Aboriginal. But at least we got to go home - the Stolen Generations didn't."..
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