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British Muslims beg IS to show mercy on captured aid worker

British Muslims beg IS to show mercy on captured aid worker

Local Source:
In an emotional appeal, British Muslims have urged the militants of the Islamic State terrorist group to “show some mercy” to captured British aid worker Alan Henning, who is currently being held hostage in Syria. Various representatives of the Muslim community in the U.K. stressed that the 47-year-old ex-taxi driver is there to “help the people.” In an online appeal — Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, a representative of British Muslim aid workers — released a video listing the ways that Henning had raised money for the people of Syria after having been moved by their plight. “You
Dubai sells first alcohol-free wine with gold flecks

Dubai sells first alcohol-free wine with gold flecks

Local Source:
Wealthy consumers can now purchase bottles of non-alcoholic white wine with edible gold leaf flecks in it – the only such drink in the world – for $150 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city. While the consumption of liquor is prohibited by Islam, the alcohol-free status of this wine makes it “halal” (permissible by Islam) to drink. The luxury drink is produced by the Spanish company Dismark Products and is distributed by Lootah Premium Foods. “It has gold in it for no good reason apart from it's fun, it's fantastic, it's frivolous, it's totally Dubai,” s
One in every four married Portuguese cheats

One in every four married Portuguese cheats

Local Source:
Twenty-five percent of married Portuguese have cheated on their spouses despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Portuguese condemn extramarital relationships, according to a study by the University of Minho. The university interviewed 500 people to study the influence of infidelity on sexual desire and on the quality of "official" relationships. The study revealed that 39 percent of Portuguese men have cheated on their wives and 20 percent of women have been unfaithful to their husbands. About half of those interviewed said that they knew they had been cheated on at least once

Scotland motivates Catalonia's fight for independence

Scotland motivates Catalonia’s fight for independence

Local Source:
Scotland's possible separation from the United Kingdom, which was eventually rejected in a referendum, has reignited the sense of nationalism in Catalonia, Spain and their desire to become an independent nation. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was against the separation and hoped that Catalonia didn’t go rouge on Spain, as Scotland had on the U.K. “The processes in Scotland and Catalonia are a torpedo to the direct waterline to the flotation device of the European spirit,” he said. Scottish expat Nick Ashley, who lives in Spain, agreed with Rajoy that Catalonia should not g
Gov't takes U-turn on 'fire foreign workers' decree

Gov’t takes U-turn on firing foreign aid workers

Local Source:
Hardly one day after South Sudan’s government gave NGOs and private companies an ultimatum to dismiss foreign workers in certain positions and replace them with locals, authorities have and annulled the controversial decree. “There is no statement in the Republic of South Sudan that says that [we] are expelling foreign workers in this country. We want to make this clear,” said Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin at a press conference in the country’s capital of Juba. The press conference was also attended by labor minister Ngor Kolong Ngor, who had signed the original govern
Doctor fired for warning about carcinogenic rice

Doctor fired for warning about carcinogenic rice

Local Source:
A doctor from a public hospital in Turkey was recently fired for warning people about carcinogenic rice being grown in the country’s Thracian region. The area's governor says that he removed the doctor from his post because his claim had no scientific backing. The Thracian region, which is near the Ergene River, is famous for producing rice and distributing it to the rest of Anatolia. In a press conference, the doctor had reportedly stated that the number of stomach and colon cancer cases have been significantly increasing in the Thracian region. He added that the Ergene River, w
Archbishop of Canterbury: I doubt God’s existence

Archbishop of Canterbury: I doubt God’s existence

Local Source:
The archbishop of Canterbury has admitted to doubting God’s existence and questioning why God fails to prevent an injustice from happening. “There are moments, sure, where you think 'Is there a God? Where is God?” Archbishop Jason Welby recently said in front of hundreds of people at the Bristol Cathedral. Answering a question, he said he wasn’t sure of the Almighty's existence in many different ways. "I love the Psalms, if you look at Psalm 88, that's full of doubt," the Archbishop added. Welby admitted that he just recently asked God to finally do something, if He’s really
Woman kills daughter to take care of son

Woman kills daughter to take care of son

Local Source:
Police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have arrested a woman for murdering her 6-month-old daughter. The woman had previously filed a missing persons report for her daughter, but the police became suspicious of her after several contradictions in her statements came to light. After further questioning, the woman admitted to killing her daughter. The mother claims that she killed her daughter because the daughter was making it difficult for her to pay attention to her 3-year-old son. The police say that the woman had given birth to a female child 5 years ago who also died under s
Hepatitis C wonder drug to cost less in India than in U.S.

Hepatitis C wonder drug to cost less in India than in U.S.

Local Source:
The wonder drug for Hepatitis C, Sofosbuvir, will be sold at a much cheaper price in India, according to its patent holder, Gilead. It will be available in India for about $1,800 or roughly Rs 1.1 lakh, significantly cheaper than the $84,000 or Rs 50.4 lakh cost for a 24-week period of treatment in the U.S. The pharmaceutical giant will also give voluntary licenses to seven selected firms in India to manufacture Sofosbuvir. The voluntary licenses will pave the way for Indian companies to sell the drug 91 percent cheaper in India and in many other countries where they are allowed to sell
Doctors stop surgeries in protest for more medical supplies

Doctors stop surgeries in protest for more medical supplies

Local Source:
The increasing instability of the Honduran Social Security Institute has caused many doctors to refuse to operate on their insured patients. This decision is in part due to the lack of medical supplies needed to perform the surgeries. "My husband was going to have a disk in the spine operated on. He has been in a lot of pain for several months but was told that due to lack of supplies they could not operate," said a woman who asked not to be identified for fear that speaking out would reflect badly on her husband. The shortages have been ongoing for months, but doctors had previously of
Saudi woman drives herself to hospital, gets fined

Saudi woman drives herself to hospital, gets fined

Local Source:
The Saudi police have reportedly pulled over and fined a female human rights activist for driving herself to the hospital. Aliyah Al Farid, a member of Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said she took her husband’s car because she needed immediate medical attention, and no one was available to drive her. Technically, the Saudi government has no law that prohibits women from driving, but women are unable to obtain a driver’s license. The police allowed her to drive to the hospital but they followed her. After she was seen by a doctor, she was taken to the police de
Police commissioner in child abuse scandal finally quits

Police commissioner in child abuse scandal finally quits

Local Source:
Shaun Wright, the police commissioner of the British country of South Yorkshire, has finally chosen to step down from his post after weeks of pressure over the child sex abuse scandal currently rocking the U.K. Wright has been under pressure to resign since the publication of a report by Professor Alexis Jay revealing that around 1,400 young girls from Rotherham, where Wright was a Labor councilor, were abused over a 16-year period. Many of the girls had been abused during Wright’s time as child services councilor between 2005 and 2010. Until now, Wright had ignored calls to resign
Muslims in Germany to protest against Islam extremists

Muslims in Germany to protest against IS extremists

Local Source:
Muslim groups from all over Germany are planning to stage a nationwide protest on September 19 against Islam extremists groups. The Central Council of Muslims, the Muslim Community, the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers and the Turkish-Islamic Union said that the Islam extremist groups have besmirched the reputation of the entire Muslim community. "[Germany] doesn't exactly have a great relationship when it comes to Muslims," Aiman Mazyek, chairperson of the Central Muslim Council said. The news about the demonstration comes a week after the German Interior Ministry announced th
First graders advance in school even if they can't read

First-graders advance in school even if they can’t read

Local Source:
Teachers in Costa Rica are in an uproar over a new Ministry of Education reform to have all first-graders graduate from their grade regardless of whether or not they can read or write. Previously, first-grade students were not allowed to move into second grade without being able to read and write coherently. The ministry’s reform was introduced as a strategy to improve reading comprehension in students and decrease the number of students being held back. Educators fear that instead of moving forward, however, the reform will move the country’s education system backward. "The st
Controversy over anti-terrorism bill silencing social media

Controversy over anti-terrorism bill silencing social media

Local Source:
The balance between national security and freedom has become a hot topic in France, with a new draft bill to fight terrorism sparking controversy across social networks. With the aims of preventing Islamist groups from recruiting new followers in France, the new bill proposes that the government be authorized to block social media sites that don’t remove illicit content. Terrorists no longer use secret online platforms for propaganda like they did 10 years ago, according to the French parliament. They now use popular sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to scare off the general
Trying to protect Malaysia's last 500 Malayan tigers

“Tiger Action Plan” fails to save last remaining Malayan tigers

Local Source:
Over the past 10 years, it was believed that Malaysia was home to around 500 wild Malayan tigers, but there may actually be many fewer of the tigers than previously thought. Sixty years ago, there were an estimated 3,000 Malayan tigers in Malaysia, but poaching, deforestation and habitat degradation has caused the tiger population to dwindle significantly. “Despite all efforts, including the strengthening of legislation and increased patrolling, tiger conservation across the vast tropical forest landscape continues to face challenges," said Wong Pui May, the coordinator for the Malaysi
Gov't bans foreign workers, causes big stir

Gov’t bans foreign aid workers, causes big stir

Local Source:
South Sudanese authorities have issued a notice to non-governmental organizations and private firms operating in the country to fire certain foreign workers by October 15 and replace them with “competent South Sudanese nationals." The purpose of the measure is “to induce and protect the rights and interests of the people of South Sudan,” according to the directive signed by labor minister Ngor Kolong Ngor and published in several local newspapers. International aid organizations operating in the country fear that the ban could disrupt their efforts to avert a looming famine threat
Japan finds alternative to nuclear power in solar power plants

Japan finds alternative to nuclear power in solar power plants

Local Source:
Two big firms are set to build two floating solar power islands that can generate 60 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity. They will be floating on reservoirs. The two solar power islands have 30 stations with each generating 2 MW. Just last year, smartphone maker Kyocera‘s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar power plant, Japan’s biggest solar power plant, started operations. The power plant can generate 70 MW and floats on the ocean off the coast in southern Japan. The Japanese government had been looking for alternative sources of energy to eliminate the reliance on nuclear power after th
Ukrainian buys TV set, gets separatists' channel

Ukrainian buys TV set, gets only separatist channels

Local Source:
Ukrainian Olexiy Vovk recently purchased a TV set from the Russian-owned electronics chain Eldorado and had some store employees install the TV and connect it to the Internet at his apartment. After having the television installed, Vovk found that many Ukrainian channels were unavailable to watch on his TV. Instead, he was receiving Russian TV channels, whose broadcast is prohibited in Ukraine. The channel of the Donetsk People’s Republic — a group considered a terrorist organization by the Ukrainian government and known for its anti-Ukrainian propaganda — was also one of the chann
Politician’s proposal for banning Euronews scorned

Russia rejects proposal to ban news channels

Local Source:
Member of Parliament Mikhail Markelov recently saw footage of Ukrainian security servicemen shooting at a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Euronews, Russia’s main news channel associated with the European Union. In response, Markelov said that he would like to see charges brought against the channel. A deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s assembly, has even brought forward a request to ban the channel. Many other Russian politicians disagree with these sentiments, however. The head of the State's Duma's committee on information policy, Leonard Levin, b

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