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Malala Yousafzai Continues to Be Taliban’s Worst Nightmare By Continuing Education at Oxford

You remember Malala Yousafzai, right? The young Pakistani woman who, when she was 14 years old was shot by a Taliban gunman because she dared be a girl who wanted an education? Well, one high school diploma, a documentary, a Nobel Prize, and an eponymous foundation later, Yousafzai is continuing her education at one of the most prestigious universities in the world!

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Feminism Around the World: Little Hope For Justice In 2,000 Allegations of Sexual Abuse Against UN Peacekeepers

There are times when the United Nations, as an organization, seems powerful. And there are other times when the entire thing seems like a waste of time. In the case of 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse committed by U.N. peacekeepers, it seems to be one of those times.

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Feminism Around the World: Jin Xing, China’s Most Popular TV Personality, Is An Icon Who Happens to Be Transgender

Meet the most popular television personality that you've likely never heard of. Jin Xing is China's biggest television icon, and has been called "the Oprah of China."

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Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2 Claims People in Pakistan Speak “Pakistanian”

Oof. Reset the counter.

Yesterday, Pakistani writer Khaver Siddiqi tweeted an, um, unfortunate screenshot from DC's recent Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2.

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Watch the Debut Episode of Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s First Animated Female Superhero Show [VIDEO]

Submitted For Your Approval

A few weeks ago we told you about Burka Avenger, Pakistan's first animated TV show to feature a female superhero. Well now we have the first episode, where teacher Jiya —a.k.a. the Burka Avenger—uses books, pens, and martial arts to keep bumbling baddies from shutting down her city's girls school and depriving its students of their right to education. What do you think? (Thanks, anonymous tipster!) Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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Burka Avenger: Pakistan’s First Animated Female Superhero Is A Teacher By Day, Crime Fighter By Night


Pakistan's newest TV superhero, Burka Avenger, is not only the first animated female superhero for the country, but a woman with a mission. That mission is to promote girl's education in the country, on and off screen. The new show, from Pakistani pop star Haroon, features Jiya, a teacher at an all girl's school who protects the school from various villains, including a corrupt politician and an evil, anti-women's education magician. Jiya dons a burka at night and quite literally uses her teaching tools, including pencils and books, to foil her enemies' schemes and keep the school open for her students.

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Meet Sabeen Mahmud, a Woman Trying to Change Pakistan One Line of Code at a Time

the internet is serious business

Sabeen Mahmud (above, in blue), who says she fell in love with technology the first time she ever saw a Mac, just organized Pakistan's first ever Hackathon last month, aimed specifically at finding ways to use technology to fix or at least alleviate Pakistan's political problems. According to a piece by Wired, the gathering was pretty amazing for everyone involved.

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A Girl Named Genghis Khan: Squash Player Masqueraded as a Boy to Learn the Game


When Maria Toorpakai Wazir was four, she cut her hair, dressed in her brother's clothes, and took her own clothes into the backyard to burn them. "My father started laughing," she says, "and said, 'Here we go, we have a Genghis Khan in the family.'" The rest of her childhood in the Waziristan region of Pakistan was marked by fist fights, which she says is how she made friends. "I am a warrior, I was born a warrior, I will die like a warrior." Sounds about right for a girl who dressed as a boy in order to play the sport of squash, becoming the best female player in Pakistan, until Taliban threats forced her to leave the country in order to continue to train.

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Pakistan Cuts Mobile Phone Service in Major Cities Following String of Bombings

The government of Pakistan and mobile phone carriers in the country have cut cellular service in major cities like Quetta and Karachi in the wake of a string of terrorist bombings that have shaken the country. It' the second time this month the government has attempted to disrupt communications between terrorists by taking the rather drastic step of eliminating cell phone coverage to wide swathes of the nation's urban centers.

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Zookeepers Order Booze For Elephants, Zookeepers Drink Booze For Elephants

Heffalumps and Woozles

Here's a funny story for your late afternoon enjoyment: Zookeepers in Pakistan regularly purchase alcohol for the zoo's elephants for when the animals get a little keyed up during mating season. Or so they claimed. For twenty years. If that isn't funny enough for you to begin with, try this one: Someone thought it was strange that elephants were basically being "prescribed" booze, so they asked a veterinarian, "Hey, can elephants drink booze?" And the vet said, "No, elephants cannot drink booze. God, I hope they haven't been drinking booze." Don't worry! The elephants never drank any of the booze. It was for the zookeepers, who bogarted all that elephant-relegated booze for all those years.

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Pakistan Stalls Plan to Ban "Obscene" Words in Text Messages

Pakistan recently announced a bold plan to start filtering text messages and censoring them for obscene words. In addition to censoring the obscene words, it seemed like it was part of the plan to censor words that might be obscene in a weird parallel universe, filthy slurs like "mango," "athlete's foot," and the dreaded "kmart." Of course, in addition to the funny ones, Pakistan intended to ban some more truly controversial (but understandble) words such as "Jesus Christ" and any reference to sexual orientation or sex in general. That includes "deeper."

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Pakistan Threatens to Ban YouTube, Google

Not content with simply banning online encryption, Pakistan is now issuing an ultimatum of sorts that could end with Google and YouTube being banned in the country. The threat came from Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who called on the website to work more closely with terrorism investigations lest they be blocked inside the country. Malik is quoted as saying that terrorist groups are using online resources to share information, though he did not elaborate on what kind of information and how it was used. Nor did he explain how YouTube and Google were being used by terrorist groups, or what role they would play in any investigations. Interestingly, Malik also indicated that legal action may be taken against the administrator of Google Pakistan. While Google has been enormously successful, it has struggled with operating in other countries. While this may turn out to simply be the threats of one man and not the intent of the Pakistani government, Google might could have a growing fiasco on their hands. (Times of India via Hacker News)

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Sesame Street Is Coming to Pakistan

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Yes.

Sesame Street has won over the hearts and minds of children all over the world. But how will it play in Pakistan? A new version of the show is being produced in Pakistan and will teach the same lessons as other editions of the show, including the introduction of one letter and one number. The show seeks to be distinctly Middle-Eastern and hopes to promote tolerance and gender equality by featuring several strong female characters, including a new Muppet character Rani, who is six years old and the daughter of a peasant farmer. Rani will set an example for other children as a curious and inquisitive girl with questions about the world. Funded by a $20 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the series is expected to debut in the fall and comes at a time when Pakistan's educational system is struggling.

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Millions of Spiders Blanket Entire Trees in Webs [Pics]

Here's a delightful morning snack: When Pakistan experienced severe flooding last year, it had the unexpected and rather creepy-crawly side effect of driving millions upon millions of spiders to the trees, where they could escape the floodwater. Since the flooding lasted for such a long time, many trees became blanketed in thick layers of web.

But according to the UK government, which assisted in the flood release effort this may have actually had a positive health effect: On-the-ground reports suggest that there are fewer mosquitos than would have been expected after the influx of so much stagnant water. This, in turn, may have reduced the very real risk of malaria to local populations afflicted with flooding. The web-coated trees, however, remain scary-looking.

More photos of creepy, antimalarial trees below:

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“Girls Suck at Video Games”: The Video Game: The Video

French animator Stéphanie Mercier has released a humorous animation titled "Girls Suck at Video Games." Don't be fooled by the title: It's a clever little ditty about how life can be tough for a woman who has to juggle a career and a baby-in-stomach -- presented in a SNES-like video game format. It brings me back to the days of Super Mario World and other side-scrollers I played as a kid, like The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (just me?). What is it with the French, their preoccupation with sex/gender, and clever old-school-video-game-esque animations (warning: link NSFW)? Video after the jump.

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Pakistani Lawyer Calls for the Execution of Mark Zuckerberg

Social media and execution seem to be dancing hand-in-hand today, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and cohorts find themselves the subjects of investigation regarding blasphemy against the Islam founder Muhammad.

The Register reports that lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed an application last month to launch a First Information Report on the Facebook-hosted "Draw Muhammad" page. Most contemporary Sunni Muslims forbid visual depictions of the prophet. If Zuckerberg, his fellow co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, and "Andy," the German woman who initiated the contest, are charged as criminals under a section of the Pakistan Penal Code prohibiting "use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet," they would hypothetically face life imprisonment or, worse, the death penalty.

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Pakistan Court Orders Facebook Block Over Muhammed Caricature Group

Everybody Draw Muhammed Day, a satirical protest movement dreamt up in response to the outrage over a South Park episode in which the prophet Muhammed was depicted in a bear costume, has itself led to far greater fallout than anyone might have expected: Now, a court in Pakistan has ordered Facebook to be blocked over an "Everybody Draw Muhammed Day" Facebook group.

Not just the group, mind you -- which Pakistan's department of communications had already blocked by the time the matter made its way to the Lahore High Court -- But the entirety of Facebook, which had close to 1.5 million members in Pakistan as of December and may have since surpassed that number.

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