Karachi Photo Blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why the NY Times Axact Story stands on flimsy grounds

I am behind on the latest news.  Just today read the New York Times story on the Pakistani software company Axact.  The story, by Declan Walsh, Griffin Palmer and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, is so big that another piece, by Griffin Palmer, provides the background information to the lead story.  Here is the gist of Walsh’s piece: Axact runs a plethora of online schools and colleges that give bogus diplomas to students who earn these certificates not by studying but by paying huge amounts of money to these online educational institutions.  The online universities run by Axact include the Newford University, the Barkley University, the Columbiana University, etc.

Decided to do my own research. 

Started with the online Newford University.  Found it here:


Called the toll free number (1-844-733-9355) listed on the web site--no one answered.  Tried to do online chat--that did not work either.  Downloaded an image from their web site and searched the origin on Google; it turned out to be a stock photo. Listened to the video interview of the faculty of the Newford University, referenced in the NY Times article.  The woman introduces herself as Danny Krane.  Searched "Danny Krane" on Google.  The ‘Head of Law’ was nowhere to be found.

Searched the registrant of newforduniversity.com web site.  Found out that the domain was registered from Bahamas; the street address info has the note ‘Contact the owner by email only.’

So, yes, the Newford University appears to be fake.

But that is only part of the story.  New York Times claims the Newford University is run by Axact.  Where is the proof?  NY Times claims ex-employees of Axact say so.  That’s it?  Someone says something and all of us are supposed to believe it?  Come on NY Times.  We expect better journalism.  Give us something more tangible.  Even proving that the Newford University web site is hosted on Axact’s servers (if that is indeed the case) will not prove Axact-Newford University connivance.

To prove that Axact is the entity behind the Newford University, New York Times needs to establish the money connection.  Show that the fee paid at the Newford University web site, ultimately ends up in Axact’s bank account.  Outside of that solid proof the New York Times story can best be described as a very well written piece of yellow journalism.

Photo, courtesy of InDepthPakistan.com

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mohammad Khaliqi arrested, now get Bruce Springsteen

Mohammad Khaliqi arrested, now get Bruce Springsteen

With cameras sprouting everywhere, and people interacting with each other in real time on social networks, criminals are finding it hard to hide.  After a 13-year old San Jose girl was stalked and assaulted last Tuesday, and the photos of the assailant started appearing in news feeds on Facebook and other social media sites, Mohammad Khaliqi knew he was in trouble—that he had to do something drastic to hide.  Khaliqi shaved his beard and head, and moved to a house in San Leandro.  But none of that helped him.  Tens of thousands of Bay Area social media users were on the side of the 13-year old. Once tips from the general public identified the Tuesday attacker as Mohammad Khaliqi, police knew where Khaliqi lived and what places he could run to, to hide.  The house in San Leandro was one of those places and Mohammad Khaliqi was arrested there Friday morning, in slightly over 48 hours of the assault.
The brave 13-old who had hit Khaliqi in the face, told ABC7 Khaliqi approached her when she was about to open the front door of her house.  Khaliqi asked the girl directions, then asked her name and “started asking inappropriate questions.”  You wonder what kind of inappropriate questions Khaliqi asked the young girl.  Was Khaliqi inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’?  Did Khaliqi repeated the lyrics of that song to the teenager?
‘Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?/Did he go and leave you all alone?/I got a bad desire./Oh-oh-oh, I'm on fire.’
What should we do with singers popularizing the idea that it is OK for men to force themselves on young girls when daddy is not home?

Surveillance camera images of Mohammad Khaliqi, courtesy of sfexaminer.com
Photo of Bruce Springsteen, courtesy of ultimateclassicrock.com, Monty Fresco, Getty Images

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Neelofur Master Injured in Purse Snatching Incident

In a purse snatching ordeal that lasted for some time ex-NED University Professor, Ms. Neelofur Master, 63, was dragged on the pavement on a street close to her home.  What were initially evaluated by the doctors as head to toe bruises on the right side of her body later turned out to be pelvic bone and multiple rib fractures.  The incident happened on February 16, when Ms. Master was going to the Liaqat National Hospital to see her sister.

A graduate of the Tennessee State University, Ms. Neelofur Master taught Chemistry at Karachi’s NED University of Engineering and Technology and retired as the Dean of Biomedical Engineering in 2012.

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