Chatter: Pakistan's teenage activist lives to fight another day




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Need to know:
Doctors in Pakistan say they have successfully removed a bullet that hit teenage campaigner Malala Yousafzai as she walked home from school.

Yousafzai is 14. She has won acclaim in Pakistan and beyond as a vocal advocate of girls' right to education, and an eloquent witness to the oppression imposed by the Pakistani Taliban in her native Swat Valley. The militants shot her and two schoolmates there yesterday.

Yousafzai underwent surgery last night to remove a bullet from near her spinal cord. She remains unconscious in intensive care, but her condition is said to be stable.

That's good news, of course, to everybody except the Taliban. The group has already warned that it will target Malala again if she survives.

Want to know:
The Pussy Riot Three have become the Pussy Riot Two, after judges in Moscow freed one of the women jailed for mounting an anti-Putin protest in one of Russia's biggest cathedrals.

Yekaterina Samutsevich had her two-year prison sentence suspended at an appeal hearing this morning. Her bandmates, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, saw theirs upheld.

The defendants had argued that all three were innocent, since their actions were a political protest and not, as the charge stated, "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred."

The court didn't agree, apparently, and freed Samutsevich only because she had been thrown out by security guards before she could take part in the act. But even if judges were to send them to Siberia, Alyokhina warned, "we won't stay silent [..] however uncomfortable that is for you."

Dull but important:
Toyota has announced a massive recall of more than seven million vehicles worldwide, due to faulty power-window switches that could be a potential fire hazard.

The Japanese auto giant is recalling cars made between 2005 and 2010, including certain models of the Yaris, Camry, Corolla and RAV4. A total of 7.43 million vehicles are affected, including 2.47 million in the United States alone.

No accidents have been reported as a result of the fault, which is said to be easy to fix. But the recall will bring back nasty memories, for the company and its customers, of its 11-million-vehicle recall over accelerator pedal problems in 2009, which badly bruised Toyota's reputation as one of the world's most reliable carmakers.

Just because:
This Friday is the 10-year anniversary of the Bali bombings, and as the world prepares to remember the 202 deaths, Indonesia is bracing for a repeat attack.

Local police say they have "credible information" that terrorists plan to target the commemoration event, where guests will include survivors, victims' families and foreign dignitaries, notably Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Indonesian authorities say that they'll increase security at all points of entry into Bali ahead of the ceremony, and more than 1,000 officers will be deployed on the day.

Strange but true:
Oh dear, internet. It seems there's been some confusion over why President Barack Obama should be dedicating a national monument to Hugo Chavez, who just won himself another six years at the head of Venezuela's socialist revolution.

The short answer is: he didn't. The long answer is: he didn't, duhhhhhh. The Señor Chavez being honored in California was Cesar, the Mexican-American champion of Latino civil rights.

Very, very much not the same Chavez. As it seems, embarrassingly, we have to explain.