World

Mon
18
Sep

Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

Social media platform Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera content in Saudi Arabia.

Snapchat said it was asked by the Saudi authorities to remove the Qatari-backed broadcaster's Discover Publisher Channel because it violated local laws.

Qatar is in an ongoing dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this year, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world's most restrictive media environments, according to human rights groups and media freedom advocates.

But the Saudi authorities have a particular dislike for Al Jazeera. At one point they had demanded Qatar's government shut it down altogether as one of 13 conditions to remove sanctions against the country.

Those conditions were later withdrawn.

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest social media markets in the Middle East, boosted by a high rate of smartphone ownership.

Mon
18
Sep

PwC reveals black and Asian workers are paid 13% less

Black, Asian and minority-ethnic staff (BAME) who work at PwC in the UK earn almost 13% less than other employees, according to figures provided by the professional services firm.

The firm said its BAME workers were statistically paid less because more of them worked in administrative and junior roles, rather than senior ones.

PwC said it had published the data to help it speed up progress on the issue.

Currently reporting on BAME pay isn't required under government regulations.

PwC said it hoped that publishing the data would help the firm to tackle "ethnicity challenges".

"The more transparent we are with our diversity and social mobility data, the more we hold ourselves accountable to achieving real change," said PwC chairman Kevin Ellis.

The firm has been voluntarily publishing its gender pay gap figures since 2014, a move which it said had helped "shine a spotlight on gender issues".

Mon
18
Sep

Wayne Rooney banned after admitting drink-driving

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has appeared in court and admitted drink-driving.

He was arrested when police stopped a car in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in the early hours on 1 September.

The 31-year-old was banned from driving for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

Rooney was also ordered to pay £170 when he appeared at Stockport Magistrates' Court.

The Everton footballer in a statement after court proceeds said, "Following today's court hearing I want to publicly apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong.

"I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC. Now I want to apologise to all the fans and everyone else who has followed and supported me throughout my career.

Thu
14
Sep

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi to miss key UN meeting

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to miss next week's UN General Assembly debate as criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis grows.
 
Some 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine state for Bangladesh since the outbreak of violence last month. Whole villages have been burned down.

The government has been accused by the UN of ethnic cleansing.
 
Myanmar's military says it is fighting Rohingya militants and denies reports that it is targeting civilians.
 
The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants. They have lived in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for generations but are denied citizenship.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

 

Tue
12
Sep

UN passes fresh sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea on Monday --- a move that comes just one week after the rogue nation carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test.

The resolution is designed to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a US official familiar with negotiations.

"Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea, and today the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves," US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said following the vote on Monday.

Mon
11
Sep

Hurricane Irma: Two-thirds of Florida without power

About 6.5 million homes in Florida, two-thirds of the total, are without power after Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the state, officials say.

Relief operations are under way and engineers are working to restore power, but many areas remain stranded.

The islands of the Florida Keys and western parts of the US state bore the brunt of the category-four hurricane.

Irma hit Florida on Sunday, before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved north on Monday.

Media reports link at least four deaths to the storm in Florida. Last week it killed at least 37 people in Caribbean islands.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said it was "going to take some time" before people could return to their homes, the Miami Herald website reports.

Fri
08
Sep

All five living former presidents of the United States launch joint Harvey relief effort

All five living former presidents of the United States have launched a joint effort to raise money for relief following Hurricane Harvey.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama announced their “One America Appeal” to help communities affected by Hurricane Harvey.

A video advertisement starring each of the former presidents is slated to air during the first game of the new NFL season Thursday night.

“Hurricane Harvey brought terrible destruction — but it also brought out the best in humanity,” Clinton says in the video.

“As former presidents, we wanted to help our fellow Americans begin to recover,” Obama says.

“People are hurting down here, but as one Texan put it, ‘We’ve got more love in Texas than water,’ ” George W. Bush, a former governor of Texas, says.

His father, George H.W. Bush, then says, “We love you, Texas.”

Thu
07
Sep

South African chief justice criticizes Kenyatta comments

South Africa's Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is the latest legal figure to express concerns over recent remarks made by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta against the judiciary, SABC reports.Last Friday, Kenya's Supreme Court annulled the country's presidential election results, citing irregularities in the voting system and ordering a new poll within 60 days.

While Mr Kenyatta accepted the ruling, he blasted the court, calling the chief justice a crook. He also vowed to "fix" the court if he is re-elected.Chief Justice Mogoeng, speaking as the head of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa, said the remarks were unfortunate, ill-advised and disturbing.

SABC further reports that the chief justice said that President Kenyatta's remarks unintentionally projected judges as enemies of the will of the people.

Sun
03
Sep

North Korea confirms sixth nuclear test

North Korea has confirmed its sixth nuclear test after reports of tremors shaking the country.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the hydrogen bomb test on Sunday morning, ordered by leader Kim Jong-un, was a "perfect success".

The trial at 12pm (03:30 GMT) was carried out to "examine and confirm the accuracy and credibility" of North Korea's technology, KCNA said.

The news agency hailed the bomb's "unprecedentedly large power", saying it "marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force".

Pyongyang earlier on Sunday reported details of its latest weapon, claiming it has developed a more advanced nuclear bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

KCNA released undated photographs of Kim inspecting the weapon.

Fri
01
Sep

What happens in the brain to make us 'catch' yawns

You may well be yawning just reading this - it's contagious. Now researchers have looked at what happens in our brains to trigger that response.
 
A University of Nottingham team found it occurs in a part of the brain responsible for motor function.
 
The primary motor cortex also plays a part in conditions such as Tourette's syndrome.
 
So the scientists say understanding contagious yawning could also help understand those disorders too.
 
Contagious yawning is a common form of echophenomena - the automatic imitation of someone else's words or actions.
 
Echophenomena is also seen in Tourette's, as well as in other conditions, including epilepsy and autism.
 
To test what's happening in the brain during the phenomenon, scientists monitored 36 volunteers while they watched others yawning.

 

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