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The ex-cop behind China's largest gay dating app

Bejing - Browsing the internet as a young policeman in China, Ma Baoli recalls the sheer volume of web pages telling him he was a pervert, diseased and in need of treatment -- simply because he was gay.

Japan celebrates coming-of-age day despite virus surge

Apo - Young adults dressed to the nines in kimonos gathered at venues in Japan on Monday to celebrate reaching the age of majority, although many of the usually jubilant events were cancelled over virus fears.

The ex-cop behind China's largest gay dating app

Bejing - Browsing the internet as a young policeman in China, Ma Baoli recalls the sheer volume of web pages telling him he was a pervert, diseased and in need of treatment -- simply because he was gay.

The Bavarian town where US troops are life and soul

Apo - When the United States said it would be withdrawing troops from Germany earlier this year, shockwaves rippled through the country -- but nowhere more than in the Bavarian town of Grafenwoehr.

Pierre Cardin, fashion's savvy futurist

Paris - Pierre Cardin, who died Tuesday aged 98, was a man of many paradoxes -- a designer who sought flamboyant yet simple styles, an aesthete with a head for business, and a futurist now associated with retro.

Cyberpunk 2077 pulled from PlayStation Store after bug backlash

Apo - Sony said Friday it is pulling the much-hyped Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation stores around the world after a flood of complaints and ridicule over bugs, compatibility issues and even health risks.

Amazon girds for challenge in warehouse union drive

Washington - Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse have been given a green light by a federal agency on a unionization vote which could deliver a first for organized labor with the e-commerce and technology giant in the United States.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches to global acclaim despite seizure warnings

Warsaw - Cyberpunk 2077, a video game reported to be one of the most expensive ever made, launched worldwide on Thursday after its makers vowed to fix graphics that risk triggering epileptic seizures.

Facebook antitrust suits seek to divest Instagram, WhatsApp

Washington - US federal and state antitrust enforcers filed suit against Facebook on Wednesday claiming the social media giant abused its dominant position and seeking to unwind its acquisitions of messaging services Instagram and WhatsApp.

Poland's Cyberpunk 2077 prepares for global debut

Warsaw - The developer of Cyberpunk 2077, the much-delayed video game that is reported to be one of the most expensive ever made, has promised a "new quality" in experience for users when it finally launches worldwide on Thursday.

German city courts Poles from post-Brexit Britain

L - Poles living in Britain may receive a surprise package in the post this Christmas of dried mushrooms, candied fruit and spice cake -- not from Santa, but someone with a less altruistic motive.

#Covid19, #BlackLivesMatter top Twitter themes in 2020

Washington - The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement topped the list of conversation topics on Twitter in a tumultuous year, the messaging platform said Monday.

Can-do attitude: Wuhan virus lockdown captured in craft beer

Wuhan - When the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan and the Chinese city went into a strict 76-day lockdown, Wang Fan resolved to commemorate the turbulent period in the way he knew best -- through beer.

Twitter bans content which 'dehumanizes' based on race, ethnicity

Washington - Twitter said Wednesday it was expanding its definition of hateful content to ban language which "dehumanizes" people on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.

Pandemic or not, people must stay active: WHO

Geneva - The coronavirus pandemic is no excuse for not getting enough exercise, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning that even before the crisis many were getting too little physical activity.

Congolese model challenges China's love for 'tall, light and skinny'

Fpo - As a young black woman modelling in Hong Kong, Harmony Anne-Marie Ilunga rarely saw anyone who looked like her in the magazines. Now the 22-year-old is trying to change that, one model at a time.

Snapchat challenges TikTok with curated video feed

San Francisco - Snapchat on Monday unveiled a new curated short-form video feed in a stepped up challenge to social media rivals like TikTok.

Swiss cheesed off over Covid threat to fondue conviviality

Geneva - As Switzerland contends with one of the worst coronavirus surges in Europe, the Swiss are gripped by one melting-hot question: is it still safe to share a fondue?

'English nouveau': a young red to rival Beaujolais

Ledbury - In years gone by, British wine merchants would race to secure Beaujolais Nouveau for their stocks. But now the UK's first young red is being made near the English border with Wales.

McDonald's launching meatless 'McPlant' burger

New York - Fast food giant McDonald's on Monday announced it was launching a new plant-based burger named the "McPlant" to cater to the growing number of people who do not eat meat.

McDonald's launching meatless 'McPlant' burger

New York - Fast food giant McDonald's on Monday announced it was launching a new plant-based burger named the "McPlant" to cater to the growing number of people who do not eat meat.

China's luxury shoppers call in the tidy teams

Bejing - The discovery of a Burberry jacket she does not recall buying proved to Chen Rui that she was right to have brought in experts to manage her out-of-control luxury wardrobe."How did you find this?

Glasgow artist launches plastic bag museum

Glasgow - Katrina Cobain unwraps a parcel and removes its precious contents, slowly and delicately as if she were handling an ancient scroll of papyrus.

Women knocking on doors of Britain's old boys' clubs

London - Britain's elite private members' clubs have long been places where politicians, businessmen and other high-fliers have hobnobbed.But revolt is brewing in the #MeToo era, as women are eager to join the old boys' clubs.

For Chinese consumers, Ant Group app is part of the fabric of life

Shanghai - The most essential item in aircraft engineer Tao Rui's possession during a recent outing in Shanghai was the Alipay smartphone app from Ant Group, a company little known outside China until it unfurled plans for the biggest IPO in history.

Day of the Dead 'skeleton' Barbie splits opinion in Mexico

Mexico - She's been a princess, a president, a Marine Corps sergeant, an astronaut and a Star Wars stormtrooper. In Mexico for the Day of the Dead festival, Barbie is even a skeleton.

Facebook unveils machine learning translator for 100 languages

Washington - Facebook on Monday unveiled software based on machine learning which the company said was the first to be able to translate from any of 100 languages without relying on English.

Tower of London ravens re-adapt to life after lockdown

London - Chris Skaife has one of the most important jobs in Britain. As Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, he is responsible for the country's most famous birds.

Author promises 'No Filter' look at the Instagram story

San Francisco - Less than two years after photo-sharing mobile app Instagram launched a decade ago, its founders made the "gut-wrenching" decision to sell it to Facebook in a $1 billion deal.

China's rich seek bodyguards schooled in digital dark arts

Tianjin - At the "Genghis Security Academy", which bills itself as China's only dedicated bodyguard school, students learn that the threats to the country's newly-rich in the tech age are more likely to emerge from a hacker than a gunman.
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