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20 Mar, 2015

March 21: Bali to go silent for Nyepi, all religious leaders to join in

Ni Komang Erviani

The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, March 19 2015 – Preparations are gearing up for Nyepi, the Balinese Hindu Day of Silence, which falls on Saturday. This year’s celebration will offer another demonstration of Bali’s strong interfaith relations, as the celebration coincides with the Catholic period of Lent, where adherents fast and make penitence in preparation for […]

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20 Mar, 2015

Saudi Arabia to stop issuing visas to Swedes after criticism | The Jakarta Post

Saudi Arabia will no longer issue business visas to Swedes or renew the current visas of Swedish nationals living in the country, a senior Saudi official told The Associated Press on Thursday. The official said the decision is in response to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s recent criticism of Saudi Arabia’s record on human and […]

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20 Mar, 2015

March 20 Int’l Happiness Day: Gallup Poll lists countries where people are most/least happy

by Jon Clifton

Ahead of the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, Gallup looks at the countries where the highest and lowest percentages of people are experiencing positive emotions daily. Story Highlights Top 10 countries for positive emotions are in Latin America At least 70% laugh/smile a lot, experience enjoyment, treated with respect, well-rested WASHINGTON, D.C. — As […]

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18 Mar, 2015

Australian insider trading masterminds jailed

Two men involved in a $7 million insider trading scheme that helped the mastermind buy an apartment from The Block television show to give his crimes a “cloak of respectability” have been jailed. Former NAB banker Lukas Kamay and former Australian Bureau of Statistics employee Christopher Hill had been involved in the worst case of […]

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17 Mar, 2015

‘IS’ as a western phenomenon | Arab News

No matter how one attempts to wrangle with the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) rise in Iraq and Syria, desperately seeking any political or other context that would validate the movement as an explainable historical circumstance, things refuse to add up. Not only is IS to a degree an alien movement in the larger body politic […]

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17 Mar, 2015

Skyfii’s Wi-Fi watching you shop in Westfield — Sydney Morning Herald

Data services company Skyfii has secured long-term contracts to supply and manage guest Wi-Fi in more than 20 Westfield shopping centres, as well as the the up-market MLC Centre in Sydney. It had previously inked deals with other big Sydney malls including the Queen Victoria Building and the Strand Arcade, Galeries Victoria, Chifley Plaza, World […]

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17 Mar, 2015

Don’t want NSA to spy on you? 5 things you can do

More than half of Americans are worried about the US government’s digital spies prying into their emails, texts, search requests and other online information, but few are trying to thwart the surveillance. That’s according to a new survey from Pew Research Center, released Monday. A main reason for the inertia? Pew researchers found that a […]

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17 Mar, 2015

U.N. under fire for US$2.3 million extra costs in business and first-class travel authorisations

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and his office management staff are under fire for authorising “exceptions” to the UN’s travel policies that cost global taxpayers an additional US$ 2.3 million for business- and first-class travel in 2012-14, mostly by “prominent” persons, for UN meetings around the world. Although the UN General Assembly had instructed Mr. Ban […]

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17 Mar, 2015

Quality of life: Delhi is now a city on ‘terminal decline’ – Hindustan Times

Feted as an “ultimate city to visit and explore” by National Geographic’s Traveller magazine and the “best city to live in India” by the Institute for Competitiveness and Confederation of Indian Industry till three years ago, Delhi has lost the status to Mumbai — which was seen as a city on ‘terminal decline’ because of […]

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17 Mar, 2015

In Sri Lanka, underworked army runs resorts, shops, salons and travel agencies | The Indian Express

A pristine white building with a classy brown wooden finish overlooks the blue Indian Ocean at Kankensanthurai, about 19 km from Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. It’s a luxury resort, and on Sunday mornings, families come here for a meal, a swim in the pool, and to play on the beach. Foot-tapping music plays at […]

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17 Mar, 2015

As a Christian, suddenly I am a stranger in my own country: ex-Mumbai Police Chief Julio Ribeiro – The Indian Express

Today, in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country. The same category of citizens who had put their trust in me to rescue them from a force they could not comprehend have now come out of the woodwork to condemn me for practising a religion that […]

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17 Mar, 2015

Jet-Etihad deal documents among those leaked: CBI — Hindustan Times

The CBI probe into alleged sale of confidential documents from Finance Ministry has revealed that most of the records related to controversial Jet-Etihad deal were allegedly leaked with the help of officials in the FIPB. The sources said during questioning of suspects arrested by the agency and phone intercepts available with it, it has emerged […]

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16 Mar, 2015

Melbourne Exhibition to showcase Muslims who rescued Jews in World War II

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 16 March 2015 (25 Jumaada al-Awwal 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 […]

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16 Mar, 2015

Today’s politicians don’t speak for the selfie-stick generation – Sydney Morning Herald

By Clara Williams Roldan I am 23 years old. I have no experience in politics. And I am standing against the Premier, Mike Baird, as Greens’ candidate for Manly in this month’s NSW election. Based on my age alone, you might immediately dismiss me as idealistic and naive. I am happy to say I am […]

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15 Mar, 2015

Rising Indian derailments also due to excreta corroding rail foot: Railways – The Hindu

Dirty railway tracks and piles of garbage alongside the tracks have not only presented an ugly side to the travelling public but also posed serious safety problem to the Indian Railways. But it turns out that the excreta falling directly on the rails from the coaches is a major cause of corrosion of rail foot, […]

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15 Mar, 2015

In Washington Post column, Jewish neocon calls for more war in Middle East

Following up on the anti-Iran speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the U.S. Congress earlier this month, another Jewish neocon has called openly for an attack on Iran. Reeking with shameless arrogance and shoulder-shrugging nonchalance about advocating more conflict and human suffering in an explosive and volatile region, Joshua Muravchik, a fellow at […]

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14 Mar, 2015

US must not impose its idea of democracy: Thai PM – The Nation

Bangkok – THE UNITED STATES should not try to impose a one-size-fits-all democracy on the rest of the world, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday. Prayut took to the podium as a keynote speaker at the 47th Wharton Global Forum at a Bangkok hotel and used the opportunity to extend an olive branch to […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Gallup Polls: Americans Name Government as No. 1 U.S. Problem

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Gallup Polls) 1 March 2015 – — Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place. Though […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Philippines’ generation of sex tourism children – Al Jazeera English

Angeles City, Philippines – Weekends are busy on Fields Avenue in Balibago. Young women greet meandering men and invite them into the bars that line the street. Known as the “supermarket of sex”, Angeles City’s red light district has fast become a top destination for sex tourism. Male travellers from Asia, Australia, the US, Europe […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Binge drinking in men peaks at 25 before every day boozing starts later in life, says study – The Independent

The amount of alcohol a man drinks is the highest at around the age of 25, according to a new study. Alcohol consumption sharply rises during the carefree teenage years and reaches the highest levels of frequency and volume in the mid-twenties, when it becomes the linchpin of most social and corporate events. Men’s drinking […]

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14 Mar, 2015

British spies sacked for illicitly snooping on private info – The Independent

GCHQ spooks have been sacked for inappropriately accessing people’s personal information, it emerged today. The small number of British spies who have illicitly gathered personal data should face criminal charges for doing so, Hazel Blears, the spokeswoman for the Intelligence Security Committee, told Sky News. The disclosure came as part of a landmark report into […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Japanese team says worms can accurately detect cancer | The Japan Times

A group of Japanese researchers recently announced in a science journal an economical and highly accurate cancer detection method that makes use of roundworms about 1 mm long that can identify cancer patients by sensing odors in urine. The researchers, including Takaaki Hirotsu, assistant professor at Kyushu University, said the cancer screening test, which is […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Metadata retention laws will pass as Labor folds – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s corporate watchdogs will have wide-reaching power to crawl through email, telephone and internet records under a last-minute deal between Labor and the government to enact a controversial data-retention law. The deal will outrage civil libertarian groups, and internet service providers say the $400 million plan could lead to higher prices for customers, after Labor […]

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14 Mar, 2015

Motivational speakers modern charlatans – Sydney Morning Herald

I caught up with my friend on her return from the conference to find out how it was. As expected, it was four days of her life she’ll never get back. During the event, she was made to sit through one of those ridiculous presentations from a motivational speaker. Actually, there were three presentations from […]

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13 Mar, 2015

Hindu extremist groups campaign to ‘purify’ Muslim brides in West Bengal | The Indian Express

The din over the ‘ghar wapsi’ reconversion campaign in the north and west may have dropped many decibels after Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined “the undeniable right” of an individual’s choice of religion. But in the east, the RSS and its affiliates are experimenting with another conversion programme — where, instead of hounding a Hindu-Muslim […]

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13 Mar, 2015

Minorities are culturally, nationally and DNA-wise Hindus: RSS leader

All Indians are “culturally, nationally and DNA-wise Hindus” and there are no minorities, a senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader said on Friday, while he attempted to distance the organisation from the religious conversion programmes being run by affiliates across the country. RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale was speaking to the media at the […]

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13 Mar, 2015

Where Palestinians and Jewish settlers meet as equals

By Sara Hirschhorn Mar. 19, 2013, Ha’aretz – The story of his work in the last five years of his life, and an examination of the legacy he left behind, is the narrative that runs through a new documentary, “A Third Way – Settlers and Palestinians as Neighbors” directed by Harvey Stein. Stein, who moved […]

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13 Mar, 2015

British Muslims condemn terror laws for creating ‘witch-hunt’ against Islam – The Guardian

Anti-Muslim rhetoric and “endless ‘anti-terror’ laws” are in danger of creating a McCarthyite witch-hunt against Muslims, according to the signatories of a strongly worded public statement, who include several controversial figures. The statement accuses the government of “criminalising” Islam and trying to silence “legitimate critique and dissent”, and decries what it describes as “the ongoing […]

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11 Mar, 2015

Leading politician says Canada treats Muslims today as it did Jews in the ’30s and ’40s – The Washington Post

In a dramatic speech Tuesday evening, the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party Justin Trudeau criticized the Canadian government for its rhetoric over the threat of Islamist-related terrorism – and compared the country’s treatment of its Muslims minorities with the restrictive policies against Jews prior to and during World War II. Speaking in Toronto to alumni […]

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10 Mar, 2015

New international terminal opened at Multan airport, Pakistan – Dawn.com

MULTAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday inaugurated the international terminal of the existing Multan Airport, enabling international travel for Multan residents who previously had to travel to Islamabad and Lahore to make an international journey. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his elation at the inauguration of the newly christened ‘Multan International Airport’, and said […]

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10 Mar, 2015

Returned Australian soldiers face widespread depression and homelessness, investigative report reveals

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Australian soldiers are struggling to access the financial help they need to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder once home, veterans and support agencies say. ABC TV’s Four Corners on Monday night featured former soldiers undergoing gruelling therapy sessions to help them recover from PTSD, which has damaged their marriages, their […]

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9 Mar, 2015

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales slams federal government data retention laws

Mr Wales said he understood the need for data retention schemes in fighting crime. But he added law enforcement bodies should be forced to get warrants when seeking people’s information. “With proper judicial oversight, probable cause, warrants, judges and not just police overseeing it, the ability to get access to information is perfectly valid,” he […]

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8 Mar, 2015

In campaign against terrorism, U.S. enters period of pessimism and gloom – The Washington Post

U.S. counterterrorism officials and experts, never known for their sunny dispositions, have entered a period of particular gloom. In congressional testimony recently, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. went beyond the usual litany of threats to say that terrorism trend lines were worse “than at any other point in history.” Maj. Gen. Michael […]

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8 Mar, 2015

Pratap Chatterjee: Mentally-disturbed pilots quitting Drone Warfare – TomDispatch

The Air Force is currently under orders to staff 65 of these regular “combat air patrols” around the clock as well as to support a Global Response Force on call for emergency military and humanitarian missions. For all of this, there should ideally be 1,700 trained pilots. Instead, facing an accelerating dropout rate that recently […]

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8 Mar, 2015

An inspirational message from India’s only woman Muslim pilot

“People initially think I’m Christian and then gawk when I tell them my full name,” laughs Saarah Hameed Ahmed (25) the Bengaluru girl who is the only known Muslim among the 600-odd women pilots employed in the Indian aviation sector. “I just love the look on people’s faces when they discover I am Muslim.” People’s […]

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8 Mar, 2015

Gallup Polls: Nearly 2 Billion Women Worldwide Are Struggling, Suffering

by Jon Clifton and Julie Ray

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Gallup Polls Media release) — While International Women’s Day this Sunday will focus mostly on how the world thinks women are doing, it’s important to understand how the women of the world think they are doing. The best way to find this out is to ask them.This International Women’s Day, more than one […]

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7 Mar, 2015

How a Jewish Casino Billionaire Stands in the Way of Mideast Peace | Alternet

Everything you need to know about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress Tuesday was the presence in the visitor’s gallery of one man – Sheldon Adelson. The gambling tycoon is the Godfather of the Republican Right. The party’s presidential hopefuls line up to kiss his assets, scraping and bowing for his blessing, which […]

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7 Mar, 2015

Balinese welcome boycott by ”Ugly Australians” – Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney The Twitter campaign for Australians to #BoycottBali over the very sad case of convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran brought with it an immediate and expected backlash by Indonesians. “Australia can #boycottbali all they want,” tweeted @pandji, “that only means no more stupid drunks on board of Indonesian airlines.” And this from […]

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7 Mar, 2015

Foreign nurses, caregivers to get special visa status | The Japan Times

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday approved the creation of a new category of visa for foreign nurses and caregivers as part of efforts to fill a shortage in the workforce. Drafted by the Justice Ministry and requiring Diet approval, the proposal to amend the immigration law mainly targets exchange students studying […]

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6 Mar, 2015

History Lesson for ITB Berlin : 20 Years Since the Finest Travel & Tourism Speech Ever

March 6, 2015 — Today, the ITB Berlin 2015 will host a session to discuss the future of travel & tourism in Israel-Palestine. Speakers representing the Palestinians, Israelis and German ecumenical groups will share their visions on how “tourism can play an essential role in promoting peace and justice.” The programme says that although “both […]

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5 Mar, 2015

FREE Download: Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore top Muslim Travel Index 2015

Malaysia is the world’s most Muslim-friendly tourism destination and Singapore holds that position among the non-Islamic countries, according to ratings compiled by the “MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015”. Considered the most comprehensive research ever released on the Muslim travel market, it looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations across the world creating an […]

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5 Mar, 2015

Number of global ultra-rich swells to almost 173,000 – The Guardian

The world’s super-rich continued their seemingly unstoppable rise last year with the number of people worth $30m (£19.7m) or more expanding to 172,850. Between them they control nearly $22tn in assets – more than the national output of the US and Germany combined. Almost 5,300 people joined the ranks of so-called ultra high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), […]

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5 Mar, 2015

The Pakistani town where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows – DAWN.COM

by Hassan Raza Pakistan has become synonymous with terrorism. On most local and international news channels, we hear about minorities getting slaughtered at the hands of extremists; attacks on temples, churches, imambargahs; or the forced conversions of Hindus and Christians in the country. I reckon you might be pleasantly surprised to know that there is […]

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4 Mar, 2015

Fear Dominates Politics, Media and Human Existence in America—And It’s Getting Worse | Alternet

People cannot think clearly when they are afraid. As numerous studies have shown, fear is the enemy of reason. It distorts emotions and perceptions, and often leads to poor decisions. For people who have suffered trauma, fear messages can sometimes trigger uncontrollable flight-or-fight responses with dangerous ramifications. Yet over time, many interlocking aspects of our […]

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4 Mar, 2015

Ten issues that will NOT be on the agenda at the brain-dead ITB Berlin

BANGKOK – In his March 3 speech at the opening of the 2015 ITB Berlin, UNWTO Secretary-General Dr Talib Rifai raised the game for the travel & tourism industry worldwide by citing a number of previously taboo issues that are reshaping the New World Order. Embedded within his speech were key phrases that should challenge […]

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3 Mar, 2015

US: Sikh boy racially abused in school bus, video goes viral

A young Sikh boy in the US state of Georgia has been called a “terrorist” by a group of school children, with the video of the abuse now going viral on the Internet. In the video posted on Inquisitr, the bespectacled Sikh boy is seen sitting in what appears to be a school bus and […]

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2 Mar, 2015

Smug, Snide, and Shallow – ‘The Three Superiors’ of the BBC – People’s Daily Online

On 25th February People’s Daily unveiled President Xi Jinping’s “Four Comprehensives”: A moderately prosperous society, Reform, Rule of law, and Party discipline. They are the blueprint for his government’s future strategy, and they represent a significant statement about what the future holds for China in the coming years. In an article on its website the […]

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2 Mar, 2015

Hindus must boycott films of Muslim Khans: BJP leader

Hindus should boycott the Khan triumvirate of Bollywood as they promote love jihad, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should marry an Indian girl and settle down. These were some pieces of advice offered by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and preacher Sadhvi Prachi at a meeting of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a right-wing organisation, in Dehradun […]

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2 Mar, 2015

Chinese Commentary: 70 Years Since End of WWII, Time to Reflect on Past, Look to Future

by Xinhua writer Gu Zhenqiu

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 (Xinhua) — The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War Thursday, calling upon all United Nations member states not to forget the tremendous sacrifices made and the horrendous atrocities committed during the war. The resolution, adopted by the 193-member General […]

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2 Mar, 2015

Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei to benefit from AirAsia ASEAN Pass

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 02 March 2015 (11 Jumaada al-Awwal 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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1 Mar, 2015

Graffiti artist leaves his mark in Israel-leveled Gaza Strip | Arab News

GAZA: World-renowned graffiti artist Banksy has caused a stir in the Gaza Strip, apparently secretly traveling to the Palestinian territory and painting murals on buildings ruined by the latest conflict. The artist, whose prefers anonymity, released an online video entitled “Make this the year YOU discover a new destination,” that purports to show him traveling […]

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1 Mar, 2015

How the world’s most famous airline spied on its own staff – The Independent

British Airways paid £1m to hush up the details of a spying operation in which the phones and emails of its own cabin staff were allegedly improperly accessed during a bitter dispute with Britain’s largest union. The payment was made to stop the union, Unite, suing BA over the operation by specialist investigators based at […]

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28 Feb, 2015

Australian Sikhs say abuse on the rise as they cop Anti-Muslim sentiment

SYDNEY – Not long after the terror alert level was raised to high, truck driver Amar Singh was working when a stranger approached and said: “You look like a terrorist. You should be on a terrorist watch list.” Mr Singh, who was sitting in his parked truck in Wollongong, was perplexed. He certainly was not […]

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28 Feb, 2015

Norwegian doctor in Gaza speaks at Israel Apartheid Week in Oslo

He is one of the few foreign doctors who have seen from close the horrific consequences of several Israeli aggressions on Palestinians. Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor, has been travelling to and from Gaza for several years to treat Palestinians at the al-Shifa hospital. He was also there during the Israeli aggression last summer. […]

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23 Feb, 2015

Alcohol-free Hotel Takes Off in Ibadan, Nigeria

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 23 February 2015 (04 Jumaada al-Awwal 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 […]

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22 Feb, 2015

Indian govt ousts Modi critic, a Nobel Laureate, as head of Nalanda University – The Indian Express

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday ruled out reconsidering his decision not to seek second term as Chancellor of Nalanda University, saying that the government had decided “not to have me”. The 82-year-old economist’s decision to withdraw his candidature as the university Chair for the second term after complaining about political interference in academic matters […]

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21 Feb, 2015

Hidden agenda: How EU-US trade deal could thwart “boycott Israel” campaign | The Electronic Intifada

Two members of the US Congress have introduced a bill that would turn a giant trade deal between the EU and US into a devastating weapon against the people of Palestine and all those seeking justice alongside them. Together with the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is currently under negotiation, the proposed […]

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20 Feb, 2015

Ten Reasons for the “War on Islam”

On February 19, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, in which he declared that the United States is not waging a war on Islam. He made a similar assertion in his famous speech at Al Azhar University in Cairo in June 2009. Former U.S. President George W. […]

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19 Feb, 2015

Emirates rejects Delta’s apology over terrorism remarks | GulfNews.com

Dubai: Emirates has rejected an apology from Delta Air Lines, one of America’s major carriers, after its chief executive, Richard Anderson, this week associated the 9/11 terrorist attack with Gulf airlines. “We believe that the statements made this week by [Mr] Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect. This brings into question his […]

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19 Feb, 2015

For India, Secularism is not a policy option – The Hindu

Contrary to what many in the BJP seem to think, secularism is not a policy option for a government, but one of the original principles that inform the Constitution. ‘Secular’, as a word to describe the Indian Republic, might have been added to the Preamble only in 1976, but the freedom of conscience and free […]

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19 Feb, 2015

Are Airbnb and Uber creating a new black economy? – Sydney Morning Herald

It is called the “sharing economy”. It has been embraced by millions of consumers globally, and has made multi-millionaires out of the savvy entrepreneurs behind its most high-profile services, like Uber and Airbnb. But for governments in Australia, and around the world, it has proved to be a difficult beat to police. The likes of […]

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19 Feb, 2015

Why Muslim lives don’t matter in the U.S. – Al Jazeera English

Irrespective of what rallying cries, signs or adapted hashtags proclaim, Muslim lives in America don’t matter. The aftermath of the murder of the three American students in Chapel Hill, and the broader context that spurred it, reconfirms this brutal truth. The three victims – Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister […]

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19 Feb, 2015

Chapel Hill shooting and western media bigotry – Al Jazeera English

Three Muslim Americans were murdered on Tuesday in a University of North Carolina dorm room. The crime came on the heels of recent anti-Muslim attacks in Europe, carried out in apparent response to the January murders (committed by Muslims) of Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris. Western media outlets will likely frame the most recent perpetrator […]

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18 Feb, 2015

Indonesia to stop sending maids to UAE, Arab countries | GulfNews.com

Dubai: The Indonesian Embassy confirmed that the country has stopped sending domestic workers to the UAE and all other Arab countries. The announcement came after the newly elected president of Indonesia, which has approximately 90,000 expatriates, many of whom work as housemaids, in the UAE, vowed to stop sending housemaids abroad. The practice is deemed […]

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18 Feb, 2015

Report Exposes the Funders and Pundits Spreading Islamophobia | Alternet

By Amy Goodman, Nermeen Shaikh February 16, 2015 – In an interview with Democracy Now!, Yasmine Taeb, Islamophobia project manager at the Center for American Progress, spoke about a report she co-authored entitled “Fear, Inc. 2.0, The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America.” This latest investigation comes in the wake of recent events […]

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18 Feb, 2015

Eureka! Earthshaking New Study Reveals Root Cause of the Profoundly Stupid | Alternet

By Susan Grigsby / Daily Kos It is a question I have been pondering for the past week or two. Could a vaccine, specifically, the polio vaccine, have caused us to become profoundly stupid? Looking for evidence, like so many troubled young parents of today faced with a vaccination schedule, I turned to Google to […]

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18 Feb, 2015

Chinese Commentary: Uncle Sam: anti-terror leader or terrorist breeder?

by Xinhua writer Luo Jun

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — On the world stage, the United States has assumed anti-terror leadership since the deadly Sept. 11 attack in 2001, yet underneath its glossy surface, Uncle Sam seemed to have a secret identity as a terrorist breeder. In a display of leadership and power, the White House will convene an international […]

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17 Feb, 2015

Russian researchers expose US spying program | GulfNews.com

San Francisco: The US National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives. That long-sought and closely guarded […]

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17 Feb, 2015

Over 100 UK artists announce a cultural boycott of Israel – The Guardian

Along with more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government. Since the summer war on Gaza, Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack […]

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17 Feb, 2015

Indian-American businessman shot dead in US – The Times of India

NEW YORK: A 28-year-old Indian-American businessman, who was gunned down by an unidentified assailant in his family-owned liquor shop in the US, has succumbed to his injuries, police said today. Amit Patel from Edison was shot and killed in New Jersey inside Roseway Liquors in Irvington yesterday. Patel was alone in the liquor store, owned […]

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17 Feb, 2015

US Hindu temple vandalised, hate message ‘get out’ sprayed on walls – Hindustan Times

A Hindu temple has been vandalised with hate speech in the US state of Washington, sending shock waves through the community in the area and prompting authorities to launch an investigation. The incident happened when unidentified miscreants sprayed swastika and painted “Get Out” on one of the walls of the temple in the Seattle Metropolitan […]

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17 Feb, 2015

Robert Fisk: Arabs Kill Arabs. But Americans are safe. So are the Israelis.

President Obama and the Pentagon can, it seems, take satisfaction in seeing their “moderate” friends in the Middle East flying alongside them in their latest version of the “war on terror”. So far, so good. No “boots on the ground”, as the now-hackneyed expression goes. No Western lives in danger – save for the pitiful […]

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17 Feb, 2015

Festival of India in Thailand: Multi-faith Sufi Gospel Musicians Hail Unity of Humanity

Bangkok – When Indian singer Sonam Kalra introduced the musicians of her Sufi Gospel Project troupe at this year’s inaugural Festival of India performance in Bangkok, she made it a point to highlight the team’s multi-faith composition. Two are Hindus, two Muslims and two Sikhs (including herself). One, a Christian, was absent at this performance. […]

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16 Feb, 2015

Thousands of jobs to be created by road-rail projects in Oman

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 16 February 2015 (27 Rabee’ 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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16 Feb, 2015

India headed towards a fascist regime under BJP, says activist – The Hindu

Questioning the secular nature of the present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre, noted civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad said here on Monday that we are heading towards a fascist regime. “Fascism occurs when corporate capitals capture the political economy. Unless we assert ourselves as secular citizens, we will keep on […]

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16 Feb, 2015

Millions of Filipinos catching travel bug | Manila Bulletin

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said traveling has now officially become the latest national craze to grip the country next to taking “selfies.” Tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez made the statement during the awarding ceremony of the first Tourism Star Program (TSP) where he announced that 47 million Filipinos visited different local tourist spots last year. […]

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16 Feb, 2015

Asia Times Online: Parking space terrorism in the US

By Ramzy Baroud The murder of three American Muslims at a University of North Carolina condominium on Tuesday, 10 February, was no ordinary murder, nor is the criminal who killed them an ordinary thug. The context of the killings, the murder itself and the media and official responses to the horrific event is a testimony […]

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16 Feb, 2015

Angry, Armed and White: The Typical Profile of America’s Most Violent Extremists | Alternet

Police in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, say they’re investigating the role racial hatred played in the killing of three Muslim students by suspect Craig Stephen Hicks. They’re saying the 46-year-old white man had a history of fights over a parking space with the victims, suggesting the killings could be reduced to road rage. Meanwhile, Hicks’ […]

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16 Feb, 2015

Superficial to spiritual: Buddhist monk to keynote at brand-building conference in Bangkok

Bangkok – Possibly for the first time in Asia, a Buddhist monk is to deliver the keynote speech at an upcoming conference on building brands. The Venerable Dr. Anilman Dhammasākiyō Phra Shakyavongsvisuddhi will officiate at the opening of the ‘Sustainable Brands ’15 Bangkok’ to be held March 18-19 on the innovative theme, “Reimagine, Redesign, Rebirth.” […]

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14 Feb, 2015

It’s the geopolitics, stupid: Australia threatens Indonesia with travel boycott

Australians may reconsider travel to Indonesia if the two Australian convicted drug couriers currently on death row are executed by firing squad as expected, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has warned. Authorities in Indonesia are finalising plans to move Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Bali to their execution place on a prison island off […]

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14 Feb, 2015

Russia To Reveal 9/11 Satellite Imagery Indicating US Complicity In False Flag Attack

Moscow (Pravda): American experts believe that despite the fact that relations between the US and Russia reached the worst point since the Cold War, Putin caused Obama only small troubles so far. Analysts believe that this “calm before the storm”. Putin is going to hit once, but he’s going to hit hard. Russia is preparing […]

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14 Feb, 2015

Why does Buddhist-majority Myanmar hate its Muslims so much? – Washington Post

The situation in Burma has changed for the better. The country has opened up. The secretive, dictatorial military junta that once held sway has allowed the advent of a fledgling, albeit heavily curtailed democracy. Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from decades of house arrest and is now a main leader of the […]

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13 Feb, 2015

Teetotaller numbers rise in UK with one in five adults not drinking – The Guardian

Britain is becoming a nation of teetotallers, with young adults and Londoners leading the way, according to new figures. More than one in five adults (21%) do not drink alcohol at all, according to the Office for National Statistics’ Adult Drinking Habits in Great Britain report released on Friday. The figure was 19% in 2005. […]

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11 Feb, 2015

US military spending will never be enough

By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

Washington DC, 2015-02-06 – The US national debt clock near Times Square was ticking in the $16-trillion range when I left New York two years ago. On Tuesday, it had crossed $18.102 trillion. This means that each of the 319 million Americans owes a debt of more than $56,000. The US national debt was only […]

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11 Feb, 2015

Delhi Assembly election: AAP demolishes India’s caste, class divide | The Asian Age

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday breached all caste and class divides to record a historic victory in the Delhi Assembly elections. With its army of young and dynamic activists, the AAP’s aggressive door-to-door campaign got it 48.78 lakh votes to win 67 of the 70 seats. Be it the Muslim-dominated areas of the walled […]

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11 Feb, 2015

To really understand why Israel fears a future Palestine, visit the Mekong countries

Siem Reap, Cambodia — In order to truly and fully understand why Israel fears the birth of a state of Palestine, try visiting the Mekong countries. What’s the connection? Read on. Forty years after the defeat of U.S. forces in Vietnam, peace and opportunity prevails throughout the Mekong river countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and […]

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9 Feb, 2015

‘My time in the US has come to an end’: Dr. Sami al-Arian on the fight for justice in post 9/11 America

After 40 years, my time in the U.S. has come to an end. Like many immigrants of my generation, I came to the U.S. in 1975 to seek a higher education and greater opportunities. I also wanted to live in a free society where freedom of speech, association and religion are not only tolerated but […]

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9 Feb, 2015

100-yr-pact for Hindu-Muslim amity signed in Konkan village | The Indian Express

Hindus and Muslims in Burondi, a village in Ratnagiri district — located 228 km from Mumbai — have signed a 100-year pact between themselves to maintain communal harmony. The pact, which has been notarised, lays down a code of conduct for members of both the communities to avoid communal strife in the village that has […]

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9 Feb, 2015

Google launches Street View for Bangladesh

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 09 February 2015 (20 Rabee’ 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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9 Feb, 2015

Cambodia’s two World Heritage temples symbolise future of peace, culture and tourism

SIEM REAP, Cambodia — The World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat was the backdrop of the first world UNWTO-UNESCO  ministerial conference on building a tourism-and-culture partnership between February 4-6, 2015. More than 900 delegates from 100 countries, including record numbers from the Arab world and Africa, mulled ways to save the tourism goose from dying […]

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5 Feb, 2015

How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of ‘American Sniper’

The greatest crime of the twenty-first century so far has come to the big screen, and it’s a hit. American Sniper scored “the top opening of all time for a non-tentpole”, a record that previously belonged to The Passion of the Christ. A white man beset by hostile Semites: box office gold. Mel Gibson’s Jesus […]

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4 Feb, 2015

Negative views of Israel soar in the UK, new survey shows | The Electronic Intifada

Israel ranks as one of the world’s most unfavorably viewed countries among the UK public, second only to North Korea. A new survey by the UK think-tank Chatham House finds that 35 percent of the UK public have an “especially unfavorable” view of Israel. This is double the 17 percent who held such a view […]

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4 Feb, 2015

Growing up under Western coverage of Islam | The Jakarta Post

by Asyifa Putri About five years ago, my life was altered utterly when my father decided to move to the US, along with my family. Although different, everything was structured and simpler than back home in Jakarta. However, I was still a minority with attached stereotypes. The fact that I’m a Muslim is what might […]

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3 Feb, 2015

New spot on Asia’s spiritual tourism circuit: A replica of Bodhgaya pagoda in Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw — After spending six days covering the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015, I was given a whirlwind tour of Nay Pyi Taw, courtesy of Maung Maung Swe, Vice Chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation. My first stop was the Thatta Thattaha Maha Bodhi Pagoda (the first picture below), located a little on the […]

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3 Feb, 2015

The colours, culture and costumes of the people of Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw — The colourful culture, customs and costumes of the people of Myanmar were also on display at the ATF 2015.  

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3 Feb, 2015

Interesting Myanmar SME products on show at the ATF 2015

Nay Pyi Taw – The opening up of Myanmar to tourism is certainly having an extensive trickle-down effect on the country’s small and medium sized enterprises and independent owners / operators of many products and services. Many of them took the opportunity to participate in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 and gain some international exposure. […]

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3 Feb, 2015

ATF 2015 caps long tourism career of Minister U Htay Aung

Nay Pyi Taw — The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 was a personal triumph for Union Minister of Hotels & Tourism U Htay Aung. It capped a long career that has seen him rise from a mid-ranked official in the country’s tourism apparatus to Minister over the span of nearly three decades. I have personally known […]

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3 Feb, 2015

Talent Hunt: A Rising Star Young Myanmar Hotelier

Nay Pyi Taw — When I arrived at the Excel Capital hotel on Jan 22, a young man helped me ensure a smooth check-in. Over the course of the week that I spent at the hotel, this same young man helped me discover what good service delivery really means. He was on duty literally all […]

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3 Feb, 2015

Spot the ASEAN logo contest: How tourism has failed to build a single ASEAN identity

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar – If the ASEAN tourism industry, and the ASEAN fraternity at large, has failed to generate a strong and united brand-image, these pictures below of the ASEAN Tourism Forum hosted for the first time in the Myanmar capital between January 22-29, 2015, will prove why. The ASEAN logo, the primary symbol […]

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2 Feb, 2015

Islamic museum founder honoured with Australian Award

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 02 February 2015 (12 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ ISLAMIC TOURISM CENTRE – GATEWAY TO MALAYSIA, THE MUSLIM-FRIENDLY DESTINATION The Islamic Tourism Centre […]

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