Religion

Taliban Screens a New Silence

Mushfiq Wali, a 22-year-old shoemaker in northern Pakistan, loves watching films in the local Pashto language. But he says the Taliban are a killjoy: their bomb attacks have led to the closure of movie theatres, again. “They don’t spare anything that brings happiness.”

Iraqi Sunnis Seek a Say

Sunni Muslims have set up a new party amidst uncertainties as to whether elections can be held as scheduled in the troubled western regions of Iraq. Polling for the 328-seat Iraqi parliament is due Apr. 30.

Taliban Provokes New Hunger for Education

Following scattered defiance of the Taliban earlier, a new wave of students is now heading for education in schools and colleges across the troubled north of Pakistan.

Italian Doctors Abort a Law

Two out of three doctors in Italy are ‘conscientious objectors’ to abortion, according to new data. The Italian Ministry of Health reveals that in 2011, 69.3 percent of doctors refused to carry out abortions, with peaks of over 85 percent in some regions.

Misgivings Rise Over Afghan Poll

“If Abdullah will become president, the will of [the] Afghan people will be respected. Otherwise – especially if Zalmai Rassoul will be indicated as the winner – a new conflict will start and our country will become more insecure.” The remark by Abdullah Abdullah supporter Qazi Sadullah Abu Aman is typical of the uncertainties and accusations rising as election day draws close on Saturday.

Afghans Set to Vote on Ethnic Lines

Ethnicities will come to the fore in the Afghan elections due Saturday this week, even though it appears that the young are beginning to break away from such loyalties.

Fighting Now Brings Disease

For just that moment, the refugees in Yarmouk camp in Damascus made news. After months of facing starvation and death in the shadows of the Syrian civil war came packets of food and aid in January - with cameras in tow.

Fighting a ‘Losing’ War With the Taliban

Pakistan is in the midst of a heated debate on continuing military operations against the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), especially after the brutal killing of 23 army soldiers last month.

Executions Rising in Iran

As many as 700 people were sentenced to death in Iran last year, according to United Nations estimates. Most were charged with drug-related crimes and belonged to ethnic minorities, new studies show.

Amidst the Guns, Free Choice for Crimeans

Crimean officials have reported that roughly 97 percent of Crimeans voted for independence from Ukraine on Sunday, with a turnout of about 80 percent. Yet the security situation in Crimea has led many to question how free the vote really was.

Monk Sparks Row Between Spain and China

Thubten Wangchen, a Tibetan Buddhist monk with Spanish nationality, has become a thorn in Spain-China relations since Spanish High Court judge Ismael Moreno sought international arrest orders for top Chinese leaders last month following a petition by the monk.

Religion and Conservation Do Mix

They say religion doesn’t mix well with certain subjects, but in the case of conservation and religion this old rule of thumb doesn’t seem to apply.

Past Crimes Haunt Afghan Progress

As Afghanistan heads for presidential elections Apr. 5, people are asking if the country’s massive legacy of human rights violations will be swept under the carpet yet again by the new government.

Tahrir Square Finds a GrEEK Neighbour

The group of buildings near Tahrir Square could be modern campus-style office space anywhere. It’s hard to believe that just outside the heavy steel gates lies downtown Cairo, the noisy, polluted and now troubled heart of Egypt.

Russians Back Crimea Action, They’d Better

Elena Smolenskaya doesn’t hesitate a second when asked what she thinks about the Russian military intervention in Crimea. The 23-year-old Moscow student is convinced that President Vladimir Putin had no choice but to order troops into the country.

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