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Nisha Ayub has endured virtually everything thrown at Muslim-majority Malaysia's repressed transgender community: contempt, violence, arrest and sexual assault in a prison where she was sent to become a "real man". "The way they treat you is like you don't have any rights, you don't have any dignity," said Nisha, 37, dressed in the flowing skirt and long-sleeve shirt favoured by Malaysian Muslim women. A Muslim, Nisha's first overt gender-identity expression came at age nine in a costume contest at her straight-laced boy's school -- she dressed as a ballerina.
A Polish grandfather left New York Sunday on his third solo trans-Atlantic crossing in a kayak, aiming to arrive in Portugal in time to celebrate his 70th birthday on firm ground in September. Aleksander Doba paddled off from the tip of Manhattan after doing interviews and posing for selfies with a crowd of some 100 onlookers. A star at home, Doba gained global attention when he was named a National Geographic adventurer of the year in 2015.
The Japanese government said on Monday it was doing all it could to secure the release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, after an apparent photograph of the man was posted on the internet. This is my last chance," said the sign, written in shaky characters and signed "Jumpei Yasuda." Yasuda's plight came to attention in March, when a video surfaced showing him reading a message to his country and his family. Japanese media said he was capture by a group called Nusra Front after entering Syria from Turkey last June.