India: No Leads in Mumbai Bomb Attacks

This is un update on this story:

Indian police are looking into “every possible hostile group” in their search for the culprits behind the triple bombing in the heart of Mumbai that killed 17 people and wounded 131 others, the country’s top security official said Thursday.

The attacks, which authorities said came without warning, were the worst terror strike in the country since the siege of Mumbai that killed 166 people 31 months ago, and government officials were struggling to reassure Indians over their safety.

…No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombings, which shook three separate neighborhoods within minutes of each other during the busy evening rush hour. The attack came just months after peace talks resumed between India and Pakistan. Indian officials have so far refused to speculate who might be behind the blasts.

“We are not pointing a finger at this stage,” Chidambaram said. “We have to look at every possible hostile group and find out whether they are behind the blast.”

via India Says No Leads in Mumbai Bomb Attacks – FoxNews.com.

India: bombing rips through central Mumbai (BREAKING)

Three coordinated bombings tore through the heart of India’s busy financial capital during rush hour Wednesday, killing 21 people in the worst terror attack in the country since the 2008 Mumbai siege. The attacks came just months after peace talks resumed between India and Pakistan, which New Delhi has blamed for past attacks.

Blood-covered bodies lay on Mumbai streets and people hugged and wept. Others carried the wounded to taxis. Crowds gathered in the blast areas as police questioned witnesses, and bomb squads inspected the undercarriages of vehicles searching for clues and other explosives.

Motorcycles were charred, shopfronts shattered and a bus stop ripped apart. Bleeding victims crowded into the back of a cargo truck to be taken to a hospital.

via Triple bombing rips through central Mumbai – INDIA – FRANCE 24.

India: Catholic bishops condemn sex-change operations for infant girls

The state of Madhya Pradesh in India

Image via Wikipedia

After gendercide, now they are changing sex on infant girls, because “boys are much more valued”:

The Indian episcopal conference has “strongly condemned” sex-change operations performed on infant girls at the request of their parents. In Indore–a city of 1.5 million in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh–some 300 girls under the age of one have reportedly been victims of the operation.

“We have strongly condemned, as Indian bishops, this horrible practice,” said Father Charles Irudayam, an official of the Episcopal Conference of India. “It is the result of a mindset that favors [the] male as a source of profit and as a son of greater value, mortifying the dignity of women.”

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : India: bishops condemn sex-change operations for infant girls.

The War Against Girls

India sex ratio map en

Image via Wikipedia

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

via Book Review: Unnatural Selection – WSJ.com.

Report: Afghanistan is the worst place to live for women

Even worse than Saudi Arabia?

Widespread violence, lack of health care and poverty make Afghanistan the worse country in the world for women, this according to a study by the Thomson-Reuters Foundation. However, AsiaNews sources do not share such a negative view.

The study, based on interviews with 213 experts from around the world, indicates that Afghanistan tops a list of five worst nations, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia. The inclusion of India has raised eyebrows given its great economic development; however, widespread female foeticide and the nation’s sex trade explain its low ranking.

The survey was compiled to mark the launch of a website, TrustLawWoman, aimed at providing free legal advice to women’s groups.

High maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” render Afghanistan such a threat to its female inhabitants. “Continuing conflict, NATO air strikes and cultural practices combine to make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women,” Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, said.

More here.

Child brides

In India, the girls will typically be attached to boys four or five years older, an investigation in the June issue of National Geographic magazine has found. But in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and other countries with even higher rates of marriage at an early age, the husbands may be young men, middle-aged widowers or even abductors who rape first and claim their victims as wives afterwards.

'Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him': Tahani (in pink) was just six years old when she she married Majed, 25 (standing next to her). The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001029/Child-brides-young-5-married-secret-middle-aged-men.html#ixzz1OoziS8vd

'Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him': Tahani (in pink) was just six years old when she she married Majed, 25 (standing next to her). The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen

Read more.

Pakistan: Newspaper faked Wikileaks cables for propaganda war against India

The story was broken by The Guardian’s Declan Walsh, who discovered that none of the purported US assessments could be found on the WikiLeaks database. The Guardian, a British daily which has all the leaked WikiLeaks cables, could find no match for any of the claims made in the Pakistani press.

Now that’s hardly surprising. Whatever you may think about US State Department officials, on reading the WikiLeaked cables, you have to admit, as Roger Cohen put it in his New York Times op-ed, US diplomats write “clear, declarative English sentences”.

So if a US diplomat sends a cable calling a former Indian Army chief an “incompetent combat leader and rather a geek” with a “much far from reality” war doctrine of eliminating China and Pakistan, someone should have smelt a rat.

The stories were apparently generated by the Islamabad-based Online wire agency, that is known for its close links to the Pakistani intelligence services.

The Pakistani mainstream media’s willingness to toe the official military-intelligence line has been much noted, and is a subject worthy of discussion by other people – especially editors of international dailies such as the International Herald Tribune, whose Pakistani affiliate, Express Tribune, published the piece followed by a front-page retraction.

via Faking WikiLeak-ed Cables for Propaganda or How to Beat ‘The Onion’ at Farce | Les blogs.

Read it all.

PS: By the way, Assange has been freed on bail.