To most people, when the word “Afghanistan” is mentioned the concept of being able to openly criticize the government does not come to mind, unless followed up with the phrase “punishable by death.”
However, post-9/11 Afghan society has been making great strides toward a working democracy and citizens have known greater personal freedoms now than under the Taliban. There is no better sign of a budding democracy than a media not afraid to challenge power holders. With its new television series titled, “The Ministry,” Afghan citizens are able to participate in mocking their own government.
The show is Afghanistan’s version of the U.S. and Britain’s comedy show “The Office,” which pokes fun of incompetent managers in an office environment. In the Afghan version, the show is set in a fictional “ministry of garbage” in Hechland (which translated from Dari to mean “Nothing Land”). The main character (otherwise known as the Afghan version of Michael Scott) is the loveable but incompetent leader of “The Office,” Dawlat, the head minister. more >>
American Atheists may not have anticipated it, but a suit they recently filed in New York to remove a cross in a 9/11 museum has turned even non-conservatives and skeptics against the group’s litigious zeal.
The Washington Post’s On Faith section says few panelists defended the suit filed about two weeks ago to stop the display of a metal cross at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
“Even our own atheist contributors seemed to feel that the lawsuit was ‘frivolous’ and distracted from real church and state battles,” it notes. more >>
For the first time since military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan began using makeshift bombs, there is new research that offers hope for U.S. soldiers wounded by explosions.
Bioengineers at Harvard University can now explain how the blast of an exploding bomb can result in disastrous injuries in the nerve cells and blood vessels of the brain.
Researchers discovered this week that if a soldier is near a bomb when it explodes, it sets off a chain reaction of destructive molecular signals within the nerve cells of the brain. more >>
This fall a reality series entitled “All American Muslim” will premiere on TLC. The series will follow five Muslim families living in one of the country’s largest Muslim communities, Dearborn, Mich. The town is also home to the largest mosque in the United States.
The show intends to allow “viewers into a world they might not otherwise experience,” said Amy Winter, TLC’s general manager.
"Through these families and their diverse experiences, we will explore how they blend their values and traditions with everyday life in America," stated Winter, "providing insight into their culture with care and compassion." more >>
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) after serious concerns arose that the corporation's employees may have tried to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims and their families, it was revealed Thursday.
The FBI were prompted to open a preliminary probe after several lawmakers wrote letters questioning whether it was possible that reporters working for Murdoch's media company may have sought access to phone records of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to sources at the FBI's New York City office.
Murdoch and his company are under intense scrutiny for actions involving the now-defunct News of the World tabloid. Reporters at the paper are said to have accessed the voice mail accounts of victims who died in London's terrorist attacks in 2005. more >>
The September 11 Memorial, which is set to open in a few months, has racked up 42,000 ticket reservations on its website within a day of opening its booking system. It is estimated that the reservations will increase even more over the coming weeks before the 10th anniversary.
The memorial opens to the public on Sept. 12 and visitors will be able to get timed passes to see the memorial. On Sept. 11 the memorial will only be open to families and invited dignitaries.
As noted in the Drudge Report, officials are expected to limit the number of visitors to approximately 1,500 at a time. more >>