22 July 2014 – New data released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows the need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.
According to the newly-released data, more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, also known as FGM, in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.
By Uri Avnery*, 19 July 2014, TRANSCEND Media Service
What would history look like if it were written in the style of the “Solid Cliff (a.k.a. Protective Edge) operation?
Winston Churchill was a scoundrel.[*]
For five years he kept the population of London under the unceasing fire of the German Luftwaffe.
He used the inhabitants of London as a human shield in his crazy war. While the civilian population was exposed to the bombs and rockets, without the protection of an “iron dome”, he was hiding in his bunker under 10 Downing Street. He exploited all the inhabitants of London as hostages.
When the German leaders made a generous peace proposal, he rejected it for crazy ideological reasons. Thus he condemned his people to unimaginable suffering.
From time to time he emerged from his underground hideout to have his picture taken in front of the ruins, and then he returned to the safety of his rat hole. But to the people of London he said: “Future generations will say that this was your finest hour!”
21 July 2014 – The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 2010 and 2013, according to a new United Nations report, which cited impunity as a major factor in the ongoing abuses.
By Russia Today* (RT), 20 July 2014 – Greece has become a social experiment for the implementation of the most extreme neo-liberalism aimed at not contaminating the eurozone during the first period of the crisis, with the same policies being followed now, Greek MEP George Katrougalos told RT.
RT: The Wall Street Journal recently suggested the IMF owes Greece an apology for making its financial struggle worse than it originally was. How do you see it?
George Katrougalos: It’s obvious that the rules suggested by the IMF were more lethal for Greece than the disease itself, the crisis.
Just look at the numbers: when we entered this security mechanism our debt was at 120 percent of GDP, now it is at 175 percent, unemployment is now above 28 percent and the unemployment of the young people is at a stagnant number of 60 percent. This is social misery, without any kind of rebounding of the real economy.
Liberia – Up to 26 percent of Women, Girls Raped by a Stranger; 73 percent of Married Women Sexually Assaulted by Their Husbands
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be among citizens around the world who will be volunteering 67 minutes of their time on Friday 18 July 2014, Nelson Mandela Day, to make a small gesture in solidarity with humanity – one minute for every year of the South African leader’s public service.*
17 July 2014, Geneva – UN food standards body the Codex Alimentarius Commission this week adopted new standards to protect consumer health worldwide, including setting out maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice.
Jointly run by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Codex Alimentarius Commission sets international food safety and quality standards to promote safer and more nutritious food for consumers worldwide.*
BANGUI, 15 July 2014 (IRIN)* - The presence of armed groups and continued fighting causing displacement across the Central African Republic (CAR) has led to an escalation of insecurity leaving women and girls vulnerable to forced marriage and extreme violence, including rape.
Despite recent commitments from governments, UN agencies and NGOs to prioritize protecting women and girls from sexual and physical violence, current efforts in CAR remain underfunded. In the capital Bangui less than one third of clinics and health centres in internally displaced sites have the means to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
“There are almost no protection mechanisms in place and basic services such as medical assistance and counselling are limited in the spontaneous sites where displaced women and girls have gathered,” said Elisabeth Roesch, emergency coordinator for women’s protection and empowerment with NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC).