Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 33

Chinese doctorate student with ALS to donate all organs after death

A 29-year-old Chinese amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient has touched many hearts with her last wish to donate all her organs after death.

(Photo/Sina Weibo)

The woman, Lou Tao, who is also a doctorate student at China’s leading Peking University, wrote the special will when she was sound of mind. “After I’m gone, please leave my head for medical studies. I hope future medical treatment could cure those with ALS. Please follow my words: donate all my other organs to patients in need, as long as they can help save lives,” said Lou, adding that she wants her ashes scattered over the Yangtze River.

Lou’s family signed the donation registration papers on her behalf on Oct. 9 and Lou has been sleeping under deep sedation ever since.

(Photo/Sina Weibo)

Lou started feeling physically weak since August 2015. She was diagnosed with ALS last January in Beijing. Even on a respirator, the female history PhD student never gave up on her studies. She has listened to more than 60 books during her hospitalization.

Full story at People's Daily Online (October 2017)

One in five Indonesian students support Islamic caliphate: survey

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Nearly 20 percent of high school and university students in Indonesia support the establishment of a caliphate in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country over the current secular government, a new survey showed this week.

FILE PHOTO: Indonesian Islamist groups attend a rally outside the parliament calling for the government to suspend the Christian governor of the captial, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, and for the courts to convict him of blasphemy, in Jakarta, Indonesia February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside/File Photo

Indonesia has in recent years seen its long-standing reputation for religious tolerance come under scrutiny as hardline Islamic groups muscle their way into public and political life in the young democracy.

The vast majority of Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam and the country has sizeable minorities of Hindus, Christians, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs. Religious diversity is enshrined in its constitution.

The survey by a Jakarta-based organization polled over 4,200 Muslim students, mostly in top schools and universities on Java island, home to over half the country’s population.

Nearly one in four students said they were, to varying degrees, ready to wage jihad to achieve a caliphate.

“This indicates that intolerant teachings have already entered top universities and high schools,” pollster Alvara, which carried out the survey, said in its report released Tuesday.

“The government and moderate Islamic organizations must start taking tangible steps to anticipate this and be present in student circles with language that is easy for them to understand,” the report added.

A presidential spokesman declined to comment on the findings.

Full story at Reuters (November 2017)

US Justice Department threatens to sue Harvard over Asian-American admissions

Harvard University Credit: Getty

The U.S. Justice Department has threatened to sue Harvard University to obtain a trove of records as part of an investigation into the university’s admissions practices following a lawsuit from a group of Asian-American students.

A Nov. 17 letter from the department gives Harvard until Dec. 1 to turn over a variety of records that Justice officials requested in September, including applications for admission and evaluations of students.

The department said Harvard has pursued a "strategy of delay" and threatened to sue if it doesn’t meet the department’s deadline.

"We sincerely hope that Harvard will quickly correct its noncompliance and return to a collaborative approach," the letter said, adding that "Harvard has not yet produced a single document."

The inquiry is related to a federal lawsuit filed by a group of students in 2014 alleging Harvard limits the number of Asian Americans it admits each year. A similar complaint was made to the Justice Department.

A statement from Harvard on Tuesday said it will "certainly comply with its obligations" but also needs to protect confidential records related to students and applicants.

The university said it has been "seeking to engage the Department of Justice in the best means of doing so."

Many elite schools defend admissions approaches that consider race among other factors as a way to bring a diverse mix of perspectives to campus. Harvard has previously said its practices are legally sound.

Full story at The Telegraph (November 2017)

Sexual abuse is pervasive in Islamic schools in Pakistan

A handcuffed Pakistani cleric who allegedly raped a child, stands outside a court in Kehrore Pakka, Pakistan.| Photo Credit: AP

In a culture where clerics are powerful and sexual abuse is a taboo subject, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public.

Kausar Parveen struggles through tears as she remembers the blood-soaked pants of her 9-year-old son, raped by a religious cleric. Each time she begins to speak, she stops, swallows hard, wipes her tears and begins again.

The boy had studied for a year at a nearby Islamic school in the town of Kehrore Pakka. In the blistering heat of late April, in the grimy two-room Islamic madrassa, he awoke one night to find his teacher lying beside him.

“I didn’t move. I was afraid,” he says. The cleric lifted the boy’s long tunic-style shirt over his head, and then pulled down his baggy pants.

“I was crying. He was hurting me. He shoved my shirt in my mouth,” the boy says, using his scarf to show how the cleric tried to stifle his cries. He looks over at his mother. “Did he touch you?’ He nods. “Did he hurt you when he touched you?” “Yes,” he whispers.

“Did he rape you?” He buries his face in his scarf and nods yes.

Parveen reaches over and grabs her son, pulling him toward her, cradling his head in her lap.

‘Infested’ with sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is a pervasive and longstanding problem at madrassas in Pakistan, an AP investigation has found, from the sunbaked mud villages deep in its rural areas to the heart of its teeming cities. But in a culture where clerics are powerful and sexual abuse is a taboo subject, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public.

It is even more seldom prosecuted. Police are often paid off not to pursue justice against clerics, victims’ families say. And cases rarely make it past the courts, because Pakistan’s legal system allows the victim’s family to “forgive” the offender and accept what is often referred to as “blood money.”

The AP found hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by clerics reported in the past decade, and officials suspect there are many more within a far-reaching system that teaches at least 2 million children in Pakistan. The investigation was based on police documents and dozens of interviews with victims, relatives, former and current ministers, aid groups and religious officials.

Full story at The Hindu (November 2017)

Indiana teacher busted for allegedly doing drugs in classroom

Samantha Cox, a 24-year-old teacher at Lake Central High School in the town of St. John, Ind. was allegedly caught doing drugs after students filmed her with a phone from outside the classroom. (Fox 32 Chicago)

An Indiana high school teacher got more than detention when she was arrested after a video posted to social media allegedly showed her doing drugs in an empty classroom.

Samantha Cox, a 24-year-old teacher at Lake Central High School in the town of St. John near the Illinois border, was arrested on Wednesday for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

The English teacher was allegedly caught doing drugs after students filmed her with a phone from outside the classroom, according to Fox 32 Chicago.

"It's absolutely, I can't' really describe it. It's just atrocious," Kasia Firlej, a parent of a child at the school said to the local news channel.

The video, which made rounds on social media, shows a woman alleged to be Cox sitting in the corner of the classroom using narcotics. It was not immediately clear which substance she was taking.

Cox is being held at the Lake County Jail pending charges. (Lake County Sheriff)

Police in St. John responded to a call late Wednesday morning about the situation.

A second cellphone video shows the teacher being led out of the school wearing handcuffs.

Full story at Fox News (November 2017)

Sathyabama University Suicide: After girl kills herself, students set fire to college building in Chennai; campus shut

In a tragic incident, a first-year student at Chennai’s Satyabhama University allegedly committed suicide after being humiliated by staff.(IE image)

In a tragic incident, a first-year student at Chennai’s Satyabhama University allegedly committed suicide after being humiliated by staff. The deceased, Ragamonika, was caught cheating in an examination on Wednesday and was insulted by the invigilator. The girl later went to the hostel and ended her life by hanging herself. The deceased was identified as Ragamonika Reddy, a native of Hyderabad. The girl was a first-year computer science student. Her body has been sent to the Royapettah Government Hospital for post-mortem.

Following news of her death, students protested demanding justice for Ragamonika. Satyabhama university campus reportedly went on a rampage after the incident. Students set afire hostel properties and resorted to vandalism. The protests were initiated by Ragamonica’s batchmates and soon it turned into arson. “They burnt stuff outside first-year men’s hostel. Then they burnt a tree. None of the buildings was damaged, I think. At 11.00 pm also there is a huge crowd outside the college gate.” said a student. “By 7.30pm on Wednesday, the protests soon spiralled into violence and arson. When the violence began, most students ran out of the hostel”, he added. Fire officials have reportedly said that the students had set fire to some beds in their hostel, and even pelted stones on the fire brigade’s vehicles. Firefighters brought the blaze under control, and a police team is now conducting investigations. Over 300 students were reportedly involved in the act in the Satyabhama university campus. Around 200 police personnel are deployed at the university campus to bring the situation back to normalcy.

Meanwhile, after the violence and arson incident on the campus in Chennai’s Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said that the situation is under control. The semester exams have been postponed and the students have been asked to leave the hostel.

Full story at Financial Express (November 2017)

China horrified by allegations of child abuse at kindergarten

Authorities promise swift response after parents claims toddlers have been molested, spiked with needles and drugged with mysterious white pills

A security camera is pictured at the kindergarten run by pre-school operator RYB Education Inc being investigated by China’s police. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

By Tom Philips

Chinese authorities are promising swift and decisive action after horrific allegations of child abuse surfaced at an upmarket nursery just a few miles east of the Communist party’s leadership compound in Beijing.

Since Wednesday, Chinese media outlets have reported claims from outraged parents that toddlers at the nursery in Beijing’s Chaoyang district were molested, spiked with needles and drugged with mysterious white pills.

“For two days my daughter has been crying: ‘I’m not sick, so why give me shots?’” one mother told China Women’s News, a party-run newspaper.

Another parent claimed children had been told to take two white tablets each day after lunch, for reasons that are unclear.

“Disobedient students were also forced to stand naked or were locked up in a dark room at the kindergarten,” a third parent told the magazine Caixin.

“I am trembling with anger now,” a fourth parent was quoted as saying by the Beijing News on Thursday as relatives gathered outside the nursery to demand access to CCTV footage that might confirm the abuse.

The nursery is run by RYB Education, a company that is listed on the New York stock exchange and describes itself as China’s largest early childhood education service provider, with more than 4,400 staff.

Full story at The Guardian (November 2017)