Osama bin Laden appears to be trying to transform himself from terrorist to political leader, concluded some Middle Eastern experts after watching recent messages attributed to the al-Qaeda leader. \nBut at least one of those experts questions whether bin Laden has anything to offer his followers beyond a call to arms, saying he does not have solutions to the economic and social issues facing young Muslims. \nAbdel Rahim Ali, an Egyptian expert who studies Islamic movements, said many Islamic fundamentalist or radical groups turned into political movements after their violent campaigns lost steam. For example, Egypt's Islamic Group denounced terrorism and revised its holy war strategy after its attempt to topple Egypt's regime by force was met with a fierce crackdown. \n"This is only natural for any radical movement. First they start as militant and secretive and then they try to get credibility from the public before they turn into a political movement," said Ali, author of Alliance of Terror: al-Qaida Organization. \nAli said the cease-fire that bin Laden offered the Europeans in April in exchange for their withdrawal from Iraq was a political message that differed markedly from his usual uncompromising posture. \nAlso, in a video aired on the satellite station Al-Jazeera days before last month's presidential election in the US, bin Laden made an unusual overture to the US people, telling them they could avoid another Sept. 11 attack if they chose leaders who did not threaten Muslims. \n"Even Spartacus turned his revolt into a political movement," Ali said. "So why not bin Laden?" \nAli said bin Laden might want to transform al-Qaeda into an organization with both military and political wings, mirroring paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland or the Palestinian movement. \nWhile some analysts say al-Qaeda has been forced to change course because it has been weakened and possibly shattered by a US crackdown, others believe that any shifting by bin Laden is only temporary and tactical. \n"His goal is to build an Islamic state and his means will remain holy war," said Saudi writer Mshari al-Thaydi, who has been monitoring Islamic radical groups for years. "He does not know any other means to make his point."
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
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VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made