Jul 21, 2019

Twitter suspends Iran news agencies over 'harassment of Baha'is'

Twitter has suspended several Iranian news accounts over alleged harassment of people who follow the Baha'i faith. A Twitter source confirmed to several news outlets, including the BBC, that the accounts were suspended for coordinated and targeted harassment of people associated with Baha'i, a minority faith in Iran. Mehr, a semi-official news agency, also said on its website that its Twitter accounts had been suspended "Following publishing the seizure of a UK oil tanker by Iranian...

Jul 20, 2019

Amazon deforestation: Brazil's Bolsonaro dismisses data as 'lies'

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accused his own country's national space institute of lying about the scale of deforestation in the Amazon. Speaking in a meeting with foreign journalists, Mr Bolsonaro said the data "Doesn't relate to the reality". Scientists say the Amazon has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since Mr Bolsonaro took office in January, with policies that favour development over conservation. In his comments to foreign journalists on Friday, Mr Bolsonaro also...

Jul 19, 2019

India floods: Tired tiger takes nap in resident's bed

WTI A tigress which fled a wildlife park in India's flood-ravaged state of Assam was found relaxing on a bed inside a local resident's house. Officials from a wildlife conservation group arrived at the house and created a safe escape route for her. According to the Wildlife Trust of India, the tigress was first spotted next to a highway on Thursday morning, some 200 metres away from the Kaziranga National Park. WTI. Rathin Barman, who led the rescue operation, said the tigress entered the...

Jul 18, 2019

Circle K stores ditch 'Secretary Day' condom offer

The ad urged shoppers to mark "Secretary Day" by buying a special "Combo" consisting of a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar and a packet of condoms for their secretary. Circle K has withdrawn the ad. Mexico honours different professions on days across the year. Rather than honouring secretaries, many Mexicans felt that the offer advertised on Tuesday on Circle K convenience stores' official Twitter account did exactly the opposite. Mexican Senator Patricia Mercado was one of those to flag up...

Jul 18, 2019

World experienced hottest June on record in 2019, says US agency

The world experienced its hottest June on record last month, with an average temperature worldwide of 61.6F, according to new data. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the average global temperature was 1.7F warmer than the 20th Century average. In its latest monthly global climate report, the NOAA said the heat in June had brought Antarctic sea ice coverage to a record low. Nine of the 10 hottest Junes on its 1880-2019 record have occurred in the past nine years, it...

Jul 17, 2019

Storm Area 51: US Air Force warns over Facebook event

It started as a bit of a joke, but now the US Air Force has told people not to go near Area 51. "[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces," the spokeswoman said. Theories about the base started in 1989 when a man named Bob Lazar claimed in an interview on US TV that he was a physicist who had worked in Area 51. As Thomas Bullard, author of The Myth and Mystery of UFOs says:...

Jul 16, 2019

Uber ties some executive pay to diversity goals

Uber has said it will link pay for some senior executives to progress made toward improving diversity. Diversity will be used as one "Key metric" to assess performance and determine executive compensation for senior leaders, the firm said. Other tech firms including Microsoft have also tied some executive pay to improving diversity. "From our corporate offices to our driver-partners across the globe, diversity is one of our greatest assets," Uber said in its 2019 diversity report. In addition...

Jul 15, 2019

Amazon workers launch protests on Prime Day

Thousands of workers in Amazon sites around the world are staging protests about pay and conditions as the online retailer begins its annual sale. On Monday, Amazon starts offering discounts to its Prime service members. William Stolz, a picker at a warehouse in the Shakopee warehouse in Minnesota, told the BBC that workers wanted "Safe, reliable jobs" from Amazon. "While Amazon fuels bargain hunting on Prime Day with hefty discounts, employees are being deprived of a living wage," said Orhan...

Jul 13, 2019

Facebook 'to be fined $5bn over Cambridge Analytica scandal'

US regulators have approved a record $5bn fine on Facebook to settle an investigation into data privacy violations, reports in US media say. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users. The FTC began investigating Facebook in March 2018, following reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of tens of millions of its users. Cambridge Analytica was a...

Jul 13, 2019

ICYMI: Uber helicopter rides and doorless ladies' loos

Uber helicopter rides and doorless ladies' loos, among other stories you might have missed this week.

Jul 11, 2019

US passenger jet makes emergency landing after engine problem

Passengers on board a Delta Air Lines flight in the US have recalled the frightening moments when an engine malfunction forced their plane to make an emergency landing. Video shot by a passenger showed what appeared to be a nose cone loose inside one of the engines. "The flight crew of Delta flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore elected to divert to Raleigh, NC, out of an abundance of caution after receiving an indication of a possible issue with one of the aircraft's engines," a spokesperson...

Jul 10, 2019

The South African Uber driving singing his way to opera fame

A South African Uber driver who loves belting out arias at full volume for his passengers has found fame and a career in opera - thanks to a viral video of a performance in his cab. He has also been invited to compete in the Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition to be held in Cape Town between 18 and 28 July. "I am a natural singer but in other genres like gospel and jazz. In opera I find myself investing a lot of time trying to learn all the aspects you need to take...

Jul 10, 2019

American Airlines sorry after 'telling woman to cover up'

American Airlines has apologised after allegedly telling a female passenger to wrap herself in a blanket to hide her outfit. After attempts to defend her outfit apparently failed and her son become upset, Dr Rowe said she felt forced to wrap a blanket around her waist and return to her seat feeling "Humiliated". Dr Rowe has also accused the airline of racial bias and discriminating against her body type. On Tuesday the airline said they had apologised to Dr Rowe and her son and refunded their...

Jul 10, 2019

South Africa's singing Uber driver

Menzi Mngoma has become a viral sensation, auditioning for Cape Town Opera.

Jul 9, 2019

Climate change: How important is the rainforest in limiting global warming?

Billions of leaves in the Amazon rainforest take in CO2 – a gas that contributes to global warming.

Jul 7, 2019

Nairobi’s park is at risk of further land loss

Nairobi's National Park is vital for the city's fight against climate change - so why is it being built on?

Jul 5, 2019

Is the 'racist trainer' controversy good for Nike?

Ahead of Independence Day, Nike has withdrawn a pair of special edition trainers because they allegedly feature racist symbolism. Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback and face of Nike's Just Do It campaign, apparently told the sportswear giant that the flag is offensive because it is associated with an era of widespread slavery in the US. Others reportedly raised concerns with Nike. Arizona's governor Doug Ducey has rescinded a $1m grant for Nike to build a new factory; senator Ted...

Jul 5, 2019

Why this photo of a politician with Malala is being criticised

A Quebec education minister is being criticised for posting a photo with education campaigner Malala Yousafzai. Quebec recently passed a controversial law barring some civil servants, including teachers, from wearing religious symbols at work. In June, Quebec passed secularism legislation that prevents civil servants in positions of "Authority" from wearing symbols like such as the kippah, turban or hijab while at work. The Coalition Avenir Quebec's bill covers judges, police officers,...

Jul 4, 2019

Samsung sued over water-resistant phone claims

Samsung is being sued by Australia's consumer watchdog for allegedly making misleading claims about the water-resistant properties of its phones. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Samsung's adverts made "False" claims about using its phones while swimming and surfing. The ACCC said it had reviewed more than 300 Samsung adverts before launching its legal action. Although Samsung adverts say its phones have an IP68 water resistance, said the ACCC, this rating does not...

Jul 3, 2019

Amazon rainforest indigenous people in fight for survival

Groups like the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau say the new Brazil president is allowing deforestation in protected areas.

Jul 3, 2019

Lee Iacocca, father of the Ford Mustang, dies aged 94

Lee Iacocca, the car industry legend who created the iconic Ford Mustang and saved Chrysler from bankruptcy, has died at the age of 94. Mr Iacocca is also remembered for his appearances in Chrysler ads in the US, pointing at viewers and telling them: "If you find a better car, buy it!". Born to Italian immigrant parents in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1924, Mr Iacocca began his career as an engineer at the Ford Motor Company in 1946, before later moving into sales. A year later, in 1979, Mr...

Jul 3, 2019

Nike hit by conservative backlash over 'racist trainer'

US political heavyweight Mitch McConnell has waded into the "Racist trainer" row with a call for Nike to reverse a decision to halt sales. The special-edition Fourth-of July trainer features an old US flag that some people say has racist overtones. Nike's decision sparked a huge backlash from conservative America and the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, ordered the cancellation a $1m grant to help the company build a factory in the state. "Speaking in Kentucky, Mr McConnell told reporters:"I...

Jul 3, 2019

'Supporters' in Trump Facebook adverts were actors

A series of Facebook adverts showing people endorsing Donald Trump for his re-election campaign appeared to be actors featured on a stock video and image website. The video's authenticity was first highlighted in a political newsletter last week by journalist Judd Legum, who wrote: "Trump is not polling well among women in general and young women in particular. So it is running an advertisement on Facebook and Google featuring"Tracey" a young woman who is presented as a big Trump fan....

Jul 2, 2019

US Border Patrol investigates ‘disturbing’ secret Facebook group

US officials are investigating a secret Facebook group where border patrol members allegedly posted racist and sexist jokes about migrants. The private group was called "I'm 10-15" and had about 9,500 members, including former and current border patrol agents, ProPublica reported. The Border Patrol chief has called the posts "Completely inappropriate". According to ProPublica, members of the group mocked Latino members of Congress who visited migrant detention centres in Texas on Monday....

Jul 2, 2019

Nike loses factory aid as 'racist trainer' row intensifies

US sportswear giant Nike has pulled trainers emblazoned with an early version of the US flag after a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, according to reports. The Betsy Ross flag was used by the American Nazi Party as a symbol. Nike withdrew the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July trainers, which were intended to celebrate US Independence Day, after Mr Kaepernick said the firm should not use a symbol he and others may find offensive, Bloomberg reported. The Betsy Ross flag,...

Jun 28, 2019

iPhone designer Jony Ive to leave Apple

Sir Jony Ive, the Briton who over two decades helped turn Apple into the world's most valuable company, is leaving to set up his own venture. Mr Ive, designer of the Mac, iPod and iPhone, leaves later this year to start a creative business called LoveFrom, with Apple as its first client. Apple boss Tim Cook said he looked forward to continuing to work with him. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone...

Jun 27, 2019

Support for homeless McDonald's worker shamed on Facebook

Local reporter Matt Johnson managed to track down the man, Simon Childs, who explained his mother had died recently and he had fallen on hard times. Mr Child's situation spurred his local community to respond with kindness, by donating nappies and clothes for his son. Mr Child's told the local news station he had received job offers as a result of the Facebook post and was excited about finding a permanent home for him and his son. Many took to social media to criticise the woman's decision...

Jun 25, 2019

Facebook to identify French hate speech suspects

Facebook has agreed to give the names of French users who are suspected of using hate speech on its platform to the courts when requested. Cedric O, French minister for digital affairs, called the deal "Huge news". Mr O said the deal was the result of conversations between Facebook and the French government. According to Reuters, Facebook had not identified people suspected of hate speech in the past because it was not required to do so under US-French law - and because it was worried some...

Jun 22, 2019

Why are Nike trainers washing up on beaches?

Over the past year, from Bermuda and the Bahamas to Ireland and Orkney, hundreds of pairs of unworn shoes have washed up on beaches. Liam McNamara, from County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland, has found "Well over 100" shoes - mostly Nike trainers - that in his opinion "Most definitely" came from that vessel. "Whatever it is - if it is sinking to the bottom or washing up on beaches - it's going to have a detrimental impact to the marine wildlife," says Lauren Eyles, from the Marine...

Jun 21, 2019

Dr Marijuana Pepsi: The woman who refused to let her bullies win

A woman who refused to change her name has defied her bullies by earning a PhD and becoming a doctor. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck says she spent her life being made fun of because of her distinctive name. "Tell them your name honey," they'd say. "Marijuana is unusual and then you add Pepsi to it and the comments just didn't stop and they still don't stop" she told the BBC. "They would ask to call me Mary, and at first that was fine until I won a school spelling bee. I came home with my...