22 July 2013 Last updated at 08:24 GMT

China’s Gansu province hit by powerful earthquakes

Two powerful earthquakes have struck China’s north-west Gansu province, killing more than 50 people and injuring more than 300.

The first earthquake near Dingxi city had a magnitude of 5.98 and was shallow, with a depth of just 9.8 km (6 miles), the US Geological Survey said

Just over an hour later, a magnitude 5.6 quake hit the same area, it added.

In 2008, an earthquake in Sichuan province left up to 90,000 people dead and millions homeless.

At least 54 people have been killed and 337 injured, the Dingxi local government said on its official Sina Weibo microblog.

Hazaras in Indonesia say they would still board boats to Australia

Rudd’s new policy is greeted with scepticism by asylum seekers familiar with the twists and turns of Australian immigration

The chatter stops mid-conversation as the face of the Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, flickers across the television screen in Puncak, a mountain town about 100km from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. As the footage cuts to rows of army green tents flanked by palm trees, the asylum seekers watch intently, trying to compute whether they are staring at their future.

The news of Rudd’s boat people bombshell – that asylum seekers who arrive by boat will have no chance of being resettled in Australia but will instead be sent to Papua New Guinea – is still sinking in.

PNG remains an unknown entity to the ethnic Hazara asylum seekers living here, but to some that is inconsequential. “It takes a lot of time for us to process our cases here, so now I am compelled. I don’t have any other choice but to take a boat to Australia,” says Mohammed Ali.

UK to outlaw possession of violent pornography

Prime minister David Cameron to demand action by internet firms to clamp down on extreme content

Possessing violent pornography containing simulated rape scenes will be made a crime in England and Wales, the prime minister will announce today.

David Cameron will also set out plans for new laws so that videos streamed online in the UK are subject to the same restrictions as those sold in shops.

In an emotive speech he will warn that access to online pornography is “corroding childhood” as he demands tough action by internet giants to crack down on extreme content.

Experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), which is set to become part of the National Crime Agency, will be given enhanced powers to examine secretive file-sharing networks, and a secure database of banned child porn images gathered by police across the country will be used to trace illegal content and the paedophiles viewing it.

SPACE

Commercial space industry shows promise in the US


This month marks two years since NASA’s final space shuttle launch from Florida. The end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program has led to the commercialization of the industry.

For years, NASA was only rivalled by Russia’s space agency ROSCOSMOS. But during the last decade, NASA has suffered a series of setbacks despite its successful landing of rover Curiosity on Mars in 2012. Since the end of its Space Shuttle program in July 2011, NASA has had to rely on ROSCOSMOS to send its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). But ROSCOSMOS has also had its own share of problems. Earlier this month, an unmanned Russian rocket carrying three navigation satellites crashed at a launch facility in Kazakhstan shortly after taking off.


Jihad declared against Afghanistan talent shows

July 22, 2013 – 10:36AM

Zubair Babakarkhai


Kabul: Religious hardliners have declared a jihad against the television talent shows that have taken Afghanistan by storm, condemning the way they feature unveiled women singing and dancing.

The programmes – modelled on Western favourites such as The Voice and X Factor - are hugely popular in a country with a young population and where television ownership has risen sharply since the Taliban were ousted from Kabul in 2001. At the same time there is a growing backlash against what many see as foreign values.

Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a parliamentarian, is leading the campaign and has secured a promise from the Afghan minister of information to review the programmes.

UN voices growing fears for Somalia

21 JUL 2013 16:38SAPA-AFP

The UN has voiced fears about a new media law in Somalia only days after experts sounded the alarm over corruption in the country’s new government.

The UN Human Rights Office has urged President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government to review a new law that would require journalists to reveal sources and prevent them spreading information against Islam or Somali traditions, said a statement released Sunday.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the legislation was “vague” and “could easily be used to curtail freedom of expression.” The draft legislation, which could become law within two months, requires journalists to reveal their sources if published information stirs up public sentiment. It would suspend journalists accused of violating the media legislation.

The president took power with UN and widespread international backing in September, heading a government that took over from eight years of corruption-riddled transitional rule.