BBC News – Graffiti, demolition and angst in Shanghai

The art appeared to resonate with many members of the public, evoking a sense of sadness for something that’s been lost amid China’s decades-long construction boom.

Children appear frequently in the work, lovingly clutching small representations of their homes to their chests, or wearing them, like bags, on their backs.

The publicity, though, attracted dozens of curious visitors and amateur photographers to one of the demolition sites in Shanghai’s Jing’an district

via BBC News – Graffiti, demolition and angst in Shanghai.

Egyptian Courts Take on FGM, But Can They Uproot the Practice Altogether?


I wrote this piece for the Harvard Journal of Middle East Politics and policy, hope you enjoy it.


(Victim of FGM, 13-year-old Egyptian girl Suhair al-Bataa- Photo via AP)

In a landmark verdict handed down last Monday, an Egyptian doctor was convicted of the manslaughter of 13-year-old Suhair al-Bataa, who died during an illegal female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure. Dr. Raslan Fadl was initially acquitted in November 2014, triggering a wave of anger among activists and women’s rights advocates. The new verdict provides a glimmer of hope in the fight against the retrogressive practice, which originated in ancient Egypt. Nevertheless, the depth of the challenge should not be underestimated. FGM remains popular in Egypt, despite a 2008 ban on all its forms. Fadl’s conviction, though another step in the right direction, does not mean that the ugly practice will disappear anytime soon. More needs to be done to change mindsets…

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Hounded, Sikh farmers fleeing Gujarat – The Times of India

Targeted by land mafia, attacked by goons and booked by cops, Sikh farmers who had made the inhospitable terrain in Bhuj area of Gujarat cultivable, are now forced to flee the land they had made their home.

The recent attack on farmers on January 25 has only reinforced their fears and they have no plans to return anytime soon. Farmer Jagjit Singh was seriously injured in an attack allegedly by a group of local farmers in Loria village of Bhuj district. This was the second attack on Sikhs in Gujarat within a month. Some Sikh farmers have alleged that local agriculturists in connivance with politicians want to drive them out of Gujarat. This attack triggered the exit of a dozen Sikh farmers.

via Hounded, Sikh farmers fleeing Gujarat – The Times of India.

rotflmao – French Police Question Boy, 8, After Remarks on Paris Attacks –

Police officials in the southern French city of Nice questioned an 8-year-old boy who is believed to have made comments in school defending the gunmen who killed 17 people in terrorist attacks in and near Paris this month, a senior regional police official confirmed on Thursday.

The questioning of the boy, which occurred Wednesday, grabbed headlines across the country and spurred a debate on social media and elsewhere about whether France’s desire to combat terrorism was tipping over into hysteria. Since the attacks, France has moved to enforce tough new laws against the incitement of terrorism, fueling tensions between free speech and public order.

The boy was identified as a Muslim by the French National Observatory Against Islamophobia.

via French Police Question Boy, 8, After Remarks on Paris Attacks –

Happy Lunar New Year – Tet_ Avian flu rampages in Taiwan, hits China, India | CIDRAP

Taiwan yesterday reported more than 100 avian flu outbreaks of three different subtypes, affecting hundreds of thousands of poultry, while China and India reported fresh outbreaks as well.

In addition, Bulgaria reported finding the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus H5N1 in a wild bird, while Nigerian officials said H5N1 outbreaks have struck lately in 11 states around the country.

Scores of Taiwan outbreaks

In a report to the World Organization for animal Health (OIE), Taiwan officials said 108 waterfowl farms were struck by HPAI H5N8 outbreaks. The farms are in Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, and Pingtung counties and the cities of Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taichung. Officials said 52 of the farms also were affected by HPAI H5N2 viruses.

via Avian flu rampages in Taiwan, hits China, India | CIDRAP.

Silence is the only Truth

Zen Flash

Every person believes that they can spot their ego, not realizing that the person is the ego. The ego is only the sense that ‘I am a person’, which is created by believing thought.

When belief in thought is withdrawn, the oxygen supply to the person is cut off, but he still lives for a while, gasping for breath, panicking. In panic, he believes the most beautiful of thoughts: “I am God”, “Belief in thought is also God’s will”, etc. But he cannot rely on them, and soon even these pristine thoughts are dropped.

Then he knows. Then he knows everything that can come from this mouth is only false and there is no Truth that can be spoken.

Silence is the only Truth.

~ Ananta ~

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