Shumaila* once dreamed of becoming a computer engineer. Instead, aged 16, the bright-eyed Pakistani girl was tricked into prostitution in UAE, beginning a four-year nightmare of cruelty, violence and rape.
Pakistan has long been an important source of cheap labour for the Gulf state, particularly its booming construction sector.
But campaigners and officials say hundreds of young Pakistani women are also trafficked every year to supply the thriving sex trade in the brothels and nightclubs of Dubai.
Shumaila and her sister Rabia* were two of them.
More than a year after she escaped, Shumaila’s pain is still etched into her stumbling, hesitant voice — and also into her body, which bears the marks of countless beatings.
Continue reading Two Pakistani share their horror story of Dubai sex trade
(By David Hearst) There are many hands behind the Israeli army’s onslaught on Gaza. America is not unhappy that Hamas is getting such a beating. As footage of the scenes of carnage on the streets of Shejaiya was coming through, John Kerry said on NBC’s Meet the Press
on Sunday that Israel had every right to defend itself and the US ambassador Dan Shapiro told Israel’s Channel 2 news
that the US would seek to help moderate forces become stronger in Gaza, meaning the Palestinian Authority.
Nor is Egypt overcome with grief. Its foreign minister Sameh Shoukry held Hamas responsible for civilian deaths after their rejection of the ceasefire.
Neither matter to Netanyahu as much as the third undeclared partner in this unholy alliance, for neither on their own could give him the cover he needs for a military operation of this ferocity. And that can come not from a handwringing but impotent parent like the US. Such permission can only come from a brother Arab. Continue reading Israel continues to massacre civilians in Gaza with Saudi support and blessings
Brain disorders including mental, neurological and substance-use conditions amount to 13 per cent of the global burden of disease, surpassing both cardiovascular disease and cancer. Many of these disorders are preventable and treatable if we act without delay.
Shifa’s consultant and head of neurology department Dr. Maimoona Siddiqui stated this while quoting the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), which is all set to launch today (Tuesday), the first World Brain Day, an event dedicated to bringing more attention to the importance of brain health and the prevention of brain diseases, which is a largely underestimated health problem. Continue reading Brain disorders amount to 13% of global disease burden
The United Nations Security Council finally adopted a resolution authorizing UN agencies and their implementing partners to deliver aid across the Syrian border without requiring the government’s consent. The government had completely ignored a February resolution calling for it to let aid reach all parts of Syria, including areas controlled by armed groups.
That’s a step in the right direction, if aid finally starts flowing. But it shouldn’t distract attention from another crucial demand the Security Council made back in February: for the warring parties to end indiscriminate attacks against civilians. Continue reading How UN is failing to protect lives in Syria
Islamic State militants seized four small oilfields when they swept through north Iraq last month and are now selling crude oil and gasoline from them to finance their newly declared “caliphate”.
Near the northern city of Mosul, the Islamic State has taken over the Najma and Qayara fields, while further south near Tikrit it overran the Himreen and Ajil fields during its two-day sweep through northern Iraq in mid-June.
The oilfields in Islamic State hands are modest compared to Iraq’s giant fields near Kirkuk and Basra, which are under Kurdish and central government control. Most of the Islamic State-held oil wells – estimated by a Kurdish official to number around 80 – are sealed and not pumping.
Continue reading ISIS uses Oil smuggling to run its new caliphate
The Abu Jamaa family was digging into its food when the Israeli missile hit the family’s home in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city. It was iftar, the sunset meal that marks the breaking of the fast during Ramadan, a time of day relatives gather together to eat and relax.
The F-16 airstrike came just as the call to prayer began, signaling that it was time to eat. There was no warning. Twenty-five members of the family were killed, including 17 children, three pregnant women, and a grandmother, according to relatives. The four-story building was reduced to rubble. It took the family 12 hours, with two diggers and a bulldozer, to dig out the bodies. A deep crater of sand and broken concrete is all that’s left of the house. Continue reading Israel’s brutalities unseen in history of mankind
In the summer of 2011, when Twitter was just entering the mainstream and the iPhone 4 was all the rage, a tech-obsessed friend invited me to lunch for my birthday.
I liked my friend (obviously) but generally tried to avoid eating with him. His smartphone use approached the pathological, and I never relished a meal spent fielding waitresses’ pity-smiles while my pal scrolled through his phone with one hand and shovelled sushi with the other.
Nevertheless, I was new to Washington and appreciated the lunch gesture. So we agreed to meet up on one strict condition: For the duration of the meal, he wouldn’t touch his phone. No emails. No Foursquare check-ins. Not a single Instagram. (“That is literally my one birthday wish,” I remember impressing on him. “One hour without the phone. You can do it. Really.”)
Continue reading Leave your phone alone
Doctor Sadoon al Obeidi used to be a member of the Mujahadeen Army, a Sunni militant group founded in Iraq a decade ago. Now he fights alongside the Islamic State — the extremist group that split off from Al Qaeda earlier this year and has swept through Syriaand northern Iraq in the past month, declaring a new cross-border caliphate.
Thousands of Iraqis like Obeidi have likewise joined the ranks of a coalition working with this Sunni extremist group.
“Long term we have different goals,” Obeidi said. “But we formed this alliance with IS for tactical reasons.”
While the Islamic State, previously known as ISIS or ISIL (for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), is the group the media associate with the Sunni uprising in Iraq, they are in reality one of six main groups that make up the coalition that seized control of a large chunk of western and central Iraq last month.
Continue reading Iraq – secular Sunnistan or Islamic caliphate?
A gynecologist who secretly used a pen-like camera to record hundreds of videos and photos of his patients’ sex organs during pelvic exams will cost one of the world’s most prestigious medical centres $190 million US in a settlement with more than 8,000 women.
Nikita Levy was fired in February 2013, days after a co-worker alerted authorities at Johns Hopkins Health System about her suspicions. He was forced to turn over the camera, and committed suicide days later. Investigators discovered roughly 1,200 videos and 140 images stored on a series of servers in his home. Continue reading Johns Hopkins $190M pay out over secret video