More Goals than Fans: Syria’s Uphill Struggle to Rally Nation Behind Football Team (Guardian)

The team, sitting at the top of the table for its group, is performing remarkably well despite formidable hurdles. The war has crippled football in Syria, scattering players across the world, and leaving them with barely a week to meet and train ahead of each match.

But Syrians everywhere are pouring out their support through social media, says Al Husein, and the crisis at home piles on the pressure to make them proud. He hopes that, by doing so, the team will pull the country’s fragmented identity closer together.

“At the end of the day we come from all aspects of Syria. Whether you’re a Christian or a Muslim or any sector of Islam, we’re all one family, we’re playing for one team, one country.

Read the full story at the Guardian 

The Malaysia Scandal: Crazy Enough to be a Far-Fetched Movie Plot, Says Human Rights Director

How an “objective” report on slavery in Malaysia became the centre of a political storm in the US.
Political interference from right at the top of the US government will be the only explanation if Malaysia’s human trafficking rating is raised next week, says human rights expert John Sifton.
“Let’s be clear: this is not a grey area,” he stated last night. “Malaysia has done very little to combat this scourge [of human trafficking]. They have done very little since they were moved to Tier 3 to merit an upgrade.
“If this had happened on House of Cards I’d say, oh, that’s not plausible.”

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The Secret Business Plan That Could Spell the End for Small Businesses

This article was originally published in SME Insider

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will, if it goes through, have the most far-ranging impact on UK companies since the creation of the European Union. But while the benefits to big business are clear, SMEs seem set to lose out. Continue reading →