Avik Guha

1,178 Flips | 17 Magazines | 2 Likes | 3 Following | 9 Followers | @MrVikers | I'm the brown man with a plan!

The innovation turning desert sand into farmland

<b>Faisal Mohammed Al Shimmari farms in some of the most extreme conditions in the world, at Al Ain, an oasis in the United Arab Emirates desert, where temperatures can reach 50C.</b><p>"It's expensive as we have to buy water regularly to irrigate these plants," he says.<p>Farmers have to use tankers to bring …


House Farm Bill Fails As Conservatives Revolt Over Immigration

<b>Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET</b><p>The House rejected a $867 billion farm bill on Friday — after spending days negotiating with key conservatives in an attempt to pass the bill without the support of Democrats.<p>The vote was 198-213. Every Democrat voted against the measure, as did 30 Republicans. Many of the …


The priest whose blunt billboards have gone global

<b>On a typical Sunday, Father Rod Bower draws about 200 people to his church service in a coastal town in Australia.</b><p>But online, his messages are often viewed by millions.<p>For years, he has been posting provocative statements on a roadside billboard outside his Gosford Anglican Church in New South …

Social Media

Saudi Crown Prince, in His Own Words: Women Are ‘Absolutely’ Equal

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The powerful crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, 32, arrives in the United States on Monday for an extended visit during which he is scheduled to meet President Trump and tour a number of American cities.<p>Among his trip’s goals: selling Americans on his sweeping …

Saudi Arabia

25 of the best signs from March for Our Lives demonstrations around the globe.

Cities all over the planet were crowded on Saturday, March 24, 2018, as hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered to support the empowered teen …

March for Our Lives

The Man Who Knew Too Little

GLOUSTER, Ohio — At first, the experiment didn’t have a name.<p>Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics.<p>Donald Trump’s victory shook him. Badly. And so Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent …

Roy Moore

Implicit racial bias causes black boys to be disciplined at school more than whites, federal report finds

Starting in prekindergarten, black boys and girls were disciplined at school far more than their white peers in 2013-2014, according to a government analysis of data that said implicit racial bias was the likely cause of these continuing disparities.<p>The analysis, issued Wednesday by the U.S. …


Dubai is constructing a building that looks like a giant iPad and has so much technology it acts like 'Iron Man's armor'

Hong Kong architect James Law is nearing completing on the construction of a building whose design was inspired by an iPod and is filled with so much technology that he likens it to Iron Man's suit of armor.<p>The building, known as The Pad. and once called the iPad Tower, has been under construction …

Comic Books

Japanese train departs 25 seconds early - again

<b>A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months.</b><p>The operator said the "great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable".<p>If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a …


Pink on 'ageing naturally': Singer praised for response to 'troll'

<b>Pink has been praised for having the "perfect" response to a "troll" who abused her for looking "old".</b><p>A Twitter user said she looked "so old" she should be named "Purple instead".<p>"You must be from LA," Pink replied, before continuing: "There are a few people left in the world that choose to age …

Michael Jackson

Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes' found in hidden diary pages

<b>Two new pages from Anne Frank's diary have been published, containing a handful of dirty jokes and her thoughts on sex.</b><p>The young Jewish teen's diary, written in hiding from the Nazis, became world-famous when published after her death and at the end of the war.<p>The hidden pages had been covered with …


Gran left 'very shocked' after unwanted horse delivered

<b>A grandmother was "very shocked" to find a horse in her back garden after her 13-year-old granddaughter ordered it from the internet.</b><p>The teenager saw an advert online that said if nobody wanted the animal, it would be put to sleep, the RSPCA said.<p>Giving her grandmother's address in Stoke-on-Trent, …


Documents Reveal How Russian Official Courted Conservatives In U.S. Since 2009

<b>Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET</b><p>Kremlin-linked Russian politician Alexander Torshin traveled frequently between Moscow and various destinations in the United States to build relationships with figures on the American right starting as early as 2009, beyond his previously known contacts with the National …


Record $120m fine for nuisance robocalls

<b>A man has been fined a record-breaking $120m (£88m) for making more than 90 million automated marketing telephone calls in the US.</b><p>Miami salesman Adrian Abramovich was accused of trying to sell holidays and timeshare properties with the unsolicited robocalls.<p>The fine is the largest the Federal …

Net Neutrality

John McCain's wife hits out at aide for 'mocking' his cancer

<b>The wife of Arizona Senator John McCain has hit back at a White House aide who reportedly joked his vote "doesn't matter" because "he's dying anyway".</b><p>The remark from Special Assistant to the President Kelly Sadler came during a meeting to discuss the nominee for CIA director, according to US …

Donald Trump

Google to warn when humans chat with convincing bots

<b>Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice.</b><p>Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine, Google told tech news site the Verge.<p>The vocal skills of the Duplex bot …

Artificial Intelligence

Japan's single women a burden on the state, MP says

<b>An MP from Japan's governing party has been accused of sexism after he said young Japanese women should have more children or face being a burden on the state.</b><p>Speaking at an LDP party meeting, Kanji Kato said young women should have at least three children.<p>He has since retracted his remark, local …


Hawaii Approves Bill Banning Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs

Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing chemicals they say are contributing to the destruction of the state's coral reefs and other ocean life.<p>If signed by Gov. David Ige, it will make Hawaii the first state in the country to …

Coral Reefs

Dazzling dancing drones

They've set a new record.<p><i>This video has been optimised for mobile viewing on the BBC News app. The BBC News app is available from the</i> Apple App Store <i>for iPhone and</i> Google Play Store <i>for Android.</i>

Google Play

Rotten durian causes Melbourne university evacuation

<b>More than 500 students and teachers were evacuated from a university in Melbourne, Australia, as a result of a smell initially suspected to be gas.</b><p>But it turned out the "gas" that students smelt at a Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology library was a rotting durian found in a cupboard.<p>The durian …

South-east Asia

N Korea nuclear test site 'to close in May'

<b>North Korea's nuclear test site will close in May, South Korea says.</b><p><i>This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.</i>

North Korea

Étienne Terrus museum in Elne uncovers fake art in collection

<b>A French museum dedicated to painter Étienne Terrus has discovered paintings it thought were by him were fakes.</b><p>The Terrus museum in Elne in the south of France discovered 82 works originally attributed to the artist were not painted by him.<p>More than half the collection is thought to be fake. The …


Koreas make nuclear pledge after summit

<b>Leaders of North and South Korea to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons after holding historic summit</b><p><i>This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.</i>

North Korea

Kim Jong-un to meet Moon Jae-in at Korean border for summit

<b>Kim Jong-un is set to become the first North Korean leader to enter South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953, as he prepares to cross the border on Friday morning.</b><p>South Korea said President Moon Jae-in would personally meet Mr Kim at the border at 09:30 (00:30 GMT).<p>The historic summit …

North Korea

Macron attacks nationalism in speech to US Congress

<b>French President Emmanuel Macron has used his rare speech to the joint houses of the US Congress to denounce nationalism and isolationism.</b><p>Mr Macron said such policies were a threat to global prosperity.<p>He said the US had invented multilateralism and now needed to reinvent it to create a new 21st …

Civil Rights

North Korea missile and nuclear test halt hailed

<b>North Korea's announcement that it is halting nuclear and missile tests has received a broad international welcome.</b><p>Leader Kim Jong-un said further tests were not needed, as the North had demonstrated it had nuclear weapons.<p>Donald Trump described the move as "good news" for the world, and South …

North Korea

TED 2018: The smart home that spied on its owner

<b>For two months in early 2018, technology journalist Kashmir Hill let innocent household items spy on her.</b><p>She had turned her one-bedroom apartment into a "smart home" and was measuring how much data was being collected by the firms that made the devices.<p>Her smart toothbrush betrayed when she had not …


The hidden secrets of India's world record-breaking 'fairy cave'

<b>The world's longest cave in sandstone was recently discovered in India's north-eastern state of Meghalaya. Soutik Biswas joined a group of speleologists for a glimpse of this unique cave.</b><p>"If you get lost inside, you may never be able to find your way out," warns Brian D Kharpran amiably, jabbing …


India Taj Mahal minarets damaged in storm

<b>A storm has damaged two minarets located at different entry gates of the iconic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra.</b><p>Officials told the BBC that winds blowing at 130kmh (80mph) caused the 12ft (4m) pillars to collapse.<p>The four longer minarets that surround the main structure remain …

Taj Mahal

Meet the Brit in charge of fixing NYC's subway

<b>He made a name for himself running transport systems in London, Sydney and Toronto. Now Briton Andy Byford is in charge of turning around New York's ageing, failing subway system. What did he get himself into?</b><p>About 400,000 people pass through the Bloor-Yonge subway station every day in Toronto, …