URUMQI, China (AP) — China charged Akmal Shaikh with smuggling drugs and executed him on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 29. But family and acquaintances say the 53-year-old Briton, originally from Pakistan, was mentally unstable and was lured to China from a life on the street in Poland by men playing on his dreams to record a pop song for world peace.
The closure of what may be China’s first mega-church is the most visible sign that the communist government is determined to rein in the rapid spread of Christianity, with a crackdown in recent months that church leaders call the harshest in years.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — An Indian police agency investigating the deaths of two women in Kashmir said Dec. 14 that they drowned and were not raped and killed as alleged by locals, a ruling likely to further fuel anti-India sentiment.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A pair of former NFL players of Samoan descent finished a trip this week to American Samoa, where they helped with tsunami recovery efforts and handed over a check for $50,000 from the league and players association.
The report released Monday, Dec. 7, by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warns that neglecting Sri Lanka as it emerges from three decades of bloody civil war could result in a shift toward China and other countries that place “greater value on security over freedoms.”
“They told him, ‘There’s nothing we can do for you. Just go home and wait to die,”’ said Do Thi Phuong. When she contracted AIDS, she didn’t seek help, fearing that she would also be shunned. Instead, like her husband, she went home to die.
GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines (AP) — Kristia Subang wiped her father’s coffin with a cloth and recalled the last time she saw the veteran newspaperman, when he woke her with a surprise gift of a new set of shoes for school — the night before he and 29 colleagues were massacred on their final assignment.
Doctors took 15-year-old Ji Xiaoyan off a ventilator and she was discharged because her family could no longer pay her hospital bills. Her uncle cobbled together a makeshift ventilator from bicycle and washing machine parts, driven by a noisy electric motor. The contraption pumped air into the teenager’s lungs for more than a month, until the family got donations for treatment.
Each year, 4 million babies die before they are a month old, 150 million children are engaged in child labor, more than 500 million have been affected by violence, and 51 million have fallen so far through the cracks that they have not even had their births registered, according to the United Nations.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The mother who gave up conjoined Bangladeshi newborn twins for adoption said Saturday that she is overjoyed the toddlers have been successfully separated and wants them to grow up in Australia.