Posts

Cape Town water crisis: Residents urged to turn off toilet taps

Image
Image copyrightAFPImage captionFrom next month residents in Cape Town will be limited to 50 litres of water per day Residents in the South African city of Cape Town have been warned to "save water as if your life depends on it" to avoid the supply being shut off. A severe drought has forced the city's municipality to limit consumption to 50 litres (11 gallons) per person per day. Officials are urging people to switch off their toilet cisterns and limit flushing to conserve water. The head of the provincial government said if the taps ran dry it would be "the disaster above all disasters". Helen Zille said it was still possible to avoid what has become known as Day Zero, when the water supply will be shut off. She said a full crisis could still be averted if everyone used 50 litres or fewer a day. "That is not difficult if we all put our minds to it in our homes and in our workplaces," she said. Skip Facebook post by Premier Helen Zille

Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Image
Image copyrightANDREW TURNERImage captionThe researcher analysed 200 used plastic toys from the south-west of England Plastic used in some second-hand toys could pose a health risk for children as they don't meet the most up-to-date safety guidelines, a study has found. Scientists tested 200 used plastic toys they found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England's south-west for nine hazardous elements. Twenty toys had traces of all nine elements, with some concentrations high enough to fail European standards. But experts said it would be difficult to quantify the risk. "Lego bricks from the 70s and 80s are the big fail," said Dr Andrew Turner, of the University of Plymouth, who conducted the study. "Toys in those days weren't tested and now we're using them and handing them down." Chronically toxic For the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, Dr Turner and his team used X-ray fluorescence technology to analyse a host …

China's eight-year-long smartphone growth comes to an end

Image
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe Chinese smartphone market has gone into decline for the first time in almost a decade China's smartphone market has fallen for the first time, with annual shipments down by 4% in 2017, according to data from research firm Canalys. The decline ends eight years' growth in the world's largest mobile phone market. Smartphone brands Huawei, Oppo and Vivo continue to dominate the Chinese handset market. Despite the overall slowdown of the market, Huawei saw double-digit growth, the Canalys report said. Changing times Between 2010 to 2015, the global smartphone market was mostly a showdown between Apple and Samsung. But over the last two years, smaller Chinese Android smartphone brands have risen, offering faster entry-level phones at much more affordable prices. While consumers in big Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai see the latest iPhone and Galaxy devices as "must-have" handsets, people in rural areas couldn't a…

Trump Davos speech: 'America First policy is not America alone'

Image
President Donald Trump has told global finance leaders he will always put the US first when it comes to trade, but "that does not mean America alone". "The US is open for business," he said in his inaugural address to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday. But he continued to attack "predatory" trade practices, warning partners that the US would not tolerate unfair trade. Mr Trump's election campaign centred on America First, aiming to protect local manufacturers from foreign competition. This policy appeared to contradict the Davos conference's goal of promoting globalisation and co-operation. Kamal Ahmed: Trump 2.0 on tradeCan Trump claim credit for bonus rush?Davos divided over TrumpDavos jargon: A crime against the English language? Mr Trump lauded the economic achievements of his first year in office, including cutting corporation tax and lowering the unemployment rate, and said the US was more attractive than ever to foreign investment…