Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

Author Archive

12 Oct, 2015

Facebook paid only £4,327 in UK tax last year, less than the average worker – The Independent

Facebook’s UK operations paid only £4,327 in taxes last year, less than the average worker. The small bill was despite the company being able to pay its 362 UK-based employees an average of £210,000 in pay and bonuses. It gave its London staff Facebook shares worth £35.4 million, according to the report, pushing its losses […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

Inglis, Florida: home to the 1,000th US mass shooting since Sandy Hook – The Guardian

Just before sundown on Thursday 1 October, an old man charged across the main street of the little town of Inglis, Florida. He was expecting trouble. Someone had recklessly fired a pistol in public, and Buzz Terhune intended to have words about it. The horror that unfolded in the next few minutes has become so […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

Ancient footwear exhibition to open at Egyptian Museum in Cairo

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 12 October 2015 (28 Dhul Ḥijjah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

20 Years since the Jewish terrorist assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – Haaretz Bookshelf

For a large segment of the population, Yitzhak Rabin was the man who was selling the country out to the Arabs. Most of his rivals among the Israeli right­wing respected Rabin the soldier, the statesman, while despising his peace policies. A tiny fringe of right-wing religious extremists, however, went further. At protest rallies, they portrayed […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

No, This Land And Country Is Not Ours Anymore: An Open Letter From An Indian Student – Countercurrents.org

I am Aslah, 21 years old, a post-graduate student in history. I have few things to tell this world. During our school days, we had history to study learn. World’s largest country Russia, smallest country Vatican, most populated country China – all these we had by hearted then. Also when asked about the largest democracy […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

Bisada Hindus fund Muslim wedding – The Times of India

BISADA: The two daughters of Hakeem, a Muslim villager in Bisada, will get married on Sunday morning, and some Hindus from the village are bearing the wedding expenses. The family of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched in the same village on September 28 over rumours that he had beef at home, had always maintained that […]

more…

12 Oct, 2015

Writers from Punjab, Gujarat return Sahitya Akademi awards – Hindustan Times

Three Punjabi writers and an author from Gujarat announced on Sunday they will return their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the government’s “onslaught on freedom of expression”. Playwrights Ajmer Aulakh and Atamjit and author Waryam Sandhu joined the dissenters in the literary fraternity who have either surrendered their coveted awards or quit the Akademi […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

I wear a burqa to avoid attracting attention: Indian film star | The Indian Express

Mallika Sherawat may have made stunning fashion statements during her many media appearances in India and abroad but guess what. The stunner dons a burqa if she has to travel alone. Revealing this secret was the actress herself. Said Mallika, “Usually when I travel I have my staff with me. But on occasions when I […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

VIDEO: Is Palestine the Exception to Free Speech Rights in the U.S.? – TRUTHDIG

University campuses are the front line of Palestinian human rights advocacy in the U.S., but a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal documents hundreds of cases in which students and scholars have been punished for expressing themselves. Watch the testimony of some of those who have dared to speak out, […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph returns her Sahitya Academy award | The Indian Express

Noted Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph on Saturday said she has decided to return her Kendra Sahitya Academy award in protest against the ‘terror-like’ situation prevailing in the country. Joseph had bagged the academy award in 2003 for her novel Aalahayude Penmakkal (Daughters of God, the father). Joseph said the prevailing situation in the country was […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Forget Hindu, Muslim – Let’s talk state responsibility for the Dadri lynching | The Indian Express

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sweet homily to the nation over the lynching of a Muslim in Dadri amounts to nothing more than preaching to the converted. That too reluctantly so, after 10 days of cajoling from innumerable quarters urging the country’s prime communicator to break his silence, and a day after President Pranab Mukherjee felt […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Indian Poet quits Sahitya Akademi posts over MM Kalburgi’s murder | The Indian Express

Eminent Indian poet and writer K Satchidanandan on Saturday resigned from all committees of the Sahitya Akademi, saying the literary body had “failed” in its duty to stand with writers and uphold freedom of expression. Satchidanandan was serving in the General Council, Executive Board and Financial Committee of the Akademi. “I am sorry to observe […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Shiv Sena demands cancellation of Kasuri’s book launch – The Hindu

After ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, Shiv Sena on Saturday asked management of a city-based convention centre here to call off former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch function. Citing the neighbouring country’s support to terrorism as the reason behind the opposition, the party warned that the function will be disrupted if not cancelled. […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

BJP’s leading anti-beef crusader owned a meat exporting company – The Hindu

Sangeet Singh Som, the fiery BJP MLA at the forefront of the frenzied anti-beef protests and an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, founded one of India’s leading halal meat export companies, according to documents available with The Hindu. The company, Al-Dua Food Processing Private Ltd, was founded by Mr. Som, along with Moinuddin Qureshi and […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Investigation uncovers coercive tactics Hindutva groups use to battle ‘love jihad’ – DAWN.COM

“Look, there is some truth in these cases of love jihad around here… There is someone or some organisation behind it. For instance, in the beginning, boys would roam around on motorcycles in front of schools or colleges or plus-two schools wearing a kalawa (a red thread around the wrist), using names like Sonu, Monu, […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Japan, South Korea, Thailand most popular Chinese Golden Week destinations

By Liu Jing

Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn), 2015-10-09 – The number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad has seen a fast-paced rise during the National Day holiday with surrounding countries including Japan, South Korea, and Thailand among the most popular destinations, according the National Tourism Administration (NTA). Data from the Nationwide Tourist Group Services Management System shows that outbound tourists (except […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

In India, beefed-up curbs, feeble resistance – The Hindu

by Anup Surendranath Invariably, there are times in a Constitution’s life when its very fundamentals are under threat, times when the technicality of laws made under the powers of that Constitution are the very weapons used to undermine its foundations. Rarely do foundational threats to Constitutions come as sudden events, they often build up as […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

WikiLeaks Reveals How the US Aggressively Pursued Regime Change in Syria, Igniting a Bloodbath

In 2010, WikiLeaks became a household name by releasing 251,287 classified State Department cables. Now, a new book collects in-depth analyses of what these cables tell us about the foreign policy of the United States, from authors including Truthout staff reporter Dahr Jamail and Truthout regular contributors Gareth Porter, Robert Naiman, Phyllis Bennis and Stephen […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Traditional Chinese Medicine gaining recognition and respect in the West

By Xu Jingxi In Guangzhou And Wang Xiaodong In Beijing

(China Daily) 2015-10-06 – Traditional Chinese medicine has won more recognition in Western countries in recent years, but the 5,000-year-old medical science still needs a modern interpretation to break into the mainstream Western market. According to the Beijing-based World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, more TCM clinics have opened in the West and more colleges […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Hindu group Shiv Sena forces cancellation of Pakistan singer’s concert in Mumbai – The Indian Express

The Shiv Sena Wednesday forced the cancellation of a concert by Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, who was scheduled to perform at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall Friday as a tribute to Jagjit Singh on his fourth death anniversary. This prompted Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and call Sena’s actions “unfortunate”. “My government is willing […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Inside the Indian village where a mob killed a man for eating beef – The Guardian

The minister has arrived. The motorcade fills the unpaved street. Policemen who were slumbering in the early autumn midday heat stir, straighten, then spring into action, clearing the way with their canes for this most important visitor. Mahesh Sharma, India’s minister of culture, is preceded by a small aide in a purple shirt and followed […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Rationalist thinkers under attack in India – Asia Times

By Sudha Ramachandran Rationalists in India are under fire from Hindu right wing organizations. A little over a month ago, noted litterateur and rationalist, Malleshappa M Kalburgi was shot dead at point-blank range at his house in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Kalburgi had several run-ins with Hindu groups over his remarks on idol […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Whatever created the impression that Narendra Modi was a moderate?

By Girish Shahane During an interview with LK Advani during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s first full term in power, Prannoy Roy asked him about growing extremism in the party, and how moderates like the Indian deputy prime minister planned to clamp down on it. For those such as myself who associated Advani primarily with his […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Fukuoka honors Asians for work to preserve and reinvent culture – Japan Times

More than a century and a half after Commodore Matthew Perry’s “Black Ships” forced open the country to Western trade, vestiges of the sakoku (closed country) mentality arguably still linger on in the Japanese psyche. Although kokusaika, or internationalization, has been a buzzword since the 1980s, few cities along the archipelago seem to be able […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Gallup Polls: U.S. Public Remains Wary of Federal Government’s Power

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2015, (Gallup media release)– Six in 10 Americans think the government has too much power, marking the third year in a row that at least 59% of the public has voiced this view. The 60% recorded in this survey ties the previous high from 2013 for the question, which Gallup has […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

The unmaking of India | The Indian Express

The RSS is allergic to democracy. M.S. Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue of the organisation, while delivering a speech at the RSS Resham Bagh headquarters in Nagpur in 1940, demanded that India be governed by “one flag, one leader and one ideology of Hindutva”. We need to know from Madhav, who is learning from whom. […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

To ‘protect’ Hindu girls, Muslims barred from Gujarat Garba event – Hindustan Times

A right-wing group on Sunday said it has issued a “diktat” barring entry of Muslims at Garba events during the upcoming Navratri festival at Mandvi town in Gujarat’s Kutch district to prevent “love jihad” incidents. “We have issued a diktat barring the entry of Muslims at Garba events in Mandvi,” said president of Hindu Yuva […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

White supremacists a bigger problem in U.S. than “Islamic extremists”

Tehran, Oct 5, IRNA – While there is a high tendency in the United States to portray Muslims as a threat for international peace, figures suggest that white supremacy is a bigger problem. “There’s an acceptance (in the US) now of the idea that the threat from jihadi terrorism in the United States has been […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Politics of beef: Modi’s vision scuttled by extremists from among his own followers | The Indian Express

Sartaj said he was part of the Indian Air Force family. He owed his allegiance to that family. The elders in that family would advise him what he should do next to ensure security and he would abide by their advice. He appealed for calm, understanding and communal harmony. He asked fellow-Indians to pray for […]

more…

11 Oct, 2015

Digital India Rising, Democratic India Dying

Everybody expected the 21st century to be characterised by communal harmony, mutual brotherhood and greater tolerance. Rajiv Gandhi envisioned an India without communalism, casteism, hatred and violence. As ill luck would have it, he did not live long enough to give practical shape to his vision. Successive governments belonging to varied political formations ruled this […]

more…

9 Oct, 2015

Hindu nationalist MPs attack Kashmir assembly member for serving beef at party – The Guardian

Politicians from India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party in Kashmir kicked and punched an independent member of the state assembly on Thursday for hosting a party where he served beef. Inside the Indian village where a mob killed a man for eating beef Read more Bharatiya Janata party members beat Rashid Ahmed, a Muslim, in the […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

Golden Week Chinese Travel Hits 750mln, Equal to Half the Population

By Chen Shen

Beijing (People’s Daily Online)  October 06, 2015 – Transportation statistics in China shows that during the “Golden Week” over 750 million Chinese people are expected to use either railway or highway to travel domestically. This figure accounts for half of the population in China. Chinese Ministry of Transport anticipated some 640 million people use the […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

Indian poet Ashok Vajpeyi also returns Sahitya Akademi award – The Hindu

A day after writer Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award against what she described “unmaking of India, poet Ashok Vajpeyi also handed back the prestigious literary honour to the government, criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking up against the recent spree of violence. Mr. Vajpeyi said that “it’s high time that writers […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

People being killed for not agreeing with “ruling ideology”, says Indian writer – The Hindu

Noted Indian writer Nayantara Sahgal has returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against what she called the “vanishing space” for diversity. In a telephonic interview, the niece of the former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru also said people were being “killed for not agreeing with the ruling ideology.” Excerpts: What made you take this […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

China: Old indexes do not present true image of economic growth

By Chen Jia

Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-26 – In response to analysts’ and media questions about the reliability of China’s economic data, a government spokesman said on Friday it is no longer appropriate to use only the old indexes to measure the country’s performance during its rapid transition. This is because, for the first time, the service […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

How No-Fly Lists Are Used to Punish Political Protesters | Alternet

It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got […]

more…

7 Oct, 2015

Violence as the new normal – The Hindu

In directing States to show “zero tolerance” to attempts to “weaken the secular fabric” of the country, the Union Home Ministry was voicing its concern at the widening social acceptance of communal violence as a normal part of everyday life. The lynching in Dadri of Mohammad Akhlaq for “eating beef” was an extreme case, but […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

Chinese Palace Museum cracks down on visitor misbehavior

By Sun Xiaochen

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-10-05 – Following a spate of uncivilized behavior related to the tourism market, the Palace Museum has blacklisted 2,500 visitors since June for misbehaving, part of an effort aimed at protecting ancient relics as well as restoring market order by eliminating illegal vendors and ticket scalpers. As the weeklong National Day holiday […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

Rationalist thinkers under attack in India | Asia Times

Rationalists in India are under fire from Hindu right wing organizations. A little over a month ago, noted litterateur and rationalist, Malleshappa M Kalburgi was shot dead at point-blank range at his house in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Kalburgi had several run-ins with Hindu groups over his remarks on idol worship.] Youth Congress […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

India witnessing a return to medieval Brahminical values – The Hindu

Ever since Mandal and Mandir in the early 1990s, conflicts arising from caste politics and from religious politics have been treated as separate types of problems, with distinct causes, logics and effects. This separation of “casteism” and “communalism” can be seen both in the specialist discourses of social science and in popular perception. So we […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

Holy cow, unholy violence – The Hindu

If you love cows and care for them, you have three choices: Choice A: Build goshalas or cow shelters where the animals can be taken care of. But this is an expensive proposition. There is heavy investment and no returns whatsoever, despite all the talk of the great medicinal value of cow urine and cow […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

India clamping down on critics of Modi, activist groups

NEW DELHI: It takes courage to accuse a powerful politician ─ a man who would go on to become India’s prime minister ─ of encouraging riots against a minority. Police officer Sanjiv Bhatt did just that. And he says he is paying the price for it. Bhatt was arrested months after he filed an affidavit […]

more…

6 Oct, 2015

How to be a whistleblower – Sydney Morning Herald

It takes a lot of guts to be able to stand up at your place of work and make a call that something’s not quite right. For most people, it’s a seriously career-limiting move. But not for Sylvain Mansotte​, CEO of Fraudsec, an app that lets staff report internal fraud anonymously. Sylvain’s is an example […]

more…

5 Oct, 2015

Sports Illustrated Dedicates “Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award” to Muhammad Ali

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 05 October 2015 (21 Dhul Ḥijjah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

5 Oct, 2015

BJP leader’s son held in Dadri lynching case – The Hindu

Five days after Mohammad Akhlaque Saifi was lynched over rumours about cow slaughter in this Uttar Pradesh village, Vishal, accused of inciting the mob, was arrested on Saturday. Vishal is the son of Sanjay Rana, a local BJP leader associated with the party for the past two decades. Mr. Rana is reportedly close to Union […]

more…

4 Oct, 2015

At Awards Ceremony, Thai Tourism SMEs Get Crash Course in Creative Marketing

Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand prefaced its biannual Tourism Awards ceremony on 27 September 2015 by inviting about 150 small and medium sized enterprises for a crash course on enhancing their marketing and branding skills. Owners, operators and senior management executives of the emerging generation of Thai tourism products and services nationwide attended […]

more…

4 Oct, 2015

Liberal Hindus, arise: Reclaim your faith from extremists – TOI Blogs

The brutal Dadri lynching, the unspeakably tragic, numbing, and horrifying death of the innocent Akhlaq and the grievous injury to his 22-year-old son Danish should make every Hindu bow his head in shame, to cry out loud, to scream in anguish and demand to know, what is happening to Hinduism? Where is the philosophy of […]

more…

28 Sep, 2015

New Muslim Travel Guide to Australia Launched

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 28 September 2015 (14 Dhul Ḥijjah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

28 Sep, 2015

New Global Agenda: Out – Seven P’s of Marketing; In – Five P’s of Sustainable Development

After years of hyping up the Seven P’s of marketing, the travel and & tourism now has an opportunity to jettison them in favour of the Five P’s of the Sustainable Development Goals, the newly adopted global agenda designed to balance the economic, social and environmental dimensions of human progress by the year 2030. The […]

more…

28 Sep, 2015

Done with North India’s Golden Triangle? Try the eye-popping wonders of South India, by Luxury Train

Bengaluru — Although North India’s famous Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden Triangle tour is arguably the country’s most popular tourism circuit, the South Indian state of Karnataka is equally blessed in terms of history, heritage, nature and spiritual spots. It may be home to India’s best-known I.T. city of Bangalore, but it is also home to a city […]

more…

26 Sep, 2015

Rabin in 1976 Interview: Settlements Are a Cancer – Ha’aretz

Former (Israeli) Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called the settlers “a cancer” and warned against Israel’s becoming an apartheid state in an interview recorded during his first term as prime minister in 1976. The recording was included in segments of a new film, titled “Rabin in His Own Words,” which were screened on Israeli TV on […]

more…

25 Sep, 2015

Higher alcohol taxes can help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals – IOGT Report

Arusha, Tanzania, September 24, 2015 (IOGT International media release) – A new report by the Swedish-based global advocacy group IOGT International provides an overview of independent scientific evidence showing that alcohol taxation is a powerful tool for both improving public health as well as for boosting sustainable development. This week, global leaders will gather at […]

more…

25 Sep, 2015

Modi embraces modernity everywhere but India – Victor Mallet, Financial Times

Narendra Modi is India’s first tech-savvy, social media-enabled Prime Minister. He has 15 million followers on Twitter. He won last year’s election with the help of 10-feet holograms that allowed him to make live addresses to more than 100 election rallies simultaneously in the world’s largest democracy. This week, he will be the first Indian […]

more…

25 Sep, 2015

Modi’s new India emerges – Al Jazeera English

Behind the extraordinary transformation of India’s landscape promised, but not yet delivered, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a parallel development is taking place. It is an alteration in what might be called “the common-sense of the republic”, and if not exactly presided over by Modi, it has been greatly enabled by him. The relationship is […]

more…

24 Sep, 2015

India’s Freedom of Speech Under Siege – TOI Blogs

Seven months after CPI leader and social activist Govind Pansare was gunned down in Kolhapur Samir Gaekwad, a member of a fundamentalist organisation called Sanatan Sanstha, has been arrested in connection with the crime. According to the police, senior journalist Nikhil Wagle is also on the Sanstha’s hit list. This is a sobering reminder, if […]

more…

23 Sep, 2015

Indigenous and local groups from 19 countries recognized with UN Equator Prize

New York, 21 Sep 2015 (UNDP media release) – Leaders from the United Nations joined Academy Award-nominated actor and activist Alec Baldwin to announce the 21 winning initiatives of this year’s Equator Prize, an international award that recognizes outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty, protect nature and strengthen resilience in the face of climate change. […]

more…

22 Sep, 2015

Meet the first international Muslim hijabi model | MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN – Daily News Egypt) A week ago, the world woke up to an exceptional image, a beautiful young lady elegantly posing with her veil. The image in itself was not shocking; yet, the fact that it was included in the highly anticipated international H&M look-book almost stopped the world spinning. The international high-end fashion […]

more…

22 Sep, 2015

When Travel Impact Newswire Leads, ITB Berlin Follows

Messe Berlin, organiser of the ITB Berlin, on 21 Sept 2015 issued a press release announcing that its next annual event in March 2016 will include a session focussing on the importance of water for the global travel industry. Glad to see that the organisers of the world’s biggest travel trade show have finally awoken […]

more…

22 Sep, 2015

Indian IT companies among world’s worst paymasters

NEW DELHI, Sept 21, 2015: Indian IT companies are among the 10 worst paymasters in the world, says a survey — a mid-level IT manager draws an average salary of $41,213 while his Swiss counterpart gets over four times more. According to recruitment platform MyHiringClub.com’s Worldwide IT Salary 2015 survey, India was ranked 7th on […]

more…

21 Sep, 2015

Macau organizes Islamic Culture in Tourism Workshop

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 21 September 2015 (07 Dhul Ḥijjah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ EID UL ADHA MUBARAK TO ALL MY READERS A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM […]

more…

21 Sep, 2015

Next on PATA’s reform agenda: Revamping the roster of unproductive meetings

Bengaluru — As the PATA turnaround gains steam, charting the future of its legacy committees, colloquiums and councils is emerging as a priority item on the reform agenda. The long overdue need for this became obvious during the many meetings accompanying the Bengaluru PATA Travel Mart. They were hugely disparate in terms of attendance, relevance […]

more…

20 Sep, 2015

Night out for girls not in our culture, says Indian culture minister – The Times of India

NEW DELHI: After his remark on APJ Abdul Kalam that the late former President “was a nationalist despite being a Muslim’ created a row, Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma has stoked another controversy by saying that girls wanting a night out is not acceptable in India. “Girls wanting a night out may be all right […]

more…

20 Sep, 2015

Benefits system for China’s disabled to start in 2016

by He Na

Beijing,  (China Daily) 2015-09-19 — A new benefits system for disabled people living in poverty and those who are severely disabled and need long-term nursing will begin nationwide on Jan 1, 2016, according to a news briefing at the State Council Information Office on Friday. “The new system was approved by the State Council Executive […]

more…

20 Sep, 2015

FTII Strike 100th Day: A Battleground To Preserve The Secular Polity Of India

Today is the 100th day of the heroic strike of the Film and Television institute of India (FTII), Pune students. For the last nine days three students are on hunger strike. Their hunger strike is now on for 200 hours. Lives are at stake, yet the Government of India doesn’t move. The strike started by […]

more…

18 Sep, 2015

PressTV – ‘US banks rigged $12.8 trillion market’

Dealers including top American banks which control the $12.8 trillion US Treasury market rigged bond auctions for years, Bloomberg reports. Citing a federal antitrust lawsuit, the financial data and news provider says the likes of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley coordinated to manipulate Treasury auctions. The 115-page lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan federal […]

more…

18 Sep, 2015

US tourist accuses 2 men of raping her in Dharamsala – Hindustan Times

An American tourist has accused two men of raping her in the popular Himalayan hill station of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, the latest in a string of sex attacks involving foreigners. The 46-year-old woman filed a complaint at the women’s police station in Dharamsala on Thursday in which she said she was assaulted by two […]

more…

17 Sep, 2015

Bereaved brother’s appeal to leaders: “Australia is an alcoholic, needs to rethink the way it drinks”

It was the speech that moved a room of Sydney’s most powerful people to tears. Stuart Kelly, the brother of 18-year-old “one punch” victim Thomas Kelly, has revealed the moment he and his family learned their beloved Tom was on life support at St Vincent’s Hospital following an attack by an intoxicated stranger in Kings […]

more…

16 Sep, 2015

Building the Business: PATA Travel Mart 2015 finds its SME niche

Bengaluru, Karnataka — The 38th PATA Travel Mart, held here between Sept 6-8, was a small but largely successful show that has strengthened the possibility of positioning it as the Asia-Pacific’s leading event for niche-market, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. With a record 78 first-timers amongst the 200 hosted buyers, and not a single multinational brand-name […]

more…

14 Sep, 2015

Australian designers launch Islamic fashion collections in Indonesia

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 14 September 2015 (30 Dhul Qa’dah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

12 Sep, 2015

FBI says ‘Australian IS jihadist’ is actually a Jewish American troll named Joshua Ryne Goldberg

A young Jewish American man has been charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media. Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living at his parents’ house in US state of Florida, is accused of posing online […]

more…

12 Sep, 2015

Modi blows his cover – and the loss is India’s | Asia Times

India recently witnessed a strange spectacle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues subjecting themselves to an intense scrutiny by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the Hindu nationalist organization, regarding their ‘performance’ in office. Modi himself used to be an activist of the RSS. But an elaborate charade was kept so far […]

more…

11 Sep, 2015

The Israeli lobby in the U.S. has become the “noonday clown” – Mondoweiss

The rightwing Israel lobby has just doused itself in gas and set itself afire, with the assistance of Benjamin Netanyahu. The lobby will never be the same. They are no longer the nightflower, they’re the noonday clown. New York Magazine has a huge article about Sheldon Adelson trying to buy the election — New York […]

more…

8 Sep, 2015

Hate crimes against Muslims in London ‘up by 70%’, police figures show – The Independent

London’s Muslims have faced a 70% increase in Islamophobic attacks over the past year, according to figures from the Metropolitan Police. The Met’s statistics record a total of 816 Islamophobic hate crimes in the 12 months to July 2015, up from 478 over the same period in 2013-14. Racist and religious hate crimes in London […]

more…

7 Sep, 2015

Global Ad Campaign to Highlight Malaysia’s Stunning Mosques

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 07 September 2015 (23 Dhul Qa’dah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

5 Sep, 2015

Swiss resort launches special train for Chinese tourists due to ‘cultural differences’ – The Independent

A special train for Chinese tourists has been launched at a mountain resort in Switzerland, following tensions over cultural differences. Swiss newspaper Blick reports that some tourists visiting Mount Rigi in the Swiss Alps have become incensed with Chinese tourists crowding the corridors while taking pictures from the train. There are also reports of rudeness […]

more…

5 Sep, 2015

Secondary destinations worldwide invited to apply for US$1 million PATA-TripAdvisor marketing competition

Bengaluru — Secondary and emerging cities and destinations worldwide are being invited to apply for a unique competition designed to demonstrate a link between their marketing campaigns and the economic and ecological advancement of their communities. The competition carries awards valued at US$1 million in additional marketing exposure. Initiated by the Pacific Asia Travel Association […]

more…

5 Sep, 2015

Why the Israeli lobby is trying to derail the Iran nuclear deal

By Maryam Azish

Tehran, Aug 29, IRNA – Iran and the Sextet of world powers clinched an agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14 to solve a controversy over Iran’s nuclear program after 12 years of negotiations. The implementation of JCPOA needs a strong political determination on the part of both sides. […]

more…

4 Sep, 2015

Pope Francis calls on wealthy, powerful to protect Earth

Vatican City, AFP, September 3, 2015 – Pope Francis has called on the rich and powerful to take care of Earth as he launched a day of global prayer ahead of key meetings on climate change. The pontiff, speaking at St. Peter’s Basilica, asked God to enlighten “those who hold power and money so that […]

more…

2 Sep, 2015

BTC: Lufthansa Group’s Surcharge Could Cost The Airline Industry Billions of Euros

By Kevin Mitchell

September 1, 2015 – Years ago there was a breed of airline executives who always spoke passionately about the need for industry-mindedness in decisions that affect other participants in the travel value chain, including the end customer. They were equally passionate about the value of travel agents, especially with respect to supporting complex corporate travel […]

more…

1 Sep, 2015

The problem with Modi’s ‘Team India’ – The Hindu

In his speech, while introducing the concept of ‘Team India’, Mr. Modi made two points: one, that the country is “moving ahead” only because of ‘Team India’; two, that ‘Team India’ comprises our entire population of 125 crore people. The two statements are patently untrue and mutually contradictory. Not every Indian is equally involved in […]

more…

31 Aug, 2015

China’s important contribution to WWII victory little known to Europeans: German ex-chancellor

by Xinhua writers He Mengshu, Ban Wei

BERLIN, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — China made a very important contribution to the victory in the World War II (WWII), which was little known to Europeans, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said. Schroeder is among dozens of foreign statesmen invited to witness the military parade of China to celebrate the WWII victory. The event […]

more…

31 Aug, 2015

Guidebook planned in Japan to accommodate needs of Muslim tourists

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 31 August 2015 (16 Dhul Qa’dah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

more…

29 Aug, 2015

First “outsider” Governor at TAT cements era of new leadership for Thai tourism

Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand entered a new era with the appointment of a 49-year-old, Japanese-trained economist as its first “outsider” Governor. The appointment of Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn brings to an end a tradition of appointing people from within that has been the unwritten rule ever since the TAT was founded in 1960. […]

more…

28 Aug, 2015

PATA Travel Mart Preview: As Confidence Returns, Bottom-line Improves

Bangkok – The Pacific Asia Travel Association is on track to convert a US$700,000 deficit in 2014 into a US$134,000 surplus this financial year, thanks to stronger membership growth, a surge in profitable events and sell-out PATA Travel Mart, PATA CEO Mario Hardy said last week. In a PTM preview interview, Mr. Hardy said the […]

more…

28 Aug, 2015

China-Thailand Railway project gets green light

By Kong Defang

Bangkok, August 27, 2015, People’s Daily Online) – After many ups and downs, China has finally won the railway cooperation project with Thailand.  Zhu Xijun, general manager of the Southeast Asia Company of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), said on Aug. 26 that after six rounds of negotiation, both sides plans to sign the inter-governmental […]

more…

28 Aug, 2015

India’s population growth slowing for all; on sex ratio, Muslims better than Hindus | The Indian Express

The fertility rate is falling faster in Muslims than in Hindus. Data from the last three National Family Health Surveys (NHFS) show that the gap between Muslim and Hindu fertility rates is narrowing — the difference came down from 1.1 in NFHS 1 (1992-93) to 0.4 in NFHS 3 (2005-06). But the difference in fertility […]

more…

26 Aug, 2015

Is U.S. Taxpayer Money Subsidizing Jewish Terrorism Against Arabs? – Haaretz

JTA – Taxpayer dollars in the United States and Israel are subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs, a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office alleges. The accusations follow a recent expose by Israel’s Channel 10 about the work of the 13-year-old Israeli nonprofit Honenu, which provides financial support to Jews convicted of […]

more…

24 Aug, 2015

China’s business travel spending projected to surge by 15.6% this year

By Wang Wen

Beijing, (China Daily) 2015-08-21 — Business travel spending in China is expected to grow by around 15.6 percent this year to about 126 billion yuan ($19.7 billion), making it the slowest growth in the last three years, said a new report. According to the 2015 Chinese business travel management report from iResearch Consulting Group, a […]

more…

24 Aug, 2015

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare releases snapshot of Aussie lives

Is life getting better in Australia? Cabinet leaks and fake Twitter accounts aside, isn’t that what it’s all really about? As our politicians huffed and puffed about gay marriage and fear-mongered over Chinese workers, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released its biennial (every two years) snapshot of the nation’s welfare this week. Its […]

more…

23 Aug, 2015

Uzbekistan hosts Melodies of the East Music Festival

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 24 August 2015 (09 Dhul Qa’dah 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA CELEBRATES A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS 2015 […]

more…

21 Aug, 2015

In Pictures: Multi-faith ceremony to mourn Bangkok bomb victims, pray for safety & security

Bangkok – A multi-faith ceremony comprising of representatives of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism was held at 0700 hrs on Aug 21 to mourn the victims of the 17 Aug bomb blast which killed 21 innocent civilians and injured dozens more, most of them tourists. The ceremonies began at the Erawan shrine with prayers […]

more…

20 Aug, 2015

Tobacco company wants schools survey for insights into children and teens

Sydney – A global tobacco giant is using freedom of information laws to obtain data from surveys by thousands of Victorian school children and teenagers that reveal their attitudes to smoking and alcohol. Public health advocates believe “Big Tobacco” may use the data to hone their marketing of cigarettes to teenagers, as well as to […]

more…

20 Aug, 2015

Malayalam gets global push, new status in Germany – The Times of India

Malayalam is set to get its first big global push. In October, the University of Tubingen in Germany will be setting up a chair dedicated to the teaching of and research in Malayalam. It is being named after Hermann Gundert, a missionary scholar who lived and worked in Tellichery in the 19th century and did […]

more…

20 Aug, 2015

It’s Time to Admit It. Israeli Policy Is What It Is: Apartheid — Bradley Burston, Ha’aretz

By Bradley Burston Aug 17, 2015 What I’m about to write will not come easily for me. I used to be one of those people who took issue with the label of apartheid as applied to Israel. I was one of those people who could be counted on to argue that, while the country’s settlement […]

more…

20 Aug, 2015

Short commutes better than sex, Londoners say — The Independent

It turns out having a short commute is more important to Londoners than pretty much everything, including sex or their earnings. According to a survey of over 10,000 Londoners by Time Out, one of the largest factors that related to improved wellbeing was a short commute. Wellbeing was on average 8.3 per cent higher among […]

more…

19 Aug, 2015

In Pictures: Less than 48 hours after blast, reopened Erawan Shrine is the new Bangkok tourist hot-spot

Bangkok — Less than 48 hours after the Aug 17 bomb blast at the Erawan shrine, one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist spots has reopened and become an even bigger tourist attraction. Hundreds of tourists are converging at the shrine as well as the elevated walkway overlooking it to pray, make their offerings and just […]

more…

19 Aug, 2015

South Korea to lure tourists with tax breaks on breast augmentation

SEOUL, BLOOMBERG, AUG 18, 2015 – South Korea is taking duty-free shopping to a whole new level, with plans to exclude face lifts, breast enlargements and liposuction from value-added tax for tourists. Desperate to boost tourism after an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus hurt the economy, the country will give tourists […]

more…

19 Aug, 2015

TAT: No Cutbacks in Global Marketing Campaigns

Bangkok – Adopting a strong lead-from-the-front policy position, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is to maintain all its global marketing and promotion campaigns as normal, the TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications Mr. Sugree Sithivanich has confirmed. The decision to stay the course, one of the key elements of Thailand’s crisis-management plan, is designed to […]

more…

18 Aug, 2015

Paris deluxe hotels counting the cost of the Airbnb revolution – The Independent

Well-to-do holidaymakers are streaming out of Paris’s grandest suites and in to luxury flats: or so say France’s oldest and most prestigious hoteliers. They have declared war on Airbnb for taking their customers in the world’s most visited city and say the flat-sharing site is not playing by the same rules. “It’s an unfair competition,” […]

more…

18 Aug, 2015

Thai tourism industry again in crisis-management mode following Bangkok bomb attack

Bangkok – The Thai tourism industry was again in crisis mode on August 18 in the wake of a bomb blast at a downtown spiritual shrine popular with tourists. Heavy-duty meetings were under way nationwide between the public and private sectors on how to handle the aftermath of the blast which security authorities have publicly […]

more…