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Nuclear arms treaty: Hopes rise for breakthrough on US-Russia deal

There is hope that the last remaining nuclear arms pact between the US and Russia can be extended after Washington said it wanted to immediately finalise an agreement. The New Start treaty, signed in 2010, limits the number of long-range nuclear warheads that each side can possess.

Nasa's Osiris-Rex probe touches asteroid Bennu in sample bid

America's Osiris-Rex spacecraft has completed its audacious tag-and-go manoeuvre designed to grab surface rock from an asteroid. Radio signals from 330 million km away confirm the probe made contact with the 500m-wide object known as Bennu.

Danish submarine killer Madsen 'caught in prison escape'

Danish submarine builder Peter Madsen, who murdered the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, has been caught after trying to escape from jail, reports say. Police say they have arrested a man near the jail but have so far refused to confirm his identity.

Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared online

image copyrightGetty ImagesFaked nude images of more than 100,000 women have been created from social media pictures and shared online, according to a new report Clothes are digitally removed from pictures of women by Artificial Technology (AI), and spread on the messaging app Telegram.

Nasa's Osiris-Rex probe aims for daring 'high five' with asteroid Bennu

An American spacecraft is about to attempt the audacious task of grabbing rock samples from an asteroid. The Osiris-Rex probe will lower itself on to the 500m-wide object known as Bennu to make a contact that lasts no more than a few seconds.

Google hit by antitrust charges in US over search

The US government has filed charges against Google, accusing the company of abusing its dominance to preserve a monopoly over internet searches and online advertising. The lawsuit marks the biggest challenge brought by US regulators against a major tech company in years.

Taliban conflict: Afghan fears rise as US ends its longest war

The Taliban are advancing while peace talks stall. What are the chances for peace once the last of US-led Nato forces leave? Lyse Doucet looks at a critical time for Afghanistan.

New name for a Canadian town called Asbestos

The small Canadian town of Asbestos that decided it needed a rebrand has done away with the name derived from its mining heritage. The Quebec town, home to some 7,000 people, voted for "Val-des-Sources" as its new moniker.

Why China developed a fresh taste for milk

China’s appetite for milk has exploded in recent years. The nation of nearly 1.4 billion people is now the world’s second largest consumer of dairy products, and imports are flying over the border, with dairies from New Zealand to Germany topping off the behemoth’s demands for milk.

It's the end of the world, and the BBC feels fine

Earlier this month we covered the revelation that Ted Turner, founder of the news channel CNN, ordered a sign-off video ready to air in case the apocalypse were nigh. His pick? Rather pedestrian footage of a US Army band playing Nearer My God to Thee.

In the Year 2525

"In the Year 2525" is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Zager and Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year.

Conjoined twins return home after successful separation

Twin girls who were born joined at the head, and separated last year by a team at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, have returned home to Pakistan. Safa and Marwa Bibi underwent three major operations, spending more than 50 hours in theatre.

'The fake reporter wanted to know about our software'

As Johannes Siebers sat and nervously waited for the imposter to turn up, it could have been a scene from a spy movie. Johannes and his younger brother Michael were in a cafe in Munich, where they had arranged to meet a fake journalist.

Wild boar family killed by police in Rome children's playground

The mayor of Rome has ordered an investigation after a family of wild boar were shot and killed by police in a children's playground. But when police arrived on Friday, they shot the boar with tranquiliser darts and gave them lethal injections.

Coronavirus: Belgium facing 'tsunami' of new infections

Belgium could soon be overwhelmed by new coronavirus infections, the health minister has warned, amid soaring case numbers across the country. Frank Vandenbroucke said new cases were close to a "tsunami" where authorities "no longer control what is happening".

Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking (also known as thumbing or hitching) is a means of transportation that is gained by asking people, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other vehicle. A ride is usually, but not always, free.

Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Battle of Waterloo reenactment

The Battle of Waterloo reenactment is an annual modern recreation of the 19th century Battle of Waterloo on the original battlefield in Waterloo, Belgium. It is held every June on the weekend nearest to the historic date of the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815).

Could cold water hold a clue to a dementia cure?

Cold water swimming may protect the brain from degenerative diseases like dementia, researchers from Cambridge University have discovered. In a world first, a "cold-shock" protein has been found in the blood of regular winter swimmers at London's Parliament Hill Lido.

Sir James Dyson to sell his Singapore penthouse

Sir James Dyson has agreed to sell his Singapore penthouse, just one year after buying it. Singapore’s Business Times reported that he accepted an offer for $62m Singapore dollars ($47m; £36m) from US-based billionaire Leo Koguan.

Shanghai zoo fatal bear attack: Visitors see worker being killed

image copyrightGetty ImagesA Chinese animal park has promised to improve safety after one of its workers was fatally attacked by bears in front of a tourist bus. The accident at the Shanghai Wildlife Park took place on Saturday in the zoo's "wild beast area".

How do pandemics end?

We are in the grip of a pandemic like none other in living memory. While people are pinning their hopes on a vaccine to wipe it out, the fact is most of the infections faced by our ancestors are still with us.

Conservation: Bridge of hope for world's rarest primate

Swinging through the treetops comes naturally for gibbons. But that's tricky if a landslide has torn a huge gap in the forest, making it difficult to roam far and wide, to find food or meet a date.

Large 2,000-year-old cat discovered in Peru's Nazca lines

The figure of a relaxing cat has been discovered in the Nazca desert in Peru. The Nazca lines, a Unesco World Heritage site, is home to designs on the ground - known as geoglyphs - created some 2,000 years ago.

Forced to undergo genital exams in colonial India

In 1868, police in the British-ruled Indian city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) sent a woman called Sukhimonee Raur to prison for evading a genital examination which had been made compulsory for "registered" sex workers.

US woman faces first federal execution since 1953

The US is to execute a female federal inmate for the first time in almost 70 years, the Justice Department said. Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman in Missouri before cutting out and kidnapping the baby in 2004.

Covid: Far-right protesters attack Slovak government office over virus measures

Protesters have attacked the offices of the Slovak government over measures to stem the spread of Covid-19. The crowd, made up of about 500 neo-Nazis and hardcore football fans, threw bottles and stones at the building in the capital Bratislava.

Meet Merck Mercuriadis, the man who has spent $1bn on old hits

Did you know that the Church of England is a co-owner of Beyoncé's Single Ladies, Rihanna's Umbrella and Justin Timberlake's SexyBack?

France teacher had received 'days of threats' before his brutal killing

The teacher who was beheaded in a street in France had received threats after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils, French media report.

Banksy claims Nottingham hula-hooping girl artwork

The graffiti artist Banksy has confirmed a piece of art that appeared in Nottingham was created by him. The work, outside a beauty salon, shows a girl hula-hooping with a bicycle tyre. It went up on Tuesday, next to a bicycle that is missing its back wheel.

Stabbing attack reported near Paris

A man has been stabbed in a suburb west of the French capital Paris, media reports say, with the attacker shot dead by police.Reports suggest the victim in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine was beheaded but police have not confirmed this.

Covid: Remdesivir 'has little or no effect' on survival, says WHO

Anti-viral drug remdesivir has little to no effect on Covid patients' chances of survival, a study from the World Health Organization (WHO) has found. The WHO trial evaluated four potential medications for Covid-19, including remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine.

The grim fate that could be ‘worse than extinction’

What would totalitarian governments of the past have looked like if they were never defeated? The Nazis operated with 20th Century technology and it still took a world war to stop them.

Afghanistan conflict: The families caught in crossfire on Helmand front line

"It was dreadful - the worst ever. Life changed into chaos at once," says Gul Mohammad. The 25-year-old teacher is struggling to recall how he managed to dodge shellfire and save the 25 members of his family from fighting raging once more in Helmand in southern Afghanistan.

Fukushima: Japan 'to release contaminated water into sea'

Japan is to release treated radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, media reports say. It follows years of debate over how to dispose of the liquid, which includes water used to cool the power station hit by a massive tsunami in 2011.

Pieces of orbiting space junk set for very close pass

Two pieces of old space junk may come within 25m of each other, according to a Silicon Valley start-up which uses radars to track objects in orbit. LeoLabs has been monitoring the paths of a defunct Russian satellite and a discarded Chinese rocket segment.

Perestroika

Jump to navigation Jump to search For other uses, see Perestroika (disambiguation).

PMI-80

The PMI-80 was a single-board microcomputer produced by Tesla Piešťany, Czechoslovakia, since 1982. It was based on the MHB 8080A CPU (a Tesla clone of the Intel 8080), clocked at 1.111 MHz.

Boy, 12, discovers rare dinosaur skeleton

The amateur palaeontologist was out hiking with his father in a fossil-rich part of Alberta, Canada this July, when he saw bones protruding from a rock. On Thursday, the skeleton's excavation was completed.

PMD 85

The PMD 85 was an 8-bit personal computer produced from 1985 by the companies Tesla Piešťany and Bratislava in the former Czechoslovakia. They were deployed en masse in schools throughout Slovakia, while the IQ 151 performed a similar role in Czech part of the country.

ZX Spectrum

The ZX Spectrum (UK: /zɛd ɛks ˈspɛktrəm/) is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research. The Spectrum was among the first mainstream-audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the US.

Rosetta: Battery will limit life of Philae comet lander

After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. The lander bounced twice, initially about 1km back out into space, before settling in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its intended target site.

Rosetta mission: Philae comet lander pictures its target

The Philae robot, soon to try to land on Comet 67P, has taken another dramatic image of its quarry. The picture is very similar to the one it acquired in mid-September - only this one is much closer, snapped from a distance of just 16km.

Philae: Lost comet lander is found

Europe's comet lander Philae has been found. The little robot is visible in new images downloaded from the Rosetta probe in orbit around the icy dirt-ball 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Philae comet landing 'all a blur'

An image has been released that shows the hairy moment that the Philae comet lander bounced back into space. The robot touched down on 4km-wide 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November, but not before rebounding twice.

Philae comet lander: The plucky robot is back

When Philae first sent back images of its landing location on Comet 67P, researchers could see it was in a dark ditch. The Sun was obscured by a high wall, limiting the amount of light that could reach the robot's solar panels.

Philae comet lander: Sleep well little probe

European Space Agency controllers will not give up on Philae. They will continue to listen for the little probe in the days ahead, hopeful that it will somehow become active again.

Philae comet lander wakes up, says European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (Esa) says its comet lander, Philae, has woken up and contacted Earth. Philae, the first spacecraft to land on a comet, was dropped on to the surface of Comet 67P by its mothership, Rosetta, last November.

Philae comet lander sends more data before losing power

The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P has sent another stream of data back to Earth before losing power. The little probe delivered everything expected from it, just as its failing battery dropped it into standby mode.

Philae comet lander falls silent

The Philae comet lander has fallen silent, according to scientists working on the European Rosetta mission. The fridge-sized spacecraft, which landed on Comet 67P in November, last made contact on 9 July.

Philae (spacecraft)

Philae (/ˈfaɪliː/[6] or /ˈfiːleɪ/[7]) is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft[8][9] until it separated to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ten years and eight months after departing Earth.

Egyptian Philae obelisk revealed anew

Fresh information is being obtained on the Philae obelisk, the stone monument that played such a key role in helping to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. Today, the pink granite shaft stands on the UK National Trust's Kingston Lacy estate in Dorset, where it was brought from the Nile in the 1820s.

Controllers wait on Philae link

No new signals have been picked up from the Philae comet lander since a brief radio contact on Sunday. European Space Agency (Esa) controllers listened again on Tuesday night but heard nothing.

Controllers now banking on Philae wake-up call

The European Space Agency (Esa) says it will conduct no more dedicated searches for its lost comet lander. The Philae probe made its historic touchdown on the 4km-wide "icy dirtball" 67P in November, but rapidly went silent when its battery ran flat.

Comet robot Philae phones home again

Europe's comet lander has again been in touch with Earth. The Philae probe made three short contacts of about 10 seconds each at roughly 2130 GMT on Sunday.

Comet landing: Where next for Philae mission?

The big day has been and gone. Little Philae bounced to a stop on the surface of an ancient wanderer and fell into a slumber.

Comet landing: UK team's data bonanza from Philae

UK Researchers received "rich" data from the Philae lander just before its power died. Scientists say they detected what might be complex carbon compounds on the surface of the comet the craft landed on two weeks ago.

Comet landing: Organic molecules detected by Philae

The Philae lander has detected organic molecules on the surface of its comet, scientists have confirmed. Carbon-containing "organics" are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history.

Comet lander: Future of Philae probe 'uncertain'

The Philae lander has attempted to drill into the surface of Comet 67P, amid fears that its battery may die within hours. The European Space Agency (Esa) says the instrument is being deployed to its maximum extent, despite the risk of toppling the lander.

Comet lander: First pictures of Philae 'bounce' released

Images of the Philae probe moments after its initial touchdown have been published by the European Space Agency. There was a nerve-wracking wait after the 100kg lander re-bounded 1km back into space following its first contact with Comet 67P.

Comet lander Philae renews contact

Europe's Philae comet lander has been back in touch with Earth - its first contact since Sunday night (GMT). The communication was relayed by its mothership Rosetta, which is in orbit around the 4km-wide icy dirt-ball known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

'Best candidates' for lost Philae comet lander

The European Space Agency (Esa) has released some pictures that may include its lost comet lander, Philae. Whether that really is the case is far from certain, however.

Philae comet lander eludes discovery

Efforts to find Europe's lost comet lander, Philae, have come up blank. The most recent imaging search by the overflying Rosetta "mothership" can find no trace of the probe.

Comet lander: Camera sees Philae's hairy landing

High-resolution pictures have now been released of the Philae probe in the act of landing on Comet 67P last Wednesday. They were acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera on the Rosetta satellite, which had dropped the little robot towards the surface of the "ice mountain".

Tomáš Fülöpp

Philae Lander awakening from slumber on comet 67P as Sun's rays finally reach into the hole it fell in? @Philae2014 http://t.co/8vLppEv9xa

Tomáš Fülöpp

Philae Lander sits in a shadow on comet 67P with an empty battery. How feasible is it be to recharge @Philae2014 using a laser from Earth?

'Super' material raises hope of energy revolution

Scientists have found the first material that displays a much sought-after property at room temperature. It is superconducting, which means electrical current flows through it with perfect efficiency - with no energy wasted as heat.

'Person in jetpack' spotted flying again near LA airport

There are reports of an unidentified person flying in a jetpack near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - the second such incident in two months. The FBI is investigating the incident, as well as a similar one in September.

Heineken fined for forcing pubs to stock too many of its beers

Heineken's pubs business has been fined £2m by the industry watchdog after forcing tenants to sell "unreasonable levels" of its own beers and ciders. The Pubs Code Adjudicator penalised Star Pubs and Bars after finding it "seriously and repeatedly" breached rules over nearly three years.

Boy sleeps in tent for months in memory of friends

Max Woosey, from Braunton, was inspired to sleep out every night in a tent left to him by his friend and neighbour Rick, who died in February. Rick, who was 74, told Max "promise me you'll have an adventure in here", before he died from cancer.

Netherlands backs euthanasia for terminally ill children under-12

The Dutch government has approved plans to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children aged between one and 12. On Tuesday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said the rule change would prevent some children from "suffering hopelessly and unbearably".

Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its corals since 1995

Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its corals since 1995 due to warmer seas driven by climate change, a study has found. Scientists found all types of corals had suffered a decline across the world's largest reef system.

Coronavirus: Berlin ad sticks middle finger to mask rule breakers

Berlin's tourism authority has launched an ad campaign featuring an elderly woman giving the middle finger to people who refuse to wear masks. Visit Berlin has said the campaign is to highlight the importance of protecting the health of the elderly.

The doorstep murder

The doorbell rings at 10 Crescent Road around 7pm. It’s a Sunday night in November and inside the grey, stone Victorian villa Veronica and Alistair Wilson are getting their young sons ready for bed.

New Shepard: Jeff Bezos' rocket tests Nasa Moon landing tech

image copyrightBlue OriginA rocket built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' space company has tested technology designed to return humans to the Moon in 2024.The New Shepard rocket, developed by Blue Origin, can land vertically on the ground after returning from space.

BCG: Can a vaccine from 1921 save lives from Covid-19?

Scientists in the UK have begun testing the BCG vaccine, developed in 1921, to see if it can save lives from Covid. The vaccine was designed to stop tuberculosis, but there is some evidence it can protect against other infections as well.

What's behind the rise of QAnon in the UK?

A wide-ranging conspiracy theory about elite Satan-worshiping paedophiles has migrated from the US, inspiring a series of regular street protests. How did QAnon find a British audience? On a sunny day in late August, nearly 500 people gathered in central London.

Ikea to buy back used furniture in recycling push

Ikea, the world's biggest furniture business, is planning a second-hand furniture venture. The Swedish giant will next month launch a scheme to buy back your unwanted Billy bookcases, and certain other of its furniture items you no longer need or want.

Harry Potter first edition fetches £60,000 at auction

The rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone had been valued at £30,000. The book, one of only 500 hardback first editions printed, was sold by a retired British expat from Luxembourg.

Coronavirus: Czech schools and bars shut in partial lockdown

The Czech Republic is imposing a new three-week partial lockdown from midnight (22:00 GMT) to combat coronavirus, shutting schools, bars and clubs and restricting restaurants to deliveries and takeaways.

British WW2 Tallboy bomb detonates in Poland

The largest unexploded World War Two bomb ever found in Poland has detonated during the defusing process, a Polish Navy spokesman said. All divers were outside the danger zone of the bomb at the bottom of a Baltic Sea shipping canal, and there have been no reports of any injuries.

Project Artemis: UK signs up to Nasa's Moon exploration principles

The UK has signed up to the principles that will guide the American-led return to the Moon this decade. The US plans to put the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface in 2024, in a project called Artemis.

a galactic reimagining of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is humanity's richest source of public information. It is often viewed as an endless book, accessed mostly through Google searches. As a kid, I loved hopping from page to page on Wikipedia.

Singapore Airlines sells out meals on parked plane

Singapore diners have jumped at the opportunity to have lunch on a stationary Airbus A380 parked at the city's main airport. Despite a price tag of up to $496 (£380), the first two seating dates sold out within half an hour.

Peru opens Machu Picchu for single tourist stranded by Covid

Peru has opened the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who had waited almost seven months to visit the world heritage site. Jesse Katayama was due to visit Machu Picchu in March but it closed because of coronavirus.

Covid reinfection: Man gets Covid twice and second hit 'more severe'

image copyrightGetty ImagesA man in the United States has caught Covid twice, with the second infection becoming far more dangerous than the first, doctors report. The 25-year-old needed hospital treatment after his lungs could not get enough oxygen into his body.

Polish divers tackle massive British WW2 bomb in Baltic

Polish military divers have begun a delicate operation to defuse a giant British World War Two bomb at the bottom of a Baltic Sea shipping canal. About 750 residents have been evacuated from the area, near the port city of Swinoujscie, and the operation is expected to take five days.

Covid: Why bats are not to blame, say scientists

Every now and then, Dr Mathieu Bourgarel seeks permission from the village elders to visit the sacred caves, bringing a gift to appease the spirits.

German ship completes historic Arctic expedition

The German Research Vessel Polarstern has sailed back into its home port after completing a remarkable expedition to the Arctic Ocean. The ship spent a year in the polar north, much of it with its engines turned off so it could simply drift in the sea-ice.

Facebook adds 'blackface' photos to banned posts

Facebook has updated its rules to tackle posts containing depictions of "blackface" and common anti-Semitic stereotypes. Its Community Standards now explicitly state such content should be removed if used to target or mock people.

Facebook bans Holocaust denial content

Facebook has explicitly banned Holocaust denial for the first time. The social network said its new policy prohibits "any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust".

‘Humans weren’t always here. We could disappear’: meet the collapsologists

Michel Rosell gathers up a mass of papers and divides them into two piles. On the left are bills: a single sheet. On the right is a sheaf of letters from friends and lovers. “If the pile of letters is growing faster than the pile of bills, you’re on the right track,” says Rosell.

North Korea's missile and nuclear programme

North Korea is widely believed to have missiles capable of striking long-range targets, including potentially the US mainland. It also claims to have developed a hydrogen bomb and to be able to mount it on a missile.

Are Europe's night trains back in fashion?

Snaking along a rocky coastline towards the wild mountains of Lapland, the 19-hour night train from Stockholm to the village of Abisko was fully booked for much of this summer.

Maps have ‘north’ at the top, but it could’ve been different

Why are almost all modern maps the same way up? Caroline Williams explores the intriguing history that led to this orientation – and discovers why it shapes how we see the world in more ways than we realise.Imagine looking at the Earth from space.

TEDx Brussels loses license due to censorship

The Bulletin reports that TEDx organisers forcibly removed Brussels-based artist Deborah De Robertis from the stage during her talk. De Robertis is known for her guerrilla performance art in which she mimics museum paintings.

Dilys Price: World's oldest female skydiver dies

Former teacher Dilys Price, from Cardiff, was scared of heights when she did her first jump in her fifties. But she went on to complete hundreds of parachute jumps all over the world, and set the Guinness World Record for the oldest female solo parachute jump.

The death of the Full Moon Party

The sun has dipped behind the bars and restaurants that run the length of Haad Rin beach. Soon the full moon will rise out of the sea, illuminating the soft, almost pure white sand.

Planet Mars is at its 'biggest and brightest'

Get out there and look up! Mars is at its biggest and brightest right now as the Red Planet lines up with Earth on the same side of the Sun.

Stark photo of elephant herd wins Royal Society of Biology competition

A harrowing image of a herd of elephants eating from a rubbish dump in Sri Lanka, by Tilaxan Tharmapalan, has won first prize in this year's Royal Society of Biology (RSB) photography competition.

Should your accelerator pedal curb your speeding?

Car makers and safety experts are arguing about the best technology to curb speeding on Europe’s roads. The EU is proposing kit that renders the accelerator pedal temporarily unresponsive when the speed limit is reached.

How a silence solved the weird maths inside black holes

On a crisp September day in 1964, Roger Penrose had a visit from an old friend. The British cosmologist Ivor Robinson was back in England from Dallas, Texas, where he lived and worked.

Nobel Peace Prize: UN World Food Programme wins for efforts to combat hunger

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The agency was given the prize for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace.

Hong Kong's last authentic junk in troubled waters

Hong Kong's last authentic junk boat is struggling to stay afloat due to a lack of overseas tourists. The Dukling normally takes foreign visitors on scenic trips around its bays but these have dried up due to travel restrictions.

Australian boss fined over Belgian backpacker's fruit-picking death

An Australian employer has been fined over the death of a Belgian backpacker who collapsed from heat stress while working on a farm picking fruit. Olivier Max Caramin, 27, died in a Queensland hospital in November 2017 after just three days on the job.

IBM to split into two as it reinvents itself

International Business Machines (IBM) has announced it will split into two public companies. The move is an attempt to shift its focus to higher-margin businesses like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

The rats evicted from paradise

During World War Two, the US military stationed thousands of sailors on the Palmyra Atoll, a ring of pristine, coral-fringed islets in the Central Pacific Ocean. But the ships also brought a host of stowaways to the islands: black rats.

Can Peru’s beloved dish help save Machu Picchu?

I had ordered Peru’s beloved stir fry classic, lomo saltado, about eight times before I arrived in the small mountain town of Machu Picchu Pueblo to visit the great Citadel.

Stolen Mao Zedong scroll worth millions found cut in half

Thieves had stolen the scroll by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong from an art collector's home in a burglary last month. They then sold it at a fraction of its value. It was apparently cut up as the 2.8m-long (9ft) scroll was deemed too long to display, said Hong Kong police.

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough join forces on 'Earthshot' prize

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough have joined forces to launch what they hope will become the "Nobel Prize for environmentalism". They say the search is on for 50 solutions to the world's gravest environmental problems by 2030.

Carole Packman murder: Appeal against killer's release rejected

image copyrightFamily handoutA murderer who refuses to reveal the whereabouts of his wife's body will be freed from prison despite a last-ditch appeal to keep him behind bars.

What would the world do without GPS?

When satellite navigation was jammed at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport last year, only the skill of the air traffic controllers prevented serious accidents.

T. rex dinosaur 'Stan' sold for world record price

The 67-million-year-old fossil went to an anonymous bidder in the sale organised by Christie's in New York. The guide price had been $6-8m, but this was rapidly surpassed as the online auction progressed.

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future

It’s finally the 2020s. After 20 years of not being able to refer to the decade we’re in, we’re all finally free—in the clear for the next 80 years until 2100, at which point I assume AGI will have figured out what to call the two decades between 2100 and 2120.

Mexican Tarahumara woman wins 50km race wearing sandals

María Lorena Ramírez defeated 500 other runners from 12 countries in the female category of the Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo in Puebla, in central Mexico. She ran without any professional gear, and her pair of sandals was reportedly made from recycled tyre rubber.

Toothless dinosaur with just two fingers discovered

image copyrightMW SkrepnickA new species of toothless dinosaur that had just two fingers on each arm has been discovered in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.Researchers from the University of Edinburgh found multiple skeletons of the species, named Oksoko avarsan.

Billionaires see fortunes rise by 27% during the pandemic

Billionaires have seen their fortunes hit record highs during the pandemic, with top executives from technology and industry earning the most. The world's richest saw their wealth climb 27.5% to $10.2trn (£7.9trn) from April to July this year, according to a report from Swiss bank UBS.

Cuties: Netflix faces Texas legal battle over film's 'lewd' dancing

Netflix is facing criminal proceedings in Texas over the allegedly "lewd" depiction of girls in a controversial French film on the platform. Netflix has faced criticism for the film and a poster showing pre-teen girls dancing in skimpy outfits.

Unexplained Wealth Orders: Suspected money launderer gives up £10m of property

Around £10m of property has been surrendered in a major victory against some of northern England's most dangerous criminals. The apartments and homes were given up to the National Crime Agency by a Leeds businessman who investigators suspect of being a major money-launderer.

Does bralet boom spell the end of high-rise boobs?

Ahh, that perfect ping at the end of the day. After hours of being prodded and pinched, the unclasping of your underwired bra is a relief like no other.

Scientists win historic Nobel chemistry prize for 'genetic scissors'

Two scientists have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the tools to edit DNA. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna are the first two women to share the prize, which honours their work on the technology of genome editing.

How ‘biophilic’ design can create a better workspace

When the pandemic padlocked international borders earlier this year, MaSovaida Morgan traded her itinerant life as a travel writer for a steady gig working remotely in Washington, DC for a tech company based in Silicon Valley.

The subtle ways language shapes us

Every Wednesday evening for the last year, I have been relearning Hindi, my third language after Bengali and English. Although it’s been wonderful to feel more connected to my culture, I’ve been surprised and somewhat disappointed to discover the gendered structure of my mother tongue.

The Indian megacity digging a million wells

The school is housed in a nondescript two-storey building in a densely populated district of south-east Bangalore. Pillars painted in the orange, white and green of the Indian national flag add a dash of colour below the tall tower blocks that crowd around Renuka High School.

US election 2020: The defining moment of the Trump presidency

What four years ago would potentially have been regarded as the defining moment of the Trump presidency?

The quest to make a global vaccine in 12 months

Vaccines by themselves do not save lives, but rather the immunisation process does. This highlights a challenge the world is facing right now.

US tech giants accused of 'monopoly power'

The recommendation follows a 16-month congressional investigation into Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. But Republicans involved in the effort did not agree with the recommendations.

'Surprise' orangutan born at Chester Zoo after negative pregnancy tests

image copyrightChester ZooA Bornean orangutan has been born "by surprise" at a zoo, months after its mother's pregnancy tests all came back negative.Chester Zoo keeper Chris Yarwood said the ape's "wonderful" arrival had come after multiple tests on its mother Leia failed to spot the pregnancy.

Calls for 'virginity repair' surgery to be banned

Campaigners are urging the government to outlaw "virginity repair" surgery. Many Muslim women risk being outcast, or in extreme cases killed, if their spouses or families discover they have had sex before marriage.

France plans punishment for 'virginity tests'

The French government plans to introduce jail terms and fines for doctors who provide controversial so-called "virginity certificates" for traditional religious marriages.

Covid can be airborne, US CDC guidelines now say

Coronavirus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air, sometimes for hours, says the US Centres for Disease Control. Its updated guidance says this airborne route of transmission is still uncommon - bigger droplets from coughs, sneezes and talking are still the main source.

Trump Covid post deleted by Facebook and hidden by Twitter

Facebook has deleted a post in which President Trump had claimed Covid-19 was "less lethal" than the flu. Mr Trump is at the White House after three days of hospital treatment having tested positive for the virus.

Cellmate: Male chastity gadget hack could lock users in

image copyrightPen Test PartnersA security flaw in a hi-tech chastity belt for men made it possible for hackers to remotely lock all the devices in use simultaneously.

Black hole breakthroughs win Nobel physics prize

Three scientists have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for work to understand black holes. Sir Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez were announced as this year's winners at a news conference in Stockholm.

Anti-virus creator John McAfee arrested over tax evasion charges

image copyrightReutersAnti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been arrested in Spain and faces extradition to the US where he has been charged with tax evasion.

The robot shop worker controlled by a faraway human

In a quiet aisle of a small supermarket in Tokyo, a robot dutifully goes about its work. Reaching down, it grabs yet another bottle of a flavoured drink that humans like, lifts it and places it on the shelf of a refrigerated unit. Then the next one. People come and go.

Flawless 102-carat diamond a 'bargain' at $16m

The gemstone went to an unnamed telephone bidder. The auction was held online by Sotheby's in Hong Kong due to the pandemic. The diamond was taken from a 271-carat stone which was discovered at a Canadian mine in 2018.

Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

Three scientists who discovered the virus Hepatitis C have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. The winners are British scientist Michael Houghton and US researchers Harvey Alter and Charles Rice.

You Won’t Believe My Morning

You won’t believe my morning. I went out on my daily excursion to sit on the front step of my building for ten minutes holding my breath when people walked by. Normally, I spend the time diddling around my phone, but I forgot to bring my phone this morning, so I just looked around.

The Big and the Small

I’ll tell you about it in a minute. First, let’s have a little fun. Come with me. I have visitors in the fun room from time to time, but after a few minutes, they’re usually pretty funned out and leave me to my crises. But one day, something unexpected happened.

The tiny Swiss town that inspired Nietzsche

Groundhog Day is my favourite movie. By a mile. I must have watched it dozens of times. Groundhog Day is my favourite movie. By a mile. I must have watched it dozens of times. Groundhog Day is my favourite movie. By a…

Can nuclear war be morally justified?

In the early 1980s, the Harvard law professor Roger Fisher proposed a new, gruesome way that nations might deal with the decision to launch nuclear attacks. It involved a butcher’s knife and the president of the United States.

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How feeling bad changes the brain

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel A Handmaid’s Tale, the many wrongs that befall Offred strike a chilling chord among most readers. When she is struck with a cattle prod we can almost feel her pain, and recoil at the terrible injustice of her imprisonment.

What makes people stop caring?

“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will." These are the words of a woman whose acts of charity and kindness earned her sainthood – Mother Teresa. They exemplify one of the most baffling aspects of the human response to the plight of others.

The surprising downsides of empathy

On CBeebies, the BBC service for little children, there’s a programme called Treasure Champs, which aims to teach young viewers about their feelings, and how to manage them.

Nasa Wallops launch: Astronauts to test new $23m toilet at space station

Nasa is to launch a new zero-gravity toilet for testing at the International Space Station (ISS) before its probable use in a future mission to the Moon. The $23m (£17.8m) toilet, which sucks waste from the body, will be sent to the station on a cargo ship.

'Thieving' cat Pixel's glove and toy hoard

Kate Baker, 35, from Andover, Hampshire, said she had seen a "surge" in the amount of gloves and toys being brought to her as gifts by two-year-old Pixel. In a plea on social media, she said her cat's habit had got so bad her brother had bought it a "plunder" box.

New Caledonia referendum: South Pacific territory rejects independence from France

People in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia have narrowly rejected independence from France in a referendum. The archipelago voted to remain French with 53.26% of votes, according to final results reported by AFP news agency. Turnout - at 85.6% - was high.

The return of Europe’s largest beasts

I stumble past long grass, whipping mosquitoes away from my legs, as I enter a clearing. “The deer have been eating all the young trees here, so they haven’t managed to grow,” my guide tells me, gesturing to the shrubbery in front of us.

The Catch

Minutes earlier, three of them had tried to wrench open the apartment door. But it was too swollen by the heat of the fire. They are crying at a window, 15m (49 feet) up, choking on thick black smoke billowing behind them. To their left, flames rage from a carpet draped over a balcony railing.

Skyhook (structure)

A skyhook is a proposed momentum exchange tether that aims to reduce the cost of placing payloads into low Earth orbit. A heavy orbiting station is connected to a cable which extends down towards the upper atmosphere.

Trump flown to hospital after Covid-19 diagnosis

US President Donald Trump has been flown to hospital for treatment after testing positive for coronavirus. Mr Trump tweeted "going well, I think!" after his arrival. US media say his symptoms include a low-grade fever.

Vlaamse Toezichtcommissie geeft vernietigend advies over AWS (update)

De Vlaamse Toezichtcommissie voor de verwerking van persoonsgegevens klinkt ongemeen hard in een pas gepubliceerd rapport over het gebruik van Amazon Web Services voor bepaalde overheidstoepassingen.

Russian editor dies after setting herself on fire - local media

image copyrightIrina Slavina/FacebookA Russian news editor has died after setting herself on fire in front of an interior ministry office in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod, local media report. Irina Slavina earlier wrote on Facebook: "I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death.

France's Macron vows to fight 'Islamist separatism'

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called "Islamist separatism" and defend secular values. In a keenly awaited speech, Mr Macron said a minority of France's estimated six million Muslims were in danger of forming a "counter-society".

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Covid: Donald Trump and Melania test positive

US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now self-isolating. The president has "mild symptoms" of coronavirus, White House officials say.

What wobbling rocks can tell us about nuclear safety

We've all seen them; we've even taken pictures of ourselves pretending to hold them up or to push them over. These are the precariously balanced rocks on a hill or a coastal cliff. It's as if the gentlest nudge would send them tumbling.

Nasa releases plan for Moon return by 2024

The US space agency (Nasa) has formally outlined its $28bn (£22bn) plan to return to the Moon by 2024. As part of a programme called Artemis, Nasa will send a man and a woman to the lunar surface in the first landing with humans since 1972.

Delphine Boël: Belgium ex-king's love child wins royal titles

image copyrightEPAThe love child of former Belgian King Albert II has won a court battle to grant her the same rights and titles as her father's children by his marriage.Under the ruling, artist Delphine Boël, 52, will be granted the title of Princess of Belgium.

US election 2020: The night American democracy hit rock bottom

When the first televised debates were held in 1960, the world watched two young candidates, John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, respectfully engage in an intelligent and elevated discussion. Mostly we remember those inaugural encounters for Nixon's flop-sweat and clumsily applied make-up.

Covid: Vaccine will 'not return life to normal in spring'

Even an effective coronavirus vaccine will not return life to normal in spring, a group of leading scientists has warned. But a report, from researchers brought together by the Royal Society, said we needed to be "realistic" about what a vaccine could achieve and when.

Coronavirus risks ‘greatest surge in child marriages in 25 years’

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to a spike in child marriages globally, reversing 25 years of progress on ending the practice, a charity has warned. Save the Children said Covid-19 had put 2.5 million more girls at risk of early marriage by 2025.

Nxivm: Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman jailed in 'sex cult' case

US heiress Clare Bronfman has been sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for her role in the Nxivm sex trafficking group.

Social Summit +5

“Social and economic welfare are not separate concepts. Without economic prosperity, no country can provide for all the social needs of its citizens.

France announces 'gradual' ban on wild animals in circuses

image copyrightGetty ImagesFrance has said it will gradually ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses as part of sweeping new animal welfare measures.On Tuesday, Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said, "Our attitude to wild animals has changed.

Goodfellas at 30: The making of one of film’s greatest shots

Thirty years ago, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas was released and set a new benchmark for innovative storytelling and filmmaking.

Egg freezing 10-year limit should be scrapped, says ethics body

The 10-year limit for storing eggs frozen for social reasons could be scrapped to give people concerned about declining fertility more time and options, says a UK ethics body. Nuffield Council on Bioethics says consumers also need more data on costs and success rates to inform choices.

Coronavirus: Delirium 'key symptom' in frail older people

Doctors and carers should look out for signs of confusion or strange behaviour in frail older people because it could be an early warning sign of Covid-19, research suggests.

Presidential debate: How the world's media reacted

US voters have endured the first of three presidential debates between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The event has also prompted a huge reaction from world audiences who tuned in for the chaotic event.

Ai Weiwei: 'Too late' to curb China's global influence

The leading Chinese dissident, the artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei, says China's influence has become so great that it can't now be effectively stopped. "The West should really have worried about China decades ago.

Russian cleaner sweeps to power in surprise village vote

image copyrightPovalikhino councilFor the past four years, Marina Udgodskaya has scrubbed and mopped the offices of the local administration building in Povalikhino in rural Russia.

Ascension Island considered as location for asylum centre

The government considered building an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, a UK territory in the Atlantic. Home Secretary Priti Patel asked officials to look at asylum policies which had been successful in other countries, the BBC has been told.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park: Swearing parrots removed from view

Five parrots at a wildlife park have been removed from public display after they started swearing at visitors.The African grey parrots were adopted by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney in August and placed in quarantine together.

Buried lakes of liquid water discovered on Mars

Three new underground lakes have been detected near the south pole of Mars. Scientists also confirmed the existence of a fourth lake - the presence of which was hinted at in 2018.

WHO to probe 'sexual exploitation' by aid workers in DR Congo

image copyrightThomson Reuters FoundationThe World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to investigate allegations that aid workers tackling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo sexually abused and exploited women.

The cat who hitched a lift on a worldwide tour

When former Edinburgh Rugby player Dean Nicholson packed his job in to travel the world, he hoped it would be a life-changing experience. But what the 31-year-old didn't realise is that it would be a tiny four-legged friend that would change him forever.

Estonia ferry disaster: TV crew uncovers new evidence

Estonia, Sweden and Finland will examine new evidence that may shed light on the cause of one of Europe's worst peacetime shipping disasters.The MS Estonia ferry sank as it was crossing from Tallinn to Stockholm in September 1994, killing 852 people.

Amazon One: Palm scanner launched for 'secure' payments

image copyrightAmazonAmazon has announced a new payment system for real-world shops which uses a simple wave of the hand.Its new Amazon One scanner registers an image of the user's palm, letting them pay by hovering their hand in mid-air "for about a second or so", it says.

Home - Kilian Jornet Foundation

“I have been climbing mountains and crossing glaciers my whole life, and I could observe how the effects of the climate change have been devastating.

Romanian mayor wins election two weeks after Covid-related death

Ion Aliman won a third term as mayor of Deveselu, a village in southern Romania, securing 64% of the vote. Officials said his name was already printed on ballots and could not be removed after he died in the capital, Bucharest, on 15 September.

US man faces jail in Thailand over hotel review

He was sued by the resort under the country's strict anti-defamation laws. Wesley Barnes, who works in Thailand, had posted several reviews on different platforms allegedly accusing the resort of "modern day slavery".

Trump taxes are 'national security' issue, Nancy Pelosi says

The top-ranked Democrat in Washington has called President Donald Trump's alleged tax avoidance a question of "national security".

Sir David Attenborough warns world leaders over extinction crisis

Sir David Attenborough has called on world leaders to do more to protect nature. He made his plea as 65 heads of state and government, including the UK's, signed a global pledge to reverse losses in the natural world by 2030.

Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS (born 8 June 1955),[1] also known as TimBL, is an English engineer and computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.

The ancient trade holding back the Sahara Desert

In the Malian bush, a scattering of acacia trees grow through the wild grass and shrubs that spread for miles across the semi-arid scrub. Herders graze cattle nearby and local people fetch firewood.

Sealand: A peculiar ‘nation’ off England’s coast

This story starts with an email that I will never forget. On a late spring morning in mid-May, Prince Michael of Sealand, leader of a micronation called the Principality of Sealand, messaged me with five clear-cut words: “You can speak to me”.

The British town with a third ‘nationality’

Here’s a quick geography quiz. Picture a town with attractions including the salmon-stocked River Tweed and Scotsgate, part of a boundary of carefully preserved defensive walls. Nearby, there is a museum dedicated to the history of The King’s Own Scottish Borderers infantry regiment.

Why not all screen time is the same for children

Before my toddler could even talk she knew which phone belonged to me, and which belonged to her dad. They looked almost identical but she screamed if anyone except me touched my mobile. Even if she saw me pass it to someone so I could show them a picture, it would result in a spectacular meltdown.

The woman who quit smoking and built a global hypnotherapy firm

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to US hypnotist Grace Smith. Grace Smith says she was able to give up alcohol, but that quitting smoking seemed impossible.

Sir David Attenborough: Naturalist gives Prince George a fossil at royal screening

Sir David Attenborough has attended a private viewing of his new documentary at Kensington Palace, hosted by the Duke of Cambridge. During his visit, the naturalist gave Prince George a fossilised giant tooth from an extinct shark.

Sir David Attenborough spent lockdown 'listening to birds'

Sir David Attenborough has revealed he spent much of lockdown sitting in his garden and "listening to birds". Forced to abandon his travels, the famous naturalist said lockdown offered "a vision of what life can be like when you've got more time to sit and stare".

Donald Trump 'paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016' - New York Times

image copyrightGetty ImagesThe New York Times alleges that Donald Trump paid just $750 (£587) in federal income tax in 2016, the year he won the US presidency.

Roe v Wade: Trump says Supreme Court ruling on abortion 'possible'

President Donald Trump has said it is "certainly possible" that his Supreme Court pick will be involved in a ruling revisiting the landmark 1973 decision that legalised abortion in the US. Mr Trump said he did not discuss abortion rights with Amy Coney Barrett before choosing her for the top court.

Nuclear power: Are we too anxious about the risks of radiation?

This week, Boris Johnson restated the UK government's commitment to nuclear power. But of six sites identified for replacements for the country's ageing nuclear reactors, three have now been abandoned, two are waiting approval and just one is under construction.

Sri Lanka returns 'hazardous waste' to UK

Sri Lanka says it is sending 21 containers of recycled waste back to the UK after they were found to contain hazardous material. Customs officials said hospital waste, plastic and polythene was discovered in the majority of the 263 containers imported in 2017 by a private firm.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fight over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh

One of the world's oldest conflicts, a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, has re-erupted with the heaviest clashes in years. At least 23 people were reported to have been killed on Sunday as the two ex-Soviet republics battled over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The case for crying in public

When Theresa May announced in Downing Street that she would be standing down as British Prime Minister, it was her visible struggle to hold back tears that most captured the world’s headlines.

How to be more efficient: stop ‘precrastinating’

Putting off important jobs until the last moment, procrastination, is a well-known behaviour, but ‘precrastination’ can be just as dangerous.

The grim truth behind the Pied Piper

Every working morning for the last 26 years, Michael Boyer has slipped into a pair of neon-bright, multi-coloured tights, tied on his lipstick-red cape, grabbed his flute and marched out into the medieval streets of Hamelin, a town of 60,000 residents in Lower Saxony, Germany.

What the future of conferences could look like

In mid-March, the 2020 PROMAX Europe conference was due to take place in Madrid, right as Spain locked down its entire country. As virus cases climbed, the annual entertainment-marketing conference - with its 500 attendees, 300 hotel rooms and £400,000 ($524,000) cost - was put on hold.

Couleur Café

Couleur Café Festival is an annual urban contemporary music festival taking place around the end of June or early July in the city of Brussels, Belgium, organised since 1990.

Cesária Évora

Cesária Évora (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɨˈzaɾiɐ ˈɛvuɾɐ]; 27 August 1941 – 17 December 2011) was a Cape Verdean popular singer. Nicknamed the "Barefoot Diva" for performing without shoes,[1] she was also known as the "Queen of Morna".[2]

Breonna Taylor: Why it's hard to charge US police over shootings

Three officers were involved in the police raid that ended with Breonna Taylor shot dead in her home in Kentucky. Only one of them has been charged, but not in relation to her death. Why are so few police officers charged after fatal shootings in the US?

Coronavirus: Age and climate seen as behind Africa's low cases

image copyrightReutersYounger, less dense populations and hot, humid climates are being cited as key reasons why Africa has been spared a surge in coronavirus cases.As Europe and the Americas battle high case numbers, infections have been declining in many African countries.

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'When I couldn't move my legs, I knew my life would change forever'

How one pro racer survived a crash at the world's most extreme mountain biking competition. When Paul Basagoitia is getting ready to drop into a race, he visualises the whole course in his mind from start to finish: each 360 turn, each vertical cliff drop, each flip over a gaping, 60-foot canyon.

The birthplace of a new ocean

View image of An otherworldly lake (Credit: Credit: Juan Martinez) View image of Tectonic forces (Credit: Credit: Juan Martinez) View image of The world’s next ocean? (Credit: Credit: Juan Martinez) View image of Life in the desert (Credit: Credit: Juan Martinez) View image of The Afar nomads (Cre

The German medical students who want to learn about abortion

Abortion has been available throughout Germany since the 1970s but the number of doctors carrying out the procedure is now in decline. Jessica Bateman meets students and young doctors who want to fill the gap.The woman at the family planning clinic looked at Teresa Bauer and her friend sternly.

Magawa the mine-detecting rat wins PDSA Gold Medal

An African giant pouched rat has been awarded a prestigious gold medal for his work detecting land mines. Magawa has sniffed out 39 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions in his career.

Hilary Swank on Netflix's sci-fi Away and the ultimate work-life dilemma

You are commanding the first manned (and womanned) mission to Mars. You are on the Moon waiting to blast off, when a family emergency back on Earth presents a dilemma. Do you go home, or do you boldly go on?

Amazon unveils flying Ring security drone and Luna games service

image copyrightAmazonAmazon's smart home security division Ring has unveiled a flying camera that launches if sensors detect a potential home break-in.It is designed to activate only when residents are out, works indoors, and is limited to one floor of a building.

Self-lubricating condom designed to reduce infections

Scientists say they have found a way to make self-lubricating latex condoms that become slippery on contact. It is thanks to a special, durable coating that should last throughout intercourse, says the team, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Vietnam police seize more than 320,000 used condoms

Vietnamese police have seized more than 320,000 used condoms that were to be illegally resold to unsuspecting customers, local media report. Footage showed dozens of bags that together weighed 360kg (794lbs) in a warehouse that was recently raided in the southern Binh Duong province.

Pregnant woman rescues husband from shark attack in Florida

Police said Andrew Charles Eddy, 30, was snorkelling on Sombrero Reef but was bitten by the shark almost immediately after entering the water. His wife, Margot Dukes-Eddy, saw the shark's dorsal fin and her husband's blood filling the water, and dived in "without hesitation", officials said.

France street harassment: Strasbourg woman attacked 'for wearing skirt'

image copyrightAFPFrench police have opened an investigation after a woman in Strasbourg said she was attacked in broad daylight for wearing a skirt.The student, identified only as Elisabeth, 22, said she was punched in the face "by three individuals who complained about me wearing a skirt".

M87*: History-making supermassive black hole seen to do a shimmy

When scientists presented the first ever picture of a black hole last year, it was hailed as an extraordinary breakthrough. Well, now they've reassessed some of the image data that was acquired in the years running up to that historic snapshot.

Climate change: China aims for 'carbon neutrality by 2060'

China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping has announced. Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York.

Australia’s forgotten other ‘Great Reef’

“Imagine flying through an old-growth forest,” said Mick Baron, owner of Eaglehawk Dive Centre in south-eastern Tasmania, when I asked the scuba-diving veteran what it was like to swim among the majestic giant kelp forests that once fringed Australia’s island state.

US election: Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power

US President Donald Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's election. Mr Trump also said he believed the election result could end up in the US Supreme Court, as he again cast doubt on postal voting.

Does BlackRock have the world's toughest rules on romance?

New rules over office romances are being rolled out at the investment giant BlackRock. They will now extend to cover dalliances outside the office in a bid to clamp down on conflicts of interest.

20 km of Brussels

The 20 km of Brussels (French: 20 km de Bruxelles, Dutch: 20 km door Brussel) is a 20.1 km running race that has been held each year in Brussels since 1980, usually in May.

Six African heritage sites under threat from climate change

image copyrightGetty ImagesFrom rock art in southern Africa to pyramids along the River Nile, humans have been leaving their mark across the continent for millennia.

Uncle Ben's rice changes name to more 'equitable' brand

Uncle Ben's Rice will change its name to Ben's Original and remove the image of a smiling, grey-haired black man from its packaging. The change follows through on a pledge its owner Mars Food made in June to review the brand amid global protests over police brutality and racism.

Obituary: Juliette Gréco dies aged 93

In 2009, the teenage actress Carey Mulligan lay in a suburban bedroom; listening to music and fantasising of escape. The film was An Education. Her character yearned for freedom and a life of high culture and romantic love.

Juliette Gréco: Doyenne of French singers dies at 93

image copyrightPhilippe Bataillon\INAA true icon of the French chanson, Juliette Gréco, has died aged 93 after a fabled career that spanned eight decades.Born in 1927, Gréco was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War Two, but afterwards began performing in cellar clubs and cafes.

Expo 2000

Expo 2000 was a World's Fair held in Hanover, Germany from Thursday 1 June to Tuesday 31 October 2000. It was located on the Hanover fairground (Messegelände Hannover), which is the largest exhibition ground in the world.

China 'coercing' thousands of Tibetans into mass labour camps - report

China is coercing hundreds of thousands of people in Tibet into military-style training centres that experts say are akin to labour camps, a study has said.

Musk: $25,000 Tesla ready "in about three years"

Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced technology that he says will make Tesla batteries cheaper and more powerful.At a live presentation that Mr Musk labelled 'Battery Day' he also teased the possibility of a $25,000 (£19,600), fully-autonomous Tesla "in about three years time".

Australia whale stranding: 470 animals now beached in Tasmania record

image copyrightBILAL RASHID/REUTERSThe Australian state of Tasmania has recorded its largest-ever stranding of whales, after more were found beached during a large rescue effort.Since Monday, an estimated 470 pilot whales have been discovered stranded on Tasmania's west coast.

Internet: Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months

The mystery of why an entire village lost its broadband every morning at 7am was solved when engineers discovered an old television was to blame. An unnamed householder in Aberhosan, Powys, was unaware the old set would emit a signal which would interfere with the entire village's broadband.

John Lennon killer says sorry for 'despicable act'

Mark Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon, has apologised to the late Beatle's widow, Yoko Ono, 40 years after his death. Chapman shot Lennon four times outside his New York Manhattan apartment as Ono looked on, in 1980.

FinCEN: Why gold in your phone could be funding drug gangs

International investigators concluded that the Dubai-based trader Kaloti was buying gold from criminal networks. The US Treasury was urged by law enforcement six years ago to warn the world that it was a "primary money laundering concern".

Emil Venkov, sculptor of Fremont’s Vladimir Lenin statue, dies in Slovakia

Emil Venkov, the Bulgarian sculptor who created the statue of Vladimir Lenin that presides over Fremont, died on June 9 at the age of 79, according to his son Ivan.

Statue of Lenin (Seattle)

The Statue of Lenin in Seattle is a 16 ft (5 m) bronze sculpture of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, by Bulgarian sculptor Emil Venkov. It was completed and put on display in Communist Czechoslovakia in 1988, the year before the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Five Lenin statues in unexpected places

The smashing of a statue of Lenin in Kiev by protesters leaves the city without a monument to the leader of the 1917 Revolution - but there are plenty left elsewhere. Here are five.

Humpback whale finds escape from Australian crocodile river

image copyrightPArks Australiaimage captionThe humpback whale seen after returning to the seaA humpback whale that took a wrong turn into a crocodile-infested river in Australia has safely returned to sea.

Airbus looks to the future with hydrogen planes

Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled plans for what it hailed as the first commercial zero-emission aircraft. The company said its hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes could be in service by 2035.

Botswana: Mystery elephant deaths caused by cyanobacteria

Toxins made by microscopic algae in water caused the previously unexplained deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, wildlife officials say. Botswana is home to a third of Africa's declining elephant population.

FinCEN Files: Roman Abramovich had secret stakes in rival players

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich held secret investments in footballers not owned by his club, an investigation has discovered. The players included the Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo, who turned out against Chelsea in Champions League matches in 2014.

Gore-Tex: Inventor of waterproof fabric Robert Gore dies aged 83

Robert W Gore, who invented Gore-Tex technology while working for his father's company in Maryland, US, has died aged 83. Introduced in 1976, the fabric has protected countless walkers, runners and outdoor enthusiasts from wet weather, but is also found in numerous products.

Spain triathlete gives up medal to rival who went wrong way

British athlete James Teagle was on course to win third place in the competition in Spain last weekend when he made a mistake metres from the finish. Diego Méntrida overtook him but noticed the error and stopped to allow Teagle to cross first.

Egypt tomb: Sarcophagi buried for 2,500 years unearthed in Saqqara

image copyrightEPAA total of 27 sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago have been unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Egyptian necropolis.They were found inside a newly-discovered well at a sacred site in Saqqara, south of the capital, Cairo.

Climate change: Earthquake 'hack' reveals scale of ocean warming

Scientists have found a clever new way of measuring ocean warming, using sound waves from undersea earthquakes. The researchers say the "hack" works because sound travels faster in warmer water.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: US Supreme Court judge dies of cancer, aged 87

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an iconic champion of women's rights, has died of cancer at the age of 87, the court has said. Ginsburg died on Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home in Washington, DC, surrounded by her family, the statement said.

Brexit: Amal Clooney quits government envoy role over law break plan

Amal Clooney has quit her role as the UK's envoy on press freedom "in dismay" at the government's willingness to break international law over Brexit. The human rights lawyer said it was "lamentable" for Boris Johnson to be contemplating overriding the Brexit agreement he signed last year.

How photographers track down stolen pictures

Sean Heavey recognised his photo the moment he saw it on Stranger Things. When he watched a documentary about the making of the series, he became certain.

Stolen books worth £2.5m found under floor of Romanian house

image copyrightMetropolitan policeimage captionThe books are described as "extremely valuable"About 200 "irreplaceable" books worth more than £2.5m ($3.2m), which were stolen from a warehouse in London, have been found buried under the floor of a house in rural Romania, police say.

Police launch homicide inquiry after German hospital hack

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe woman was transferred to another hospital during the cyber-attackGerman police have launched a homicide investigation after a woman died during a cyber-attack on a hospital.

WhereIsMyName: Afghan women campaign for the right to reveal their name

A woman from western Afghanistan - we will call her Rabia - was suffering from severe fever, so she went to see a doctor. The doctor's diagnosis was Covid-19. Rabia returned home, suffering from pain and fever, and gave her prescription to her husband to buy the medicine for her.

Afghan mothers' names to be included on children's ID cards

Afghan mothers will have their names printed on their children's national identity cards, after a campaign to challenge taboos around women's names. President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday signed into law an amendment long sought by women's rights campaigners.

Sudan floods: Nile water level threatens ancient pyramids

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe pyramids at the site are more than 2,300 years oldThe authorities in Sudan are trying to protect the country's ancient pyramids from flooding as heavy rains have caused the nearby River Nile to reach record-breaking levels.

Spider-like toxins found in Australia's stinging trees

Toxins produced by Australia's stinging trees bear a strong resemblance to those of spiders and scorpions, scientists have found.The findings, published in the Science Advances journal, come from University of Queensland researchers.

Why you should read this out loud

For much of history, reading was a fairly noisy activity. On clay tablets written in ancient Iraq and Syria some 4,000 years ago, the commonly used words for “to read” literally meant “to cry out” or “to listen”. “I am sending a very urgent message,” says one letter from this period.

The fine line between art and pornography

At the time the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK was drawing the national spotlight to the statues of slave traders, another activist was highlighting the way women are represented in civic statuary.

Alligator on gas snaps up Ig Nobel prize

Have you heard the one about the alligator that performed the party trick of breathing in helium so it could talk in a funny voice? It's not that hilarious but then you'd be careful never to smile at a crocodilian.

'For me whale meat is my childhood, my memories'

As coronavirus devastates the travel industry, whalers in Norway are reaping the rewards of a national staycation. Frode runs Ost & Sant, a deli selling traditional food in the heart of Oslo. In an average year the place is heaving with foreign visitors. But 2020 has been a little different.

The rise of the Swedish cyborgs

Darkness had fallen over Stockholm as a group of eight people entered Swahili Bobs, a tattoo parlour in the dark alleys of Sodermalm. By day there were tech entrepreneurs, students, web designers and IT consultants - but that night they were going to be transformed into cyborgs.

The Cold War spy technology which we all use

Moscow, 4 August, 1945. The European chapter of World War Two was over, and the US and the USSR were pondering their future relationship.

Coronavirus: WHO says weekly cases in Europe eclipse March peak

image copyrightEPAimage captionThe Czech Republic announced a record number of daily casesNew weekly coronavirus cases in Europe have exceeded the numbers reported when the pandemic first peaked in March, the World Health Organization has said.

Will the Star Wars universe survive?

When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm – and thus, the rights to Star Wars – in 2012, many people envisioned the franchise following in the footsteps of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's phenomenal success.

Colombia: Indigenous protesters topple conquistador's statue

image copyrightEPAimage captionThe equestrian figure of the conquistador was beheaded by crowdsIndigenous protesters in Colombia have toppled a statue of Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar in the south-western city of Popayán.

Plug-in hybrids are a 'wolf in sheep's clothing'

Carbon dioxide emissions from plug-in hybrid cars are as much as two-and-a-half times higher than official tests suggest, according to new research.

Plastic pollution: Washed clothing's synthetic mountain of 'fluff'

When you add it up, the total amount of synthetic microfibres going into the wider environment as we wash our clothes is an astonishing number. US scientists estimate it to be 5.6 million tonnes since we first started wearing those polyester and nylon garments in a big way in the 1950s.

How Covid-19 can damage the brain

For Julie Helms, it started with a handful of patients admitted to her intensive care unit at Strasbourg University Hospital in northeast France in early March 2020. Within days, every single patient in the ICU had Covid-19 – and it was not just their breathing difficulties that alarmed her.

Snake used as face mask on bus

image copyrightPA Mediaimage captionOne passenger thought the snake was a "funky mask" before she saw it moveA man boarded a bus using a snake as a face covering.The commuter and his reptilian mask, which was wrapped around his neck and mouth, were seen on a bus from Swinton to Manchester on Monday.

A bizarre journey beyond Earth’s borders

There's a well-known saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson that goes: ‘It's not the destination, it's the journey’.

What the voice inside your head says about you

What were you thinking about a second ago? Or, to cut to the chase, how were you thinking about it? It’s a deceptively tricky question to answer. Maybe you were internally speaking the words you were reading, seeing a related image in your mind’s eye, or having an emotional response.

Four-in-one pill prevents third of heart problems

The polypill contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin and two drugs to lower blood pressure. The researchers - in Iran and the UK - said the pill had a huge impact but cost just pennies a day.

What is 'blobology' and how is it transforming biology?

Spectacularly detailed videos from an advanced microscope are sparking a biology "revolution", scientists say. The technique was once termed "blobology" because its images were so indistinct.

Can you cool a house without air conditioning?

At first sight, the view could be mistaken for the rolling hummocks of Hobbiton, right down to the perfectly circular doors opening out of the lush green hillside.

The best time of year to make a life decision?

Many of us make big decisions in January. But there are some compelling reasons to wait until warmer months – depending on the choice in front of you. When we’re trying to make a big decision, many of us think (and over-think) about the choice itself.

How well do you think about risk and uncertainty?

No one can guarantee what the future will bring – but we can try to make an intelligent gamble on the available options.

The simple rule that can help you predict the future

What makes something endure for centuries? To find out, we must start with a principle called the "Lindy Effect", explains Tom Chatfield.

The benefits of not being perfect

You sit in a job interview, nervously sweating through every question thrown at you, and then comes the hardest one of all: “What is your worst quality?” Being a perfectionist is regularly thought of as a good answer – you might hope your fastidiousness will help you secure the role.

Why ‘flight shame’ is making people swap planes for trains

The flight shame movement is about feeling accountable for your carbon footprint - but it is also about rediscovering the joy of slow travel, writes Jocelyn Timperley.* This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2019” collection. Discover more of our picks.

What if the aliens we are looking for are AI?

Whether every observatory would agree to host a Seti sensor is a matter for debate. The technology might, however, reveal some other surprising astronomical discovery. We now know that pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars.

DR Congo: Is it one of the most dangerous places to fly?

While flying is one of the safest ways to travel, in some countries with inadequate regulation and difficult terrain, it can be deadly. Two recent crashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo have raised concerns about air safety there.

Sham news sites make big bucks from fake views

Forbes and Business Insider are both well-known news sites. So is forbesbusinessinsider.com a new spin-off? No. It has nothing to do with either Forbes or Business Insider.

What eating a big meal does to your body

* This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2019” collection. Discover more of our picks. I am pretty confident that I can predict how I am going to feel after Christmas dinner: snoozy, sluggish and definitely full.

Art of Feeling: Why we should celebrate anger

There is an art to anger. From a furious Christ pummelling merchants in a 14th-Century fresco by Giotto to a window-smashing spree in Beyoncé’s 2016 music video Hold Up, cultural history is punctuated with punchy images that are more than a little hot under the collar.

What’s left of New York’s Dutch past?

When his children were at preschool in Hackensack, New Jersey, building restorer and historian Tim Adriance taught them a simple nursery rhyme.

One man’s 10-year experiment to record every moment

A Spanish scientist records all his activities so he can learn how to live more effectively. But what do you gain from forensically tracking every part of your day?In February 2010, Morris Villarroel started a 10-year experiment.

US meteorite adds to origins mystery

In January 2018, a falling meteorite created a bright fireball that arced over the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, followed by loud sonic booms. The visitor not only dropped a slew of meteorites over the snow-covered ground, it also provided information about its extra-terrestrial source.

Viewpoint: Are Indian unicorns like Paytm and Zomato too powerful?

India is home to one of the world's highest proportion of "unicorns"- unlisted companies with a valuation of more than $1bn (£778m). Technology policy researcher Smriti Parsheera discusses the highs and lows of India's unicorn growth story and it's intersection with India's e-commerce policies.

The origin of the world’s first travel blog

Outside Havana’s Hotel Nacional, the city is jubilant as this Spanish-founded port is in the midst of celebrating its 500th anniversary. Vintage Bel-Airs and Buick convertibles ply the roads, painted in gumdrop colours.

How game theory can help to give your love life a boost

How do you go about finding “the one” – or, at least, the “next one” – in today’s dating world? And once you’ve met someone interesting, how do you decide whether you should commit to a monogamous partnership… or keep your options open?

Striking photojournalism from around the world in 2019

A selection of the best photographs taken by news agency photographers around the world this year.

The best space images of 2019

With some blockbuster space missions under way, 2019 saw some amazing images beamed back to Earth from around the Solar System. Meanwhile, some of our most powerful telescopes were trained on the Universe's most fascinating targets. Here are a few of the best.

Gadhimai: Nepal's animal sacrifice festival goes ahead despite 'ban'

Less than five years ago, animal charities heralded the end of animal sacrifice at a religious festival dubbed "the world's bloodiest". But on Tuesday, the Gadhimai festival began with the killing of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and pigeon.

Are your friends bad for your health?

At the start of a new year, lots of people will resolve to make a healthy lifestyle change. Many find resolutions like cutting back on unhealthy snacks or taking part in a weekend fitness class easier when friends and family are making the same changes.

Israel's borders explained in maps

More than 70 years after Israel declared statehood, its borders are yet to be entirely settled. Wars, treaties and occupation mean the shape of the Jewish state has changed over time, and in parts is still undefined.Here is a series of maps explaining why.

Boeing's 'culture of concealment' to blame for 737 crashes

Two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max aircraft were partly due to the plane-maker's unwillingness to share technical details, a congressional investigation has found. The US report is highly critical of both Boeing and the regulator, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

West Coast fires: How we outran a California wildfire

Across the American west, wildfires are burning at a historic speed and scale, engulfing almost five million acres of land across three US states - California, Oregon and Washington - since early August.

Bear from Ice Age found 'completely preserved' in Russian Arctic

image copyrightNorth-Eastern Federal Universityimage captionThe Ice Age-era bear was found on the Lyakhovsky Islands in north-east RussiaThe immaculately preserved remains of an Ice Age-era bear have been unearthed by reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic, researchers have said.

The double-edged sword of the shorter workweek

Time for the greater good? One challenge is that simply freeing up time away from work won’t automatically result in more community engagement.

How 'smart' email could change the way we talk

But if we subcontract the work of composing our sentences to a machine, Geffen argues that it could have some profound implications for the way our brains work.

Maids Moreton: Ben Field thought he would 'get away with it'

As Ben Field sat in the back of a police van after his arrest, he said: "I think I will get away with most of it." He had seduced two lonely neighbours - murdering one and defrauding the other - but now faces life in prison.

Could music festivals be good for your health?

Millions of people around the world go to music festivals each year. At one time, they were seen as encouraging heavy drinking and drug-taking while providing poor facilities and bad food. But now organisers are more focused on festival-goers' wellbeing.

Photographer Quintin Lake completes British coast walk

image copyrightQuintin Lakeimage captionQuintin Lake took hundreds of photographs during his trek - this one shows the Sound of Mull at dawnA photographer has said completing a five-year hike around the British coastline was "enriching for the soul".

How much water should you drink a day?

As many countries urge populations to stay at home, many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of our most popular nutrition stories from our archive.

How to tell if you’re close to burning out

With offices closed in nations around the world, many of us are grappling with how to stay productive and on task as we work from home. To help provide insight on how to manage this, BBC Worklife is updating some of our most popular productivity stories from our archive.

Do apostrophes still matter?

A man who led the war on improper use of apostrophes now admits defeat, saying his grammar vigilante campaign has been brought to an end by a culture of carelessness. So what now? The battle is over, bad grammar (as in the sign above) has won.

In Guatemala, the Maya world untouched for centuries

There is no path through the jungle. Every step requires navigation: winding around a tree; stepping over a root; ducking under a branch. In front of me, a man swings a machete, trying to cut an easier path. “Don’t touch anything,” my guide, José María Anavisca, warns me.

The surprising benefits of talking to strangers

Imagine you die. You wake up in a world only made up of people you remember. “All your old lovers.

When changing a light bulb is a really big deal

"There is something you can't replace with an LED," says Eileen Peters. But she's not talking about the ambience in her home.

Malaysian man 'finds' monkey selfies on lost phone

image copyrightZackrydz Rodziimage captionA screenshot of the video Mr Zackrydz says he found on his phoneA Malaysian man says he found monkey selfies and videos on his missing phone a day after retrieving it in the jungle behind his house.

Gene editing to produce 'super dad' livestock

Scientists have produced gene-edited animals they say could serve as "super dads" or "surrogate sires". The pigs, goats, cattle and mice make sperm carrying the genetic material of donor animals.

First day at school: Mum's before-and-after photos of daughter go viral

Before-and-after photos of a five-year-old's first day back at school have been shared thousands of times online after her mother posted the "really funny" images on Facebook. Lucie, from East Renfrewshire, "likes to be clean" and looked immaculate before she left home, mother Jill said.

Fat rat saved from manhole by German animal rescue

In the German town of Bensheim, rescue workers got an unusual call - a chubby rat needed help after getting stuck halfway out of a sewer manhole. Volunteer firefighters reacted to a call on Sunday afternoon, the local fire department said, and noted the "animal rescue, small animal" code.

London Eye at 20: The wheel that changed the capital's skyline

On the last day of 1999, thousands of revellers gathered on the banks of the River Thames in London to wait for the spectacular firework display heralding the new millennium.

Japan ninja student gets top marks for writing essay in invisible ink

Eimi Haga followed the ninja technique of "aburidashi", spending hours soaking and crushing soybeans to make the ink. The words appeared when her professor heated the paper over his gas stove.

Could relatives of measles virus jump from animals to us?

We've seen recent spikes in measles infections. Some European countries, including the UK, lost their measles-free status and many developing countries, especially parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania are seeing frequent outbreaks.

Smoking 'damages eyes as well as lungs'

Millions of people in the UK are putting their sight at risk by continuing to smoke, warn specialists. Despite the clear connection, only one in five people recognise that smoking can lead to blindness, a poll for the Association of Optometrists (AOP) finds.

Can drinking red wine ever be good for us?

We’ve been led to believe that an occasional glass of wine might be better than abstaining from alcohol altogether, but that might not be the case.Even though alcohol kills millions of people every year, humans have been imbibing for millennia.

Climate change hope for hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen fuel is a relatively green alternative to alternatives that produce greenhouse gases. The natural gas supply at Keele University is being blended with 20% hydrogen in a trial that's of national significance.

Barcelona's car-free smart city experiment

In the centre of bustling and busy Barcelona there is unusual quiet: just the babble of children playing in a small playground and the sound of the birds. There is virtually no traffic and the space where cars would have parked is given over to play areas, trees and even a running track.

Thailand's disappeared Karen activist Billy and the burned village

An oil barrel discovered at the bottom of a reservoir in a nature reserve in Thailand in April 2019 has cast a light on a story some would rather stayed hidden. It is a tale of powerful men and the lengths they will allegedly go to keep their crimes covered up.

Climate change is causing birds to shrink, study suggests

As the climate warms, birds are shrinking and their wingspans are growing, according to a new study. Researchers analysed 70,716 specimens from 52 North American migratory bird species collected over 40 years.

Pakistan’s centuries-old ‘zero-waste’ movement

As I circled to find a parking spot, I was awestruck by the stately mansion in the upscale neighbourhood of Karachi.

Unst: A real life Treasure Island

From the northern tip of Unst, Shetland – the UK’s most northerly inhabited island – a dramatic view comes into sight. Encircled by gannets, the tiny isle of Muckle Flugga rises sheer out of the North Sea.

This dad took his son to Mongolia just to get him off his phone

How do you get a teen to put down their phone and talk to you? Jamie Clarke went all the way to Mongolia to find out. Riding through a remote valley in Mongolia on the back of his motorbike, adventurer Jamie Clarke let the hum of the engine and the wind echo in his mind while his thoughts wandered.

Letter from Africa: Gambia's code of the road

In our series of letters from African journalists, Sierra Leonean-Gambian writer Ade Daramy, who moved to live in The Gambia earlier this year, fastens his seat belt. On moving to a new country, there many things to consider - learning the language always helps you get around.

Belching in a good way: How livestock could learn from Orkney sheep

The northernmost Orkney island, North Ronaldsay, is home to just 50 people and 2,000 sheep.

The 'psychedelics coach' with drug-fuelled career advice

Paul Austin and Matt Gillespie are trying to retrace their steps along a path shrouded by redwood trees.

Audiobooks: The rise and rise of the books you don’t read

Back in 1878, shortly after he had invented the phonograph, Thomas Edison hit upon an idea. Leaning over his new machine one day he recited the words: “Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow.

The 106-year history of the dreaded economy airline seat

As millions of travellers take to the skies each year, economy seats continue to shrink. Trace the dreaded airplane seat from its wicker inception to its carbon fibre future.

The 'sorcerer' keeping Mali's marionette tradition alive

The people behind Mali's marionette tradition, which has been used to pass on the folklore and culture of a community, are struggling to survive as the recent insecurity has stopped the vital income that came from visitors, as Clair MacDougall reports from Bamako.

Are authentic accents important in film and TV?

At the ripe old age of 100, Dr Dolittle has been reincarnated in the form of Robert Downey Jr. In the latest screen version of the children’s literature classic, Dolittle, released in the US today, he is also Welsh… or at least Wales-adjacent.

What the earliest life on Earth looked like

When complex life emerged on the ancient Earth, it looked like nothing we would recognise today.At the south-eastern tip of Newfoundland, rugged cliffs rise imposingly above the sea.

Fake drugs: How bad is Africa’s counterfeit medicine problem?

The proliferation of fake medicines in Africa is a public health crisis that can no longer be ignored, according to a UK charity. There's a meeting of seven African countries, in Togo, this week, to combat the problem.

The business behind Michelin stars

Michelin is probably best known as the company that bestows stars on restaurants to signify their excellence. Gordon Ramsay, awarding the Michelin stars for UK & Ireland 2019, described the event last week as the "Oscars of the restaurant industry".

Acclaimed scientist gets brain surgery for alcohol addiction

Microbiologist Frank Plummer has been on the frontlines of the battle against of some of the world's most alarming epidemics, from HIV to Ebola - but his illustrious career masked a growing reliance on alcohol.

Human impact on nature 'dates back millions of years'

The impact of humans on nature has been far greater and longer-lasting than we could ever imagine, according to scientists. Early human ancestors living millions of years ago may have triggered extinctions, even before our species evolved, a study suggests.

From The Conversation

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence. Do you pick up any old notebook and pen when you need them, or do you have a thing for Moleskines or Montblancs?

How corporate diversity initiatives trap workers of colour

Amid the unsettling reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, another major epidemic has had global citizens reeling: racism.

Europe’s most misunderstood capital?

Golden flames danced their way around the bar along a narrow trail of whisky.

From The Conversation

Do certain smells make you feel uncomfortable, even nauseous? Is your nose so good that you can detect even the subtlest aromas in your favourite wine? Perhaps certain smells evoke negative or positive feelings? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might just be a “super smeller”.

Taliban talks: US peace envoy 'not happy about' release of prisoners

The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan has told the BBC he was "not happy about" a controversial deal to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in order to secure historic peace talks. However, speaking to the BBC's Lyse Doucet, Zalmay Khalilzad added that "you have to make hard decisions".

Is there life floating in the clouds of Venus?

It's an extraordinary possibility - the idea that living organisms are floating in the clouds of Planet Venus. But this is what astronomers are now considering after detecting a gas in the atmosphere they can't explain.

How her own illness led one woman to set up a global firm

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Jules Miller, founder of dietary supplements firm The Nue Co. Jules Miller says she became so ill that she had internal bleeding.

Google says its carbon footprint is now zero

Google says it has wiped out its entire carbon footprint by investing in "high-quality carbon offsets". It became carbon-neutral in 2007 and says it has now compensated for all of the carbon it has ever created.

Are women better ultra-endurance athletes than men?

Through thunderstorms, scorching heat and icy rain, Fiona Kolbinger cycled 2,485 miles (3,999km) in a little more than 10 days over some of Europe's most demanding terrain. In doing so, the German cyclist became the first woman to win the Transcontinental Race this week.

Research on postmen's testicle warmth wins Ig Nobel

Research measuring if there is a difference in temperature between the left and right testicles is one of the winners of this year's spoof Nobel prizes. Fertility experts Roger Mieusset and Bourras Bengoudifa measured the temperature of French postmen's testicles, both naked and clothed.

Humpback whales enter crocodile river 'in Australian first'

image copyrightNT GOVERNMENTimage captionThe humpback whale was found in Australia's East Alligator RiverAustralian officials say they will try to guide a humpback whale out of a crocodile-infested river in the Northern Territory after it got lost and ended up 30km (18.5 miles) inland.

Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf

The ejected section covers about 110 square km; satellite imagery shows it to have shattered into many small pieces. The loss is further evidence say scientists of the rapid climate changes taking place in Greenland.

Why do animals like to play?

Say you're walking your dog in the park, when he comes face to snout with another dog. An intricate dance begins, as if each movement was precisely choreographed. The dogs visually inspect each other, sniff each other, walk circles around each other. And then the fight begins.

Read more from Mosaic

Glasgow is notorious for the same ills that plague city dwellers everywhere. Is urban life itself harmful to humans – or can we rethink cities so that they can help us to thrive?If you live in Glasgow, you are more likely to die young.

A Swiss village obsessed with Scotland

The unmistakeable sound of bagpipes rose up and I joined the crowd to watch the pipers and drummers, decked out in kilts and sporrans, play the rousing standard Amazing Grace. Behind me was a whisky bar and a stall selling haggis.

Danish Rubjerg lighthouse moved inland on skates

For 120 years, the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse has been perched on a sand dune on the northern Danish coast, but coastal erosion from North Sea winds threatened to topple it into the sea.

National Wildlife Property Repository: The people who take care of dead animals

Just outside Denver a huge warehouse holds a strange assortment of objects - among them are stuffed tigers, elephant trunks and pangolin cowboy boots. This is the front line in the fight against a deadly global trade.

What would happen in an apocalyptic blackout?

As hospital patients in Venezuela found out earlier this year during a five-day nationwide blackout, power cuts can do more than just turn out the lights.There was nothing the doctors could do.

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The School of Athens: A detail hidden in a masterpiece

In art, it’s always the little things. Take The School of Athens by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, whose death 500 years ago in 1520 is currently being commemorated around the world by major exhibitions and displays from Milan to London, Berlin to Washington DC.

The world's fastest growing cities

Across Asia and Africa, cities are booming as dozens per hour flock to major urban centres. These are the fastest growing cities in the world.

Is surge pricing a fair way to manage demand?

In the 1950s, the New York subway faced a problem that will be familiar to users of public transport all over the world. At peak times, it was overcrowded; at other times, the trains were empty.

How dating app algorithms predict romantic desire

In one night, Matt Taylor finished Tinder. He ran a script on his computer that automatically swiped right on every profile that fell within his preferences. By the morning, he had swiped through 25,000 people’s profiles.

What the Nordic nations can teach us about liveable cities

Scandinavia is famous for its liveable cities, but a new university course in Nordic urban planning has raised questions about replicating the region’s approach elsewhere.Commuting by bike, train or even on ice skates.

The men who Leonardo da Vinci loved

We know a great deal about Leonardo da Vinci’s interests in botany and human anatomy; about his explorations of flight, of war machines and the flow of water; of his skills as a painter, and even his reputation for leaving projects unfinished.

Siberia: 18,000-year-old frozen 'dog' stumps scientists

Researchers are trying to determine whether an 18,000-year-old puppy found in Siberia is a dog or a wolf. The canine - which was two months old when it died - has been remarkably preserved in the permafrost of the Russian region, with its fur, nose and teeth all intact.

Elizabeth I revealed as secret scribe of historic manuscript

He turned detective to piece together a series of clues to establish that the queen was the author of the writings. The work is a translation of a book in which the Roman historian Tacitus wrote of the benefits of monarchical rule.

Rise of comic book piracy 'a real problem'

Jim Zub, who writes for Marvel and IDW, tweeted that 20 times as many people read comics illegally shared online, than pay for digital or physical works. Many other comic creators replied with their own experiences of pirated work.

Danes see Greenland security risk amid Arctic tensions

Denmark has for the first time put mineral-rich Greenland top of its national security agenda, ahead of terrorism and cybercrime.

In search of the real Christine Keeler

Christine Keeler was just 19 when she became embroiled in a sex scandal that would bring down the British government. Not only was she vilified at the time, but the affair stalked her throughout her life.

How a plant saved a Japanese island

Eiko Kawauchi walks with a cane in one hand and an axe in the other. At 79, she may not move as quickly as she used to, but once she’s taken a seat, she can still swing an axe with the vigour of a woman half her age.

Workplace bullying is more harmful than we realised

New findings suggest being bullied at work won’t just affect you emotionally, but could also have serious consequences for your health.In 2015, not long after Soma Ghosh, now 36, started a new job as a careers advisor, she began to dread every day at the office.

Why 2020 is the year to visit Cairo

Founded in 969AD, modern Cairo may seem young in comparison to the 4,500-year-old pyramids just across the Nile. But the city has seen its own share of history in its lifetime, including occupations by the Ottomans and British and revolutions that changed the course of the country.

Plug-in and sail: Meet the electric ferry pioneers

I'm aboard Ellen, an electric-powered ferry, sailing to the island of Ærø, in the west Baltic Sea. On the ship's bridge, Captain Thomas Larsen stands behind a panel with controls and electronic charts. "What I can see on these two screens is a power management system," he points out.

Liang Jun: China's first female tractor driver, and national icon, dies

In 1948, Liang Jun became the only female in China to take up the job, when she enrolled in a training class for tractor drivers. More than a decade later, an image of her proudly driving a tractor was featured on China's one-yuan banknote.

Cookies crumbling as Google phases them out

Google is to restrict the number of advertising cookies on websites accessed via its Chrome browser, in response to calls for greater privacy controls. Cookies are small text files that are used to track users across the web.

Exorcism: Vatican course opens doors to 250 priests

The Vatican has opened its doors for its annual exorcism course amid increasing demand among some of the world's Catholic communities.

Panama: Seven people found dead after suspected exorcism

The bodies of seven people have been found in a mass grave in an indigenous area of Panama controlled by a religious sect. The deceased include a pregnant woman and five of her children.

Chinese birth rate falls to lowest since PRC was formed

China's birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the formation of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago - despite the easing of the "one-child policy". The birth rate was 10.48 per thousand in 2019 - the lowest since 1949, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Can Microsoft's 'moonshot' carbon goal succeed?

Tech giant Microsoft has announced two bold ambitions: firstly, to become carbon negative by the year 2030 - meaning it will be removing more carbon from the air than it emits - and secondly, to have removed more carbon by 2050 than it has emitted, in total, in its entire history.

What happens if you have no word for 'dinosaur'

Just what is a fossil, anyway? Whether the question is posed to 12-year-olds studying science or adults going about their daily business, many would struggle to explain.

Russia’s mysterious ‘City of the Dead’

Just outside the remote Russian village of Dargavs lies a medieval necropolis fittingly called the “City of the Dead”.

How the Japanese are putting an end to extreme work weeks

Hideyuki can count on one hand the number of days he’s taken off work over the past year. The 33-year-old engineer, who works for a technology company in Tokyo, had only two days of holiday last year. It’s not because he couldn’t take more: he is in fact entitled to 20 days annual leave.

US presidents and the fuzzy legality of war

President Donald Trump's action and words directed at Iran have led his critics to accuse him of breaking international law. But he's not the first US president to endure this criticism in the theatre of war.

Why did Pope Benedict XVI resign?

Benedict XVI shocked the world in February when he became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. But attention shifted quickly to the succession, and the election of the new Pope, Francis. Amid the drama, one question was never fully answered - why did Benedict quit?

'I want an egg donor with my heritage'

When Natasha and her husband had difficulty conceiving a child, doctors gave her two pieces of bad news. The first was that she would need to find a donor egg. The second was that Afro-Caribbean eggs are rarely donated. But she hasn't given up hope. Natasha is 38 and is struggling to have a baby.

The people trying to save scents from extinction

Imagine an old leather-bound book just pulled out from a wooden shelf. Its yellowed pages release dust as they open. Even before you begin to read the book, the unique smell of it fills your nose.

The grim truth behind the Pied Piper

Every working morning for the last 26 years, Michael Boyer has slipped into a pair of neon-bright, multi-coloured tights, tied on his lipstick-red cape, grabbed his flute and marched out into the medieval streets of Hamelin, a town of 60,000 residents in Lower Saxony, Germany.

Investigation into US professor sparks debate over Chinese word

Professor Greg Patton at the University of Southern California (USC) was telling students in a communications lecture last month about filler, or pause words, such as 'err', 'umm' or 'you know' in English.

Woman who sawed off own hand found guilty of fraud

image captionProsecutors said the woman used a circular saw to cut off her hand (file photo)A Slovenian woman has been found guilty of deliberately sawing off her own hand as part of an insurance scam.

Utah condom campaign halted over racy packaging

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has halted the distribution of 100,000 condoms for free in the US state because of racy slogans on the packaging. It features phrases like "SL,UT", a word play on Utah and its capital, Salt Lake City, "Enjoy Your Mountin" and "Explore Utah's caves".

Sir David Attenborough makes stark warning about species extinction

Sir David Attenborough returns to our screens this weekend with a landmark new production. The tone of the programme is very different from his usual work.

The anti-vaccination movement that gripped Victorian England

The distrust of doctors and government that feeds the anti-vaccination movement might be seen as a modern phenomenon, but the roots of today's activism were put down well over a century ago.

The truth about eating eggs

As many countries urge populations to stay at home, many of us are paying more attention to our diets and how the food we eat can support our health. To help sort out the fact from the fiction, BBC Future is updating some of our most popular nutrition stories from our archive.

The violent attack that turned a man into a maths genius

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world

In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day.

How art and culture can help us rethink time

What do photographs of ancient organisms, blocks of ice in the centre of London and the blockbuster Black Panther have to do with the future of humanity? Ella Saltmarshe and Beatrice Pembroke explain.There is a line in Hamlet where the prince of Denmark declares, “The time is out of joint.

The global internet is disintegrating. What comes next?

In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, ending 30 years of war across Europe and bringing about the sovereignty of states. The rights of states to control and defend their own territory became the core foundation of our global political order, and it has remained unchallenged since.

Val d'Isere: The doctor who hid a Jewish girl - and the resort that wants to forget

A Jewish teenager avoided death in occupied France thanks to the kindness and bravery of a doctor in a small Alpine resort. But it's a story local people seem reluctant to remember, Rosie Whitehouse discovers.

How to travel by train - and ditch the plane

Many have chosen to reduce their carbon footprint by flying less, or cutting out planes completely. Flygskam - the Swedish word for "flight-shame" - has become commonplace.

Read more from The Conversation

Your pet clearly ages faster than you do, but new research is giving us a much clearer idea of just how old your dog really might be.If your dog has been alive and kicking its paws about for a decade, the widely held belief is it has aged as much as a human would have done over 70 years.

Trump announces 'peace deal' between Bahrain and Israel

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionIsrael's PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-KhalifaIsrael and the Gulf state of Bahrain have reached a landmark deal to fully normalise their relations, US President Donald Trump has announced.

The remarkable floating gardens of Bangladesh

Ripening squash, bitter gourd and okra loom over a mass of water hyacinth. Birds fly low over the surface of the water. Bijoy Kumar, a farmer in the low-lying Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, stands knee deep in water, tending to his plants.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020: Andromeda Galaxy image wins top prize

Nicolas Lefaudeux has been named overall winner of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020, for his image of the Andromeda Galaxy.

Elderly ball python lays eggs 'without male help'

But keepers at the Saint Louis Zoo in Missouri were surprised to discover that one of their ball pythons had produced seven eggs - despite having no contact with a male for over 15 years. While some reptiles are known to reproduce asexually, keepers are also surprised by the mother's age.

Rio Tinto chief Jean-Sebastien Jacques to quit over Aboriginal cave destruction

image copyrightScott Barbour/Getty Imagesimage captionJean-Sebastien Jacques has been Rio Tinto's chief executive since 2016The boss of Rio Tinto, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, will step down following criticism of the mining giant's destruction of sacred Aboriginal sites.

Shanghai New Year drone display was pre-recorded

The display of thousands of drones flying in formation over the city was widely covered by global media. But people who were at the event on New Year's Eve have said they saw nothing.

Night-flying drone squadrons baffle rural US West

Scores of unidentified drones, flying at night and often in groups, have baffled officials in the neighbouring states of Colorado and Nebraska. Witnesses have spotted the drones, which reportedly have six-foot (1.8m) wide wingspans, since mid-December.

Jakarta floods: Cloud seeding used to try to stop rain

Indonesian authorities are turning to the technique of cloud seeding to try to stop more rain falling in the flood-hit capital Jakarta. Planes have been sent to inject chemicals into clouds in an effort to alter precipitation.

Dopamine fast: 'The hunger and boredom were intense'

Dopamine fasting is a lifestyle trend popular in the world's tech centre Silicon Valley which involves cutting yourself off from almost all stimulation for 24 hours.

Snowden criticises Amazon for hiring former NSA boss

image copyrightGettyimage captionGeneral Keith Alexander has joined Amazon's board of directors.A former National Security Agency (NSA) chief who was in the post when the Edward Snowden scandal broke has joined Amazon's board as a director.

'They are invaders': Brazil indigenous group takes on mining giant

As Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to authorise mining in indigenous reserves, a conflict with 12,000 members of the Mura indigenous group over a big potash mine in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest may forewarn troubles that lie ahead, report Sue Branford and Thaïs Borges fr

Amazon: Brazilian official killed by arrow near indigenous tribe

image copyrightReutersimage captionRieli Franciscato spent most of his career trying to protect indigenous tribes in the AmazonA top Brazilian expert on isolated Amazon tribes has been killed by an arrow that struck him in the chest as he approached an indigenous site.

Hollywood’s new kind of love story

A quiet revolution took place in cinemas earlier this year with the release of Captain Marvel.

How accurate are our first impressions?

We appraise people in a snapshot – and those judgements are powerful but misleading. If you are looking for love, here are the most important things to bear in mind.

The dark side of believing in true love

Have you ever explained issues you have with your partner to your friends, only for them to think they are not worth worrying about? Or have you seen a friend start a new romance with someone you think is completely unsuitable but they seem to go from strength to strength?

How your friends change your habits - for better and worse

We often think that self-control comes from within, yet many of our actions depend just as much on our friends and family as ourselves.

The Italian region that ‘doesn’t exist’

Molise, a small region in south-eastern Italy, is famous for one thing: it doesn’t exist. Well, technically, it does exist. As one of Italy’s 20 official regions, Molise has a status equal to Tuscany, Lombardy or Piedmont. It holds regional elections and votes in national ones.

The TV show that transformed Hinduism

As a teenager growing up in late-1980s London, visits to New Delhi to see my extended family were like stepping into another world.

Why are saunas stressing out start-ups?

Saunas at tech and business events are causing a heated debate in the Nordics, where critics say the traditional Scandinavian habit is dampening efforts to improve diversity.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: IS leader's underwear 'stolen' for DNA test

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have said their spy stole Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's underwear which was then DNA tested and used to prove his identity before he was killed. Baghdadi killed himself in the raid.

Is it OK if someone wants to live for years on a bench?

In 2017, freelance writer Tom de Castella noticed an elderly woman and her son living on a bench in south London. He discovered they had already been there for two years… which was puzzling.

List of oldest continuously inhabited cities

This is a list of present-day cities by the time period over which they have been continuously inhabited. The age-claims listed are generally disputed. Differences in opinion can result from different definitions of "city" as well as "continuous habitation" and historical evidence is often disputed.

Fracking halted after government pulls support

The government has called a halt to shale gas extraction - or fracking - in England amid fears about earthquakes. The indefinite suspension comes after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors caused by the practice.

BBC Trending

When McDonald's closed all its restaurants in Iceland in 2009, one man decided to buy his last hamburger and fries. This week, it's 10 years since the seemingly indestructible meal was purchased, and it barely looks a day older.

The story of Tunnel 29

In 1961, Joachim Rudolph escaped from one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships. A few months later, he began tunnelling his way back in. Why? It all began with a knock at the door. Joachim, a 22-year-old engineering student, was in his room at university in West Berlin.

Jered Threatin

Hesperia, California, is a dusty city of fewer than 100,000 people in the Mojave Desert, about a two-hour drive northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Far from the glitz of Hollywood, it’s a city of squat houses with high chain-link fences surrounding dirt yards.

The world’s oldest-known recipes decoded

(This year, we published many inspiring and amazing stories that made us fall in love with the world – and this is one our favourites. Click here for the full list). The instructions for lamb stew read more like a list of ingredients than a bona fide recipe: “Meat is used. You prepare water.

Building wind farms 'could destroy Welsh landscape'

The Welsh landscape could be destroyed if more wind farms are built, campaigners have warned. They accept the need for renewable energy but are concerned about the impact on tourism in some areas.

Microsoft four-day work week 'boosts productivity'

Microsoft Japan said sales had been boosted by nearly 40% during an experiment in which staff worked a four-day week on full pay. Offices were closed on every Friday of August 2019 and full-time staff were given "special leave", which was paid.

The woman who reshaped maths

She fled the Nazis, only to face a new challenge: being accepted in academia.When 46-year-old Hilda Geiringer arrived in New York with her daughter Magda, she must have felt relieved. The year was 1939. And Geiringer, as well as a talented mathematician, was a Jewish woman from Vienna.

Fall of Berlin Wall: How 1989 reshaped the modern world

World events often move fast, but it is hard to match the pace and power of change in 1989. It culminated in one of the most famous scenes in recent history - the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Cervical screening: DIY alternative to smear test 'promising'

The new method could be used as an alternative to the smear test and would not require a visit to the doctor. Scientists at Queen Mary University of London asked 600 women to provide self-collected samples for screening.

Voyagers shed light on Solar System's structure

Data sent back by the two Voyager spacecraft have shed new light on the structure of the Solar System. Forty-two years after they were launched, the spacecraft are still going strong and exploring the outer reaches of our cosmic neighbourhood.

Constantly late with work? Blame the planning fallacy

With offices closed in nations around the world, many of us are grappling with how to stay productive and on task as we work from home. To help provide insight on how to manage this, BBC Worklife is updating some of our most popular productivity stories from our archive.

Where is Malaysia's national dish?

It’s clear why nasi lemak is Malaysia’s (unofficial) national dish. Ask any Malaysian why they love nasi lemak (“rich rice”), and you’ll instantly get a variety of responses.

How airships could return to our crowded skies

Zeppelins fill the skies of Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy of fantasy novels, His Dark Materials. The giant airships of his parallel universe carry the mail, transport soldiers into battle and explorers to the Arctic.

How your parents may have shaped the way you act at work

Your parents have affected many things about your development – potentially including how you relate to colleagues in office.Myriad factors affect how you relate to colleagues. There are the personalities in the office, the kind of boss you have and the company culture more broadly.

Some people 'genetically wired' to avoid some vegetables

Hate eating certain vegetables? It could be down to your genes, say US scientists who have done some new research. Inheriting two copies of the unpleasant taste gene provides a "ruin-your-day level of bitterness" to foods like broccoli and sprouts, they say.

Is China gaining an edge in artificial intelligence?

As developments in AI accelerate, some in the US fear that the ability of China's powerful central government to marshal data and pour resources into the field will push it ahead.

Electric car future may depend on deep sea mining

The future of electric cars may depend on mining critically important metals on the ocean floor. That's the view of the engineer leading a major European investigation into new sources of key elements.

A refugee, a baby and the story that followed their chance meeting

Francis Amos has wide eyes, round cheeks and a bright smile that reveals a solitary front tooth. He is eight months old and is better at making friends than his dad. On a warm Saturday afternoon, my son and I swam in a hotel pool in Batam, Indonesia.

Why Google Stadia is a 'leap forward' for gaming, according to its boss

We don't buy DVDs any more and CDs are probably something your parents have on a shelf somewhere. It's also easier to buy video games online than physical copies now, through consoles or PC services like Steam.

Pointless work meetings 'really a form of therapy'

Meetings at work should be seen as a form of "therapy" rather than about decision-making, say researchers. Academics from the University of Malmo in Sweden say meetings provide an outlet for people at work to show off their status or to express frustration.

How George Michael transformed pop

When George Michael released his second solo album Listen without Prejudice Vol 1 in September 1990, he wasn’t asking fans to embrace a captivating new persona as equivalent pop giants like Madonna and David Bowie did during their imperial phases.

Wildlife in 'catastrophic decline' due to human destruction, scientists warn

Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years, according to a major report by the conservation group WWF. The report says this "catastrophic decline" shows no sign of slowing.

Autistic teenager in Utah shot by police after mother calls for help

Linden Cameron, who has Asperger's, a form of autism, is now in a serious condition in hospital, his mother said. Golda Barton said she had believed police attending on Friday night would use "the most minimal force possible".

What happened to Myanmar's ghosts?

Captain Aung Khant, of the Burmese army, leaned back in his pink plastic chair. He was a handsome man in his 40s with a relaxed military bearing. We had just met, and I was immediately intrigued by him. “There are some people like Whoopi Goldberg who are close to ghosts,” he said.

Manus Island refugee author Behrouz Boochani arrives in New Zealand

An asylum seeker who wrote a book via Whatsapp from inside a detention centre has finally left the island where he was held for six years by Australia. Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurd, arrived in New Zealand on Thursday, vowing never to return to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where he was detained.

Father and daughter ballet video breaks stereotypes, says teacher

The dance teacher behind a viral video of dads doing ballet with their daughters says she loves being able to challenge people's stereotypes of fathers. Erin Lee, founder of Echappe Dance and Arts school in Philadelphia, posted the video to social media on Sunday.

The pop star who walked across America

US singer Mike Posner is best known for the song I Took A Pill In Ibiza, which spent four weeks at number one in 2016. But after losing his father to cancer two years ago, the star gave up his old habits, disavowing drink and drugs, and embarking on a life-changing journey.

UK government and military accused of war crimes cover-up

The UK government and armed forces have been accused of covering up the killing of civilians by British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. An investigation by BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times has spoken to 11 British detectives who said they found credible evidence of war crimes.

Ballymena woman who lived with partner's corpse jailed

Angela Irwin, whose address was given as Holywell Hospital in Antrim, admitted preventing the lawful burial of a corpse. The offences took place between 13 and 22 November 2018.

How vaginas are finally losing their stigma

In 2017, Florence Schechter discovered that Iceland had a penis museum, but that nowhere in the world could its female equivalent be found. And so, the science communicator decided to do something about it. This month, in London, the Vagina Museum will be born.

Uber's paradox: Gig work app traps and frees its drivers

On 24 November, after a nervous wait, Uber will learn whether its licence to operate in London is to be renewed. The impending decision has revived debate over whether the data-driven basis for its business model and the "gig economy" jobs it creates are fair.

Will fibre broadband be obsolete by 2030 - and what about 5G?

Labour has promised to give every home and business in the UK free full-fibre broadband by 2030 if it wins the general election. The plan would see millions more properties given access to a full-fibre connection, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "a crackpot scheme".

Tech Tent: Talking to Mr Raspberry Pi

It was a scheme with limited ambitions - getting more young people with coding skills to apply for a university course. But seven years after its launch, Raspberry Pi has become one of the most successful computers in history.

Election 2019: What big tech isn't telling us about ads

All over the country, voters, reporters and other observers have been going through something of an awakening about the extent that political parties are using social media to target us. In a post-Cambridge Analytica-scandal world there's suspicion about how we might be being manipulated.

A desk to work at 'key for university aspiration'

Having a desk to work at, good grades and high expectations from parents, as well being happy at school, are key factors in encouraging children to go on to university, a study suggests.

Should workers be allowed to nap at work?

The US government says sleeping in the office is a no-no. But experts say it's time they reconsider, writes Jonathan Berr. The US government has decided to get tough on naps.

World Toilet Day: The lives of Indian sanitation workers

Sudharak Olwe has been documenting the lives of Mumbai's sanitation workers for about two decades. The work, often in appalling conditions, is reserved for Scheduled Castes, officially designated groups of historically disadvantaged communities that live on the fringes of society.

How not to get stuck in the Arctic sea ice

A Russian ship is playing a difficult game in the high Arctic: trying to stay in the thickening winter sea ice without getting stuck.Blocks of ice are building up around the hull of the Akademik Fedorov, a Russian supply vessel on an expedition to the high Arctic.

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Trump deliberately played down virus, Woodward book says

US President Donald Trump knew Covid-19 was deadlier than the flu before it hit the country but wanted to play down the crisis, according to a new book.

Cancer immunotherapy drug 'less toxic and prolongs life'

An immunotherapy drug that could save some cancer patients from the ordeal of extreme chemotherapy may also help them live longer, researchers say. In a trial, pembrolizumab kept head and neck cancers at bay for an average of two years - five times longer than under chemotherapy.

How The Crown has changed the world’s view of the Royals

17th November 2019 The British monarchy may not have made any public statement on the Netflix saga, but, as a third series launches, it has affected how they are perceived, writes Sarah Hughes.

Why the world is running out of sand

A South African entrepreneur shot dead in September. Two Indian villagers killed in a gun battle in August. A Mexican environmental activist murdered in June. Though separated by thousands of miles, these killings share an unlikely cause.

Why office noise bothers some people more than others

In 2016, the first scientists settled themselves in the Francis Crick Institute in London, a biomedical research facility that cost about £650m ($837m) to build.

Why do billions of people still not have glasses?

Making spacecraft is not a job in which you can afford to be slapdash. At Lockheed Martin, for example, it used to take a technician two painstaking days to measure 309 locations for certain fasteners on a particular curved panel.

Are we living in a Blade Runner world?

The city stretches as far as the eye can see; the lights in the packed-together buildings shine – unlike the stars which are invisible in the smog-filled night sky... Flames belch from gigantic industrial towers.

Helen McCourt: Killer Ian Simms set for parole

Helen McCourt disappeared in February 1988 at the age of 22, on her way home from work in Merseyside. Simms was jailed for life in 1989 and told he would have to serve at least 16 years.

How to repopulate rural Spain? Sell its villages

Rural depopulation has hit the Spanish region of Galicia hard. Now some of its thousands of abandoned villages are being marketed for sale.Rosy Costoya is a vet, an entrepreneur and, she says, a little bit meiga.

Australia’s subterranean oasis

Nothing about the Australian town of Coober Pedy is for the faint of heart – it’s blisteringly hot, located in the country’s remote Outback interior and is usually covered in a thin veil of red dust from local opal mines.

Egypt animal mummies showcased at Saqqara near Cairo

Archaeologists discovered the trove last year near the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, south of the capital. They uncovered hundreds of artefacts, including masks, statues and mummified cats, crocodiles, cobras and birds.

Dinosaurs: Restoring Mongolia's fossil heritage

Eighty million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, Mongolia's Gobi Desert was a dinosaur's paradise of vast valleys, freshwater lakes and a humid climate.

How robots are coming for your vote

From music playlists to marriage prospects, we’ve grown comfortable with algorithms making the decision for us. So why should picking your candidate be any different?You’re standing in the polling booth, crisp ballot paper in hand, a dozen or more names printed across it.

How we could sleep better – in less time

We can now amplify the restorative benefits of sleep. Could this help us cope with later nights and early mornings?We often wear our sleeplessness as a badge of pride – a measure of our impossibly hectic schedules.

Is it better to drink cow’s milk or a dairy-free alternative?

Milk plays a crucial role in the life of all mammals, right from birth. But some say that drinking another mammal’s milk is unnecessary, unnatural, even unhealthy.As the only animal to drink the milk of another species, humans have an unusual relationship with the white stuff.

What we can all learn from this deathbed photo

Why would a picture of a dying grandfather having a final drink resonate with so many strangers around the world? All Norbert Schemm, 87, of Appleton, Wisconsin, wanted in his final moments was his loved ones beside him while he sipped a beer.

When the best way to take notes is by hand

Most students take a laptop with them to lectures. But are there times when they might be better off taking a pad and pen?These days many people can type faster than they can write by hand, particularly if they’ve grown up using laptops.

The hidden beat makers behind music’s big hits

Music producers who make beats used to struggle to make a living. Now online stores and non-exclusive licenses are allowing them to flourish.Wasim Khamlichi was always a computer geek. When he got his first computer at the age of 10, he could barely wait to get it home and tear it apart.

Why we need to talk about cheating

Mike Pence refuses to dine alone with women other than his wife. For the US vice president it is a mark of respect for his wife, Karen, and a rule guided by his strong religious convictions.

Tim Berners-Lee: 'Stop web's downward plunge to dysfunctional future'

Global action is required to tackle the web's "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future", its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has told the BBC.He made the comments in an exclusive interview to mark 30 years since he submitted his proposal for the web.

The science behind why some of us are shy

This article is adapted from Why am I shy?, an episode of CrowdScience presented by Datshiane Navanayagam and produced by Cathy Edwards. To listen to more episodes of CrowdScience from the BBC World Service, please click here. 

The bias that can cause catastrophe

The outcome bias erodes your sense of risk and makes you blind to error, explaining everything from fatal plane crashes to the Columbia crash and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Imagine a pilot is taking a familiar flight along a known route, during which the weather takes a turn for the worst.

Why do humans hate poo so much?

There’s no denying it, we can’t stand excrement. But why? To find out, we need to see which animals share our disgust, and which ones do the exact opposite.Humans, as a rule, hate poo.

Why humans and animals rely on social touch

When you run your hands through your lover’s hair, you’re probably not thinking about your place in the social hierarchy.

How selling citizenship is now big business

You can be born into it, you can earn it, and you can lose it. Increasingly, you can also invest your way into it. The "it" is citizenship of a particular country, and it is a more fluid concept than ever before.

Stalker 'found Japanese singer through reflection in her eyes'

The man said he had identified a train station reflected in the singer's eyes in a selfie she posted online. The 26-year-old then waited at the station until he saw his victim and followed her to her home, police said.

Why there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ brain

The clock in the hospital meeting room had stopped. Silent, as if out of courtesy for its audience – a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) session for people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – one less distraction for those in attendance.

The mysterious ancient figure challenging China’s history

A grimacing figure wearing an elaborate feathered headdress is riding on the back of a frightening monster. He must be powerful, perhaps even supernatural, because he effortlessly subdues this sharp-clawed beast with bulging eyes.

The untapped potential of the ‘longevity economy’

With increased lifespans, elders are living thousands of days longer. That’s very good news for the global economy.Youth may be poised to inherit the future, but now ageing populations are defining it.

Dunbar's number: Why we can only maintain 150 relationships

If you’ve ever been romantically rejected by someone who just wanted to be friends, you may have delivered a version of this line: “I’ve got enough friends already.” Your implication, of course, being that people only have enough emotional bandwidth for a certain number of buddies.

Jantelagen: Why Swedes won’t talk about wealth

As we head into 2020, we're running the best, most insightful and most essential Worklife stories from 2019. Read all of the year's biggest hits here. In Stockholm’s richest inner-city neighbourhood, Östermalm, private yachts and floating cocktail bars hug the marina.

Climate change: Big lifestyle changes are the only answer

The UK government must tell the public small, easy changes will not be enough to tackle climate change, warn experts. Researchers from Imperial College London say we must eat less meat and dairy, swap cars for bikes, take fewer flights, and ditch gas boilers at home.

What Japan can teach us about cleanliness

(This year, we published many inspiring and amazing stories that made us fall in love with the world – and this is one our favourites. Click here for the full list). The students sit with their satchels on their desks, eager to get home after another long day of seven 50-minute classes.

Robot hand solves Rubik’s cube, but not the grand challenge

OpenAI’s system used a computer simulation to teach the robot hand to solve the cube, running through routines that would take a single human some 10,000 years to complete.

Egypt archaeologists find 20 ancient coffins near Luxor

Archaeologists have found more than 20 ancient wooden coffins near the Egyptian city of Luxor, the country's antiquities ministry says. The coffins, whose brightly-coloured decorations are still visible, were uncovered at the Theban necropolis of Asasif, on the River Nile's west bank.

Leonardo da Vinci feud: The 'earlier' Mona Lisa mystery

A painting of the Mona Lisa hangs above a fireplace in a London flat in the 1960s. Is this picture not only by Leonardo da Vinci, but also an earlier version of the world famous portrait that hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris?

What happens when a city bans cars from its streets?

Picture children playing games of football on major urban thoroughfares. Tourists stood in the middle of the street nonchalantly taking photos. Restaurants spilling out onto small squares – and not a car, moped or bus in sight.

Japan’s most remote onsen

Perched beside the Kurobe River deep in the Japanese Alps, the small, milky-blue hot spring I was about to dip my toes into was a rather simple affair. A handful of yellow buckets served as washing stations, and clothes were balanced on nearby rocks.

Moria migrants: Fire destroys Greece's camp on Lesbos

Fire has destroyed Greece's largest migrant camp, the overcrowded Moria facility on the island of Lesbos.About 25 firefighters with 10 engines battled the flames as migrants were evacuated. Some suffered injuries from smoke exposure.

India in shock over 86-year-old grandmother's rape

image captionThe 86-year-old grandmother was raped in DelhiTens of thousands of rapes are reported in India every year, but some stand out for being deeply disturbing.

California wildfires: Smoke hampers rescuers as blazes rage

Rescuers in California are struggling to reach dozens of people trapped by a huge fire, as crews continue to battle blazes across the state. Smoke from the Creek Fire, near the city of Fresno, prevented helicopters from landing near a resort overnight where a group of hikers are sheltering.

The wind turbines standing up to the world’s worst storms

Mariel Robedizo Engranes was 15 when Typhoon Haiyan hit. She was living in her hometown of Dolores, Eastern Samar, in eastern Philippines. The country regularly experiences typhoons but Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, was extraordinary.

How a daring nun saved 83 Jewish children

Two Jewish girls from Alsace found themselves in great danger when Germany invaded France 80 years ago. But while their parents and younger sister were caught and murdered, they survived - with dozens of other Jewish children - thanks to the bravery of a nun in a convent near Toulouse.

Sudan tomb diver reveals pharaoh's secrets

An underwater archaeologist has told the BBC of the extraordinary lengths he went to to access a pharaoh's tomb underneath a pyramid.

The Qatari princess, Angelina Jolie and the battle of the pyramids

Reports that Hollywood star Angeline Jolie is planning to make a movie about Sudan's history have sparked a row with Egypt, and BBC Africa's Mohanad Hashim says it is about much more than who has the biggest pyramids.

Coronavirus: Russian vaccine shows signs of immune response

image copyrightReutersimage captionA vaccine created in Russia has shown signs of an immune response, according to a reportRussian scientists have published the first report on their coronavirus vaccine, saying early tests showed signs of an immune response.

Vera Rubin: Super telescope's giant camera spies broccoli

How do you test the new sensor for the world's largest digital camera? You take a picture of broccoli, of course. This might sound bizarre but the intricate shapes found in the Romanesco version of this plant are a good check that you're capturing lots of detail.

Missing Yorkshire Dales walker turns up at press conference

image copyrightTan Hill Inn image captionHarry Harvey, an experienced walker, has now been reunited with family and friendsAn 80-year-old hiker who went missing for three days in the Yorkshire Dales has spoken at a press conference arranged in a bid to track him down.

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Can artificial intelligence create a decent dinner?

It is the night before the weekly shop. I look in the fridge and consider my three tomatoes, the sweet potato and the asparagus. Normally, I’d take this as my cue to nip to the fish and chip shop.

Amazon's murky world of one-star reviews

Amazon's marketplace is being abused by independent sellers using one-star reviews to harm rivals, the BBC has been told.Newsnight spoke to a number of those affected who believe their sales have suffered as a consequence.

Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist?

Some of the world's top business people and politicians - plus a smattering of celebrities - will gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week. US President Donald Trump, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi are among the guests.

The 'brushing' scam that's behind mystery parcels

If you've ever received a parcel from a shopping platform that you didn't order, and nobody you know seems to have bought it for you, you might have been caught up in a "brushing" scam.

Michael Cohen's Trump book: The ex-lawyer's key claims

Donald Trump behaves like a mobster and has "a low opinion of all black people", according to the US president's former lawyer Michael Cohen. The allegations come from Cohen's new book, Disloyal: A Memoir, written during his jail term for Trump campaign finance violations, among other crimes.

The Search for the World’s Simplest Animal

For centuries, scientists have obsessed over a primordial blob that can shape-shift, clone itself, and live indefinitely.

Get ready for the 'holy grail' of computer graphics

Ray tracing has always been the "holy grail" of computer graphics, says Jason Ronald, head of program management for the gaming console Xbox.

Cacio e pepe: Italy's beloved three-ingredient pasta dish

Cacio e pepe is a dish of only three ingredients, two of which are evident at first glance to anyone familiar with Roman dialect. Cacio is Romanesco for sheep’s milk cheese.

The surprising perks of isolated work

For millions of people worldwide, widespread lockdown has cast isolation as a negative – a loss of group engagement and communal hubbub.

Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way

Google, Microsoft, Twitter. Hitachi, Apple, Amazon. Chevron, Salesforce, Spotify. From the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, these are all global companies that have, in the last few days, rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19.

German boy, 11, calls police over housework

Police say the boy from Aachen, who has not been identified, spoke to an officer via the 110 number. They say he complained: "I have to work all day long. I haven't any free time."

Man blows up part of house while chasing fly

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe man had become irritated by a flyA man has blown up part of his house in France while trying to swat a fly. The man, who is in his 80s, was about to tuck into his dinner when he became irritated by a fly buzzing around him.

How to avoid the ‘competency trap’

If it weren’t for a monumental management failure, your computer, tablet or smartphone may well have carried Xerox’s logo. In the early 1970s, the company’s photocopiers were ubiquitous throughout the world’s offices.

Chang'e-4: Can anyone 'own' the Moon?

Companies are looking at mining the surface of the Moon for precious materials. So what rules are there on humans exploiting and claiming ownership? It's almost 50 years since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

The people solving mysteries during lockdown

For almost half a century, Benedictine monks in Herefordshire dutifully logged the readings of a rain gauge on the grounds of Belmont Abbey, recording the quantity of rain that had fallen each month without fail.

What the Dutch can teach the world about remote work

If you’ve been balancing your laptop on a precarious stack of cookbooks, or lamented VPN speed from your kitchen table, you’re not alone. Ever since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19, companies have been scrambling to enable colleagues to work from home.

Jiri Menzel: Oscar winning Czech director dies at 82

image copyrightEPAimage captionJiri Menzel won the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 1968Oscar-winning Czech director Jiri Menzel has died aged 82 after battling serious health issues, his wife says.

Which cooking oil is the healthiest?

Cooking oils are a kitchen staple. But there’s a lot of conflicting information regarding how healthy each of them are.

First measurements of 'interstellar comet'

Astronomers are gathering measurements on a presumed interstellar comet, providing clues about its chemical composition. The object, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is only the second interstellar object ever identified, after 'Oumuamua, which was spotted in 2017.

Is de verlenging van onze kerncentrales te rechtvaardigen? Tien vragen en antwoorden

Na bijna 20 jaar verhitte politieke discussies lijkt het erop dat de komende federale regering nu eindelijk de knoop zal doorhakken: worden onze twee recentste kernreactoren verlengd of niet? Het uitgelezen moment om de zin of onzin van kernenergie eens vanuit een breder, internationaal perspectief

Hungary: Protesters rally against university 'takeover' in Budapest

image copyrightEPAimage captionThousands joined the human chain in Budapest on SundayThousands of people have formed a chain in the streets of the Hungarian capital Budapest in protest at what they say is a takeover of a top arts university by the country's nationalist government.

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Romanian tourists swamp village loved by Prince Charles

image copyrightAFPimage captionThe village of Viscri has seen a steep increase in visitors in recent yearsOnly 450 people live in the remote village of Viscri in central Romania, but in recent months it has become overrun by tourists and their cars.

Son sells 28 years of birthday whisky to buy first home

A man whose father gave him 18-year-old whisky every year for his birthday is selling the collection to buy a house.Matthew Robson, from Taunton, was born in 1992 and over the course of his life his father Pete has spent about £5,000 on 28 bottles of Macallan single malt.

Mystery seeds: Amazon bans foreign plant sales in US

Amazon says it has banned foreign sales of seeds in the US after thousands of Americans received unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail, most from China. The online retail giant told the BBC that it will now only allow the sale of seeds by sellers based in the US.

France horse mutilations: Police hunt two suspects in Losne

image copyrightReutersimage captionMore than 30 horses have been killed or mutilated around France in recent monthsPolice in France have launched a manhunt for two suspects after the latest in a spate of horse mutilations.

Birmingham stabbings: Police declare 'major incident'

West Midlands Police said they were called to reports of a stabbing at around 00:30 BST on Sunday. Officers added a number of other stabbings were reported in the area at around the same time.

Alain Cocq: Facebook blocks incurably ill man from livestreaming death

image copyrightReutersimage captionAlain Cocq, 57, suffers from a rare illness which causes the walls of his arteries to stick togetherFacebook says it will block a Frenchman suffering from an incurable condition from livestreaming his own death.

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years

Fans have flocked to a church in Germany to hear a chord change in a musical composition that lasts for 639 years.It is the first change in the piece, As Slow As Possible, in seven years.The work is by the avant-garde American composer, John Cage.

Trump panned over reports he called US war dead 'losers'

US President Donald Trump is facing a backlash over reports he mocked American soldiers killed in action as "losers" and "suckers". The alleged remarks were first reported in the Atlantic magazine, and some details were corroborated by the Associated Press and Fox News.

Why can’t some people remember their dreams?

Many of us struggle to remember the details of our dreams. The reasons lie in the complicated cycles of our sleep.I am standing outside my childhood primary school, near the front gates and the teachers’ car park. It is a bright sunny day and I am surrounded by my classmates.

Could synthetic fish be a better catch of the day?

Overfishing has depleted numbers of wild fish, and fish farms meet much of the growing demand. Could we one day be eating "fish" grown from cells in a factory, as a number of start-ups are planning?

Tales from the far-flung Faroes

When it comes to remote, the Faroe Islands has it all. Tucked between Norway and Iceland, in the dark waters of the North Atlantic, the 18 tiny islands are home to a population of just over 50,000.

The Night Watch: Will Gompertz reviews the Rijksmuseum's high tech photo ★★★★★

At 9am on Tuesday the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam posted an image of Rembrandt's The Night Watch (1642) on its website. Nothing particularly unusual about that, you might think. After all, the museum frequently uploads pictures of its masterpieces from Dutch Golden Age.

Is this the secret of smart leadership?

It’s more than two millennia since the philosopher Socrates argued that humility is the greatest of all virtues. His timeless observation was that the wisest people are the first to admit how little they really know.

A mysterious US desert civilisation

In the heart of the San Juan Basin, in the arid north-western corner of New Mexico, stands one of the greatest ancient treasures in the US: the remarkably preserved remains of a vast building complex believed to have been constructed between 850 and 1250AD that may have housed as many as 5,000 peopl

Is democracy having a mid-life crisis?

Democracy isn't dying, but it is having a very unpredictable mid-life crisis.

Dissatisfaction with democracy 'at record high'

Dissatisfaction with democracy within developed countries is at its highest level in almost 25 years, according to University of Cambridge researchers. Academics have analysed what they say is the biggest global dataset on attitudes towards democracy, based on four million people in 3,500 surveys.

Dark is divine: What colour are Indian gods and goddesses?

In India where light skin is coveted, a new campaign is re-imagining popular Hindu gods and goddesses with a darker skin, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi. The desire for fairer skin is not new in India and for centuries, fair complexion has been considered superior.

Fair and Lovely: A skin-lightening cream rebrands, but prejudice remains

Consumer giant Unilever says it will rebrand its bestselling skin lightening cream Fair and Lovely and drop the word "fair" from its name. While the news has been welcomed, campaigners say the move doesn't go far enough - and in India demand for such products shows no sign of waning.

How Richard Feynman went from stirring jelly to a Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize-winning and eccentric physicist Richard Feynman has been called a buffoon and a magician, but is lauded as a man who could make science accessible and interesting for all. When I was a child I desperately wanted to be a scientist, but then it all went wrong.

Secrets of male elephant society revealed in the wild

Older male elephants have an important role to play in the survival of the species by passing on their skills and knowledge to younger males, a study of African elephants suggests. Matriarchs lead groups of daughters and their calves, while males grow up and leave the herd.

Gulf Livestock 1: Japan finds second survivor from capsized ship

The Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying 6,000 cows and 43 crew members when it went missing on Wednesday after being caught up in Typhoon Maysak. Japanese officials said a 30-year-old Philippine national became the ship's second known survivor when he was found drifting on a life raft on Friday.

Iran's enriched uranium stockpile '10 times limit'

Iran now has more than 10 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under an international agreement, the UN's nuclear watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran's enriched uranium stockpile had reached 2,105kg (4,640lb).

The 'curse' of the mother-in-law?

There are "shrewish" wives and "henpecked" husbands. But as caricatures go, none can possibly beat the domineering and duplicitous mother-in-law.

Epic 7,500-mile cuckoo migration wows scientists

One of the longest migrations recorded by any land bird is about to be completed. Using a satellite tag, scientists have monitored a cuckoo that has just flown more than 7,500 miles (12,000km) from southern Africa to its breeding ground in Mongolia.

Eliud Kipchoge: The man, the methods & controversies behind 'moon-landing moment'

The greatest male distance runner of all time would soon be launching his second attempt at making history - at becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. All his preparations had gone to plan.

New engine tech that could get us to Mars faster

If we're ever to make regular journeys from Earth to Mars and other far-off destinations, we might need new kinds of engines. Engineers are exploring revolutionary new technologies that could help us traverse the Solar System in much less time.

The maths problem that could bring the world to a halt

It’s not easy to accurately predict what humans want and when they will want it. We’re demanding creatures, expecting the world to deliver speedy solutions to our increasingly complex and diverse modern-day problems.

H2Go Power seeks to power drones with a 'happy gas'

When you think about hydrogen and flight, the image that comes to mind for most is the Hindenburg airship in flames. But in a lab deep in the basement of Imperial College in London, a young team has built what it believes is the future of air travel.

Boy who predicted 2020 world reveals what he got right

In August 1991, an 11-year-old Canadian penned a brief note to his future self. Mitch Brogan got the idea from his late grandfather Charles - to answer a list of 11 predictions and seal them up in an envelope until 1 January, 2020.

Voyeur sentenced after woman's five-year campaign

Christopher Killick, 40, recorded a 62-second clip of Emily Hunt in an east London hotel in 2015. Prosecutors told Ms Hunt what he did was not illegal, until the law was clarified by the Court of Appeal.

Met Office forecasters set for 'billion pound' supercomputer

Ever wondered why your village was suddenly flooded by a thunderstorm the weather forecasters hadn't mentioned? Or why they failed to warn you about the dense fog shrouding your home in the morning?

Taylor Swift literally plays The Man in new video

Taylor Swift plays a man-spreading, cigar smoking, strip-club-going male business executive in the new video for her track, The Man. The song, taken from her seventh studio album Lover, is the first new music released since her departure from Big Machine Records.

Google launches hieroglyphics translator powered by AI

Google has launched a hieroglyphics translator that uses machine learning to decode ancient Egyptian language. The feature has been added to its Arts & Culture app. It also allows users to translate their own words and emojis into shareable hieroglyphs.

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The strategy that turns daydreams into reality

25th August 2020 Psychologists have found a single habit that sabotages most goals – and the way to correct it.

The challenges of positive parenting

Having a good relationship with our children is important. Research on attachment, for example, shows that the way parents connect to their children has wide-ranging consequences for their mental health, self-control and ability to create meaningful relationships with others.

Working from home: 'I'm a bit brainier than he thought I was'

What is it you do again? Before the coronavirus lockdown a lot of us didn't really know what our partner did at work. Our eyes have been opened. "I was just mum," says Samar Small, looking back to life before lockdown. Her family didn't give a second thought to what she did day to day.

The people who imagine disasters

It was a gigantic explosion. The blast tore through buildings and machinery, lighting up a huge refinery complex in Denver, Colorado. Gasoline production at the facility shut down for weeks as a result, leading to fuel reserves in Colorado quickly being used up.

Evidence found of epic prehistoric Pacific voyages

New evidence has been found for epic prehistoric voyages between the Americas and eastern Polynesia. DNA analysis suggests there was mixing between Native Americans and Polynesians around AD 1200.

When sexual abuse was called seduction: France confronts its past

An 83-year-old French writer once feted by the Paris intellectual set now finds himself ostracised because of his writings about sex with teenage boys and girls. From the 1960s onwards, Gabriel Matzneff made no secret of his passion for seducing adolescents.

Alexei Navalny: Two hours that saved Russian opposition leader's life

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma in a Berlin hospital, and Germany has revealed he was poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent.He was taken ill on board a return flight from Siberia to Moscow and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk.

Pascha: One of Europe's biggest brothels goes bust

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionPascha is a major landmark in CologneOne of Europe's largest brothels has filed for bankruptcy, after being hit by Germany's anti-coronavirus measures.The 10-floor Pascha is a major landmark in the city of Cologne.

Ugandan gorillas in Bwindi park have 'baby boom'

image copyrightUganda Wildlife Authorityimage captionRuterana is the latest gorilla in Bwindi to give birthFive baby gorillas have been born in six weeks in Bwindi National Park, leading the Ugandan Wildlife Service (UWS) to declare a baby boom.

NSA surveillance exposed by Snowden ruled unlawful

image copyrightGettyimage captionEdward Snowden wants to go back to the US but faces espionage charges if he returnsA National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program has been ruled unlawful, seven years after it was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

EU-US Privacy Shield for data struck down by court

The EU-US Privacy Shield let companies sign up to higher privacy standards, before transferring data to the US. But a privacy advocate challenged the agreement, arguing that US national security laws did not protect EU citizens from government snooping.

Slovak tycoon Kocner cleared of murder of journalist and fiancée

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova sparked protests in SlovakiaA court has found businessman Marian Kocner not guilty of ordering the killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, in an attack that rocked Slovakia.

'Serious cyber-attack' on Austria's foreign ministry

Austria's foreign ministry has been targeted by a cyber-attack that is suspected to have been conducted by another country. The ministry said the seriousness of the attack suggested it might have been carried out by a "state actor".

Brain 'shrinks' if children neglected

An early life full of neglect, deprivation and adversity leads to people growing up with smaller brains, a study suggests. The researchers at King's College London were following adopted children who spent time in "hellhole" Romanian orphanages.

Russia's Putin seeks to stimulate birth rate

President Vladimir Putin has announced a series of plans to increase the number of children being born in Russia from an average birth rate of under 1.5 per woman to 1.7 within four years. Last year he promised tax breaks for bigger families.

The accidental Singer sewing machine revolution

Gillette adverts stand against toxic masculinity. Budweiser makes specially-decorated cups to encourage non-binary and gender-fluid people to feel pride in their identity.

New solar power source and storage developed

It couples thin, flexible, lighter solar sheets with energy storage to power buildings or charge vehicles off-grid. The company behind it, Solivus, plans to cover the roofs of large industrial buildings with the solar fabric.

How apps are transforming the way we travel

When does your plane journey begin? When you check in? Once you’ve passed security? After you’ve settled in to your seat and the aircraft doors have closed? For today’s travellers, “expectations are now set by their non-travel experiences.

Breathtaking new map of the X-ray Universe

Behold the hot, energetic Universe. The image records a lot of the violent action in the cosmos - instances where matter is being accelerated, heated and shredded.

Gravitational waves: Numbers don't do them justice

The veteran gravitational wave hunter from Glasgow University has come to the National Press Club in Washington DC to witness the announcement of the first direct detection of ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by the merger of two "intermediate-sized" black holes.

Black holes: Cosmic signal rattles Earth after 7 billion years

Imagine the energy of eight Suns released in an instant. This is the gravitational "shockwave" that spread out from the biggest merger yet observed between two black holes.

Taiwan's redesigned passport shrinks words 'Republic of China'

Taiwanese officials have announced changes to the passport design, making the word "Taiwan" larger and shrinking the words "Republic of China". Authorities said the redesign was to stop confusion between its nationals and citizens of China.

Booster rocket for Nasa Moon missions set for critical test

Engineers are preparing to test a booster rocket that will help send Americans back to the Moon in 2024. Two of these boosters form part of Nasa's massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the biggest launcher built since the Saturn V in the 1960s.

Alexei Navalny: Russia opposition leader poisoned with Novichok - Germany

image copyrightReutersThere is "unequivocal proof" that Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent, Germany has said.Chancellor Angela Merkel said he was a victim of attempted murder and the world would look to Russia for answers.

Honeybee venom 'kills some breast cancer cells'

image copyrightGetty ImagesAustralian scientists say the venom from honeybees has been found to destroy aggressive breast cancer cells in a lab setting.The venom - and a compound in it called melittin - were used against two cancer types which are hard to treat: triple-negative and HER2-enriched.

Thailand's king reinstates his consort after her fall from grace

Thailand's king has reinstated his royal consort to the position, nearly a year after she was stripped of her titles in a dramatic fall from grace. King Vajiralongkorn returned Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi's rank and titles on Wednesday, the Royal Gazette announced.

One man's year as a nudist

Most people wouldn't feel comfortable removing all their clothes in public, but for some it's a way of life. American writer Mark Haskell Smith overcame his nerves and spent a year immersing himself in the world of nudism. "If you're at the airport, you don't make jokes about bombs.

The nudists spreading coronavirus in a French resort

For many of Europe's naturists, and the tens of thousands of swingers among them, Cap d'Agde has become a traditional summer destination, but a coronavirus outbreak here has shone an uncomfortable light on their alternative lifestyle.

SpaceX completes emergency crew capsule escape

SpaceX has conducted a test of the abort manoeuvre it would use if one of its crew-carrying rockets ever developed a problem during flight. The rehearsal at Kennedy Space Center saw a Falcon-9 vehicle's ascent into the sky deliberately terminated just 80 seconds after lift-off.

Architect of CIA's 'enhanced interrogation' testifies at Guantánamo tribunal

James Mitchell said he had only agreed to testify there because families of the 9/11 victims were present. Dr Mitchell and fellow psychologist Bruce Jessen developed the controversial interrogation methods, which included waterboarding.

Earth's oldest asteroid impact 'may have ended ice age'

Scientists have identified the world's oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age. The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago - making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.

Celebrating a nation that doesn’t exist

By the time the morning sun had crept above the city’s Soviet-era apartment blocks, the crowd-control barriers lining Suvorov Square in downtown Tiraspol were already three-deep with families dressed in their Sunday (in this case, Monday) best.

FBI worried that Ring doorbells are spying on police

image copyrightAmazonimage captionThe Ring doorbells use both cameras and motion sensors to detect when someone approachesHacked documents suggest that the FBI is concerned some people may be using Ring or other smart doorbells to watch the police.

New Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office opens

The newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has begun work with a pledge to protect "the world's poorest" from coronavirus and famine.

Poorest 'will pay price' of aid department merger - MPs

The world's poorest "will pay the greatest price" of plans to merge the Department for International Development (Dfid) with the Foreign Office, MPs have said. Announcing the plans, Boris Johnson said the "long overdue reform" would ensure "maximum value" for taxpayers.

Khmer Rouge prison commander Comrade Duch dies

Comrade Duch, a former senior figure of the Khmer Rouge convicted of crimes against humanity in Cambodia, has died. He was serving a life sentence after being sentenced by a UN-backed court.

Coronavirus: Apple iPhones can contact-trace without Covid app

Apple has begun letting its iPhones carry out contact-tracing without the need for users to download an official Covid-19 app.As an alternative, owners are being invited to opt in to a scheme called Exposure Notifications Express (ENE).

Heart of Belgian city mayor found entombed in fountain

image copyrightverviers.beAn ornate fountain in Verviers, eastern Belgium, has given up an object it held for more than a century: the heart of the city's first mayor.The organ, sealed in a jar of alcohol inside a small zinc casket, was found during renovation of the fountain.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: How many crocodiles can you see?

How many crocodiles can you count in this picture? One hundred, maybe? You're forgiven for doing a double-take because you don't immediately register that this male gharial croc's back is entirely covered by its young.

Climate change: Power companies 'hindering' move to green energy

New research suggests that power companies are dragging their feet when it comes to embracing green energy sources such as wind and solar. Only one in 10 energy suppliers globally has prioritised renewables over fossil fuels, the study finds.

Charlie Hebdo: Magazine republishes controversial Mohammed cartoons

image copyrightEPAimage captionThe trial of the alleged accomplices opens on WednesdayFrench satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has republished cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that made them the target of a deadly terror attack in 2015.

Rare rallies in China over Mongolian language curb

Ethnic Mongolians in northern China have staged rare rallies against measures to reduce teaching in the Mongolian language in favour of Chinese. As schools began a new term on Tuesday some parents held children back in protest at the policy.

The search engine boss who wants to help us all plant trees

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Christian Kroll, the founder and chief executive of internet search engine Ecosia. Christian Kroll wants nothing less than to change the world.

Channel swimmer rescued after eight-hour search

The hunt was prompted by a call to the coastguard from a friend of the swimmer on Monday. The swimmer was brought to shore and was described as "cold and tired".

An atomic marker hidden in plain sight

In the courtyard of a gift shop decorated with colourful ceramic frogs and dragonflies, it’s easy to overlook the historic marker. Perhaps that’s fitting for a secret site.

Phyllis Omido: The woman who won $12m fighting lead battery poisoners

After a decade of campaigning, Kenyan environmental activist Phyllis Omido won a court ruling that awarded $12m (£9.2m) to a community poisoned by lead pollution from a nearby factory, as the BBC's Basillioh Mutahi reports.

Why the future of work might be ‘hybrid’

Since Covid-19 upended our lives, employees around the world have settled into the rhythms of mandatory remote work. Now, as companies try to decide the best way forward for their workers, it’s clear that many employees don’t want to stuff the genie entirely back into the bottle.

Is it possible to rid police officers of bias?

The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis three months ago and the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin have led the US to a period of reckoning.

Will you need an 'immunity passport’ to travel?

The global economy has been severely disrupted by Covid-19, with the virus wreaking particular devastation on the travel industry.

The island with a key to our future

From the sea, volcanic Ascension Island looks as if it’s smouldering. Big mid-Atlantic swell rolling up from the Southern Ocean explodes onto the rugged cinder and sand shoreline, leaving sea spray hanging in the air like steam.

Spain’s mysterious mummies

The Canary Islands’ subtropical climate, aquamarine waters and otherworldly volcanic and desert landscapes led more than 15 million people to visit the archipelago last year.

Auschwitz: How death camp became centre of Nazi Holocaust

On 27 January 1945, Soviet troops cautiously entered Auschwitz. Primo Levi - one of the most famous survivors - was lying in a camp hospital with scarlet fever when the liberators arrived.

Canadian start-up GHGSat to make global methane map

The company has one spacecraft in orbit currently to monitor the trace gas. Another two are expected to go up in the next few months. Montreal-based GHGSat tracks oil and gas operations, alerting owners to any leaks of methane from their facilities.

The post office 1,500km from the mainland

Sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a humble port town is home to one of the world’s most remote post offices, which holds mail for yachters from all corners of the globe.

Parasite: The real people living in Seoul's basement apartments

But while the Oscar-winning film Parasite is a work of fiction, the apartment is not. They're called banjiha, and thousands of people live in them in South Korea's capital, Seoul. Julie Yoon, of BBC Korean, went to meet some of them, to find out what life is like there.

India’s brilliant Bombay duck

When I was a little girl growing up in Bombay, June was the month I looked forward to the most. It was the month when the charred, inky monsoon clouds, clipped with streaks of lightning, brushed away the fetid summer heat.

Why procrastination is about managing emotions, not time

With offices closed in nations around the world, many of us are grappling with how to stay productive and on task as we work from home. To help provide insight on how to manage this, BBC Worklife is updating some of our most popular productivity stories from our archive.

Loved to death: Turks and Caicos' battle to save the queen conch

From a staple food to its use as a musical instrument, few things epitomise the culture of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) like the queen conch.

Can we heat buildings without burning fossil fuels?

The world is on average getting warmer, but we still need to keep buildings at liveable temperatures year-round. Is it possible to cut emissions while keeping warm in winter?To look at, the dark, dripping sewers of Brussels seem an unlikely place for anything particularly valuable to be hidden.

How to leave a family business

Working in a family firm can be complicated – and resigning even more so. Is there ever a 'good' way to strike out on your own, away from your kin?Jordan Baker was once destined to become the head of his family’s technology logistics business.

Unseen Charles Dickens letters open window into the life of a genius

Letters by Charles Dickens, revealing his state of mind while working on novels including A Christmas Carol, are to go on display for the first time. In one, he discloses: "I have been writing my head off since ten o'clock..." despite being on holiday.

Can charcoal make beef better for the environment?

On a hot December day on a cattle farm in Western Australia, the smell of manure is hard to ignore. But not for long – as I watch, a cluster of dung beetles is hard at work and soon the cows’ manure will be buried in the soil.

Tiny changes might seem insignificant. But they are how we save the planet

There is a celebrated line in Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, his bestselling study of ecocide and sudden social implosion.

Ancient Tap O' Noth hillfort in Aberdeenshire one of 'largest ever'

University of Aberdeen archaeologists say 4,000 people may have lived in more than 800 huts perched high on the Tap O' Noth near Rhynie. Many had thought it dated from the Bronze or Iron Age.

The surprising benefits of being blinded by love

As a child of the 1990s, my mind turned to Chandler Bing several times while writing this article. His inability to be annoyed by Janice’s laugh in Friends is, I think, a very good analogy for the idea that we can be blinded by love.

Europe pushes ahead with 'dune buggy' Mars rover

The European Space Agency is moving rapidly to develop its next Mars rover. It already has one vehicle set to go to the Red Planet in 2022, but is now pushing ahead with a second robot, which will depart in 2026.

Vogue Portugal defends controversial mental health cover

Vogue Portugal has responded to criticism over its depiction of mental health treatment on a recent magazine cover saying its aim was to "shine a light" on the important issue. The "Madness Issue" features a woman in a bathtub in a hospital setting with a nurse pouring water over her head.

Massive Saharan dust cloud shrouds the Caribbean

image copyrightAFPimage captionMorro castle in Havana, Cuba was shrouded in haze from the dust cloudA huge cloud of Saharan dust has darkened the skies over parts of the Caribbean.The dust has been moving from Africa over the Atlantic Ocean.

Coronavirus: 'I run lockdown marathons in the dead of night'

Lockdown guidance on exercising for people in England will loosen on Wednesday. But Colin Johnstone is among those runners who have not allowed their strict exercise regimes to slip, even if it means going out in the middle of the night.

Gedhun Choekyi Niyima: Tibetan Buddhism's 'reincarnated' leader who disappeared aged six

There is only one photograph in circulation of the Tibetan Gedhun Choekyi Niyima, one of the world's most famous "disappeared" persons. It is little more than a snapshot, taken when he was just six years old. It shows a boy with rosy cheeks and an impassive look on his face.

Rocky Mountain treasure worth $1m found after decade-long hunt

Antiquities collector Forrest Fenn hid the bronze chest in the wilderness more than a decade ago, and created a treasure hunt for people to find it. Hundreds of thousands of people searched for it, and many people quit their jobs and used up their life savings. At least four people died.

Climate change: Planting new forests 'can do more harm than good'

Rather than benefiting the environment, large-scale tree planting may do the opposite, two new studies have found. One paper says that financial incentives to plant trees can backfire and reduce biodiversity with little impact on carbon emissions.

The deadly hail that can flatten a farm

The best way to describe an intense hailstorm is like being caught in a violent riot, says Jane Nderu, a farmer in central Kenya. One does not know where the next teargas shot or hurled stone will land.

How to think under pressure

Do we make our own luck? And is it possible to tame chance? The question has troubled philosophers for centuries, and in January 2018, the psychologist and writer Maria Konnikova appeared to have come to an answer.

Coronavirus: Antibody test lacks 'proper assessment'

Covid-19 antibodies tests for NHS and care staff are being rolled out without "adequate assessment", experts warn. Last month, the government said it had bought 10 million antibodies tests and asked NHS trusts and care homes to make them available to staff in England.

Hong Kong security law: China passes controversial legislation

China has formally adopted a controversial security law, giving it new powers over Hong Kong and deepening fears for its freedoms. It is set to criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, but will also effectively curtail protests and freedom of speech.

How UK museums are responding to Black Lives Matter

When museums in the UK start to reopen next month it will be to a new world: not just one of social distancing and mask-wearing, but one possibly entering a different cultural epoch.

What's going on between Russia, the US and Afghanistan?

What are we to make of the reports that have surfaced in the past few days that Russian military intelligence agents were offering money to Taliban fighters to kill US and possibly other Western service personnel? How true are these reports? Can they be substantiated? And what is their real signific

How Hong Kong cleaned up its toxic harbour

From the 1970s and well into the early 2000s, Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour reeked.

Could adding a new public holiday boost the economy?

29th June 2020 In an effort to get gears turning in the global economy, a new proposal could help with spending – and give us some time off.

Where barbecue culture began?

Asador Etxebarri is almost too perfect. Even to those who have dined there, the restaurant occupies something of a mythical place in the mind’s eye. Was it real? Does it actually exist?

The hidden risks of cooking your food

Biologists have long agreed with Macciochi, who studies how a person’s nutrition and lifestyle interact with their immune system at the University of Sussex. In fact, there’s a substantial back catalogue of evidence that suggests that human evolution is directly linked to the use of fire.

Is the future of travel underwater?

Despite being a reasonably experienced scuba diver, I had never seen a “bommie”, something Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is famous for. A couple of years ago, the chance to see one of these shaggy column-like mounds of coral finally took me there.

Betelgeuse: Nearby 'supernova' star's dimming explained

Astronomers say big cool patches on a "supergiant" star close to Earth were behind its surprise dimming last year. Red giant stars like Betelgeuse frequently undergo changes in brightness, but the drop to 40% of its normal value between October 2019 and April 2020 surprised astronomers.

Has humanity reached ‘peak intelligence’?

You may not have noticed, but we are living in an intellectual golden age. Since the intelligence test was invented more than 100 years ago, our IQ scores have been steadily increasing.

Hundreds of elephants found dead in Botswana

Mystery surrounds the "completely unprecedented" deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana over the last two months. Dr Niall McCann said colleagues in the southern African country had spotted more than 350 elephant carcasses in the Okavango Delta since the start of May.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: The rise and fall of the five stages of grief

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Everyone knows the theory that when we grieve we go through a number of stages - it turns up everywhere from palliative care units to boardrooms. A viral article told us we'd experience them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mystery of why some people become sudden geniuses

There’s mounting evidence that brain damage has the power to unlock extraordinary creative talents. What can this teach us about how geniuses are made?This story is featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2018” collection. Discover more of our picks.

Why we have a love-hate relationship with electric scooters

You might have started seeing more of them on streets and in parks, gliding past you with a faint electric hum. As lockdowns lift and people avoid public transport, e-scooters – stand-up, electrically powered scooters – are becoming more popular.

Why your ‘weak-tie’ friendships may mean more than you think

For nearly 10 years, I have spent my Monday evenings attending rehearsals for my amateur choir. Mondays are not my favourite day, and I often arrive in a bad mood, but by the end of the rehearsal, I usually feel energised. The singing does me good. So do the people.

Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka's Muslims decry forced cremation

Sri Lankan authorities are insisting on cremation for coronavirus victims - a practice forbidden by Islam. The nation's minority Muslim community says they are using the pandemic to discriminate, writes BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana.

The ancient guardians of the Earth

“The Younger Brother is damaging the world. He is on the path to destruction. He must understand and change his ways, or the world will die,” Luis Guillermo Izquierdo lamented as he walked beside me, his cheeks swollen with a wad of coca leaves that he slowly masticated.

Scrabble adds 300 new words to US version of game

Scrabble players will now be able to use words such as "OK" and "ew" after US dictionary company Merriam-Webster announced it was adding 300 new words in the latest edition of the game's dictionary. The last freshening up of the word list in the US was four years ago.

Robotic scientists will 'speed up discovery'

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have unveiled a robotic colleague that has been working non-stop in their lab throughout lockdown. The £100,000 programmable researcher learns from its results to refine its experiments.

Australia’s answer to the Northern Lights

“Can you remind me why we’re here?” my husband asked, sounding slightly annoyed. I’d promised him a mini break by the sea, sans kids for the first time in five years.

Glue bird traps: Macron suspends use amid EU row

French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered hunters in southern France to stop the controversial practice of trapping birds on glue-covered twigs. The suspension follows a warning to France from the European Commission that it could face legal action at EU level if the practice continued.

Chess Olympiad: India and Russia both get gold after controversial final

India and Russia have been declared joint winners of a major international chess tournament after two Indian players lost their internet connection during the final round. Chess Olympiad is being held online for the first time this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Woman arrested for naked video on India's Lakshman Jhula bridge

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe Lakshman Jhula bridge is a popular site for touristsA French woman has been arrested in India for making a video of herself naked on a sacred bridge in the northern city of Rishikesh.The video, shot on the Lakshman Jhula bridge, was posted on social media.

Nude model's Western Wall photo shoot sparks anger

Marisa Papen posted the image of herself reclining naked on a rooftop overlooking the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The rabbi of the site described the incident as "grave and lamentable".

Iron Age 'mystery' murder victim found in Wendover HS2 dig

An Iron Age skeleton with his hands bound has been discovered by HS2 project archaeologists, who believe he may be a murder victim. The remains of the 2,000-year-old adult male was found face down at Wellwick Farm near Wendover in Buckinghamshire.

The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

Sealand: A peculiar ‘nation’ off England’s coast

This story starts with an email that I will never forget. On a late spring morning in mid-May, Prince Michael of Sealand, leader of a micronation called the Principality of Sealand, messaged me with five clear-cut words: “You can speak to me”.

Why email loses out to popular apps in China

In May 2008 I was teaching at a private English school in Yangshuo, a small town in southern China. It is an idyllic place to study, with limestone hills, known as karst, decorating the riverine landscape.

How Covid-19 will change air travel as we know it

In the heart of Australian outback lies Alice Springs. The town – colloquially known as Alice – is the site of indigenous human presence dating back nearly 30,000 years. More recently, however, a new (and admittedly very different) type of settler has descended upon Alice.

Pop music is getting faster (and happier)

She's not alone. The charts are suddenly crammed with pop songs that celebrate joy and sensuality and precipitous thrill: Dua Lipa's Physical, Doja Cat's Say So, Harry Styles' Watermelon Sugar and Gaga's own Stupid Love. At the same time, music is getting faster.

Scientists target coronavirus immunity puzzle

Scientists from 17 UK research centres are attempting to answer questions such as how long immunity lasts and why disease severity varies so much. The new UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) says learning about immunity will help to fight the virus.

How one woman's stolen identity exposed a system of exam fraud

This week around 10 million students across China have sat the Gaokao - a college entrance exam which determines their entire future.

Chinguetti: Mauritania’s ancient Saharan city

Rising like a mirage on the edge of Mauritania’s vast Erg Warane sand dunes, the ancient city of Chinguetti has welcomed travellers seeking shelter from the blistering Saharan heat for more than 1,200 years.

A tiny ‘nation’ in outback Australia

I’d never met royalty before. Parked outside the unassuming entrance to a remote farmstead in the boundless emptiness of the Western Australian outback, I was covered in red dust and preparing to meet a “prince”.

John Allen Chau: Who was US man killed in remote islands?

The US man killed by a remote tribe on India's Andaman and Nicobar islands this week reportedly wanted to be an explorer. John Allen Chau was shot with bows and arrows as he landed on North Sentinel island, which is forbidden to outsiders, say local fishermen.

Coronavirus: Your pictures on the theme of 'reflections'

We asked our readers to send in their pictures on the theme of "reflections" amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the pictures sent to us from around the world. The next theme is "home-grown" and the deadline for entries is 14 July 2020.

The surprising reason why pregnant women get cravings

We’ve all heard the stories about the pregnant woman who only wants ice cream and pickles, who sends her husband out at 1am for fried chicken, who needs, in a deep, primal way, five bars of a very specific brand of chocolate.

Freiburg: Germany’s futuristic city set in a forest

“900 years young” reads the bold slogan emblazoned on the side of the tram as it rattles through Freiburg im Breisgau’s historical Old Town.

The best early novels you’ve never heard of

If I say the trigger words ‘19th-Century novel’, your head will probably immediately fill with thoughts of Bronte sisters or Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Gustave Flaubert, or Mark Twain. (That woman who throws herself on the tracks. That kid who floats down a river and becomes a man.

The reason employers love online job portals

Jennifer Buege can spend up to two hours applying for a single job. The 48-year-old editor, based in Minneapolis in the US, was made redundant from her job in March at in-flight magazine Delta Sky along with over a dozen of her colleagues.

The new residency schemes inviting workers abroad

In early March, Manhattan resident Sadie Millard was visiting her boyfriend in Bermuda as New York City began shutting down due to Covid-19.

Beetle-mounted camera streams insect adventures

Researchers have developed a tiny wireless camera that is light enough to be carried by live beetles. The team at the University of Washington in the US drew inspiration from the insects to create its low-powered camera system.

Solar Orbiter: Closest ever pictures taken of the Sun

New pictures of the Sun taken just 77 million km (48 million miles) from its surface are the closest ever acquired by cameras. They come from the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter (SolO) probe, which was launched earlier this year.

How Showgirls exposed the rot of our misogynistic culture

It might be one of the great vindications in cinema history. In 2015, actress Elizabeth Berkley made a surprise appearance at an anniversary screening of Showgirls at LA’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

The images that fought the Nazis

In a striking photomontage from 1929, the artist John Heartfield stares forcefully at his viewers while cutting off the head of Berlin’s police chief, Karl Zörgiebel, with a large pair of scissors. “Use photo as a weapon!”, the title of the image implores.

The bold plan that could save South Africa's leopards

A grimace revealing powerful yellow incisors clearly indicated we were too close. As our game drive vehicle gently reversed, the female leopard, Thandi, relaxed and settled back in the thicket with her seven-month-old cub, panting as she digested her latest kill.

Could bartering become the new buying in a changed world?

London-based nurse Marjorie Dunne joined Barter United Kingdom after spending five days in hospital with coronavirus in April.

Loot boxes: I blew my parents' savings gaming on Fifa

Like many young teenagers, Jonathan Peniket enjoyed buying random player "packs" to build up his team on the Fifa football video game. But when his mum was diagnosed with cancer, his spending on these packs, or "loot boxes", became - as he sees it - an addiction he couldn't control.

Coronavirus: New Avon sellers double during UK lockdown

There's been a sharp rise in the number of people signing up to sell Avon beauty products during lockdown. Between late March and early June, the number of new UK sales representatives was double that in the same period last year.

The fight to save Australia’s ancient ‘dinosaur trees’

On 15 December 2019, a firefighting operation in Australia’s Blue Mountains, New South Wales (NSW), went catastrophically wrong.

Being a couch potato 'bad for the memory of over-50s'

Watching television for more than three-and-a-half hours a day could leave adults with a deteriorating memory, a study suggests. Tests on 3,500 adults over 50 found that verbal memory decline was twice as bad in couch potatoes, compared to lesser TV watchers, over six years.

Cutting screen time lowers risk of death, study finds

Restricting television viewing to two hours a day could prevent or delay poor health, according to a new study. Health risks associated with screen time, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, were at their lowest when daily TV time was two hours or less.

'My Nigerian great-grandfather sold slaves'

Amid the global debate about race relations, colonialism and slavery, some of the Europeans and Americans who made their fortunes in trading human beings have seen their legacies reassessed, their statues toppled and their names removed from public buildings.

The surprising upsides of worrying

“I’m a near-professional worrier,” admits Kate Sweeny ruefully. She’s struggled for much of her life with anxiety over things she can’t entirely control – including, these days, whether her parents are following social-distancing guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Do more people believe in God in Trump's America?

US Vice-President Mike Pence has said "faith in America is rising once again" - thanks to President Donald Trump. America's religious climate has shifted in recent years, but has it been in the direction Mr Pence suggests?

The preachers getting rich from poor Americans

Televangelist Todd Coontz has a well-worn routine: he dresses in a suit, pulls out a Bible and urges viewers to pledge a very specific amount of money. "Don't delay, don't delay," he urges, calmly but emphatically. It sounds simple, absurdly so, but Coontz knows his audience extremely well.

The last meals of US prisoners on death row

To prompt a deeper understanding of the death-penalty system in the US, photographer Jackie Black recreated the last meals requested by prisoners on death row before they were executed.

Why transgender people are ignored by modern medicine

It was 2016 and Cameron Whitley was gravely ill. He was urgently in need of a kidney transplant, which should have been no problem. He was young and otherwise healthy. He had medical insurance. He even had several gallant friends willing to undergo major surgery for him. There was a catch, however.

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An Icelandic ritual for wellbeing

Three months ago in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík, hundreds of people queued outside the city’s largest swimming pool under the blueish glow of the midnight sun.

Do office reopenings mean a return to the 'old normal'?

This article is part of Confined Grind, our crowdsourced guide to maintaining a balanced, healthy life while working and living at home amid Covid-19. Join the conversation on the BBC News LinkedIn page.

'Mummified' plants give glimpse of Earth's future

Fossil leaves from the remains of a 23 million-year-old forest suggest some plants may adapt to grow more quickly as CO2 levels rise, a study says. Scientists recovered the very well-preserved leaves from an ancient lake on New Zealand's South Island.

Laos’ collective approach to healthcare

In the Western world, you would mark a student receiving a diploma, a couple announcing their engagement, a family moving to a new home or a relative falling ill in very different ways. Some of these events might involve your entire family or community, but likely not all of them.

The pioneering surgeons who cleaned up filthy hospitals

By the 1860s, with a skilled surgeon in a modern European hospital you had about an eight-in-10 chance of surviving an operation. But your odds of leaving hospital alive were about 50/50. Infection and disease ravaged hospital wards.

Florida mosquitoes: 750 million genetically modified insects to be released

Local officials in Florida have approved the release of 750 million mosquitoes that have been genetically modified to reduce local populations. The aim is to reduce the number of mosquitoes that carry diseases like dengue or the Zika virus.

The decline of antiques and objects that last for centuries

The ko-imari style of porcelain dates from the 17th Century but is still loved in Japan. When Hikaru Maeda opened her antique business 40 years ago, demand for these old plates and bowls was good – and continues to be strong today.

Caged Congolese man: Why a zoo took 114 years to apologise

Ota Benga was kidnapped from what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1904 and taken to the US to be exhibited. Journalist Pamela Newkirk, who has written extensively about the subject, looks at the attempts over the decades to cover up what happened to him.

Coronavirus: Vaccine front-runner China already inoculating workers

Earlier this month, the head of a well-known, privately-owned Chinese conglomerate told his staff that a vaccine for Covid-19 was expected to come to market by November.

Notorious B.I.G. crown and Tupac love letters up for auction

Love hip-hop and have a few hundred thousand pounds burning a hole in your pocket? This might be for you. An iconic piece of hip-hop history is up for auction - the crown worn by the Notorious B.I.G. in his last recorded photoshoot.

Eigg beach runner stumbles on dinosaur bone

Dr Elsa Panciroli was running to meet up with her palaeontology research team on Eigg when she made the discovery. In Scotland, dinosaur bone fossils had only previously been found on the Isle of Skye.

Australia’s answer to the Northern Lights

“Can you remind me why we’re here?” my husband asked, sounding slightly annoyed. I’d promised him a mini break by the sea, sans kids for the first time in five years.

India coronavirus: Covid strikes remote Greater Andamanese tribe

image copyrightAlok Das/Survivalimage captionBoa Sr, the last speaker of one of the Great Andamanese languages, died in 2010A remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago has recorded its first cases of coronavirus.

Frans Hals Dutch masterpiece stolen for third time

Security was stepped up the last time Frans Hals's painting Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer was stolen from a small museum in the Dutch town of Leerdam. But it was not enough to stop art thieves forcing open the back door and making off with it for a third time.

Banksy funds boat to rescue refugees at sea

Banksy has funded a rescue boat to save refugees encountering danger in the Mediterranean Sea. The boat, named the Louise Michel, was bought with proceeds from some of the Bristol street artist's works.

Elon Musk's Boring Company presents LA tunnel plan

Elon Musk's Boring Company has presented plans to build a Hyperloop tunnel under Culver City, California. The plans were presented at a council meeting on Monday by Jehn Balajadia, operations co-ordinator of the firm.

Elon Musk and the hyperbolic hyperloop 'announcement'

Elon Musk is a man known and admired for his outlandish plans for our technological future. But even by his standards, Thursday's “announcement” (and I’m loath to call it that) was a real whopper.

Lockdown may have lasting effects on friendships

So the social strain of lockdown, while hopefully short-term, could have some long-term effects on some friendships, he says. In a paper in the Royal Society journal, Proceedings A, Prof Dunbar has delved into the ways in which our social connections will be changed by lockdown.

Black turbine blade 'can cut bird deaths'

Painting one blade of a wind turbine black could cut bird strikes at wind farms by up to 70%, a study suggests. Birds colliding with the structures has long been considered to be one of the main negative impacts of onshore wind farms, the authors observed.

Coronavirus: Children's role in spread puzzles scientists

Children can carry coronavirus in their noses for up to three weeks, according to a study from South Korea. Earlier studies have found the vast majority of children with the virus have mild or no symptoms.

Cloud gaming: Are game streaming services bad for the planet?

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionGoogle and Microsoft are offering cloud gaming servicesMicrosoft is poised to launch its game streaming service, delivering high-end titles direct to phones - and Google already offers an equivalent service.

Why are the Dutch so tall?

Heading west out of Rotterdam I walked along red-brick pavements, past crooked townhouses and pellucid canals, past fragrant Surinamese restaurants and out-of-town supermarkets, until I got to the port.

From The Conversation

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence. “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Swiss Gotthard rail tunnel - an engineering triumph

The world's longest - and deepest - rail tunnel opens in Switzerland on Wednesday. The Gotthard rail link has taken 20 years to build, and cost more than $12bn (£8.2bn). It will, the Swiss say, revolutionise Europe's freight transport.

Switzerland's Gotthard road tunnel closed by deadly crash

One of Europe's main transport routes, the Gotthard road tunnel in Switzerland, was shut for several hours after a deadly crash. Police said two people were killed and four injured in the head-on crash between a car and a lorry on Wednesday morning local time.

Switzerland's Gotthard road tunnel closed by deadly crash

One of Europe's main transport routes, the Gotthard road tunnel in Switzerland, was shut for several hours after a deadly crash. Police said two people were killed and four injured in the head-on crash between a car and a lorry on Wednesday morning local time.

Neuralink: Elon Musk unveils pig with chip in its brain

Elon Musk has unveiled a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain to demonstrate his ambitious plans to create a working brain-to-machine interface. His start-up Neuralink applied to launch human trials last year.

Russia Arctic: Polar bears besiege scientists

Relief supplies have reached five Russian scientists besieged by polar bears for nearly two weeks at a remote weather station on Troynoy Island in the Arctic. Station head Vadim Plotnikov said 10 adult bears and four cubs had surrounded the station since 31 August.

Polar bear kills man in Norway's Arctic Svalbard islands

The attack occurred at a campsite near Longyearbyen, the main town of the island in the Svalbard archipelago. The bear was then shot and found dead at the local airport.

Elon Musk: The man who sent his sports car into space

The Falcon Heavy's boosters burned for 154 seconds before they were jettisoned into space.

Elon Musk to show off working brain-hacking device

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionGetting the human brain to communicate with machines is an ambitious goalElon Musk is due to demonstrate a working brain-to-machine interface as part of his ambitious plans to give people superhuman powers.

West Mathewson: South African conservationist killed by white lions

The wife of West Mathewson, who followed in a car tried to distract the lions, but it was too late. He ran a popular safari lodge, Lion Tree Top Lodge, in the Limpopo province.

Hurricane Laura: Storm approaching US 'potentially catastrophic'

Hurricane Laura is expected to cause a catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash floods as it hits the US, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says. Laura is currently a Category 3 storm and is due to strengthen to Category 4 before reaching Texas and Louisiana later on Wednesday.

Nóra Quoirin: Site of Malaysian body find 'searched several times'

The body of Nóra Quoirin, 15, was found after a huge hunt through dense rainforest last August. This suggested she was "not there" when search teams were, the court was told.

Telford boy calls number on toy ambulance to get help for ill mum

Josh called 112 - a European emergency number which serves the same purpose as 999 - which connected him to a police communications operator. Josh, from Telford in Shropshire, made the call last month when he found his mum lying unconscious on the floor.

Coronavirus: Bali closed to foreign tourists until end of 2020

The Indonesian island of Bali will not open to foreign tourists again this year, due to coronavirus concerns. Authorities of the popular holiday destination had earlier said foreign visitors would be allowed to return from next month.

Alexei Navalny: Evidence of poisoning, says Berlin hospital

The Berlin hospital treating the seriously ill Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, says he appears to have been poisoned. The Charite hospital released a statement saying "clinical evidence suggests an intoxication through a substance belonging to the group of cholinesterase inhibitors".

Facebook agrees to pay France €106m in back taxes

Facebook has agreed to pay the French government €106m (£95.7m) in back taxes to settle a dispute over revenues earned in the country. The payment covers the last decade of its French operations from 2009.

Two gold nuggets worth $350,000 found in Australia

image copyrightAussieGoldHunters/DiscoveryChannelimage captionBrent Shannon and Ethan West found the nuggets while on TV show Aussie Gold HuntersTwo gold nuggets worth around A$350,000 (£190,000; US$250,000) have been discovered by a pair of diggers in southern Australia.

Pompeo urges more Arab states to make peace with Israel

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he hopes to see other Arab states following the United Arab Emirates and normalizing relations with Israel. Mr Pompeo said it would not only increase Middle East stability, but also improve people's lives.

Israeli youths unearth 1,100-year-old gold coins from Abbasid era

Youths volunteering at an archaeological dig in central Israel have found 425 gold coins that had lain buried in a clay jar for 1,100 years. Most of the money dates back to the early Islamic period, when the region was part of the Abbasid caliphate.

Man who believed virus was hoax loses wife to Covid-19

Brian Lee Hitchens and his wife, Erin, had read claims online that the virus was fabricated, linked to 5G or similar to the flu. The couple didn't follow health guidance or seek help when they fell ill in early May.

Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race: Hundreds join Istanbul competition

While many sporting events have been cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic, a unique swimming challenge took place in Istanbul on Sunday.

US approves use of blood plasma treatment on coronavirus patients

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency authorisation for the use of plasma to treat coronavirus patients. The technique uses antibody-rich blood plasma from people who've recovered from the disease, and has already been used on over 70,000 people in the US.

Climate change: Dams played key role in limiting sea level rise

The construction of large-scale dams has played a surprising role in limiting rising seas, say scientists. Over the past century, melting glaciers and the thermal expansion of sea water have driven up ocean levels.

Eilat rape allegations: Tel Aviv covers over Peeping Toms beach mural

The Israeli authorities have covered over a mural known as Peeping Toms at a beach in Tel Aviv in response to an outcry over the suspected gang rape of a teenage girl at another beach resort. The mural shows two young men in bathing suits peering inside what is the women's changing room.

Five shocking passages in Mary Trump's tell-all book

Mary Trump's book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, describes her uncle as a fraud and a bully. The White House rejects the claims made in the book, and the Trump family unsuccessfully sued to block it.

Donald Trump's sister says he's an 'unprincipled phoney'

US President Donald Trump's eldest sister, a former federal judge, has said her brother is a liar who "has no principles", secret recordings reveal. The critical remarks by Maryanne Trump Barry were recorded by her niece, Mary Trump, who last month published a book excoriating the president.

Iran plane crash: Cockpit exchange recorded after missile hit Ukraine jet

Data from the Boeing 737 indicated that the pilots and passengers were alive before a second missile hit 25 seconds later, Iran's aviation authority said. The Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran.

Death Valley: What life is like in the 'hottest place on Earth'

On Sunday, what could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth, a toasty 130F (54.4C), was reported in the park - a vast, desert area filled with canyons and sand dunes that straddles the border with neighbouring Nevada.

Earliest art in the British Isles discovered on Jersey

Fragments of stone engraved with abstract designs found on Jersey are the earliest examples of art in the British Isles, researchers say. They were made by hunter-gatherers who lived between 23,000 and 14,000 years ago.

Baby gorilla born at Bristol Zoo

Keepers arrived to find the new arrival nestling in the arms of its mother. Photographs taken just hours after the birth on Wednesday show Kala - a nine-year-old western lowland gorilla - cradling the newborn. Staff said both were "doing well".

Fredie Blom: 'World's oldest man' dies aged 116 in South Africa

Fredie Blom's identity documents showed he was born in Eastern Cape province in May 1904, although that was never verified by Guinness World Records. When he was teenager, his entire family was wiped out by the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. He went on to survive two world wars and apartheid.

US special forces veteran arrested for passing secrets to Russia

Peter Debbins is alleged to have passed classified information to the Russian military intelligence agency (GRU) over a period of more than 10 years. Capt Debbins, 45, faces life imprisonment if convicted.

Is a 20-second handwash enough to kill Covid-19?

It is something that many of us do instinctively, almost as muscle memory, several times a day. But rarely has it been as important as it has in the last six months.

Gandhi's glasses left in letterbox sell for £260k

The spectacles were bought through a phone bid from an American collector after six minutes of bidding on Friday. Auctioneer Andrew Stowe said it was a new record for East Bristol Auctions and described it as "the star lot of the century".

Golden State Killer sentenced to life in prison

Joseph DeAngelo, the man known as the Golden State Killer, has been sentenced to life in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a crime investigation that began in the 1970s and attracted worldwide attention.

Coronavirus: What are the risks of catching it from food packaging?

Traces of the coronavirus were reportedly found on packaging in China recently, on consignments of frozen shrimp and frozen chicken wings from South America.This has again raised questions about whether coronavirus can be transmitted via food packaging.

Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

Humans settled in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to new finds from Mexico. They suggest people were living there 33,000 years ago, twice the widely accepted age for the earliest settlement of the Americas.

Evo Morales: Exiled Bolivian ex-president accused of rape

The Bolivian justice ministry has filed a criminal complaint against former President Evo Morales for statutory rape and human trafficking. It comes after photographs were published in national media of the 60-year-old ex-leader with a young woman who was reportedly a minor at the time.

Queen's 'uphill battle' to stop Trump using songs on social media

British rock band Queen are trying - and failing - to get US President Donald Trump to stop using their songs in his online campaign videos. The band's management says it is an "uphill battle" and has "repeatedly taken issue with the Trump campaign".

Steve Bannon charged with fraud over Mexico wall funds

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested and charged with fraud over a fundraising campaign to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Mummy returns: Voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian priest brought to life

Scientists have fulfilled a mummified Egyptian priest's wish for life after death - by replicating his voice with artificial vocal cords.Nesyamun's voice has been reproduced as a vowel-like sound that is reminiscent of a sheep's bleat.

Mukbang: Why is China clamping down on eating influencers?

As any chef will tell you, we eat with our eyes - so for people who make a living eating on social media, the presentation of their food is key to their success. Korean influencer known as 'Muk Sna' or 'a.

The king, his lover - and the elephant in the palace

In early August, Spain's former King Juan Carlos left the country following allegations of financial wrongdoing. But the country's affection for its monarch began to unravel as far back as 2012, following an ill-fated elephant hunt.

Alexei Navalny: 'Poisoned' Russian opposition leader in a coma

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is unconscious in hospital suffering from suspected poisoning, his spokeswoman has said.

Calls for new inquiry into Belgian police custody tragedy

The wife of a Slovak man who died in Belgian police custody has called for a fresh inquiry after shocking new images of his detention have emerged. Jozef Chovancova was arrested at Charleroi airport in 2018 after causing a disturbance on his flight.

The sea otter rescue plan that worked too well

Otters do not usually fly. But if sea otter elders in Checleset Bay told floating bedtime stories to modern day pups, they might tell of their ancestors’ bizarre flying adventure.

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Gochujang: The trendy Korean food that burns

I sat at the long wooden table in Moolmaru Traditional Soybean Paste School on Jeju island, South Korea, adjusting my apron and catching side-eye from a toddler.

Walkies could become the law for German dog owners

Taking your dog for walks twice a day for at least an hour in total could soon become the law in Germany. There could also be a ban on keeping dogs chained for long periods.

Mali coup: President quits after soldiers mutiny

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has resigned, after being detained by soldiers on Tuesday.In a televised address he said he was also dissolving the government and parliament, adding: "I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power.

Stonehenge: Neolithic monument found near sacred site

Tests carried out on the pits suggest they were excavated by Neolithic people more than 4,500 years ago. Experts believe the 20 or more shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge.

Coronavirus: Surf photographer on 'stark' lifestyle change

Si Crowther's work capturing windsurfing and surfing images for magazines and events has taken him to Hawaii, South America and beyond. But with no events on the horizon and global travel uncertain, the 46-year-old has been staying in Ipswich, where he lives alone in a ground-floor flat.

Russia-Poland row over start of WW2 escalates

Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said a tweet by Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher was "insulting" to Russians and Americans. President Vladimir Putin says Poland and its allies are distorting history.

Robot boat completes three-week Atlantic mission

The 12m-long Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) Maxlimer has completed a 22-day-long mission to map an area of seafloor in the Atlantic. SEA-KIT International, which developed the craft, "skippered" the entire outing via satellite from its base in Tollesbury in eastern England.

Soldiers seize Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has been arrested by mutinying soldiers, a government spokesman has confirmed to the BBC. Prime Minister Boubou Cissé has also been arrested, despite earlier appeals for "brotherly dialogue".

Trump to pardon women's voting pioneer Susan B Anthony

President Donald Trump has said he will issue a posthumous pardon for women's voting rights pioneer Susan B Anthony. Making the announcement on Tuesday - the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted US women the right to vote - Mr Trump said: "She was never pardoned.

Scientists unlock Alpine trees' molecular defence

Researchers have found a way to tackle a disease that threatens thousands of hectares of Alpine forests each year. Needle bladder rust causes Norway spruce needles to yellow and fall out, causing a significant reduction in growth.

Star Carr: North Yorkshire's archaeological 'Tardis' 10 years on

The archaeologist who helped lead the dig that found Britain's oldest house said the site was still giving up its secrets 10 years on. Star Carr hit the headlines in 2010 when a circular Stone Age structure found was dated to about 8,500 BC.

The two students who took on Coke and Pepsi

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Mirco Wiegert, co-founder and boss of soft drinks company Fritz-Kola.

'Hottest temperature on Earth' as Death Valley, US hits 54.4C

What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth - 130F (54.4C) - has been reached in Death Valley National Park in California. The recording is being verified by the US National Weather Service.

Chloe McCardel: Swimmer seeks to beat men's Channel record and quarantine

Australian Chloe McCardel's planned ten-hour swim starting on Saturday night will be her 35th Channel crossing, breaking the men's record. But she hopes her short stay on French soil will not require self-isolation.

Can Venice turn the tide on mass tourism?

In recent years, mass tourism in Venice has driven up rents and driven out locals, leading some to call the city a “historical theme park”. However, some believe that coronavirus is offering an opportunity for change, and Venetian residents are campaigning to protect the heritage of their city.

Australia surfer saves wife by punching shark

image copyrightReutersimage captionEarlier this year a teenage surfer was killed by a shark off New South WalesA man leapt from his surfboard on to a shark that was attacking his wife, repeatedly punching the animal until it let go, Australian media report.

Thai king commutes beach killers' death sentence

The king of Thailand has commuted the death sentences of two men convicted of killing British backpackers in 2014. The bodies of David Miller, 24, from Jersey and Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Norfolk, were found on a beach on the Thai island of Koh Tao six years ago.

Thailand protests: Risking it all to challenge the monarchy

A growing movement among students has been calling for political reform in Thailand. In recent days, the protests have taken a surprising turn, writes an analyst in London for the BBC.

Robots go their own way deep in the ocean

Mr Hanham is a co-founder of Spectrum Offshore, a marine survey firm that does a lot of work in the Thames Estuary. His firm undertakes all sorts of marine surveying, but working on sites for new offshore wind farms has become a big business for him.

The world's growing concrete coasts

It’s one of the most impressive feats in modern engineering, and crossing the world’s longest sea bridge – the 55km (34 miles) Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, which opened in October 2018 at a cost of $20bn (£15.9bn) – certainly has its benefits.

Israel and UAE strike historic deal to normalise relations

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalise relations, US President Donald Trump has announced. As a result, they added, Israel would suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Mark Lawrenson's cancer diagnosis and other TV stars 'saved' by viewers

Football pundit Mark Lawrenson was recently given the all-clear following a cancer scare. The former Liverpool defender was of BBC One's Football Focus.

US calls for shower rules to be eased after Trump hair complaints

The US government has proposed changing the definition of a showerhead to allow increased water flow, following complaints from President Donald Trump about his hair routine. Under a 1992 law, showerheads in the US are not allowed to produce more than 2.5 gallons (9.5l) of water per minute.

Climate change: Summers could become 'too hot for humans'

Millions of people around the world could be exposed to dangerous levels of heat stress - a dangerous condition which can cause organs to shut down. Many live in developing countries, and do jobs that expose them to potentially life threatening conditions.

Capt Sir Tom Moore knighted in 'unique' ceremony

Captain Sir Tom Moore has been knighted in the Queen's first official engagement in person since lockdown. The investiture to honour the 100-year-old, who raised more than £32m for NHS charities, was staged in a "unique ceremony" at Windsor Castle.

China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover rockets away from Earth

China has launched its first rover mission to Mars. The six-wheeled robot, encapsulated in a protective probe, was lifted off Earth by a Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang spaceport on Hainan Island at 12:40 local time (04:40 GMT).

China-US row: Fugitive researcher 'hiding in San Francisco consulate'

The US says a Chinese scientist suspected of visa fraud and concealing ties to the military has fled to China's consulate in San Francisco. Court filings by US prosecutors also say other Chinese researchers in the US have been arrested for visa fraud.

Abood Hamam: 'A picture can kill you or save your life'

For years Abood Hamam chronicled the war in Syria for news outlets all over the world without ever revealing his name - and despite being employed by different warring parties. He began as photographer to the presidential couple - Bashar and Asma al-Assad.

Twitter says hackers viewed 36 accounts' private messages

Twitter has revealed that hackers viewed private direct messages (DMs) from 36 of the accounts involved in last week's hack. It has not disclosed who they belonged to beyond saying one was owned by an elected official in the Netherlands.

Genetic impact of African slave trade revealed in DNA study

image copyrightReutersimage captionMore than 12 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic to work as slavesA major DNA study has shed new light on the fate of millions of Africans who were traded as slaves to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Coronavirus lockdowns reduced human 'rumble'

The rumble generated by humanity took a big dive during the Covid lockdowns. Everything we do - from driving our cars to operating our factories - produces ground motions that can be detected by seismometers.

IS prisoner issue a ticking timebomb for the West

The latent danger posed by thousands of defeated and captured fighters who joined the Islamic State (IS) group is festering and growing in the squalid, overcrowded prison camps of north-east Syria, where riots and attempted breakouts are becoming commonplace.

Beirut explosion: Before and after images

The explosion at a portside warehouse in Beirut sent devastating shockwaves across the Lebanese capital, decimating seafront buildings and causing widespread destruction. At least 137 people died and about 5,000 others have been injured.

Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

Archaeologists say they've discovered the earliest known bone tools in the European archaeological record. The implements come from the renowned Boxgrove site in West Sussex, which was excavated in the 1980s and 90s.

New dinosaur related to T. rex discovered on Isle of Wight

Palaeontologists at the University of Southampton believe four bones found at Shanklin last year belong to a new species of theropod dinosaur. It lived in the Cretaceous period, 115 million years ago, and is estimated to have been up to 4m (13ft) long.

Mauritius oil spill: Rush to pump out oil before ship breaks

The authorities hope to finish pumping out the remaining oil from the ship that has caused a huge oil spill off the coast of Mauritius on Wednesday. The aim is to transfer the fuel oil to land before the Japanese-owned MV Wakashio breaks up.

Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet: hoe een van de mooiste samenzweringen in onze samenleving wordt verraden

Van de 9.527 stemmers stemde 93% voor de aloude Zwarte Piet. Ik maak me geen illusie over de kleur van Zwarte Piet in de nieuwe afleveringen van "Dag Sinterklaas" (volgend jaar op VRT te zien).

'Bacha bazi' outrage after pandemic takes play to the small screen

When it comes to theatre and filmmaking in the West, portrayals of Afghanistan often don't go beyond women in blue burqas and men carrying AK-47s. But in 2017, two Americans attempted something unconventional.

The war game that could have ended the world

On 7 November 1983, around 100 senior military officers gathered at Nato headquarters in Brussels to ‘fight’ World War Three.

The forgotten mine that built the atomic bomb

Few people know what, or even where, Shinkolobwe is. But this small mine in the southern province of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), played a part in one of the most violent and devastating events in history.

The nuclear mistakes that could have ended civilisation

It was the middle of the night on 25 October 1962 and a truck was racing down a runway in Wisconsin. It had just moments to stop a flight. Mere minutes earlier, a guard at Duluth Sector Direction Center had glimpsed a shadowy form attempting to climb the facility’s perimeter fence.

Coronavirus: Putin says vaccine has been approved for use

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it.

Berlin murder: Slovakia to expel three Russian diplomats

Slovakia is to expel three staff from the Russian embassy in the capital, Bratislava, with local media reporting it is related to the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last year. Authorities cited the abuse of Slovak visas for the expulsions.

When productivity becomes an addiction

Reza Jafery has been something of a workaholic since he was in first grade. Whenever he was assigned homework, he’d head straight for the library at the end of the day and would finish it before going home.

The deal that saved Seychelles’ troubled waters

Located around 1,600 kilometres (994 miles) off the coast of East Africa, the Seychelles is an ecological paradise. The archipelago of 115 lush and rocky islands sits amongst vast swathes of ocean, covering some 1.35 million square kilometres (521,000 square miles).

'Fake background office chatter helps me work from home'

Being forced to work from home during lockdown has been isolating for many. Some, like statistician Paul Hewson, have turned to websites providing artificial office noise to help.

Toshiba shuts the lid on laptops after 35 years

The Japanese giant Toshiba has sold its final stake in the personal computer maker Dynabook. It means the firm no longer has a connection with making PCs or laptops.

Coronavirus: What would working from home in Barbados really be like?

Bored of working from home, wishing you were on a beach instead? That could be a real prospect under a new scheme launched by the government of Barbados.

Obesity not defined by weight, says new Canada guideline

Obesity should be defined by a person's health - not just their weight, says a new Canadian clinical guideline. It also advises doctors to go beyond simply recommending diet and exercise.

Katie Mack: 'Knowing how the universe will end is freeing'

Terms like "heat death", "big rip" and "vacuum decay" don't sound all that inviting. And they aren't. They describe a few of the theories scientists have about how our universe will one day die.

Nakhchivan: The world’s most sustainable ‘nation’?

Chances are you’ve never heard of Nakhchivan. Jammed between Armenia, Iran and Turkey on the Transcaucasian plateau, this autonomous republic of Azerbaijan is one of the most isolated outposts of the former Soviet Union and a place few travellers ever visit.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

It is 75 years since the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, leading to the end of World War Two.

MV Wakashio: Locals in Mauritius try to stop oil spill

Volunteers in Mauritius are scrambling to create cordons to keep leaking oil from a tanker away from the island. MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July. The tanker has since begun leaking tonnes of oil into surrounding waters.

Detectorist 'shaking with happiness' after Bronze Age find

Experts said the discovery was of "national significance". The soil had preserved the leather and wood, allowing experts to trace the straps that connected the rings and buckles.

Jimmy Lai: Hong Kong media tycoon held amid sweep of arrests

The Hong Kong business tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested along with other pro-democracy and media figures, raising fears of a broad crackdown by China. Mr Lai's Apple Daily newspaper offices were raided on Monday over allegations of collusion with foreign forces.

Venezuela: Former American soldiers jailed over failed coup

Luke Denman and Airan Berry were found guilty of conspiracy, illicit trafficking of weapons and terrorism. The pair were among 13 people arrested in May as they attempted to enter Venezuela by sea from Colombia.

Eleven die in fire in Czech Republic tower block

Police in the Czech Republic are investigating a fire that killed 11 people, including three children. Saturday's blaze, in a block of flats in the north-eastern town of Bohumin, has been described as the worst fire in the country's history.

Is the US about to split the internet?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a "clean" internet. What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US.

Jerry Falwell Jr to take leave of absence after racy photo

The president of one of the world's largest evangelical Christian colleges has agreed to step aside after posting a photo of himself, trousers unzipped.

SpaceX: Musk's 'Mars ship' prototype aces 150m test flight

The uncrewed test vehicle rose up on a plume of exhaust before deploying its landing legs and touching down softly. The flight was carried out at SpaceX's test site near the village of Boca Chica in south Texas on Tuesday evening.

Mont Blanc: Glacier collapse risk forces Italy Alps evacuation

Italian authorities have evacuated about 75 people, mostly tourists, from an Alpine valley as huge blocks of ice threaten to crash down from a glacier. Planpincieux glacier, in the Mont Blanc massif, has weakened because of intense summer heat alternating with night-time cold.

New York attorney general sues to dissolve NRA

New York's attorney general has announced a lawsuit aimed at dissolving the powerful National Rifle Association over alleged financial mismanagement. Letitia James said the NRA had diverted millions of dollars to leaders including its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, for their personal use.

Teens arrested with AK47 at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida

Three teenage boys have been arrested after inadvertently entering President Donald Trump's Florida resort with a loaded AK47 assault rifle. The boys, aged 15, jumped a wall while fleeing and were later found hiding on the property.

City growth favours animals 'more likely to carry disease'

Turning wild spaces into farmland and cities has created more opportunities for animal diseases to cross into humans, scientists have warned. Our transformation of the natural landscape drives out many wild animals, but favours species more likely to carry diseases, a study suggests.

Don't demolish old buildings, urge architects

Footage of buildings being flattened in a noisy demolition may be a popular feature of local TV news reports, but architects say such structures should be protected - to fight climate change. They say property owners should be incentivised to upgrade draughty buildings, not just knock them down.

Nuclear blast sends star hurtling across galaxy

Instead, it sent the star hurtling through space at 900,000 km/hr. Astronomers think the object, known as a white dwarf, was originally circling another star, which would have been sent flying in the opposite direction.

Google-Fitbit takeover: EU launches full-scale probe

The European Commission will carry out a full-scale probe into Google's takeover of Fitbit. The announcement follows a preliminary review, and threatens to derail the purchase of the fitness-tracking firm.

Beirut blast: Dozens dead and thousands injured, health minister says

Videos show smoke billowing from a fire, then a mushroom cloud following the blast at the city's port. Officials are blaming highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years.

NY attorney expands inquiry into Trump 'criminal conduct'

Monday's court filing suggests the inquiry is broader than alleged hush money payments made to two women who say they had affairs with Mr Trump. The Supreme Court ruled last month that lawyers could examine the tax returns.

Five key moments from the big tech grilling

The heads of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet appeared before US lawmakers on Wednesday night to defend their companies against claims they abuse their power to squash competitors. Here are five key moments from the hearing.

Nasa SpaceX crew return: Astronauts set for ocean splashdown

US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have undocked their Dragon Endeavour capsule from the space station to begin their return to Earth. The pair are expected to splash down off the coast of Florida just after 14:40 local time (19:40 BST) on Sunday.

Beach SOS saves men stranded on tiny Micronesian island

Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a tiny, remote island in the western Pacific have been saved after rescuers spotted their SOS message on a beach. The men were found on Pikelot Island in Micronesia by Australian and US military aircraft on Sunday, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) said.

Donald Trump: US Treasury should get cut of TikTok deal

Donald Trump says the government should get a cut from the sale of TikTok's US unit if an American firm buys it. The US president said he made a demand for a "substantial portion" of the purchase price in a phone call at the weekend with Microsoft's boss.

Airbus to build 'first interplanetary cargo ship'

Airbus-France will build the huge satellite that brings the first Martian rock samples back to Earth. This material will be drilled on the Red Planet by the US space agency's next rover, Perseverance, before being blasted into orbit by a rocket.

Conservation dilemma over saving the giant panda

Saving the giant panda is one of the big success stories of conservation. Decades of efforts to create protected habitat for the iconic bear has pulled it back from the brink of extinction.

Bill English: Computer mouse co-creator dies at 91

The co-creator of the computer mouse, William English, has died aged 91. The engineer and inventor was born in 1929 in Kentucky and studied electrical engineering at university before joining the US Navy.

Wisbech man police feared had been killed found after five years

Ricardas Puisys, then 35, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was last seen at his workplace in September 2015. No trace of him was found, but in November last year a Facebook account was set up in his name.

Boy swept out to sea at Scarborough 'followed TV advice'

The boy had been reported missing in the sea at Scarborough, North Yorkshire, on Friday. The town's lifeboat crew later found him floating on his back, with his arms and legs spread, shouting for help.

Spain's embattled ex-King Juan Carlos leaves country

Spain's former King Juan Carlos has left the country for an unknown destination, weeks after he was linked to an inquiry into alleged corruption. Juan Carlos, 82, announced the move on Monday in a letter to his son, Felipe, to whom he handed power six years ago.

Leon Fleisher: Pianist who battled hand condition dies at 92

Renowned American pianist Leon Fleisher has died from cancer, aged 92. Fleisher rose to prominence as a child prodigy in the 1940s but his playing career was disrupted by an injury to his right hand.

Whale sharks: Atomic tests solve age puzzle of world's largest fish

Data from atomic bomb tests conducted during the Cold War have helped scientists accurately age the world's biggest fish. Whale sharks are large, slow moving and docile creatures that mainly inhabit tropical waters.

Coronavirus: Iran cover-up of deaths revealed by data leak

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Iran is nearly triple what Iran's government claims, a BBC Persian service investigation has found. The government's own records appear to show almost 42,000 people died with Covid-19 symptoms up to 20 July, versus 14,405 reported by its health ministry.

Coronavirus lockdown: Ditching conventional living for a van

When Jennifer McKechnie, a personal trainer from Belfast, was furloughed on 21 March, she decided to use her time in lockdown to fulfil a lifelong goal. Jennifer, an avid skier, had dreamed of one day converting a van or minibus and travelling to the French Alps with her two huskies, Zack and Jake.

The Private Lives of the Pyramid-builders

Who built the pyramids? And where did those builders live? Egyptologists used to suspect that Egypt's construction sites were supported by purpose-built villages, but there was no archaeological evidence for this until the end of the Victorian age.

Egypt tells Elon Musk its pyramids were not built by aliens

Egypt has invited billionaire Elon Musk to visit the country and see for himself that its famous pyramids were not built by aliens. The SpaceX boss had tweeted what appeared to be support for conspiracy theorists who say aliens were involved in the colossal construction effort.

Bringing Mars back to Earth

The US and European space agencies are about to begin an audacious effort to bring samples of Martian rock and soil back to Earth. It will involve two robotic rovers to collect the best specimens, and an elaborate delivery system to get this material home.

Barakah: UAE starts up Arab world's first nuclear plant

The United Arab Emirates has launched operations at the Arab world's first nuclear power plant, on the Gulf coast just east of Qatar. Nuclear fission has begun in one of four reactors at the Barakah plant, which uses South Korean technology.

How lockdown may have changed your personality

There wasn’t just one lockdown – we all had our own experience. Some people were forced into months of unbroken solitude, others trapped for weeks on end with an estranged spouse.

The tragedy of art’s greatest supermodel

In the winter of 1849-1850, the artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt were painting together, when their friend Walter Howell Deverell burst into the studio.

Japan’s most polarising superfood?

Every day without fail, my 65-year-old mother prepares a dish that many people would say looks, smells and tastes revolting. Nattō is very stinky. You definitely notice the smell.

Why indigenous folklore can save animals’ lives

In a jeepney travelling through Iloilo city in the Philippines, the driver hoots the vehicle’s horn on an empty street in broad daylight. These brightly decorated buses are known for their speed in the south of Iloilo, but this driver slows the jeepney right down.

Coronavirus: Russia plans mass vaccination campaign in October

Russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in October, the health minister has said. Russian media quoted Mikhail Murashko as saying that doctors and teachers would be the first to receive the vaccine.

How many Mars missions have been successful?

It's often said that about half of all missions to Mars have failed. But getting a more precise figure for successful and unsuccessful Mars shots is more complicated than it sounds.

Twitter hack: Bognor Regis man one of three charged

Californian authorities filed felony charges against Mason Sheppard, 19. The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed it had searched a property in Bognor Regis with police on Friday.

Twitter hack: Staff tricked by phone spear-phishing scam

The unprecedented hacking of celebrity Twitter accounts this month was caused by human error and a spear-phishing attack on Twitter employees, the company has confirmed. Spear-phishing is a targeted attack designed to trick people into handing out information such as passwords.

Fox found with impressive shoe collection in Berlin

For weeks residents of Zehlendorf were baffled that a thief was stealing their flip flops and sports shoes from their gardens at night. Finally a man spotted the culprit on a patch of wasteland, "in flagrante, carrying two blue flip flops in its mouth", the daily Tagesspiegel reports.

The wells bringing hope in the desert

Water has long been at the centre of conflict in the northern regions of Mali, in West Africa. This vast water-scarce area spans 827,000 square kilometres (320,000 square miles) between the Sahara in the north and the Sahel in the south – in total, about two-thirds of the national territory.

The Fosse Dionne: France’s mysterious underground spring

In the heart of France’s idyllic Burgundy region, surrounded by manicured vineyards, fortified Renaissance chateaux and medieval hill towns, sits one of the bucolic area’s most mysterious attractions: a seemingly bottomless spring-fed pit in the small town of Tonnarre known as the Fosse Dionne.

'Bay of Piglets': A 'bizarre' plot to capture a president

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe Venezuelan military said it captured mercenaries after the failed coupOn Sunday 3 May, the government of Nicolas Maduro announced Venezuela's armed forces had repelled an armed incursion. Operation Gideon was a deeply flawed coup attempt.

US election: Do postal ballots lead to voting fraud?

Many US states are looking to make voting by post easier in the presidential election this November due to public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Killer of Rafiki, Uganda's rare silverback mountain gorilla, jailed

The killer of one of Uganda's best known mountain gorillas, Rafiki, has been jailed for 11 years. Felix Byamukama pleaded guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla.

India and China race to build along a disputed frontier

India and China are trying to out-build each other along their disputed Himalayan border.

Iter: World's largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly

The world's biggest nuclear fusion project has entered its five-year assembly phase. After this is finished, the facility will be able to start generating the super-hot "plasma" required for fusion power.

Van Gogh: Postcard helps experts 'find location of final masterpiece'

The likely location for Tree Roots was found by Wouter van der Veen, the scientific director of the Institut Van Gogh. He recognised similarities between the painting and a postcard dating from 1900 to 1910.

Missing part of Stonehenge returned 60 years on

No-one knew where it was until Robert Phillips, 89, who was involved in those works, decided to return part of it. English Heritage, which looks after Stonehenge, hopes the sample might now help establish where the stones originally came from.

Stonehenge: Sarsen stones origin mystery solved

The origin of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge has finally been discovered with the help of a missing piece of the site which was returned after 60 years. Archaeologists pinpointed the source of the stones to an area 15 miles (25km) north of the site near Marlborough.

Endangered tigers making a 'remarkable' comeback

Millions watched them in captivity on the lockdown TV hit Tiger King. But in the wild, tiger populations have been in rapid decline for decades now.

Maine shark attack: US woman killed by great white

The woman was swimming near Bailey Island - close to the city of Portland - on Monday when she was attacked. The victim was named as Julie Holowach, 63, from New York.

Iran blasts dummy US aircraft carrier with missiles

Iran has launched missiles at a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The drill included fire so heavy that the US military temporarily put two regional bases on alert.

Coronavirus: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective says Fauci

US President Donald Trump has again defended the use of hydroxychloroquine to ward off coronavirus, contradicting his own public health officials. He said the malaria medication was only rejected as a Covid-19 treatment because he had recommended its use.

Black Lives Matter: Arkansas senator describes slavery as 'necessary evil'

In a local newspaper interview, Republican Tom Cotton said he rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core. He is introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery.

What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

If you have ever doubted whether solar power can be a transformative technology, read on. This is a story about how it has proved its worth in the toughest environment possible.

France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars

France's government has announced new environmental measures, including a ban on heated terraces for cafes and bars. Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said outside heating or air conditioning was an "ecological aberration".

Nasa Mars rover: Meteorite to head home to Red Planet

Nasa's Perseverance robot will carry with it a meteorite that originated on the Red Planet and which, until now, has been lodged in the collection of London's Natural History Museum (NHM). The rock's known properties will act as a calibration target to benchmark the workings of a rover instrument.

The dying teenager who wanted world peace (and love)

When Californian teenager Jeff Henigson was diagnosed with brain cancer and given two years to live, a children's charity granted him the wish of a lifetime. But Jeff didn't choose to go to Disneyland or meet his favourite footballer - Jeff just wanted world peace.

Viewer spots Florida reporter Victoria Price's cancer growth

"Hers was cancer. Turns out, mine is too," she said, announcing she would be taking time off from work to fight it. Price said she would undergo surgery on Monday to remove the tumour.

German crash: Three die as aircraft hits home in Wesel

Three people have died after a microlight aircraft crashed into a home in Wesel, in north-western Germany, officials say. The identities of the dead are not yet known. A child was also treated for injuries and shock. The aircraft could have carried two people.

Cancel culture: What unites young people against Obama and Trump

In the midst of America's racial reckoning, the question of how to deal with memorials to controversial leaders has risen again to the national stage - and has brought back criticisms of "cancel culture" with it. To some, it's a new way to flag past wrongs.

Istanbul Convention: Poland to leave European treaty on violence against women

Poland is to withdraw from a European treaty aimed at preventing violence against women, the country's justice minister announced on Saturday. Zbigniew Ziobro said the document, known as the Istanbul Convention, was "harmful" because it required schools to teach children about gender.

Hungary's Index journalists walk out over sacking

More than 70 journalists and staff at Hungary's top news site Index have resigned, accusing the government of launching a bid to destroy or tame their website. Index is the last of Hungary's key independent media and editor in chief Szabolcs Dull was fired on Tuesday.

Last Qantas 747 jet says goodbye with 'flying kangaroo' in sky

Australian airline Qantas has bid farewell to its last Boeing 747 aeroplane with one final flourish - drawing its logo, the flying kangaroo, in the sky. Dozens gathered at Sydney Airport on Wednesday to wave goodbye to QF7474, writing messages on the plane's body and reading tributes.

Nasa Mars rover: How Perseverance will hunt for signs of past life

Nasa's Perseverance rover, due to launch to Mars this summer, will search an ancient crater lake for signs of past life. But if biology ever emerged on the Red Planet, how will scientists recognise it? Here, mission scientist Ken Williford explains what they're looking for.

Climate change: Polar bears could be lost by 2100

Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. Scientists say some populations have already reached their survival limits as the Arctic sea ice shrinks.

Blackbaud hack: More UK universities confirm breach

More than 20 universities and charities in the UK, US and Canada have confirmed they are victims of a cyber-attack that compromised a software supplier. Blackbaud was held to ransom by hackers in May and paid an undisclosed ransom to cyber-criminals.

BBC News reaching highest ever global audience

BBC News is now reaching its largest ever audience outside the UK, according to new figures. This is an increase of 49 million - or 13% - compared to the previous year.

Germany's Ritter Sport wins square chocolate battle against Milka

For decades, Ritter Sport has marketed its chocolate bars on their unique, square shape. So when Swiss brand Milka challenged its German monopoly on square chocolate, the battle lines were drawn.

Roman jars found in Spanish seafood shop

Authorities conducting a routine inspection of a frozen seafood shop in Spain were surprised to find ancient artefacts decorating the premises. The owner's son found the objects while fishing, according to local media.

UK and US accuses Russia of satellite test firing in space

The UK and US has accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space. The statement said actions like this "threaten the peaceful use of space".

Russian historian jailed in controversial sex abuse case

Yury Dmitirev was sentenced to three and a half years for abusing his adopted daughter. He denies the accusations and his colleagues say he was framed in a plot to discredit his work.

Searching for my slave roots

It started with a photograph from the 19th Century of a man who could have been my double. This was 2002, and there weren’t many programmes about black people, so it was worth staying up for.

By bike, boat and horseback: Epic coronavirus journeys home

With flights grounded and borders closed, some people have embarked on epic voyages to get home during the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we take a look at four such journeys - and the distances travelled just get longer and longer.

Scientists shed light on how the blackest fish in the sea 'disappear'

An ocean mystery - how the blackest fish in the deep sea are so extremely black - has been solved in a study that began with a very bad photograph. Her detailed study of the animal's "ultra-black" skin revealed that it traps light.

Secret Morse code tune sees game removed in China

According to China's Global Times newspaper, the Cytus II musical rhythm game, produced by Taiwan's Rayark Games, has been removed from China's mainland app stores.

Greta Thunberg to donate one-million-euro humanitarian prize

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environment campaigner, has been awarded a new humanitarian prize worth one million euros. The 17-year-old founder of School Strike for Climate, won the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: Elon Musk offered actress '24/7' security

Elon Musk offered Amber Heard "24/7 security" after she told him she wanted a restraining order against Johnny Depp, the High Court has heard. She denied Mr Musk visited her while her then-husband Mr Depp was away.

Bloedige plekken: in de eenzame velden van Neerwinden vond de afgrijselijkste slachting van de 17e eeuw plaats

Plekken in Vlaanderen waar voorbijgangers niet beseffen dat ze geschiedenis onder hun voeten hebben: in de reeks “Bloedige plekken” ontdekken VRT-journalist Jos Vandervelden en fotograaf Alexander Dumarey de plaatsen waar ooit bloed vloeide, waar mensen een gewelddadige dood stierven.

Coronavirus: Did 'herd immunity' change the course of the outbreak?

On Thursday 12 March, everyday life remained relatively normal across the UK. The back pages of the newspapers were dominated by the victory of Atletico Madrid over Liverpool - 50,000 fans had crammed into Anfield stadium.

Hope probe: UAE launches historic first mission to Mars

The United Arab Emirates' historic first mission to Mars is under way, after a successful lift-off in Japan. The Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport, and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet's weather and climate.

Is click-and-collect the future of shopping?

When customers walk up to the front door of The Beguiling, a comic-book shop in Toronto, they’re greeted by a yellow booth that blocks the entrance. It reads, “Bibliographic Help 5¢”. Here, an employee dispenses pick-up orders, answers questions and recommends titles.

The remote work experiment that upped productivity 13%

This story is from Curing Our Positivity Problem, an episode of BBC Sounds. It was presented by Sangita Myska and produced by Sarah Shebbeare. To listen to more episodes of BBC Sounds, click here. Adapted by Bryan Lufkin.

Basel: The birthplace of hallucinogenic science

Talk of famous bike rides and you may think of Lycra-clad athletes racing in the Tour de France.

Ancient Rome’s sinful city at the bottom of the sea

Rome’s ultra-wealthy took weekend trips here to party. Powerful statesmen built luxurious villas on its beach, with heated spas and mosaic-tiled pools where they could indulge their wildest desires.

Baiae: A Roman settlement at the bottom of the sea

“You’re sure I can cross?” I had to almost shout to be heard. Wooden slats dotted the ground before me. About 30m to my right, steam rose into the sky in thick grey-white clouds. And somewhere between where I stood now, and there, the earth turned from solid and cool to boiling and viscous.

An abandoned British island reclaimed by nature

View image of A far-flung British territory (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of Ice and penguins (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of A once-in-a-lifetime destination (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of Abundant wildlife (Credit: Credit: Bella Falk) View image of The South Georgi

HMS Challenger: The voyage that birthed oceanography

In the foyer of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England, stands a ship’s painted figurehead. It towers well above head height and depicts an armoured knight with a silver chest plate, a raised visor and a thick handlebar moustache.

Q Magazine to close after 34 years

The magazine's circulation had fallen to 28,000 per month from a peak of 200,000 in 2001. Founded in 1986 by Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, Q arrived at the same time as the CD revolution took off - and its glossy, aspirational format chimed perfectly with the times.

Who are the Uighurs?

China's western Xinjiang region has a long history of discord between China's authorities and the indigenous Uighur ethnic minority. The Uighurs are Muslims. They regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.

#JusticeForAkram: Belgium investigates death of man hours after arrest

Belgian authorities are investigating the death of a man after footage shared on social media appears to show a police officer kneeling on his back. Police say the 29-year-old man of Algerian origin was arrested outside a café in Antwerp on Sunday after he allegedly tried to attack people.

Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus. The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.

Spain's monarchy shaken by Juan Carlos's hidden Swiss fortune

The emergence of shocking allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Spanish King Juan Carlos have cast doubt over the very future of the monarchy, under his son King Felipe.

Amazon soya and beef exports 'linked to deforestation'

Up to one-fifth of Brazil's soya exports to the European Union may be "contaminated" by illegal deforestation, a study has found. Researchers used freely available maps and data to identify the specific farms and ranches clearing forests to produce soya and beef destined for Europe.

Coronavirus: Are mutations making it more infectious?

The coronavirus that is now threatening the world is subtly different from the one that first emerged in China. Sars-Cov-2, the official name of the virus that causes the disease Covid-19, and continues to blaze a path of destruction across the globe, is mutating.

Nantes cathedral volunteer detained after fire

The Rwandan refugee was in charge of locking up the day before the blaze destroyed stained glass windows and the grand organ inside. Prosecutors said they wanted to clear up inconsistencies in the man's schedule.

'Rambo' suspect held in Germany after five-day hunt

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

Twitter says hackers downloaded private account data

Twitter has confirmed hackers made use of tools that were supposed to have only been available to its own staff to carry off Wednesday's hack attack. The breach saw the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Bill Gates among other celebrities used to tweet a Bitcoin scam.

Doctor Room: The counsellor helping digital sex crime victims

That is how one suspected ringleader of a clandestine online sextortion ring in South Korea described his relief at being caught.

Twitter hack: 130 accounts targeted in attack

Twitter says 130 accounts were targeted in a major cyber-attack of celebrity accounts two days ago. However, Twitter says only a "small subset" of those 130 accounts had control seized by the attacker.

Protests after Detroit teen detained over missed homework

The African-American teenager has reportedly been detained since mid-May. Hundreds of students gathered outside her school and the court to show their support for the girl known as "Grace".

US firms 'collaborating' with China - Barr

US Justice Secretary William Barr has accused Hollywood and US tech firms of "collaborating" with the Chinese government to do business there. Companies like Disney routinely agreed to censor films while Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple were "all too willing" to work with Beijing, he said.

Coronavirus: Piracy incidents double across Asia during pandemic

Piracy incidents have doubled across Asia causing "deep concern", according to a new report. There were 50 incidents in the region in the first half of the year, compared to 25 in the same period of 2019.

US farmers beef with Burger King over cow fart ad

Fast food chain Burger King has released an advertisement encouraging US farmers to change cow diets in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The controversial video ad features children with exaggerated accents singing about the impact methane from cows has on global warming.

Welcome to Jáchymov: the Czech town that invented the dollar

The US dollar is the most widely used currency in the world. It is both the primary de facto global tender and the world’s unofficial gold standard.

US-China: Pompeo dog photo has netizens asking if US is toying with China

Mike Pompeo posted a picture on his personal account of his dog Mercer, surrounded by "all of her favourite toys". The toy that sits centre stage is a stuffed Winnie the Pooh.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates 'hacked' in apparent Bitcoin scam

Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are among several high-profile individuals targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam. Posts that appeared on official accounts on Wednesday requested donations in the cryptocurrency.

Banksy Tube graffiti: Cleaners 'unaware it was by artist'

Cleaners did not know graffiti on a London Underground train was by world-renowned artist Banksy when they removed it, the BBC has been told. The piece, If You Don't Mask, You Don't Get, was painted inside a Circle Line service carriage.

Desert telescope takes aim at ageing our Universe

Another telescope has entered the debate about the age and expansion rate of the Universe. This topic has recently become the subject of an energetic to and fro among scientists using different astronomical facilities and techniques.

Wounds of Dutch history expose deep racial divide

Bronze statues of colonial icons have been spray-painted. Black Lives Matter protests have broken out. And now the Dutch parliament has backed a petition by three teenage women requesting the addition of racism to the school curriculum.

Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born

The world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born which is set to have a "jaw-dropping" impact on societies, say researchers. Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century.

Coronavirus: The last-round fight for NYC's bastions of boxing?

Some of New York City's most iconic boxing gyms have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with no official guidance on how they can reopen, many gym owners fear the city will forever lose this sporting legacy, writes Ben Wyatt.

Banksy: New coronavirus-inspired artwork appears on Tube

Banksy has returned to the London Underground with a piece encouraging people to wear a face mask. He can been seen ordering passengers away as he gets to work, stencilling rats around the inside of a carriage.

Cat owner baffled by pet's swimming goggles antics

Sally Bell says Avery has always brought her small animals but in recent weeks has switched to stealing underwater eyewear. The feline felon has so far deposited eight pairs at her Bristol home.

Read more from Knowable Magazine

It was the muddy water that caught Stefan Talke’s eye. In the mid-2000s Talke was a postdoctoral scholar at Utrecht University, studying the river Ems that empties into the North Sea between Germany and the Netherlands.

Stromboli: Volcano erupts on small Italian island

Fires were seen on Stromboli but no injuries have been reported. "We saw the explosion from the hotel. There was a loud roar," Michela Favorito, who works in a hotel on the island, told Reuters news agency.

Coronavirus: Why attitudes to masks have changed around the world

In the past few days, both US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been seen wearing masks in public for the first time.

Indian papers resurfacing in French Alps could be from 1966 plane crash

Indian newspapers from 1966 have surfaced in the French Alps, under the ice of a melting Mont Blanc glacier. They are believed to be from an Air India plane that crashed on 24 January, 1966, killing all 117 people on board.

South China Sea dispute: China's pursuit of resources 'unlawful', says US

China's pursuit of offshore resources in parts of the South China Sea is "completely unlawful", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. He condemned Beijing's "campaign of bullying to control" disputed waters that are potentially energy-rich.

Could eating ants help us live longer?

The most important day of the year in Barichara, a colonial town in the Colombian Andes, is not Christmas, New Year or Easter, but what locals excitedly call La Salida, or “The Exit”.

Coronavirus: Why surviving the virus may be just the beginning

The first thing Simon Farrell can remember, after being woken from a medically induced coma, is trying to tear off his oxygen mask. He had been in intensive care for 10 days, reliant on a ventilator just to breathe.

Hagia Sophia: Pope 'pained' as Istanbul museum reverts to mosque

Pope Francis has said he's "pained" by Turkey's decision to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Speaking at a service in the Vatican, the Roman Catholic leader added that his "thoughts go to Istanbul".

Roger Stone: Robert Mueller defends indictment over Russia probe

Former US special counsel Robert Mueller has made a rare public intervention to defend his indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone. Stone was found guilty on charges linked to an investigation led by Mr Mueller that found Russia tried to boost the Trump 2016 election campaign.

The record-breaking jet which still haunts a country

In the early years of the Cold War, Canada decided to design and build the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. Canada is well known for its rugged bush planes, capable of rough landings and hair-raising take-offs in the wilderness.

Scrabble community mulls banning racial and homophobic slurs

Leaders of the Scrabble tournament community in North America are voting on whether to ban the use of racial and homophobic slurs. The vote will decide whether the words will be removed from the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) list of accepted words.

Shark kills teenage surfer in Australia's New South Wales

The 15-year-old was surfing when he suffered severe leg injuries at Wooli Beach, 630km (390 miles) north of Sydney, according to witnesses. Nearby surfers came to help, including one who is reported to have tried to pull the shark away.

South African church attack: Five dead after 'hostage situation'

Five people have been killed after attackers stormed a South African church, reportedly amid an argument over its leadership. South African police said they had rescued men, women and children from a "hostage situation" on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

Nasa Mars rover Perseverance is attached to rocket

Nasa's Perseverance Mars rover has been attached to the top of the rocket that will send it toward the Red Planet. The nosecone containing the rover and other spacecraft elements have been fixed to an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Roger Stone: Trump spares ex-adviser from prison, sparking critics' anger

US President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of his longtime ally and former adviser Roger Stone. The move - sparing Stone from jail but not a pardon - came just after a court denied Stone's request to delay the start date of his 40-month prison term.

European hamster added to 'critically endangered' list

You might want to hold Mr Snuffles extra tight tonight, because European hamsters have been added to a list of critically endangered animals. They are among the new additions to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) "red list".

Hagia Sophia: Turkey turns iconic Istanbul museum into mosque

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed a decree converting Hagia Sophia in Istanbul - founded as a cathedral - into a mosque. Earlier Turkey's top administrative court annulled the museum status of the world-famous cultural site.

US Supreme Court rules half of Oklahoma is Native American land

The US Supreme Court has ruled about half of Oklahoma belongs to Native Americans, in a landmark case that also quashed a child rape conviction. The justices decided 5-4 that an eastern chunk of the state, including its second-biggest city, Tulsa, should be recognised as part of a reservation.

Notre Dame: Cathedral's spire will be restored to 19th Century design

The spire of Notre Dame cathedral, which was destroyed in a fire last April, will be restored according to the original Gothic design. French President Emmanuel Macron announced the decision, putting an end to speculation that the spire would be rebuilt in a modern style.

'I can recover at home': Cosmetic surgeons see rise in patients amid pandemic

Despite the virus shutting businesses across the globe, a number of plastic surgery clinics have remained open, adopting stricter measures such as Covid-19 tests and more frequent cleaning.

Coronavirus: Fujitsu announces permanent work-from-home plan

Technology firm Fujitsu has said it will halve its office space in Japan as it adapts to the "new normal" of the coronavirus pandemic. It says the "Work Life Shift" programme will offer unprecedented flexibility to its 80,000 workers in the country.

World's rarest great ape pictured with babies

Photos have been released for the first time in years showing a group of rare gorillas in the mountains of southern Nigeria, conservationists say. Only 300 Cross River gorillas are known to live in the wild, making them the most endangered sub-species.

Qasem Soleimani: US strike on Iran general was unlawful, UN expert says

The US attack that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani violated international law, a UN expert says. Soleimani died along with nine other people in a drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq in January.

What’s so different about DDEV-Local?

In 2020, users from designers to developers to testers and open source contributors have a wide variety of local development environments to chose from.

Is rum about to become the new gin?

Rum distiller Mark Watkins is reflecting on his disastrous first attempt at making his own spirits when he was a teenager. The then 16-year-old had set up a rudimentary distillery at the back of his parents' banana farm in the small town of Walkamin, in north-eastern Queensland, Australia.

How Many Holes Does a Human Have?

Now you're thinking: https://www.curiositybox.com/ https://twitter.com/tweetsauce https://www.instagram.com/electricpants Special thanks to @Chubbyemu and Evelyn Lamb (https://twitter.com/evelynjlamb) for answering my questions about the body and holes, respectively. wardrobe by: https://twitter.c

China bubonic plague: Inner Mongolia takes precautions after case

Authorities in China have stepped up precautions after a city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region confirmed one case of bubonic plague. According to state reports, the Bayannur patient - a herdsman - is in quarantine and in a stable condition.

The berry that keeps Asia looking young

High in the upper reaches of North-West China lies a land filled with riches. For it’s here, on the banks of the Yellow River and in the shade of the mist-covered Liupan Mountains that the people of the Ningxia region have been growing one of Asia’s most sought-after foods for centuries.

Taiwan’s 2,000-year-old knife massage

Lying face down on the massage table, I waited fearfully for the chopping to start. My knife massage therapist, Elsa, was cheerfully wielding two meat cleavers. That’s because, while chopping motions are expected in lots of body massage, in this one, knives do the chopping.

The birthplace of traditional Thai massage

Among the towering spires and ceramic inlaid stupas of Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple are a group of inscriptions from the 19th Century.

Shooting celebrities: Thirty years behind the lens

Andy Gotts' photographic career began 30 years ago when, as a student, he persuaded Stephen Fry to pose for him. Since then he has photographed the biggest names in the entertainment business. Here, he remembers a few of those who have been captured by his camera.

Coronavirus: WHO rethinking how Covid-19 spreads in air

The World Health Organization has acknowledged there is emerging evidence that the coronavirus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air. The airborne transmission could not be ruled out in crowded, closed or poorly ventilated settings, an official said.

JK Rowling joins 150 public figures warning over free speech

Some 150 writers, academics and activists - including authors JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood - have signed an open letter denouncing the "restriction of debate". They say they applaud a recent "needed reckoning" on racial justice, but argue it has fuelled stifling of open debate.

The law that could make climate change illegal

Imagine this: it’s 2030 and a country has just missed its target for cutting carbon emissions, that was set back in 2020. People are frustrated, but several governments have come and gone since the goal was set. “Don’t blame us,” the current government says.

China bubonic plague: WHO 'monitoring' case but says it is 'not high risk'

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is "carefully monitoring" a case of bubonic plague in China's northern Inner Mongolia region, but says that it is "not high risk". The bubonic plague was once the world's most feared disease, but can now be easily treated.

Why human touch is so hard to replace

“I can't do any sort of work without touching someone. It is part of my profession,” says Jo Adenuga, a London-based makeup artist.

'Email from dad after his death made my birthday’

Natasha Salman's dad died in April and she was preparing for her first birthday without him when a glance at an old email inbox led to a thousand people sharing their stories of loss and compassion.

Dinosaur ancestors 'may have been tiny'

Dinosaurs are often thought of as giant creatures, but new research adds to evidence they started out small. The evidence comes from a newly described fossil relative found on Madagascar that lived some 237 million years ago and stood just 10cm tall.

Mount Kinabalu naked photo accused jailed

Four tourists who posed naked on a mountain in Malaysia have been given jail terms and fined. Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Canadians Lindsey and Danielle Peterson, and Dutchman Dylan Snel admitted causing a public disturbance.

Dakota Access Pipeline: Judge suspends use of key oil link

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been ordered to suspend production by a US judge, amid concerns over its environmental impact. The order is a major win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has led the fight against the pipeline.

Ringo Starr to celebrate 80th milestone with music friends

Ringo Starr is grateful for the past and upbeat about the future, saying he's looking forward to celebrating his 80th birthday on 7 July, even though it will now be online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oxford English Dictionary and its chief word detective

Oxford English Dictionary Chief Editor John Simpson is to retire after 37 years at the famous reference work. Here he writes of a life hunting for the evidence behind the birth of words. Historical dictionaries are not just about definitions.

How to tell if you’re being ‘breadcrumbed’ at work

As we head into 2020, we're running the best, most insightful and most essential Worklife stories from 2019. Read all of the year's biggest hits here. Stop breadcrumbing me!

Tomorrow’s Gods: What is the future of religion?

Before Mohammed, before Jesus, before Buddha, there was Zoroaster. Some 3,500 years ago, in Bronze Age Iran, he had a vision of the one supreme God.

The most striking images of 2019

According to a centuries-old Spanish tradition, when a horse or other animal leaps across a burning bonfire, the smoke penetrated by the creature will protect it from harm for a year.

Why gluten free might not be so good for you after all

Gluten free? It might not be the healthier option after all. Scientists at Harvard University say those who cut gluten out of their diet increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The dying officer treated for cancer with baking soda

The father of the alkaline diet, Robert O Young, is hailed as an inspiration by one of the UK's most popular food writers, Natasha Corrett, but he faces a jail sentence for practising medicine without a licence.

Top five celeb diets to avoid in 2018, according to dieticians

The British Dietetic Association has released a list of diets they say we should steer clear of in the new year. They include the Raw Vegan, Alkaline, Pioppi and Ketogenic diets, as well as Katie Price's Nutritional Supplements.

The truth about the US’ most iconic food

(We have updated this story since it was first published last year to include new information, including where to eat Feltman's during the coronavirus pandemic.

Skiplagging: The travel trick that airlines hate

Why airlines are cracking down on "skiplagging" — the hack that savvy travellers use to fly for less.As we head into 2020, we're running the best, most insightful and most essential Worklife stories from 2019. Read all of the year's biggest hits here.

My Money: 'I made it through the day without spending a dollar'

My Money is a new series looking at how people spend their money - and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here, Chelsea Thomas from California records her spending over a week and shares tips for saving. We're looking for more people to share what they spend their money on.

Plastic packaging ban 'could harm environment'

Consumer pressure to end plastic packaging in shops could actually be harming the environment, a report says. Firms are swapping to other packaging materials which are potentially even worse for the environment, the cross-party Parliamentary group warns.

Does the US have a problem with topless women?

Women fed up with being forced to cover up their breasts and nipples are challenging American laws about nudity and sparking a debate about the country's attitude to the naked female form.

What it’s like to survive a shipwreck

The wind had dropped the night before, but the sea was still running pretty heavy, especially for a boat like the Lucette. The waves were about head height and in a small boat there was a real risk of going over the side. In the distance a shape in the sea moved towards the yacht.

Tips for longevity from the oldest people on Earth

Okinawa is known as a ‘blue zone’ - a home to some of the oldest people on the planet. The secret isn’t medication or specific foods, but a connection with their loved ones.

Is this the most powerful word in the English language?

‘The’. It’s omnipresent; we can’t imagine English without it. But it’s not much to look at. It isn’t descriptive, evocative or inspiring. Technically, it’s meaningless. And yet this bland and innocuous-seeming word could be one of the most potent in the English language.

Secrets of '1,000-year-old trees' unlocked

Scientists have discovered the secret of how the ginkgo tree can live for more than 1,000 years. And, unlike many other plants, its genes are not programmed to trigger inexorable decline when its youth is over.

Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush 'needs to burn'

For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Australia set fire to the land. Long before Australia was invaded and colonised by Europeans, fire management techniques - known as "cultural burns" - were being practised.

Why vegan junk food may be even worse for your health

No British train station or high street would be complete without a Greggs bakery. The merchants of mass-produced pastries are as quintessential as they come. And last year they won plaudits for turning vegan. On the back of their success, other fast food brands shortly followed suit.

Is it okay to tell a dirty joke at work?

On her first day in a new job in the City, Kate (not her real name) didn't know what to expect. Now a successful executive, she remembers being ready to roll with the punches, anything in order to get ahead. What she didn't expect was unrelenting sexual innuendo.

'My silent retreat obsession changed my life'

Then a friend recommended a book on meditation. The 26-year-old started meditating at home in Nottinghamshire, before deciding she wanted to take things up a level.

What can you use instead of Google and Facebook?

He has abandoned using the services of internet giants like Google and Facebook and is using smaller rivals, which promise greater privacy. "I'm uncomfortable with the power of the major service providers such as Google and Facebook.

Why food memories are so powerful

I was only three years old when my parents, sister and I emigrated from Leningrad in the USSR to the United States in 1980 as “traitors”, losing our Soviet citizenship and turning our backs on Communism for the “evil capitalist West”.

How to escape the tyranny of the clock

In our modern lives, every minute of our day is a valuable and precious commodity. But is it possible to abandon the clock altogether?Time rules and regiments our lives from the moment we wake up until the end of the day – there’s no escaping our need to keep a close eye on the clock.

How much of your body is your own?

This story is part of BBC Earth's "Best of 2016" list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list. Welcome to The Making of Me and You, a unique, new digital interactive from BBC Earth that details extraordinary personalised facts.

Wasp-76b: The exotic inferno planet where it 'rains iron'

Astronomers have observed a distant planet where it probably rains iron. It sounds like a science fiction movie, but this is the nature of some of the extreme worlds we're now discovering.

Searching for the missing girl

There was something about that perfect little body, fully clothed, lying like a piece of flotsam on the sand. Lots of people were shocked, but Rob couldn’t shake the image off.  The image of a child alone resonated deeply for Rob.

How your personality changes as you age

It was October 1984 and Reagan was on the debating circuit, battling to remain in office for a second term. He had already performed poorly against his main rival a few weeks earlier. Now there were whispers that, at 73 years old, he was simply too old for the job.

How to cut phone time at work

People hate being ignored in favour of a phone, or ‘phubbed’. New research shows phone-obsessed bosses may cause long-term damage to employee morale.A mobile phone is a great way to keep in touch with someone far away.

How to argue with a racist: Five myths debunked

Stereotypes and myths about race abound, but this does not make them true. Often, these are not even expressed by overt racists. For many well-intentioned people, experience and cultural history has steered them towards views that aren't supported by human genetics.

The man who returned his grandfather’s looted art

At the end of the 19th Century British troops looted thousands of works of art from the Benin Empire - in modern-day Nigeria - and brought them home. One soldier's grandson inherited two bronzes but recently returned them to their original home. "It's an image that's deeply ingrained in my memory.

A tiny 'country' between France and Switzerland

It was 15:00, and Madame Georgette Bertin-Pourchet, president of the Republic of Le Saugeais, was serving tea in her sitting room in the Haut-Doubs region in eastern France.

Spain’s mysterious underwater ‘Stonehenge’

Europe suffered an unusually hot summer in 2019. Seven weather stations in Spain recorded their highest temperatures ever in June, and higher-than-average temperatures and drought were registered across the country in July and August.

Coronavirus: What can we learn from the Spanish flu?

One hundred years ago, a world recovering from a global war that had killed some 20 million people suddenly had to contend with something even more deadly: a flu outbreak.

How do you work out what something is worth?

In the year 211BC, Rome and Carthage were engaged in a long war that was to shape the ancient Mediterranean. The North African general Hannibal had vanquished Roman legions at will. As the Romans regrouped and began to fight back, Hannibal decided on a bold plan: he would march on Rome itself.

Coronavirus: How can we stay in virtual touch with older relatives?

As the government encourages "social distancing" in the fight against coronavirus, older people are facing the prospect of being told to stay at home for weeks. But what if a parent or older person in your life, doesn't already have access to video calling tech?

The evolution of the modern workday

The '9 to 5' workday we know today draws from thousands of years of history. Discover the most impactful people, technologies and ideas that have shaped our modern world of work.

Tips for how to stay happy in troubling times

By dwelling less on stress and reflecting on the positives, BBC Future’s guide to happiness will help you to feel less overwhelmed by world events.

The New Zealand river that became a legal person

Flowing through the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, the Whanganui River is one of the country’s most important natural resources.

Could a ‘workcation’ change how you think?

Instead of struggling to create a hard barrier between work and life, maybe it’s time to combine them. Especially if the goal is to think big.Out in the mountains of Harper’s Ferry, in the US state of West Virginia, Alexis Grant has spent the past few months getting ready.

No, drinking water doesn't kill coronavirus

First there was the bizarre suggestion that it can be cured with cocaine. After the erroneous idea circulated widely on social media, the French government had to quickly issue a statement saying that it’s definitely pas vrai.

Uganda's Kanungu cult massacre that killed 700 followers

Judith Ariho does not shed any tears as she recalls the church massacre in which her mother, two siblings and four other relatives were among at least 700 people who died.

Covid-19: The ways viruses can spread in offices

If even a single surface is compromised, a virus can infect the majority of a workplace in a matter of hours.

How firms move to secret offices amid Covid-19

From 9/11 to coronavirus, big emergencies call for big responses – like how some firms move to secret empty offices in undisclosed locations to stay safe.Some people call them “ghost offices”.

The travel 'ache' you can’t translate

Every time I feel like I’ve reached the most remote place I’ve ever travelled, I hear “Guten tag”, and see a German rounding the corner, nonchalantly strolling by like he or she went for a walk around in their Munich or Hamburg neighbourhood, got pleasantly lost, and somehow ended up here in

Coronavirus: How Covid-19 is denying dignity to the dead in Italy

Italy has banned funerals because of the coronavirus crisis. For many, the virus is now robbing families of the chance to say a final goodbye. In Italy, many victims of Covid-19 are dying in hospital isolation without any family or friends.

Japan by the sea

The small towns of Shirahama and Kushimoto, 50km apart on the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, are a slice of Japan well and truly off the beaten path.

Coronavirus: Why some countries wear face masks and others don't

Step outside your door without a face mask in Hong Kong, Seoul or Tokyo, and you may well get a disapproving look.

Why orange juice prices are soaring on global markets

The future price of orange juice has spiked by more than 20% this month as consumers look for healthy products during the coronavirus pandemic. While demand has risen, supply has been hit as producers struggle to transport goods due to transport restrictions.

Why social distancing might last for some time

Near the end of World War One, a nasty flu started spreading around the world. The virus responsible for the disease, which became known as Spanish flu, infected over a quarter of the world’s population.

A cultural history of the beloved corner shop

When so much suddenly changes about everyday life, we’re still innately drawn to whatever seems most familiar.

Covid-19: The history of pandemics

The novel coronavirus pandemic, known as Covid-19, could not have been more predictable. From my own reporting, I knew this first-hand.

Coronavirus and sex: What you need to know

If I have sex can I catch coronavirus? You might have thought about it but been too embarrassed to ask. To separate the facts from myths, we've put your questions to health experts.

A place that makes you ask the questions that really matter

Visitors to Antarctica are often awed and humbled by its size, and its extreme climate. But it also caused the BBC's Justin Rowlatt to reflect on the human ability to solve problems together - and to feel hope for the future.

What happens when the internet vanishes?

From his high-rise desk overlooking the sprawling city of Addis Ababa, Markos Lemma has a pretty good view. As the founder of technology innovation hub IceAddis, his co-working space is usually abuzz with wide-eyed entrepreneurs fuelled on strong coffee and big dreams.

Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy

When I spoke to him on the phone, he had just returned home to his village in the northern state of Rajasthan from neighbouring Gujarat, where he worked as a mason. In the rising heat, Goutam Lal Meena had walked on macadam in his sandals. He said he had survived on water and biscuits.

Lagos lockdown over coronavirus: 'How will my children survive?'

As more than 25 million people are placed on a two-week lockdown in parts of Nigeria in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, poor people in congested neighbourhoods are worried about how they will cope, writes the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo from the commercial capital Lagos.

Peacock spiders show more of their colours

OK, a lot of people don't like arachnids. But c'mon, these little guys are simply stunning. Seven new peacock spiders have been described in the journal Zootaxa.

Coronavirus: The good that can come out of an upside-down world

Our world has changed immensely in the last few weeks but amid the upheaval and distress, there are reasons to believe we can emerge from the crisis with some human qualities enhanced, writes Matthew Syed.

Thomas Becket: Alpine ice sheds light on medieval murder

Ancient air pollution, trapped in ice, reveals new details about life and death in 12th Century Britain. In a study, scientists have found traces of lead, transported on the winds from British mines that operated in the late 1100s.

Blood test 'can check for more than 50 types of cancer'

It could help diagnose tumours sooner, when they are easier to treat and, ideally, cure, experts hope. More than 99% of positive results are accurate, the team says, but it will be crucial to check it does not miss cases and provide false assurance.

Uncovering amazake: Japan’s ancient fermented 'superdrink'

By the time I made the hike down the long pathway from the top of Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari to the houses below, I was thirsty. Which was convenient, since many local residents take advantage of foot traffic from the mountainside Shinto shrine by hosting small cafes in their homes.

Coronavirus: Does my grandfather’s 1940 infectious disease advice still hold true?

These words were published 80 years ago and written by my grandfather, Dr John Davy Rolleston, in his book Acute Infectious Diseases - A Handbook for Practitioners and Students.

Why do we think cats are unfriendly?

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current crisis, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So, now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

What outdoor space tells us about inequality

Moikgantsi Kgama has seen far too much of her apartment recently. She’s spent the pandemic inside her home in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood, an affordable housing flat which has no balcony, rooftop or private garden.

Will the world be quieter after the pandemic?

Or, at least, it wasn’t. With the advent of the Covid-19 lockdown – and the concomitant reduction in crowds, road and air traffic – many places are now bathed in an unusual quiet.

The learning opportunities hiding in our failures

Successes enjoy more attention than failures. We celebrate stories of triumph, and pore over them to extract the reasons why things went so well.

The surprising origins of the postal service

With mail processing delays around the world and the United States Postal Service (USPS) teetering on the brink of collapse as a result of the financial losses caused by the pandemic, as reported by Politico, many people are coming to realise just how crucial a role the mail plays in their daily liv

Facial recognition to 'predict criminals' sparks row over AI bias

Harrisburg University researchers said their software "can predict if someone is a criminal, based solely on a picture of their face". The software "is intended to help law enforcement prevent crime", it said.

US country band Dixie Chicks drop the Dixie from their name

Country band Dixie Chicks have changed their name to The Chicks, to help highlight racial inequality in the US. The Texas trio revealed they'd dropped it on Thursday, while unveiling a protest song called March March.

Robot tanks: On patrol but not allowed to shoot

In 1985 the US pulled the plug on a computer-controlled anti-aircraft tank after a series of debacles in which its electronic brain locked guns onto a stand packed with top generals reviewing the device.

How 'reading the air' keeps Japan running

This story is part of Gen J, a new BBC Worklife series that spotlights Japan as the country heads into 2020. This is the third story in that series, looking at a societal expectation that even the youngest generation must be prepared to manage.

Making beautiful colours without toxic chemicals

If there's one thing you can count on finding in anybody's wardrobe, it's a pair of jeans - and the chances are those jeans will be blue. The original work trousers, invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873, were dyed with indigo derived from plants.

The shipwreck that forever changed South Africa

After meeting up with Dr Bruno Werz in the parking lot of Cape Town’s Dolphin Beach Hotel, we picked our way through tussocked dunes down to the Table Bay shoreline.

Why Tunis could be the new Rome

The wait for admission to the Colosseum was approximately three and a half hours. The queue was so long that I initially mistook it for the line leading into the Palatine Hill, as I couldn’t even see the Colosseum when I joined the end of it.

The glitzy European city going green

It’s an unlikely spot for an organic fruit and vegetable garden, tucked away between soulless high-rise buildings that dot the most densely populated country in the world. But this 450 sq m sliver of land is where market gardener Jessica Sbaraglia toils away.

How did the last Neanderthals live?

Forty thousand years ago in Europe, we were not the only human species alive – there were at least three others. Many of us are familiar with one of these, the Neanderthals.

Coronavirus: Why are we catching more diseases from animals?

The world is grappling with the new coronavirus, which has spread from China to at least 16 other countries, including the UK. Outbreaks of new infectious diseases are typically seen as a "one off".

'I didn't know it was abuse until I nearly died'

It was only when Abi Blake was nearly killed by her abusive husband that she decided to break up with him and press charges. A new policing pilot in Cheshire encourages women not to leave it so late, reports the BBC's Sue Mitchell. They were introduced by friends just after Valentine's Day in 2014.

To Scale: The Solar System

On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.A film by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Goroshalexgorosh.comwylieoverstreet.comFeel like supporting more films like this? Consid

Tattoos: 'The more I have, the more confident I feel'

You probably know Post Malone for two things: massive hit singles and having loads of tattoos - some on his face. He's been chatting about his body art in a new interview, saying his tattoos come from "a place of insecurity".

Delhi's inventive answer to the electric car

The rise of the electric three-wheeler could help to reduce India’s emissions and improve air quality, but how can this niche vehicle compete on Delhi’s busy streets?The sleek Dwarka metro station towers against the industrial landscape of Delhi, a busy stop on the city’s modern train network,

Why sisters have the greatest love of all

Arguably the most brutal, gasp-inducing moment in Greta Gerwig’s recent adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women is when a jealous Amy burns her sister Jo’s manuscript. As framed by Gerwig, it’s a bigger betrayal even than her later marrying Laurie.

How burnout affects mental health workers

Their day to day jobs involve solving other people’s emotional issues. So how do therapists avoid taking those issues home with them?Jessica Smith became a therapist for the same reason many mental health professionals go into the field – to help people.

Lord Howe: Australia’s most exclusive island?

Rainbow-coloured fish swirled around my legs in crystal-clear South Pacific waters. On a semi-tropical rainforest walk, I clapped my hands and chirping flightless birds ran towards me, tame from lack of predators.

Can you feed cats and dogs a vegan diet?

Some vegan pet owners don’t just want to give up animal products – they want their pets to as well. But can cats and dogs really go meat free? In June 2016, a Tumblr blog user named sfveganyogi posted a picture of the dinner she was about to serve her Labrador, Maggie.

Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think

The internet allows us to send messages, share pictures, download music and stream videos at a touch of a button, but our online habits have a surprising impact on the environment.

The monks who bought their own Scottish island

Twenty years ago, an order of Catholic monks bought a small Orkney island where they could practice the Latin Mass. They are continuing a religious tradition which gave Papa Stronsay its name. Brother Nicodemus Mary loves to pray in private in the ruins of St Nicholas' Chapel.

Japan’s ancient way to save the planet

Reaching across the counter to pass us a beautifully wrapped pack of homemade senbei (rice crackers), the elderly shopkeeper joined in our admiration of the colourful designs.

Read more from Mosaic

If you have sleep apnoea, chances are you don’t realise it. But it’s linked to diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and it can put your life at riskI thought I was dying. During the day, I was so tired my knees would buckle.

Can beauty pageants ever be empowering?

Beauty pageants have long been a contested part of our culture: some see them as a hangover from a far more patriarchal era, while others defend them for helping women of all ages to feel more confident and to know their self-worth. It’s a debate raised in new film, Misbehaviour.

Canada’s mysterious lake monster

Not long after I moved to Kelowna, a city in southern British Columbia known for its wineries, water sports and hiking trails, I saw a news story about a monster sighting.

How a 'growth mindset' can lead to success

The phenomenally successful are fond of telling us about their passion for their professions. Consider Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.

The countries building miniature nuclear reactors

Small-scale nuclear reactors are starting to be developed around the world. Proponents say they are a safer and cheaper form of nuclear power.

The spectacular failures and successes of massive dams

Not far from Cairo stood a remarkable dam, the Sadd el-Kafara, more than 100m long, and 14m high, and able to store about half a million cubic metres of water. These statistics are modest, by modern standards - but the Sadd el-Kafara is not a modern dam. It was built nearly 5,000 years ago.

The curious origins of the dollar symbol

Despite its ubiquity, the origins of the dollar sign remain far from clear, with competing theories touching on Bohemian coins, the Pillars of Hercules and harried merchants.The dollar sign is among the world’s most potent symbols, emblematic of far more than US currency.

'The closest thing on Earth to interplanetary travel'

Finding out how fast Antarctic ice is melting is critical to understanding the scale of the climate crisis. The BBC's chief environmental correspondent, Justin Rowlatt, is therefore joining scientists as they check the health of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

How hacking the human heart could replace pill popping

A new generation of “smart” implantable devices could replace traditional medication to treat a range of chronic conditions, including cardiac disease.The modern pacemaker is a medical marvel.

What is bubonic plague?

It is not known how the patient became infected, but the country is on alert for more cases. Plague is one of the deadliest diseases in human history - but it can now be easily treated with antibiotics.

Coronavirus: Fear over rise in animal-to-human diseases

Zoonotic diseases - which jump from animals to humans - are increasing and will continue to do so without action to protect wildlife and preserve the environment, UN experts have warned.

Obituary: Ennio Morricone, the composer who changed the sound of cinema

Ennio Morricone's innovative and influential scores revolutionised the music of the film industry. He became famous for scoring the Spaghetti Westerns directed by his friend Sergio Leone, such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Ennio Morricone: Oscar-winning Italian film composer dies aged 91

Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose credits include the "spaghetti" Westerns that made Clint Eastwood a star, has died in Rome aged 91. According to Italian news agency Ansa, he died in hospital having fractured his femur in a fall some days ago.

Coronavirus: Why Singapore turned to wearable contact-tracing tech

Singapore's TraceTogether Tokens are the latest effort to tackle Covid-19 with tech. But they have also reignited a privacy debate.

Tiger kills Zurich zookeeper in front of visitors and staff

Staff rushed to her aid and eventually managed to draw the tiger out of the cage, but the 55-year-old keeper died at the scene, Zurich zoo said. Visitors raised the alarm at about 13:20 (11:20 GMT) on Saturday.

Katsina: The motorcycle bandits terrorising northern Nigeria

Motorcycle-riding armed bandits operating out of abandoned forest reserves are ransacking communities in Nigeria's north-west. The groups are the latest to join Nigeria's lucrative kidnap for ransom industry, and are quite brazen in their operations.

Hong Kong security law: Pro-democracy books pulled from libraries

Books by pro-democracy figures have been removed from public libraries in Hong Kong in the wake of a controversial new security law. The works will be reviewed to see if they violate the new law, the authority which runs the libraries said.

Jonty Bravery: Tate Modern balcony teen 'smiled' after attack

Jonty Bravery, 18, searched for the most vulnerable child at the London art gallery before "scooping up" the boy, the Old Bailey was told. Prosecutors said the defendant, who admits attempted murder, had planned an attack well in advance.

Greta Thunberg, the climate campaigner who doesn't like campaigning

It sounds like a year off made in heaven. How about you take Arnold Schwarzenegger's electric car on a road trip around America?

Voyager: Inside the world's greatest space mission

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

India coronavirus: Questions over death of man 'turned away by 18 hospitals'

Indian officials are investigating nine hospitals in the southern city of Bangalore, amid allegations that a man died after being refused treatment at all of them, writes BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi.

Nagaland dog meat: Animal rights groups hail ban as 'major turning point'

The Indian state of Nagaland has banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat, in a move celebrated by animal rights activists. The north-east state's government announced the ban following a sustained campaign by animal welfare groups.

Donald Trump orders creation of 'national heroes' garden

US President Donald Trump has ordered the creation of a "National Garden of American Heroes" to defend what he calls "our great national story" against those who vandalise statues. His executive order gives a new task force 60 days to present plans, including a location, for the garden.

UK government takes £400m stake in satellite firm OneWeb

The UK is spending $500m (£400m) on a stake in failed satellite firm OneWeb as part of a plan to replace use of the EU's Galileo sat-nav system. OneWeb went bankrupt in March while trying to build a spacecraft network to deliver broadband.

David Starkey resigns from university role over slavery comments

Fitzwilliam College, at Cambridge University, has announced it has "accepted the resignation of historian David Starkey from his honorary fellowship with immediate effect". The college said: "Our student and academic bodies are diverse and welcoming to all. We do not tolerate racism."

Washington Redskins agree review of controversial team name

The Washington Redskins American football team will review its name after demands from major sponsors. Its headline sponsor, Fedex, joined a fresh wave of calls to scrap a team moniker long-criticised as racist.

The last Night Watchmen of Europe

Apart from the empty streets below and the clearer-than-ever mountain ridges beyond, the view from Renato Haeusler’s “office” balcony is the same now as it was before the coronavirus quarantine lockdown gripped the world.

Phillip Hughes: Australian batsman dies, aged 25

Australia Test batsman Phillip Hughes has died aged 25, two days after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball during a domestic match in Sydney. Australia team doctor Peter Brukner said he passed away in hospital, never regaining consciousness.

How to keep your delicate brain safe

Our brains are delicate and precious assets. Encased within the thick, bony shell of our craniums, they are largely protected from the damage that our everyday lives might inflict.

Supermarkets snub coconut goods picked by monkeys

The monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said. The animal rights group said pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like "coconut-picking machines".

Read more from The Conversation

This article originally appeared on The Conversation, and is republished under a Creative Commons licence. In June 1348, people in England began reporting mysterious symptoms. They started off as mild and vague: headaches, aches, and nausea.

The young people fighting the worst smog in Europe

“We always knew there was a problem with pollution because we can see it,” says Kosta Barsov, who lives in Skopje, North Macedonia. “In winter it stinks – if I open my bedroom window while I’m studying it feels like I’m suffocating.

Should we eat more like the Japanese?

Japan has the most centenarians ­– those 100 years old or more – of any country in the world. Forty-eight in every 100,000 people in the country make it to their century. Nowhere else on Earth really comes close.

Hundreds arrested as crime chat network cracked

The NCA worked with forces across Europe on the UK's "biggest and most significant" law enforcement operation. Major crime figures were among over 800 Europe-wide arrests after messages on EncroChat were intercepted and decoded.

Is the hydrogen tech 'revolution' hope or hype?

In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype?

Haile Selassie: Statue of former Ethiopian leader destroyed in London park

Police are investigating the incident, which took place in Cannizaro Park on Tuesday evening. The damage was carried out by a group of around 100 people, according to an eyewitness.

US targets Monet and Warhol artworks in 1MDB case

US prosecutors will try to seize another $96m (£77m) in assets from the fugitive financier known as Jho Low. The assets sought by the the Department of Justice (DOJ) include an apartment in Paris and artworks by Claude Monet, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Captagon: Italy seizes €1bn of amphetamines 'made to fund IS'

Italian police have seized what they believe is a world-record haul of 14 tonnes of amphetamines they suspect were made in Syria to finance the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). About 84 million counterfeit Captagon pills worth an estimated €1bn ($1.1bn; £0.

The Cameroonian waging war against a French war hero’s statue

Cameroonian activist Andre Blaise Essama has been on a decades-long mission to purge his country of its colonial-era symbols. He has a reputation for being a statue chopper in the main city Douala, with his main target being French World War II hero Gen Philippe Leclerc.

Coronavirus: US buys nearly all of Gilead's Covid-19 drug remdesivir

The US is buying nearly all the next three months' projected production of Covid-19 treatment remdesivir from US manufacturer Gilead. The US health department announced on Tuesday it had agreed to buy 500,000 doses for use in American hospitals.

Copernicus Sentinels: UK industry loses out in European satellite bids

UK industry is the big loser as Europe seeks to expand its Copernicus Earth observation programme. Contracts have been approved to lead the development of six new satellite systems, including one to track carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Core of a gas planet seen for the first time

Astronomers have found a previously unseen type of object circling a distant star. It could be the core of a gas world like Jupiter, offering an unprecedented glimpse inside one of these giant planets.

Finland's air force quietly drops swastika symbol

It was long a rather surprising choice of imagery for Finland's Air Force Command - a swastika and pair of wings. The symbol will always be intrinsically linked with Nazi Germany and its crimes, even though its roots go back many thousands of years.

Oklahoma woman shot while trying to remove Nazi flag

Garfield County Sheriff's office said the woman had been at a party nearby when she took one of two flags being flown outside Alexander Feaster's home. Mr Feaster, 44, then reportedly shot her in the back with a semi-automatic rifle as she ran away.

Germany far right: Elite KSK commando force 'to be partially disbanded'

Germany's defence minister says she has ordered the partial dissolution of the elite KSK commando force, which has come under growing criticism over right-wing extremism in its ranks. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told a newspaper it had become partly independent of the chain of command.

Mystery over monster star's vanishing act

Astronomers have been baffled by the disappearance of a massive star they had been observing. They now wonder whether the distant object collapsed to form a black hole without exploding in a supernova.

How the pandemic will change our lives in the long-term

Like the Black Death spreading along the trade-routes strung along the spine of 14th-Century Eurasia, Covid-19 emerged in China and spread extremely quickly along the modern-day Silk Roads: intercontinental flight paths.

World 'losing battle against deforestation'

An assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) says it has failed to deliver on key pledges. Launched at the 2014 UN climate summit, it aimed to half deforestation by 2020, and halt it by 2030.

Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for DR Congo colonial abuses

Belgium's King Philippe has expressed his "deepest regrets" to the Democratic Republic of Congo for his country's colonial abuses. The reigning monarch made the comments in a letter to President Felix Tshisekedi on the 60th anniversary of DR Congo's independence.

Mastectomy: I got rid of my boobs aged 27 to save my life

When Hayley Minn was 23, she found out she was 85% more likely to get breast cancer than the average person in the UK. That's because she has a gene mutation called BRCA1, which affects around one in every 300-400 people. This is her story in her own words.

Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say. The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak.

Could a boycott kill Facebook?

Boycotts can be extremely effective - as Facebook is finding out. In the late 18th century, the abolitionist movement encouraged British people to stay away from goods produced by slaves. It worked. Around 300,000 stopped buying sugar - increasing the pressure to abolish slavery.

A letter to our newborn American daughter

You were born on the third night of curfew and in the third month of the Covid lockdown, entering the world as around us an epic history swirled. When your mother went into labour, police helicopters circled above our apartment building.

Russia denies its nuclear plants are source of radiation leak

Russia has said a leak of nuclear material detected over Scandinavia did not come from one of its power plants. Nuclear safety watchdogs in Finland, Norway and Sweden said last week they had found higher-than-usual amounts of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere.

Seeing red: The propaganda art of China’s Cultural Revolution

In 1966 Mao Zedong, the Communist leader of China, started a political campaign that became known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Cultural Revolution: No desire to dwell on the past

Chinese people aged over 50 experienced the Cultural Revolution first hand. If you were born in 1966, you were 10 when it finished.

Li Zhensheng: Photographer of China's cultural revolution

Li Zhensheng risked his life in his determination to capture China's Cultural Revolution on film. As a staff photographer working for a state-run newspaper, Li Zhensheng had rare access to people and places during one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th Century.

Will Coronavirus end India’s tapri chai culture?

On a normal afternoon in Delhi, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the country, office workers would be seen emerging from their buildings and head to one of the many tapris (tea stalls) lining the streets outside offices.

Galwan Valley: China to use martial art trainers after India border clash

China has said it is moving 20 martial art trainers to the Tibetan plateau to train its forces. No official reason for the decision has been given, but it comes after at least 20 Indian troops were killed in clashes with Chinese border forces.

First Viking ship excavation in a century begins in Norway

Archaeologists in Norway have begun the first excavation of a Viking ship in more than a century. The vessel was discovered in a burial site in Gjellestad in the south-east of the country two years ago.

Princeton to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from policy school

Princeton University says it is to remove the name of former US President Woodrow Wilson from a building on its campus because of his racist beliefs and policies. The move follows a wave of protests across the US sparked by the death of African American man George Floyd.

The astonishing vision and focus of Namibia’s nomads

BBC Future has brought you in-depth and rigorous stories to help you navigate the current pandemic, but we know that’s not all you want to read. So now we’re dedicating a series to help you escape.

How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life

Largely invisible and hidden underground, the "dark matter" of life on Earth has "amazing properties", which we're just starting to explore, say scientists. The vast majority of the estimated 3.8 million fungi in the world have yet to be formally classified.

Italy bear faces cull after attack on father and son

The 28-year-old son was walking on a path on Mount Peller north of Trento when he encountered the bear and fell over. His father threw himself at the animal and broke his leg. The incident has highlighted the growing bear population in the area.

Simpsons ends use of white actors to voice people of colour

US animated comedy series The Simpsons will no longer use white actors for the voices of characters from other ethnic backgrounds, the show's producers say. The show, broadcast on Fox Network, has faced years of criticism over white actor Hank Azaria's voiceover of Indian-American character Apu.