Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data

Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found.

The report, published Monday by the Australian government’s inspector general for the intelligence community, which oversees the government’s spy and eavesdropping agencies, said the app data was scooped up “in the course of the lawful collection of other data.”

But the watchdog said that there was “no evidence” that any agency “decrypted, accessed or used any COVID app data.”

Incidental collection is a common term used by spies to describe the data that was not deliberately targeted but collected as part of a wider collection effort. This kind of collection isn’t accidental, but more of a consequence of when spy agencies tap into fiber optic cables, for example, which carries an enormous firehose of data. An Australian government spokesperson told one outlet, which first reported the news, that incidental collection can also happen as a result of the “execution of warrants.”

The report did not say when the incidental collection stopped, but noted that the agencies were “taking active steps to ensure compliance” with the law, and that the data would be “deleted as soon as practicable,” without setting a firm date.

For some, fears that a government spy agency could access COVID-19 contact tracing data was the worst possible outcome.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries — and states in places like the U.S. — have rushed to build contact tracing apps to help prevent the spread of the virus. But these apps vary wildly in terms of functionality and privacy.

Most have adopted the more privacy-friendly approach of using Bluetooth to trace people with the virus that you may have come into contact with. Many have chosen to implement the Apple-Google system, which hundreds of academics have backed. But others, like Israel and Pakistan, are using more privacy invasive techniques, like tracking location data, which governments can also use to monitor a person’s whereabouts. In Israel’s case, the tracking was so controversial that the courts shut it down.

Australia’s intelligence watchdog did not say specifically what data was collected by the spy agencies. The app uses Bluetooth and not location data, but the app requires the user to upload some personal information — like their name, age, postal code, and phone number — to allow the government’s health department to contact those who may have come into contact with an infected person.

Australia has seen more than 27,800 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 900 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

#articles, #australia, #bluetooth, #contact-tracing, #exposure-notification, #fiber-optic, #government, #israel, #mass-surveillance, #pakistan, #policy, #privacy, #security, #software, #spokesperson, #united-states


Google, Facebook and Twitter threaten to leave Pakistan over censorship law

Global internet companies Facebook, Google and Twitter and others have banded together and threatened to leave Pakistan after the South Asian nation granted blanket powers to local regulators to censor digital content.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan granted the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to remove and block digital content that pose “harms, intimidates or excites disaffection” toward the government or in other ways hurt the “integrity, security, and defence of Pakistan.”

Through a group called the Asia Internet Coalition Asia (AIC), the tech firms said that they were “alarmed” by the scope of Pakistan’s new law targeting internet firms.” In addition to Facebook, Google, and Twitter, AIC represents Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, SAP, Expedia Group, Yahoo, Airbnb, Grab, Rakuten,, Line, and Cloudflare.

If the message sounds familiar, it’s because this is not the first time these tech giants have publicly expressed their concerns over the new law, which was proposed by Khan’s ministry in February this year.

After the Pakistani government made the proposal earlier this year, the group had threatened to leave, a move that made the nation retreat and promise an extensive and broad-based consultation process with civil society and tech companies.

That consultation never happened, AIC said in a statement on Thursday, reiterating that its members will be unable to operate in the country with this law in place.

“The draconian data localization requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan’s digital economy off from the rest of the world. It’s chilling to see the PTA’s powers expanded, allowing them to force social media companies to violate established human rights norms on privacy and freedom of expression,” the group said in a statement.

“The Rules would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses. If Pakistan wants to be an attractive destination for technology investment and realise its goal of digital transformation, we urge the Government to work with industry on practical, clear rules that protect the benefits of the internet and keep people safe from harm.”

Under the new law, tech companies that fail to remove or block the unlawful content from their platforms within 24 hours of notice from Pakistan authorities also face a fine of up to $3.14 million. And like its neighboring nation, India, — which has also proposed a similar regulation with little to no backlash — Pakistan now also requires these companies to have local offices in the country.

The new rules comes as Pakistan has cracked down on what it deems to be inappropriate content on the internet in recent months. Earlier this year, it banned popular mobile game PUBG Mobile and last month it temporarily blocked TikTok.

Countries like Pakistan and India contribute little to the bottomline for tech companies. But India, which has proposed several protectionist laws in recent years, has largely escaped any major protest from global tech companies because of its size. Pakistan has about 75 million internet users.

By contrast, India is the biggest market for Google and Facebook by users. “Silicon Valley companies love to come to India because it’s an MAU (monthly active users) farm,” Kunal Shah, a veteran entrepreneur, said in a conference in 2018.

#apps, #asia, #facebook, #google, #pakistan, #policy, #social, #twitter


Book Review: ‘The Nine Lives of Pakistan,’ by Declan Walsh

In “The Nine Lives of Pakistan,” Declan Walsh, a foreign correspondent for The Times, profiles some of the country’s powerful and contentious figures and investigates why his work eventually got him kicked out.

#books-and-literature, #islamabad-pakistan, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #punjab-pakistan, #the-nine-lives-of-pakistan-dispatches-from-a-precarious-state-book, #walsh-declan


The Frustration and the Fury of Pakistan’s Women

The country fails its women from the very top of government leadership to those who live in our homes.

#baloch-qandeel, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #domestic-violence, #hikes-and-hiking, #khan-imran, #pakistan, #sex-crimes, #women-and-girls


U.S. Embassy in Pakistan Apologizes for Retweeting Election Post

The American diplomatic mission in Islamabad said its account had been used “without authorization” to forward a message citing the presidential election result as a blow to demagogues and dictators.

#diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #iqbal-ahsan, #khan-imran, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations


After 12 Years, Arrest in Abduction of Former Times Journalist David Rohde

A former Taliban commander was arrested in the November 2008 kidnapping of Mr. Rohde and two others in Afghanistan. He was brought to the United States to face charges.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #pakistan, #rohde-david, #terrorism


Week in Review: Snapchat strikes back

Hello hello, and welcome back to Week in Review. Last week, I wrote about the possibility of a pending social media detente, this week I’m talking about a rising threat to Facebook’s biz.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets here. And while I have you, my colleague Megan Rose Dickey officially launched her new TechCrunch newsletter, Human Capital! It covers labor and diversity and inclusion in tech, go subscribe!

Image: TechCrunch

The Big Story

First off, let me tell you how hard it was to resist writing about Quibi this week, but those takes came in very hot the second that news dropped, and I wrote a little bit about it here already. All I will say, is that while Quibi had its own unique mobile problems, unless Apple changes course or dumps a ton of money buying up content to fill its back library, I think TV+ is next on the chopping block.

This week, I’m digging into another once-maligned startup, though this one has activated quite the turnaround in the last two years. Snap, maker of Snapchat, delivered a killer earnings report this week and as a result, investors deemed to send the stock price soaring. Its market cap has nearly doubled since the start of September and it’s clear that Wall Street actually believes that Snap could meaningfully increase its footprint and challenge Facebook.

The company ended the week with a market cap just short of $65 billion, still a far cry from Facebook $811 billion, but looking quite a bit better than it was in early 2019 when it was worth about one-tenth of what it is today. All of a sudden, Snap has a new challenge, living up to high expectations.

The company shared that in Q3, it delivered $679 million in reported revenue, representing 52% year-over-year growth. The company currently has 249 million daily active users, up 4% over last quarter.

Facebook will report its Q3 earnings next week, but they’re still in a different ballpark for the time being, even if their market cap is just around 12 times Snap’s, their quarterly revenue from Q2 was about 28 times higher than what Snap just reported. Meanwhile, Facebook has 1.79 billion daily actives, just about 7 times Snapchat’s numbers.

Snap has spent an awful lot of time proving the worth of features they’ve been pushing for years, but the company’s next challenge might be diversifying their future. The company has been flirting with augmented reality for years, waiting patiently for the right moment to expand its scope, but Snap hasn’t had the luxury of diverting resources away from efforts that don’t send users back to its core product. Some of its biggest launches of 2020 have been embeddable mini apps for things like ordering movie tickets or bite-sized social games that bring even more social opportunities into chat.

Snap’s laser focus here has obviously been a big part of its recovery, but as expectations grow, so will demands that the company moves more boldly into extending its empire. I don’t think Snapchat needs to buy Trader Joe’s or its own ISP quite yet, but working towards finding its next platform will prevent the service from settling for Twitter-sized ambitions and give them a chance at finding a more expansive future.

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Trends of the Week

These next few weeks are guaranteed to be dominated by U.S. election news, so enjoy the diversity of news happenings out there while it lasts…

Quibi is dead
Few companies that have raised so much money have appeared quite dead-on-arrival as Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile video startup Quibi. This week, the company made the decision to shut down operations and call it quits. More here.

Pakistan unbans TikTok
It appears that the cascading threat of country-by-country TikTok bans has stopped for now. This week, TikTok was unblocked in Pakistan with the government warning the company that it needed to actively monitor content or it would face a permanent ban. Read more here.

Facebook Dating arrives in Europe
Facebook Dating hasn’t done much to unseat Tinder stateside, but the service didn’t even get the chance to test its luck in Europe due to some regulatory issues relating to its privacy practices. Now, it seems Facebook has landed in the tentative good graces of regulatory bodies and has gotten the go ahead to launch the service in a number of European countries. Read more here.



Until next week,

Lucas M.

#apple, #computing, #europe, #facebook, #instant-messaging, #isp, #jeffrey-katzenberg, #megan-rose-dickey, #mobile-applications, #mobile-software, #pakistan, #quibi, #snap, #snap-inc, #snapchat, #software, #tc, #tiktok, #trader, #united-states, #vertical-video, #week-in-review


Afghanistan Stampede Leaves at Least 12 Dead

At least 12 people died as thousands crowded a soccer stadium. Many were seeking medical care in Pakistan, which recently eased its pandemic border restrictions.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #deaths-fatalities, #immigration-and-emigration, #pakistan, #stampedes, #visas


Pakistan lifts ban on TikTok

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said on Monday it has lifted the ban on TikTok, 11 days after the South Asian nation’s telecom authority blocked the popular short video app in the country over problematic videos on the platform. The authority, however, warned that TikTok needs to actively moderate content on its app or else it will be permanently blocked in the nation.

The telecom authority said it was lifting the ban after engaging with TikTok’s senior management, which assured it would moderate content in accordance with “societal norms and the laws of Pakistan.” TikTok has about 20 million monthly active users in Pakistan, the authority said.

TikTok’s senior management team has also ensured that it will block users who show a repeated pattern of uploading “unlawful” content, the telecom authority said in a statement.

“The restoration of TikTok is strictly subject to the condition that the platform will not be used for the spread of vulgarity/indecent content & societal values will not be abused. PTA will be constrained to permanently block the application incase said condition is not fulfilled,” the authority warned.

Pakistan banned TikTok in the nation earlier this month and also after issuing a “final” warning to the app in July. In its warning, Pakistan had expressed serious concerns over some videos that were circulating on the platform. The nation said some videos were “immoral,” “obscene” and “vulgar.”

After the ban, TikTok had assured that it would work harder to moderate content and also offered to invest in the country if the ban were to be lifted.

The ban had also raised concerns with some (via Techmeme), who cautioned that the move was Pakistan’s ongoing attempt to enforce a top down censorship in the nation. Earlier this year, Pakistan unveiled some of the world’s most sweeping rules on internet censorship that would have severely impacted American tech firms operating in the nation. But it later retreated the rules after Facebook, Google and Twitter among other firms threatened to leave the nation.

Neighboring nation India has also banned TikTok, among hundreds of other Chinese apps. In case of India, the ban has been enforced over cybersecurity concerns. Prior to the ban, India was TikTok’s biggest market by users outside of China.

#apps, #asia, #bytedance, #pakistan, #social, #tiktok


Pakistan Bans TikTok, Citing Morals. Others Cite Politics.

Conservatives have raised questions about public decency on the Chinese-owned service, but opposition groups see an efforts to stop criticism of the country’s leadership.

#mobile-applications, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance


Pakistan bans TikTok over ‘immoral and indecent’ videos

Pakistan has banned popular short video app TikTok in the nation, citing circulation of videos that it deemed “immoral and indecent.”

The move comes months after the South Asian country raised serious concerns about the nature of some videos on ByteDance’s app and the impact they posed on society.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the country’s telecommunication authority, said in a statement Friday evening that despite the warnings and months-long time, TikTok “failed to comply with the instructions, therefore, directions were issued for blocking of TikTok application in the country.” The authority had received a “number of complaints from different segments of the society” over the videos, it said.

Some individuals in Pakistan, a nation with about 75 million internet users, told TechCrunch that the TikTok app and its website were already inaccessible to them.

“TikTok has been informed that the authority is open for engagement and will review its decision subject to a satisfactory mechanism by TikTok to moderate unlawful content,” said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in a statement.

The move from Pakistan comes months after its neighboring nation, India, banned TikTok, Bigo and 57 other apps developed by Chinese firms over cybersecurity concerns. Prior to the ban, TikTok identified India — where it had amassed over 200 million monthly active users — as its biggest market outside of China. Like in India, TikTok is also immensely popular in Pakistan, said Danish Khalid, an executive at Bykea, a Karachi-headquartered ride-hailing startup.

And then there is the U.S., the biggest market by revenue for TikTok, where also the app’s future remains uncertain.

#apps, #asia, #bytedance, #india, #pakistan, #social, #tiktok


Prosus Ventures leads $13 million investment in Pakistan’s ride-hailing giant Bykea

Bykea, which leads the ride-hailing market in Pakistan, has raised $13 million as the five-year-old startup looks to deepen its penetration in the South Asian country and become a “super app.”

The new financing round, a Series B, was led by storied investment firm Prosus Ventures . It’s the first time Prosus Ventures has invested in a Pakistani startup. Bykea’s existing investors Middle East Venture Partners and Sarmayacar also invested in the round, which brings its total to-date raise to $22 million.

Bykea leads the two-wheeler ride-hailing market in Pakistan and also operates logistics delivery business and financial services business. The startup has partnered with banks to allow customers to pay phone bills and get cash delivered to them, Muneeb Maayr, founder and chief executive of Bykea, told TechCrunch in an interview.

“Pakistan is primed to experience extremely strong growth in internet services over the next decade, with a rapidly increasing middle class. This growth provides immense opportunity for companies like Bykea that are transforming big societal needs like transportation, logistics and payments through a technology-enabled platform,” said Fahd Beg, Chief Investment Officer at Prosus Ventures, in a statement.

“Bykea has already seen impressive traction in the country and with our investment will be able to execute further on their vision to become Pakistan’s ‘super-app,’ he added.

The startup works with over 30,000 drivers who operate in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore. (Two-wheelers are more popular in Pakistan. There are about 17 million two-wheeler vehicles on the road in the country today, compared to fewer than 4 million cars.)

The investment comes at a time when Bykea’s business restores the losses incurred by the coronavirus outbreak. Like several nations, Pakistan also enforced a lockdown to curtail the spread of the virus.

Maayr said the startup did not eliminate jobs and instead cut several other expenses to navigate through the tough time.

One of those cuts was curtailing the startup’s reliance on Google Maps. Maayr said during the lockdown time, Bykea built its own mapping navigation system with the help of its drivers. The startup, which was paying Google about $60,000 a month for using Maps, now pays less than a tenth of it, he said.

Starting August, the startup’s operations have largely reached the pre-coronavirus levels, he said.

More to follow…

#apps, #asia, #bykea, #careem, #food, #funding, #pakistan, #prosus-ventures, #transportation


Asif Ali Zardari, Ex-President of Pakistan, Indicted in Money Laundering Case

The case against Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is the latest in a string of moves against opposition figures that his supporters say are politically motivated.

#corruption-institutional, #khan-imran, #legislatures-and-parliaments, #money-laundering, #pakistan, #sharif-shahbaz, #zardari-asif-ali


Pakistan’s Most Terrifying Adversary Is Climate Change

The country debates women’s honor inexhaustibly but pays little attention to the ferocious and imminent dangers of climate disasters.

#disasters-and-emergencies, #floods, #food-insecurity, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #himalayas, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #world-bank


‘Humility Is What Drew Me to Him’

I thought my father was the only one with secret desires. Then my mother asked me to go for a walk.

#love-emotion, #marriages, #pakistan, #travel-and-vacations


Trump Is Wrong about TikTok. China’s Plans Are Much More Sinister.

The West still doesn’t understand the scale of Beijing’s soft-power ambitions.

#5g-wireless-communications, #australia, #beijing-bytedance-technology-co-ltd, #blacklisting, #chiang-kai-shek, #china, #communist-party-of-china, #computers-and-the-internet, #confucius-institutes, #darwin-australia, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #huawei-technologies-co-ltd, #india, #indian-ocean, #kenya, #kiribati, #maldives, #mao-zedong, #military-bases-and-installations, #mobile-applications, #myanmar, #pakistan, #panama-canal-and-canal-zone, #propaganda, #solomon-islands, #sri-lanka, #the-art-of-war-book, #the-romance-of-the-three-kingdoms-book, #tiktok-bytedance, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #xi-jinping


Rapes of Woman and 5-Year-Old Fuel Outrage in Pakistan

The girl’s burned body was found two days later. The woman was dragged from her car. The two cases have focused the country’s attention on its handling of sexual abuse.

#children-and-childhood, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #pakistan, #sex-crimes, #women-and-girls


Pakistani Cricket Board Chief Faces Criticism for Being a British “Import”

“I don’t think anything prepared me for the hostility I was going to face,” the British-born Wasim Khan says of overseeing a beloved sport in a country where many see him only as a foreigner.

#cricket-game, #khan-imran, #khan-wasim, #pakistan


What I’ve Learned From Teaching Online

Roll call becomes a roster of absences. Some students write fantasies of escape. Can a new life begin when you are confined with siblings and parents?

#colleges-and-universities, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #e-learning, #education-k-12, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #parenting, #reading-and-writing-skills-education, #rural-areas


Poor and Desperate, Pakistani Hindus Accept Islam to Get By

Drawn by jobs or land offered by Muslim groups, some Hindus, facing discrimination and a virus-ravaged economy, are essentially converting to survive.

#caste-systems, #clergy, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #discrimination, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #freedom-of-religion, #hinduism, #minorities, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan, #poverty


Abductions, Censorship and Layoffs: Pakistani Critics Are Under Siege

Recent abductions of a journalist and an activist have underscored Pakistan’s worsening rights conditions as the country’s security forces pressure the news media and human rights groups.

#amnesty-international, #committee-to-protect-journalists, #dawn-pakistani-newspaper, #defense-and-military-forces, #geo-tv, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #human-rights-watch, #khan-imran, #news-and-news-media, #news-sources-confidential-status-of, #newspapers, #pakistan, #pakistan-tehreek-e-insaf, #political-prisoners, #rehman-mir-shakil-ur, #sharif-nawaz, #unemployment


Border Clashes With Pakistan Leave 15 Afghan Civilians Dead, Officials Say

Anger over the closing of the border because of coronavirus fears triggers demonstrations, and then artillery barrages.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #pakistan


American Accused of Blasphemy Is Killed in Pakistan Courtroom

The shooting of Tahir Ahmad Naseem drew strong U.S. condemnation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often used to persecute and intimidate religious minorities.

#freedom-of-religion, #mohammed-the-prophet-of-islam, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #muslims-and-islam, #naseem-tahir-ahmad-d-2020, #pakistan, #state-department, #united-states-international-relations


Pakistan issues ‘final warning’ to TikTok and blocks Bigo app over ‘immoral, obscene, and vulgar content’

TikTok has come under fire in yet another country.

Pakistan has blocked Bigo Live streaming app and issued “final warning” to ByteDance’s TikTok over “immoral, obscene, and vulgar content” on the apps.

The nation’s telecom authority said it had received a number of complaints from various segments of the society over the nature of videos that circulate on Bigo and ByteDance’s app and how it is impacting “society in general and youth in particular.”

Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said in a statement that it recently relayed those concerns to ByteDance and Bigo Technologies, which operates Bigo app, and urged it to proactively “moderate the socialization and content within legal and moral limits.” But the response from these apps hasn’t been satisfactory, it said.

“Therefore, in exercise of its powers under PECA (nation’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act), PTA has decided to immediately block Bigo and issue final warning to TikTok to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control obscenity, vulgarity, and immorality through its social media application.”

ByteDance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  Bigo could not be immediately reached.

The push from Pakistan comes weeks after its neighboring nation India banned TikTok, Bigo and 57 other apps developed by Chinese firms over cybersecurity concerns.

Prior to the ban, TikTok identified India — where it had amassed over 200 million monthly active users — as its biggest market outside of China. Like in India, TikTok is also immensely popular in Pakistan, said Danish Khalid, an executive at Bykea, a Karachi-headquartered ride-hailing startup.

According to mobile insights firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app in Pakistan, which has about 40 million internet users, last year.

Some activists have decried Pakistan’s warning to TikTok and blocking of Bigo Live, calling the move nation’s attempt to “test the ground to what extent they can go in censoring.”

Pakistan also placed a temporarily ban on popular mobile game PUBG earlier this week over concerns that youth in the nation were “wasting their time” on the “addictive” app.

Earlier this year, Pakistan’s government unveiled some of the world’s most sweeping rules on internet censorship that would have severely impacted American tech firms operating in the nation. But it later retreated the rules after Facebook, Google, and Twitter among other firms threatened to leave the nation.

TikTok, ByteDance’s marquee app, is also facing tension in the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the U.S. was “certainly looking” at banning TikTok over concerns that it could be used by the Beijing government as a surveillance and propaganda tool.

#apps, #asia, #bigo, #bytedance, #india, #pakistan, #social, #tiktok


What’s With All the Covid-Death Shaming?

Some Pakistanis won’t say they are losing family members to the pandemic because they don’t want to bury the bodies alone.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan


Where the Powerful Can Kill the Weak, as Long as They Pay

The Quran introduced blood money as a path to “mercy” and to end tribal conflicts — not as impunity for the rich.

#assassinations-and-attempted-assassinations, #honor-killings, #khashoggi-jamal, #khashoggi-salah, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan, #saudi-arabia


Another Young Leader Taken. Afghans Ask: How Many More?

Fatima ‘Natasha’ Khalil, 24, was a human rights worker shaped by two decades of struggle. She joins a painfully long list of young Afghans who died trying to help their country.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #angelou-maya, #civilian-casualties, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #pakistan, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #taliban, #terrorism, #united-nations, #women-and-girls


Gunmen Wage a Deadly Battle at Pakistan’s Stock Exchange in Karachi

Police and paramilitary forces surrounded the exchange during an hourlong firefight in which at least four security officers and four attackers were reported to have been killed.

#karachi-pakistan, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #pakistan, #terrorism


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Suggests Osama Bin Laden Was a Martyr

Prime Minister Imran Khan was criticized for using a term of veneration in Islam when referring to the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

#bin-laden-osama, #khan-imran, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #september-11-2001, #terrorism


This Country Fought Ebola. It May Beat Another Disease.

How to combat Covid-19 in a developing economy.

#bangladesh, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #indonesia, #nigeria, #pakistan, #sierra-leone


Pakistan’s Lockdown Ended a Month Ago. Now Hospital Signs Read ‘Full.’

Medical workers are falling ill in Pakistan at alarming rates as the country registers at least 100,000 new coronavirus cases since the lockdown was lifted.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #hospitals, #khan-imran, #pakistan, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #quarantines, #ventilators-medical, #world-bank, #world-health-organization


Life in Indian Controlled Kashmir: The Longest Lockdown

Life in India-controlled Kashmir has been punctuated by military curfews and general strikes for three decades.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #curfews, #india, #kashmir-valley-kashmir-and-jammu, #modi-narendra, #pakistan, #quarantines, #srinagar-jammu-and-kashmir, #strikes


As Virus Infections Surge, Countries End Lockdowns

Still struggling with rising coronavirus cases, India, Mexico, Russia, Iran and Pakistan have decided they must end lockdowns and restart their economies.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #india, #iran, #khan-imran, #lopez-obrador-andres-manuel, #mexico, #pakistan, #putin-vladimir-v, #rouhani-hassan, #russia, #sobyanin-sergei-s


India Faces Swarm of Locusts

Blizzards of bugs are descending on India at an already tough time. Scientists say climate change is making the infestation worse.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #golf, #grasshoppers, #india, #iran, #jaipur-india, #pakistan


How the Taliban Outlasted a Superpower: Tenacity and Carnage

The Taliban stand on the brink of realizing their most fervent desire: U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan. They have given up little of their extremist ideology to do it.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #al-qaeda, #baradar-abdul-ghani, #haqqani-jalaluddin, #inter-services-intelligence, #pakistan, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations


Pakistanis Await Grim Word on IDs of Plane Crash Victims

Officials were using DNA samples to identify many of the 97 bodies pulled from rubble and smoldering wreckage after a flight went down in a congested neighborhood near Karachi.

#airports, #aviation-accidents-safety-and-disasters, #deaths-fatalities, #jinnah-international-airport-karachi-pakistan, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #pakistan-international-airlines, #rescues


Plane Crashes in Pakistan With at Least 91 Aboard

The plane, an Airbus A320, crashed in a residential area near the Karachi airport, officials said.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #aviation-accidents-safety-and-disasters, #jinnah-international-airport-karachi-pakistan, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #pakistan-international-airlines


Zarina Hashmi, Artist of a World in Search of Home, Dies at 82

Ms. Hashmi was of a generation of artists whose life and work were haunted by the 1947 partition of India.

#art, #deaths-obituaries, #hashmi-zarina, #india, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan


Sewer Cleaners Wanted in Pakistan: Only Christians Need Apply.

In Pakistan, descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted to Christianity centuries ago still find themselves marginalized, relegated to dirty jobs and grim fates.

#caste-systems, #christians-and-christianity, #deaths-fatalities, #discrimination, #karachi-pakistan, #labor-and-jobs, #minorities, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan, #sewers-and-sewage, #waste-materials-and-disposal


Health Workers Under Attack During Coronavirus Pandemic

Stigmatized as vectors of contagion in some countries, health care workers have been assaulted, abused and ostracized.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #culiacan-mexico, #india, #jalisco-mexico, #karachi-pakistan, #manila-philippines, #mexico, #nursing-and-nurses, #odisha-india, #pakistan, #philippines, #rumors-and-misinformation, #sinaloa-mexico


Pakistan Coronavirus Lockdown Is Thwarted by Imams as Ramadan Nears

The government gave in to clerics’ demands that mosques be allowed to stay open during the Islamic holy month. Now critics are asking who’s in charge.

#attacks-on-police, #clergy, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dawn-pakistani-newspaper, #defense-and-military-forces, #imams, #khan-imran, #mosques, #muslims-and-islam, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #quarantines, #ramadan


‘How Do I Know Where Your Socks Are?’

“Warm up your own food!” Some things Pakistani women say make Pakistani men really angry.

#bhutto-benazir, #bin-laden-osama, #honor-killings, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #karachi-pakistan, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #sexual-harassment, #slogans-and-mottoes, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights


Facebook, Google and Twitter Rebel Against Pakistan’s Censorship Rules

The battle is the latest skirmish between internet companies and governments over who decides what content should be online.

#censorship, #computers-and-the-internet, #facebook-inc, #freedom-of-speech-and-expression, #google-inc, #khan-imran, #pakistan, #politics-and-government, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #social-media, #twitter