French cartoons insulting Islam condemned as 'fuel on the fire'
As Muslims across the globe continue to protest the US-made film that insulted Islam's Prophet Muhammad, a French weekly called Charlie Hebdo published a series of cartoons of the prophet, sparking a new wave of rage in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Press TV reported that the cartoons were denounced by both Egypt's al-Azhar Mosque and the Vatican as "fuel on the fire," and Al Jazeera reported that a number of French embassies and schools would close today for fear of violence.
According to BBC Arabic, anti-blasphemy demonstrations have spread to South and Southeast Asia, specifically the capitals of Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, while Pakistan experienced deadly Friday protests after security forces opened fire on demonstrators.
This Week in Syria: 'Friends of Syria' meeting, 'massacre' in ar-Raqqah, and fears of chemical attack
New TV reported a massacre by the Syrian regime in ar-Raqqah on Thursday, while Holland hosted a meeting of representatives of the group known as "Friends of the Syrian People," which includes 60 countries and the Arab League. Meanwhile, IBA reported on Tuesday that the Syrian army flew in members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to witness firing tests for chemical weapons at the country's largest chemical weapons research center. Newly-defected Major General Adnan Sillu, who was the head of the Syrian weapons program, also said that the Assad regime had plans to conduct a chemical weapons assault on the rebels, as well as transfer missiles with chemical warheads to Hezbollah.
Large-scale IDF exercises in Golan Heights, as Israeli air strike kills two Hamas officers in Gaza
IBA reported surprise large-scale military exercises involving top IDF brass amid the Jewish High Holy Days. The exercises simulated a deteriorating security situation in the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that an Israeli air strike resulted in the deaths of two Hamas security officers near the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, saying that the officers were on an official mission near the tunnels by the Egyptian-Palestinian border. IBA, on the other hand, reported that the deaths were of Hamas operatives who were tasked with securing smuggling tunnels for explosives, and were planning a terror attack against Israel.
Image: A girl is photographed as she attends an anti-U.S. demonstration with religious students in the compound of the Red Mosque in Islamabad September 22, 2012: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
(LinkAsia: February 3, 2012)
This week, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi began campaigning outside Yangon for April's by-elections. The Nobel Laureate will continue her tour around the country to win support for other candidates from her party. If the politics of Burma has become easier, it doesn't matter to the hundreds of thousands of Burmese who fled the country's military government. At least 140,000 live in Thailand. And for most of them, life is brutal. NHK has the story of one young refugee.
NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: January 30, 2012
Mae Sot marks the border between Myanmar and Thailand. The far side is Myanmar. Every day people cross from Myanmar, often illegally, to look for work. They total around 20,000 a year. They expect a better life, but often they find reality is tough. This garbage dump is close to the river. I'm standing at a garbage mountain in the town on the Thai border with Myanmar. The scene is really terrible. Here people from Myanmar make a living by collecting garbage. The mountain of trash is dotted with people. They are searching for scraps of steel and plastic to sell. Thirteen-year-old Zimintu came here with his family five years ago. He earns about a dollar a day, too little to feed his family of four. Picking vegetables out of the garbage is sometimes the only way to get enough to eat.
My father is sick, so I have no choice but to do this.
A local NGO has built a school near the garbage site to help the children. About 150 students attend the school. They all live at the dorm, but they get medical check-ups and free meals through the school. Zimintu's younger brother studied at the school two years ago. After Zimintu finishes his day collecting garbage, he goes to the school to pick up his brother. He wishes he was also playing with his friends. But he has to support his family.
Put the sweets in your bag. Let's go home.
He hopes that one day, he too will go to school and become a doctor.
Working at the dump site is no fun at all. It's just that there's no alternative job. I want to return to my hometown someday.
Zimintu endures a tough job to support his family, but that doesn't stop him from dreaming that one day things will get better. Khemmapat Rojwanichkun, NHK World, Northern Thailand.
(Al Jazeera English: 0149 PT, May 12, 2011) Separatists in Southern Thailand speak exclusively to Al Jazeera about their fight for independence.