The crimewave that shames the world
It’s one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of ‘honour’. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly
By Robert Fisk Tuesday, 7 September 2010
It is a tragedy, a horror, a crime against humanity. The details of the murders – of the women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the “honour” of their families – are as barbaric as they are shameful. Many women’s groups in the Middle East and South-west Asia suspect the victims are at least four times the United Nations’ latest world figure of around 5,000 deaths a year. Most of the victims are young, many are teenagers, slaughtered under a vile tradition that goes back hundreds of years but which now spans half the globe.
Why School ‘Reform’ Fails
Student motivation is the problem.
by Robert J. Samuelson
As 56 million children return to the nation’s 133,000 elementary and secondary schools, the promise of “reform” is again in the air. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced $4 billion in Race to the Top grants to states whose proposals demonstrated, according to Duncan, “a bold commitment to education reform” and “creativity and innovation [that is] breathtaking.” What they really show is that few subjects inspire more intellectual dishonesty and political puffery than “school reform.”
FDA considers approving genetically modified salmon for human consumption
By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Food and Drug Administration is poised to approve the first genetically modified animal for human consumption, a highly anticipated decision that is stirring controversy and could mark a turning point in the way American food is produced.
FDA scientists gave a boost last week to the Massachusetts company that wants federal approval to market a genetically engineered salmon, declaring that the altered salmon is safe to eat and does not pose a threat to the environment.
In a New Role, Teachers Move to Run Schools
By WINNIE HU
Published: September 6, 2010
NEWARK – Shortly after landing at Malcolm X Shabazz High School as a Teach for America recruit, Dominique D. Lee grew disgusted with a system that produced ninth graders who could not name the seven continents or the governor of their state. He started wondering: What if I were in charge?Three years later, Mr. Lee, at just 25, is getting a chance to find out. Today, Mr. Lee and five other teachers – all veterans of Teach for America, a corps of college graduates who undergo five weeks of training and make a two-year commitment to teaching – are running a public school here with 650 children from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Lenihan asks EU to allow State guarantee large Anglo deposits
The Irish Times – Tuesday, September 7, 2010
ARTHUR BEESLEY European Correspondent in Brussels
MINISTER FOR Finance Brian Lenihan has asked the European Commission to allow the State to guarantee large corporate deposits in Anglo Irish Bank as it embarks on a wind-down of the bank’s business.
The request comes three weeks before the Government guarantee of short-term commercial deposits in six participating institutions expires.
Such deposits are particularly sensitive to any change to the scheme as they are typically overseen by professional managers who are considered likely to move their money elsewhere if State protection is not extended.
The Roma Are EU Citizens — Everywhere in the European Union
The World From Berlin
Tens of thousands protested in France on Saturday against the government’s repatriation of Roma people to eastern Europe, chanting “stop repression” and “No to Sarkozy’s inhumane policies.”
The expulsions of Roma people this year is seen as an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy to revive his flagging popularity and detract from controversial reforms and spending cuts.
The French government has insisted it will push ahead with the expulsions after almost 1,000 people were sent back to Romania and Bulgaria since a government crackdown on crime and immigration at the end of July. Sarkozy is facing mounting opposition to the expulsions from rights groups, left-wing opponents and even some politicians from his own conservative camp.
Iranian woman could be executed this week, son says
Mohammadi Ashtiani lashed; stoning could still take place, her lawyer says
The Associated Press
The story of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose impending death sentence for adultery provoked international shock and galvanized women around the world, took another turn Monday as her lawyer and her son told reporters she may be executed later this week, at the end of the Islamic holy month.
The 43-year-old mother of two has also received 99 lashes in recent days as a punishment for a photo in The Times of London that purported to show her without a head scarf, they added. The photograph turned out to be of another woman. The newspaper later apologized for the error.
The glittering Gulf states’ dark labor secret
Foreign workers fuel the continued rise of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, while working for low wages and in miserable conditions.
By David Lepeska, Contributor / September 6, 2010
The rise of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf is a now-familiar tale. Tiny societies of pearl divers, coastal merchants, and nomadic Bedouin were transformed in the last half of the 20th century by oil and natural-gas wealth. Sparkling office towers and hotels sprang into the muggy air, the monarchs that rule these tiny emirates became bywords for financial excess, and newspapers described the region’s economic “miracle.”
Now, countries like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are seeking to polish all that glitter, spending hundreds of millions on universities in association with the likes of Harvard and on museums with organizations France’s famed Louvre.
Final talks on Australia leadership
Rival leaders hold another round of meetings with independent politicians who will decide the next government.
07 Sep 2010 04:11 GMT
The three independent politicians who will decide who forms Australia’s next government have held final meetings with the country’s prime minister and the opposition leader.
They are expected to announce their decision on Tuesday.
Last month’s elections failed to deliver any party with a majority.
Two of the three politicians, Tony Windsor and Robb Oakeshott, said on Monday that all three – including Bob Katter – are likely to vote as a bloc to avoid a 75-seat tie that would probably trigger another election.
“The main game here has to be stability,” Windsor told ABC radio.
This will give the ruling centre-left Australian Labor Party led by Julia Gillard a two-seat majority or conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott a single-seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives.
It will be the country’s first minority government in almost 70 years.
Japan convicts Greenpeace’s ‘Tokyo Two’ for whaling investigation
Two Greenpeace activists, dubbed the ‘Tokyo Two’ by the group, were given suspended sentences by a Japanese court after they conducted a private investigation into what they said was the illegal sale of whale meat.
By Gavin Blair, Correspondent / September 6, 2010
A Greenpeace effort to expose what it sees as widespread corruption in Japan’s government-subsidized whaling industry ended on Monday with two of its activists convicted of theft and trespassing.
Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki — dubbed the “Tokyo Two” by their organization — received suspended sentences for taking a package from a delivery company in April 2008 that was filled with prime whale meat and addressed to the home of a crewmember on one of Japan’s research whaling vessels.
Press watchdog urges Egyptian ‘insult’ reporter’s acquittal
Press watchdog IPI called Monday for the acquittal of an Egyptian journalist accused of insulting a minister, as it stressed the need for freedom of opinion ahead of elections next year.
“We are deeply concerned that this case will go before a criminal court, and hope that the judge will acquit Hamdi Qandeel of this crime,” International Press Institute (IPI) spokesman Anthony Mills said in a statement.
Hamdi Qandeel, a prominent opposition journalist, is accused of “insulting and libelling a public servant or citizen performing their work,” following comments he made about Egypt’s foreign minister, a judicial source said in Cairo.
Kagame attacks critics
By David Kezio-Musoke Tuesday, September 7 2010
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame was yesterday sworn-in for a second term in office. Addressing thousands of Rwandans and over a dozen African Heads of State, Mr Kagame lashed out at NGOs and human rights organisations that are critical of his government.
Mr Kagame said although Africa has many problems including lack of democracy, poverty and dependence, NGOs that are not accountable to anyone should not dictate the conduct of legitimate states. “It is difficult for us to comprehend those who want to give us lessons on inclusion, tolerance and human rights. We reject all their accusations. Self-proclaimed critics of Rwanda may say what they want, but they will neither dictate the direction we take as a nation, nor will they make a dent in our quest for self-determination,” Mr Kagame said.