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Twitter CEO upsets Hindu nationalists during India visit
Jack Dorsey accused of hate speech after posing with sign criticising country’s caste systemTwitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, has upset Hindu nationalists in India by posing for a picture with a placard reading: “Smash Brahminical patriarchy”. Related: WhatsApp struggling to control fake news in India, researchers say During Twitter CEO @jack's visit here, he & Twitter's Legal head @vijaya took part in a round table with some of us women journalists, activists, writers & @TwitterIndia's @amritat to discuss the Twitter experience in India. A very insightful, no-words-minced conversation pic.twitter.com/LqtJQEABgVSHOCKING! A "smash Brahmanical" poster on proud display during @Twitter CEO @jack visit to India. Is this demonology of Brahmins by foreign #BreakingIndiaForces acceptable? Is it hate speech?Woke up Tuesday morning to see Brahmin names floating around on my TL. If Smashing Brahminical Patriarchy is not an incitement to violence, what is? An influential platform like @twitter must be responsible. @TwitterIndiaHere, I translated it for you: Someone gave our CEO a Hinduphobic poster advocating hate and violence against a religious minority, and our CEO accepted it unquestioningly and then poised for a photo with it. And we think it's totally OK. https://t.co/dB1NFHY3jSTerribly disappointing st. on behalf of Twitter. Both Brahminism & patriarchy are oppressive by nature, so why would Twitter's views not reflect giving space to marginalized voices? Calling pandering "impartial" is just a cop out preventing actual efforts to make this space equal Related: 'It's digital colonialism': how Facebook's free internet service has failed its users Continue reading... [...]
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Afghan wrestling coach re-opens gym despite losing arm in Isis attack
In a poor corner of Kabul, wrestling offers hope and resistance against Isis’ sectarian terrorTo perform the “saltur”, an Afghan wrestling term, a fighter spins behind their opponent, then lifts them a few inches off the floor and slams the victim backwards overhead and into a pin. It is a technique that coach Ghulam Abbas has taught students for more than 30 years, and one he dearly loves to see.“I forget my troubles when a student takes the opportunity,” says the 57-year-old coach of the Maiwand wrestling club in west Kabul. But he can no longer demonstrate the move. As he strolls among his 40 teenage students, grappling and grunting, his left sleeve hangs conspicuously loose over where his arm should be. Continue reading... [...]
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India to build 1,900 miles of walls along railways to cut track deaths
Railways ministry hopes barriers will help prevent thousands of deaths each yearIndia plans to build 1,864 miles of walls along its railways in an attempt to cut the tens of thousands of deaths that occur from people being hit by trains each year.The railways ministry says it will build a 2.7 metre high reinforced concrete barrier along residential sections of the sprawling network. Related: The mega mural movement: how India’s rundown railway stations have been transformed Continue reading... [...]
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Amritsar attack: CM announces Rs 50 lakh reward as police hunts for clues
Amritsar attack: CM announces Rs 50 lakh reward as police hunts for clues [...]
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After facing flak for not giving cyclone Gaja relief priority, CM Palaniswami conducts aerial survey
After facing flak for not giving cyclone Gaja relief priority, CM Palaniswami conducts aerial survey [...]
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Australian climber falls to his death on Ama Dablam peak in Nepal
Michael Geoffrey Davis, 33, was park of a group of 15 who were descending the mountainAn Australian climber has fallen to his death while descending a peak near Mount Everest in eastern Nepal.Michael Geoffrey Davis, 33, from Newcastle, died on Ama Dablam on Thursday. He was part of a group of 15 who were going down the 6,812-metre Himalayan peak. Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan doesn't do a damn thing for us, says Donald Trump
Pakistan doesn't do a damn thing for us, says Donald Trump [...]
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Maldives' new president warns treasury 'looted' during China-led boom
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih says country’s financial situation ‘precarious’ after racking up huge debt with BeijingThe new president of the Maldives has declared the state coffers to have been looted and warned that the country is in financial difficulty after racking up debt with Chinese lenders in an infrastructure boom.The island nation is the latest in a number of small countries where China has invested millions of dollars building highways and housing as part of its “belt and road” initiative. Related: The Maldives has another shot at democracy – but it needs help | JJ Robinson Continue reading... [...]
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Bringing Rajapaksa back to power would be ruin of Sri Lanka
Torture risk means UK Home Office asylum policy needs urgent reviewThe dangers of a return to power of Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot be overstated. When he was president, torture in Sri Lanka was routine. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in just a few months at the end of the civil war in 2009, in what his government cynically referred to as a “no-fire zone”. It was, as the UN later noted, a “grave assault on the entire regime of international law”.President Maithripala Sirisena, his successor, was never the human rights champion he claimed to be, and it was foolish of western governments to buy this lie. Now Sirisena’s political coup to bring the despotic Rajapaksa back into power has jeopardised even modest steps towards reconciliation. Related: Flying fists and pelted bottles – warring politicians shock Sri Lanka There is probably no person more responsible than Rajapaksa for the broken lives Freedom from Torture attempts to fix Continue reading... [...]
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Flying fists and pelted bottles – warring politicians shock Sri Lanka
As an unstable coalition falls apart, MPs are resisting the return of former strongman president Mahinda RajapaksaIn 1987 grenades ripped through Sri Lanka’s parliament, killing two people and narrowly missing the country’s president and prime minister.Ranil Wickremesinghe, who until three weeks ago occupied the prime minister’s office, had been in the building that day, he reminded journalists on Friday. “I’ve been here when a bomb was thrown,” he said. Even so, the scenes in Sri Lanka’s parliament this past week have been shocking, he said. “This is the breaking-up of parliament by a group of people claiming to be the government.” Related: Bringing Rajapaksa back to power would be ruin of Sri Lanka Continue reading... [...]
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Engineering student commits suicide by jumping from sixth floor in Karnataka
Engineering student commits suicide by jumping from sixth floor in Karnataka [...]
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Telangana man shot dead by 16-year-old in US
Telangana man shot dead by 16-year-old in US [...]
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Cyclone Gaja leaves trail of destruction: 13 dead, 81,000 displaced, over 1,000 houses destroyed
Cyclone Gaja leaves trail of destruction: 13 dead, 81,000 displaced, over 1,000 houses destroyed [...]
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Controversy at Taj Mahal, this time it is over offering namaz
Controversy at Taj Mahal, this time it is over offering namaz [...]
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Sabarimala remains a battlefield: Trupti Desai stopped, women's entry yet not a reality
Sabarimala remains a battlefield: Trupti Desai stopped, women's entry yet not a reality [...]
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Sri Lanka MPs hurl 'chilli powder' and chairs in fresh chaos
Legislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashesSri Lanka’s parliament has been disrupted for a second day, with legislators allied to the disputed prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hurling chairs at police officers and allegedly throwing chilli powder at opposing MPs.It was the latest violent incident in the crisis that erupted three weeks ago, when the president, Maithripala Sirisena, suddenly announced he had sacked the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Rajapaksa in his place.From today's chaotic hearing in Sri Lanka - police officers being treated for injuries after being attacked by MPs. Two other MPs reeling after chilli powder was throw in their faces. Extraordinary scenes @AmanthaP pic.twitter.com/HBzM3P17me Continue reading... [...]
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The Guardian view on Sri Lanka: president v prime minister | Editorial
The manner of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ousting is a step backwards. This constitutional crisis must be resolved peacefully; a punch-up in parliament is an alarming signMost of us have regretted mistakes. Sri Lanka’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, is unusual in regretting what he got right. Three years ago, he led the diverse coalition that unseated the strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose increasingly authoritarian leadership was undermining opposition parties, the judiciary and the media while his family and friends prospered. Mr Sirisena and his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, promised to curb executive powers and amended the constitution so that the president could not remove a prime minister unless they resigned or lost the confidence of parliament.But the pair’s unhappy alliance has deteriorated to the point of no return. Last month, the president dismissed Mr Wickremesinghe, announced that he was replacing him with his old foe, Mr Rajapaksa, and suspended parliament until he could muster sufficient votes for the switch. That failed: many share his frustrations with the prime minister, but are much angrier at the president’s tactics. Mr Wickremesinghe has refused to go. This week the supreme court rejected the dissolution of parliament and calling of elections – the president’s fallback plan – and said it would give a final judgment next month. The reconvened parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Mr Rajapaksa, which the president rejected; a second vote ended in a brawl . The suspicion is that the president and his chosen prime minister hope to give the impression that Sri Lanka is becoming ungovernable and that fresh elections are the only solution. Mr Rajapaksa has already begun dishing out goodies such a cut in fuel prices. He is very popular though very divisive, accused of large-scale human rights abuses including in the bloody war with Tamil militants. Continue reading... [...]
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Sri Lanka MPs fight in parliament as political turmoil continues – video
A fight between Sri Lankan MPs in parliament has led to one politician being admitted to hospital. The clashes came after the latest political uproar left the country without a prime minister or cabinet. Ministers were seen pushing each other and throwing punches Continue reading... [...]
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Kate Harris: 'Children can’t understand why we don't make dramatic changes to save the world'
On a 6,000-mile bicycle journey along the Silk Road, the author explored the notion of wildness – the Earth’s and her ownWhen Kate Harris was a child, her Pony Club instructor told her: “Throw your heart over the fence, and the rest of you will follow. Hopefully the horse and saddle, too.” A decade later, Harris would recall this advice on a moonless night in western China, as she and her friend Mel Yule were riding – on bicycles, not ponies – towards Tibet. Dressed in black with tape over their reflectors, the pair were attempting to slip through the checkpoint undetected to avoid paying for permits that would subsidise China’s occupation of Tibet. As a guard scanned his torch near their hiding spots, Harris contemplated the prospect of life in a Chinese prison – but he eventually drove off, and Harris and Yule rode like the wind towards the Tibetan Plateau, as “fear exhausted itself into euphoria”.So begins Harris’s debut, Lands of Lost Borders, a book Colin Thubron has called “a hymn to the pure love of travel”. That trip in 2006 inspired the pair to launch themselves five years later on a far more epic adventure: a 10-month, 6,000-mile bike ride along the Silk Road, from Turkey to Tibet, then on to India, during which they were sustained at times by little more than instant noodles, instant coffee and the generosity of strangers. Continue reading... [...]
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RSS affiliate takes out morcha of tribals against BJP government in Maharashtra
RSS affiliate takes out morcha of tribals against BJP government in Maharashtra [...]
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Elgar Parishad case: Maoists plotting to kill PM Modi, claim Pune Police in chargesheet
Elgar Parishad case: Maoists plotting to kill PM Modi, claim Pune Police in chargesheet [...]
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Amid arrests and killings, Bangladesh and India must fight censorship | Arundhati Roy
On PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, the Indian novelist addresses photographer Shahidul Alam, charged with criticising Bangladesh on FacebookRead letters from Tom Stoppard, Jennifer Clement and others to imprisoned writers around the worldDear Shahidul,It’s been more than 100 days now since they took you away. Times aren’t easy in your country or in mine, so when we first heard that unknown men had abducted you from your home, we feared the worst. Were you going to be “encountered” (our word in India for extra-judicial murder by security forces) or killed by “non-state actors”? Would your body be found in an alley, or floating in some shallow pond on the outskirts of Dhaka? When your arrest was announced and you surfaced, alive, in a police station, our first reaction was one of sheer joy.As both our countries hurtle towards general elections, we know that we can expect more arrests, more lynching, more killing Related: The work of jailed Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam Continue reading... [...]
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Sri Lanka MPs fight in parliament as power struggle deepens
Sitting abandoned after speaker rushed by MPs loyal to Mahinda RajapaksaOne MP was hospitalised and another accused of brandishing a knife during an all-out brawl on the floor of Sri Lanka’s parliament, in the latest escalation of the political turmoil that has left the country without an agreed prime minister or cabinet.The session on Thursday morning was abandoned after supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the disputed prime minister, rushed at the parliament’s speaker, Karu Jayasuriya. Continue reading... [...]
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Rohingya must get assurances on safety before returning to Myanmar | Letters
Janet Symes of Cafod says that clear mechanisms must be in place before any repatriation of refugees can beginTomorrow, the first of 2,200 extremely vulnerable Rohingya refugees face the prospect of being repatriated to Myanmar, where they fled brutal violence a year ago (Rohingya refugees flee camps in fear of forced repatriation to ‘unsafe’ Myanmar, 14 November). No refugee should be encouraged to return until their safety can be assured and they have the means to live a dignified life. Despite very difficult and cramped conditions in the camps in Bangladesh, many Rohingya refugees tell us that they would prefer to stay than risk their lives returning. The issue of safety must be addressed, as well as guarantees that returning families would be supported to rebuild their homes and lives. This requires further assurances that there are clear mechanisms in place to help ensure safe returns.Janet SymesHead of Asia, Cafod• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Continue reading... [...]
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Chaos and confusion as Rohingya refugee repatriations set to begin
Bangladesh has said repatriations will be ‘totally voluntary’ but no refugees spoken to by the UN were willingConfusion and uncertainty remained on Thursday over whether Bangladesh would begin the scheduled repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar despite overwhelming evidence that none are willing to return voluntarily.Thousands of the Rohingya refugees who had been put on a list “approved” for return to Myanmar- due to start today- have gone into hiding out of fear that, despite assurance by the Bangladesh authorities that repatriation will be “totally voluntary”, the security forces would forcibly send them across the border. Related: Rohingya refugees flee camps to avoid return to Myanmar Related: The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya to Myanmar: don’t make them go | Editorial Continue reading... [...]
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The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya to Myanmar: don’t make them go | Editorial
Bangladesh appears poised to repatriate members of the Muslim minority who fled the campaign of violence against them. They would be at grave riskBangladeshi soldiers, police and paramilitaries have already moved into the camps at Cox’s Bazar where some 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled last year. Repatriations to Myanmar are due to begin on Thursday. The returns are supposed to be safe, voluntary and dignified, but it is clear that none of these can be the case; the UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, says there is “terror and panic”. Listed families have gone into hiding and residents of the camps have alleged threats and beatings by officials. They are petrified at the prospect of going back to a place where thousands from the mainly Muslim Rohingya people were beaten, raped and murdered by security forces and civilians. The chair of a UN fact-finding mission, which described the violence as genocide, warned the security council that “returning them in this context is tantamount to condemning them to life as sub-humans and further mass killing”.Myanmar claims its military carried out justifiable actions against terrorists – the campaign of violence followed attacks by militants on security posts – and that villagers set fire to their own homes. What better way to show nothing is wrong than by trumpeting the return of refugees? Bangladesh worries that the international community is taking the camps for granted, and its leader, Sheikh Hasina, fears domestic political repercussions in next month’s general election. It is also under pressure from China, which wants to push through the repatriations to protect its sphere of influence and ability to get on with business in Myanmar unhindered by international criticism. Continue reading... [...]
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Delhi to get new stretch of Western Peripheral Expressway, vehicular pollution to go down
Delhi to get new stretch of Western Peripheral Expressway, vehicular pollution to go down [...]
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1 dead, 8 injured as SUV rams into several vehicles in Delhi
1 dead, 8 injured as SUV rams into several vehicles in Delhi [...]
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