Six In The Morning Tuesday November 10

China decries Shenyang pollution called ‘worst ever’ by activists

Chinese state media and netizens have decried high pollution levels in the northeast city of Shenyang, which activists have said could be the “worst ever” air quality seen in the country.

On Sunday pollution readings were about 50 times higher than that considered safe by the World Health Organization.

State media have blamed the local government for the thick smog.

Pollution is a perennial problem in China’s northeast, home to heavy industries including coal mining.

In some parts of Shenyang, Sunday’s readings of tiny particulate which can get into the lungs, known as PM 2.5, exceeded 1,400 mg per cubic metre, according to state media People’s Daily.

The WHO recommends a maximum 24-hour average of 25 mg per cubic metre.

“As far as we are aware from the data we have been observing over the past few years, this is the highest ever PM 2.5 level recording” in the country, Dong Liansai a campaigner with environmental group Greenpeace, told AFP news agency.

There has been no government confirmation of this assertion.


The deterioration in air quality came as the city’s coal-powered heating system fired up for the winter.

Egypt to Ben Carson: no, the pyramids were not for storing grain

Antiquities minister says presidential hopeful’s claim doesn’t deserve response, while another official points out that ‘this man is not an archaeologist’

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Egyptian antiquities officials have scoffed at claims by the Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson that Egypt’s ancient pyramids were not built as pharaonic tombs but used to store grain.

“Does he even deserve a response? He doesn’t,” said the antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damaty, on the sidelines of a news conference about recent thermal scans of the pyramids thatcould reveal hidden tombs.

Carson’s comments have received little attention in Egypt – where people are accustomed to accepted expert views about the 4,500-year-old structures – but have drawn interest in the United States where the retired neurosurgeon has jumped to the top of the crowded Republican presidential field.

Pakistan says it won’t take back migrants with ‘criminal record’

In a bid to solve the ongoing migrant crisis, the EU has been seeking ways to stem the stream of asylum seekers coming from countries like Pakistan. But what are the issues involved in it? DW examines.

Pakistan has temporarily suspended a 2010 agreement with European Union countries that allows them to deport Pakistani citizens entering the continent illegally, citing “blatant misuse.”

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said last week that the South Asian nation was pulling out of the accord with all European nations except Britain because they often deport Pakistani immigrants labeling them as terrorists.

“Pakistanis travelling illegally to any Western country are to be deported after proper verification,” he said. “But most of these countries are deporting people without that.”

Each year, thousands of Pakistanis undertake perilous journeys attempting to reach European shores via land and sea, transiting countries such as Iran, Turkey and Greece. While some flee the South Asian nation seeking refuge from terrorism, sectarian conflicts and religious intolerance, others have purely economic objectives.

France seeks UN action on Burundi to prevent ‘another Rwanda’

France on Monday urged the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution aimed at toughening the international response to spiralling violence in Burundi, amid fears of Rwanda-style mass killings.

The measure threatens targeted sanctions against Burundian leaders who foment violence or hamper efforts to end the crisis that followed protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term.

“We are extremely worried by what we are seeing in Burundi at this moment: this increase of political violence and the extremely alarming ethnically-based hate speech,” French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek told reporters.

“If we let tensions escalate the whole country could explode,” Lamek said. “Especially when we hear hate speech coming from highest ranks.”

The draft text calls on the government and all sides to “reject any kind of violence” and strongly condemns the killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and other rights violations in Burundi.

Confessions of a media-wary young adult

Updated about 3 hours ago

Welcome to Pakistan, where growing up isn’t always easy and the local media does nothing about it.

When I set myself on a quest for quality young-adult content on Pakistani TV, I did not fully realise the disillusionment I was signing myself up for. After eight hours glued to the TV set (except for the brief moments I closed my eyes while blinking away tears of frustration), it is safe to say that Pakistani TV has nothing to offer the average Pakistani teen (not even a grain of mercy when it comes to those ulcer-inducing fairness cream commercials that make you want to stab yourself in the chest.. repeatedly).

Here is a glimpse of the TV content I stumbled upon, in all its teen-repelling glory: — A typical Pakistani drama with the husband kicking the wife out of the house after accusing her of cheating while the ‘evil phuppi’ looks on (maybe it was the ‘evil saas’. I’m not sure; I can no longer tell them apart).

— A game show with the host hurling prizes at the audience like candy, and the audience reacting like five year-olds on a sugar rush; which admittedly had me clapping like a mentally-challenged seal towards the end, which is when I knew my slow descent into madness had begun.

Why some Christians in northern Iraq are choosing to stand and fight

Christian militia fighters know that hopes for the future of their community – chased out by the Islamic State – are slim. But they will tell their children, ‘We fought.’

On the outside, the house is fortified with sandbags and machine guns. On the inside hang pictures of Jesus and Mary.

The house, in the last village before the territory of the Islamic State (IS) begins here in northern Iraq, is a base for Dwekh Nawsha, one of the Assyrian Christian militias participating in the battle against IS.

Last year, the jihadists’ lightning advance across northern Iraq captured part of the Nineveh Plain, historic homeland of Iraq’s Assyrian minority, forcing thousands of Christians to flee. Now some of them are on the front lines, fighting for their homeland.

Samir Nwa Oraha, the local militia commander and a former special forces soldier in the Iraqi Army, says it wasn’t a difficult decision to pick up a weapon once again to protect the land of his people.

“My heart is here. I want to be fighting,” he says. “Outsiders are protecting us and we can’t sit and watch. We have to share the responsibility with them.”