Stories about France

Germany deserved to win

The disappointment of the lacklustre opening ceremony was short lived and, from the opening goal of the tournament to Germany lifting the cup in the finals, it was well compensated in every manner possible with great entertainment and thrilling matches throughout the tournament. The World Cup could not have begun on a more dramatic note, with Marcelo scoring a first own-goal by a Brazilian in the history of the tournament, watched by over 62,000 Brazilians live. But Neymar also struck twice during the match and as distress turned into ecstasy for Brazilians everywhere, we experienced what it meant to be part of such ...

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Why the French burqa ban upsets me as a secular feminist

The European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the face veil ban in France and, in a flagrant exhibition of institutionalised bigotry, has upheld the government’s decision. As goes France, so goes Europe. The verdict breathes fresh air into an old debate, in which the opposing sides had begun to take comfort in the thought of this restriction being a French anomaly, not representative of the general European psyche. But we’ve faced disappointments before. We’ve been led to believe that we may choose either one of the two positions: – Burqa is benign, and must be allowed – Burqa is a harmful, patriarchal icon, ...

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Where did the voodoo go wrong?

A skilful elemental shaman is a fearsome thing; he can smite the mightiest of warriors and bring down the holiest of priests, a man equally capable of healing the weak and of destroying the powerful. That, however, is only true in World of Warcraft. In reality, shamans are the ‘holy’ equivalent of the homeless man who talks into his cup. This World Cup though has seen its fair share of priests and shamans claiming use of their ‘powers’ to influence matches. It started off with a Ghanaian witch doctor claiming to be behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury worries before Portugal’s match ...

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Will we ever see a nuke-free world?

Despite numerous calls and rhetoric to move towards global nuclear disarmament, no significant progress has been achieved to this day. Instead, all these efforts have met with a tragic end. The recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report has shown a very dismal picture with regards to this. All nine nuclear states are currently in possession of 16,300 nuclear weapons, which includes 4000 operational ones. P5 countries, which include the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, are upgrading their nuclear arsenal and spending a hefty amount on the development of new weaponry systems. Though, we have seen a ...

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4 players who will be missed at the FIFA World Cup 2014

One of the greatest and highly anticipated sports event is about to kick off on June 12, with the host nation Brazil facing Croatia in the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Participating teams have already started preparations ahead of the competition, with some European teams travelling to the Americas a few days beforehand, to get used to the warm weather conditions in Brazil. Coaches have announced their squads for the World Cup, comprising of the best and fittest 23 men – according to them, that is. However, there are some notable miss-outs from the squads being carried to Brazil. For ...

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If she can walk around in skin-tight clothes, why can’t I wear my veil?

Many people believe that the Islamic veil represents extremism, that it is a symbol of oppressing women. In April 2011, we saw France becoming the first European nation to ban the wearing of the veil in public. Several other countries, like Germany, Italy and Belgium among others, took inspiration from France and passed legislations banning the ‘hijab’. The irony is that even in the so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a few schools forbid the wearing of the veil. Ayman Mobin, a straight A’s student in O/A Levels and now a medicine student at Dow Medical College recalled, “The director of Karachi Grammar School ...

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The West may have to intervene to #BringBackOurGirls

The social media campaign to bring back over 200 school girls, kidnapped by Nigeria’s Boko Haram, has helped draw a lot of global attention to the activities of this vicious organisation. The campaign has help put some pressure on world leaders to act and assist Nigeria in the fight against this militant group. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have offered to help. However, the prospect of western intervention on this matter is generating a lot of debate. There are concerns that such an intervention could turn Nigeria into another Afghanistan. The issue here is this: what is the alternative to ...

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Stop running after nuclear energy, solar and wind power is the solution for Pakistan!

The efforts to attain nuclear power have increased globally in recent years. Several advocates in Pakistan, such as the recent article by Kazmi (Jan 7, 2014), have argued that nuclear power promotes economic development along with meeting the shortfall in energy supply. A critical question I would like to ask is that, is nuclear power absolutely necessary for an economic development, given the potential safety risks and the vast amount of investment that it requires? With Pakistan’s incredible potential of untapped renewable resources, why is Pakistan trying an untested nuclear technology when the rest of the world is moving towards greener energy solutions? I ...

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Keep the prayers coming for Michael Schumacher

I write this piece with a heavy heart as my idol and one of sports’ biggest icons Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life at a French Hospital. Seeing the ultimate racing driver, someone who is known never to back down on the race track, in a fight for his life has indeed sent shockwaves across the world. Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik works on a sand sculpture of seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher to wish him a speedy recovery at Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. Photo: Reuters Schumacher injured his head during a ...

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The US war on Afghanistan is over. Syria is the new project

“He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties….” You might be thinking that this is an excerpt from an Obama press conference citing the reasons for a strike against Bashar al Assad’s Syria. Yet, these words were spoken by George W Bush at the United Nations on 13 September 2002, and the above quote ends with…, “Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.” Some things never change. With the UN weapons inspectors pulling out of Syria with the “possible” evidence of chemical attacks, it ...

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