China smoking ban faces staunch opposition

China is looking to introduce a ban on smoking indoors in public from 2017. An estimated 2.3tn cigarettes are consumed there every year. The government faces a big challenge as tobacco is deeply ingrained in Chinese society. BBC News went to meet a group of friends who are unapologetic smokers. China smoking ban faces staunch […]

Cyclone Vardah: Several dead as storm lashes Indian coast

Cyclone Vardah: Several dead as storm lashes Indian coast

Image copyright Imran Qureshi Image caption The cyclone brought heavy rain and winds of up to 140km/h At least seven people have been killed and thousands evacuated from coastal areas in two southern Indian states, as Cyclone Vardah lashed Chennai (Madras). Schools and businesses were shut and airport services suspended, as the cyclone made landfall […]

Syrian refugee gets top results at Australian school

Syrian refugee gets top results at Australian school

A Syrian refugee who couldn’t speak English two years ago has just passed exams with flying colours in Australia. But Saad Al-Kaab wasn’t always the best student. “I was actually, before the war, that boy who would say ‘I wish I could never go to school again’,” he tells Newsbeat. “My wish came true and […]

Cyclone Vardah: Two dead as storm lashes south India coast

Cyclone Vardah: Two dead as storm lashes south India coast

Image copyright Imran Qureshi Image caption The cyclone brought heavy rain and winds of up to 120km/h At least two people have been killed and thousands evacuated from coastal areas in two southern Indian states, as Cyclone Vardah lashed Chennai (Madras). Schools and businesses were shut and airport services suspended, as the cyclone made landfall […]

The Malaysian comedian crowned ‘World’s Funniest Person’ in 2016

The Malaysian comedian crowned ‘World’s Funniest Person’ in 2016

Image copyright Laugh Factory Malaysian stand-up comedian Harith Iskander has been crowned the “World’s Funniest Person” in 2016. The BBC’s Heather Chen spoke to the 50-year-old funny man by telephone after his win in Levi, Finland. At least one person is laughing as 2016 draws to a close. This year has become the year of […]

Australia teenager tells of Northern Territory youth detention ordeal

Australia teenager tells of Northern Territory youth detention ordeal

Image copyright ABC Image caption Dylan Voller gives evidence at the royal commission A teenager says he was deprived of food, repeatedly strip-searched and forced to defecate in his pillowcase while in youth detention in Australia. Images of Dylan Voller wearing shackles and a spit hood caused outrage when they were aired on television in […]

Hong Kong pro-democracy groups make record gains

Hong Kong pro-democracy groups make record gains

Image copyright AFP Image caption Pro-democracy groups celebrated after hearing Leung Chun-ying would not stand again Pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong have made record gains on the Election Committee, which will decide the territory’s new leader. Amid a high turnout they have won more than 300 seats – about a quarter – reports say, although […]

New Zealand PM: Bill English to succeed John Key

New Zealand PM: Bill English to succeed John Key

Image copyright AFP Image caption Bill English was widely tipped to succeed John Key New Zealand’s governing National Party has officially appointed Bill English to succeed John Key as prime minister. It follows Mr Key’s surprise resignation last week. Social housing minister Paula Bennett has been named as deputy prime minister. The appointments were confirmed […]

Donald Trump hints US ‘One China’ policy could end

Donald Trump hints US ‘One China’ policy could end

Image copyright AP Image caption Donald Trump ruffled feathers in Beijing by speaking to Taiwan’s leader in a phone call President-elect Donald Trump has questioned whether the US should continue its “One China” policy. US policy since 1979 has respected China’s stance on Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province. But Mr Trump said […]

Hong Kong holds election for panel to pick next leader

Hong Kong holds election for panel to pick next leader

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Pro-Beijing supporters have sought to counter pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong Voting is under way in Hong Kong in elections for the territory’s Election Committee, the panel that chooses the next leader. Only 6% of Hong Kong’s voters can take part and those who are allowed to cast ballots […]

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