Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2014 Contents B1
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DUBAI---Britain wants to make sure its
citizens are more nice than naughty while
soaking up the Persian Gulf sun this holiday
A social media campaign by British
Embassy staff in the United Arab Emirates
running this week is a play on the classic
poem Twas the Night Before Christmas, and
includes travel advice aimed at keeping
unwitting Britons out of trouble.
The rhyme is meant for visitors to the
Emirates, an oil-rich seven-state federation
of former British protectorates on the
Arabian Peninsula. It highlights potential
cultural pitfalls through the eyes of a fictional
traveller, Stu Nicholas.
"No holding of hands or Christmas kisses;
under the mistletoe, despite amorous
wishes," goes a festive nugget.
Another says: "So time to go home after
several spirits neat; but it's a crime for Stu to
be drunk on the street."
The Emirates' biggest and most
cosmopolitan city, Dubai, has the most
relaxed social codes in the conservative Gulf
region, but foreigners occasionally run afoul
of strict decency laws and prohibitions on
British citizens have received jail sentences
here after being found guilty of kissing in
public and having drunken sex on the beach.
Other foreigners have been prosecuted for
exchanging steamy text messages or
showing a middle finger to a fellow driver.
The poem is being meted out little by little
on Facebook and Twitter accounts. (AP)
'Be nice, not naughty'
PESHAWAR---The Taliban massacre that
killed 148 people, mostly children, at a mil-
itary-run school in northwestern Pakistan
left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation,
pools of blood and young lives snuffed out
as the nation mourned and mass funerals
for the victims got under way yesterday.
The attack at the Army Public School and
College in the city of Peshawar on Tuesday
was the deadliest slaughter of innocents in
the country and horrified a nation already
weary of unending terrorist assaults.
Blood was still splattered on the floor and
the stairs as media were allowed inside the
school a day after the attack. Torn notebooks,
pieces of clothing and children s shoes were
scattered about amid broken window glass,
door frames and upturned chairs. A pair of
child s eyeglasses lay broken on the ground.
Prayer vigils were held across Pakistan and
in other schools, students spoke of their shock
at the brutal slayings in Peshawar, where chil-
dren and teenagers were gunned down and
some of the female teachers burned alive.
Army commandos fought the Taliban in a
day-long battle until the school was cleared
and all the attackers were dead.
The attack began when seven Taliban gun-
men, explosives strapped to their bodies, scaled
a back wall using a ladder to get into the school
on Tuesday morning. Once inside, they made
their way into the main auditorium where
many students had gathered for an event, mil-
itary spokesman Maj Gen Asim Bajwa told
reporters during the tour yesterday.
The militants then made their way to the
hall s stage and started shooting at random.
As students tried to flee for the doors, they
were shot and killed. The military recovered
about 100 bodies from the auditorium alone,
"This is not a human act," he added. "This
is a national tragedy."
The government declared a three-day
mourning period, starting yesterday.
The body of the school principal, Tahira
Qazi, was retrieved overnight from the debris.
Qazi was inside her office when the militants
made their way into the administration build-
ing, yards from the auditorium. She ran and
locked herself into the bathroom but the
attackers threw a grenade inside, through a
vent, and killed her, Bajwa said.
Several funerals were also held overnight,
but most of the victims were buried yester-
The Taliban said the attack was revenge for
a military offensive against their safe havens
in the northwest, along the border with
Afghanistan, which began in June.
In an e-mail yesterday, the Pakistani Taliban
spokesman Mohammad Khurasani claimed
the attack was justified because the Pakistani
army has allegedly long been killing innocent
children and families of their fighters.
He vowed more such militant attacks and
told Pakistani civilians to detach themselves
from all military institutions. (AP)
Pakistan school a scene of devastation
People carry the coffin of a student who
was killed in Tuesday's attack on the
Army Public School, which was attacked
by Taliban gunmen, during his funeral in
Peshawar, yesterday. REUTERS PHOTO
Pakistani students chant slogans to condemn to Tuesday's Taliban attack on a military-run
school in Peshawar, during a demonstration yesterday in Karachi, Pakistan. AP PHOTO
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