Malala in video message: ‘Getting better’

Updated 05 February 2013
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Malala in video message: ‘Getting better’

LONDON: Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taleban for campaigning for girls’ education, said she was getting better in her first public statement released yesterday.
“Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and I am getting better day by day,” said the 15-year-old in a video message made before she underwent surgery on her skull on Saturday.
Speaking clearly in English, she said: “It’s just because of the prayers of people. Because all people — men, women, children — all of them have prayed for me.
“And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life — a second life. And I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund.”
In an attack that drew worldwide condemnation, a Taleban gunman shot Malala at point-blank range as her school bus traveled through Pakistan’s Swat Valley on Oct. 9.
Surgeons in Pakistan saved her life with an initial operation to relieve the pressure on her brain before she was flown to Britain to be treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England.
Doctors say the bullet grazed Malala’s brain and traveled through her head and neck before lodging in her left shoulder.
In the surgery this weekend, she had a titanium plate fitted to replace part of her skull and surgeons inserted an implant to help restore her hearing in her left ear.
The Malala Fund is a charity set up in late 2012 to promote education for girls.
Malala first rose to prominence aged 11 with a blog for the BBC’s Urdu-language service charting her life under the Taleban.
Since her attempted murder, millions of people have signed petitions supporting her cause, while the United Nations declared a global “Malala Day” last November.


Malaysia court sentences Australian woman to death for drug-trafficking

Prosecutors had sought the appeals court conviction, which overturned the earlier acquittal of Maria Exposto, 54, of charges of smuggling the drugs in a backpack in Dec. 2014. (Reuters)
Updated 5 min 44 sec ago
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Malaysia court sentences Australian woman to death for drug-trafficking

  • Tania Scivetti, a lawyer representing Exposto, who hails from Sydney, said her team had filed an appeal in a federal court
  • Malaysia, like other countries in Southeast Asia, imposes harsh penalties for drug offenses

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian court on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging an Australian mother of three, for trafficking more than a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine into the Southeast Asian nation, but her lawyer said she was appealing.
Prosecutors had sought the appeals court conviction, which overturned the earlier acquittal of Maria Exposto, 54, of charges of smuggling the drugs in a backpack in Dec. 2014, after she said she was duped in an online scam.
Tania Scivetti, a lawyer representing Exposto, who hails from Sydney, said her team had filed an appeal in a federal court.
“We are extremely disappointed,” Scivetti told Reuters by text message. “Maria is a victim of an Internet romance scam. She is not a drug trafficker.”
Exposto, arrested in Kuala Lumpur while in transit to Melbourne from Shanghai, has said she was decoyed into carrying the bag with the drugs by a friend of her online boyfriend, who claimed to be a US soldier serving in Afghanistan.
Malaysia, like other countries in Southeast Asia, imposes harsh penalties for drug offenses. Late last year, parliament voted to remove the death penalty as mandatory punishment for drug trafficking, and leave it to judges’ discretion instead.
Malaysia has executed three Australian nationals for drug trafficking in the past 30 years, leading to brief strains in diplomatic ties between the two countries.