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Saturday, March 25, 2017

They Adopted Refugee Families for 12 Months. Then Came ‘Month 13"

TORONTO — One year after Canada embraced Syrian refugees like no other country, a reckoning was underway.
Ordinary Canadians had essentially adopted thousands of Syrian families, donating a year of their time and money to guide them into new lives just as many other countries shunned them. Some citizens already considered the project a humanitarian triumph; others believed the Syrians would end up isolated and adrift, stuck on welfare or worse. As 2016 turned to 2017 and the yearlong commitments began to expire, the question of how the newcomers would fare acquired a national nickname: Month 13, when the Syrians would try to stand on their own.
On a frozen January afternoon, Liz Stark, a no-nonsense retired teacher, bustled into a modest apartment on the east side of this city, unusually anxious. She and her friends had poured themselves into resettling Mouhamad and Wissam al-Hajj, a former farmer and his wife, and their four children, becoming so close that they referred to one another as substitute grandparents, parents and children.
But the improvised family had a deadline. In two weeks, the sponsorship agreement would end. The Canadians would stop paying for rent and other basics. They would no longer manage the newcomers’ bank account and budget. Ms. Stark was adding Mr. Hajj’s name to the apartment lease, the first step in removing her own.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Friday, March 24, 2017

GOP source: Ryan telling Trump they don't have votes on health care

Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan met Friday with President Donald Trump to tell him Republicans don't have the votes to pass the GOP health care bill.
A key portion of the Trump-Ryan conversation was over the ownership of the health care bill and whether the President will take either full or partial responsibility over a decision to pull the bill, two people familiar with health care talks say.
Ryan showed Trump the numbers, and asked what the President wants the speaker to do.
The decision is largely in the hands of the White House, the sources say, and the speaker wants to make it "the President's call".
Efforts on Capitol Hill to sway members are ongoing, but things aren't heading in the right direction.
"Not good. Not good at all," the source said.
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

London attack: Khalid Masood named as perpetrator

London (CNN)Police investigating the deadliest terror attack to hit the UK in 12 years named the perpetrator Thursday as a 52-year-old British man, Khalid Masood.
As the inquiry into the atrocity gathered pace, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed the attacker was once linked to violent extremism. He was thought to have been inspired by Islamist ideology, she said.
 

London attacks: Why financial markets shrugged off Westminster terror incident

Major terror attacks that have rocked the world in recent decades have had variable degrees of impact on financial markets.
After the attacks on the twin towers in September 2001, Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted and major stock markets shut for four trading days— the first time since the Great Depression.
Considering the sheer scale of the damage, the impact was not surprising.

London terror attack suspect was British-born and previously investigated by MI5 over extremism, May confirms

Prime Minister gives defiant message to packed House of Commons: 'We are not afraid'

CNN

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UK Parliament terror alert: One woman dead and police officer stabbed

London (CNN)Three people died after an attacker rammed a car into crowds of people in what authorities were treating as a terror attack outside the UK parliament in London, police said.
A police officer was one of those killed.
One woman was pulled alive from the River Thames amid chaos in the area, the heart of political life in Britain. The assailant also died.
 

Parliament shooting: Woman dies in Westminster attack

A woman has died on Westminster Bridge in central London in what police are treating as a terrorist incident.
A police officer was also stabbed in the nearby Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was shot dead by police.
The attacker struck several pedestrians as he drove a car across the bridge, before crashing it into railings.
A doctor at St Thomas' Hospital said a number of other people were hurt - some with "catastrophic" injuries.
A Downing Street source said Prime Minister Theresa May was safe.
Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident.
MPs said they had heard three or four gunshots and staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices.
Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police".

Islamic State 2.0: As the caliphate crumbles, ISIS evolves

(CNN) ISIS is on the back foot.
Nearly three years since the group's elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is reeling from losses across its so-called "caliphate".
It is fast losing its grip on Mosul, its biggest hub in Iraq, and its de-facto capital in Syria -- Raqqa -- is all but surrounded.
But it's not just territory that the militant group is losing.
Over the last six months, ISIS has seen its finances slashed, media operations crippled and several high-ranking leaders killed or captured.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

U.S. and U.K. ban laptops and other devices on flights from Middle East

The U.S. and U.K. on Tuesday banned people flying from much of the Middle East and North Africa from carrying laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices in the airplane cabin because of concerns about terrorism.

CNN

Roger Stone, the ‘Trickster’ on Trump’s Side, Is Under F.B.I. Scrutiny

In President Trump’s oft-changing world order, Roger J. Stone Jr., the onetime political consultant and full-time provocateur, has been one of the few constants — a loyalist and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” who nurtured the dream of a presidential run by the developer-turned-television-star for 30 years.

But two months into the Trump presidency, Mr. Stone, known for his pinstripe suits, the Nixon tattoo spanning his shoulder blades, and decades of outlandish statements, is under investigation for what would be his dirtiest trick — colluding with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and put his friend in the White House.
At a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, Democrats pressed James B. Comey, director of the F.B.I., for information on Mr. Stone. Asked by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, a Democrat, if he was familiar with Mr. Stone, Mr. Comey replied tersely, “Generally, yes,” before saying he could not discuss any specific person.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin in 2018

In 1912, a trip on board the Titanic was the ultimate in luxury travel.
More than a century later, it still is.
Deep-pocketed tourists will once again get the chance to explore the Titanic wreckage when London-based travel company Blue Marble Private begins dives to the site in May 2018.
Interest in the 20th century's most famous maritime disaster has remained high since Robert Ballard and his team discovered the remains of RMS Titanic almost 32 years ago.
However, this could well be one of the last opportunities to visit.
A 2016 study claimed that a recently discovered "extremophile bacteria" could eat away what's left of the famous shipwreck inside 15 or 20 years. 
 

Brexit: EU will take UK to International Court if it refuses to pay £50bn divorce bill, 'leaked document' says

The EU will take Britain to the International Court of Justice if it tries to walk away without paying an estimated £50bn ‘divorce bill’, a reported leak of its negotiating strategy suggests.

The draft plan – obtained by Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant – threatens a long legal battle at The Hague to grab back what the EU regards as the UK’s liabilities for its 43-year membership.

“In that case it is: see you in The Hague!” it quotes an EU official – in response to Theresa May’s threat to leave with “no deal” if the Brexit talks cut up rough.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wivenhoe Park

Wivenhoe Park is an oil painting on canvas completed by the English Romantic painter John Constable in 1816. It depicts Wivenhoe Park, an English landscape garden on the eastern edge of Colchester. It is now held by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Painting: John Constable (Wikipedia)

Friday, March 10, 2017

'Alien shot and killed at US Airforce base' - Mysterious case has NEVER been explained

By JON AUSTIN

UFOs were reported flying near the McGuire Air Force Base and nearby Fort Dix Base in Trenton, New Jersey, before state Police requested entry to investigate.
But the events which allegedly then unfolded go way beyond the traditional UFO sighting.
It is claimed a military police officer based at Fort Dix reported seeing "a low-flying object pass over his car" as he drove.  
After braking, he claimed to see in front of his car "a small being with a large head, black eyes, and a very slender body". 
He claims he panicked, got out of the car and pulled out a .45 automatic gun, before demanding the being lay on the floor.
But, after his request was ignored, he fired a number of shots. 
The wounded creature is alleged to have jumped a fence into the McGuire base before heading down a runway.
But, according to the case, it then collapsed dead.
Sgt Jeff Morse is listed as a witness who allowed police access to the scene.
But it is alleged that this was a pseudonym he was given to avoid his true identity getting out.
According to omni.media, police found: "The body, crouched in a fetal position, not breathing. 
"It was indeed dead. Shocked, but keeping with protocol, they began to rope off the area. 
"Suddenly, a group of military officers in blue berets arrived, distancing Morse from the area. 
"Morse watched on from afar as this new group clad in blue berets, whom he'd never seen before, seemed to take charge of the situation".
UFO researcher, Leonard Springfield later interviewed Morse about the bizarre alleged event.
Morse was quoted by Mr Springfield as saying he was "never close enough to observe details such as facial features, or its hands and feet".
However, he remembered "that, under the glare of truck headlights, the skin of the unclad, hairless body was wet, shiny, and snake-like".
"The entity was about four feet in height with a large head, slender torso, thin arms and legs, and overall, of grayish-brown coloration,” he added.
Mr Springfield said: "While on patrol, Morse watched the Blue Beret specialists spray the corpse from a portable tank and cover it with a white sheet. 
"Before the body was carefully placed onto a platform and a wooden frame built around it. 
"This was finally placed into a large square silver metal container, about 10 x 10 feet with indistinguishable blue markings”.
He said he was told that after this, a C-141 cargo aircraft landed on site, the being was loaded on board, and it has been suspected that it took off towards Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Conspiracy theorists claim this is the same base where alien bodies from the alleged 1947 Roswell UFO crash were secretly taken.
The claim is that Mr Morse and the police officer were separated and warned never to speak of the incident again or risk losing their jobs.
According to UFO researchers Mr Morse and other witnesses had to later go to Wright Patterson where they were interrogated.
Mr Morse said years later: “They told me about my duty to keep my mouth shut... I signed a form and it is supposed to bind me for life”.
He is said to have claimed he has been "reminded" never to speak of the event.
UFO site omni.media has revisited the case.
In an article it asked: "So did a panicked, trigger-happy MP actually shoot and kill an alien that night? 
"The truth may never be known. The lid on this and so many other apparent incidents of this ilk have been so tightly wound shut, that those involved fear the worst for their jobs, and perhaps even their lives. 
"But if this case of an alien termination is true, then we have more to fear than just military threats.

Daily Express

The super-secret division in charge of the Russia investigation


Washington (CNN)Somewhere in the halls of the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, a closely held number of FBI agents face the daunting task of determining how the Russian government sought to manipulate the US presidential election.
It's a case that's been the subject of endless speculation in Washington and beyond.
But to those tasked with getting to the bottom of the allegations and innuendo, it's just another "standard counterintelligence investigation," as one highly placed US official put it. Add to that the freshly assigned task of determining how a huge cache of what appear to be authentic CIA documents ended up on the WikiLeaks website.
Welcome to the super-secret world of the Counterintelligence Division, home to the spy catchers of the FBI.
It's a shadowy world that's closed off even to those typically in the know in bureau headquarters, a silo of secrecy in which agents are valued as much for their ability to keep quiet as they are for their investigative skills.
"They keep that (stuff) locked down tight," one veteran FBI agent said.
One source familiar with the Russia investigation resorted to a mathematical equation to divulge -- sort of -- the number of agents assigned to the matter.
It's five to 10 fewer than were assigned to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, said the source, who is not authorized to speak publicly and did so on the condition of anonymity. There were about two dozen dedicated to that case, so that makes 15 to 20 on the Russia investigation.
The resources assigned to the Clinton investigation were in response to agents having to sort through a vast amount of electronic data in a finite period of time before the then-looming presidential election, the source said. With the Russia probe, there is no such time pressure and efforts are more focused on interviews with human sources.
The smaller number of agents assigned to the case should not be interpreted as a lack of interest, the source said. Developments in the case are sent up the chain to the highest levels on a regular basis.
Known simply as CD within the bureau, the Counterintelligence Division is responsible for protecting the secrets of the US intelligence community, the advanced technologies of American institutions both public and private, keeping weapons of mass destruction away from US enemies and countering the activities of foreign spies, including cyberintrusions.
Their cases sometimes go on for years amid careful, tedious, behind-the-scenes work aimed at recruiting or neutralizing foreign spies.
One reason for the long, drawn-out investigations is that their cases rarely are as cut and dried as bank robbery or kidnapping.
In the Russia investigation, for instance, there's been abundant speculation about the significance of meetings between people connected to President Donald Trump and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
A meeting in itself means nothing, said Mike Rogers, a former FBI agent and Republican congressman from Michigan.
"First of all, they have to find a crime," Rogers, a CNN national security commentator, said of the agents.
"I have met with Kislyak twice, as a congressman," Rogers said. "That's not a crime".
Rarely do they result in criminal prosecutions. Rarer still are headlines.
There was an exception in 2015, when the Counterintelligence Division was publicly credited with the disruption of a Russian spy ring operating in New York City. It was lead by a man working in a Russian bank in Manhattan, according to federal authorities. The man, Evgeny Buryakov, also happened to be an agent of Russia's SVR, their equivalent of the CIA. It was a spy-novel-worthy case involving electronic intercepts, surveillance and coded messages. Buryakov pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to two and half years in prison.
Ironically, the division's most enduring publicity came in the wake of the massive betrayal of one of its longtime agents: Robert Philip Hanssen.
Hanssen was arrested in 2001 and charged with selling secrets to the former Soviet Union and Russia over the course of two decades. He was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and diamonds in exchange for secrets that he often left at a "dead drop" location for his handlers to retrieve. He was arrested following what would be his final drop, pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence in prison. He is considered the most damaging spy in FBI history.
But following his arrest, then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh singled out Hanssen's colleagues in the Counterintelligence Division for confronting "the most traitorous actions imaginable".
"Their actions represent counterintelligence at its very best and under the most difficult and sensitive of circumstances," Freeh said. "Hanssen's colleagues and coworkers at the FBI conducted this investigation and did so quietly, securely and without hesitation. Much of what these men and women did remains undisclosed but their success and that of their CIA counterparts represents unparalleled expertise and dedication to both principle and mission".
CD is so secretive that even former agents are reluctant to speak publicly about their tenure there.
One former supervisor said agents need the seemingly disparate skill set of being good talkers who can recruit and maintain sources while also being able to keep their mouths shut -- about everything.
"Ninety-five percent of the cases are classified information or above," the source said.
"You have to be very disciplined about what you share with whom," he said. "My wife knew where I worked. She did not really know what I did".
He said counterintelligence work would not appeal to someone with the stereotypical macho cop persona or someone who wants to be the center of attention.
"It's more subtle. You're working in the shadows. You don't want to be noticed," the source said. "It's very different than kicking down doors or doing drug raids".
 
CNN

London man jailed for killing friend with single punch after shoe prank

Press Association

A City worker who fatally punched a friend after his shoe was thrown out of a taxi window has been jailed for three years.
Alexander Thomson broke down as details of the assault, described by the judge as “arising out of trivial, friendly horseplay”, were read out in court.
Members of 23-year-old victim Thomas Hulme’s family described how their lives have been “submerged in sadness and sorrow” since the incident in central London on 26 August last year.
The judge, Anthony Bate, said the blow, struck by Thomson as he leaned forward from his seated position behind Hulme in an Uber car after the victim had been dared to throw Thomson’s shoe out of the window, was an “isolated misuse of force whilst disinhibited by drink”.
The Old Bailey heard recruitment consultant Hulme, originally from Leeds, initially appeared to be fine and stepped out of the car to continue the argument with Thomson, but then collapsed on the pavement.
He died in hospital the following day having suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Sentencing Thomson, 33, from Clapham in south London, for manslaughter, the judge said the case differed from those “involving gratuitous unprovoked street violence”.
He said: “A talented and intelligent young man had a promising life snatched away from him in early adulthood after you lashed out at him in a moment of drunken hot temper.
“You must live with that responsibility”.
Thomson pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

The Guardian

Millennials and boomers don't have a gripe with each other, it's generation X they hate

By David Barnett

Back in 1991, Richard Linklater’s movie Slacker was released. It was a laconic, meandering, plotless film which couldn’t even be bothered to name its characters properly… in the credits they were called things like “Hit and Run Son” or “Walking to Coffee Shop”. Slacker took place over a single day in Austin, Texas, and the camera lazily passed in and out of the lives of twentysomethings dangling from loose ends in their lives. Witness this exchange:
Dairy Queen Photographer: “So, what? Do you fancy yourself as some sort of artist or what?”
Anti-Artist: “No, I'm an anti-artist”.
Dairy Queen Photographer: “Oooooh, one of those neo-poseur types that hangs out in coffee shops, and... Doesn't do much of anything. Yeah”.
Yeah. Last month I wrote about generation X, people like me born between the baby boomers and the millennials. I suggested that while those two age demographics were slugging it out about who had things worse, it was generation X who were now, in their forties and fifties, in a position to rise up and save the day. The piece got a lot of traction and is still being shared about. Some saw it as a manifesto, and I really do hope it ignites people into action. Just as many readers were outraged, blamed generation X for the lack of opportunities available to the millennials (those born, roughly around 1982 or later) and more than one person commented along the lines of “what have generation X ever done for us? They were just a bunch of slackers”.
For a long time, the terms generation X and slacker went hand in hand. As crystallised by Linklater’s movie, we were the young people who came of age in the late Eighties and Nineties who were aimless, feckless, drifting. The neo-poseur types who hung out in coffee shops and didn’t do much of anything. Yeah? No. Why did they call us slackers? Because we didn’t want what our parents wanted. We didn’t want the jobs-for-life, we didn’t want to work half a century in the same place with only a carriage clock and a “Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out” at the end of it. We didn’t want to “settle down” by the time we were 20, and wear the same style of clothes our parents did.

The Independent

Malaysia confirms man killed at airport is Kim Jong Nam



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN)Malaysian police have confirmed the North Korean citizen killed last month in Kuala Lumpur is Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters on Friday.
"We have fulfilled the requirement of the laws on his identification," Abu Bakar said. He would not elaborate on how police confirmed Kim's identity, citing the security and safety of "the witnesses".
 
CNN

Nigeria's President Buhari returns from medical leave in UK

By

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari arrived home Friday after nearly two months away on medical leave.
The President landed at the Kaduna Air Force base early Friday morning. His flight was diverted as the capital's airport is currently closed for repair work.
President Buhari flew to Abuja in a military jet and was received by the vice president Yemi Osinbajo, who has been acting president in his absence.
Buhari left the country on January 19 on what was supposed to be a 10-day holiday.
The break was then extended to allow him to complete medical tests, according to his aide Garba Shehu.
Buhari wrote to the Nigerian National Assembly formally handing power over to Osinbajo.
While he was away he spoke on the phone to US President Donald Trump discussing combating terrorism, trade relations and other issues, according to aides.
He was also visited by many of the country's leaders at his Abuja House residence in London as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
"Very pleased to welcome my friend the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Abuja House this afternoon," Buhari said via Facebook.
His absence came at a bad time for Nigeria which has been in the grip of a recession for most of the past year because of falling global oil prices.
There has been no statement or public address concerning the nature of his, as yet, undisclosed illness.
 
CNN

As Rebels Move Out of Colombia Drug Trade, Corporations Look to Move In


CORINTO, Colombia — For years, Blanca Riveros has had the same routine: After fixing breakfast and taking her son to school, she heads home to a large plastic trash bag filled with marijuana.
She trims the plants and gets them ready for Colombian drug traffickers. After school, her son helps cut more.
The business was long overseen by the country’s largest rebel group, which dominated this region, taxed its drugs and became internationally notorious for trafficking in billions of dollars in illicit substances. But when the government signed a peace deal with the fighters last year, the state swept in and reclaimed this remote mountain village, threatening to end the trade.
“How am I supposed to feed my family?” Ms. Riveros asked.
She now has an unlikely option: growing marijuana with the government’s blessing instead.

NYTGLOBAL

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Anastasia the Patrician

Saint Anastasia the Patrician (Anastasia Patricia; fl. 567) was a Byzantine courtier and Saint. She was the wife of a consul and a lady-in-waiting to the Byzantine empress Theodora. Justinian I, Theodora's husband, pursued her, arousing Theodora's jealousy. Anastasia tried to avoid any trouble and left for Egypt. She arrived at a place called Pempton, near Alexandria, where she founded a monastery which would later be named after her.
Following the death of Theodora in 548, Justianian attempted to get Anastasia to return to Constantinople, to no avail. Instead, Anastasia left for Scetis, looking for help from Abba Daniel, hegumen of the monastery at that time. In order to safeguard Anastasia, he put her in a monastery cell 18 miles from Scetis where she was allowed to dress as a monk and take up the life of a hermit; at a time when this was only permitted of men. He visited her every week and ensured that one of his disciples supplied her with water. Anastasia dwelt in seclusion for twenty-eight years.
In 567, aware of her approaching death, she wrote several words for Abba Daniel on a piece of broken pottery and placed it at the entrance to the cave. The disciple found an ostracon with the words "Bring the spades and come here". When Daniel heard this, he knew Anastasia was near death. He went to visit her with his disciple and to give her communion and hear her last words. Daniel revealed the full details of her story to his disciple after her death.

Her story comes to us in one recension of the Copto-Arabic Synaxarion and by a tale of Daniel of Scetis. Her feast day is 10 March in the Eastern Orthodox, Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches, and on 26 Tobi in the calendar of the Coptic Church. She has been adopted by today's LGBT community as an example of a "transgender" saint.
Wikipedia

Defiant Iran successfully tests another ballistic missile

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported Thursday that the country’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully tested another ballistic missile, while boasting that Iran’s efforts to build a “better” home-made version of the Russian S-300 defense system were well on their way. 
The Fars report quotes Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard’s airspace division, as saying the missile destroyed a target from a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles). The report said the sea-launched ballistic missile dubbed Hormoz 2 was tested last week, providing no additional details.
Fars also quoted Major General Ataollah Salehi saying that Iran was “capable of building our needed equipment and we have built and are building a system better than the S-300”.
The operational readiness of the system, dubbed as Bavar (Belief) 373, will be tested in late May, according to the report.

The Times of Israel

'They think they can get an AK and get forgiven by God at the same time': Channel 4's Extremely British Muslims reveals how young Asian men want to join ISIS because it's 'the biggest most baddest gang in the world'

Scores of British Muslims are joining ISIS because they think they can 'get an AK and get forgiven by God at the same time'.
The startling revelation is made by two young Muslim men, best friends Waseem Iqbal and Naveed Ahmed, on tonight's episode of Channel 4's Extremely British Muslims.
Many recruits come from a life of crime and see Islamic extremism as a chance to regain status and feel a sense of belonging, claims Waseem. 
He reveals: ''You’ve got people that are sort of like ex-bad boys that still have that gang mentality. And if you want to be in a gang, what’s the biggest gang in the world right now? It’s ISIS'.

Daily Mail

Arrest of ISIS Suspect in Rural Town Puts Australia on Edge



YOUNG, Australia — On a rural road about two hours’ drive from the nearest major city, the small Australian town of Young has long been known for cherries and little else. But in recent years, the once largely white, working-class community has seen a steady influx of Lebanese Muslim families, many of whom say they have relocated from Sydney for a better and safer life.
Among them are members of the Zahab family. Now one of them, Haisem Zahab, a 42-year-old electrician, is accused of using the internet to try to help the Islamic State develop a guided missile. Officials suspect that some of his relatives traveled to Syria to join the extremist group, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The allegations about the Zahab family have rattled many residents of this town, who have long taken pride in its peaceful multiculturalism. They have also stoked some of the worst fears about homegrown links to terrorism in a country that is grappling with immigration policy and labor shortages.
“One argument developing is that Muslims cannot be trusted, they are all bad, and with so many in our town, it was only a matter of time before trouble raised its head,” Craig Thomson, editor of The Young Witness, the local newspaper, wrote in an opinion column after Mr. Zahab’s arrest. “The other point put forward is that hatred is not the way to handle this situation and one man’s actions should not condemn the entire town’s Muslim population”.
The case is playing out as Australia contends with the same nationalist, anti-immigrant forces that helped propel Donald J. Trump to the American presidency and that prompted voters in Britain to approve a withdrawal from the European Union. Visiting Australia last year, Mutuma Ruteere, the United Nations special rapporteur on racism, condemned Australian politicians as engaging in “xenophobic hate speech,” and likened the country’s mood to nationalist ideologies brewing in Europe and the United States.

NYTWorld

A class of her own



In the settlement of Moach Goth on the outskirts of Karachi lives a heroine. To meet her you must drive out towards the provincial border of Sindh and Balochistan. En route to Moach Goth, you are shown the flyover that collapsed, the factory that burned, and an entrance to Lyari, the ghetto whose gang wars and body-counts are in the papers every day.
It was a momentous time to be in Pakistan, ten days after general elections and the first transition in the nation’s history from one elected government to another. The talk was of tabdeeli, change, and dhandhli, rigging. The talk was of whether things were getting better, or whether they were going to get worse before they got better. The day before repolling in a constituency in southern Karachi, Zahra Shahid Hussain, a much-admired professor, activist and vice-president of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, had been shot dead at the gates of her house by two men on a motorcycle. The next morning Samina Baig, a 22-year-old, became the first Pakistani woman to scale Everest.
To enter Moach Goth is to begin to understand another climb, that made by Humaira Bachal. When she and her family came here, they had just cleared their debts. It was probably some time in 1995, but they are not sure. The settlement was small, nothing like now. A fishing village had been here for a long time, but now it was transforming into a squatter’s colony in the fast-expanding conurbation of Karachi. When they arrived, as they remember it, there were about a hundred mud and straw huts. There were jungles of thorny acacia. The gangs had not yet formed, and in any case no vehicles really came to the village, so you didn’t need to flash your headlights in code to enter anybody’s turf after dark.
Now, between the Sindhis, Balochis, Kutchhis, Brohis, Mohajirs, Punjabis and Bengalis, there are 160,000, perhaps 180,000, people in Moach Goth. The sand blows through its unpaved streets. The cement water tower that stands tall over the population worked for two months, then ran dry, so now they must buy water from private contractors. Electricity lines have been installed, but there are power cuts for nine hours a day. Sewage pipes were laid twice; each time they burst in the rains.
Two of the three government schools in Moach Goth are ghost schools, abandoned by their teachers and administrators and occupied instead by junkies or criminals; there are an estimated 30,000 such schools in Pakistan. The single working school left in Moach Goth barely functions. Boys are usually pulled out at 12 by their families and put to work in factories or on construction sites; girls are rarely permitted to study at all. Government figures state that 40% of Pakistani girls have had a primary education, but other official sources put female literacy in Pakistan at 26%. According to independent sources, if you exclude those who can form only their signature, the figure tumbles to 12%.
So when Humaira Bachal matriculatedthe equivalent of taking her GCSEsit was about the most improbable thing a girl from Moach Goth could do. And then she built perhaps the most improbable school in the world. She is 26 now, and she started it when she was 13.

The Economist

Entrepreneur who works with dozens of billionaires says they share one characteristic

By Kathleen Elkins

Demetri Argyropoulos is no stranger to big money.
The founder and CEO of Avant Global, a business advisory used by the most affluent families and leaders around the world, connects the elite for a living. "I work for several dozen billionaires and companies," he explains to Forbes. "They call on me to introduce them to the people they need to meet".
What do those billionaires have in common? Argyropoulos says, "They make decisions quickly. They've created a certain platform in their business and they want to continue to expand that and continue to build a moat around their business that is sustainable and efficient. So they don't want to waste time".
"They know what they want," he says.

CNBC