Saving Souls

NEW DELHI ( — On a sun-kissed Saturday morning in March, Rahul Kumar whips through a squalid Delhi neighborhood, his ashen buttoned-down shirt tucked into his dress pants and his thick black hair gelled back from his forehead. He is headed to the Sanskar Centre, a bare, one-room school run by a Christian nonprofit in […]

In India, non-Hindu parents face adoption prejudice

NEW DELHI ( — When Shabnam Hashmi visited her first adoption centre in New Delhi’s suburbs, she was told that they didn’t have any Muslim children. “I was actually shocked because children don’t have a religion,” said Hashmi, a Muslim social activist and mother of two. “Why does it matter whether the child is coming […]

Crops out of concrete: Farming Hong Kong’s urban island

Hong Kong (CNN) — On the roof of a 21-story office building in Hong Kong’s eastern district sits a grassy patch of hope that proves agriculture can thrive even in one of the world’s most congested spaces. The rooftop is managed by local entrepreneur Osbert Lam, who spends his afternoons amid the rows of planter […]

Double killing in Exposition Park leaves friends and family reeling

(Los Angeles Times) – Salvador Medina gladly helped his friend Alfonso Nava walk to his home in Exposition Park after a long night of drinking two weeks ago, lending him his sweater to help fight off the cold. The two were like brothers. But early Sunday morning, Medina awoke to gunshots in his front yard […]

Hong Kong’s Poorest Living in ‘Coffin Homes’

Hong Kong (CNN) — Hidden amid the multi-million dollar high-rise apartments and chic shopping malls of Hong Kong’s urban centers are scores of tiny, unseen tenements — some no bigger than coffins — that many people call home. Mak, 72, has lived in his four-walled “coffin home” overlooking the city’s Wan Chai neighborhood for the […]

When a Jain Marries a Bengali: An Indian Love Story That Defied Tradition

NEW DELHI (NPR’s On Being) — On the day of his wedding, Ashok Jain’s parents beat him mercilessly after he told them he married a Hindu woman. “They didn’t accept my marriage,” said Mr. Jain, whose family practices Jainism, an ancient Indian religion that emphasizes non-violence. “They asked me to walk out of the home […]

Punjabi-Mexican American community fading into history

NEW DELHI (The Washington Post) — Amelia Singh Netervala points to her mother’s chicken curry enchiladas as the best metaphor for her childhood. Born to a Punjabi Sikh father and Mexican mother, her family was full of cultural contradictions: She went to church on Sundays with her mother and three siblings while her father waited […]

Activists to gay conversion therapists: ‘Don’t try to fix us’

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Mateo Williamson’s mother still won’t call him Mateo. She prefers Kelsey, the name she gave him more than 22 years ago. Born female, Williamson grew up feeling trapped in his own body. It wasn’t until he learned the term “transgender” at age 12 that he really understood what those feelings meant. “I […]

Iran preparing internal version of Internet

WASHINGTON (The Washington Post) —The Iranian government, determined to limit Western influence and defend itself against cyberattacks, appears to have laid the technical foundations for a national online network that would be detached from the Internet and permit tighter control over the flow of information. The concept of a self-contained network has been reverberating within […]