BBC news 2017-05-21

BBC News with David Austin.

The Japanese government has approved plans to allow Emperor Akihito to stand down, the first such abdication in two centuries. The Emperor who is 83 indicated last year that he liked to be allowed to retire because of ill health. The legislation will now go to Parliament for approval.

Voters in Iran are choosing a President with the moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani facing a strong challenge from a conservative rival, Ebrahim Raisi. After casting his vote for country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei called on all Iranians to vote in what he said was an important election.

Clashes between rival groups in Libya have left at least 60 people dead. The fighting took place near an airbase in the south in an area that became a focus of tensions between supporters and opponents of Libya’ UN-backed government.

Police in Bangladesh have arrested 27 men at a gathering of gay activists near the Capital Dakar. A police spokesman said a community center was raided after tip-off by locals.

Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh, but the legislation is rarely enforced.

US military officials say two Chinese fighter aircrafts have intercepted an American military plane in international air space east of the East China Sea. They said the American plane was acting in accordance with international law.

The survey in Britain has found that the Instagram and Snapchat are the worst social media sites in terms of an impact on the mental health of young people. People under 24 were asked to rate sites according to factors such as anxiety, loneliness and body image.

Researches at UN Climate meeting in Germany have discussed new ways of protecting migrating birds from power lines in the blades of wind turbines. One idea involves placing black and white deflectors along electricity cables. This has resulted in a 90% fewer collisions in Germany.

BBC news.