Mohammed Ismail says four of his relatives were killed by gunmen at the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh between April and October last year. He recalls the September night when, he says, he almost met the same fate: masked men kidnapped him, cut off parts of his left arm and leg and dumped him in a canal.

"They repeatedly asked me why I gave their personal details to the police," Ismail, seated on a plastic mat with his left limbs covered in white bandage and cloth, told Reuters at the Kutupalong refugee camp. "I kept telling them I didn't know anything about them and had not provided any information."

About 730,000 Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority present in Myanmar for centuries but denied citizenship in the Buddhist-majority nation since 1982, fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape a military crackdown. Including others who migrated in prior waves, nearly 1 million live near the border in tens of thousands of huts made of bamboo and thin plastic sheets.

An increasing number of Rohingya are now leaving Bangladesh for countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia via perilous boat journeys, as rising crime in the camps adds to longstanding troubles like a lack of educational and work opportunities and bleak prospects of returning to military-ruled Myanmar.

Crimes recorded in the camps - including murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery, human trafficking and narcotics trade - have soared in recent years, according to data that Bangladesh police shared exclusively with Reuters. Murders rose to 31 in 2022, the highest in at least five years.

"A series of murders of Rohingya men, including some leaders, at the camps have sparked fear and concern about militant groups gaining power, and local authorities failing to curb increasing violence," said Dil Mohammed, a Rohingya community leader in the camps.

"That's one of the main reasons behind the surge in Rohingya undertaking dangerous sea voyages."

Police declined to comment on questions about Ismail or the issues at the camps beyond the data they shared.

Data from UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, show that about 348 Rohingya are thought to have died at sea in 2022, including in the possible sinking late last year of a boat carrying 180 people, making it one of the deadliest years since 2014. Some 3,545 Rohingya made or attempted the crossing of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to Southeast Asian countries last year, up from about 700 in 2021, the UNHCR said.


Ismail, 23, said he believes insurgents targeted him and his relatives, who were aged between 26 and 40, after his cousins rejected repeated approaches over the preceding three or four years to join a militant outfit, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). The group has fought against Myanmar's security forces and some Rohingya say it has been recruiting fighters, often through coercion, in the Bangladesh camps.

In letters to the UNHCR in November and this month seen by Reuters, Ismail said he witnessed the killings of two of his cousins on Oct. 27.

Reuters could not independently verify the deaths of Ismail's relatives, but his account was corroborated by his brother, Mohammed Arif Ullah, 18. The UNHCR declined to comment on Ismail's case, citing safety and privacy risks.

About a dozen Rohingya men in the camps, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said that ARSA militants, whose stated goal is to fight for and restore the rights and freedom of the Rohingya in their ancestral homeland, were involved in criminal activities in the camps, including human and drug trafficking.

An ARSA spokesperson did not respond to questions Reuters sent by email and Twitter about the fates of Ismail and his family, and its alleged involvement in trafficking and attempts to recruit fighters in the camps. The group said on Twitter in December that its activities were confined to Myanmar.

"Any crimes and incidents happening in the camps... in all such happenings, most of the time innocent Rohingya refugees from the camps are labelled as ARSA members and extra-judicially arrested by the authorities," it said.

The UNHCR acknowledged concerns about crime in the camps, saying it had increased its presence so that refugees could access protection and support.

"Among the serious protection incidents reported to UNHCR are abductions, disappearances, threats or physical attacks by armed groups and criminal gangs involved in illegal activities," said Regina de la Portilla, the agency's communications officer in Bangladesh.

Reuters could not independently obtain evidence of drug trafficking by ARSA, though previous Reuters reporting described how refugees had been drawn into the trade out of desperation.

Accounts of violent crime in the overcrowded refugee settlements are adding to pressure on densely populated Bangladesh, which has struggled to support the Rohingya and has called for Myanmar to take them back.

Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner based in Cox's Bazar, said the government was trying to control crime, including through a separate police battalion posted to the camps, but that "criminals just flee across borders when we run an operation".

"For me, ARSA are thugs, hoodlums, hopeless people who now depend on drug peddling and extortion," he said. "They don't have a country, society, and nobody recognises them. That is why they are involved in crimes and life is meaningless to them."

Human Rights Watch said this month, in a report based on interviews with more than 40 refugees, that Bangladesh police's Armed Police Battalion, which took over security in the camps in 2020, was committing extortion, arbitrary arrests, and harassment of Rohingya refugees. The battalion did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Rahman said returning the Rohingya to Myanmar was the "only solution" to their problems. But Myanmar's military junta, which took power in a coup two years ago, has shown little inclination to take them back. A Myanmar government spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Ismail, who lives with his parents, wife and brother, says he fears for his life and understands why some Rohingya are fleeing Bangladesh.

"It's better to die at sea than being killed by terrorists or dying everyday living in fear," he said.


The police data show that crimes in the camps and the number of Rohingya arrested in Bangladesh last year were 16 times the levels of 2017 - a significant jump even after accounting for the influx of refugees. Police arrested 2,531 Rohingya and registered 1,220 cases last year, up from 1,628 arrests and 666 cases in 2021.

About 90% of cases last year, and a similar proportion of arrests, involved murder, illegal use of weapons, trade in narcotics, robbery, rape, kidnapping, attacks on police and human trafficking. Reuters could not determine how many of these resulted in convictions.

The murders of 31 Rohingya marked an increase from a previous high of 27 in 2021. Related arrests reached 290, from 97 a year earlier. Drug-related cases and arrests also soared.

Khair Ullah, a senior Burmese language instructor at the Development Research and Action Group, an NGO, said that besides concern about crime, the refugees were frustrated because about 90% of them had no education or employment.

"They are worried about their future. They can't support their old parents," said Ullah, 25, who is Rohingya and lives in the camps. "What will happen when they have kids? The other big issue is that there's no hope of repatriation from here, so they're trying to leave the camps illegally."


Reuters spoke with several refugees who returned to the Bangladesh camps after abandoning journeys to Malaysia, via Myanmar, out of trepidation.

Enayet Ullah, 20, who is not related to Khair Ullah, arrived in Bangladesh in 2017 with his family. In December, he said, he saw the bodies of two Rohingya men who had been killed in the area of the camps where he lives.

"When I saw their bodies, I was traumatised," he said. "I thought I could have died this way. Then I decided to leave the camp for Malaysia."

Taking a boat from Teknaf in Bangladesh with nine others on the night of Dec. 13, Ullah said he reached the Myanmar town of Sittwe the next day. He had arranged for traffickers to take him to Malaysia for 450,000 taka (about $4,300).

"More Rohingya were supposed to join us and then a bigger boat would sail for Malaysia," Ullah said. "They were waiting for a green signal to start the voyage. But my gut feeling was that the journey wouldn't be safe."

He got cold feet and asked the traffickers to send him back to Bangladesh for 100,000 taka.

Ullah laments that after more than five years in the camps, his homeland seems as far away as ever.

"No education, no jobs. The situation will only deteriorate as time passes by," he said.

Those who reach Malaysia - where there are about 100,000 Rohingya - often find their situation similarly dire. Deemed illegal immigrants, many are jobless and complain of harassment by police. And the deteriorating political situation in Myanmar since the coup has dashed any hopes of repatriation in the near term.

Mohammed Aziz, 21, said he pulled out of a sea trip to Southeast Asia after he saw pictures of boats that traffickers were using, and felt they were too small. He said he had to pay 80,000 taka for the trip to the Myanmar coast from Bangladesh and back.

"People are risking their lives on sea journeys as there is no future here and criminal activities are rising," Aziz said. "But I'll beg them not to take this dangerous sea route. You can end up dying at sea."

41 Kuwaiti parliamentarians have condemned, today, Tuesday, the Swedish government's approving a Danish extremist to burn a copy of the Noble Qur'an in the capital, Stockholm.

The Kuwaiti parliamentarians said, in a statement obtained by the “Al-Mujtama”: We, the members of the National Assembly, strongly denounce and condemn the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden, in a repeated scene that shows the repeated and deliberate abuse to Islamic sanctities, and a flagrant violation of international rights, principles and covenants, and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world. ". 

Kuwaiti parliamentarians also expressed their condemnation of the position of the Swedish government to allow this criminal act - as described in the statement - calling on parliamentarians in the world to denounce this barbaric act and called for a boycott of Sweden and every country that does not respect the principles of the Islamic nation.

The statement concluded by emphasizing that such actions will never undermine the sanctity of the Holy Qur’an in the heart of every civilized person, and the Qur’an will remain a guiding book for humanity, guiding the values of goodness and truth.

Last Saturday, the Danish extremist known for his racism towards Islam, Rasmus Paludan, burned a copy of the Holy Qur’an in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm after the Swedish authorities allowed him to do so under the pretext of freedom of expression.

This crime was met with widespread Islamic rejection, and official and popular reactions in the Arab and Islamic countries rejected the abuse of religious sanctities by extremists under the pretext of freedom of expression.

Seven people were killed in two related shootings Monday at agricultural businesses in a Northern California community, marking the state's third mass killing in eight days, including an attack at a dance hall that killed 11 during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Officers arrested a suspect in Monday’s shootings, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff's substation, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.

Four people were found dead and a fifth injured from gunshot wounds at a farm, and officers found three other people killed at another location several miles away, the Sheriff's Office said. Officials believe Zhao is a worker at one of the facilities and that the victims were workers as well, Corpus said. Corpus said officials hadn’t determined a motive for the shooting.

The new year has brought a shocking string of mass killings in the U.S. — six in less than three weeks, accounting for 39 deaths. Three have occurred in California since Jan. 16, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. The database tracks every mass killing — defined as four dead not including the offender — committed in the U.S. since 2006.

The killings occurred on the outskirts of Half Moon Bay, a city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor Joaquin Jimenez said the victims included Chinese and Latino farmworkers. Some workers at one facility lived on the premises and children may have witnessed the shooting, she said. Corpus it wasn’t immediately clear how the two locations were connected.

The Sheriff’s Office first received reports of a shooting just before 2:30 p.m. and found four people dead from gunshot wounds and a fifth person injured at the first scene. Shortly thereafter, officers found three more people dead from gunshot wounds at a second location nearby, Capt. Eamonn Allen said in a news release.

About two hours after first responding, a sheriff’s deputy noticed the suspect, Zhao, in his car parked outside a sheriff's substation in a strip mall and arrested him, recognizing the car by its license plate.

A video of the arrest showed three officers approaching a parked car with drawn weapons. Zhao got out of the car, and the officers pulled him to the ground, put him in handcuffs, and led him away. A weapon was found in his vehicle, officials said. The video was captured by Kati McHugh, a Half Moon Bay resident who witnessed the arrest.

The sheriff’s department believes Zhao acted alone.

“We’re still trying to understand exactly what happened and why, but it’s just incredibly, incredibly tragic,” said state Sen. Josh Becker, who represents the area and called it “a very close-knit” agricultural community.

Aerial television images showed police officers collecting evidence from a farm with dozens of greenhouses.

Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city with agricultural roots, home to about 12,000 people. The city and surrounding San Mateo County area is known for producing flowers as well as vegetables like brussels sprouts. The county allows cannabis farming in certain areas.

It’s a majority white community and about 5% of the population is Asian, according to Census data.

“We are sickened by today’s tragedy in Half Moon Bay," Pine said. “We have not even had time to grieve for those lost in the terrible shooting in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that he was "at the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy."

On Jan. 16, a teenage mother and her baby were among six people killed in a shooting at a home in California's Central Valley.

Kuwait, Türkiye, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia lead Muslim world's outrage after Sweden allows notorious habitual offender Rasmus Paludan to burn copy of Holy Quran under "freedom of expression" guise.

Paludan is a convicted racist and a serial Quran burner.

Paludan is a convicted racist and a serial Quran burner. (AP)

Muslim world has erupted in anger and alarm after Sweden allowed a far-right racist politician Rasmus Paludan to burn a copy of the Muslim Holy book Quran in front of the Turkish embassy building in Stockholm.

Here are some of the first reactions:


The incident "hurts Muslims' sentiments across the world and marks serious provocation," Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah said in statements cited by the state news agency KUNA.

He called on the international community "to shoulder responsibility by stopping such unacceptable acts and denouncing all forms of hatred and extremism and brining the perpetrators to accountability."


"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (21 January), despite our repeated warnings earlier," a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said.

Calling the act "an outright hate crime," the ministry said: "Permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of freedom of expression is completely unacceptable."

"This despicable act is yet another example of the alarming level that Islamophobia and, racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe."


"This senseless and provocative Islamophobic act hurts the religious sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world," said a statement from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.

Such actions are "not covered under any legitimate expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion, which carries responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence."

"Pakistan’s concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in Sweden. We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims worldwide and take steps to prevent Islamophobic acts," the statement added.

Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia calls for spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence, and rejects hatred and extremism," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


The United Arab Emirates said it was against "all practices aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of human and moral values and principles".


Qatar condemned the Swedish authorities' permission to burn the Holy Quran and call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to reject hatred and violence.


Calling it an attempt to stoke hatred and violence against Muslims, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said some European countries under the false pretext of advocating freedom of speech "allow extremist and radical elements to spread hatred against Islamic sanctities and values".

Kanaani said despite the strong emphasis on human rights in Islam, Europeans continue to "institutionalise anti-Islamism and Islamophobia" in their societies.

He added that the desecration of the Quran is a "clear example of spreading hatred and fueling violence against Muslims", which has "nothing to do with freedom of speech and thought".

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran, yesterday, Saturday, in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, by Rasmus Paludan, leader of the extremist Danish "Stram Kurs " movement.

 The burning of a Holy Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm is condemned by the foreign minister, according to KUNA, who also appeals to the international community to put an end to such reprehensible crimes, reject all kinds of extremism and intolerance, and hold those responsible accountable.

Turkish Presidency: Burning the Qur’an is a crime against humanity

 Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish presidency's spokesperson, on the other hand, criticized the Swedish government for allowing a Holy Qur'an copy to be burned in front of the Ankara embassy building in Stockholm, emphasizing that this action promotes anti-Islamic and hate crimes.

Kalin said on his Twitter account on Saturday: "We strongly condemn the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur'an in Stockholm. This is a crime against humanity and a clear hate crime."

He added, "Allowing this measure despite all our warnings is an encouragement of hate crimes and anti-Islam. The attack on sacred values is not freedom, but modern barbarism."

The Swedish authorities had issued a decision allowing Paludan to burn a copy of the Noble Qur’an in front of the Turkish embassy building in Stockholm.

Following the decision, Ankara summoned Sweden's ambassador and informed him of its condemnation in the strongest terms.

The Stockholm Police Department stated that Paludan had obtained permission to organize a demonstration near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Swedish state television reported that Swedish journalist Chang Frick offered Paludan to burn a copy of the Holy Quran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on Saturday, and guaranteed that he would cover all expenses.

In a statement to state television, Frick claimed that he had paid the price for the demonstration permit obtained from the police and that he would exercise his right to cover it as a journalist.

The far-right politician Waludan has been carrying out provocative acts by burning copies of the Holy Qur’an in various cities in Denmark since 2017.

Ankara cancels Swedish defense chief's visit to Turkey over Quran burning permission.

Ankara has canceled Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson's upcoming visit to Türkiye in response to Sweden's permission for a planned burning of the Quran, Islam's holy book, near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

"We regretfully witnessed that no measures were taken as a result of these vile and heinous acts against Türkiye and our President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan). Therefore, at this point, the visit of Swedish Defense Minister Jonson to Türkiye on January 27 has become meaningless. So we canceled the visit," Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters on Friday after the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein airbase in Germany.

Prominent scholar calls Quran burning in Sweden a ‘racist message’

Masoud Kamali, a former special investigator in Sweden, told Anadolu that burning the Muslim holy book in front of the Turkish Embassy is a “political and racist message” aimed at Muslims that transcends to all European countries and beyond.

The act, he said, is a “political game,” adding that the freedom of speech today is giving racist groups permission to attack migrants and Muslims and to enable them “to say whatever they want and make any action that they want.”

He said that if a racist politician like Rasmus Pludan or anyone else was denied permission to burn Quran, it would not have damaged the freedom of speech.

Travis Bradberry

I cover emotional intelligence and leadership performance.

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.

As important as it is to learn how to deal with different kinds of people, truly toxic people will never be worth your time and energy—and they take a lot of each. Toxic people create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress.

“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

Recent research from Friedrich Schiller University in Germany shows just how serious toxic people are. They found that exposure to stimuli that cause strong negative emotions—the same kind of exposure you get when dealing with toxic people—caused subjects’ brains to have a massive stress response. Whether it's negativity, cruelty, the victim syndrome, or just plain craziness, toxic people drive your brain into a stressed-out state that should be avoided at all costs.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus, an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to brain cells, and months of stress can permanently destroy them. Toxic people don’t just make you miserable—they’re really hard on your brain.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to identify toxic people and keep them at bay.

It’s often said that you’re the product of the five people you spend the most time with. If you allow even one of those five people to be toxic, you’ll soon find out how capable he or she is of holding you back.

You can’t hope to distance yourself from toxic people until you first know who they are. The trick is to separate those who are annoying or simply difficult from those who are truly toxic. What follows are ten types of toxic drainers that you should stay away from at all costs so that you don’t become one yourself.

1. The Gossip

"Great minds discuss ideas, average ones discuss events, and small minds discuss people." – Eleanor Roosevelt

Gossipers derive pleasure from other people’s misfortunes. It might be fun to peer into somebody else’s personal or professional faux pas at first, but over time, it gets tiring, makes you feel gross, and hurts other people. There are too many positives out there and too much to learn from interesting people to waste your time talking about the misfortune of others.

2. The Temperamental

Some people have absolutely no control over their emotions. They will lash out at you and project their feelings onto you, all the while thinking that you’re the one causing their malaise. Temperamental people are tough to dump from your life because their lack of control over their emotions makes you feel bad for them. When push comes to shove though, temperamental people will use you as their emotional toilet and should be avoided at all costs.

3. The Victim

Victims are tough to identify because you initially empathize with their problems. But as time passes, you begin to realize that their “time of need” is all the time. Victims actively push away any personal responsibility by making every speed bump they encounter into an uncrossable mountain. They don’t see tough times as opportunities to learn and grow from; instead, they see them as an out. There’s an old saying: “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” It perfectly captures the toxicity of the victim, who chooses to suffer every time.

4. The Self-Absorbed

Self-absorbed people bring you down through the impassionate distance they maintain from other people. You can usually tell when you’re hanging around self-absorbed people because you start to feel completely alone. This happens because as far as they’re concerned, there’s no point in having a real connection between them and anyone else. You’re merely a tool used to build their self-esteem.

5. The Envious

To envious people, the grass is always greener somewhere else. Even when something great happens to envious people, they don’t derive any satisfaction from it. This is because they measure their fortune against the world’s when they should be deriving their satisfaction from within. And let’s face it, there’s always someone out there who’s doing better if you look hard enough. Spending too much time around envious people is dangerous because they teach you to trivialize your own accomplishments.

6. The Manipulator

Manipulators suck time and energy out of your life under the façade of friendship. They can be tricky to deal with because they treat you like a friend. They know what you like, what makes you happy, and what you think is funny, but the difference is that they use this information as part of a hidden agenda. Manipulators always want something from you, and if you look back on your relationships with them, it’s all take, take, take, with little or no giving. They’ll do anything to win you over just so they can work you over.

7. The Dementor

In J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Dementors are evil creatures that suck people’s souls out of their bodies, leaving them merely as shells of humans. Whenever a Dementor enters the room, it goes dark, people get cold, and they begin to recall their worst memories. Rowling said that she developed the concept for Dementors based on highly negative people—the kind of people who have the ability to walk into a room and instantly suck the life out of it.

Dementors suck the life out of the room by imposing their negativity and pessimism upon everyone they encounter. Their viewpoints are always glass half empty, and they can inject fear and concern into even the most benign situations. A Notre Dame University study found that students assigned to roommates who thought negatively were far more likely to develop negative thinking and even depression themselves.

8. The Twisted

There are certain toxic people who have bad intentions, deriving deep satisfaction from the pain and misery of others. They are either out to hurt you, to make you feel bad, or to get something from you; otherwise, they have no interest in you. The only good thing about this type is that you can spot their intentions quickly, which makes it that much faster to get them out of your life.

9. The Judgmental

Judgmental people are quick to tell you exactly what is and isn’t cool. They have a way of taking the thing you’re most passionate about and making you feel terrible about it. Instead of appreciating and learning from people who are different from them, judgmental people look down on others. Judgmental people stifle your desire to be a passionate, expressive person, so you’re best off cutting them out and being yourself.

10. The Arrogant

Arrogant people are a waste of your time because they see everything you do as a personal challenge. Arrogance is false confidence, and it always masks major insecurities. A University of Akron study found that arrogance is correlated with a slew of problems in the workplace. Arrogant people tend to be lower performers, more disagreeable, and have more cognitive problems than the average person.

How to Protect Yourself Once You Spot ’Em

Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it—their behavior truly goes against reason, so why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally, and approach your interactions with them like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink if you prefer that analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine, and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

Most people feel as though because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve identified a toxic person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when and where you don’t. You can establish boundaries, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to cross them, which they will.

Have you run into any of these toxic types of people? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

By Matt Egan,

Lingering racial inequality is holding back America’s economy.

America’s failure to address wide gaps between Black and White communities has cost the economy up to $16 trillion over the past 20 years, according to an analysis published by Citigroup this week.

The report – focusing on inequities that exist in wages, education, housing and investment – underscores racial tensions that are helping to fuel unrest in the United States today.

“The 400 years of enslavement of Black populations in the Americas has residual effects that persist to this day despite tomes of legislation providing equal access to various aspects of American life under the law,” Citi economists wrote in a 104-page report that quotes Martin Luther King, Jr.

The US is light-years more equal than it was in the 1950s, but systems perpetuating inequalities among different racial groups either still remain or are being reinvented, either consciously or unconsciously.”

Citigroup economists

This comes as protests gripped major US cities Wednesday amid outrage over the news that none of the three officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death were charged with her killing – and as the pandemic has worsened America’s inequality problem by dealing a particularly heavy blow to minorities.

“The dual health and economic crises resulting from the coronavirus lays bare long simmering racial tensions and inequities that have plagued the US for centuries,” the Citi report said. 

The economic impact of the pandemic combined with “repeated incidences of police brutality involving Black Americans has proven too great to ignore,” the economists wrote.

“The result not only precipitated protests in the streets, but also a general reassessment of the very soul of the nation,” the report said.

The findings in the Citi report make clear that although the United States has made strides in addressing inequality, huge gaps still exist today:

  • White families have eight times more wealth than Black households
  • The US homeownership rate among Whites is nearly 80%, compared with 47% for Blacks
  • Blacks are five times as likely to be incarcerated as Whites and make up 33% of the US prison population even though they only represent 12% of the total US population
  • Income levels peak for Black men sooner and lower (age 45-49 and $43,849 ) than for White men (age 50-54, $66,250)
  • The total wealth held by US billionaires ($3.5 trillion) is equal to three-quarters of all Black wealth ($4.6 trillion)

These gaps are restraining the economy at large.

“Societal inequities have manifested themselves into economic costs, which have harmed individuals, families, communities, and ultimately the growth and well-being of the U.S. economy,” the Citi report said.

Many Black families have missed out on rising home prices

In fact, some key metrics suggest that the divide between Black and White Americans has gotten worse.

For instance, Citi found that the gaps in homeownership rates and college degree attainment are wider now than in the 1950s and 1960s.

“The U.S. is light-years more equal than it was in the 1950s, but systems perpetuating inequalities among different racial groups either still remain or are being reinvented, either consciously or unconsciously,” the Citi report said.

The report pointed to the long-reaching impact of discriminatory housing practices.

 “Fifty years of barriers to Black home ownership means that Black families have missed out on the benefits of home price appreciation — a key ingredient to wealth accumulation,” the Citi report said.

And the divide in housing is also playing a role in unequal education.

The Citi economists pointed out that there is a “strong correlation between high-value housing and the quality of schooling” because school districts are largely funded through property taxes.

“If neighborhoods are segregated, then so are the schools,” the report said.

Pandemic magnifies inequality

The health crisis is exacerbating the racial divide in the United States.

Black Americans have been hit hardest by the pandemic, dying at a rate 2.4 times higher than White Americans. And Black Americans are over-represented in essential jobs like healthcare, food service and childcare that can’t be done from home. Black-owned businesses suffered greater business destruction between February and April than companies owned by other ethnicities, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently expressed concern about how inequality is hurting the economy.

“The productive capacity of the economy is limited when not everyone has the opportunity, has the educational background and the healthcare and all the things that you need to be an active participant in our workforce,” Powell said last week in response to a question from CNN Business.

Yet Powell said the Fed doesn’t really have the ability to “target particular groups,” adding: “Ultimately, these are issues for elected representatives.

How to fight inequality

The Citi report lays out a blueprint for how the government, as well as Corporate America, can help address inequality in a meaningful way.

Closing inequities in wages, education, housing and investment today could boost US GDP by $5 trillion over the next five years, the report said. But it won’t be easy.

A sampling of the policy suggestions include:

  • Minimum wage hikes (38% of Black workers currently work for minimum wage even though they only represent 11% of the workforce)
  • Reform the tax code in a way that would raise revenue in a more progressive manner and spend the money to address the wage gap
  • Ban employers from asking about salary history to stop prior wage discrimination
  • Continue funding tax provisions that have “proven to reduce poverty” such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
  • Expand tax incentives encouraging low-income housing in affluent areas
  • Encourage residential and commercial development in poor and minority communities

The Citi report also urged companies to implement policies that address racial gaps that exist in the hiring, firing and retention of workers.

Earlier this week, Citi revealed plans to spend more than $1 billion to help close America’s racial wealth gap, including $550 million to help people of color buy homes and promote affordable housing built by minority developers.

“To emerge from a history of entrenched segregation and active discriminatory policy into an era of genuine equity will require conscientious reform at individualistic, corporate, and governmental levels,” the Citi economists said.


Source: CNN Business

Activists condemned the demolition of a big portion of the old "Shahi" mosque in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, under the guise of enlarging a public road.

Interactors on social media have circulated a video clip capturing the demolition of bulldozers for a big portion of the mosque in recent hours, claiming that the matter is targeting Muslims and blaming the Hindu Bharatiya Janata government for the continuous targeting of Muslim homes and mosques.

In response, the city police said - in a statement - that the Public Works Department is conducting expansion works for the main road in the Handia area in the city of Prayagraj, and that the presence of the mosque - which was built about 5 centuries ago - in its current location hinders this expansion.

In its statement, the police confirmed that the mosque had already been demolished on January 9, after talks between officials of the Public Works Department and members of the committee representing the mosque.

The mosque's position is a hindrance to the Public Works Department's extension work on the major road in the Handia neighborhood of Prayagraj City, according to the police.

Local media reported that the mosque, which has been standing since the 16th century, was demolished a few days before the civil court was due to hear the matter on Monday, after the Supreme Court earlier rejected a petition against the plans to demolish it.

The Uttar Pradesh government claimed that the mosque was built by encroaching on government land, while officials from the mosque said that the government's claim is false because their mosque has existed for a long time, according to media sources.

Fond of demolishing Islamic monuments

Attacks on mosques in India have escalated since the Bharatiya Janata Party took power (communication sites)

Criticism and Rage

And the pioneers of social networking sites expressed their anger at the demolition, and writer Sangeeta said, "This government is amazing in destruction, and it can build nothing but hatred. They will break and destroy everything."

Activist Shahavaj Anjum tweeted, "From Bihar to Assam, from Bengal to Uttarakhand, in every state from Kashmir to Karnataka, the government is bulldozing Muslim homes, shops and mosques."

The interaction was not limited to Indian Muslims, as Arab and Muslim activists shared pictures and video clips documenting the demolition, expressing their grief over the situation of Muslims in India.

Muhammad Haider said, "Muslim mosques in India are being demolished and Hindu temples are being built in Arab countries (...) Islam is not a pilgrimage, prayer, or zakat. Islam is behavior and belonging to Muslims and Islam."

He wrote "Built about 5 centuries ago... A mosque was demolished in India under the pretext of widening a public road!   Muslim mosques in India are being demolished and Hindu temples are being built in Arab countries. Congratulations on your Islam, you hypocrites. Islam is neither Hajj nor prayer nor Zakat Islam is behavior and belonging to Muslims and Islam


The 13th International Forum of the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences, which was held in Kuwait, titled “A Renewed Epidemic… Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Risks and Prevention from an Islamic Health Perspective,” with the participation of specialists and experts from 20 Arab, Islamic and European countries, came out with 12 recommendations included in the Kuwait document to combat “Sexually Transmitted Diseases”, at the conclusion of the forum, yesterday, Tuesday.

The conference came out with 12 recommendations, which we summarize here as follows:

First: International and political commitment to combating these diseases and putting sexual health on the list of priorities of presidents and ministries of health, especially in the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and establishing a health, jurisprudential and media coalition to combat sexual diseases in cooperation with specialized and interested organizations, bodies and institutions.

Second: Calling on the World Health Organization to expand prevention efforts, recognizing the importance of the role and impact of places of worship, especially in developing Islamic countries, and expanding the scope of health interventions, such as hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, as well as screenings for syphilis and HPV in groups priority population.

Third: With regard to the legal axis; Taking care of updating legal legislation that deters the promotion of homosexuality and forbidden relationships in the media and social media, and spreading the legal culture related to combating homosexuality and those who promote it and those who call for immorality and immorality.

Fourth: Civil organizations intensify their role in raising awareness in the field of sexual health and developing qualified cadres to work to confront this phenomenon, and focus on calling for avoiding social networking sites that promote perversion in order to clamp down on it while encouraging, highlighting and publishing communication sites that urge virtue.

Fifth: Regarding treatment; Efficiently integrating the fight against sexual diseases in primary health care centres, and enhancing the patient's right to obtain treatment in accordance with medical principles. As well as supporting and supporting the mentally ill, facilitating treatment matters for them, while not stigmatizing them with what is offensive, and following up on the latest diagnostic methods and their obstacles.

Sixth: Enhancing the important role of clerics in consolidating the religious faith for prevention, through coordination with the Ministries of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and those who replace them in the countries of the Western world, to raise awareness of the dangers of these diseases and their consequences in this world and the hereafter, and to develop health education skills for preachers about these diseases.

Seventh: Spreading awareness of prevention methods; By avoiding sexual anomalies and perversions, which are the most important risk factors for contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and using safe and highly effective vaccines in preventing sexually transmitted infections such as hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, paying attention to male circumcision; for its importance in prevention.

Eighth: Confronting the challenges facing Muslim minorities, by conducting societal scientific studies of the challenges and risk factors facing Islamic countries and Muslim minorities in facing sexual diseases, and supporting and educating young people and strengthening the relationship between families within Muslim minorities.

Ninth: Paying attention to digital health, by intensifying the use of means of communication in education and clarifying health risks and legal controls.

Tenth: Activating the role of the media. Increasing the capabilities of specialists in raising awareness in universities and schools, through television and radio, and disseminating it as widely as possible through social media. Opening a direct media dialogue with young people to answer their inquiries and what is going on in their minds in order to narrow the scope for spreading vices. Encouraging and publishing dramas that fight against vices and call for virtues, and manufacture them, if possible. Warning of the drama that calls for vice. Educating those about to get married about sexual rights, duties, and prohibitions, and urging them to perform the required medical tests to ensure that they are free of sexually transmitted diseases.

Eleventh: Raising awareness of the rights and duties of patients, with the aim of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections, and avoiding health teams stigmatizing patients with offensive descriptions.

Twelfth: Encouraging scientific research and keeping abreast of rapid scientific developments, by updating curricula in schools and universities with attractive scientific materials on the dangers of sexual diseases and methods of prevention. Training and educating university and school youth regarding the prevention of these diseases.

At the end of the forum, the participants raised their thanks and appreciation to His Highness, the Kuwaiti Crown Prince, Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for sponsoring the conference, and to the Kuwaiti Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadi, for inaugurating the activities of the forum.

A historic mosque, Shahi Masjid, was demolished by the authorities in Prayagraj district, Uttar Pradesh.

The mosque was reportedly built in the 16th century during the reign of Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Sur Empire in India.

The demolition took place in the strong presence of Indian forces.

As per Mohammad Babul Hussain, imam of the mosque, the matter was being heard in the lower court and listed for hearing yesterday (January 16).

He said the demolition was carried out even though the matter was taken to the lower court after Allahabad High Court had dismissed the petition for staying the proposed demolition in August last year.

“We told the officials that the matter is in the lower court but the mosque was still demolished,” he added.

Babul Hussain said they filed an affidavit in the court on January 10 following the demolition.

To save the historic mosque, locals had first gone to the High Court, which in turn asked the petitioners to go to the Civil Court.

“We took the matter to the civil court, which rejected our stay. After this, we went to the lower court where the case is currently going on,” Imam said.

The demolition of the mosque drew varied reactions from netizens on social media.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s former chair of International Water Cooperation Ashok Swain shared a video of the mosque being bulldozed on his official Twitter handle.

Source: Indian media

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