Sweden News | Refugees

Sweden sees rash of arson attacks against refugee facilities
  • A fire at a retirement home in Oderljunga marked as a potential site for refugee accommodation was the latest in a string of arson attacks across the country.
  • More than a dozen such fires have been reported across the country over the last seven months, with police indicating all have been arson.
  • The attacks come as Sweden prepares to accept up to 190,000 asylum seekers, second only to Germany in Europe.

Read more:
Fresh arson fears as refugee home burns” (The Local)
Arson Attacks at Asylum Homes Raise Fears in Tolerant Sweden” (AP via ABC News)
Arsonists attack another migrant centre in Sweden” (AFP via Yahoo! News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ihse/AFP, via Yahoo! News)

Pakistan News | Shiite Muslims

Shiite mosque bombed in southwest Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 10 and injuring at least a dozen
  • Six children were among the dead after a suicide bomber disguised as a woman in full burqa attacked a mosque in Bolan district of Balochistan province.
  • Though none have yet claimed responsibility, authorities suspect the attack to be the work of Sunni extremists against the country’s Shiite minority.
  • The bombing took place as Shiites prepare to celebrate Ashoura, a 10-day period commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Read more:
Suicide blast outside imambargah in Bolan district kills five” (Dawn)
Bombing at Shiite Mosque Kills 10 in Southwest Pakistan” (AP via ABC News)
Bombing at Shia shrine kills 10 in Pakistan” (The Hindu)

France Feature | Working Class, Immigrants & Racial Minorities

Estates of Emergency

France’s notorious housing estates–akin to housing projects in the U.S.–have long existed as symbols of an unintegrated France. Though President François Hollande has pledged to address the long-standing segregation that divides Paris’s poor banlieues from its more affluent city center, rampant unemployment, limited educational opportunities, crime, and stigmatization continue largely unchecked. The Guardian reflects on conditions in Paris’s most notorious estates a decade after riots forced what one banlieue mayor has called “social and territorial apartheid” into the national consciousness.

Read more:
‘Nothing’s changed’: 10 years after French riots, banlieues remain in crisis” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Ed Alcock/The Guardian)

Uzbekistan News | Women Activists & Citizens

Activists claim abuse by Uzbek government while documenting forced labor in cotton harvesting
  • Human rights activists affiliated with the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan claimed they were detained and beaten by police after attempting to document forced labor conditions during the country’s cotton harvest.
  • Two women arrested in late September reported being strip-searched and having a gynecological examination conducted in front of male officers.
  • Uzbekistan, the fifth-largest cotton producer in the world, has long been under fire for the mass mobilization of its citizens into unpaid labor in the fields to ensure the millions of tons of the country’s major cash crop can be harvested and exported.

Read more:
Uzbekistan accused of brutal crackdown on activists investigating forced labour” (The Guardian)
Arrested, threatened, beaten: The Uzbekistan activist who won’t give up” (BBC)
Uzbekistan: Cotton Harvest Monitors Face Intimidation” (EurasiaNet)

(Image Credit: Mikhail Metzel/AP, via The Guardian)