The Rack: Luke Mogelson, "The Scariest Little Corner of the World," (NYT Magazine).
The miracle continues
Malala Yousafzai emerged from a coma on Friday and was standing for the first time since being shot last week by Taliban militants, doctors treating her in the United Kingdom said (ET, AFP, The News).
Pakistani security forces have arrested family members of one of the men suspected of shooting Malala, according to his family's neighbors, though the suspect himself, Ataullah, remains at large and believed to have fled to Afghanistan (NYT). Neighbors said that Ataullah's brother Ehsanullah was detained over a month ago, meaning that authorities were likely aware of his involvement with militants long before Malala's shooting, while two other male relatives were arrested after the attack.
Imran Yousaf, the son-in-law of Pakistan's Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was remanded into custody on Thursday for allegedly ordering the beating of a security guard at a popular bakery in Lahore after the guard refused to allow Yousaf's wife into the bakery because it had just closed (BBC, Dawn). Yousaf was granted bail for 50,000 rupees (U.S. $524) on Friday (Dawn, ET, BBC, The News).
The CIA is reportedly seeking approval from the White House to expand its fleet of armed drones by ten, from its current size of 30-35 aircraft (Post). If approved, the expansion would allow the United States to continue its drone campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as giving it the option of conducting strikes in North Africa if the perceived threat from al-Qaeda-like groups there becomes more significant.
Tragedy on the road
A massive roadside bomb struck a minibus carrying guests to a wedding party in the northern province of Balkh on Friday, killing at least 15 of those on board, including at least six women and seven children (BBC, Reuters, AFP, AP). Over a dozen were wounded, some of them critically.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai and members of the country's legislature are clashing over the ways in which they should seek to reduce fraud and corruption in the upcoming 2014 presidential elections, which Western officials and analysts say will be critical to Afghanistan's future stability and thus to the levels of aid it receives (NYT). A failure to agree on laws to curb election fraud could jeopardize Afghanistan's chance at a smooth political transition.
Med school is for girls
Young people in Pakistan now appear to be rejecting a belief popular in many parts of the world: that a successful child is usually male, and the most successful a male doctor (ET). Only six percent of the Pakistani boys headed to college this year applied study medicine, while 28% of the female class chose the medical field. Times are a'changin.
-- Jennifer Rowland