Cat filter accidentally used in Pakistani minister’s live press conference

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A Facebook live stream of Shaukat YousafzaiImage copyright PTI party’s Facebook
Image caption A cat filter on a live stream of Shaukat Yousafzai on Facebook gave him ears and whiskers

A Pakistani politician’s live-streamed press conference descended into farce when a cat filter was switched on by mistake.

Shaukat Yousafzai was briefing journalists last Friday when the setting was accidentally turned on.

Facebook users watching the video live commented on the gaffe, but Mr Yousafzai carried on unaware of his feline features.

He later said it was a «mistake» that should not be taken «so seriously».

As Mr Yousafzai spoke, the comical filter superimposed pink ears and whiskers on his face, and that of other officials sitting beside him.

«I wasn’t the only one — two officials sitting along me were also hit by the cat filter,» Mr Yousafzai told AFP news agency.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Pakistani children point at a computer screen showing a screen grab of the press conference

The video, posted to the official Facebook page of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was deleted minutes after the press conference.

The blunder was blamed on «human error» by the party, which runs the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in north-west Pakistan.

«All necessary actions have been taken to avoid such incidents in future,» it said.

Unfortunately for Mr Yousafzai, the cat was already out of the bag.

Screen grabs of the live stream have been shared widely on social media, much to the humiliation of Mr Yousafzai and his colleagues.

«You can’t beat this! Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt’s live presser on Facebook with cat filters,» one amused user posted.

Another asked: «Who let the cats out?»

«I propose all parliamentary proceedings around the world to be recorded with Cat Filters. Please start with the British Parliament!,» a third joked.

Ecuador ‘allows US military planes to use Galapagos island airfield’

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Bartholomea Island, Galapagos Islands, EcuadorImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Galapagos Islands are a Unesco World Heritage site

Ecuador has agreed to allow US military planes to operate from an airport on the Galapagos Islands, reports say.

US aircraft will be able to use San Cristobal airport, Ecuador’s defence minister Oswaldo Jarrin has been quoted as saying.

They will «fight drug trafficking» under a deal with Ecuador’s government, Mr Jarrin said.

The reported deal has prompted concerns over the potential impact on the environment and Ecuador’s sovereignty.

The aircraft involved include a Boeing 777 and a Lockheed P-3 Orion, Latin American TV network Telesur reports.

The Galapagos Islands, 563 miles (906km) west of continental Ecuador, are a Unesco World Heritage site renowned worldwide for their unique array of plants and wildlife.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A pelican spreads its wings on San Cristobal island

Tourists across the globe travel there to see its biodiversity, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Legislators in Ecuador’s parliament have called on Mr Jarrin and environment minister Marcelo Mata to explain the scope of co-operation with the US in the islands.

They have asked them to elaborate on proposals to extend the runway at San Cristobal airport, daily El Universo reports.

Lawmaker Marcela Cevallos said the plan would be alarming for conservationists, it reported.

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Media captionNew giant tortoise species discovered on Galapagos Islands

Opposition congressman Carlos Viteri said the agreement with the US was «unacceptable» and should be prohibited if «it intends to cede an inch of Ecuadorian territory».

Under Article 5 of Ecuador’s constitution, the country is «a territory of peace» and the «establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed».

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa also reacted angrily, tweeting (in Spanish) that the island was «not an aircraft carrier» for the Americans.

Mr Jarrin assured critics that «there will be no permanence of anyone» on the island.

He said any modifications to the airfield would be paid for by the US, Telesur reported.

«Galapagos is for Ecuador our aircraft carrier, it is our natural carrier, because it assures us permanence, replenishment, interception facilities and it is 1,000 kilometres from our coasts,» he said.

The BBC has contacted the US Department of Defense for comment.

Nigeria suicide blast ‘kills 30 football fans in Borno’

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Map of Nigeria

At least 30 people have been killed in a suicide attack in north-eastern Nigeria, while watching a televised football match, officials say.

Another 40 have been injured in the triple suicide bombing, according to the State Emergency Management Agency.

The bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall in Konduga village in Borno State.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram is being blamed for the attack. It has not yet commented.

The group was formed in Borno State, and has waged a brutal insurgency across the north-eastern Nigeria since 2009.

Ali Hassan, the leader of a self-defence group in Konduga, told AFP news agency that the owner of the hall argued with one of the bombers as he tried to enter the venue.

«There was a heated argument between the operator and the bomber who blew himself up,» he said.

Two other attackers who were nearby then set off their devices.

Konduga has been targeted before. In July 2018, eight people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a mosque.

At least 27,000 lives have been killed and about two million people have been forced to flee their homes in the decade-long conflict.

Family thought US police were going to shoot them

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Armed police surrounded a family car after a child left a shop with a doll without paying for it.

Phoenix police say they were responding to a report of shoplifting.

The city’s police chief has apologised for the aggressive confrontation and says the incident is being investigated.

The incident in Arizona comes amid heightened scrutiny of law enforcement by the public across the United States following a series of high-profile killings of African Americans.

Huawei smartphone sales hit amid US curbs

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Woman looking at Huawei phoneImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Huawei is the world’s second largest maker of smartphones

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has said international sales of the Chinese telecoms giant’s handsets have sunk 40% in the past month as a US-led backlash against the firm intensifies.

Speaking at the firm’s headquarters, Mr Ren also said the company would slash production by $30bn (£23.9bn).

Last month, the US put Huawei on a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

The move marked an escalation in efforts by Washington to block Huawei.

The US argues that the Chinese company — the world’s largest maker of telecoms equipment and the second biggest smartphone maker — poses a security risk.

«In the coming two years, the company will cut production by $30bn,» Mr Ren said at a panel discussion at the firm’s headquarters in Shenzhen.

Sales are now expected to remain flat at $100bn in 2019 and 2020. Earlier this year, Huawei had predicted sales of about $125bn for 2019.

However, Mr Ren said the company would «regain [its] vitality» in 2021.

He also said that while overseas smartphone sales had dropped sharply, in China growth remained «very fast».

Spending on research and development would not be cut, Mr Ren added, despite the anticipated hit to the firm’s finances.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ren Zhengfei said Huawei would «regain vitality» in 2021

The Huawei founder had previously downplayed the impact of the US restrictions on the Chinese firm.

However, the actions by the US have prompted tech companies around the world to retreat from Huawei.

Google barred Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system, meaning new designs of Huawei smartphones are set to lose access to some Google apps.

Japan’s Softbank and KDDI have both said they will not sell Huawei’s new handsets for now.

UK-based chip designer ARM told staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC.

Surveillance fears

Washington’s clampdown on Huawei is part of a broader push-back against the company, over worries about using its products in next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Several countries have raised concerns that Huawei equipment could be used by China for surveillance, allegations the company has vehemently denied.

Huawei has said its work does not pose any threats and that it is independent from the Chinese government.

However, some countries have blocked telecoms companies from using Huawei products in 5G mobile networks.

So far the UK has held back from any formal ban.