Egypt struggles to end female genital mutilation

By Hayam Adel AWLAD SERAG, Egypt, March 8 : In a tiny village in Egypt’s southern province of Assiut, 16-year-old Amany Shamekh, who wants to be an artist one day, recalls how she was illegally circumcised with a razor blade. “The midwife came to the house, my mother took off my underwear and the lady […]

China’s millennium-old fireworks hub grapples with bans and shifting traditions

By Philip Wen and Thomas Suen LIUYANG, China, Feb 12 : From the concrete bunkers carved into the hillside, where workers gingerly handle piles of explosive black powder, to the shopfronts selling colourful boxes of pyrotechnics, time may be catching up with Liuyang’s millennium-old fireworks industry. Government efforts to curb pollution have led to bans […]

Thousands stage ANZAC Day memorials in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

By Harry Pearl SYDNEY, April 25 : Thousands of people in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand attended dawn services and military parades today to commemorate ANZAC Day, the Gallipoli landings during World War One and the infamous Thai-Burma death railway of World War Two. The day marks the landing of thousands of troops from the […]

Boston St. Patrick’s parade to allow gay veterans to return

By Scott Malone BOSTON, Mar 11 : A group of gay veterans of the U.S. military can march in this year’s Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, parade organizers said on Friday after an earlier move to exclude them sparked outrage and boycott threats in the liberal city. The parade, one of the United States’ largest […]