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News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty

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January 2016

Boko Haram burns kids alive in northeast Nigeria: witness

January 31 at 7:29 AM
 

full story at The Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Misconceptions About Pakistan You Should Know

1. Pakistan is a dangerous place to live in

Photo Credit: UNISDR Photo Gallery

Photo Credit: UNISDR Photo Gallery

Crime – from street crimes to white-collar crimes – happens in Pakistan, and the same happens to any side of the world.  The media may have always displayed Pakistan as an unsafe place where people walk around the streets with fear and arms, treating those who will be against their beliefs or foreigners with the worse acts you can imagine. Terrorism is still present but it isn’t something that’s usual in the entire country of Pakistan. Traveling around Pakistan is safe starting from terminals which have security checkpoints up to the cultural sites that remain welcoming to interested tourists. Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, and even Karachi are safe to visit. Just remember that in every country you visit, it’s common sense to be always alert.

2. Pakistani women are oppressed in their own country

Photo Credit: Fáilte. Virginia

Photo Credit: Fáilte. Virginia

Are the women oppressed in Pakistan? The answer is yes and no. How women are seen and treated may vary depending on the areas you’re going to observe. For example, in the far and tribal areas of Balouchistan, women are obligated to do house chores and nothing more. Karo Kari or honor killings is still present in the province of Sindh. Moreover, forced marriages, nose cutting, and acid attacks are still making it into the news.

However, in the main cities of Pakistan, women are encouraged to get higher studies and they can even choose what they want to wear (as long as it’s culturally acceptable) but it’s not surprising to see some women in burqas. Women can take jobs they want to take, whether they choose to be an actress, an entrepreneur, a doctor, an engineer, or a pilot – it’s all possible. They even had a female prime minister. Well, women can drive and go shopping in their jeans too.

3.  Children don’t have the privilege  to live normally

Photo Credit: Farooq Raz

Photo Credit: Farooq Raz

Pakistani kids in major cities live just like the kids in any developing country. They are educated and encouraged to finish their education until they can support themselves with the job they’ve wanted. Children can play outside with their friends and they can also just stay home with an iPad too. Everyone isn’t poor in Pakistan and kids can be spoiled too.

full article at When on Earth

 

 

 

 

Australia Bushfires Raze Ancient World Heritage-Listed Forests

W460

World Heritage-listed forests whose origins pre-date the age of the dinosaurs are being destroyed by raging Australian bushfires, with conservationists increasingly fearful they could be lost forever.

Firefighters in Tasmania — a state south of the mainland known for its cooler temperatures — have been battling bushfires for 18 days, with 95,000 hectares (234,750 acres) of land burnt so far, authorities said Friday.

While no properties have been destroyed and no one hurt in the infernos — which are so numerous that firefighters from across Australia and New Zealand have been flown in to help — parts of western Tasmania’s famed wilderness have been destroyed by the flames.

“The fires in western Tasmania are occurring in basically an ecosystem which is a remnant from the geological past, so they are of immense significance scientifically,” David Bowman, professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania, told AFP.

“These systems were once more widespread and indeed grew on Antarctica billions of years ago, so they are living fossils… they go back to well before the age of the dinosaurs, they are a tangible connection to Gondwana.”

Gondwana was a land mass that included present-day Africa, South America and Australia and formed the southern part of an ancient supercontinent called Pangaea.

One of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, the Tasmanian Wilderness was entered into the World Heritage list for its significant natural and cultural values in 1982 and covers nearly 20 percent of the island, or 1.4 million hectares.

It includes the Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Clair National Park and the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, home to popular bushwalking tracks.

read more at naharnet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sayyida Zeinab suburb of Damascus, after suicide car bomb on 14 June 2012

At least 45 people have been killed in three blasts near the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of the capital Damascus, Syrian state media say.

Scores of people were also reported to have been wounded.

The shrine, which is highly revered by Shia Muslims, has been targeted before, most recently in February last year.

The attacks came as delegates from the Syrian government and opposition groups gathered in Geneva for tentative UN-sponsored peace talks.

The main opposition group backed down from its threat to boycott the talks. but says the Syrian government must meet its demands if negotiations are to start.

full article at BBC NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GMO mosquitoes could be cause of Zika outbreak, critics say

© Josue Decavele

The latest contagious virus freaking out the globe, particularly women worried about birth defects, may have been caused by the presence of genetically-modified mosquitoes (GMMs) in Brazil.

With international health experts convening in Geneva to discuss the outbreak of and possible cures for the Zika virus, questions are being raised as to whether the GMMs are to blame.

In mid-2012, British biotech company Oxitec released the super bugs with the aim of reducing the overall mosquito population that spreads dengue fever, the Zika virus, and chikungunya in northeast Brazil.

At the time, concerns were raised about the release of GMMs without further studies into possible side effects.

“It’s a very experimental approach which has not yet been successful and may cause more harm than good,” Dr Helen Wallace, director of GeneWatch, told the Guardian in 2012.

The first cases of Zika in humans were reported in the south American country last May with up to 1.5 million now thought people affected by the virus, which Oxitec’s critics note is the same area where the GMMs were released.

full story at RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zika: Colombia cases in pregnant women double in a week

A pregnant Colombian woman, infected with the Zika virus, sits in a clinic

The number of pregnant women in Colombia infected with the Zika virus has doubled in a week, officials said.

Almost 2,000 pregnant women now have the virus, Colombia’s National Health Institute said, out of the more than 20,000 people infected across Colombia.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to babies being born with abnormally small brains.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned Zika is “spreading explosively”, predicting up to 4m cases this year.

On Monday, the WHO meets to decide whether Zika should be treated as a global emergency.

Brazil has been worst affected by the outbreak, followed by Colombia, but more than 20 other countries have seen cases.

Jamaica and Peru reported their first confirmed cases over the weekend, with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala urging calm and stressing that the patient contracted the disease outside of the country.

More at BBC NEWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family converts school bus into beautiful cottage on wheels (Video)

Von Thompsons

When we hear of vans and school buses converted into full-time homes for people, we often think of cash-strapped students, freewheeling travelers on the festival circuit, or maybe couples looking for a bit of an adventure on the road. We don’t usually think of a young family of three living out of an old school bus, but that’s exactly what Jeremy and Mira Thompson of Key Peninsula, Washington, are doing with their 2-year-old daughter Carys. With a lot of imagination, design savvy and skillful craftsmanship, they’ve managed to transform this vehicle into a whimsical, modern cottage on wheels. We get a two-part tour from the couple themselves:

What’s most striking about this project is the fact that the cottage was built directly into the bus frame. The couple worked on their current home over the space of two years. Previously, they had done a simpler version of a RV converted from a smaller bus, living on the road for a couple of years. They loved the experience and decided to take the plunge by putting their efforts into doing a bigger and better version, suitable for a baby that was now on the way.

full article and more pictures at The Treehugger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Styrian Armoury

In what was once a militarily vital section of Europe sits the Styrian Armory, a massive collection of murder equipment that began as a true armory and is now one of the most extensive collections of historical weaponry in the world.

Caught between centuries of fighting between the Ottoman Empire and Hungary, the Austrian state of Styria need weapons. Rather than depend on imported, or arms made for demand, the locals and nobility established the “State Armoury” in the mid-1600’s. The five-story building contained only one floor of administrative space with the remaining four floors of the building given over to the storage of weapons and armor including swords, shields, guns, and primitive rocket-making equipment were all kept on hand. The armory was in use for a little over a century before it was decommissioned when Austria centralized their military forces. The building and its weapons were almost disbanded, but the Styrian citizens managed to get the site saved as a museum.

full story at Atlas Obscura

 

 

 

 

Migrant crisis: Grenade thrown at asylum hostel in Germany

Police vehicles outside a migrant shelter that was targeted with a grenade

entified attackers threw a live hand grenade at a migrant hostel in south-western Germany, officials say.

The grenade was found during the night near buildings housing 170 people in the town of Villingen-Schwenningen. Its pin had been pulled out but the explosives failed to detonate.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said it was a new level of “hate and violence”.

There were 1,005 attacks on refugee homes in Germany last year – five times more than in 2014.

Some of the migrants at the Villingen-Schwenningen hostel were evacuated while bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion.

Police spokesman Thomas Kalmbach said it was “just luck” no-one was hurt.

full story at BBC NEWS

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