Sep 14, 2019

Malaysia queen denounces arrest of online critics

AFP Malaysia's queen has briefly returned to Twitter to express disappointment at police arresting people for allegedly insulting her on social media. Late on Friday evening Khalid Ismath, a member of the Parti Socialis Malaysia party, was arrested for allegedly posting offensive messages about the queen. PSM deputy chairman S Arutchelvan told the Straits Times that the arrest had been unnecessary and said Mr Ismath had denied insulting the queen. Why did the queen leave Twitter in the first...

Sep 13, 2019

Brazil Amazon: Old enemies unite to save their land

Lucas Landau/Rede Xingu+ While the world's attention has been focused on the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, indigenous people living there have warned that the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro pose a bigger threat to their existence. Dozens of indigenous people gathered in this remote part of northern Brazil last month after travelling for days by bus and boat. More than 800,000 indigenous people live in 450 demarcated indigenous territories across Brazil, about 12% of...

Sep 13, 2019

Sony shocks gamers with Playstation revelation

Playstation gamers are up in arms after Sony revealed a little-known fact about its popular home console. Sony has insisted that users should be calling it the "Cross" button instead, and the news has left some fans completely baffled. Its tweet was referring to the fact that gamers call the "O" button "Circle", rather than the letter. Hundreds of fans swiftly took to social media to poke fun at Sony's revelation about its Dual Shock controller. The debate is sure to keep gamers busy while...

Sep 13, 2019

Mugabe to be buried at National Heroes monument in Harare

Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe will be buried in the National Heroes Acre monument in the capital Harare, his family says. Family spokesman and nephew Leo Mugabe says the date is yet to be determined. Before that there will be a public ceremony at the state cemetery in Harare on Sunday, followed by a ceremony at Mr Mugabe's home village. Mr Mugabe's family and the government had earlier disagreed over the former strongman's final resting place. Mr Mugabe, who was 95, died last week...

Sep 13, 2019

US and Brazil agree to Amazon development

The US and Brazil have agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon, during a meeting in Washington on Friday. On Friday, Finland urged EU countries to consider stopping importing beef and soybeans from Brazil in order to put pressure on Brazil to tackle the fires. EPA. "Mr Araujo said:"We want to be together in the endeavour to create development for the Amazon region which we are convinced is the only way to protect the forest. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the...

Sep 12, 2019

Twitter suspends government-run accounts in Cuba

Twitter has suspended several accounts run by the Cuban government including those of state-run media and of officials including the daughter of Communist party leader Raul Castro. They include the account of the TV programme, Mesa Redonda, on which Mr Díaz-Canel appeared; the state-run newspaper Granma Digital; the state radio station Radio Rebelde, and the account of Raul Castro's daughter and head of the Cuban gay rights commission, Mariela Castro. Mr Díaz-Canel's account was not suspended...

Sep 11, 2019

Sex lives of app users 'shared with Facebook'

PI studied a range of period-tracking apps to see exactly what information was shared with the social network. Sharing to Facebook happens via the social network's software development kit, tools that can be used by apps to help them make money by reaching advertisers who, in turn, provide users with personalised ads. PI found the most popular apps in this category - Period Tracker, Period Track Flo and Clue Period Tracker did not share data with Facebook. PI said: "The wide reach of the apps...

Sep 11, 2019

California passes landmark gig economy rights bill

Lawmakers in California have passed a law that paves the way for gig economy workers to get holiday and sick pay. Assembly Bill 5, as its known, will affect companies such as Uber and Lyft, which depend on those working in the gig economy. Opponents of the bill say it will hurt those that want to work flexible hours. The business models of gig economy companies are already under strain - Uber lost more than $5bn in the last quarter alone. Some estimates suggest that having to treat workers as...

Sep 10, 2019

Jack Ma: Alibaba begins new era as founder departs

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is due to step down from the e-commerce giant on Tuesday, marking the end of an era for the firm. The former English teacher co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and it has become one of the world's biggest internet firms. Who is Jack Ma? Born to a poor family in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Mr Ma began his career as an teacher. With no background in computing, Mr Ma co-founded Alibaba in his apartment, having convinced a group of friends to invest in his online...

Sep 10, 2019

Taylor Swift 'tried to sue' Microsoft over racist chatbot Tay

Taylor Swift tried to sue Microsoft over a chatbot which posted racist messages on Twitter, the president of the tech company has revealed. If you don't remember TayTweets, it's the Twitter chatbot that turned racist. Microsoft issued an apology and took Tay offline after less than 18-hours of offensive conversations on Twitter. Taylor Swift's legal action wasn't about what the chatbot had said online, but instead about the similarity to her own name. Radio 1 Newsbeat has contacted Taylor...

Sep 9, 2019

Brazil worker who protected indigenous tribes killed in Amazon

Police in Brazil are investigating the murder of an official who had worked to protect indigenous people from farmers and loggers attempting to seize land. The killing comes amid international outrage over the rate of destruction of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The union called on the Brazilian government to demonstrate Brazil "No longer condones violence against those who engage, under the rule of law, in the protection and promotion of indigenous rights". According to the environmental...

Sep 9, 2019

Nissan boss to step down amid pay scandal

Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa will step down next week as the carmaker grapples with an executive pay scandal. Board chairman Yasushi Kimura told reporters that Mr Saikawa would quit on 16 September. "After the board discussion, the board asked Mr Saikawa to step down from the chief executive position. Mr Saikawa accepted this," Mr Kimura said. Following reports that Mr Saikawa was preparing to step down, the Nissan boss told reporters in Japan: "I'm keen to pass the torch to the next...

Sep 7, 2019

Amazon fires: Seven countries sign forest protection pact

Seven South American countries have agreed measures to protect the Amazon river basin, amid global concern over massive fires in the world's largest tropical forest. More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest this year. Bolivia has also seen fires rage across the forest near its borders with Brazil and Paraguay. Brazil's leading meat export industry group and agricultural businesses have joined an environmental campaign calling for an end to deforestation in public lands...

Sep 7, 2019

The love letters returned after 70 years thanks to Facebook romantics

A shoebox full of love letters between a courting couple has finally been returned home after 70 years thanks to well-wishers on Facebook, a stranger with a penchant for romance and a daughter wishing to fulfil her mother's wishes. Her mother had taken the letters 20 years previously when a neighbour in Aldershot, who had discovered them in her attic, told her she was planning to throw them in the bin. "My mother - Cherry Vallance - took a look at the box and realised they were somebody's...

Sep 6, 2019

Are fires in the Amazon and elsewhere getting worse?

South American countries are meeting in Colombia to discuss how to respond to the fires that have spread across the Amazon basin. Is the scale of these fires unprecedented, or have there been years in which they have been more extensive? We have concluded that although fires this year have wrought significant damage to the environment, they have been worse in the past. The number of fires between January and August 2019 is double that of the same period last year, data from the Brazilian...

Sep 6, 2019

American Airlines mechanic charged with sabotaging plane

An American Airlines mechanic has been charged with damaging an aircraft in July as he was allegedly "Upset" over stalled union contract negotiations. Suspect Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani told police he had tampered with the system to cause a delay or have the flight cancelled so that he would get overtime work, according to a criminal complaint filed in a Miami court. According to the complaint filed on Thursday, Mr Alani glued the foam inside the tube leading from the outside of the...

Sep 6, 2019

Facebook faces fresh anti-trust investigation

AFP Facebook is under investigation in the US to determine whether it has "Stifled competition and put users at risk". Facebook, which has more than a billion users worldwide, has not yet responded to the announcement. "We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices, or increased the price of advertising," said Ms James. Facebook already face a separate anti-trust...

Sep 5, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Fold set to be launched

The Galaxy Fold will be available on 6 September in South Korea, followed by select countries including the US, the UK and Singapore. Samsung has been rushing to launch the folding smartphone before its rivals. Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, is facing growing competition from rivals like Chinese tech firm Huawei. Huawei became the second-largest smartphone seller in the world last year and plans to launch its folding smartphone in September. Earlier this year,...

Sep 5, 2019

Amazon sends Margaret Atwood's The Testaments out early by mistake

Some lucky readers who pre-ordered Margaret Atwood's follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale received it a week early after a mix-up by Amazon. The publisher of The Testaments said "a very small number of copies" were sent in the US "Due to a retailer error". Penguin Random House would not confirm how many copies were sent, but The Guardian put the figure at 800. "In a statement, Penguin Random House said:"In the US a very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood's The Testaments were distributed...

Sep 5, 2019

Air France crash: Manslaughter charges dropped over 2009 disaster

On Thursday, the magistrates looking into manslaughter charges brought by victims' relatives decided that there were not enough grounds to prosecute. They blamed the plane's crew for losing control after speed sensors froze. In 2012, a civil investigation found a combination of technical failure and human error had led to the loss of Flight AF447 on 1 June 2009. The accident is the worst disaster in the history of Air France. Since the crash, Air France has replaced the speed sensors on its...

Sep 4, 2019

Racism in football: Twitter defends abuse policy after Premier League players...

Social media platform Twitter says it has "Taken action" on "More than 700 examples of hateful conduct" in the last two weeks after several Premier League players were racially abused. It has also met clubs and other football bodies in an attempt to "Tackle the issue collectively". "Twitter said:"In the past two weeks, we have taken action on more than 700 examples of abuse and hateful conduct related to UK football. "We will continue to take swift action on the minority that try to undermine...

Sep 3, 2019

Amazon fires: Jair Bolsonaro to miss summit for surgery

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro will miss a planned summit on the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest to prepare for surgery, an aide has said. More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest this year. Environmentalists blame policies enacted by the Brazilian president for the 77% increase in fires this year compared with the same period in 2018. The surgery is scheduled for Sunday, and Mr Bolsonaro must start a liquid diet on Friday - the day of the regional conference in...

Sep 3, 2019

Hell's Gate flood survivor: 'Water came from nowhere'

Ivraj Singh lost his wife and four other family members in the flood at Hell's Gate National Park.

Sep 3, 2019

Facebook hints at hiding 'likes'

An engineer has discovered prototype code in Facebook's Android app which suggests it might test hiding the number of likes a post receives. Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, is conducting a similar test in seven countries including Canada and Brazil, where only the account holder in the trial can see the number of likes they attract. Some studies have suggested the pressures of social media popularity can affect mental health, particularly in young people. "Social platforms have...

Sep 2, 2019

Why Brazilian people are getting a tattoo of a museum

How staff and students from Brazil's National Museum are coping with the loss of the building after fire destroyed it last year.

Sep 1, 2019

Hell's Gate: Seven bodies found after tour group swept away by flood

Two people have been confirmed dead and five others are missing after a tour group was swept away by a flash flood during heavy rains in a Kenyan national park. The Kenya Wildlife Service said the incident at at Hell's Gate National Park involved five Kenyan nationals, a local tour guide and a "Foreigner". AFP news agency reports that the missing and dead were part of a 12-strong group that were visiting Hells Gate, about 60 miles north-west of the capital Nairobi. Local media report that a...

Aug 30, 2019

What about the animals caught in the Amazon rainforest fires?

At the time of writing, Brazil's space agency Inpe reports that there have been almost 85,000 fires in the rainforest so far. So what does this mean for the many animals who call the Amazon home? Last week, he posted footage on Twitter that he had taken of fires in the Amazon while working in the forest in July. When fires rip through a rainforest like the Amazon, they burn down so many trees that there are holes in the forest's canopy. Even though these animals are able to avoid the fires by...

Aug 30, 2019

Netflix to produce series inspired by Hillary Clinton's presidential run

Netflix is producing a new drama inspired by Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 run for US president. Entitled Girls on the Bus, it will follow four female journalists trailing fictional presidential candidates. Netflix won the rights to the journalist's book after a fierce bidding war. Chasing Hillary was described by New York Magazine as "a kind of Bridget Jones's Diary meets What it Takes, coming-of-age rom-com set on the campaign trail". Along with Julie Plec, the executive producer behind The...

Aug 30, 2019

Amazon fires: The tragic couple who died protecting their home

Fires had been a constant concern for the couple, who feared that those started by their neighbours could spread to their backyard, especially during periods of drought. "People use fire to clear the land in this region, but on that day it was very windy. The fire spread too quickly and didn't give them time to run away," Jeigislaine Carvalho, one of Eidi's daughters, told the BBC. A large number of fires are ravaging parts of the Amazon, a tropical rainforest that spans much of Brazil and...

Aug 29, 2019

S Korea ex-leader Park and Samsung heir Lee face bribery retrials

EPA South Korea's top court has set aside part of jailed former President Park Geun-hye's conviction and ordered a retrial. The court said separate verdicts should have been reached on the bribery allegations against her and sent the case back to a lower court. The Supreme Court also ordered a retrial for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong on bribery charges in the same scandal. Park, the daughter of former military ruler Park Chung-hee and the country's first female president, boycotted court...