Islamists abduct 'more than 100' schoolgirls in Nigeria:

Maiduguri (Nigeria), Apr 15, 2014, (AFP)

Heavily armed Islamist gunmen kidnapped a group of girls from a secondary school in northeast Nigeria's Borno state and torched the surrounding town, a local official and a witness informed.
Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped more than 100 girls from a secondary school in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, a senior security source told AFP.  read more »

Nigerian senator: '135 civilians killed' in attacks by Islamic Militants

Homes destroyed by Boko Haram militants in Bama, Borno State (February 2014)
Boko Haram has been accused of numerous attacks in the north including one last month in Bama, Gunmen have killed 135 civilians in north east Nigeria since Wednesday, a senior official from the region has informed sources.Borno state senator Ahmed Zannah said the killings took place in at least three separate attacks in the state.  read more »

Archbishop of Orissa: Today's vote "worries Christians. But we believe in democracy"
by Nirmala Carvalho

"GCIC prays that the administration will ensure the safety and protection of the Kandhamal people as they go to cast their ballots today. Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack -Bhubaneshwar, tells AsiaNews: "We hope that the new government will give justice to the victims of the carnage". Kandhamal votes today in the third phase of the general elections, one of the most important.  read more »

13,687 families depend on manual scavenging in Kerala

Published on 28 March 2014

T Ramavarman

KOCHI: The enumerators for the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 seem to have come up with some curious data.According to them, there are 13,687 families who depend on manual scavenging to eke out a living in Kerala which has won global acclaim for its high levels of social development.
Another perplexing finding is that there are 14,947 freed bonded labour families in the state.  read more »

Dutch priest shot dead in Syria's Homs
Frans van der Lugt, who lived in Syria for decades and refused to be evacuated, was shot in the head outside his home.
Last updated: 07 Apr 2014 20:29
Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt, who was renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, has been shot dead there by an unknown gunman.His death was reported on Monday by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria's state news agency SANA, and was confirmed by the Dutch Jesuit Order.  read more »

Christians in Pakistan sentenced to death over a text message:GCIC demands repeal of barbaric law

Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) in a letter addressed to Pakistan President demanded him to intervene to save the lives of the couple, the latest victim of blasphemy law of Pakistan. The letter further says that the trumped charge of blasphemy is believed to be the handiwork of an aggressive Moulavi who wanted to settle personal scores with the couple.GCIC is is also concerned against the deafening silence of the human rights bodies and champions of democracy
A Christian couple in Pakistan have become the latest to be sentenced to death for blasphemy, after they were accused of sending a text message deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.
Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar, from the eastern town of Gojra, were sentenced after what the couple's lawyer said was a case motivated by a personal grudge.Maulvi Mohammed Hussain, a Muslim leader from a mosque in Gojra, lodged the complaint last year, claiming that Mr Emmanuel had used his wife's mobile phone to send the offending message. Nadeem Hassan, the couple's lawyer, said that the couple denied the offense and that the text message originated from a mobile phone that had been lost beforehand.  read more »

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