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18 Jun, 2015

A trip into the heart of Palestine | GulfNews.com

By Marwan Asmar Dust flew as I kicked the ground, little particles of dirt slowly settling around me. It was then that I realised I was standing on the land of Palestine — a land that I was away from for the past 30 years, a land that’s a distant memory.  After nearly two decades […]

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18 Jun, 2015

Hindu organizations demand ban on convent schools – The Times of India

PANAJI: ‘All India Hindu Convention’, organized by the right-wing organization Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, on Wednesday demanded a ban on convent schools, claiming that these schools do not allow Hindu students to follow religious traditions. The convention also demanded a ban on cow slaughter in the entire country. “Hindu students studying in convent schools are barred […]

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17 Jun, 2015

Thailand’s Muslim-Friendly Destination Strategy Goes Well Beyond Just Tourism

Bangkok – When one of Southeast Asia’s largest Buddhist-majority countries launches a tourism outreach to attract Muslim visitors, it clearly has a much wider significance than just a travel industry development. Although the primary goal of the tourism authorities is to boost visitor arrivals, expenditure and average length of stay, the Thai government is also […]

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15 Jun, 2015

The Evil That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Israel’s Apartheid – Truthdig

For the most part, in the mainstream U.S. press at least, the decorum that forbids use of the A-word remains in place. Yet increasingly, as Israel continues to colonize the West Bank with settlers, and its army ensures their dominion over the lands they occupy, adhering to the A-word ban requires shielding one’s eyes, or, […]

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15 Jun, 2015

Muslim Scientist becomes First Female President of Mauritius

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 15 June 2015 (28 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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14 Jun, 2015

Malaysia’s all-girl ensemble charms New York | GulfNews.com

The contrast in weather could not have been more glaring for the 69 members of the all-girls ensemble who had recently arrived from Malaysia to perform at the Carnegie Hall in New York: from the tropical heat and sunshine that are characteristics of the Southeast Asian nation to the blizzard that was pounding New York […]

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14 Jun, 2015

PressTV – Israel to dump refuse on Palestine lands

Israel has decided to seize some 202 acres of privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank to make a new dumping grounds for its illegal settlements. The lands belong to around 140 Palestinian families from Rammoun and Deir Dibwan near Ramallah, the International Middle East Media Center reported on Sunday. The targeted area contains […]

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14 Jun, 2015

Pankaj Mishra: Modi should learn from the Chinese their deliberate rejection of self-promotion – The Hindu

Fortunately, India is too diverse a place for any Modi to flourish. A truly authoritarian leader like Suharto won’t be able to flourish for long in India. Sixty five years of deeply flawed democratic processes have nevertheless created an India where someone like Mr. Modi can enjoy only limited successes. And he still seems to […]

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12 Jun, 2015

Personal Info, Healthcare Data Among Most Exposed Documents Within Cloud Apps – Report

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jun, 09 2015 – (ACN Newswire) – Elastica (www.elastica.net), the leader in Data Science Powered(TM) Cloud Application Security, today released its Q2 2015 Shadow Data Report, providing a data-science powered analysis of hundreds of millions of enterprise files stored and shared within leading enterprise cloud applications. Highlighted in the report are key […]

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11 Jun, 2015

Jews, Muslims Join Hands At Salaam Shalom Kitchen To Serve Nottingham’s Needy

Muslims and Jews in the United Kingdom have teamed up to work toward a common goal — eradicating hunger in their city of Nottingham. The Salaam Shalom Kitchen, or SaSh, is a project of the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Himmah, an Islamic social justice group. Members of the two worship centers are joining forces on […]

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11 Jun, 2015

‘Quit India’: Movement to make people leave country gathers pace – Hindustan Times

The trend of asking people opposed to the politics of the NDA to leave India was probably kicked off by senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh in April last year. He had blatantly asked people “opposed to Modi” to go to Pakistan since they would have no place in India. Last month, minister of state for […]

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10 Jun, 2015

RAND Corp Report Puts Multi-Billion $ Value on Israel-Palestine Peace and Tourism

Travel & tourism would be a major beneficiary of peace between Israel and Palestine, contributing a projected $760 million increase in GDP for Palestine and $1.1 billion for Israel over a ten-year 2015-2024 period, according to a study release on June 8 by the RAND Corporation, a prominent U.S. think tank. The study says that […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Iranian firm makes reverse osmosis desalination technology breakthrough

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 08 June 2015 (21 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Jewish billionaires meet to muzzle growing US movement to boycott Israel – The Guardian

The American gambling magnate and major Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson is hosting a closed-door meeting of pro-Israel billionaires and activists at his Las Vegas casino this weekend, to combat the burgeoning movement on US university campuses to boycott the Jewish state. The gathering comes amid growing Israeli alarm at the rise of the decade-old […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Tourism accelerating degradation of Boracay coral reefs – Manila Bulletin

Filipino and Japanese experts have warned of the continuous degradation of the Boracay ecosystem with the unabated commercial development and unmonitored snorkeling and diving activities as among the tourism-related activities in the island. Takahiro Morita, senior representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Philippines, said the threat of degradation was primarily on […]

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8 Jun, 2015

Before & After: Nepal’s heritage sites on shaky ground after devastating quake

Kathmandu, UN News Centre, 5 June 2015 – Against the backdrop of Nepal’s humming capital of Kathmandu, in a centre just off Durbar Square, it would be difficult to miss the elderly woman smiling warmly in a bright red sari. She is among those offering traditional, homespun goods, the cultural heritage of the country that […]

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8 Jun, 2015

China steps up fight against food waste via carrot-and-stick approach

By Zhang Xuan / Mike Peters

Beijing (China Daily), 2015-06-02 — As China’s ongoing Clean Your Plate campaign has gained momentum since it began in 2013, many managers of restaurants-especially buffets-say they have consistently been able to meet their goals of stopping food waste. But it hasn’t always been easy. Four guests at the Xiang Wei Qing buffet restaurant in Lanzhou, […]

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4 Jun, 2015

Applications invited for Korean Culture and Language Immersion Program

The Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities is seeking applications for participants in the Korean Culture and Language Immersion Program (K-CLIP 2015) to take place from 2 to 15 August at Pusan National University, Busan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea. The main purpose of “K-CLIP 2015” is the enhancement of youth exchange and cultivation […]

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4 Jun, 2015

Animals live by Mahatma Gandhi’s words, humans don’t, Zoo Director says

Sanya, Hainan Island — Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi is famous for his far-sighted dictum, “There is enough in this world for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.” While the human race is notorious for ignoring those insightful words, the animal world has it embedded into its DNA. In a wide-ranging interview at the […]

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3 Jun, 2015

US Congress passes surveillance reform in vindication for Edward Snowden – The Guardian

The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would end the bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, the most significant surveillance reform for decades and a direct result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations to the Guardian two years ago. Senators voted 67-32 to pass the USA Freedom Act, which overwhelmingly cleared […]

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3 Jun, 2015

California man brutally beats 82-year-old Sikh he mistook for a Muslim – The Independent

An 82-year-old Sikh grandfather was brutally beaten with a steel pipe by a man who reportedly targeted him for looking like one of “those people”. Piara Singh was attacked outside his gurdwara in Fresno California where he was preparing free meals to give to the homeless. He suffered a punctured lung and head injuries and […]

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1 Jun, 2015

Muslim Invents First Hi-Tech Prayer Mat

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 01 June 2015 (14 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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1 Jun, 2015

China pinpoints Ten Key Sectors to drive economy until 2025

Beijing, (People’s Daily Online), May 22, 2015 – China’s State Council unveiled a national plan recently, dubbed “Made in China 2025”. It is the first 10-year action plan designed to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power. Miao Wei, Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, summarized the main […]

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31 May, 2015

U.N. Regional HQ in Bangkok opens Accessibility Centre to support Persons with Disabilities

Bangkok, 28 May 2015, UNESCAP media release – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today opened a state-of-the-art Accessibility Centre at the ESCAP Conference Centre in Bangkok to support the participation of persons with disabilities in United Nations intergovernmental processes and meetings. In a landmark move to make […]

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31 May, 2015

Pupils experience day as special needs individuals | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi: Mir Rayyan Sultan’s beloved grandfather is facing gradual loss of vision, and the 11-year-old often wonders what it might be like for him. So, when his school offered him a chance to experience a day as a special needs individual, he volunteered to go about his day blindfolded. “I thought it would be […]

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31 May, 2015

Chinese Commentary: Cuba’s removal from “terror list” raises more questions about U.S. credibility

by Xinhua writer Sun Ding

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) — In Washington, Cuba’s removal from the U.S. list of so-called “state sponsors of terrorism” was hailed as a diplomatic accomplishment. However, while most of the world is willing to see a thaw in U.S.-Cuba ties after more than five decades of enmity, the delisting also raised more questions about the […]

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28 May, 2015

China to invest $900b in Belt and Road Initiative

By He Yini

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn)  2015-05-28 – China has announced plans to boost the Belt and Road trade by creating economic corridors and investing nearly $900 billion in countries along the route. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said the country is mulling six economic corridors with countries along the Belt and Road trade route to better connect Asia and Europe […]

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27 May, 2015

Bangkok to Bethlehem: UNWTO Conference to Spotlight Biggest Block To Global Travel

An historic conference on Religious Tourism to be organised by the UN World Tourism Organisation between June 15-16 in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon Him), may facilitate the removal of one of the greatest obstacles to global travel & tourism flows and advance a settlement of one of the world’s thorniest […]

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25 May, 2015

Absolutely Nothing: A U.S. Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War

The Wikipedia says Operation Iraqi Freedom started on the 20th of March, 2003, which is just another reason why you shouldn’t believe anything you read in the Wikipedia (don’t, just don’t). That’s not correct, the war began a day earlier. See, I was there on the night the war really started, at precisely 2200 hours, […]

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25 May, 2015

Global poor pay the price of crises caused by the uber-rich: Civil Society groups

Bangkok — The global uber-rich who control the vast majority of the world’s wealth are responsible for an equivalent proportion of global problems, while the billions of poor pay the heaviest price, according to a caucus of Asia-Pacific civil society (CSOs) that concluded here on 18 May 2015. Representatives of 125 non-governmental organisations, convening in […]

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25 May, 2015

Esfahan: The City that’s “Half the World”

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 25 May 2015 (06 Sha’baan 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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24 May, 2015

Golf gains ground amongst Chinese professional women, housewives

By Liu Zhihua / Sun Xiaochen

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-05-23 – Shenzhen resident Chen Xing is among the lucky ones whose job is also her passion. The 40-year-old loves playing golf, and is the director of the club member affair department with Shenzhen Golf Association, an non-government organization that aims to promote golf among Shenzhen residents and beyond, and the only […]

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19 May, 2015

Modi’s first year in power a disaster for India: CPM head Yechury | The Indian Express

Dubbing the Narendra Modi Government’s performance in its first year as a “disaster”, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said the NDA dispensation at the Centre will be better known for bypassing parliamentary procedures. “We are seeing a very dangerous and disastrous trend emerging after the BJP came to power an year ago. […]

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19 May, 2015

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Seeking Blackmail Power, U.S. Officials Enabled 9/11

William Binney, a 31-year NSA veteran, blew the whistle on the agency when he realized technology that he had developed to protect Americans was being used to spy on them. In a wide-ranging, 45-minute discussion (produced by Josh Scheer with support from KPFK Radio), he and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer discussed who’s responsible for the […]

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18 May, 2015

Gallup Global Survey: U.S. Leadership Loses Ground in Africa, Asia

by Julie Ray

WASHINGTON, D.C. (www.Gallup.com) May 14, 2015 — Although the leadership of the U.S. earned the highest approval ratings of any major world power asked about in 2014, approval of U.S. leadership dropped to a new low in Africa last year, and tumbling support in Central Asia erased the big gains in the larger Asia region […]

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18 May, 2015

Africa’s Longest Canopy Walkway Opens in Nigeria

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of stories of interesting events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 18 May 2015 (29 Rajab 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 The […]

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17 May, 2015

The A$1.8m cost of entertaining foreign leaders in Australia – Sydney Morning Herald

Taxpayers forked out nearly $1.8 million to wine, dine and entertain foreign dignities during a flurry of high-profile diplomatic engagements in Australia. Documents prepared by the department serving Prime Minister Tony Abbott show hosting just five world leaders – Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Britain’s David Cameron, France’s Francois Hollande, China’s Xi Jingping and India’s Narendra Modi […]

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16 May, 2015

PATA 2015 events in Leshan and Bengaluru: What India can learn from China

The Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi is in China this week for an official visit. He no doubt will see just how far ahead China is of India on just about every aspect of development. Anyone who travels through the world’s most populous country cannot but be impressed by the smooth highways, well-functioning airports […]

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16 May, 2015

Chinese Commentary: U.S. needs to work on own human rights record first before blaming others

By Zhu Junqing

Beijing, (Xinhua) May 13, 2015 – The United States, a self-proclaimed human rights watchdog, needs to examine itself critically and improve its own human rights record before blaming other countries for their violations. The UN Human Rights Council reviewed the U.S. human rights record Monday and found that the “preacher of human rights” itself was […]

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16 May, 2015

Will Israelis filmed killing Palestinian teens on Nakba Day get away with murder? | The Electronic Intifada

On 15 May 2014, an Israeli Border Police officer took aim at Nadim Nuwara and pulled the trigger of his M16 rifle. The live bullet struck Nuwara, 17, in the chest and exited through his back, killing him at the scene. CCTV cameras captured the shooting, allowing for detailed forensic video, sound and spatial analysis […]

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16 May, 2015

Road signs with Muslim names defaced in Delhi – Hindustran Times

New Delhi – Signs of roads in the national capital named after Muslim personalities such as Emperor Akbar and Firozshah have been defaced and posters of the right-wing group Shiv Sena Hindustan were pasted on them. The names on the signs were blackened late on Wednesday. The posters in Hindi read: “Islamisation in India will […]

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14 May, 2015

The downside of Myanmar’s tourism boom, and 11 simple tips to stem the rot

Bangkok – Regional and international ecotourism experts are to convene for a May 19-21 conference in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar to discuss ecotourism in protected areas. According to the publicity material, topics include using ecotourism to finance nature conservation, transboundary heritage trails and much more! Before reaching for the sky, Myanmar needs to focus on […]

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13 May, 2015

Risky drinking rising amongst women of higher income, education – OECD report

Bangkok — Changing lifestyles and increasing upward mobility amongst women is leading to a new kind of gender equality — women are becoming just as heavy drinkers as men. A report on harmful alcohol use in the OECD countries, released by the Paris-based organisation on May 12, says, “People with more education and higher socioeconomic […]

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11 May, 2015

Muslim MPs up to record 13 in UK Polls

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 11 May 2015 (22 Rajab 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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11 May, 2015

Still no ASEAN brand logo at ATM Dubai country pavilions

Dubai – Malaysian Tourism Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz has publicly provided his official commitment to ensure that all ASEAN member countries display the ASEAN logo at their country pavilions at future travel trade shows worldwide. He made this pledge at the Malaysian press conference in his capacity as representative of a […]

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10 May, 2015

U.S. airlines’ “subsidies” allegations show American corporations cannot be trusted

The U.S. airlines’ dossier pointing fingers at the Gulf airlines over alleged subsidies and anti-competitive actions is so parochial and pathetically flawed that it does not deserve the respectability being showered on it. Indeed, it is a reflection of U.S. corporate hypocrisy, a clear indicator of how the Americans react when they get beaten at […]

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10 May, 2015

In China, right balance needed between traditional and online taxi firms

By Xin Zhiming

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-05-06 – US-based taxi app provider Uber has been frequently hitting the headlines in recent months for being the target of regulatory crackdowns or law suits with regulators and taxi companies in a number of cities outside the US. In the latest incident, its office in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, was raided […]

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9 May, 2015

At ATM Dubai, Gulf carriers in full battle cry against U.S. airlines’ claims of “subsidies”

Dubai – Chief executives of Etihad, Qatar Airways and Emirates are due in Washington DC for May 14 meetings with U.S. government officials to rebut allegations that their airlines are subsidised by their respective governments, giving them an unfair competitive advantage over U.S. airlines and their code-share and alliance partners. At the Arabian Travel Market […]

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9 May, 2015

Drugs and terrorism threat: thousands of Sydney airport staff not security-checked – Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney – Thousands of airport staff are working without federal police or ASIO clearance, security experts warn in the wake of a drug smuggler’s claim that Sydney baggage handlers were part of his criminal network. Peter Gardner, a 26-year-old dual Australian-New Zealand citizen who could face execution in China after he was caught last year […]

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9 May, 2015

South African Jews apologize to displaced Palestinians — Haaretz

There were once 600 homes in the village. Prickly-pear cactus are scattered about. The 800 wells dug into the hill bear witness to the lives and memories the JNF sought to erase. Only the cemetery remains intact, rows of neglected graves surrounded by barbed wire, which the DPs say the Israeli authorities have forbidden them […]

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7 May, 2015

UN environment chief warns of ‘tsunami’ of e-waste at conference on chemical treaties

United Nations, (UN News Centre), 4 May 2015 – The head of the United Nations body tasked with setting the global environmental agenda today stressed the need to limit the use of dangerous chemicals and to find a solution to the masses of electronic waste building up around the world, as a Conference of Parties […]

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7 May, 2015

Smartphone mania drives Chinese families apart

By ZHENG JINRAN,LUO WANGSHU

Beijing, (China Daily), 2015-05-06 – People should switch off their smartphones for an hour every day to prevent the use of mobile apps from eroding family ties and restricting direct communication between people, say researchers. The call was prompted by a survey carried out by Marriage and Family, a monthly magazine affiliated with the All-China […]

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7 May, 2015

Thailand launches first campaign specifically to attract more Muslim visitors

Dubai — Thailand has launched a new campaign to position the Buddhist-majority kingdom as a Muslim-friendly destination and attract a larger share of the rapidly growing market for halal tourism. Launching the campaign at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) on 06 May 2015, Minister of Tourism and Sports Mrs Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul noted that it would […]

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4 May, 2015

Obama’s Grandmother Performs Umrah

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 04 May 2015 (15 Rajab 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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3 May, 2015

Xinhua Interview: Situation in Gaza miserable with high unemployment rate: Palestinian minister

by Osama Radi, Omer Othmani

GAZA, April 30 (Xinhua) — The daily living situation is seriously miserable in the blockaded Gaza Strip, where unemployment rate in the impoverished coastal enclave climbed to 60 percent, a senior Palestinian official told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on the eve of the International Labor Day. Ma’moun Abu Shahla, minister of labor in the […]

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3 May, 2015

Japan, Thailand host Palestinian tourism delegation on study trip

Bangkok – A delegation of Palestinian tourism officials and private sector executives has just completed a study tour of Thailand as part of efforts by the Japanese and Thai governments to help upgrade the quality of the tourism industry in the Israeli-occupied state. Funding for the delegation’s visit between April 26-May 2 was provided by […]

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2 May, 2015

Trans-Sulawesi railway project to begin soon, using Chinese tracks | The Jakarta Post

The central government will start the construction of a 143-km railway line from Makassar to Parepare, both cities in South Sulawesi, in early July and will buy the tracks direct from China, an official has confirmed. Director General of Railways of the Transportation Ministry Hermanto Dwi Atmoko said the local administrations had committed to complete […]

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1 May, 2015

US panel questions Hindu fundamentalist parties over attacks on religious minorities – The Times of India

NEW DELHI: A US panel tracking international religious freedom has, in its latest report on India, noted that religious minorities in the country were exposed to “derogatory” comments by leaders of the ruling BJP as well as “violent attacks and forced conversions by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)” since the […]

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30 Apr, 2015

PATA bottoms out, plans to rebuild chapters as part of U-shaped recovery plan

LESHAN, China – When immediate past PATA Chairman Scott Supernaw opened the Chapters Colloquium at the PATA annual summit on 25 April, he made a stunning public admission. Referring to a restructuring of chapters now under way, he took a page from PATA history, saying, “I personally think we made a mistake that we forced […]

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27 Apr, 2015

First Central Asia Water Museum opens in Bishkek

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 27 April 2015 (08 Rajab 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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26 Apr, 2015

Silicon Valley got it wrong: the open-plan office trend is destroying the workplace

By Lindsey Kaufman  A year ago, my boss announced that our large New York ad agency would be moving to an open office. After nine years as a senior writer, I was forced to trade in my private office for a seat at a long, shared table. It felt like my boss had ripped off […]

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25 Apr, 2015

Government names 18 ‘Japan Heritage’ sites in tourism drive | The Japan Times

The Cultural Affairs Agency said Friday it has chosen 18 sets of cultural assets spread across more than half of the 47 prefectures to attract more tourists and revitalize communities and economies overshadowed by Japan’s biggest cities. The first batch of so-called Japan Heritage sites includes the well-known Shikoku Henro pilgrimage trail and former educational […]

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23 Apr, 2015

Leaked Sony emails reveal Hollywood execs efforts to support Israel – Mondoweiss

Top Hollywood bosses enjoy a strong relationship with the Israeli government and various pro-Israel lobbying groups across the United States, according to a cache of Sony internal emails leaked to Wikileaks and published for the first time last week. The emails reveal a dinner between Sony executives and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; the presenter of […]

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23 Apr, 2015

Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Pak singer Atif Aslam’s Pune concert – The Hindu

The Shiv Sena has once again forced the cancellation of a concert by Pakistani singer Atif Aslam that was scheduled to be held at Hadapsar in Pune city this Saturday. The Sena has threatened to disrupt the event if it proceeded as per schedule. Confirming the cancellation of the April 25 event, the Anjaneya Sathe […]

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20 Apr, 2015

Mumbai: When a great city dies | The Indian Express

Mumbai has an active civic culture of debate and dissent that has enabled it to withstand poor governance and political ineptitude, but violence and intimidation are of a different order and they threaten to completely denude the already shrinking space for democratic processes. Educated young people in the city eschew political engagement precisely for this […]

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20 Apr, 2015

Middle East’s largest theater complex to open in Tehran

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 20 April 2015 (01 Rajab 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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20 Apr, 2015

Two decades after Oklahoma City bombing, the crime still sears workers – The Washington Post

Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The crime still sears federal employees. Timothy McVeigh, an Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, was executed for what the FBI called “the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history.” Terry Nichols, an Army buddy, […]

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20 Apr, 2015

California drought spurs protest over ‘unconscionable’ bottled water business – The Guardian

Californians facing the prospect of endless drought, mandated cuts in water use and the browning of their summer lawns are mounting a revolt against the bottled water industry, following revelations that Nestlé and other big companies are taking advantage of poor government oversight to deplete mountain streams and watersheds at vast profit. An online petition […]

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20 Apr, 2015

Australia charts 10-year plan to boost international education, training

Canberra, 20 April 2015, Austrade media release – Austrade, the Australian Government’s international education promotion agency, is holding a series of open workshops across Australia seeking input on future directions for Australia’s international education and training sector. The workshops are part of the AIE 2025 Roadshow and will help develop a long-term market plan, Australian […]

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20 Apr, 2015

India’s socio-political fabric faces “twin threats of communalism, neoliberalism” | GulfNews.com

Subhashini Ali, yet another first-time entrant in the politburo was of the view that the party has to strengthen its base by involving people from the backward classes in mass movements. “We must be strong from within by expanding the support base and the best way to do that is to protect the interest of […]

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20 Apr, 2015

Alwaleed foundation buys 100 artworks by special-needs children | Arab News

Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation purchased all the 100 artworks that had been put for auction at the “Salman In Their Eyes” exhibition which concluded here on April 16. The three-day exhibition, organized by the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA), was the first of its kind to deliver a message of love and loyalty to the king […]

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19 Apr, 2015

In memoriam: Thai tourism and aviation pioneer Chatrachai Bunya-ananta

One of Thailand’s most eminent aviation and tourism pioneers, Mr. Chatrachai Bunya-ananta, the first civilian to become President of Thai Airways International, passed away on April 18 at the age of 82. Ailing for several months with a blood infection, he had been in and out of hospital since December 2014. Mr. Chatrachai was one […]

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19 Apr, 2015

Kingfisher fined for ‘duping’ flyers to take low-cost flight – The Times of India

MUMBAI: The problems don’t seem to be ending for Vijay Mallya. Sending a strong signal to all airlines, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Thursday ordered the defunct Kingfisher Airlines to deposit Rs 25 lakh in the Consumer Welfare Fund of the Government of India as fine for making fliers take the low-cost airline, […]

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19 Apr, 2015

China flags another 11.7% budget cut for official travel, transport & receptions

By WANG XIAODONG

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-04-18 – Government budgets for overseas travel, official vehicles and receptions will be reduced by 11.7 percent this year to promote frugality, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday. It said 6.31 billion yuan ($1.03 billion) has been allocated to cover expenses related to these three categories. The budget for government vehicles, […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Philippines crafts roadmap to boost handicraft industry – Manila Bulletin

Manila – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP-ISSI) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formulate the “Strategy Roadmap for Gifts, Decors and Houseware Industry” for 2013-2030. During the recent “GDH Gifts, Decors and Houseware Industry Situationer and Workshop”, DTI and UP-ISSI […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Grape picking boosts tourism in La Union | Manila Bulletin

Bauang, La Union — Grape picking straight from the vines of a plantation in Barangay Urayong here has been attracting foreign and local tourists in this town thereby contributing to the province’s tourism industry. This town, known as the “Fruit Capital of La Union,” has been promoting various high-grade varieties of fruits like guapples or […]

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18 Apr, 2015

No More Excuses on Patriot Act Surveillance Reform | Human Rights Watch

This week, Human Rights Watch took two major steps to challenge the US government’s invasive and unrestrained collection of our personal data. HRW, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sued the US Drug Enforcement Agency for illegally collecting records of our international calls as part of a secret mass surveillance program that has been ongoing […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Work-life balance now an important criteria for Chinese job-seekers

By SHI JING

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-04-09 – Companies need to take personal concerns into account when advertising for staff, because job hunters in China now think a work-life balance is as important as a higher salary, according to a survey from human resources firm Hudson Global Inc. The Hiring Report 2015 said that 61 percent of the […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Indonesian Bill on alcohol ban gets secular backing | The Jakarta Post

Lawmakers from secular parties have added their voices to those of their counterparts in Islamic parties in support of a bill prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party and the Democratic Party respectively the largest party and second- and fourth-largest parties in the House of […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Bali tourist areas exempt from beer ban | The Jakarta Post

The Trade Ministry’s new regulation on alcoholic beverages, scheduled to take full effect on Thursday, will not be enforced on Bali as the ministry has decided that tourism areas would be exempted from the ban. On Thursday minimarkets, small vendors and beachside beverage vendors across the country were to stop selling beer. Bali administrations, retail […]

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18 Apr, 2015

How to respond to nasty emails – Sydney Morning Herald

Catherine Gerhardt had just launched her business when she received an email so nasty she still hasn’t forgotten it. “It really felt like that person had kicked me in the guts,” she says. “I honestly felt physically unwell – not only when I read the email, but also afterwards as you find you keep mulling […]

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18 Apr, 2015

Noam Chomsky: ‘Any reader of Orwell would be perfectly familiar’ with US maneuvers – RT USA

Major American media organizations diligently parrot what US officials want the public to know about global affairs, historian Noam Chomsky told RT. To US leaders, any news outlet that “does not repeat the US propaganda system is intolerable,” he said. The culpability of the West – namely the United States – for world affairs, such […]

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18 Apr, 2015

China: Upcoming Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to operate in ‘transparent way’

By ZHENG YANGPENG

Beijing (China Daily) 2015-04-16 – Financial transparency, corporate governance and high standards in top management skills will be the cornerstones of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Already 57 countries have joined the AIIB with South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany and Italy all signing up as founding members. In keeping with such a […]

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16 Apr, 2015

Seattle CEO cuts his salary by 90% to pay every worker at least $70,000 – The Independent

A chief executive has announced plans to raise the salary of every single employee at his company to at least $70,000 (£47,000) – and will fund it by cutting his own salary by 90 per cent. Dan Price, the CEO of Seattle-based tech company Gravity Payments, gathered together his 120-strong workforce on Monday to tell […]

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16 Apr, 2015

India tops in remittances, receives $70 billion – Hindustan Times

The World Bank has said India continues to be the leading nation in remittances pulling in $70 billion from its global migrant workforce in 2014. World Bank’s study of remittance, the money workers and professionals working in foreign lands send back to their native countries, attributed this mainly to weak economic growth in Europe, deterioration […]

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16 Apr, 2015

Re-energised PATA Travel Mart 2015 now a far better deal than ITB Asia

Bangkok — The 2015 PATA Travel Mart to be held in South Indian high-tech metropolis of Bengaluru between Sept 6-8 is set to offer far more value for money than the ITB Asia. A comparison of the rates of the two events shows that the Singapore-based ITB Asia 2015 has more than doubled its basic […]

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15 Apr, 2015

Study: Financial-related suicides on the rise in Italy – PressTV

A study by the Link Campus University of Rome has found that financially-motivated suicides have more than doubled in Italy in the last three years. A Link Campus University sociologist says that the number of such suicides were 89 in 2012, 149 in 2013 and 201 in 2014. The study has revealed how suicidal individuals […]

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15 Apr, 2015

New tourists’ court in Dubai to hold swift trials for minor crimes | GulfNews.com

Dubai: A new misdemeanours court to handle cases involving tourists will be set up soon to look into minor crimes committed by holidaymakers. It will hold swift trials keeping in mind their visit visa’s expiry date. The Dubai Courts Department [DCD] will set up the new misdemeanour court later this year, said Mohammad Abdul Rahman, […]

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15 Apr, 2015

PressTV – US trying to colonize Europe: Russia

Russia’s top lawmaker has accused the United States of trying to colonize Europe through its policies, stating Washington has already put Europe’s military and political spheres under its control and now trade and finance sectors are being targeted. Sergey Naryshkin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, made the remarks in an article posted […]

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15 Apr, 2015

Pakistani novelist shortlisted for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction – DAWN.COM

Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie of Kartography and Salt and Saffron fame has been shortlisted for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel A God in Every Stone. Published in 2014, The Guardian described A God in Every Stone as a story that “follows a young Londoner, Vivian Rose Spencer, from an archaeological […]

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15 Apr, 2015

China gets 40-year rights at Pakistani port

By Wang Ting

(chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-04-14 – China has been granted operation rights for 40 years at a port in Gwadar, a strategic deep-water seaport in Pakistan, Hong Kong-based Pheonix TV reported on Tuesday. Infrastructure construction is nearly complete and the port could be put into full use by the end of the year, Dostain Khan Jamaldini, chairman of […]

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14 Apr, 2015

State trips cater for Xinjiang pilgrims heading to Mecca

By GAO BO

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-14  – Arrangements for Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region who wish to take part in State-organized visits to Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage are being enhanced by the local authorities. Aisha Imish, a senior religious leader in Baicheng in the south of the region, participated in one of the […]

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14 Apr, 2015

In rich Qatar, an Indian restaurant lets poor eat for free – DAWN.COM

DOHA: In a dusty corner of Qatar’s booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: “If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!” Sixteen kilometres (10 miles) from the gleaming glass towers of Doha, one of the richest places on the planet, sits the “Industrial Area” of […]

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14 Apr, 2015

Shashi Tharoor: Indian decision-making now needs “ok” from PM’s Office – The Hindu

Washington DC — The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi exercises such an extent of control over policy matters that it could be impeding implementation, suggested to Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, who is on a brief visit to the U.S. Speaking at a private event at the World Bank focused on his […]

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14 Apr, 2015

Int’l students promote peace via dance performances | The Jakarta Post

n the spirit of peace and global friendship, around 100 secondary school students from 20 countries around the world introduced their cultures during the International Festival of Language and Culture (ILFC) at Teater Jakarta in the Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center on Saturday. The countries comprised Turkey, Tunisia, Jordan, Australia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Myanmar, […]

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14 Apr, 2015

“Pretties” and children models banned from Shanghai auto show

By Liu Wei

Beijing (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-04-09 -Scantily clad models and children are banned from the 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition opening on April 22, the Shanghai Morning Post reported on Thursday. Models at auto shows have often been criticized for causing distractions by wearing fewer and fewer clothes. Pretty women could certainly attract the crowds but prevented […]

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13 Apr, 2015

Jakarta To Host 60th Anniversary Asia-Africa Conference April 19

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil & Sana Shamsi

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 13 April 2015 (23 Jumaada al-Thaani 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT […]

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12 Apr, 2015

Mobile phone among 5 main causes of Saudi road accidents | Arab News

Use of mobile phones while driving is among the top five causes of accidents in the Kingdom, a Saudi organization that deals with traffic accidents has said. Motorists jumping the signal is another leading cause of mishaps, the figures available with the organization show. This revelation by the organization’s specialist was made following an ordinance […]

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12 Apr, 2015

French visa for Indians in 48 hours – Hindustan Times

French President Francois Hollande has informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his government’s decision to implement a scheme to issue visa for Indians within 48 hours, besides allowing Indian students to stay on for two more years after completing courses here. The post-study facility for Indian students to gain professional experience was closed in Britain […]

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12 Apr, 2015

Mumbai stung by Marathi chauvinism, Hindutva | Gulf News.com

Mumbai/New Delhi: With the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) far right social agenda based on Hindu fundamentalism, also called Hindutva, and its hardline ally Shiv Sena sounding the war cry “Maharashtra for Maharashtrians” Mumbai — the glamour and commercial capital of India — is fast losing its sheen. Just two days ago, Shiv Sena workers […]

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