World News - Asia & Middle East

At around midnight yesterday, Philippines time, the sounds of gunfire and explosions erupted at the popular Resorts World Manila.

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There are conflicting reports as to whether the attack was either a robbery gone bad or a terror related incident. ISIS has claimed responsibility, despite police denying terrorist involvement due to evidence on the scene. 

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Thirty-seven people died in the attack, mainly due to smoke inhalation as the lone gunman had set fires throughout the casino building. At least 70 other people were injured in the attack.

This ongoing incident is part of a larger problem plaguing the Philippines in recent days. The city of Marawi is currently under siege by an estimated 500 ISIS linked militants, Marawi is on Mindanao island, in the south of the country, where a sizable Islamic population resides. The casualties at Marawi are in the hundreds, a plane accidentally bombed Filipino soldiers as they were attempting to halt the terrorists, eleven were killed and seven were injured. The militants attacking Marawi include local Filipinos, but at least eight foreign fighters have been identified, from nearby countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and far away locations including Yemen and Chechnya. 3,000 Filipino soldiers, as well as support, are currently attempting to drive out the militants.

While it is not yet certain if these two attacks are connected, it is a possibility. These situations highlight the instability in the Philippines, as President Duterte has declared martial law due to the Marawi incident. The siege, and possibly the incident at the resort, also highlight that ISIS attacks have no borders, and do not only target those in the West, they are truly engaged in a global war.

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BANGLADESH: Rivers of Blood fill streets as Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Adha by cutting the throats of fully-conscious terrified animals, letting them bleed to death in agony

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Pouring rains coupled with this massive and barbaric animal sacrifice ritual on the streets of Dhaka have flooded many areas of the capital, creating a gory and horrific scene of red rivers of blood and waste.

Dhaka Tribune  (h/t Victoria B) Citizens of Dhaka witnessed a horrific sight amidst the celebration of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday.  Rainfall and animal sacrifices across the city created a dreadful scene of blood streams across streets in the city.

14369964_1774901436102588_4371724121404744548_n-690x450Waterlogging in many parts of the city got mixed with the blood following the sacrifices of the animals creating the disturbing scene.

The flooded parts of the city gave an impression akin to rivers of blood.

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Many said the incident showed how the city corporations had failed to keep the city’s drainage systems functional and had paid no attention to the matter before Eid. 

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The two city corporations designated 1,000 spots – 496 in the north and 504 in the south – for cutting animals’ throats in front of cheering crowds.

Areas like Malibagh, Baily Road, Shantinagar, Bijoynagar, Paltan, Motijheel, Jatrabari, Bakshi Bazar and Kathalbagan saw people slaughtering animals right in front of their homes. 

From around 7.30am in the morning, many people were seen slaughtering animals in the streets in front of their homes and other convenient places in several areas including Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Shyamoli, Uttara, Dhanmondi, Niketon. The roads soon filled up with blood and waste.

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Despite the intermittent showers, citizens thronged mosques, offered prayers and proceeded with the ritualistic goat sacrifice. In Malibagh, Baily Road, Shantinagar, Bijoynagar, Paltan, Motijheel, Jatrabari, Bakshi Bazar and Kathalbagan area, Dhaka Tribune reporters found people are sacrificing their animals in front of their homes or other places nearby. 

Dhaka South City Corporation’s Deputy Chief waste management official Khandker Millatul Islam said that water logging in the capital was an old problem.

Full Story HERE

 

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A young Indian woman who chopped off the penis of her alleged rapist has been praised for her ‘courage’ by local officials.
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The 23-year-old law student from Kerala, southern India, removed the appendage as well as 90 percent of the man’s genitals in the attack, according to The Hindu. She reportedly contacted police immediately after the incident and was taken to a refuge for safety.

The man, identified as Swami Ganeshananda, a self-proclaimed religious guru, was treated for his injuries at a local government hospital.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan 

the young woman, declaring the action “a courageous and strong act.”

The woman claims she was first assaulted by the 54-year-old self-styled ‘godman’ when she was 16 years old, and was repeatedly raped by him as he visited her family home under the auspices of curing her paralyzed father.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Arul B. Krishna told the

The accused man, who is recovering from his injuries, was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for repeatedly raping the woman over seven years.

He has denied the accusations, telling police that he cut off his own penis “as it was not useful to him,” reported India Today.

 A Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy.

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The court, whose sentencing Wednesday coincided with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, said the men, aged 20 and 23, would each be subjected to 85 lashes for having sexual relations. One of the men wept as his sentence was read out and pleaded for leniency. The chief prosecutor, Gulmaini, who goes by one name, said they will be caned next week, before Ramadan starts on about May 25.

The couple was arrested in late March after neighborhood vigilantes in the provincial capital Banda Aceh suspected them of being gay and broke into their rented room to catch them having sex. Mobile phone footage that circulated online and formed part of the evidence shows one of the men naked and visibly distressed as he apparently calls for help on his cellphone. The second man is repeatedly pushed by another man who is preventing the couple from leaving the room.

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The lead judge, Khairil Jamal, said the men were "legally and convincingly proven to have committed gay sex."

He said the three-judge panel decided against imposing the maximum sentence of 100 lashes because the men were polite in court, cooperated with authorities and had no previous convictions.

"As Muslims, the defendants should uphold the Shariah law that prevails in Aceh," Jamal said.

International human rights groups have described the treatment of the men as abusive and humiliating and called for their immediate release. Human Rights Watch said in April that public caning would constitute torture under international law.

Prosecutors had asked that they receive 80 lashes.

Indonesia's reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam has been battered in the past year due to attacks on religious minorities, a surge in persecution of gays and a polarizing election campaign for governor of the capital Jakarta that highlighted the growing strength of hard-line Islamic groups.

Earlier this month, the outgoing Jakarta governor, a minority Christian, was sentenced to two years in prison for campaign comments deemed as blaspheming the Quran. The judges also imposed a tougher sentence than sought by prosecutors who had ultimately downgraded the charge from blasphemy and asked for just two years of probation.    Full Story

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