Asia

40 Trees in 1: The Tree with 40 Kinds of Fruit

Image: Sam Van Aken

This tree is a little peculiar to look at. It’s because this isn’t an ordinary tree, one might argue that it’s actually closer to 40 trees all wrapped up into one. Indeed, when this tree is in full bloom (as shown in the picture), you can find about 40 different types of fruit on its branches, from peaches to plumbs, ... Read More »

Giant Rubber Duck Vanishes in Chinese Flood

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A giant rubber duck designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has disappeared amid heavy storms in China’s southwestern Guiyang City, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 54-foot-tall, 2000 pound  inflatable artwork was perched upon a floating metal platform, tethered to the bottom of the Nanming river by steel wires. The work has toured the world since 2007 and has been on display in the ... Read More »

Free Tibet exposes fake Twitter accounts by China propagandists

One of the fake Twitter accounts used to spread the Chinese line on Tibet

Images of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and actor Erica Durance among those used in accounts to promote Beijing’s line on Himalayan region What do the late Pink Floyd vocalist Syd Barrett, the Canadian actor Erica Durance, and Brazilian model Felipe Berto have in common? They all suddenly appear to be big supporters of China‘s policies inTibet. Not that they had any ... Read More »

Thai government urged to drop libel case against British slavery researcher

Thai prawns sold in UK supermarkets were exposed as coming from companies using slave labour. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA

ITF calls trial against human rights defender Andy Hall, who exposed alleged labour abuse, an ‘international embarrassment’ An international workers’ union has declared the Thai government to be “on trial” in an impending defamation case against a British human rights defender who exposed alleged modern-day slavery in its canned fruit and fishing industry. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has demanded that ... Read More »

MH17 disaster: bringing those responsible to justice

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Deliberately or recklessly attacking a passenger jet is a war crime, whether it was committed by separatists, Russian forces, or Ukrainian forces. Here, Ben Saul explains how Australia can seek justice. How can those who destroyed a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine be brought to justice? Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has rightly called for an international investigation. Reports suggest an ... Read More »

Missile downs Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, killing 298; Kiev blames rebels

People light candles at the Malaysian embassy in Kiev. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

The Ukrainian government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on Thursday. (AP) MOSCOW — A suspected Russian-made surface-to-air missile downed a Malaysia Airlines jet in a separatist-controlled corner of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, prompting the Ukrainian government to denounce an “act of terror” that killed all 298 people on ... Read More »

Downed Malaysia Airlines plane: how did it go wrong for flight MH17?

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All flights now barred from eastern Ukraine, where airliner was downed while reportedly flying 1,000ft above restricted airspace Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was flying just 1,000 feet (300 metres) above restricted airspace when it was shot down, according to the European air traffic control body. Eurocontrol said Ukrainian authorities had barred aircraft from ground level to 32,000 feet but the doomed ... Read More »

The Detail In This Hummingbird Photograph Is Unreal

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Scotland-based photographer Chris Morgan captured this remarkable macro shot of a hummingbird while visiting Bosque De Paz Nature Reserve in Costa Rica. In case you were wondering: Yes, that is Morgan’s reflection in the hummingbird’s eye. Morgan tells io9 the key to capturing this photograph was patience: My main method of taking the pictures was patience. I used a canon 100mm ... Read More »

Obama sees progress in Iran nuclear talks

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US President Barack Obama says talks with Iran on its nuclear program may need to extend beyond a weekend deadline, with negotiations showing a “credible way forward”. OBAMA said on Wednesday he was consulting with Congress – where there is strong criticism of his quest for a diplomatic deal with Iran – as negotiators meet in Vienna ahead of Sunday’s ... Read More »