2 Men Sentenced in Brutal Attack on Giants Fan


Religious Freedom Bill Riles Gay Rights Supporters


U.S. Army Chief of Staff Meets Top Chinese Generals


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What’s All The Fuss About WhatsApp? China’s WeChat Is a Worthy Rival


Originally posted on World:

The news alert buzzed on my cellphone in Beijing. Facebook had bought messaging service WhatsApp for a gazillion dollars. Personally, I didn’t care.

Because Chinese government censors have blocked so many global social-media and technology services — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, plus any number of media sources — the People’s Republic has nurtured its own unique tech ecosystem. It’s like we’re a Madagascar populated with unearthly lemurs, instead of the usual chattering monkeys. And sometimes those lemurs do really cool tricks.

(MOREFacebook’s WhatsApp Acquisition Explained)

The reason the WhatsApp news didn’t resonate is that most of us living in China use WeChat (or Weixin, 微信) instead. WeChat is the brainchild of Tencent, one of the largest Internet service providers in China. Westerners may not have heard of Tencent but its Hong Kong-listed arm boasts a market capitalization of $140 billion. As of last fall, WeChat had more…

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India Finally Allows Minorities To Adopt Children With Full Rights


Originally posted on World:

India’s top court ruled this week that non-Hindu minority communities, including Muslims and Christians, can now adopt children with full rights as natural parents.

A bizarre quirk in the Indian law — aimed at reconciling the various beliefs and practices of different communities — had meant that only Hindus (and breakaway religious communities like Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs) were previously allowed to properly adopt minors. Non-Hindus could only act as guardians or foster parents, both of which restrict the child’s right to inherit.

(MORE: In Bihar, a Village Struggles to Come to Terms With School Deaths)

In truth, the state gave non-Hindus full rights to adopt almost a decade ago. However, objections that Sharia law doesn’t recognize adoption, raised by the Muslim personal board in 2006, meant the issue remained shrouded in confusion.

On Wednesday, the court, acting on a petition by Muslim social activist Shabnam Hashmi…

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Shots Fired Near Ukraine Protest Square


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Brazil Boosts World Cup Security Force by 70%


Originally posted on World:

Brazil announced Thursday that its suggested 100,000-strong security force for this year’s soccer World Cup will be boosted with an additional 70,000 officers.

Massive street protests have been flaring up since June, with occasional violent incidents, raising concerns regarding tournament safety.

“We have a lot of concerns, not so much about protests which are a democratic right, but rather about potential violence,” said Justice Ministry official Andrei Rodrigues.

The majority of the security operation will be drawn from the armed forces and police, but an extra 20,000 security stewards will also be trained for work inside the 12 tournament stadiums.

[VOA]

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Mother of Brain Dead Teen Sees ‘Hopeful’ Signs


Originally posted on U.S.:

The mother of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl who doctors declared brain dead after suffering complications following tonsil surgery, says she has seen hopeful changes in her daughter’s condition.

The comment was posted on Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday, but didn’t include any details on Jahi’s condition or disclose her location. It was meant for supporters of Jahi and her family, said family attorney Christopher Dolan.

Jahi’s parents won a battle against Children’s Hospital Oakland in January, allowing them to move her to a different facility, where she would continue to be cared for.

[AP]

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German Athlete Tests Positive at Sochi Olympics


Carol Channing “Hello Dolly,” London 1979