• Philippines country profile

    More than 7,000 islands make up the Philippines, but the bulk of its fast-growing population lives on just 11 of them. Much of the country is mountainous and prone to earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. It is often buffeted by typhoons and other storms. The Philippines - a Spanish colony for more than three centuries and named after a 16th century Spanish king - was taken over by the US in the early 20th century after a protracted rebellion against rule from Madrid. Spanish and US influences remain strong, especially in terms of language, religion and government. Self-rule in 1935 was followed by full independence in 1946 under a US-style constitution. The US is a close

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  • What triggered the deadly Turkish airport attack?

    The international departure terminal of Istanbul’s main and largest airport, Ataturk, was hit on Tuesday by three consecutive suicide bombings, wounding more than 150 people and killing at least 36. While the attack further added to Turkey’s image as an unsecure country for foreign visitors, it was apparently triggered by the country’s latest international moves to reconcile with its neighbors and hit the terrorist positions in Syria and Iraq – mainly against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Istanbul Ataturk Airport, the 11th busiest airport of the world and one of the busiest airports in the region, is a major transport hub for about 61 million travellers passing through, according to 2015 figures. The high security measures at the airport with two, sometimes three, layers of security checks is believed to have helped decrease the potentially higher number of casualties.

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  • What it's like looking like Taylor Swift

    Olivia Sturgiss is like many 19-year-old women. She's studying at uni, she works in a clothes shop and she lives in a house share. Except Olivia looks rather a lot like Taylor Swift. And it could make her a lot of money. "I wore the red lipstick like any other fan does, and I wore a sparkly outfit and then ever since then, it was something commented on every day," Olivia told Newsbeat. "Even when I was wearing no make-up at work, I'd have just have my hair tied back, natural face and I'd still get comments on it. "It's always been a natural resemblance and it's always been an ongoing thing since I was really young." Olivia's been a fan of Tay's for more than seven years and says it's flattering

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  • Fairytale wedding for India royals

    The maharaja of Mysore in southern India, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, has married princess Trishika Kumari at the royal palace. Ms Kumari is the daughter of the maharaja of Dungarpur in the northern state of Rajasthan. "They knew each other for years, they were childhood friends," Yaduveer's father Swaroopanand Urs told BBC Hindi. About 1,000 guests witnessed the elaborate ceremony and a further 2,500 were invited to an evening reception. They include Karnataka state Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah. The centuries-old wedding traditions involving the royal family took place at Mysore's City Palace. Yaduveer, 24, was crowned the new maharaja of Mysore, the titular head of the 600-year-old

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  • Euro 2016: Fans predict an easy start for England

    Euro 2016 is up and running then. But while France may have won their opening match of Euro 2016 it's this weekend's games that really count. Well, at least for the home nations, as England, Northern Ireland and Wales all play their first games of the tournament. Newsbeat is following all three teams and will be wielding its "generic tablet" over the coming days. As we ask the fans: What will the score be? We took to the streets of Marseille, where England play Russia on Saturday night, to get the fans' predictions. Adam Farmer, 23, from Swindon claims he wasn't very good at art during school. We disagree. In amongst this creation, he plucked for a 2-1 win for England. "Dele Alli will score the

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  • Rita Ora confirms she's leaving The X Factor

    Rita Ora has confirmed that she's leaving The X Factor. The singer, who joined the show last year, tweeted: "I had a ball on The X Factor last year and will miss the team. "@simoncowell can't wait to work with you again... I'll be round for dinner soon. Thank you for the experience & love X" Rita took on the role after moving from The Voice UK, which is moving from the BBC to ITV. The singer mentored the girls category and went on to win the show with her act, Louisa Johnson. In a statement ITV told Newsbeat: "Rita brought a great energy to the show last year and did a brilliant job mentoring the girls' category, leading Louisa to victory. "We wish her all the best with her music and film plans

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  • Prince's casual outfits send a message

    NEW YOrK: What leaders and politicians wear and how they act send an indirect message to the public and observers.During his visit to the United States, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman displayed this symbolic language through the outfits he wore at many occasions. In his first meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry at the latter’s personal residence in the prestigious Georgetown district in Washington, the tie was absent from the overall outfit. In the meeting with Facebook Chairman and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg, he appeared in casual clothes and the photos circulated extensively on social media showed a mindset of the new generation in terms of fashion. Photos showed Prince Mohammad

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  • After Nepal, Indian surrogacy clinics move to Cambodia

    New Delhi, India - Rita* tucks hungrily into a plate of steaming white rice, daal (lentils), a mixed-vegetable curry, yoghurt and a green salad. Her just-washed hair is gathered at the nape of her neck in a loose bun and the bold, flower print of her tunic stretches out over her heavily pregnant belly. She sits cross-legged on the bed in her sunny room in the yellow surrogate house, just off the main road on the outskirts of Gurgaon, a hub of domestic and international businesses and sparkling malls and eateries bordering New Delhi. Rita is one of the last surrogates in India carrying a child for a foreign couple. In October last year, when Rita was around five months pregnant, the Indian Council

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  • Donald Trump: 'I'm running against two parties'

    (CNN)Republicans are trying to embrace Donald Trump -- but he isn't making it easy. Just three weeks before the party plans to coronate Trump as its 2016 standard-bearer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the presumptive nominee is keeping up the infighting that has troubled the GOP's establishment for months. "It's almost -- in some ways, like, I'm running against two parties," Trump told conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher on Thursday. In the past two days, Trump has abandoned decades of conservative orthodoxy on trade, launched into a battle with the GOP's traditional business-lobby allies and campaign financiers -- like the Chamber of Commerce -- and slammed his former Republican presidential rivals who haven't endorsed him, saying their political careers should be over.

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  • Two Muslim Women Kicked Off JetBlue Flight for ‘Staring’ at Flight Attendant

    In what would have been a shocking but is now an all-too-familiar Islamophobic incident, two Muslim women were led off a passenger plane as a flight attendant did not like the way the women ‘stared’ at her, according to DailyMail. On Saturday, two Muslim women in hijabs onboard JetBlue Flight 487 between Boston and Los Angeles were escorted out of the airliner by police as one of the flight attendants was concerned about the way the two women were looking at her. A video showing the two women being escorted out for questioning was posted on YouTube on Monday by Mark Frauenfelder, taken by his friend Sharon Kessler. In regards to the incident, Kessler told DailyMail that "it was a terrible moment

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  • Social media laughs at England being knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland

    It's only been a few hours since England were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, ranked 34 in the world, but the jokes and memes are well under way. This one's good. "An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar... to watch Wales play in the quarter-finals." Boom boom. And after the UK's vote to leave the EU, it's also provided people around Europe with lots of ammunition to poke fun at England. The running gag of the day is most definitely - Brexit. Gillian used the Leave pledge to give £350m to the NHS to let rip at England. Marco used pleas from Remain supporters for a second EU referendum. John likened the team to a bunch of muppets. A French Instagram user posted a photo of

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  • The Bernie Sanders supporters now backing Hillary Clinton for US president

    Austin is a Democrat island in a Republican state - a very liberal city in the middle of the extremely traditional, conservative Texas. Hillary Clinton is now pretty certain to be the Democratic candidate for US president, ahead of the more left of centre Bernie Sanders. Over the course of the campaign, Sanders became a hero among younger voters - promising a fairer system and a fresh start. So how do young Democrats in Austin feel about Hillary? Roland rides a pedicab and earns a living picking up and dropping off tourists around Austin. He tells Newsbeat: "Everyone who's young likes Bernie Sanders because he wants to legalise weed, and he marched with Martin Luther King back in the day." Roland

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  • France charges Rifaat al-Assad with corruption

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's uncle, suspected of using ill-gotten gains to build a property empire in France, has been charged with corruption, French officials say. Rifaat al-Assad, 78, who commanded Syria's internal security forces in the 1970s and early 1980s, was charged on June 9 with receiving embezzled funds and tax fraud, a spokesman for the financial prosecutor's office said on Tuesday. A French judge ordered Rifaat al-Assad be prohibited from leaving France, with an exception for receiving medical care in the UK, according to one of the two non-governmental organisations, Sherpa, which filed complaints in 2013 and 2014 that led to the investigation. Sherpa claims Rifaat's fortune was stolen during his time at the heart of the Syrian regime.

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  • Why does this Indian flag keep tearing?

    It has been an ordeal to keep one of India's tallest national flags flying in the southern city of Hyderabad. The 291-foot (88m) flag - India's second tallest - was unveiled on 2 June to mark the second anniversary of Telangana, India's 29th state. But the tricolour flag has already been damaged by winds thrice, and has had to be replaced by new ones. India's laws say a damaged flag cannot be flown and can be hoisted again after repairs. The flag, which cost 18m rupees ($265,064; £200,000) to put up, has been installed near the 455-year-old picturesque Hussainsagar lake. The flag is made of polyester, but experts say the fabric lacks strength to cope with wind speeds reaching 140km/h (85 mph)

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  • Philippines' president-elect ready to clash with Catholic church on birth control

    DAVAO, Philippines: The Philippines' president-elect said Monday he would aggressively promote artificial birth control in the country even at the risk of getting in a fight with the dominant Catholic church, which staunchly opposes the use of contraceptives. Rodrigo Duterte, who is to be sworn to the presidency on Thursday, said having many children has driven families deeper into poverty, and he reiterated his recommendation for Filipinos to have three at most. Known for his profanity-laden speeches, Duterte jokingly threatened to have penises of defiant men chopped off and cited his family planning program as a longtime mayor in southern Davao city, where he has offered cash rewards to villagers who volunteer to undergo free vasectomy or ligation and to doctors who perform the procedures.

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  • Meet Hijarbie, the hijab-wearing Barbie becoming a star on Instagram

    A hijab-wearing Barbie has become a star on Instagram. The iconic doll has been given a makeover by a Nigerian Muslim blogger and medical scientist, Haneefah Adam. She started posting photos of "Hijarbie" two months ago. Haneefah told Mic the idea came when she got thinking about "how I'd actually like to see a doll dressed up like I would have - covered up". Haneefah makes the mini hijabs and dresses herself. The 24-year-old says she is working on making hijarbies available for sale soon. Haneefah says she'd like to dress up a black doll but she couldn't find different Barbie types in Nigeria. Last month, toymaker Mattel announced it was adding new body shapes and skin tones to the Barbie range.

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  • Erdogan 'sorry' for downing of Russian jet

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is "sorry" for the downing of a Russian military jet near the country's border with Syria last year, and that there was no deliberate intention in carrying out the attack, a Kremlin spokesman said. Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin received a message from Erdogan expressing his "sympathy and deep condolences" to the family of the killed pilot, and "asked to be forgiven". Erdogan also reportedly promised that he would do "everything possible" to restore relations with Russia. The Kremlin then released a statement citing Erdogan as saying Ankara "never had the desire and the intention" to down the Russian

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  • Egypt deports Liliane Daoud, British-Lebanese talkshow host

    Egyptian authorities have deported a popular British-Lebanese television talkshow host, Liliane Daoud. Ms Daoud, a former BBC journalist, was detained by plainclothes policemen at her home in Cairo on Monday and put on a plane to Beirut. The move came hours after her contract was terminated by privately-owned OnTV. Her show, Al-Soura Al-Kamila (The Full Picture), controversially aired views critical of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and his government. Mr Sisi has cracked down on dissent since leading the military's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. 'Campaign against free journalism' Ms Daoud's 10-year-old daughter, an Egyptian national, was at their home when her mother was led

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  • 7 Gadgets The World Never Needed

    It seems like every day some new technological wonder pops into existence, totally reinventing some aspect of 21st Century life. Especially since the advent of smartphones, bajillions of gadgets have come out, taking advantage of the tiny supercomputers in our pockets. Still, for every smartwatch or wireless speaker that comes out, there are thousands of gadgets no one ever needed.  Oh, America, your love affair with firearms is funny and scary at the same time. Not only do some of them demand it is their right to possess military grade firepower, but now they want to be able to pack heat without anyone being able to notice. Ideal Conceal has created a .308 caliber double barrel pistol that can

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  • Egypt Becoming a Global Gas Giant After Another Massive Discovery In the Mediterranean Sea

    Although Egypt isn’t currently rich with tourists, it’s proving to extremely rich in resources from gold to gas. On Thursday British oil company BP and Italy’s Eni announced that they have discovered yet another ‘significant gas discovery off the coast of Egypt. According to Eni’s press release the latest discovery is located in the Baltim South West area which is 12 kilometres from the coast, 25 metres deep, and 10 kilometres north of the Nooros field, and will be jointly owned by both companies. "Baltim South West discovery further confirms the significant potential of the so called 'Great Nooros Area,' which is now estimated to hold 70-80 billion cubic metres of gas in place," read Eni's statement.

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