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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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,” […]

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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 […]

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17 Aug, 2015

Orlando Airport To Open $250,000 Muslim Prayer Room

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 17 August 2015 (02 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 […]

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17 Aug, 2015

Now Everyone Can Buy: Thailand’s Best Brands-free SME “Mega-mall” in Pictures

Babgkok – The Thai tourism industry is striving to position Thailand as a value-for-money Quality Destination and boost shopping as a means of raising national incomes, promoting a more fair and balanced distribution of economic progress and creating jobs. However, one major opportunity to meet that objective does not get its fair share of promotion […]

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15 Aug, 2015

Airbnb Horror Story Points to Need for Precautions – The New York Times

Early in the evening of July 4, Micaela Giles’s mobile phone started sounding alerts, and a series of messages straight out of a horror movie began scrolling down her screen. Her 19-year-old son told her that his Airbnb host in Madrid had locked him in the fourth-floor apartment where he was supposed to be staying […]

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15 Aug, 2015

Indian rapper ‘overwhelmed’ by success of protest song against Unilever – The Guardian

A rapper whose protest song about corporate pollution in an idyllic hill town in southern India has dragged the issue into the spotlight says she is totally overwhelmed by its phenomenal success, which has prompted a personal response from the CEO of Unilever. Sofia Ashraf’s skit Kodaikanal Won’t – named after a tourist resort in […]

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14 Aug, 2015

Israel’s new face of Jewish extremism is a 20-year-old mother – The Independent

Aviya Morris is the fresh new face of Jewish extremism. A soft-spoken young mother who wants to see the Muslim walls tumble down and a new Israel rise. This is her dream. She admits that it could “lead to world war”. That would be the fault of Arabs and the international community, she says. Ms […]

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13 Aug, 2015

Why We’re Sick and Tired of Wellness | Alternet

By Kali Holloway / AlterNet August 11, 2015 In big-picture terms, wellness sounds like a pretty good idea right about now. Around the world, obesity rates are climbing (astoundingly, the planet’s “1.6 billion overweight and obese now outnumber the malnourished by nearly 2-to-1”). Noncommunicable illnesses such as heart attack and diabetes have supplanted starvation and […]

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13 Aug, 2015

U.S. Congress and Its Leaders Suffer Continued Low Level of Public Approval – Gallup Polls

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Now on August recess, members of Congress returning to their districts may receive a skeptical reception from constituents, as 14% of U.S. adults approve of the job Congress is doing, down slightly from 17% in July. These results come from a Gallup poll conducted Aug. 5-9. Congressional leaders can point to a […]

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13 Aug, 2015

Israeli arms exports under scrutiny for ‘helping to fuel conflict in South Sudan’ – The Independent

For years there have been persistent reports of Israel selling arms to regimes with records of egregious human rights abuses without the issue being discussed or questioned at home. But that is changing. Eitay Mack, a young lawyer, is trying to break through the wall of secrecy around Israeli weapons exports and is pressing for […]

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13 Aug, 2015

As Barcelona has found, it’s possible for a city to have too many tourists – The Independent

Can tourism be too much of a good thing? When all the undoubted benefits are outweighed by the sheer aggravation, when numbers and money, the measurable things, are eclipsed by less quantifiable downsides, such as congestion, jobs that remain low-paid and insecure, and a deterioration in life quality for permanent residents? One European city thinks […]

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12 Aug, 2015

Saudi tourists advised to exercise caution, set good example | Arab News

RIYADH: Saudi nationals on vacation during summer or intending to spend a few days away from home, either in other Gulf countries or European nations have been advised to exercise caution and know the culture and basic rules of those countries. Local tourism industry player Bandar bin Khalid Al-Hokair said Saudi nationals should preserve the […]

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12 Aug, 2015

Australia needs to figure out its own place in Asia | The Jakarta Post

Australia is struggling with existential uncertainty. Is it part of Asia? Does it want to become part of Asia? Its economic future and hence prosperity, is increasingly tied to Asia. China is by far its largest trading partner and Australia is also trading more and more with its Asian neighbors. But that is probably as […]

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11 Aug, 2015

Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles – Sydney Morning Herald

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade. The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $US62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle […]

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11 Aug, 2015

Rogue drones a growing nuisance across the U.S. – The Washington Post

By Craig Whitlock Rogue drone operators are rapidly becoming a national nuisance, invading sensitive airspace and private property — with the regulators of the nation’s skies largely powerless to stop them. In recent days, drones have smuggled drugs into an Ohio prison, smashed against a Cincinnati skyscraper, impeded efforts to fight wildfires in California and […]

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11 Aug, 2015

Why Mysore (Mysuru) topping India’s clean city rating is no surprise | The Indian Express

The emergence of the heritage city of Mysuru as the cleanest city in the country in the pre-Swacch Bharat rankings released last week is testimony to the importance of imbibing a culture of cleanliness over decades and generations. The number one rank for Mysore among 476 evaluated cities in India comes as no great surprise […]

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11 Aug, 2015

Global Caucus of The People Travel & Tourism Loves to Hate

Manila — About 150 leading global NGO activists and social movement leaders will meet in Quezon City, the Philippines, between August 13-14 to discuss the downsides of Asia’s growth paradigm and chart strategies to help alternative perspectives get more traction in the mainstream development agenda. Under the theme “Whose New Asia?”, the International Conference on […]

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10 Aug, 2015

Lotfollah Mosque of Isfahan tops list of world’s most beautiful 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 10 August 2015 (25 Shawwal 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 2015 […]

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9 Aug, 2015

US teens start school too early, need more sleep: study

Most teenagers in the United States start the school day too early each morning, robbing them of the sleep they need to concentrate properly and remain healthy, according to a study published Thursday. Fewer than one in five middle and high schools in the United States start at 8:30 am or later, as recommended, according […]

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9 Aug, 2015

UK airport VAT scam: Retailers pocketing millions from duty-free discounts – The Independent

Some of Britain’s top retailers are facing calls to be more honest with airport customers as they pocket millions of pounds in VAT discounts on duty free items without passing on the savings. Many stores in airports across the UK now demand that passengers present their boarding cards at checkouts before paying for any goods. […]

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7 Aug, 2015

Elderly make up 80% of Japanese fraud victims, police say

Tokyo, Kyodo, Aug 6, 2015 – Elderly people accounted for nearly 80 percent of all victims of confirmed fraud cases in the first half of 2015, according to provisional data released by the National Police Agency. “Special fraud” cases, including swindling the elderly by impersonating their children over the phone and asking for urgent money […]

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7 Aug, 2015

Averting déjà vu: Why the travel & tourism industry should back Obama on the Iran nuclear deal

Bangkok – President Barack Obama’s 5 August 2015 speech on the Iran nuclear agreement was replete with warnings about heeding the same bunch of warmongers trying to use the same bunch of discredited arguments in the same old table-thumping way as they did in whipping up the U.S. political establishment to sanction the 2003 attack […]

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6 Aug, 2015

Germanwings crash probe report highlights impact of stress, alcohol and drugs on those at the controls

Bangkok — Two investigation reports into the March 24 crash of Germanwings flight have underscored the role of stress, alcohol and drugs (S.A.D.) on the mental condition of pilots. By extension, they have raised serious concerns about the influence of S.A.D. on the mental condition of those at the wheel of all modes of transport, […]

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4 Aug, 2015

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao Launches Exclusive ‘Meditation on the Mekong’ Experience

Hong Kong, 3rd August 2015 – Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, Laos has launched an exclusive ‘Meditation on the Mekong’ experience, immersing guests in an integral cornerstone of Buddhism during an intimate tour of the country’s spiritual capital. Arranged in partnership with local meditation company Your Mind Retreat, this one-of-a-kind tour takes […]

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4 Aug, 2015

A Pakistani centenarian’s “alternative” way of filling up Asia’s potholes and boosting road safety

Karachi — Millions of potholes pockmark the streets, roads and alleys of Asia. They exact an immense collective toll in the form of motorcycle accidents, damage to vehicles and traffic casualties. Filling them up is usually a public sector responsibility. That means waiting for the local Roads or Transport departments to complete the bureaucratic process […]

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3 Aug, 2015

India to Fund Translation of Ancient Arabic Manuscripts Showing Islamic Health & Wellness Advances

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 03 August 2015 (17 Shawwaal 1436). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA MALAYSIA TO CELEBRATE A YEAR OF GREAT FESTIVALS […]

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2 Aug, 2015

Average of 22 dowry deaths per day in India over last three years: Govt – The Times of India

NEW DELHI: A total of 24,771 dowry deaths have been reported in the country in past three years with maximum of them occurring in Uttar Pradesh with 7,048 deaths. In a written reply in Lok Sabha, women and child development ministry Maneka Gandhi said that 8,233, 8,083, and 8,455 cases were registered under section 304B […]

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31 Jul, 2015

Professional women should give birth at younger age: Chinese physician advises

By Zhang Qiaoli

By Zhang Qiaoli Beijing, (chinadaily.com.cn) 2015-07-28 – Women should strive to balance quality of work and life, and have children at a young age. As a doctor I see much suffering because of this imbalance. Xiao Ying, 36, works for a large law firm. Her job means lots of travel, a heavy caseload and a […]

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31 Jul, 2015

China to launch national survey of senior citizens

Beijing, (People’s Daily Online) July 29, 2015 – China will launch a massive sample survey of senior citizens on August 1. This survey, the fourth China has made on the living situation of senior people in rural and urban areas, will last about one month with the effort of 40,000 census-takers, according to a press […]

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31 Jul, 2015

Jewish extremist stabs six people at Gay Pride march in Jerusalem

Jerusalem: An Orthodox Jewish assailant stabbed and injured six participants of an annual Gay Pride march in Jerusalem on Thursday. It was the worst attack in years on the event in Jerusalem, a city where the religious population is more prominent than in other parts of Israel. “I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in […]

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31 Jul, 2015

General Motors to pull out of Gujarat to stem mounting losses | The Indian Express

In a bid to stem mounting losses, US-based auto major General Motors on Wednesday said it will restructure operations at its Indian subsidiary by ceasing operations at its facility in Halol, Gujarat and instead invest in consolidating operations at its other unit in Talegaon, Maharashtra. GM is the first major auto maker in the last […]

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29 Jul, 2015

India: All upcoming Metro stations to have toilets

NEW DELHI, July 23 (NNN-Bernama) — All upcoming metro stations including 32 of them under the Delhi Metro will have toilets, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha, was informed on Thursday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. Direction has been issued to all metro companies implementing metro projects under 50:50 joint […]

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29 Jul, 2015

Australian Opposition Party signals intent to recognise Palestine statehood

Melbourne (IINA) 28 July 2015 – The Australian Labor Party (ALP), currently in opposition, agreed Sunday on a resolution to consider recognizing a Palestinian statehood if peace talks remain deadlocked. The resolution, put forward on Monday at the ALP’s three-day national conference held in Melbourne, stipulated that “If … there is no progress in the next round […]

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29 Jul, 2015

Saudi women on the move after being cleared to travel without male escorts – Arab News

ABHA: Several Saudi businesswomen started traveling with a group of friends after recent regulations which allow women to travel without their mahram. These women said they find great fun to travel as a group with their friends and their children, where they can achieve their goals of travel. Travel and tourism offices said many Saudi […]

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