New York starts campaign against Islamophobia
NEW YORK • New York has unveiled a major public campaign to fight Islamophobia, stressing the equal rights of the city's hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
The campaign which began yesterday - launched in the wake of a Manhattan bomb attack blamed on a radicalised Afghan-American - initially will use social media to spread the message under the hashtag #IAmMuslimNYC.
Switzerland moves closer to banning face veils
ZURICH • Switzerland's Lower House of Parliament narrowly backed a ban on face veils yesterday, echoing moves by neighbouring France and other European nations to tighten controls in the wake of militant attacks.
The plan by right-wing politician Walter Wobmann - who led a successful campaign to outlaw new minarets in 2009 - still has to pass through the Upper House and the government before it becomes law.
Australia backs off from 'backpacker tax'
SYDNEY • Australia watered down plans for a "backpacker tax" on foreigners on working holidays yesterday, after an outcry from farmers and tourism operators.
Canberra had been under increasing pressure to shelve the tax - 32.5 Australia cents for every dollar earned - amid fears that it would deter tourists from choosing the country as a destination.
Water vapour plumes spotted on Jupiter's moon
WASHINGTON • Astronomers said they have spotted evidence of water vapour plumes rising from Jupiter's moon Europa, a finding that might make it easier to learn whether life exists in the warm, salty ocean hidden beneath its icy surface.
The apparent plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope shoot about 200km above Europa's surface, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said on Monday.