Asia

Did 22-year-old Saima Bibi scream out as she was electrocuted at her parents’ home in their village near the southern Punjab city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan? Did she plead with her family for her life? Did she seek mercy? The answers to these questions will never be known. In one of the most harrowing “honour” killings reported in recent months in the country, Saima was, according to media reports, murdered by her relatives. They committed the crime following a ruling by a gathering of village elders that she be put to death by electrocution for eloping with a man she had chosen to marry. Police are investigating the murder and the prime minister has ordered the findings be submitted urgently. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan: Hundreds of women die for “honor” each year

by IRIN News January 22, 2011

Did 22-year-old Saima Bibi scream out as she was electrocuted at her parents’ home in their village near the southern Punjab city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan? Did she plead with her family for her life? Did she seek mercy? ...

Ravindra Misal–leading the revolution in Umred, a small Indian town. The NYT reporter came to the  town  to write about a riot, and he discoverd Misal. A few months earlier, power blackouts that rural Indians always suffered silently triggered a violent reaction in Umred. Why? Umred was just another small town in the middle of nowhere, dusty and underwhelming. But Umred had begun to dream, townspeople told me, because of television, because of cousins with tales of call-center jobs and freedom in the city. Once Umred contracted ambition, blackouts became intolerable.  Photo: Bharat Sikka/New York Times

Ravindra Misal: Trying to help some of India’s poor and caste-restricted young (and himself) achieve upward mobility by beginning to learn the ways of those in higher strata of society

by Anand Giridharadas New York Times December 30, 2010

I came to Umred to write about a riot. A few months earlier, power blackouts that rural Indians always suffered silently triggered a violent reaction. Why? Umred was just another small town in the middle of nowhere, dusty and underwhelming. But Umred...

In 2002, Rubina Sandhi’s home burned down by Hindu mobs during anti-Muslim riots. Instead of turning to violence, she is one of India’s many Muslims who are fighting back against extremism. Photo: Siddharaj/Washington Post

In India, a struggle for moderation as a young Moslem woman quietly battles extremism

by Emily Wax Washington Post December 28, 2010

It was Sept. 11, 2001. Television sets in the mosques, tea shops and market were beaming images of the World Trade Center engulfed in flames in New York. Five months later, Rubina's house was burning as Hindu mobs torched Muslim areas of her city, le...

A supermarket provides transportation to female employees to protect them from harassment. Photo: Kuni Takahashi/ New York Times

Necessity pushes Pakistani women into jobs and peril

by Adam B. Ellick New York Times December 26, 2010

KARACHI, Pakistan — Dinner at Rabia Sultana’s house is now served over a cold silence. Her family has not spoken to her since May, when Ms. Sultana, 21, swapped her home life for a cashier’s job at McDonald’s....

India’s battle against hunger beset by problems of delivery and corruption. Malnutrition is on the rise, despite nutrition rehabilitation centers and ration shops

by Julien Bouissou Guardian December 10, 2010

There are times when chilli mixed with a little water is not enough to quell the hunger. Then the people of Gautam Nagar, one of 300 slum settlements in the city of Bhopal, India, gather round the only available screen to watch music videos. More tha...

Telecom scandal erupts in India: corruption and ‘crony capitalism’ appear to have cost the Indian government as much as US$40 billion in lost cell phone spectrum rights

by Jim Yardley and Heather Timmons New York Times December 10, 2010

NEW DELHI — Tycoons with friends in high places. Public tenders conducted by irregular rules. Tens of billions of dollars in potential losses for the national treasury. Allegations of government ministers on the take, and of a respected prime minis...

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