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Archive for November, 2012


Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:54 EST
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive (AFP:File, Fayez Nureldine)

RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

“The authorities are using technology to monitor women,” said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the “state of slavery under which women are held” in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.

The move by the Saudi authorities was swiftly condemned on social network Twitter — a rare bubble of freedom for millions in the kingdom — with critics mocking the decision.

“Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!” read one post.

“Why don’t you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?” wrote Israa.

“Why don’t we just install a microchip into our women to track them around?” joked another.

“If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I’m either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist,” tweeted Hisham.

“This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned,” said Bishr, the columnist.

“It would have been better for the government to busy itself with finding a solution for women subjected to domestic violence” than track their movements into and out of the country.

Saudi Arabia applies a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, and is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive.

In June 2011, female activists launched a campaign to defy the ban, with many arrested for doing so and forced to sign a pledge they will never drive again.

No law specifically forbids women in Saudi Arabia from driving, but the interior minister formally banned them after 47 women were arrested and punished after demonstrating in cars in November 1990.

Last year, King Abdullah — a cautious reformer — granted women the right to vote and run in the 2015 municipal elections, a historic first for the country.

In January, the 89-year-old monarch appointed Sheikh Abdullatif Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, a moderate, to head the notorious religious police commission, which enforces the kingdom’s severe version of sharia law.

Following his appointment, Sheikh banned members of the commission from harassing Saudi women over their behaviour and attire, raising hopes a more lenient force will ease draconian social constraints in the country.

But the kingdom’s “religious establishment” is still to blame for the discrimination of women in Saudi Arabia, says liberal activist Suad Shemmari.

“Saudi women are treated as minors throughout their lives even if they hold high positions,” said Shemmari, who believes “there can never be reform in the kingdom without changing the status of women and treating them” as equals to men.

But that seems a very long way off.

The kingdom enforces strict rules governing mixing between the sexes, while women are forced to wear a veil and a black cloak, or abaya, that covers them from head to toe except for their hands and faces.

The many restrictions on women have led to high rates of female unemployment, officially estimated at around 30 percent.

In October, local media published a justice ministry directive allowing all women lawyers who have a law degree and who have spent at least three years working in a lawyer’s office to plead cases in court.

But the ruling, which was to take effect this month, has not been implemented.

 

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Welcome to the Jungle!!!!!!


Nurses ignore mom giving birth on pavement

2012-11-21 09:39

(File)
Pretoria – A woman gave birth to her baby on the pavement outside a clinic while nurses looked on and refused to help.

Onicca Babedi told Eyewitness News that she found Nomsa Mathebula in labour on the pavement outside the Soshanguve Clinic near Pretoria.

Mathebula had apparently been turned away and referred to a larger hospital as her blood pressure was too low.

Mathebula collapsed mere metres from the clinic’s front gate and went into labour. Despite calls for help, nurses wouldn’t come out of the building.

When the baby wasn’t breathing, Babedi also tried to get nurses to assist Mathebula.

“I started calling everyone, screaming. I was panicking as well, but nobody was helping – they just looked at me.”

She called the police and only once officers arrived did nurses join them.

There was no comment from the Gauteng department of health.

Welcome to the Jungle, video link and lyrics below.

“Welcome To The Jungle”

Welcome to the jungle
We’ve got fun ‘n’ games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names
We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got the money, honey
We got your disease[CHORUS:]In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
I wanna watch you bleed

Welcome to the jungle
We take it day by day
If you want it you’re gonna bleed
But it’s the price you pay
And you’re a very sexy girl
That’s very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights
But you won’t get them for free
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
I, I wanna hear you scream

Welcome to the jungle
It gets worse here everyday
Ya learn ta live like an animal
In the jungle where we play
If you got a hunger for what you see
You’ll take it eventually
You can have anything you want
But you better not take it from me

[CHORUS]

And when you’re high you never
Ever want to come down, YEAH!

You know where you are
You’re in the jungle baby
You’re gonna die
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
knees, knees
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your
It’ gonna bring you down-HA!

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Italy chaplain demanded sex from inmates

2012-11-21 17:26

Milan – The Roman Catholic chaplain for one of Italy’s biggest prisons has been arrested on charges of demanding sexual favours from inmates in exchange for cigarettes and basic necessities such as soap, shampoo and hair brushes.

Father Alberto Barin, aged 51, was arrested late on Tuesday.

Police said he had forced at least six male inmates, all of them non-Italians jailed for minor crimes, to have sex with him in his office or elsewhere in the San Vittore prison, in Milan.

A magistrate’s arrest warrant said Barin used his power and influence within the prison to “almost obsessively satisfy his sexual urges”.

When Barin managed to help get a prisoner released early, he would ask the inmate to come to his office before leaving to re-pay the favour by having sex, police said.

The investigation began after an inmate told prison authorities, who then set up hidden video cameras in his office and elsewhere in the prison.

The Roman Catholic Church around the world has been hit by various sex accusations. The most serious ones involve sexual abuse of minors by priests and attempts to cover up the scandals by moving abusers from parish to parish instead of defrocking them.

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Lady GagaGetty Images
Cape Town – A group of protesters have gathered outside Big Concerts’ office building in Gardens, Cape Town to take a stand against Lady Gaga performing in South Africa.
This gathering follows a protest that was held by the South African Council of Churches in Pretoria last week.

A picture of the group of protesters was posted by eNCA news reporter Paula Chowles on Twitter.

The receptionist at Big Concerts’ offices in Cape Town, who wished to remain unnamed, told Channel24 that protesters arrived at approximately 10:30 on Friday morning.

“There are about 30 protesters. They did notify us that they will be coming,” she said.

According to her, this was the first time they had encountered protesters at their offices, and Big Concerts COO John Langford’s personal assistant had gone down to meet with the protesters.

Exponential growth of Satanism

The protesters used placards to show their anger towards Lady Gaga touring South Africa at the end of November and December, adding to the strong stance the South African Council of Churches have taken on Lady Gaga’s pending tour.

A peaceful march was held on Friday 9 November to the department of Arts and Culture in Pretoria, where the South African Council of Churches handed over a written request to have Lady Gaga banned from South Africa.

Heat magazine reported on Twitter that the request was signed by the chief director of Arts and Culture, Duduzile Nchoba.

Reverend Mxolisi Sonti, secretary of the youth forum, told the daily newspaper Beeld they are afraid of the extent of Satanism in South Africa at this time, and that Gaga’s visit could lead to an exponential growth in Satanism.

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BBC Sport Mobile

Marvelous Marvin Hagler warns Andrew Flintoff of boxing’s dangers

14 November 12 21:33 GMT

Andrew Flintoff

By Matt Slater
BBC sports news reporter

Marvelous Marvin Hagler has warned Andrew Flintoff of the dangers he will face after switching to boxing from cricket.

Ex-England captain Flintoff makes his ring debut against American Richard Dawson in Manchester on 30 November.

“You should do boxing first, and then cricket,” said former middleweight world champion Hagler. “At least you’re not getting punched around anymore.

“I just say good luck to him, and keep your head down and your hands up.”

Hagler, who switched to acting after his retirement from the ring in 1988, added: “Changing from being a fighter to being an actor is a lot different from changing to being a fighter from a being a cricket player.

“But a lot of people have other dreams – they want to give being a fighter a shot. I’ve seen this happen with actors before, and fighters wanting to be actors.

“That’s the way the world is, and everybody has to do what they want in life.”

The 58-year-old’s words of encouragement are in contrast to what many in British boxing circles have had to say about the star of England’s celebrated 2005 Ashes victory.

Much of the criticism has centred on the fact that Flintoff’s late career change is the subject of a three-part television documentary.

Promoter Frank Warren dismissed it as “car crash television”, while the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price said Flintoff, 34, “could get hurt”.

Frank Maloney, the manager who led Lennox Lewis to the top, went even further, describing the decision to award the 34-year-old with a boxing licence as “a scandal”.

Flintoff, however, rejects these claims and insists his motives are honourable.

Speaking at a preview screening of the first episode of the documentary, which will be broadcast a week before the fight, he said: “You couldn’t go through this for a TV stunt.

“If I was looking for publicity I would have picked something easier.

“I appreciate that people want to protect their sport, I’d be the same with cricket. But I’m hoping this is something where boxing is celebrated.

“It’s not my intention to cheapen the sport or show it up.”

Having struggled with his weight during his cricket career, Flintoff claims to have lost 45lbs over the last three months thanks to trainer Shane McGuigan’s fitness regime.

McGuigan’s father Barry, the former WBA featherweight champion, has overseen Flintoff’s boxing tuition and he is adamant the project is worthwhile.

“To say it cheapens boxing is complete nonsense. That’s a case of the green-eyed monster, I’m afraid,” said McGuigan.

“We’re promoting the sport in a very positive way.”

That may well prove to be true, but it is all a far cry from the days when the likes of Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard helped boxing dominate the sporting headlines.

Hagler, who was the undisputed middleweight champion of the world from 1980 to 1987, retired in 1988 – a year after his famous, and infamous, split-decision defeat by Leonard.

But it is probably the fight against Hearns, two years before, that he is best remembered for now.

Billed as “The Fight”, it has since become known as “The War”: a three-round classic that saw Hagler survive a torrid first round, and a badly-cut head, to stop Hearns with a devastating combination.

Speaking from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation global summit in Barcelona, Hagler said: “I can’t remember the first round, I just know we threw a lot of punches.

“The fight was just a battle and I still get chills when I see it.

“They wanted to stop the fight in the third round, but when the doctor wiped the blood out of my eyes, I said ‘no, I ain’t missing him, am I?'”

In Hearns’ corner that night was Emanuel Steward, the legendary American fighter and trainer who died last month.

“Even though he trained Tommy Hearns, he was still a great man for me,” said Hagler.

“I remember him from my amateur days and I was with him shortly before he passed away.

“He was always a supportive friend of mine. He was a well-liked man and I know he is going to be missed.”

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A tragic example of how religion in medicine can have fatal consequences. Where ever you find religion you will find human rights violations. As in the Manifestation for Basic Human Rights opposed by Organized Religion I wrote to point this out.

Parents slam Irish laws after death of critically ill Indian woman who was denied an abortion

The Associated Press

The parents of an Indian woman who suffered a miscarriage and died after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital slammed Ireland’s abortion laws Thursday.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she miscarried and died last month. Ireland’s government confirmed Wednesday that Halappanavar suffered from blood poisoning and died after being denied an abortion, reigniting the debate over legalizing abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.

“In an attempt to save a 4-month-old fetus they killed my 30-year-old daughter. How is that fair you tell me?” A. Mahadevi, Halappanavar’s mother, told several Indian television stations. Her daughter actually was 31 when she died.

“How many more cases will there be? The rules should be changed as per the requirement of Hindus. We are Hindus, not Christians,” she said.

Savita Halappanavar’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, said the combination of medical negligence and Irish abortion laws led to his daughter’s death.

The spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin, said in a Twitter post that the Indian Embassy in Dublin was “following the matter.”

Halappanavar’s husband, Praveen, said doctors at University Hospital Galway in western Ireland determined that his wife was miscarrying within hours of her hospitalization for severe pain on Oct. 21. He said over the next three days, doctors refused their requests for an abortion to combat her searing pain and fading health.

It was only after the fetus died that its remains were surgically removed. Within hours, Savita was placed under sedation in intensive care with blood poisoning, her husband said. By Oct. 27, her heart, kidneys and liver had stopped working, and she was pronounced dead the next day.

Three separate investigations are looking into the cause of Halappanavar’s death.

Ireland’s constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling said the procedure should be legalized for situations when the woman’s life is at risk from continuing the pregnancy. Five governments since have refused to pass a law resolving the confusion, leaving Irish hospitals reluctant to terminate pregnancies except in the most obviously life-threatening circumstances.

An estimated 4,000 Irish women travel next door to England every year, where abortion has been legal on demand since 1967. But that option is difficult, if not impossible, if the woman’s health is failing.

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