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Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, culture lead to another vigilante justice death after man beaten by mob of hundreds

Pakistan Blasphemy Law

The murder of a Sri Lankan Christian man in Pakistan has sparked a national conversation around controversial blasphemy laws and the surrounding culture, which leads many religious extremists to take the law into their own hands.

Mob lynching: Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, the victim of a recent lynching last Friday, was a factory worker in Sialkot, Pakistan. Diyawadana was attacked by a mob of hundreds of people, including some of his coworkers, who accused him of tearing down posters at the factory, thus disrespecting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Over a quarter-million people demand marriage equality in Thailand after ‘homophobic’ court ruling

More than 275,000 people have signed a petition demanding marriage equality in Thailand, one of the few countries in Asia that boasts being a warm safe haven for the LGBTQ plus community.

Driving the news: The petition came in response to a Nov. 17 ruling by the Thai Constitutional Court, which determined that Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code — the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman — does not violate the nation’s constitution.

Indonesian court rules to save Indigenous ancestral lands from palm oil companies’ exploitation

Indigenous West Papua

An Indigenous group in Indonesia’s West Papua province is celebrating a ruling that saves their ancestral lands spanning tens of thousands of hectares from palm oil exploitation.

Driving the news: On Tuesday, the Jayapura Administrative Court in West Papua ruled in favor of Sorong Regency head Johny Kamuru, who was sued after revoking permits that allowed over a dozen palm oil companies to turn Indigenous forest areas into plantations. 

Bus conductor in India sparks online outrage for off-boarding a woman due to fish odor

India Bus Video of Crying Woman

A video of an elderly Indian woman crying and demanding justice after she was kicked out of a bus for smelling like fish has sparked online backlash after going viral.  

The fish vendor: Selvam, the 65-year-old fish vendor from Kanyakumari’s Vaniyakudi village, boarded a government bus on the way home on Dec. 6; however, the bus conductor forced her to deboard because of her fish odor, reported The Indian Express

Hyun Sook Han, adoption trailblazer who helped connect Korean adoptees and families, dies at 83

Remebering Hyun Sook Han

A Korean social worker who dedicated her life to helping build families through international adoption has died at 83.

What happened: Hyun Sook Han, affectionately known by friends and family as Mrs. Han, passed away from kidney cancer in her home in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Nov. 5, according to The New York Times. Her funeral was attended by a crowd of adoptees and parents whom she helped during her service to her community.

Rohingya refugees sue Meta for $150 billion over Facebook’s alleged role in stoking Myanmar genocide

Facebook faces $150B lawsuit from Rohingya refugees

Rohingya refugees are taking legal action against Meta for allegedly allowing the spread of false news and hate speech against the ethnic group on Facebook. 

About the lawsuit: On Monday, an Illinois-based Rohingya woman filed a case against Facebook’s parent company in a California court, seeking a compensation of over $150 billion on behalf of the more than 10,000 Rohingya refugees now living in the U.S., reported The Washington Post.

Debunked: Viral video showing Chinese woman fainting from COVID-19 vaccination

covid debunked video

A viral video purporting to show a young girl in China collapsing after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination actually dates back to 2018, before the pandemic began. 

The video, which contains disturbing images of a young girl collapsing and subsequently receiving CPR, was shared on Twitter in November. A caption written in Chinese and translated by Agence France-Presse (AFP) read: “A little girl in China suddenly fell to the ground and a warm-hearted person gave her first aid. Is it another phenomenon caused by Covid-19 vaccination?” AFP debunked the anti-vax claims in the video caption, using reverse search to show that the video had in fact emerged from China in 2018. The video appears to have been taken in May 2018 in Qingdao Province, China, and depicts an 11-year-old girl who fainted on the roadside. She was later confirmed to have recovered.

Multiple social media accounts reposted the video, which gained thousands of views, all with the same anti-vaccination explanation.