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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 12:44:47 PM EST
Crimes against women increase in India - Features - Al Jazeera English

The death following a brutal gang rape and assault of a 23-year-old paramedical student in India's capital Delhi on December 16 has put a spotlight on crimes against women in the country.

Widespread protests and emotional outbursts spontaneously erupted across the country on Saturday, with women and men demanding safety and protection of women, a change in attitudes towards women and a change of archaic gender laws and speedy justice to bring rapists to book. Some protesters demand the death penalty for rapists.

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The problem of gender-based violence is getting worse. National Crime Record Bureau statistics show crimes against women increased by 7.1 percent nationwide since 2010. There has been a rise in the number of incidents of rape recorded too. In 2011, 24,206 incidents were recorded, a rise of 9 percent from the previous year. More than half of the victims are between 18 and 30 years of age. 

Figures indicate that 10.6 percent of total victims of rape were girls under 14 years of age, while 19 percent were teens between the ages of 14 and 18.  Alarmingly in almost 94.2 percent of cases offenders were known to the victims and those involved included family members, relatives, and neighbours.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 01:03:26 PM EST
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IPS - The Mindlessness of War in Afghanistan | Inter Press Service

KABUL, Dec 30 2012 (IPS) - One night in 1979, bombs dropped from the sky, killing 16 members of Ismail's family. "The war took some people to Europe and America, but it destroyed my family," Ismail, who is universally addressed as "uncle", says.

Hailing from the Haska Mena district in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, he says his parents insisted he go to the only school in the district, in Shpole Baba. The times were tumultuous. The Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan, and Babrak Karmal was installed the leader of the government in December 1979.

The new government's opponents set fire to Ismail's school. He remembers going up to the roof of his house to watch. "The fire destroyed my hopes of studying, and being a great man in the future," he sighs.

Ismail started to help his father on the land. "People in our village were surprised that I switched so quickly from being a school boy to a farm worker," he remembers, a soft smile on his face.

But the war was to change things again for Ismail. He remembers his father and he were ploughing the fields when six Soviet helicopters appeared in the sky. They circled the area three times, and then, suddenly, started firing. "They shot people in cold blood. Everyone was running helter-skelter. Our bulls broke free of the yoke in panic.

"My family (took shelter) in the village mosque. My grandmother who refused to leave was the only one in the house when I got there."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:10:02 PM EST
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IPS - Renovating an Embattled City | Inter Press Service

HEBRON, Occupied West Bank, Dec 29 2012 (IPS) - Every day, Anas Maraka sees his family's home, but can't go inside. "It's hardest for my grandfather," said Maraka, referring to the house overlooking Shuhada Street, once the central marketplace in Hebron's old city.

While he never lived there himself, Maraka explained that being so close - and yet, so far - from his family's ancestral home motivates him to maintain Palestinians' presence in the largest, and one of the most tense and volatile, cities in the West Bank.

"I like the old city. It's our culture. Our goal is to rehabilitate houses in the old city and bring people back to abandoned houses. We want to improve the quality of life," explained Maraka, a member of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC).

Maraka told IPS that in 15 years of work, HRC has refurbished approximately 900 houses in the old city of Hebron. This rehabilitation, he said, has allowed some 10,000 Palestinians to return to the area.

"After the Second Intifada, most people left their houses. They were afraid to go back because of the Israeli settlers and the Israeli military. They can't live easily in the old city, but we're trying to bring them back. We can't leave this area because the settlers would come to take the houses," Maraka said.

According to a 2006 survey conducted by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, over 1,000 Palestinian homes were abandoned and over 1,800 shops were closed in the centre of Hebron as a result of Israeli restrictions in the area. This represents about 42 percent of homes, and 77 percent of businesses, that were originally used by the city's occupants.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:11:59 PM EST
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The press in Europe (3/5): Newspapers will not die in Silicon Valley | Presseurop (English)

What have we gained from this Internet dawn, so full of promise? Everyone has in his pocket on or on his desk, all manner of devices which give him him more means of communication than the American president would have had 20 years ago. For a couple of euros, a person could transform himself into a television studio producer or a publisher. Anything was possible, they all said - but it was all snored away.

Let's face it: it's been a disaster. Either that, or it has been a dream that, now that we're all awake, we should stop and have a good think about.

We are not talking about the newspaper crisis here. If after the bankruptcy of Frankfurter Rundschau and the demise of the Financial Times Deutschland the great Pavlovian apparatus of public communications and media is talking so much of missed opportunities - all this not always wrongly, but always self-righteously - then it's time to take another look at who's in the same boat.

To sum up, with a kindly eye towards those who have slept through it: 10 years of commercial Internet, 10 years of the information economy, five years of smartphones and at least 20 years of the ideology of the Internet intellectual that comes with all that - the tale of self-empowerment of each and every individual as a voice of public opinion and individual participation.

What has become of the euphoria that was there at the start? What went wrong with all the theories about a technology that would transform all our social and economic relations - and that has turned out to be nothing more than the greatest advertising coup in world history, for Silicon Valley?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:35:40 PM EST
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by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 10:31:33 AM EST
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