Global News, December 19, 2012

Presenting news from around the world…………

From India……

Parliament shocked over brutal Delhi gang rape, seeks death penalty.

     As America is reeling from the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, India is confronting the issue of women’s safety after the brutal gang rape of a young medical student.  The crime was so horrific that I’m not going to recount it here.  However, as the school shooting in Connecticut seems to have finally started a real conversation about the place of guns in American society, this brutal crime seems to have started a long overdue conversation about the safety of Indian women.  As of this writing it is not certain if the young lady will live.  I am no longer asking what is wrong with people, now I am asking: What is wrong with men?

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From Russia……

Cold Snap Claims Lives Across Russia

     Russia is dealing with its coldest weather since 1938.  The cold snap has claimed the lives of 45 people and led to the hospitalization of hundreds.  Temperatures have ranged from zero degrees Fahrenheit in Moscow to minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Siberia. 

Activists Protest Ban On U.S. Citizens Adopting Russian Children

     Sergei Magnitsky was a Russian activist who was responsible for exposing wide spread police corruption in Russia.  He uncovered a complicated scandal which dealt with fake shell companies, fraudulent tax returns and official corruption at the highest levels.  The amount of money involved exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars and the number of officials who had minor and major roles in the scandal was staggering.  In November of 2008, Magnitsky was arrested, dying in jail a year later, without ever having been tried.   Ostensibly, he died due to the refusal of prison officials to provide him medical treatment for gall stones and pancreatitis.  However, Russian activists maintain that he died as a result of torture. As a result of his death, the U.S. passed the Magnitsky Act which was signed into law this week by President Obama.  The law basically states that all Russian officials connected with his death are ‘blacklisted’ and will be denied visas to the U.S., and when possible will have their assets frozen. 

     Naturally, the Russians are not taking this lightly and have decided the most logical response is to punish Russian orphans.  A retaliatory law was recently passed that will ban American citizens from adopting Russian children.  Russian citizens are protesting their country’s response and agitating to have the law overturned.  I imagine that a Russian prison is a fairly bleak place to live; however, I have to think that a Russian orphanage is even bleaker.  Good thing the cold war is over, right? 

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From Germany……

Doctor Developing Universal Snake Bite Cure

A German doctor might be on the verge of creating a universal anti-venom drug that would work on any snake bite.  Dr. Martin Metz, a specialist at a Berlin hospital, says that the early testing of his universal cure is very promising.  According to the World Health Organization, approximately 125,000 people a year die from snake bites.  The doctor was awarded a grant to continue his research.

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From Lebanon……

NBC News Team Freed in Syria After Firefight

More information on the kidnapping of NBC reported Richard Engel.  Engel identifies the kidnappers as Iranian trained fighters loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. He is quoted as saying: "This was a group known as the Shabiha. This is a government militia. These are people who are loyal to President Bashar Assad."  Iran really wants Assad to remain in power.  It is estimated that over 40 thousand people have died since the civil war began nearly two years ago.

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From Turkey……

Turkey is "World's Biggest Prison" for Journalists

This is a very surprising article.  I had no idea that Turkey was such a hostile environment for journalists.  The organization Reporters Without Borders states that Turkey has more reporters in prison than any other country, including China, Syria and Iran.  Not surprisingly, most of those jailed in Turkey are Kurdish reporters.  Around the world reporters are being imprisoned for doing their jobs, while in America most reporters simply refuse to do their jobs.  It is sad that American reporters do not appreciate the importance of their jobs. 

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the rape in India has galvanized their entire country

sartoris's picture

I read an article about people protesting in front of the police chief's house.  The protestors were turned back with water cannons.  Women's groups are demanding reforms.  The parliament is actually addressing the safety of women.  I'm marginally hopeful that the massacre in Connecticut will lead to meaningful gun control in this country.  Based on the reaction that this attack has generated within India I am hopeful that India will finally begin addressing the issue of women's safety.

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