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Racism and stereotypes in colonial India’s 'Instagram’

In the early 20th Century, picture postcards served as a kind of Instagram, giving Europeans a glimpse of the life their family and friends led in British colonial India.

A recent exhibition at London's SOAS university showcased more than 1,000 such postcards that were sent from India to Europe between 1900 and the 1930s.

"We don't want the postcards to be a vehicle of colonial nostalgia. It is the opposite of that," Stephen Putnam Hughes, a co-curator of the exhibition told the BBC. "We wanted to provide enough evidence from the colonial past and allow people to look at the images critically."

This display was drawn from the private collection of Dr Hughes and Emily Rose Stevenson. They bought postcards on websites such as eBay, and at ephemera fairs, which sell things like antique and second hand books, and manuscripts.

A collection of postcards showing people, monuments and other sights from different Indian citiesImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

It was a popular way to communicate back then - more than six billion postcards passed through the British postal system between 1902 and 1910, according to the exhibition's organisers.

"Postcards did for photography what printing did for literacy," Dr Hughes says. "Photographs were not affordable back then but picture postcards were much cheaper and mass produced."

The exhibition only featured images of Chennai (formerly Madras) and Bangalore, two cities in southern India.

By narrowing it down to these two colonial-era cities, separated by 215 miles (346 km), the collection focused on early images of Indians, racial stereotypes, urbanisation and daily life under British rule.

The postcards depicting sights in a city - such as this one that shows what was then the post and telegraph office in Chennai - connect "grander historical narratives" with "personal, everyday histories", according to Dr Hughes.

A picture postcard showing the then post office of Chennai (formerly Madras)Image copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

The building in the picture above still serves as the city's post office.

Dr Hughes says that by assessing a large number of postcards, they were able to piece together stories about life in colonial India.

They grouped the images based on what they represented - architecture, street life, and the relationship between Europeans and locals.

A picture of a street in the city of BangaloreImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

Picture postcards of streets as well as public buildings were popular. Their visual aesthetic was similar to the paintings of the time.

They reflected British understanding and planning of cities in India, which was based on European distinctions between public and private space, and divisions between Indian and European populations.

One set of postcards belonged to a popular series, called Masters, produced by a Chennai-based publisher in the early 1900s.

It was meant as a "humorous" comment on the master-servant relationship at the heart of British rule in India, according to the note explaining the postcards. But it also played on "British anxieties" and "insecurities" about what the "servant" would do when the "master" was not around.

A collection of postcards from the exhibition depicting Indian men relaxing, drinking, reading a newspaperImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

The result: postcards depicting Indians "mocking their masters' lifestyle choices". They are shown drinking beer, smoking and reading with their feet up, all of which "were not equal opportunity activities" at the time.

The same publisher, Higginbothams and Co, produced a controversial series, called Madras Hunt.

The note accompanying the series explained that these images were staged. In each of them, women are shown searching for head lice. The title, Madras Hunt, juxtaposes what they are doing with the British sport of hunting in an attempt at satire.

A collection of postcards showing women sitting in a line taking out lice from the hair of the woman in front of themImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

The curators say the series was both provocative and demeaning - it often prompted people to respond to the image with racist jokes.

It was also commercially one of the most successful series sold and posted. It was printed in Germany, Italy and England.

A turban-wearing Indian man holding his childImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

The postcards also reflect how Indians were often stereotyped based on ethnicity, gender, religion or caste.

Some of these photos, such as the one above, were carefully staged in studios, part of a common photographic genre known as the "native type", according to the curators.

Indians performing menial jobs for Europeans were also a common feature of these postcards.

A postcard showing an Indian domestic help pouring water over a white man while he bathes in a tub.Image copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

This one, titled The Morning Tub, was published early in the 20th century and shows that Europeans often had help waiting on them while they bathed.

"While Indians did all the work in postcards, Europeans living in Madras and Bangalore were rarely pictured unless they were being served or enjoying leisure time," the curators note.

A picture postcard of a dhoby or washerman carrying a large cloth bag on his backImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

For some Europeans who didn't have the means to hire domestic help back home, these postcards served as evidence of their elevated status in British India.

So, some of the postcards show people solely identified by their occupation - in this case, the "dhoby" or washerman who regularly collected clothes for wash from several homes.

"Postcards certainly reinforced European stereotypes of Indians and contributed to the construction of fixed, defined characteristics of particular groups," Dr Hughes says.

Postcards depicting temples and local festivals were also popular.

A picture showing the entrance of a Hindu temple and a crowd entering the templeImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

This postcard from Bangalore shows Hindu devotees pulling idols in a wooden chariot as part of an annual procession.

It was produced from a real photograph and then printed directly onto the back of a blank postcard. The message on the postcard, dated November 1916, reads, "This is another view of a juggernaut car, under which natives used to throw themselves."

Here, juggernaut refers to the Hindu god Jagannath.

The back of a postcard that has a handwritten message saying: This is another view of a juggernaut car, under which natives used to throw themselvesImage copyrightSTEPHEN PUTNAM HUGHES AND EMILY ROSE STEVENSON

But curators say that such messages betray a common misunderstanding of Hindu festivals.

"Devotees never threw themselves under these cars," the accompanying note explained. It added that the message was part of a widely held misconception of Hinduism as a "fanatical religion based on blind devotion."

"Decolonisation cannot be done once and for all," Dr Hughes says. "It is a continuous process, and each person has to do it for themselves. We hope that people were able to do that through this exhibition."

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Brazil indigenous group bets on 'golden fruit'

Julio Rodrigues was still a child when the Ye'kwana and Yanomami indigenous territory where he grew up was overrun by gold miners in the 1980s.

An estimated 15% of the local population in this far north corner of Brazil died of malaria and other diseases brought into the area by the small-scale miners, known in Brazil as "garimpeiros".

Julio witnessed how the influx of strangers quickly destroyed the world of his parents and grandparents.

An aerial view of the area affected by miningImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionMining has left the land scarred

Children watch a boat go past on the river in the Waikas communityImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionAnd formerly remote communities have to deal with the influx

He says that what he experienced then taught him that he would need to be able to speak the language and understand the culture of the non-indigenous newcomers to know how to deal with them.

So Julio, like other young members of Ye'kwana group, went to live to Boa Vista, the state capital of his native Roraima state.

A close-up of Julio RodriguesImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionJulio left his community to study in the state capital

There he got a degree in management of indigenous territory and later became the president of the Association of Ye'kwana People, which represents his indigenous group on a national level.

While in Boa Vista, Julio became aware of the price fine chocolates can fetch on the international market, and saw a chance for his people.

He took pictures of what his people call "golden fruit" and took to the Socio-Environmental Institute, a non-governmental organisation promoting indigenous products.

The "golden fruit" of his native Waikas forest was Theobroma cocoa, the seeds of which are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate.

A close-up of cocoa podsImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionThe cocoa pods in the Waikas forests are different from other varieties

Children in the Waikas community play with cocoa podsImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

But it is not just any kind of cocoa. A cocoa expert the Ata Institute, which works closely with the NGO Julio had originally approached, found the pod from the Waikas forest had a different shape from all other known varieties.

The expert, Roberto Smeraldi, thought it could be a hitherto-unknown pure variety offering great potential.

To try to get confirmation, he approached Cesar de Mendes, a chocolatier who studies cocoa.

Cesar de Mendes stirring a potImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionCesar de Mendes gave up his academic career to become a chocolatier

Mr Mendes, who gave up his academic career as a chemist in 2010 to create his own brand of chocolates from the Amazon, was intrigued and agreed to go on a expedition to the Waikas forest to test Mr Smeraldi's theory.

And in the Waikas forest, the chocolatier - who travels around the region searching for rare varieties of cocoa to produce single-origin chocolates - struck lucky.

Cesar de Mendes with members of the Waikas communityImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionMr Mendes went on an expedition to the Waikas forest to see the cocoa pods for himself

He found two distinct varieties, one with features that he says differ from all others he has known.

He also organised a workshop to teach the leaders of the Ye'kwana and the Yanomami communities how to process the cocoa pods and the seeds to make fine chocolates.

It is a process that takes 10 days but at the end those attending were able to try the first bitter chocolate bar made from their "golden fruit".

Hauling the cocoa podsImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

The cocoa seeds are dried in the sunImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

A close-up of cocoa pasteImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Cesar de Mendes shows off the chocolate he made during the workshopImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

How much such a bar can fetch will depend on the quality of the finished product.

Mr Mendes took the seeds he found with him to his hometown in Pará state to try and identify their species, origin and features.

The hope is that the cocoa will prove as rare and high quality as Mr Mendes thinks it may be, as this could massively boost its value.

Four women try the chocolateImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionEveryone got to try a little of the bitter chocolate

A low-quality cocoa sold as a commodity on the stock market is worth about £1.20 ($1.60) while a higher quality variety used to make fine chocolates can reach up to £11.

Julio says the difference the cocoa could make to his community is huge: "Today we do not live without clothes and other goods that come from the cities."

A man walks along holding a machete followed by a young tapir in the Waikas communityImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionThe Waikas community needs money and selling cocoa could be a source of income

Children sit on a bench in the Waikas communituyImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionJulio hopes selling cocoa will prevent youngsters from going into gold mining

"We need money, as we currently do not get any from our traditional activities, and cocoa seems to be a possibility," he says.

"We have a lot of knowledge about the forest, we make lots of things that non-indigenous people sell in the cities. We will make them here to sell there," he explains his plan.

Two women pose for the camara in the Waikas communityImage copyrightROGÉRIO ASSIS

Image captionWaikas leaders were optimistic after the visit of Cesar de Mendes

"If this project succeeds, we will not have to go to the city or work in the gold mine to make money."

It is a ray of hope for his community at a time of renewed threat. Over the past years, the number of miners has again begun to increase.

Julio and his fellow community leaders hope that their "golden fruit" will soon offer an alternative to the lure of illegal gold mining.

All photos by Rogério Assis subject to copyright.

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Cameroon atrocity: Finding the soldiers who killed this woman

In July 2018 a horrifying video began to circulate on social media. It shows two women and two young children being led away at gunpoint by a group of Cameroonian soldiers. The captives are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot 22 times.

The government of Cameroon initially dismissed the video as “fake news.” But BBC Africa Eye, through forensic analysis of the footage, can prove exactly where this happened, when it happened, and who is responsible for the killings.

Investigation by Aliaume Leroy and Ben Strick

Produced by Daniel Adamson and Aliaume Leroy

Motion Graphics: Tom Flannery

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Indonesia earthquake: Huge surge in death toll

At least 832 people were killed in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the national disaster agency says.

It added that the affected area was bigger than initially thought.

Many people were reported trapped in the rubble of buildings that collapsed in Friday's 7.5-magnitude earthquake, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference.

The quake had triggered tsunami waves as high as 6m (20ft), he added.

Rescuers have been digging by hand in the frantic search for survivors in the Indonesian city of Palu.

There are particular concerns about the town of Donggala, where the impact is still unclear.

A map of Palu

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Brexit plan critics are playing politics, says Theresa May

Those who refuse to back the Chequers plan for Brexit are "playing politics" with the UK's future, Theresa May says.

In the Sunday Times, Mrs May stressed again that her plan was the only workable strategy, and signalled she had a "long-term" job to do as PM.

Speaking ahead of the party conference in Birmingham, she also announced plans to charge foreign home-buyers more tax, and proposals for a national festival.

But ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson called her Brexit approach "deranged".

The prime minister says her plan for the UK and EU to share a "common rulebook" for goods, but not services, is the only credible way to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

The strategy has been fiercely criticised by Brexiteers, who say it would compromise the UK's sovereignty and betray the 2016 referendum vote.

And writing in the Sunday Telegraph, ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve warned the PM she faced a "polite rebellion" by pro-EU MPs, with a "significant" number prepared to back another referendum if a deal could not be reached.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has apologised after a technical issue with its conference app meant Tory MPs had their phone numbers and other personal data revealed. The issue has since been resolved, the party said.

The UK's data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, said it would investigate the breach.

In her Sunday Times interview, Mrs May said: "The only proposal on the table at the moment that delivers... is the Chequers plan."

She challenged the EU to come forward with counter-proposals, while saying of Labour, "you can't believe what they say".

Both have declared her plan to be unworkable, and last week Labour members voted to keep the option of another referendum open if MPs were not happy with the final deal reached.

Mrs May's message to Tory MPs was that the party "always puts country first and puts the national interest first".

She was "not bluffing" when she said "no deal is better than a bad deal", Mrs May told the Sun on Sunday, but she thought a good deal could be reached.

Celebrate the UK

On other matters, Mrs May told the Times: "There's a long-term job to do. Because it is not just about Brexit, it's about the domestic agenda as well."

She said people and businesses who did not pay tax in Britain would face a higher stamp duty levy of up to 3% when they bought property in the UK - to stop them driving up house prices.

The money would be used to combat rough sleeping.

She also revealed plans for a Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to showcase the nation in January 2022 - months before the next scheduled general election.

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock said health officials would produce guidelines on the amount of time young people should spend on social media.


Media captionJohnson refuses to rule out challenging PM

Mr Johnson - who quit the cabinet in July in protest at the Chequers plan - again challenged Mrs May's position, telling the Sunday Times that he, unlike the PM, had campaigned for Brexit.

On Friday, he described her approach as "simply intolerable" and refused to rule out a leadership challenge.

Mr Johnson also set out domestic policy ideas, including building a bridge between Britain and Ireland and putting the HS2 scheme on hold to focus on a rail link in northern England.

Meanwhile, Mr Grieve warned the Brexit row was "paralysing government" and damaging the Conservatives' reputation.

"A no-deal Brexit is a proposal so damaging to our future that it cannot be accepted," he wrote.

"So the only possible response must be to return to the British electorate and ask them what they want. That, it seems to me, is good pragmatic Conservative position."

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and negotiations on the terms of exit and future co-operation are continuing.


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Polls open in landmark referendum on Macedonia's name

  • A man casts his ballot at a polling station during a referendum in Skopje, Macedonia, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Macedonians were deciding Sunday on their country's future, voting in a crucial referendum on whether to accept a landmark deal ending a decades-old dispute with neighbouring Greece by changing their country's name to North Macedonia, paving the way to NATO membership.(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

SKOPJE, Macedonia –  Macedonians were deciding Sunday on their country's future, voting in a referendum on whether to accept a landmark deal ending a decades-old dispute with neighboring Greece by changing their country's name to North Macedonia, paving the way to NATO membership.

The June deal would end a dispute dating from the early 1990s when Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Greece argued use of the term implied territorial ambitions on its own province of the same name, and blocked the country's efforts to join NATO.

But the agreement has faced vocal opposition from much of the public on both sides of the border. Opponents in Macedonia, including the country's president, Gjorge Ivanov, have called for a boycott of Sunday's referendum. Ivanov has called the deal "poisonous" and a "flagrant violation of sovereignty."


Voters heading to polling stations were confronted with the question: "Are you in favor of membership in NATO and European Union by accepting the deal between (the) Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?"

The referendum was called as a consultative, non-binding move even though the vote was not required as part of the deal. The distinction means the government could take the outcome as a fair reflection of public opinion and act accordingly, regardless of how many Macedonians participate in the referendum. Under the country's constitution, a binding referendum would need a minimum turnout of 50 percent to be considered valid.

The campaign in the run-up to the vote has been relatively muted. With opponents urging people not to vote, the vast majority of posters have favored the government-led "Yes" campaign.

If the "Yes" vote wins, Macedonia will have to amend parts of its constitution to ensure it doesn't contain anything that could be considered irredentist against Greece. Only after those changes are approved by parliament does the deal face ratification in Greece.

The referendum has stirred strong interest in the West, with a veritable parade of foreign government officials, including Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, heading to the Macedonian capital Skopje in recent weeks to urge its people to vote "Yes." There has been growing concern over the reach of Russia, which is not keen on NATO expanding its members in a part of Europe that was once within its sphere of influence. During his visit, Mattis said there was "no doubt" Moscow funded groups inside Macedonia to campaign against the name change.

Supporters of the deal, led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, have focused on the campaign as being the lynchpin of the country's future prosperity, the key to its ability to join NATO and, eventually, the European Union. It would be a major step for a country that less than two decades ago almost descended into civil war, when parts of its ethnic Albania minority took up arms against the government, seeking greater rights.

Even if Macedonians vote in favor of the deal on Sunday, the agreement still faces several hurdles before it can be fully ratified.

The constitutional amendments that are required need a two-thirds majority of parliament's 120 members to go through. So far Zaev has pledges of support from 73 — seven short of the required number.

Once that hurdle is overcome, Greece must then ratify the deal. But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faces problems of his own. His governing coalition partner, right-wing Independent Greeks head Panos Kammenos, has vowed to vote against the deal in parliament, leaving Tsipras reliant on opposition parties and independent lawmakers to push the deal through.

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Indonesia tsunami toll tops 400 amid search for survivors

  • Indonesian men walk past the wreckage of a car following earthquakes and a tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. A tsunami swept away buildings and killed large number of people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dumping victims caught in its relentless path across a devastated landscape that rescuers were struggling to reach Saturday, hindered by damaged roads and broken communications. (AP Photo/Rifki)

PALU, Indonesia –  Rescuers were scrambling Sunday to try to find trapped victims in collapsed buildings where voices could be heard screaming for help after a massive earthquake in Indonesia spawned a deadly tsunami two days ago that has left at least 400 dead.

Muhammad Syaugi, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said that he could hear people calling out from the collapsed eight-story Roa-Roa Hotel in the hard-hit city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi.

"I can still hear the voice of the survivors screaming for help while inspecting the compound," he said, adding there could be 50 people trapped inside.


The Ministry of Information reported the official death toll at 405, with all the fatalities coming in the hard- Palu. But disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the toll was expected to rise once rescuers reached surrounding coastal areas. He said others were unaccounted for, without giving an estimate.

The nearby cities of Donggala and Mamuju were also ravaged, but little information was available due to damaged roads and disrupted telecommunications.

Nugroho said "tens to hundreds" of people were taking part in a beach festival in Palu when the tsunami struck at dusk on Friday. Their fate was unknown.

Hundreds of people were injured and hospitals, damaged by the magnitude 7.5 quake, were overwhelmed.

Some of the injured, including Dwi Haris, who suffered a broken back and shoulder, rested outside Palu's Army Hospital, where patients were being treated outdoors due to continuing strong aftershocks. Tears filled his eyes as he recounted feeling the violent earthquake shake the fifth-floor hotel room he shared with his wife and daughter.

"There was no time to save ourselves. I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall, I think," said Haris, adding that his family was in town for a wedding. "I heard my wife cry for help, but then silence. I don't know what happened to her and my child. I hope they are safe."

It's the latest natural disaster to hit Indonesia, which is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake off Sumatra island in western Indonesia triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Last month, a powerful quake on the island of Lombok killed 505 people.

Palu, which has more than 380,000 people, was strewn with debris from the earthquake and tsunami. A mosque heavily damaged by the quake was half submerged and a shopping mall was reduced to a crumpled hulk. A large bridge with yellow arches had collapsed. Bodies lay partially covered by tarpaulins and a man carried a dead child through the wreckage.

The city is built around a narrow bay that apparently magnified the force of the tsunami waters as they raced into the tight inlet.

Indonesian TV showed dramatic smartphone video of a powerful wave hitting Palu, with people screaming and running in fear. The water smashed into buildings and the mosque.

Nina, a 23-year-old woman who goes by one name, was working at a laundry service shop not far from the beach when the quake hit. She said the quake destroyed her workplace, but she managed to escape and quickly went home to get her mother and younger brother.

"We tried to find shelter, but then I heard people shouting, 'Water! Water!'" she recalled, crying. "The three of us ran, but got separated. Now I don't know where my mother and brother are. I don't know how to get information. I don't know what to do."

The earthquake left mangled buildings with collapsed awnings and rebar sticking out of concrete like antennae. Roads were buckled and cracked. The tsunami created even more destruction. It was reported as being 3 meters (10 feet) high in some areas and double that height elsewhere.

"We got a report over the phone saying that there was a guy who climbed a tree up to 6 meters high," said Nugroho, the disaster agency spokesman.

Communications with the area were difficult because power and telecommunications were cut, hampering search and rescue efforts. Most people slept outdoors, fearing strong aftershocks.

"We hope there will be international satellites crossing over Indonesia that can capture images and provide them to us so we can use the images to prepare humanitarian aid," Nugroho said.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that's home to 260 million people. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

The disaster agency has said that essential aircraft can land at Palu's airport, though AirNav, which oversees aircraft navigation, said the runway was cracked and the control tower damaged.

AirNav said one of its air traffic controllers, aged 21, died in the quake after staying in the tower to ensure a flight he'd just cleared for departure got airborne safely. It did.

More than half of the 560 inmates in a Palu prison fled after its walls collapsed during the quake, said its warden, Adhi Yan Ricoh.

"It was very hard for the security guards to stop the inmates from running away as they were so panicked and had to save themselves too," he told state news agency Antara.

Ricoh said there was no immediate plan to search for the inmates because the prison staff and police were consumed with the search and rescue effort.

"Don't even think to find the inmates. We don't even have time yet to report this incident to our superiors," he said.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Friday night that he instructed the security minister to coordinate the government's response to the disaster.

Jokowi also told reporters in his hometown of Solo that he called on the country's military chief to help with search and rescue efforts.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. officials were in contact with Indonesian authorities and "stand ready to provide support as required."

Sulawesi has a history of religious tensions between Muslims and Christians, with violent riots erupting in the town of Poso, not far from Palu, two decades ago. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.


Associated Press writers Margie Mason and Stephen Wright contributed to this report from Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Cambridge University completes restoration of gatehouse

One of Cambridge University's imposing college gates has been restored by a paint job that has taken four years to complete.

The heraldic detail, which dates from the early 1500s, had not been painted for "many years" and had started to look faded.

The four-year project included research into the original colours and methods used, repairs, and the painting itself.

College bursar David Ball said he was "really pleased" with the result.

The Gatehouse on St Andrew's Street is the main entrance to Christ's College and is highly visible to tourists and shoppers in the city.

Christ'sImage copyrightGOOGLE

Image captionThe Great Gate at Christ's College, Cambridge, before the painting

Christ'sImage copyrightCHRIST'S COLLEGE

Image captionThe new look gate, on St Andrew's Street, is highly visible in Cambridge city centre

It was built by Lady Margaret Beaufort, the grandmother of Henry VIII, who founded the college in the early years of the 16th Century.

Much of the facade, including the late 16th Century oak doors, remained largely unchanged until the masonry was refaced with harder stone in 1714. A statue of Lady Margaret was added in the 19th Century.

Mr Ball said: "It's many years since we last repainted the gatehouse, and in total it's taken about four years to research the right colours to be used, to restore wear and tear to the stonework and then to complete the repainting itself, which was undertaken by some very skilled craftsmen and women.

"We're really pleased with the results."

The restoration was carried out by Longstanton-based Brown and Ralph, which said the conservation of the stonework would "not only increase its natural life but also brighten the Cambridge streetscape".

Poet John Milton and naturalist Charles Darwin are among Christ College's notable alumni.

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Hattie the Fatty half the size and hungry for a home

An obese dog once said to be Britain's largest has halved her weight and is looking for a home.

Hattie hit the headlines around the world after she was taken in by Gables Farm Dogs and Cats Home in Plymouth, Devon, earlier this year.

Nicknamed "Hattie the Fatty", the plump pooch weighed almost 40kg (6st) when she was rescued by the RSPCA.

The hefty hound, who had been living on a diet of hamburgers, has now slimmed to 23kg (3st).

Manager Ruth Rickard said she recalled mistaking the portly pup for a "pot-bellied pig" when she first arrived.

Hattie the FattyImage copyrightGABLES FARM

Image captionEight-year-old Hattie resembled a "pot-bellied pig" when she first arrived at the shelter

Hattie the Fatty

Image captionThe collie-cross is a shadow of her former self after losing almost half her weight

Staff put the colossal canine on a strict regime of diet and exercise to help her lose the weight safely.

The charity also set up a fundraising campaign to help cover her vet bills, including cataracts surgery, medicine and a possible "tummy tuck" to rid her of any excess skin.

Eight-year-old Hattie's story spread far and wide and as a result the centre smashed its fundraising target by 338%.

The charity said the leftover money would go towards any new owner's future vet bills.

"We'll be able to fund all her diabetic treatment for the rest of her life now because we were able to raise so much money," Ms Rickard said.

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What will the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh actually do?

President Trump has ordered an FBI investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, his nominee for the Supreme Court.

The announcement came after Arizona Republican Jeff Flake sensationally changed his mind about backing the judge - telling the Senate Judiciary Committee he would not support Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation in the Senate without an additional FBI inquiry.

The committee duly requested an investigation "limited to current credible allegations" and concluding "no later than one week from today" [Friday 28 September].

A full Senate vote on whether Mr Kavanaugh gets a seat on America's top court has been delayed for a week, while the FBI gets to work.

So what exactly is the agency doing, and what difference is it likely to make?

Firstly - hasn't the FBI checked Kavanaugh out already?

In short, yes. The FBI has completed a traditional background check on Judge Kavanaugh, who is currently an appeal court judge. In his confirmation hearing, the judge himself referred to "six separate FBI background investigations over 26 years".

This new investigation will reopen the latest background check, focusing on the recent allegations. Agents may review documents, speak to new witnesses, or revisit previous ones - including the judge and his main accuser, Professor Christine Blasey Ford, whom he denies assaulting as a teenager in the 1980s.

You might be wondering what the point is of a fresh background check. Didn't the FBI do its job properly the first time?

The answer is probably - but it wouldn't typically look back as far as 36 years ago, when Prof Ford says the assault took place.

Lawyer Greg Rinckey explained the process to the Associated Press: "The FBI is looking for any kind of current problem. What do I mean by current? Seven to 10 years."


Media captionRepublican Senator Jeff Flake changed his mind after being challenged by a sexual assault survivor

Democrats are keen to hear more from Mark Judge, a boyhood friend of Judge Kavanaugh's. Prof Ford says he was in the room when she was assaulted. Mr Judge told the Senate Committee in a written statement that he did not recall any such incident - but did not appear to testify in person.

His lawyer Barbara Van Gelder said: "If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr Judge's co-operation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him."

It's not clear yet if the agency will focus on the allegations made by women other than Prof Ford, which are also denied by the judge. They include a claim from his Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who alleges that he exposed his genitals in her face during a drinking game at a college party.


Media captionTrump: 'Ford's testimony was very compelling'

Either way: when its brief timeframe is up, the FBI will pass its findings to the White House - which will give them to the Senate. The contents are not expected to be made public.

The agency won't reach a verdict on Mr Kavanaugh's guilt or innocence, because this isn't a criminal investigation. However, lying to an FBI agent does carry the threat of federal charges.

Why did Trump order another investigation?

President Trump gave the order at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

No doubt he is also conscious that his party has only a one-seat majority in the 100-strong Senate. That means that if all Democrats vote against confirming Kavanaugh, he can only afford for one Republican to join them - since in a tie, Vice President Mike Pence would get the casting vote.

The Republican side can't afford to lose Senator Flake's vote - and a week-long FBI investigation clearly looked like a price worth paying.

Mr Trump is standing by his nominee, and tweeted on Friday: "He will someday be recognized as a truly great Justice of The United States Supreme Court!"

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

Donald J. Trump?@realDonaldTrump

Just started, tonight, our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He will someday be recognized as a truly great Justice of The United States Supreme Court!

5:27 PM - Sep 28, 2018

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Some observers believe the FBI inquiry will strengthen the resolve of uncertain Republican senators - because unless something dramatic is unearthed, they will feel more confident rejecting Prof Ford's claims.

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Lachlan Markay?@lachlan

I think pro-Kavanaugh folks dumping on Flake are seriously underestimating how savvy a move that was. He basically neutered Ds' central talking point. If the FBI finds nothing new (as is likely), Collins, Murkowski, and Manchin are unquestionably more likely to vote yes.

11:37 AM - Sep 28, 2018

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Speaking to NPR, Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar said of the inquiry: "I think it will be better for the country that this FBI investigation occur. I'm not sure what the answers will be. It's possible some of the witnesses won't even agree to talk with FBI. ... But to think we wouldn't even try would be the saddest thing for the country."

Mr Kavanaugh has confirmed he will cooperate with investigators.

One last thing... Why only a week?

Prof Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, said her client welcomed the FBI's involvement but questioned the week-long time limit.

"A thorough FBI investigation is critical to developing all the relevant facts... No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation," she said.

The timing matters because Republicans are keen to get their Supreme Court nominee confirmed before the US mid-term elections on 6 November. And Democrats would profit from seeing that process delayed - or blocked altogether.

As a conservative, it is believed Mr Kavanaugh would swing America's top court to the right for years to come - which could have deep repercussions for social issues like abortion rights, and challenges to government policy.

That's especially the case as the nine Supreme Court judges are appointed for life.

So overall, there's a lot riding on the FBI over the next six days.

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Grieving women post cards to prevent suicides on bridge

Two women who lost loved ones to suicide are working to prevent others from taking their own lives.

Sharon Davis and Kelly Humphreys have been posting cards on a Welsh bridge with inspirational messages and phone numbers that people can call for support.

Ms Davis' son Tyler was 13 when he began suffering with depression and killed himself aged 18.

"I don't want any parent to feel the way I have to feel everyday," she said.

Sharon and Kelly with the cards

Image captionSharon Davis (left) lost her son Tyler in 2014, and Kelly Humphreys lost her partner in 2017

Ms Davis, aged 45, who lives in Lydney, said her son was a promising chef with an infectious grin.

"Everyone knew him for his smile. They always said his smile lit up any room."

However, he gave up work before he died, as he was "in a really dark place."

In 2014, Tyler's brother, who was 11 at the time, was the one to find his sibling after he had taken his own life.

Ms Davis said: "I continually worry that there's going to be a knock on effect."

Image captionThe women post messages to try and dissuade people from taking their own lives

Ms Davis created the cards, "to let people know there is people out there that you can go to and you can talk to, even if it's a friend.

"Don't sit in silence - you need to talk."

Ms Humphreys, who has been friends with Ms Davies for years, lost Chris, her partner of 15 years, not long after the death of his mother.

"He didn't say that he was feeling down or depressed or anything," she said.

"A couple of days before Christmas we noticed his change in attitude. He was at rock bottom on Christmas Day - when the kids opened their presents he didn't make eye contact with them or anything."

She said his death was a huge trauma to them, but they have to work through it: "It rips a hole through the family. It tears us apart. But we've all got to carry on and fight."

If you are struggling to cope, you can call Samaritans free on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website here.

The women put their arms around each other

Image captionThe women want to try and stop anyone else from taking their own lives

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Deaf people in Wales 'being let down' says charity

When Mary James was left without assistive equipment, life became "very frightening".

The 79-year-old, who is profoundly deaf, has waited nearly a year for a replacement doorbell, a text phone and fire alarms in her home in Caerphilly.

Many people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss are being let down, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru has said.

The Welsh Local Government Association said statutory services are under considerable strain.

Mrs James has asked social services to help with her assistive equipment, but has yet to receive a replacement doorbell, and has been told that her text phone cannot be replaced.

She ended up getting replacement fire alarms from the fire services.

Without the right equipment, life "can be very frightening" for her.

"I would expect them to provide equipment and also maintain that equipment if something went wrong with it," she said.

"They don't seem to know about deaf people - and the equipment- and they just pass it on. I don't get any help from social services at all."

Caerphilly council have said it is working with the health service to ensure the needs of people with hearing impairment in the area are met.

"Support for audio devices and other specialist equipment is dependent on the supplier (eg smoke detectors may be installed by the fire service), but we try to provide as much help as possible," a spokesperson added.

Action on Hearing Loss Cymru's director Rebecca Williams said that the current provision of social care in Wales is "not adequate" for people who are deaf or with hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss Cymru's director Rebecca WilliamsImage copyrightBBC WALES

Image captionAction on Hearing Loss Cymru's director Rebecca Williams says care is "not adequate" for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

"Some of the most vulnerable people in our society are being disadvantaged and at points put in danger by the fact that they don't understand the support they are entitled to," she said.

The charity wants councils to review their provision and access arrangements for people with hearing loss.

Under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act, people with hearing loss contacting social services for help should get an assessment, and then support which usually includes equipment, either provided or brokered with agencies.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Local Government Association said councils are under "very real challenges and pressures."

"While they continue to do all they can to limit cuts to local services, the harsh reality is that a wide range of statutory services are being placed under considerable strain, with many non-statutory services that are so important to people's wellbeing under significant threat," they said.

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Three in five British adults say miracles are possible

Three in five UK adults say they believe some form of miracle is possible, a survey commissioned by the BBC has suggested.

Nearly half of those questioned on behalf of BBC Local Radio admitted to praying for a miracle at some time.

However, when it comes to the miracles of Jesus, nearly half say they do not believe he did miraculous things.

Market research firm Comres surveyed 2,002 British adults by telephone between 16 and 26 August.

The survey suggested:

  • 62% of British adults believe some form of miracle is possible today
  • Nearly three-quarters aged 18-24 say they believe some form of miracle is possible today, more than any other age group
  • 43% say they have prayed for a miracle
  • 37% of British adults who attend a religious service at least monthly say they believe the miracles of Jesus happened word for word as described in the Bible
  • Half of this group say they have prayed for a miracle which was answered in the way they had hoped
  • But 37% of Christians have never prayed for a miracle

Evidence of Miracles

As a practising Christian, Jemma Adams believes in miracles.

"I'm an ex-drug addict" she explains. "At 17 I had crack psychosis and jumped off the top of a tower block and survived. Not only did I survive, but I didn't break one bone. "

It was a miraculous experience, and evidence for her, that miracles are possible.

She was sent to drug rehabilitation after her fall and began her journey to recovery.

It has ended with her helping women who are in a similar situation to hers.

Woman praying

Image captionAs a practising Christian, Jemma Adams believes in miracles

Jemma worships at the Victory Outreach Church in Hackney, East London, where David Elwin is the pastor.

David also has a history of drug-use, violence and spending time in prison.

"Miracles are the foundation of a Christian's faith," he says.

"The foundation of the Christian faith is the miracle that Jesus rose from the dead. It's vitally important that we maintain that as our foundation and our roots."

Pastor Victory Outreach Church

Image captionPastor David Elwin says he believes in miracles

The survey suggests 59% of adults who identify as Christian have prayed for a miracle, with around half of these people (29%) saying their prayer was answered in the way they hoped.

Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, Catholic hospital chaplain at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, says families will ask him to pray for a miracle to bring someone back from the brink of death.

He believes in those cases a miracle would be a terrible thing because it would be prolonging a life that is already at its natural end.

He also thinks you can be a Christian and interpret the miracles of Jesus in a different light.

He uses the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 - where Jesus fed a crowd with five loaves and five fish, as an example of how spontaneous generosity can cause a sense of wonder.

"One explanation may be that he inspired people to share what they had with them in their baskets," he explains.

"So rather than magically producing food, it's making food appear in another way. There are all sorts of ways it can be seen and still be wonderful."

Both Jemma Adams and Father Fleetwood believe the best miracles are in the smaller things.

"I see miracles every day," Jemma says. "I see women who were hopeless addicts get clean. A miracle to me is someone that was going to die, get hope again."

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Desert Island Discs: Tom Daley felt 'inferior' over sexuality

Olympic diver Tom Daley says he grew up feeling inferior to everyone because of his sexuality - but that gave him the motivation to become a success.

The 24-year-old said he did not realise until he went to secondary school that "not everyone is like me".

Speaking on the first Radio 4 Desert Island Discs presented by Lauren Laverne, he said he spoke out about gay rights to give others "hope".

He also said becoming a parent made him care less about winning the Olympics.

The regular presenter of the long-running show, Kirsty Young, has taken a number of months off because of illness.

Appearing as a castaway on Laverne's first programme, Daley said he felt "less than" everyone else growing up because "it wasn't socially acceptable to like boys and girls".

He said: "To this day, those feelings of feeling less than, and feeling different, have been the real things that have given me the power and strength to be able to succeed."

He wanted to prove that he was "something", he said, so that he did not disappoint everyone when they eventually found out about his sexuality.

The two-time bronze Olympic medallist has become a high-profile LGBT campaigner and used his appearance at this year's Commonwealth Games in Australia to appeal for more countries to decriminalise homosexuality.

He said he spoke out because he felt lucky to be able to live openly without ramifications and wanted to give others "hope".

The three-time world champion said falling in love with a man - US film-maker Dustin Lance Black, who he met in 2013 - "caught me by surprise".

Dustin Lance Black and Tom DaleyImage copyrightNEIL MOCKFORD

Image captionTom Daley says falling in love with Dustin Lance Black had taken him by surprise

Daley married the Oscar winner, who is 20 years his senior, last year but he said the age gap had never been an issue.

"When you go through so much at such a young age" - he went to his first Olympics aged 14 and his father died of cancer three years later - he said that it was hard to find someone the same age who had experienced similar highs and lows.

The couple became parents in June, to a son called Robert Ray Black-Daley, and Daley said his "whole perspective" had changed.

Holding scan pictureImage copyrightTOM DALEY

Image captionWhen they announced their baby news, Daley posted a picture of the couple holding up to the camera and black and white image from their baby scan

"If you had asked me last year, it was all about 'I need to win a gold medal'," he said.

"You know what, there are bigger things than Olympic gold medals. My Olympic gold medal is Robbie."

His son has the same name as his father Robert, who died in 2011 aged 40 after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Daley said his dad did not accept he was going to die and one of the last things he had asked was if they had their tickets yet for London 2012 - as he wanted to be on the front row.

Robert Daley and Tom DaleyImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionTom Daley says his dad (left) was his biggest supporter

"I couldn't say to him 'you're not going to be around to be on the front row dad'," he said.

"I was holding his hand as he stopped breathing and it wasn't until he'd actually stopped breathing and he was dead that I finally acknowledged he wasn't invincible," he said.

The following year Daley competed at the 2012 Olympics and won bronze.

"I just knew that this is what I had dreamt of my whole life - to dive in front of a home crowd at an Olympic Games, there was no better feeling," he said.

It also inspired his first song choice - Proud by Heather Small - which had resonated with him in the build up to the Olympics and still gave him goosebumps.

Desert Island Discs is on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11:15 BST.

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Zimbabwe's experiment to heal bitter political divisions

A new body is mediating members of hostile political parties





John Sparks

Africa correspondent

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John Sparks

Charles Masunungure used to be a policeman in Zimbabwe - a job that does not exactly inspire confidence in the general population.

The police were deployed by the country's former dictator, Robert Mugabe, to keep him in power - and quash descent - but Mr Masunungure was not a typical member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZPR).

"I wanted to serve the people I worked with, to council and support them - so I started doing pastoral and theological training," he said.

"I can speak the same language as the police, I understand them but I developed into a different product."

In time, his counselling skills were deployed in the community and the 48-year-old started mediating between the members of hostile political parties.

Charles Masunungure, commissioner of Zimbabwe's Peace and Reconciliation Commission

Image:Charles Masunungure works with Zimbabwe's Peace and Reconciliation Commission

Inevitably perhaps, the policeman-turned-pastor was chosen as a commissioner in Zimbabwe's nascent Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

The body started functioning in February under the man who deposed Mugabe in a coup - Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Having been sworn-in as president, Mr Mnangagwa has promised the country a "brighter future" through economic and political reforms.

But his political opponents have a tough time stomaching the reformist credentials of a man who has spent most of his life at the top of Zimbabwe's long-time ruling party, Zanu-PF.


'Little change' in Zimbabwe since historic election

'Little change' in Zimbabwe since historic election

Sky News discovers evidence of election-related intimidation and harassment against opponents of the ruling Zanu-PF party

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Image:Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn-in last August

They claim Mr Mnangagwa won the county's recent election through intimidation, harassment and various forms of "vote engineering" in rural areas.

Such accusations have been directed at Zanu-PF in every election since the country's foundation in 1980.

Certainly, deep-rooted resentment and anger runs through spots like Mount Darwin - where Zanu-PF has never lost an election in six local constituencies - and it is here, in this impoverished, rural area, that the peace and reconciliation people come in.

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Mr Masunungure fielded a call from Mt Darwin just after the election informing him that 12 members of the opposition MDC party had fled their homes for safe-houses in the capital after Zanu-PF supporters had chased them out.


'My home was burnt down because of my views'

'My home was burnt down because of my views'

David Chamanga says members of Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF party torched his home while he was at church

Instead of doing nothing - or passing the matter on to someone else - Mr Masunungure went to Mt Darwin and talked to the district commander of the police and leaders of the political parties.

Eventually, he found a way to get the refugees home. Next, he called a community meeting in the ramshackle hall of a broken-down sports club in Mt Darwin.

Bitter political enemies - as well as officials like the police chief - were invited to sit down and talk in what Mr Masunungure described to us as an "experiment."

"One of the ways to promote healing - to promote understanding is - to get people to tell their stories," he said.

"There is a method - a structure designed to try and get people to engage and walk in the shoes of another."

Charles Masunungure, commissioner of Zimbabwe's Peace and Reconciliation Commission

Image:Mr Masunungure says the meetings are an 'experiment'

Opposition members in attendance put detailed accounts of intimidation, harassment, discrimination (at the hands of biased officials) and partisan policing to local leaders of Zanu-PF - and two fascinating things occurred.

First, people in positions of responsibility were held to account - if only temporarily - by people in the community who felt they had a safe space to speak.

Secondly, when confronted with opposing views, group members starting working on mutually acceptable solutions.

More from Zimbabwe

For example, MDC members claimed that the ruling party only distributes food aid and services to supporters of Zanu-PF - so a group from the Mt Darwin West constituency agreed on the need for a multi-party committee to oversee distribution.

"I think you always get a payoff when you do your best. Every moment is special and if that moment is only one millionth of what you are hoping to achieve, well, that's something," says Mr Masunungure.

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India airports: Has PM Modi built more than others?

Is India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, correct to claim credit for an airport building boom in his country?

The prime minister tweeted this week that India now had 100 airports and 35 of these had been completed in the past four years, after his BJP government came to power.

In a dig at the opposition parties, he said: "In the 67 years since independence, up to 2014, there were only 65 airports. That's on average one airport built each year."

These figures would suggest that under the current administration, airports have been built at a rate of almost nine per year.

So, are these claims backed up by the official figures?

Passenger demand

The Airports Authority of India, which is responsible for civil aviation infrastructure, currently lists 101 airports on its website.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) - the body that regulates civil aviation - also has a figure of 101 domestic airports as of 31 March 2018.

However, looking back at earlier years, the picture gets more complicated.

The DGCA has the following figures for domestic airports:

  • In 2015, there were 95 airports, of which 31 were "non-operational"
  • In 2018, 101 airports, of which 27 are "non-operational"

This suggests an increase of only six new airports since 2015 or an overall increase of 10 "operational" airports.

This is significantly fewer than the 35 since 2014 claimed by Mr Modi.

Sikkim airportImage copyrightRAJIV SRIVASTAVA

Image captionThe new airport in Sikkim state in India

At an aviation summit in Delhi this month, India was praised for its airport building by Alexandre de Juniac, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

His exact remarks were: "What has happened with India's airport infrastructure over the last decade is amazing."

That would include the period before the BJP came to power, in 2014.

It's also worth saying that any airports opened in the past four years are likely to have been started by previous governments, even if they were ultimately completed under the present administration.

"The need to assess likely passenger demand, acquire suitable land and secure adequate finance usually means that airports are planned years in advance of opening," says Lucy Budd, an expert on air transport infrastructure, at Loughborough University, in the UK.

Aviation boom

There's little doubt that India will need much more airport capacity. And the current BJP government does have ambitious plans to expand aviation infrastructure.

Last year, it launched a scheme known as Udan ("flight" in Hindi) to extend the regional air network and encourage more traffic between underserved destinations and the country's megacities.

Bar chart showing passenger traffic

Earlier this year, the Aviation Minister, Jayant Sinha, spoke of India needing 150 to 200 airports by 2035.

India has gradually liberalised its aviation sector over more than two decades.

Passenger numbers have been surging and there's been fevered competition between carriers in the market, leading to price wars in recent years.

Rail is still the preferred mode of long-distance travel for many Indians because it is cheap, although it can be slow and not that comfortable.

However, Lucy Budd says: "The rapidly growing number of middle-class consumers in India, who have higher levels of discretionary income and who may place a greater emphasis on the value of time, are helping to stimulate the current growth in demand for domestic air routes."

In fact, the two-hour flight between the capital, Delhi, and the commercial hub of Mumbai is now classed as one of the busiest routes in the world.

Capacity constraints

Over the next 20 years, traffic in India is predicted to exceed 500 million air passenger journeys a year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

But it pointed out in a recent report that the country currently ranked relatively low in terms of airport density (the number of airports per million of population).

Varanasi airport terminalImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionIndia will need more airport infrastructure to cope with growing demand

In order for the sector's growth potential to be met, IATA says, it "will require the right type of infrastructure to be put into place, at the right time and in the right place".

In fact, some analysts believe the growth in passenger numbers is such that the biggest cities will need second airports in the near future.

"By 2030, India will need second airports in all of the six major cities (by that stage Mumbai may even be approaching the need for a third)," says Binit Somaia, South Asia director of the aviation consultancy group CAPA.

"And virtually all of the 40 largest airports in India's other cities will have become saturated and will require new capacity."

A report by CAPA earlier this year forecast that India's airport system would "exceed its structural capacity by 2022".

But the report does commend "positive signs of a strong revival in airport capacity initiatives since 2016" - with plans not just for new airports but also expansion projects at existing ones as well as new ways to finance these developments.

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Jair Bolsonaro: Large protests against Brazil election front-runner

Tens of thousands of women have taken to the streets of Brazil to protest against the far-right presidential election front-runner Jair Bolsonaro.

The words Ele Nao (not him) were seen on stickers and banners and were shouted by the crowds.

Mr Bolsonaro was stabbed at a rally earlier this month and is currently leading in the polls ahead of the first round of elections on 7 October.

But a run-off vote is likely to be much closer.

A former army captain, Jair Bolsonaro is a hugely controversial figure and has sparked outrage with homophobic and misogynist comments.

He once told a congresswoman she was not worth raping and has equated homosexuality with paedophilia.

Some have compared the 63-year-old to Donald Trump. He enjoys the backing of millions of evangelical Christians who praise his anti-abortion stance

The movement against Mr Bolsonaro began with a Facebook group calling for demonstrations that now has almost four million members.

Protests have taken place in cities across Brazil and abroad.

"The things he says are so grotesque and absurd, I don't believe he deserves to have a voice or deserves to have a role so important as the president of Brazil," one protester in Rio de Janeiro said.

He was released from hospital on Saturday after his stabbing and is unlikely to be able to resume campaigning before the first stage of the vote.

Aerial view of protesters holding a large "not him" banner in Sao PauloImage copyrightREUTERS

Image captionA huge banner was held up in Sao Paulo, reading "not him"

Women, one with the words "not him" painted on her back, demonstrate in Rio de JaneiroImage copyrightREUTERS

Image captionRallies were held across Brazil

Large crowds protest against Jair Bolsonaro in Rio de Janeiro, 29 September 2018Image copyrightEPA

Image captionJair Bolsonaro has been branded sexist and a homophobe

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Africa Live: 24-28 September 2018 as it happened

  1. 9:46 28 Sep

    Scroll down for Friday's stories

    We'll be back on Monday

    BBC Africa Live

    Dickens Olewe

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.

    A reminder of today's wise words:

    Quote Message: An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants." from Sent by John Cyprian, Lagos, Nigeria.

    An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants."

    Sent by John Cyprian, Lagos, Nigeria.

    Click here to send in your African proverbs.

    We leave you with this picture of a capella singers competing at the National Isicathamiya Competition in the South African city of Durban. It is from our selection of the best pictures from this week.

    A capella singers compete at the National Isicathamiya Competition in Durban

    AFPCopyright: AFP

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  2. Posted at 9:32 28 Sep9:32 28 Sep

    Light aircraft in SA snared by mountain zipline

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC Africa, Johannesburg

    A light aircraft has been snared by a zipline in the famous South African holiday resort of Sun City.

    Reports by local media said that a couple was believed to be inside the small plane at the time of the crash on Friday morning.

    Spokesperson for North West police Col Adel Myburgh confirmed the incident.

    She told the BBC that a couple in their 60s were “rescued at about 15:00 (13:00 GMT) afternoon after their small aircraft flew into a zipline.”

    “It’s a miracle that there were no serious injuries. They were only dehydrated and were taken to a local hospital for further observations.”

    Public broadcaster (Sabc) shared a video of the aircraft dangling on the zipline.

    Social embed from twitter

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    Light aircraft caught in a mountain zipline in Pilanesberg

    8:44 AM - Sep 28, 2018

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  3. Posted at 9:07 28 Sep9:07 28 Sep

    Liberia bans foreign travel for 23 people over missing cash

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A court in Liberia has banned 23 more people from travelling abroad following the disappearance of more than $100m (£76m) worth of freshly printed banknotes.

    All of them are employees of the Central Bank.

    The authorities are investigating what happened to two shipping containers full of $16bn Liberian dollars in new banknotes which were brought into the country last year.

    They were printed abroad and destined for the Central Bank.

    Last week, 15 others were banned from overseas travel, including a son of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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  4. Burundi suspends foreign NGOs

    BBC World Service

    Burundi has suspended the activities of most foreign non-governmental organisations (NGO) until they comply with a new law imposing tighter controls on their operations.

    The authorities said most of the estimated 130 NGOs in Burundi were not following regulations.

    NGOs have denounced the new law which imposes ethnic quotas and administration fees and obliges them to keep their accounts in foreign currency in the central bank.

    Burundi is experiencing foreign currency shortages due to European Union sanctions. NGOs provide essential services in the country.

    More about Burundi

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  5. Posted at 8:33 28 Sep8:33 28 Sep

    Curfew imposed on Nigerian city of Jos

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC Africa, Abuja

    Map of Nigeria

    BBCCopyright: BBC

    A dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed on the city of Jos, in Nigeria's central Plateau state, and its surrounding area following hours of ethnic and religious tension.

    Angry youths protested against an attack by suspected cattle herders, who are predominately Muslim, on Friday morning.

    They destroyed properties belonging to Muslims, which sparked more tension and skirmishes between the two sides. Many shops remain closed.

    Plateau state commissioner of information, Yakubu Datti, told the BBC the curfew was put in place to prevent a further escalation of violence

    The skirmishes in Jos, the Plateau state capital, were in response to an attack on Thursday by suspected cattle herders on a predominantly Christian community on the outskirts of the city.

    Gunmen killed at least four people and wounded around two people, a spokesman for the special military task force in the area, Umar Adamu, told the BBC.

    The attack on Thursday is believed to be in retaliation to the killing of a herder the day before.

    The area has a decades-long history of violence between settled farming communities and nomadic cattle herders competing for land.

    These tit-for-tat clashes have erupted into inter-communal warfare, killing thousands in 2017.

    Read more:Fake news and Nigeria's herder crisis

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  6. Posted at 7:23 28 Sep7:23 28 Sep

    'I paint African history with sand'

    Chiekh Mbacke Sow is a Senegalese artist based on Goree Island near Dakar. He creates beautiful paintings of African history using sand he imports from all over the world.

    Video Journalist: Faith Ilevbare

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    Video caption: Senegal's sand painter: Creating beauty with grainsSenegal's sand painter: Creating beauty with grains

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  7. Posted at 6:51 28 Sep6:51 28 Sep

    Kenyan denied permit to head Tanzania Vodacom

    Athuman Mtulya

    BBC Africa

    Tanzanian authorities have denied a Kenyan corporate manager, Sylvia Mulinge, a work permit to head the country’s biggest telecom company.

    Vodacom Tanzania, which is a subsidiary of UK’s Vodafone, appointed Ms Mulinge as CEO five months ago but she had to apply for a permit to work in the country.

    After months of silence and speculation, Vodacom Tanzania announced today that Ms Mulinge was denied the permit by the country’s labour commissioner.

    “Naturally we are disappointed and regret the labour commissioner’s decision and we will be engaging with the authorities. We are confident that Vodacom Tanzania has a strong management team in place to lead the company effectively until the search for a suitable candidate is finalised,” Vodacom Tanzania chairman was quoted as saying in the statement.

    Social embed from twitter

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    BusinessDaily Africa?@BD_Africa

    Sylvia Mulinge returns to Safaricom as Dar job hits snag 

    6:30 AM - Sep 27, 2018

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    Ms Mulinge was on Thursday reemployed at Kenya’s largest telecommunication company Safaricom.

    This incident comes in the middle of a trade war between Kenya and Tanzania, the two biggest economies of the East African Community (EAC).

    The neighbouring countries are hitting each other with tariffs on a select number of goods, Tanzania’s The Citizen newspaper reported on Friday.

    Last year, Tanzania seized and auctioned cattle from Kenya with the country’s President John Magufuli saying Tanzania was not Kenya’s grazing ground.

    In 2015, Kenya banned Tanzanian vehicles from accessing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Tanzania hit back by cutting the frequency of Kenya Airways' flights to the country by 60%.

    The spat was resolved by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the Tanzania’s former President Jakaya Kikwete.

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  8. Posted at 6:32 28 Sep6:32 28 Sep

    Nigeria Air Force pilot killed in jet crash

    One of the two Nigerian air force pilots involved in an accident earlier today near the capital, Abuja, has died, the Air Force spokesperson has tweeted:

    Social embed from twitter

    Air Commodore Ibikunle [email protected]

    It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on. May his soul RIP. Additional details on the incident will be communicated later. Thank you

    5:26 AM - Sep 28, 2018

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    The planes were taking part in rehearsals ahead on Monday's independence day celebrations.

    Security men have cordoned off the area with emergency vehicles sighted in the area taking away what seems to be a body bag, the BBC's Chris Ewokor reports.

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  9. Posted at 6:18 28 Sep6:18 28 Sep

    Bids in for Ivory Coast's biggest cocoa producer

    Russell Padmore

    Business correspondent, BBC News

    A cocoa producer harvesting the crop

    AFPCopyright: AFP

    Defaulting cocoa farmers have made Ivory Coast's banks worriedImage caption: Defaulting cocoa farmers have made Ivory Coast's banks worried

    Creditors of the biggest cocoa exporter in Ivory Coast, which went bankrupt in July, will decide on Monday which company will be allowed to buy its assets.

    Three international agri-industry companies are reported to be interested in buying the operations of SAF Cacoa, which was liquidated following an order from the Ivorian Cocoa Board, the CCC.

    Ivory Coast is the world's biggest exporter of cocoa.

    SAF Cacoa, which purchased up to 200,000 tonnes of cocoa beans every year, collapsed owing about $143m (£109m) to Ivory Coast's Cocoa Board and double that to banks in the country.

    The American agriculture giant Cargill, plus its rivals Wilmar, which is based in Singapore, and Touton of France, are considered the serious bidders by the Ivorian authorities to acquire the firm's assets.

    It's thought that Wilmar and Touton are interested in SAF's Choco-Ivoire grinding plant, as well as its other cocoa and coffee factories.

    The U.S group Cargill is most interested in large storage warehouses.

    The cocoa board and other creditors want a swift decision on a sale, so that banks can be reimbursed quickly.

    Exporters of cocoa are major borrowers in Ivory Coast, but a wave of defaults has raised fears of the banking sector being destabilised.

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  10. Posted at 5:52 28 Sep5:52 28 Sep

    Kenyan MPs' Japan trip 'not happening'

    The speaker of Kenya's Senate has denied a local newspaper report that he gave the go-ahead to five lawmakers to attend the women’s World Volleyball Championships in Japan.

    Ken Lusaka said some senators had wanted to travel to Tokyo but that he did not approve the 14-day tax-payer-funded trip because there was no money, The Star newspaper reports.

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    Senators not travelling to Japan after all - Lusaka …

    2:10 AM - Sep 28, 2018

    Senators not travelling to Japan after all - Lusaka

    Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has denied approving the planned trip by a group of senators to Japan.He acknowledged that some senators had expressed interest in travelling to watch the world volleyball...

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    The senators were reportedly set to get a daily allowance of 100,000 Kenya shillings ($990; £760) during the trip.

    The daily allowance for volleyball players is $37, the Star reports.

    The report of the now cancelled trip comes two months after a group of 20 MPs went to Russia in June to watch the football World Cup.

    The lawmakers who went to Russia, ostensibly to learn how Kenya could host an event as big as the World Cup, presented a report to parliament in August which the Standard newspaper reported had mostly "been plagiarised without a whiff of attribution".

    Kenyan MPs are believed to be among the best paid in the world but last year they got a 15% pay cut reducing their salary to $6,100 a month.

    They also lost some of their generous allowances, such as for mileage and attending parliament.

    An average person in Kenya lives on $150 a month.

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  11. Posted at 5:12 28 Sep5:12 28 Sep

    Salva Kiir releases all prisoners of war

    BBC World Service

    Salva Kiir

    AFPCopyright: AFP

    South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has ordered the release of all prisoners of war and political detainees.

    The move is part of a peace agreement signed last month with the rebel leader Riek Machar.

    A number of Mr Machar's fighters and supporters are in detention, along with activists and other critics of Mr Kiir's government.

    Many of the prisoners are being held in military facilities in the capital, Juba.

    The aim of the peace deal is to end more than five years of civil war in South Sudan which became independent in 2011.

    It states that Mr Machar should return to government as one of five vice presidents.

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  12. Posted at 4:48 28 Sep4:48 28 Sep

    Zimbabwe ministers given ultimatum for new laws

    Shingai Nyoka

    BBC Africa, Harare

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa

    AFPCopyright: AFP

    Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected president on 30 JulyImage caption: Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected president on 30 July

    Zimbabwe’s speaker of parliament, Jacob Mudenda, has given government ministers 30 days to submit draft legislation in line with the 2013 constitution or face censure.

    Five years after Zimbabweans voted to pass a new constitution several outdated pieces of legislation remain on the statute books.

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa's party appears to be injecting some urgency to scrap outdated laws.

    Mr Mudenda has warned ministers they will be summoned to answer to parliament if they do not meet the deadline to produce draft legislation for some 30 laws prioritised by the president in his state of the nation address.

    In 2013, Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly to overhaul the country’s constitution, strengthening human rights and capping presidential powers..

    Some of the major pieces of legislation highlighted by Mr Mnangagwa will decentralise political power, strengthen child rights and allow dual citizenship.

    Critics however say the government continues to drag its feet on other draconian laws affecting freedom of speech and association.

    Mr Mnangagwa became president last November after his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign. He then went on to win July's presidential election.

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  13. Posted at 4:21 28 Sep4:21 28 Sep

    Nigeria aircrafts 'involved in accident'

    Mayeni Jones

    BBC News, Lagos

    Two Nigerian air force planes taking part in rehearsals ahead of Monday's independence day celebrations have been involved in an accident.

    An air force spokesperson says no lives were lost.

    Unverified footage on social media appears to show that at least one of the jets crashed.

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  14. Posted at 3:50 28 Sep3:50 28 Sep

    Five charged for plot 'to assassinate' Ethiopian PM

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    Abiy Ahmed supporters in massive rally

    AFPCopyright: AFP

    A blast rocked the 23 June rally which was organised to show support for reforms being pushed by Prime Minister Abiy AhmedImage caption: A blast rocked the 23 June rally which was organised to show support for reforms being pushed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

    Five people in Ethiopia have been charged with terrorism in connection with what prosecutors say was an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Two people were killed and more than a 100 injured in a grenade attack in June at a rally in Addis Ababa in support of Mr Abiy.

    Prosecutors allege the plot was masterminded by an Ethiopian woman based in Kenya. She was not in court.

    The prosecution said the attack was carried out by members of Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromo, because they believed Mr Abiy would not act in their interests.

    Mr Abiy is himself an Oromo.

    Read more about Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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  15. Posted at 3:25 28 Sep3:25 28 Sep

    Fire guts popular Nigeria fruit market

    Karina Igonikon

    BBC Pidgin, Lagos

    Aftermath of market fire

    BBCCopyright: BBC

    A popular fruit market in Nigeria's south-eastern city of Port Harcourt went up in flames on Thursday night.

    Eyewitness Nteiro Elyon Elijah told me the fire started around 18:45 local time (17:45 GMT), but it was not clear what caused it.

    The suspicion is that it was set off by a spark form an electrical fault, he added.

    Mr Elijah also said that the fire service did not turn up despite traders making several phone calls.

    People who live in the area and members form a church called Living Faith, which shares a fence with the market, pumped water from their storage tanks to help put out the fire.

    Aftermath of market fire

    BBCCopyright: BBC

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  16. Posted at 2:48 28 Sep2:48 28 Sep

    BBC Tigirinya unveils poetry competition winner

    Biemnet Semere

    Biemnet SemereCopyright: Biemnet Semere

    Biemnet Semere is the winner of BBC Tigrinya's inaugural poem competition.

    The 41-year-old's poem - Just Call Me By My Mother's Name! - impressed the judges with its quality of language, and conformity to Tigrinya poetry rules in terms of rhyme, rhythm and theme.

    It explores how some young men betray young women after impregnating them.

    The competition was launched on 30 July to revive, celebrate and enrich local poetry.

    Siltan Haylay from Ethiopia, and Solomon Gegrekirstons, an Eritrean living in South Africa, were first and second runners up respectively.

    Here's a translation of the winning poem:

    Just Call Me By My Mother's Name!

    Birth pangs, and a tragic end

    When two hearts refused to blend

    I heard the cry of my dear mother

    Mixed with sighs for unfaithful father

    Midwives at work, unable to notice

    The sound of pain and pure injustice

    Push! they shout and press and squeeze

    A life of lost love and broken dreams

    How she sang with love and danced with joy

    Trusting a love that was only a ploy

    Memory lane strewn with sorrow

    Bitter tears starting to flow

    And then came along

    The Good Lord

    He made the pain to go away

    And allowed me to see the day

    Well, let me stop here and just close

    the story

    For too many are my mother's woes

    People talk of customs and laws

    Just any father from friends and foes

    But my wish is to have a father of my own

    And not one who sires and is speedily gone

    But again why should I need a father

    When I am alreay born and rightly here!

    Well, let me tell you a little secret

    To love someone who has no respect

    For me and for all the rest

    Is to be feared like a pest

    It is all the same to me folks, all the same

    You can just call me by my mother's name!!!

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  17. Posted at 2:07 28 Sep2:07 28 Sep

    US calls Cameroon to hold soldiers accountable

    The US has called on Cameroon authorities to hold soldiers, revealed by the BBC's investigative unit Africa Eye to be behind atrocities against civilians, to account, VOA reports. 

    Pentagon spokeswoman Maj Sheryll Klinkel said the US military was working with the State Department to "ensure the government of Cameroon holds accountable any individuals found to be responsible".

    BBC Africa Eye's investigation looked into a horrifying video which had been circulating on social media.

    It showed two women and two young children being led away at gunpoint by a group of Cameroonian soldiers. The captives are blindfolded, forced to the ground, and shot 22 times.

    The investigation revealed where the incident happened, when it happened, and who is responsible for the killing.

    The government of Cameroon initially dismissed the video as “fake news” but subsequently arrested some of the soldiers captured in the video.

    The US has about 300 military personnel in Cameroon as part of an international effort to stop the spread of violent extremism in West Africa, VOA reports.

    Watch the full BBC investigation below:

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    Video caption: Cameroon atrocity: Finding the soldiers who killed this womanCameroon atrocity: Finding the soldiers who killed this woman

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  18. Posted at 1:07 28 Sep1:07 28 Sep

    Kenyan tea workers take UK company to court

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Tea workers in Kenya have filed a case against multi-national company Unilever in the UK's Supreme Court for allegedly failing to protect them during the violence that followed the 2007 elections in which over 1,000 people were killed.

    They say Unilever failed to respect its own human rights policy during the attacks, a claim the UK-Dutch company denies.

    According to court documents, seven Unilever workers were killed and 56 women were raped in the ethnic violence.

    In a letter to Unilever CEO Paul Polman, the workers say local management put workers at risk by ignoring death threats reported by employees, including those from co-workers.

    Many employees, who came from other areas of the country, fled the tea plantation in western Kenya for six months, during which time they claim Unilever stopped their salaries.

    But Unilever insists every employee was compensated, and that it gave significant support to workers during that period, including more than $500,000 (£382,000) to help affected families.

    Tea worker

    AFPCopyright: AFP

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  19. Posted at 1:01 28 Sep1:01 28 Sep

    Friday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants." from Sent by John Cyprian, Lagos, Nigeria.

    An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants."

    Sent by John Cyprian, Lagos, Nigeria.


    Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

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  20. Posted at 0:58 28 Sep0:58 28 Sep

    Good morning

    Welcome back to the BBC Africa Live page, where we will bring you the latest news and views from around the continent.

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Six things learned from going social media free for September

By Joe Tidy, news correspondent

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to be preparing to log into social media for the first time in a month as Scroll Free September draws to an end.

The campaign, led by the Royal Society For Public Health, was started to raise awareness about the issues around the "Big 5" social platforms and throughout the month we've been following six volunteers as they attempted to go "cold turkey".

All our volunteers will, on Monday, log in to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube live on Sky News. They've all stayed strong despite the urge to scroll. Here's what they've learned about their relationship with social media.

:: Health experts to set 'safe social media time limits'

Sally Deller

Image:Sally Deller has missed interacting with friends

'It's like trying to quit smoking' - Sally Deller, 71, from Loughborough

"I've learnt that I do rely on social media a lot in my life and I noticed, at least for the first week, that I had the same feelings of withdrawal that you get from trying to quit smoking.

I think I rely on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, so much because I live alone and it's such a brilliant and vital tool for keeping in touch with friends.

I've missed the interaction with people, I've missed events, social invites and a lot of my Facebook friends live overseas and you don't text people in the same way overseas, so I've missed that a lot. It's been really challenging and I don't think I'd want to do it again."




Video:Young people are increasingly using social media to achieve change

'Social media is bad for my sleep' - Thomas Tozer, 25, from London

Before this challenge I used to spend a lot of time scrolling on Facebook and YouTube. I'd sit there often late or early watching things that the algorithm threw up at me.

The best part of Scroll Free September is the time I've managed to reclaim which has enabled me to have better night-time routines and get up earlier in the mornings to meditate - it's really set me up for the day!

So, although it's been a real challenge, especially the last week, I've found it very valuable and I'd be very happy to do it again in the future. It's the sort of thing that unless you're on the challenge, it's very hard to break those cravings and habits because you're just used to following them and giving in to them, and there's no real strong reason why you shouldn't.

Image:Geoff Betteridge has realised he wastes far too much time scrolling

'Without social media, I've cut my screen time down two-thirds' - Geoff Betteridge, 74, from Kent

I've learnt this month that I waste far too much time on my social media platforms - mainly Twitter and Facebook - and it has stopped me in the past from engaging fully with friends and family, which I think I've now corrected.

Once I log back in I'm going to have a cull on the three social media platforms I use and get rid of anything that isn't friends, family or really important to me.

Having done the exercise I know that my screen time was mostly tied up with social media platforms. I've cut my time looking at laptops and phones by about two-thirds.

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The whole thing has been a big lesson and I think for my age group you've got to try to limit what you do on social media platforms and get out into the big wide world, because it's great out there.

Emily Snow

Image:Emily Snow is reaping the benefits of getting up earlier

'Breaking the habit is actually not as hard as I thought' - Emily Snow, 22, from Leeds

The month was easier than I thought it would be, I thought I would really struggle but it's not been as hard as I thought. I think my habits have changed and I've got used to life without it.

There have been several occasions where I've been itching to post a picture on Instagram or see what my friends have been up to on their stories on Instagram.

I noticed that I spend most of my time on social media when I'm actually stressed. I found that I want to log on when I'm stressed, just so not to think about anything, so I realised that I rarely go on social media because I actually want to go on. It was more just a habit.

I want to carry on not using social media when I first wake up in the morning because the massive change for me has been that I get up much earlier and it's been really beneficial for me.

Benjamin Fox

Image:Benjamin Fox soon got over his fear of missing out

'FOMO is real and it takes a while to get over' - Benjamin Fox, 17, from Darlington

The best thing has been that I've had more time to spend with friends and family but the worst thing has been having FOMO - fear of missing out.

Though that was very much in my head at the start, as soon as I got over that it was fine. This challenge has allowed me to have a mental checkpoint for myself and what I do with my time.

A future message to myself once I'm back online would be to not spend so much time on social media and also to turn off my phone/pc etc and turn off the apps for a bit, take a break and have a clean slate for a while, and then tune back in when I'm ready.

Eyal Booker talks social media and FOMO, saying it's alright to take breaks.0:24



Video:The Love Island contestant says breaks from social media are important

'Texting is boring - it's just green blobs of words' Emma Jackson, 15, Wigan

What I've learned about this month is that there is no need to be on your phone as much, like going on social media is an addiction and a habit, and breaking the habit of social media is a really positive thing to do.

However, the good thing about social media is that you can talk to your friends in many different ways, for example, I've been talking to my friends through text for the whole month and it's been boring not talking to them on Snapchat and Instagram.

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I have a group chat on Instagram with my friends where we send in things we find funny and I've missed not being able to send those things in.

One thing I've noticed about social media is that it consumes people's lives and it's all people talk about nowadays, like most of my friends will start the conversation with, "Did you see this on Instagram?" etc, and there isn't any point about talking about it because there are many more things to talk about other than what you just saw on Instagram.

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Health experts to set 'safe time limits' for children using social media

Medical experts have been instructed by the government to draw up official guidelines for social media use amid fears over its impact on child mental health.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has asked the UK's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, to start preparing official guidance on safe time limits, like those on recommended maximum alcohol consumption for adults.

In an interview with the Observer before the Conservative party conference, Mr Hancock said he was "very worried" as a father of three children by the growing evidence of the detrimental effect on the health of young people.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all in the process of rolling out new features1:24



Video:The psychology behind social media - and why we can't stop scrolling

He told the paper: "Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health.

"So I have asked the chief medical officer to bring forward formal guidance on its use by children."

Eyal Booker talks social media and FOMO, saying it's alright to take breaks.0:24



Video:The Love Island contestant says breaks from social media are important

He added: "As a parent you want to be able to say, 'the rules say you shouldn't use social media for more than a certain period of time'.

"This is why we have a chief medical officer: to set a norm in society, make judgements on behalf of society, so that individual schools or individual parents don't have to decide."

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Some social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have moved to mitigate fears of addiction by introducing tools that enable users to monitor and restrict their time on the services.

Research by Ofcom found 78% of Brits said they couldn't live without their smartphone1:10



Video:Belinda Parmar made a career in tech but now she's worried about its impact on mental health

But Mr Hancock hit out at both platforms over a lack of policing of their rules on age limits.

"The terms of reference of Facebook and Instagram say you shouldn't be on it if you are under the age of 13. But they do nothing to police that," he told the Observer.

"The guidelines for WhatsApp say you shouldn't be on it unless you're 16. But again, they don't lift a finger."




Video:Are you addicted to social media?

Public campaigns such as Scroll Free September have also been launched to encourage people to use social media less.

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Six things learned from going social media free

Six things learned from going social media free

Six volunteers of the first-ever Scroll Free September campaign reflect on the challenges of going "cold turkey"

The initiative from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) asked people to stop using the "Big 5" platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube - in September, or to cut down the amount of time they spend on them.

In July, the RSPH carried out a survey which found almost two-thirds of users considered taking part in the initiative and many believed giving up social media would have a positive impact on their lives.

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