An American blogger has been hacked to death by a "knife-wielding mob" in Dhaka, Bangladesh, police have said. Avijit Roy, an atheist, is believed to have been attacked for promoting secularism and criticizing religious extremism online, which has angered hardline Islamic groups.
"Avijit Roy has been killed the way other free thinker writers were killed in Bangladesh. No freethinker is safe in Bangladesh," blogger Taslima Nasreen, who left Bangladesh in the mid-1990s after receiving death threats from extremists, said about the killing.
"Islamic terrorists can do whatever they like. They can kill people with no qualms whatsoever." more >>
A Christian nurse from Detroit with over 41 years of experience in her profession shared about her life-changing spiritual journey while working in a number of impoverished countries in Asia.
Vicki Augustiniak shares in Really, God-Bangladesh? the physical struggles she went through while traveling and working in several Asian countries, including Bangladesh and the Philippines, as well as the difficulties she faced making sense of things when confronted with the harsh reality people lived in. But she also shares in her book stories of human ingenuity that inspired her the most.
The author and registered nurse says that profits from Really, God-Bangladesh?, published by InspiringVoices, will go toward building a hospital in the Chilmary district of Northern Bangladesh. more >>
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 >>