Nov 16, 2018

Panda enjoys the first snow of the season in Washington DC

Bei Bei the giant panda enjoyed a carefree day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington DC.

Nov 15, 2018

Uber loss tops $1bn loss ahead of planned IPO next year

Uber posted a loss of $1.07bn in the three months to September, as the ride-sharing firm prepares for a public stock offering next year. It is under pressure to become more profitable for a planned offering of its shares to the public next year. Net losses widened sharply to $1.07bn from $891m, figures from Uber showed, as revenues and bookings rose only slightly. "We had another strong quarter for a business of our size and global scope," Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in a...

Nov 15, 2018

National Book Awards: Isabel Allende warns of 'dark time'

Chilean writer Isabel Allende has warned that "The values and principles that sustain our civilisation are under siege". Speaking at the National Book Awards, the author of The House of the Spirits spoke out about the rise of "Nationalism and racism" in politics. "This is a dark time, my friends," Allende said during her acceptance speech. "A time of nationalism and racism; of cruelty and fanaticism. A time when the values and principles that sustain our civilisation are under siege." "For a...

Nov 14, 2018

US hotel in Japan refuses Cuba ambassador

A US-owned hotel in Japan has been criticised by Japanese authorities after it denied the Cuban ambassador a room over fears it would violate US sanctions on Cuba. In its subsequent complaint, the Cuban argued that applying US law in Japan encroached on Japan's sovereignty, the Asahi Shimbun said. A Hilton representative in the Japanese capital Tokyo told the Kyodo news agency that the firm had to comply with US law because it was based in the US. In 2006, the Mexican authorities fined a...

Nov 14, 2018

California wildfires: Town of Paradise will need 'total rebuild'

National Guard troops are to arrive in northern California to help search for more victims of a wildfire that has killed 48 people. Crews have contained 35% of the Camp Fire in northern California, which has become the deadliest conflagration in state history. Some victims who lost homes in the Camp Fire on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric, alleging the company's negligence caused the fire. The company had reported an incident with a power line in the area where the Camp...

Nov 14, 2018

Spanish police adopt and recruit German shepherd

Spanish police are asking for help naming a rescued puppy that they plan to train as a new member of the force. Responding to a call, the authorities in Granada found a man kicking a German shepherd on the street. After stopping the man and rushing the dog to hospital, the officers decided to adopt and recruit the puppy. The police rushed the pup to the hospital for treatment after stopping the "Heartless" man, the tweet reads. Local media say it was the owner who was mistreating the dog.

Nov 13, 2018

Macedonia ex-PM Nikola Gruevski 'seeks asylum in Hungary'

Macedonia's former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has reportedly fled to Hungary after failing to show up to begin a two-year prison sentence. In a Facebook post, Mr Gruevski said he was in Budapest and had requested "Political asylum". Hungarian authorities have not confirmed his asylum application. Mr Gruevski reportedly did not leave the country "Through a legal border crossing", according to an anonymous police officer quoted by Reuters. Violence erupted in the streets of Macedonia in...

Nov 13, 2018

Trump mocks French leader Macron after Armistice Day visit

AFP US President Donald Trump has gone on Twitter to mock his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, after an awkward Armistice Day visit. He attacked Mr Macron over nationalism, plans for a European army, French tariffs on US wine imports, and the French leader's popularity rating. What exactly did Macron and Trump say about nationalism? Relations between Mr Trump and Mr Macron have not always been so poor. Mr Trump has been widely criticised on Twitter for failing to visit a US war cemetery...

Nov 13, 2018

Lion cub found in Lamborghini by Paris police

The driver is said to have suggested it was "just a cat" when stopped by police officers.

Nov 13, 2018

'Not Disneyland': Dutch hit back at 'over-tourism'

Buses block roads, cars commandeer designated disabled parking spots and tourists with no experience of cycling are encouraged to hop on the saddle to experience the fully immersive Dutch experience. For all his frustration, he disagrees with a recent initiative by local millers to stop rolling out the red carpet and hand out postcards to tourists with a simple message. Mr Velthuizen is referring to a recent initiative in which, rather than rolling out the red carpet, millers have been...

Nov 12, 2018

Exploring Bolivia's 'Jurassic Park' dinosaur graveyard

Torotoro National Park is a remote place in the Andes mountains that used to be home to lots of dinosaurs.

Nov 12, 2018

Amazon asked to share Echo data in US murder case

A judge in the US has asked Amazon to hand over audio recordings from an Amazon Echo which was in a house where two women died. Amazon said it would not hand over any data about the device without a legally-binding instruction. Last year the tech giant did agree to hand over data from an Echo that may have been operating at the time of a murder in Arkansas - but only after the defendant consented. The Amazon Echo is activated by a wake-up word - generally the name Alexa - but fragments of...

Nov 12, 2018

#ThisIsOurLane: Doctors hit back at pro-gun group NRA

The personal stories and blood-splattered photos posted on social media in response by doctors and surgeons were shared hundreds and thousands of times, fuelling another debate about the reality of gun violence in the US. Dr Morris was one of many using Twitter to hit back at the NRA, joining 70,000 others using the hashtag #ThisIsOurLane. "People need to see the reality of what we deal with. Too often, we get stuck on the same old philosophical arguments about gun violence," Dr Morris, who...

Nov 9, 2018

Sabrina makers sued by Satanic Temple over statue

The Satanic Temple is suing the makers of TV series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for $50 million over a statue. Satanic Temple does not worship Satan, but instead seeks "To encourage benevolence and empathy among all people". Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, posted a tweet comparing their statue with that in the show in October. Characters in the show who worship the "Dark Lord" or Satan practice cannibalism and forced worship, and the Satanic Temple argues its members...

Nov 7, 2018

Samsung folding smartphone revealed to developers

Samsung has unveiled a folding handset at an event in San Francisco. Samsung has teased the concept for more than five years and had been vying with Huawei to show off a device first. Unlike Royole's FlexPai, Samsung obscured the final look of its device by placing it in a case so as to hold off revealing its look until a later event. Shipments of Samsung's smartphones were 13.4% lower in the July-to-September quarter than for the same period the previous year, according tomarket research...

Nov 6, 2018

Facebook used to 'incite offline violence' in Myanmar, says report

Facebook has said it agrees with a report that found it had failed to prevent its platform being used to "Incite offline violence" in Myanmar. The report said Facebook would have to "Get it right" before 2020 elections. "A minority of users are seeking to exploit Facebook as a platform to undermine democracy and incite offline violence." The report - which only briefly referenced the Rohingya specifically - also warned that the 2020 elections presented a serious risk of further human rights...

Nov 6, 2018

Bill Gates brandishes poo to showcase reinvented toilet tech

AFP Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates had his hands full on-stage in Beijing on Tuesday, showing a jar of human faeces. The stunt was part of his speech at the Reinvented Toilet Expo event - a showcase for new toilet technologies. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent more than $200m on researching the field across the last seven years. The foundation has said they hope the reinvented toilet will first roll out in buildings like schools and apartment...

Nov 4, 2018

Uber launches US subscription service in five cities

Taxi-hailing firm Uber has launched a membership scheme dubbed Ride Pass, for passengers in five US cities. Uber plans to expand the scheme to other US cities in 2019, but says it has no plans at present to introduce it in London or other UK cities. "One thing we hear a lot from riders is that changes in price - however small - can make it tough to plan their day with Uber," said product manager Dan Bilen. "The daily commute is a classic example, and it goes something like this: you pay one...

Nov 2, 2018

Apple falls below $1tn despite revenue and profit rise

Apple's strategy of charging more for its phones has paid off, with revenues jumping in the last three months despite relatively flat sales. Higher prices lifted revenue 20% to $62.9bn, while profits also climbed, rising 31% year-on-year to $14.1bn. But a warning of possible weaker sales in the coming months sparked a 4% fall in the share price after-hours. Apple's strategy of charging higher prices for its phones has boosted the firm in recent quarters, helping it to shrug off flagging...

Nov 2, 2018

Private messages from 81,000 hacked Facebook accounts for sale

Hackers appear to have compromised and published private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook users' accounts. Facebook added it had taken steps to prevent further accounts being affected. "We sell personal information of Facebook users. Our database includes 120 million accounts," the user wrote. The BBC Russian Service contacted five Russian Facebook users whose private messages had been uploaded and confirmed the posts were theirs. According to Facebook, it was one such extension that...

Nov 2, 2018

How Iran's Ahmadinejad found meaning in rap

Last year, Mr Ahmadinejad attempted to run for president against the moderate incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, despite being warned by Ayatollah Khamenei that such a move was "Not in his interest and that of the country". US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the landmark nuclear deal negotiated by Mr Rouhani and reimpose crippling economic sanctions on Iran appears to have presented Mr Ahmadinejad with an opportunity. As a non-English speaker, Mr Ahmadinejad is obviously not writing the...

Nov 2, 2018

US mid-terms: Twitter deletes anti-voting bots

AFP Twitter has deleted an estimated 10,000 automated accounts that were posting messages discouraging people from taking part in next week's US mid-term elections. Most of the accounts were posing as Democrats, the social media company said. Twitter was alerted to the accounts by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Twitter believes that the network of now-deleted accounts was run from the US, CNN reported. The bill would make it illegal to use the bots to influence voting.

Nov 1, 2018

Samsung agrees to payouts after worker deaths

The death of a 23-year-old former Samsung worker has led to the company agreeing a major compensation deal. It organised sit-in protests at various Samsung sites to pressure the company into the deal. It alleged there was a link between the working conditions Samsung maintained and diseases, which also included brain tumours and multiple sclerosis. The deal extends to both workers directly employed by Samsung as well as those who were hired via sub-contractors. Sums will be determined by the...

Oct 31, 2018

Is the Amazon facing new dangers?

Brazilians are waiting to see how the new administration might affect the Amazon rainforest. A Brazilian government project using satellite images to monitor primary rainforest estimates that by last year, deforestation had fallen by 75% from its 2004 peak. Their data suggests that deforestation is occurring at a much greater rate than that recorded by the Brazilian authorities. The vast area has lost much of its natural vegetation to agriculture and the rate of deforestation is exceeding the...

Oct 31, 2018

Brazil: Bolsonaro plans threaten Amazon, say experts

Brazil's far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro will merge the ministries of agriculture and the environment, an aide says, in a move which critics say could endanger the Amazon rainforest. Mr Bolsonaro's future chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, announced the new "Super ministry" as details of the new administration began to emerge. A debate has raged in Brazil over the often conflicting needs of environmental protection and economic development. Mr Bolsonaro, 63, has previously suggested...

Oct 26, 2018

Man and woman fall to death from Yosemite National Park cliff

Officials in California's Yosemite National Park are investigating the deaths of two people who fell from a popular lookout on Wednesday. A park spokesman said the bodies of a man and woman were spotted by a tourist beneath Taft Point, which rises about 3,000 ft above the valley floor. Last month, an Israeli teenager fell to his death from another popular lookout in the world-renowned US national park. Taft Point, a promontory at elevation 7,500 ft, features breathtaking views of Yosemite...

Oct 26, 2018

Facebook finds more fake accounts from Iran

Facebook has uncovered and removed a number of pages, accounts and groups linked to Iran that coordinated "Inauthentic behaviour", targeting people in the US and UK. The affected posts focused on topics such as race relations, opposition to President Donald Trump and immigration, it said. Facebook said more than a million people followed at least one of the pages. About 25,000 members had joined at least one of the groups and more than 28,000 accounts followed at least one of the Instagram...

Oct 24, 2018

Tim Cook blasts 'weaponisation' of personal data and praises GDPR

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has demanded a tough new US data protection law, in an unusual speech in Europe. Referring to the misuse of "Deeply personal" data, he said it was being "Weaponised against us with military efficiency". The new law came into force in May. Mr Cook's speech was made in Brussels, at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. The Apple boss described in some detail what he called the "Data industrial complex", noting that billions of...

Oct 24, 2018

Apple and Samsung fined by Italian authorities over slow phones

Apple and Samsung have been fined millions of euros each by Italian authorities over "Planned obsolescence" in smartphones. "Apple and Samsung implemented unfair commercial practices", the Italian competition authority said in a statement. The BBC has contacted Apple and Samsung for comment. Apple was fined more than Samsung because the tech giant also failed to tell customers important details about iPhone batteries - including how to prolong their lifespan. Last year, Apple confirmed that...

Oct 23, 2018

Kavanaugh case: Graffiti at Yale supports Blasey Ford

Quotes from the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, have appeared on the campus of Yale University. Many of those who believe Ms Ford see her case as a test of whether the #MeToo movement has changed the US. Supporters of Judge Kavanaugh have seen the case as politically motivated to bar the conservative judge from joining the Supreme Court. In public testimony ahead of the confirmation, Prof Blasey Ford said she...