TIME latin america

Latin America Boasts the World’s Most Emotional Nations, Survey Shows

Citizens of Bolivia and El Salvador experience the most emotions daily

Latin Americans are in general the most emotional people on the planet while the world’s least emotional countries are predominantly from eastern Europe, a new survey has shown.

Bolivia and El Salvador shared top spot with 59% of “yes” responses when respondents were asked whether they experienced any of ten emotions — five positive and five negative — the previous day. Cambodia, Iraq and the Philippines were the only non-Latin countries in the top 10.

The poll, conducted by Gallup, surveyed 1,000 people in 148 countries during 2014. Respondents were asked whether they felt angry, stressed or sad, among other emotions, and also whether they were treated with respect, laughed a lot and felt well-rested.

The most and least emotional countries were ranked based on the average number of “yes” responses to the queries, thus mainly considering whether they felt a range of emotions rather than the nature of the emotions themselves.

Former Soviet nations like Russia, Lithuania, Georgia and Belarus dominate the ranks of least emotional countries, although the nation with the least emotional people — scoring only 37% — is the South Asian nation of Bangladesh.

Read more at Gallup

TIME Bangladesh

Bangladesh Court Delays Rana Plaza Movie Screening

Bangladesh's 'Dhallywood' Film Industry Soars In Popularity
Getty Images A scene from the movie titled Rana Plaza is filmed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Feb. 7, 2014

The April 24, 2013, disaster left 1,135 people dead

(DHAKA, Bangladesh) — Bangladesh’s High Court has imposed a six-month ban on the screening of a movie about a garment worker who was rescued from the rubble 17 days after a five-story factory complex collapsed more than two years ago, killing more than 1,000 people.

A two-member panel of judges ordered the ban Monday on the film “Rana Plaza” after a writ petition was submitted alleging that the movie has scenes of horror, cruelty and violence that could negatively affect workers in the country’s vital garment industry.

The director, Nazrul Islam Khan, had earlier argued that the real-life story of Reshma Begum depicts courage amid the tragedy.

The April 24, 2013, disaster left 1,135 people dead. Thousands more were rescued from the ruins of the illegally built complex that contained five factories that supplied garments to international companies.

When the building began collapsing, Begum said she raced down a stairwell into the basement, where she became trapped in a pocket of space that allowed her to survive. She found some dried food and bottles of water to sustain her until rescuers found her.

Begum’s life has changed since then as he is currently employed in a hotel owned by an international chain.

The collapse triggered criticism at home and abroad, and many big brands came forward to help Bangladesh reform the sector for better working and safety conditions.

Investigators say a host of factors contributed to the building’s collapse: It was overloaded with machines and generators, constructed on swampy land, and the owner added floors in violation of the original building plan.

On Monday, the High Court also asked the country’s film censor board to explain in four weeks why the clearance certificate for screening the movie should not be cancelled.

Sirajul Islam Rony, the writ petitioner and a trade union leader, said he appealed to the court because the film’s producer had not removed some scenes of horror from the movie as instructed by the court in March.

Bangladesh earns about $25 billion annually from exports of garment products, mainly to the United States and Europe, although the country has one of the lowest minimum wages in the world — about $72 a month.

The industry employs about 4 million workers, mostly women who come from rural areas.

TIME Bangladesh

Bangladesh Arrests Three Men Suspected of Killing Atheist Bloggers

BANGLADESH-US-UNREST-ATTACK
MUNIR UZ ZAMAN—AFP/Getty Images A Bangladeshi social activist pays his last respects to slain US blogger of Bangladeshi origin and founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site, Avijit Roy in Dhaka on March 6, 2015 after he was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in the Bangladeshi capital on February 26.

One is a British citizen accused of being the "main planner"

Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested three suspected Islamic extremists carrying out the murders of two atheist bloggers, including a British national who authorities say was the “main planner” behind the attacks.

Spokesmen for the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the country’s elite security force, told Agence France-Presse that they had arrested 58-year-old Touhidur Rahman and two other “active members” of the recently banned organization Ansarullah Bangla Team.

The trio have been accused of killing Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das, two of the four bloggers hacked to death with machetes this year in what has become an alarming pattern of violent backlash against secular voices in the South Asian nation. A hit list of 84 bloggers compiled by Islamic fundamentalist groups in 2013 continues to do the rounds, and the latest murder — that of Hindu writer Niloy Neel — took place 10 days ago.

The Bangladesh government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been criticized for failing to adequately protect secular bloggers and activists, but Tuesday’s arrests may provide hope that those responsible will be prosecuted.

“We’ve arrested them in the capital today,” RAB spokesman Major Maksudul Alam told AFP. “We can confirm that Rahman is a Bangladesh origin British citizen. He is the main planner of the attacks on Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das.”

TIME Bangladesh

13 Suspects Charged With Lynching a Boy in Bangladesh

BANGLADESH-CRIME-CHILDREN
Munir Uz Zaman—AFP/Getty Images Bangladeshi protesters carry a banner during a demonstration against the lynching of a 13-year-old boy in Dhaka on July 14, 2015

A video of the boy pleading for his life as the assailants laughed went viral

Thirteen men were charged Sunday for the July 8 mob killing of a 13-year-old boy in the Bangladeshi city of Sylhet.

Samiul Alam Rajon was brutally beaten to death after a group of men accused him of stealing a bicycle rickshaw. An autopsy found he had suffered 64 separate injuries.

While “mob justice” attacks on suspected thieves are not uncommon in Bangladesh, this particular case sparked outrage nationwide after a video of the alleged perpetrators laughing during the attack went viral, drawing hundreds of protesters to the streets of Sylhet.

Ten of the men admitted to their role in the crime and have since been arrested in Bangladesh, the BBC reports. Three more who fled the country shortly after the attacks were charged in absentia.

Kamrul Islam, the prime suspect in the case, is allegedly hiding out in Saudi Arabia, according to the BBC. Bangladeshi officials are hoping the country will process his extradition soon.

[BBC]

TIME Nepal

Nepal Is the Latest Country to Acknowledge Transgender Citizens on Its Passports

NEPAL-HOMOSEXUALITY-RIGHTS
Prakash Mathema —AFP/Getty Images Nepalese transgender and the first recipient of a Nepalese transgender passport, Monica Shahi from Kailali district displays her new passport with "O" for other in the document's gender section, in Kathmandu on August 10, 2015

Neighbors Bangladesh and India also offer a transgender designation on travel documents

Monica Shahi has become the first person in Nepal to have a passport that recognizes her as neither male or female but as a member of a third category. Her passport is now marked with an “O” that represents “Other,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports.

Nepal is just the latest country to authorize a third gender category for passport holders, however. To date, Bangladesh, India, Denmark and Australia, among others, offer the designation on travel documents.

Since a 2007 Supreme Court ruling allowed Nepalis to recognize their gender according to their “gender feelings” not just to a male or female binary, tolerance towards the trans community has continued to grow in the South Asian country, HRW says.

TIME Bangladesh

Six Suspected Tiger Poachers Killed by Bangladeshi Police

Authorities recovered six bodies following a gunfight with a gang of suspected poachers

(DHAKA, Bangladesh) — Police on Sunday killed six suspected tiger poachers in the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh, home to critically endangered Royal Bengal tigers.

Local police official Harendranath Sarker said authorities recovered six bodies following a gunfight with a gang of suspected poachers in the Sundarbans mangrove forest. The 10,000-square-kilometer (3,860-square-mile) forest straddles Bangladesh and India, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sarker said authorities found the skins of three adult tigers and seized firearms from the suspects.

Some local media reported that the suspects were arrested in different parts of the forest before they were killed, but police said they died during the raid.

Some 440 tigers were recorded in the Sundarbans forest in a 2004 census based on collecting tigers’ paw prints, but a year-long survey that ended in April 2015 using video cameras estimated the current tiger population at between 83 and 130, averaging about 106.

Bangladeshi forest officials say the new estimate is more accurate because of the use of cameras. They and other experts say poaching is a major reason for the decline of the tiger population.

TIME Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Opposition Leader’s Death Sentence Upheld

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior opposition leader waves to the media after he arrives to the war crime tribunal in Dhaka.
Khurshed Rinku —REUTERS Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a senior opposition leader, waves to the media after he arrives to the war crime tribunal in Dhaka October 1, 2013

Critics believe the case was politically motivated

Bangladeshi opposition leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury has had his appeal against his death sentence rejected by a Supreme Court judge.

Chowdhury, 66, a standing committee member for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) whose father was formerly an acting President of Pakistan, was sentenced to death two years ago by a controversial domestic war crimes tribunal. He was convicted of nine different crimes, including rape, torture and genocide, allegedly carried out during the South Asian nation’s 1971 independence struggle, the AFP reports.

During that conflict, East Pakistan, as Bangladesh was then known, seceded from Islamabad’s control. Chowdhury’s subsequent conviction was the first time an opposition politician had been tried for related crimes and critics maintain the case was politically motivated.

Chowdhury’s BNP clashes regularly with the country’s ruling Bangladesh Awami League. The BNP has been significantly weakened in recent months after carrying out a three-month nationwide traffic blockade in an attempt to overthrow current Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Similar verdicts against Islamist politicians have previously sparked violence throughout the country. Security has now been increased in both the capital Dhaka and in Chowdhury’s hometown of Chittagong, police officials told the AFP.

[AFP]

TIME Bangladesh

Only 100 Tigers Remain in Bangladesh’s Sundarban Forests, Survey Shows

India Tigers Census
Joydip Kundu—AP ARoyal Bengal tiger prowls in Sunderbans, at the Sunderban delta, about 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Calcutta, India on April 26, 2014.

The 3,860-mile mangrove forest is one of the big cats' largest natural habitats

Only some 100 tigers currently roam the Sundarban forests of Bangladesh, a new survey has discovered, indicating far fewer big cats than previously thought in one of their largest global habitats.

The yearlong survey that ended in April was based on footage from hidden cameras and found the true number of tigers to be between 83 and 130, Agence France-Presse reported.

“So plus or minus we have around 106 tigers in our parts of the Sundarbans,” Tapan Kumar Dey, the Bangladesh government’s wildlife conservator, told AFP. “It’s a more accurate figure.”

The number represents a precipitous drop from the 440 figure included in the last tiger census in 2004, although experts say in hindsight the earlier calculation may have been inaccurate since it was based on a study of the animals’ paw prints or pugmarks.

The news from Bangladesh is in contrast to South Asian neighbor India — home to about 70% of the global tiger population — where the Environment Ministry said in January that the number of tigers had risen to 2,226 from 1,411 in 2008. There are apparently 74 tigers on the Indian side of the Sundarbans, the mangrove forest that stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across both countries.

Monirul Khan, a zoology professor at Bangladesh’s Jahangirnagar University and the country’s foremost expert on tigers, stressed that the government needs to intervene in order to protect the animals from poaching and their habitat from destruction through development.

The number of wild tigers worldwide is currently estimated at just 3,200 compared to 100,000 in 1900, and WWF says they are in danger of soon becoming extinct.

[AFP]

TIME Bangladesh

Public Lynching of Teenager in Bangladesh Brings Hundreds of Protesters to the Streets

BANGLADESH-CRIME-CHILDREN
STR—AFP/Getty Images Bangladeshis protest against the beating death of a 13-year-old boy in Sylhet, Bangladesh, on July 13, 2015

The young boy was beaten to death by a gang of men who accused him of theft

The brutal murder of a 13-year-old boy last week, publicly beaten to death by a group of men, has sparked widespread protests in Bangladesh, with hundreds taking to the streets of the northeastern city of Sylhet on Sunday.

A video of the beating taken by a bystander has gone viral in the South Asian nation and prompted mass outrage and calls for justice, the BBC reported, citing local media. The men are shown laughing and taunting young Samiul Alam Rajon as they hit him repeatedly with a metal rod, while he begs them to stop and asks for a glass of water. They also tied him to a metal pole, and threatened to upload the video to Facebook.

An autopsy report found over 60 injury marks on Rajon’s body, and concluded that he died of a brain hemorrhage from injuries to the head.

Three of the men, including the prime suspect who had fled to Saudi Arabia, have been detained by the police, and a special squad has been formed to investigate the case.

The brutal killing appears to be a case of mob justice, with the men reportedly accusing Rajon — who worked with his family selling vegetables — of trying to steal a cycle rickshaw. The mob was spotted and chased by a few locals while trying to dump Rajon’s body in a nearby landfill, with one being caught and handed over to authorities. The other two were taken into custody in the subsequent days.

“It is a sad and unfortunate incident,” Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told a local news outlet. “The rest will be arrested soon. None will be spared.”

[BBC]

TIME portfolio

Meet China’s Young and Rebellious Hip-Hop Dancers

The dramatically expressive dance form found its crowd in China.

In China, where personal expression is often discouraged, a group of young dancers are riding the wave of an imported cultural phenomenon, appropriating the highly individual hip-hop genre to transform it into a choreographed group performance.

Their name is Dangsters. Counting 10 exuberant and irrepressible members, the group was founded, among others, by Phoenix, 29, from Yunnan, and Nana, 28, a transplant from Thailand who adopted China as her second home.

The two discovered hip-hop dance in their teens through online videos. Although initially finding it nothing more than “cool and fun,” they soon became professional dancers, swiping across China’s major metropolis. The road to success, though, has been difficult. Many people in China consider this profession a type of “Qingchunfan”, meaning a kind of job exclusively open to vivacious young women.

Financial success wasn’t guaranteed either. Aside from doing commercial gigs and teaching dance courses, the group’s members took on an unexpected task-to perform at new and extravagant nightclubs in the city of Kunming in China’s southwestern province. Their role? To invigorate the crowds, who were not yet accustomed to the new form of entertainment.

“It was very difficult when we worked in the club five years ago,” Nana tells TIME. Aside from performing three shifts a night, the dancers were also tasked with selling a fixed amount of liquors each month. Female dancers had to be scantily dressed, at times exposing them to male customers’ harassments, she recalls.

After the group won a prominent Asian hip-hop dance contest in Beijing, they quit performing in nightclubs as more students expressed interest in their classes. They moved to a more spacious studio in downtown Kunming and now teach various crowds, some as young as 4 years old. “They prefer being teachers because that’s more respectful,” says Bangladeshi photographer AJ Ghani, who stumbled upon Dangsters when in Kunming for a photography workshop.

Ghani purposely chose to document this group as he wanted to move away from the usual images produced about China. “I find that when talking about China, all the issues are very similar. [People] are interested in those subjects: pollution, over-population, urbanization and rapid [growth],” he says, “but everybody has done that.” In his native Bangladesh, where Ghani is a third-year student at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, he noticed that subjects of international interest are often limited to the region’s natural and man-made disasters — from flooding to the Rana Plaza factory collapse. In his work, he wants to go beyond clichés presented in the media and tackle a more complex reality of cultures and places, he says.

Ghani had photographed Dhaka’s dancers while in school, examining how Western culture influenced the lifestyle of the urban youth in Bangladesh. And when he came upon Dangsters, he was astounded by their intense energy and passion. So much so that he now plans to continue his work in other regions of China.

AJ Ghani is a documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ye Ming is a writer and contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter @yemingphoto and Instagram.

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