Around the World with the BBC: The TV contest show teaching Chinese children how to write

Millions tune in every week to watch teenagers compete for the title. Character Hero is a Chinese-style spelling bee, but in this challenge, young contestants must write Chinese characters by hand.

Every stroke, every dash must be in the correct spot.

After two tense rounds, Wang Yiluo is bumped from the contest. She bows to the panel of celebrity judges and quickly exits the bright lights of the television studio.

Backstage, she admits that she spent months studying dictionaries to prepare for the contest. The stakes were high; at 17, this was the last year she could appear on the show.

"I wanted to compete before I was too old," she explained.

Perhaps the show’s popularity should not be a surprise. Along with gunpowder and paper, many Chinese people consider the creation of Chinese calligraphy to be one of their primary contributions to civilisation.

publicradiointernational:

30 mosques in 30 days? Two friends find that Muslims are as diverse as America itself.

The BBC spends a day with California’s “smokejumpers”, the elite firefighters who parachute into the wilderness to get forest fires under control.

"I see a hurt group of individuals, and they see a bunch of unruly ignorant people."

African-American police officer: Ferguson ‘heart wrenching’

A black officer from the St Louis area talks to the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool about her experience as a police officer after the death of Michael Brown.

Around the World with the BBC: The Irish Redhead Convention

Celebrations at the convention include crowning the ginger King and Queen, competitions for the best red eyebrows and most freckles per square inch.

UK embassy apologises for ‘burning White House’ tweet
The British embassy in Washington has apologised after tweeting a picture of a White House cake surrounded by sparklers, “commemorating” the burning of the building 200 years ago.
The US presidential residence was set on fire by British forces in 1814 during the War of 1812 with the United States.
The embassy later said: “Apologies for earlier Tweet.”
It added: “We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today.”
(see also: #itscomplicated to #specialrelationship)

UK embassy apologises for ‘burning White House’ tweet

The British embassy in Washington has apologised after tweeting a picture of a White House cake surrounded by sparklers, “commemorating” the burning of the building 200 years ago.

The US presidential residence was set on fire by British forces in 1814 during the War of 1812 with the United States.

The embassy later said: “Apologies for earlier Tweet.”

It added: “We meant to mark an event in history & celebrate our strong friendship today.”

(see also: #itscomplicated to #specialrelationship)

"She wanted to wear her new backpack and see her friends"

Parents in the Ferguson-Florissant school district told the BBC how they feel about the protests.

grahamrobson:

"Lets Go Team!"
Steve Ballmer just bought the L.A. Clippers!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28765780

grahamrobson:

"Lets Go Team!"

Steve Ballmer just bought the L.A. Clippers!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28765780

Around the World with the BBC: Venezuela plans to introduce supermarket fingerprinting
A guard against smuggling or distraction against government induced shortage? Either way, Venezuela shoppers will have to put their index finger forward when buying groceries.

Around the World with the BBC: Venezuela plans to introduce supermarket fingerprinting

A guard against smuggling or distraction against government induced shortage? Either way, Venezuela shoppers will have to put their index finger forward when buying groceries.