Four atheist bloggers in Bangladesh are facing up to 14 years in prison for defaming Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, including one who was stabbed viciously by fundamentalist attackers earlier this year.
"They have been indicted with defaming Islam, Prophet Mohammed and other religions through their Internet writings. They spread malice against all religions," senior public prosecutor Shah Alam Talukdar told AFP.
The four accused are 24-year old Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, 36-year old Russel Parvez, 42-year old Mashiur Rahman Biplob, and 29-year old Asif Mohiuddin. The bloggers were arrested earlier this year after nationwide protests by Muslims targeting atheists who were critical of Islam in online posts. more >>
A report on the risk factors for breast cancer published by the Journal of Dhaka Medical College in Bangladesh has determined that women who have induced abortions increase their chances of getting cancer by as much as 20 times.
"Almost all the women are married (97% currently married; the rest widowed) and with child by the time they are 20, and all of the kids are breastfed. Ninety percent had their first child at age 21 or younger (99% of controls did)," explained Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College, City University of New York, noting that the high risk elevation is a measure of relative risk and that in general, Bengali women have traditional childbearing patterns that reduce breast cancer risk.
"They typically neither take contraceptive steroids nor have any abortions. Nulliparity (childlessness) or abortion before first full term pregnancy (both of which mean no breastfeeding) in a population in which breast cancer is almost unheard of, makes the relative risk very high," Brind continued, who is a professor of biology and endocrinology. more >>
Massive riots in Dhaka and other Bangladesh cities have left at least 36 people dead and 60 injured after tens of thousands of Islamists clashed with police demanding stricter penalties for atheist bloggers.
The demonstrators "were very aggressive, some people were throwing stones and the situation quickly become violent ... the police had no option but to respond," one eyewitness told BBC News.
"Rioters vandalized markets and set fire to bookshops where the Holy Koran is sold. Thousands of Koran and religious books burned. They also attacked the ruling party's political office and national mosque," the man added. more >>
Hopes are beginning to fade in Bangladesh to find more survivors in the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed last week, as the death toll rose to 380 victims.
"There is little hope of finding anyone alive. Our men went inside and saw some dead bodies in the ground floor. But no one was seen alive," said Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmed Khan, the chief of the fire brigade.
Meanwhile, the owner of the building where 3,000 people were employed has been arrested while trying to escape to India. Mohammed Sohel Rana will now face charges of negligence, The Associated Press said, as authorities believe he did not provide a proper warning about the cracks inside Rana Plaza, where five garment factories were operating when it collapsed. more >>
A number of major atheist organizations have been put in a tough spot over planned protests against Bangladesh, after the country suffered a national disaster on Wednesday that left hundreds of people dead.
American Atheists and secular groups from around the world had planned to protest on Thursday outside of Bengali embassies around the world over the arrest and imprisonment of several atheist bloggers. The South Asian country, which is heavily Muslim, has been cracking down on those criticizing the faith and the government, accusing them of blasphemy and insulting Islam.
The country declared a national day of mourning on Thursday, however, after a massive building collapse in Bangladesh that left over 230 dead and 1,000 injured, with workers still digging out survivors from the incident. As a consequence, a number of planned rallies in support of the atheist bloggers have now been pushed back, but others have continued. more >>
A massive building collapse in Bangladesh on Wednesday has left over 200 people dead with rescue workers still trying to dig out many others from the rubble on Thursday.
"Save us, brother. I beg you, brother. I want to live," one distraught man told an Associated Press cameraman as rescue workers helped remove the concrete slabs that pinned him down. "It's so painful here ... I have two little children."
The disaster occurred in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, and according to officials is the biggest single loss of life the country has suffered. Police had ordered the unstable buildings to be evacuated a day earlier, but more than 2,000 people were still on-site when the eight-story building collapsed. more >>