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For Refugees, Soccer Helps Pass an Eternity in Limbo

CISARUA, Indonesia — Indonesia is a transit country for approximately 14,000 refugees, half of whom are from Afghanistan. In the interim period, the refugees cope by playing long games of soccer.

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The Guardian: Dry Dams, Leaky Pipes and Tanker Mafias – Karachi’s Water Crisis

“There’s nothing here,” says Farzana Khatoun, surveying the dry expanse of land before her. “We don’t even have enough water to wash up for prayer, do our laundry or wash our dishes.” Khatoun cannot simply turn on a tap and expect water to gush out; her home is not connected to the water pipelines of Karachi, the sixth most water-stressed city in the world.

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The Guardian: The ‘Avon Ladies’ of Pakistan Selling Contraception Door to Door

ALLAH BACHAYO KHASKHELI, Pakistan — From 8am to 4pm, 25-year-old Samina Khaskheli travels door-to-door in rural Pakistan handing out free samples of condoms, birth control pills, and intrauterine devices.

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State of Insecurity

A suicide bomb attack on Lahore’s Christian community on Easter Sunday has highlighted the precarious position of Pakistan’s religious minorities.

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Warscapes: Yemeni Drone Victims Still Waiting for Accountability

On August 29, 2012, in Yemen’s eastern Hadhramaut province, a U.S. drone struck the village of Khashamir.

The strike allegedly killed Waleed bin Ali Jaber, a 26-year-old policeman, and his brother-in-law Salem, a 43-year-old religious leader who delivered a sermon against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) the Friday before his death.

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Lahore, the Policed City

“We’re the last generation that’s seen a Lahore that was not paranoid,” said artist Naira Mushtaq, sitting in a restaurant in Pakistan’s second-largest city.

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VICE Munchies: Inside Burma’s First Kentucky Fried Chicken

“KFC is no good,” says a wiry Burmese teenager inside a shared taxi from a Aung Mingalar bus station to downtown Yangon.

“What about McDonald’s?” I ask as the taxi shuttles past roadside noodle shops.

The young man shakes his head silently, admitting that he’s never heard of McDonald’s.

This is no surprise, as Burma is one of the few countries where McDonald’s has yet to enter.

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GOOD: Reducing Myanmar’s Child Workforce, One Lesson at a Time

HLEGU, Myanmar — Young Myant Min Myint was bent on the ground, watching electrical wires shake with incandescent sparks. Next to him, his father worked deliberately, twisting electrical wires from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. While other children in rural Myanmar attended school, Myant would assist his electrician father around the district. At 12 years of age, Myant was performing menial tasks in exchange for 5,000 kyat (almost $4) per day.

One day, Myant’s father had an accident that required major surgery. Afterward, he was unable to lift heavy objects. Myant’s household had lost its primary breadwinner. So without informing anyone in his family, Myant joined a tea shop as a child laborer.

Approximately 4.4 million children in Myanmar like Myant are currently out of school. Fully 20 percent of Myanmar’s youth ages 10-18 participate in the labor force, according to Kelly Stevenson, country director for Save the Children. Child labor prevails as an accepted social practice in Myanmar, often featuring hazardous, low-wage working conditions in the country’s railroads, tea shops, and other industries.

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