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Iranian women’s group empowers amid pandemic by making masks

Related news: Iran starts second phase of injecting homegrown Coviran vaccine to volunteers (PressTV, Jan 4, 2021) TEHRAN, Iran—As the coronavirus pandemic ravages Iran, home to the Mideast’s worst outbreak, a women’s group hopes to empower its members by helping them make and sell face masks. The organization called “Bavar,” or “Belief” in Farsi, formed in 2016, allowing women looking for...

Will International Court ruling mean anything for Israel?

The Zionist state of Israel is back in the hot seat with the International Criminal Court at The Hague after judges ruled the ICC has jurisdiction in locations where war crimes have been charged in Palestinian territories and unlocks the gate for a war crimes probe. Conflict has raged over 70 years in Gaza, and started after 1967 in the...

UN agency raises alarm over ‘targeted’ violence against women in Myanmar protests

The United Nations entity dedicated to protection of women’s rights has voiced deep concerns over “targeted and disproportionate” violence against women being recorded during the crackdown against peaceful protesters in Myanmar.  In addition, women in detention are also reportedly experiencing sexual harassment and violence, UN-Women said in a statement in mid-March.  “Women have long played a celebrated and vital role in the history of Myanmar....

UN chief to Indigenous forum: ‘Prioritize inclusion and sustainable development’

Although they represent the greater part of the world’s cultural diversity and speak the major share of its languages, indigenous people are three times more likely to live in extreme poverty, the UN chief told the opening session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on April 19.  And as their languages and cultures remain under constant threat, indigenous peoples have...

New Israeli gov’t is ‘distinction without a difference’

The saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true in the settler-occupier state of Israel. Within one month, there was an 11- day war between Israel and Palestinian resistance forces mainly connected to Hamas, a brokered cease-fire, the ousting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the installation of a new premier and coalition government. However, after...

Fire kills 41 inmates, 80 hurt at crowded Indonesian prison

JAKARTA, Indonesia—A massive fire raged through an overcrowded prison near Indonesia’s capital early Sept. 8, killing at least 41 inmates, two of them foreigners serving drug sentences, and injuring 80 others. Firefighters battled through the early morning hours to extinguish the flames as black smoke billowed from the compound of the Tangerang prison on the outskirts of Jakarta. After the blaze...

New hotspot opens up in North Africa despite UN bid to defuse tensions

(GIN)—War is breaking out all over. Fighting shows no signs of ending in Ethiopia as the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, attempts to put down a rebellion by the sovereign-seeking state of Tigray. Eritrea now appears to have been drawn into the fighting. A massacre was reported by Amnesty International.  In the Amhara region, political unrest and communal violence continue to...

Africa, the internet and youth organizing

Autocratic leaders in Africa are increasingly relying on internet shutdowns to mitigate young people’s use of social media to mobilize against post-colonial political structures across the continent. The internet continues to grow and “gain considerable power and agency around the world,” noted The Conversation, a research-based online publication. The internet is perceived to be a threat by governments that have...

Number of fires more than doubles in Brazil’s Pantanal

BRASILIA, Brazil—The number of fires in Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s biggest tropical wetlands, more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by a state institute. Officials said it was the largest number of fires in a six-month period in the last two decades. The sharp increase in fires...

Paris park honors Black woman who resisted slavery

PARIS—The city of Paris has inaugurated a public garden honoring a woman who fought for the liberation of slaves on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Mayor Anne Hidalgo also announced plans to erect a statue to the woman, Solitude, at the site in northeastern Paris. It will be the city’s first statue honoring a Black woman. Amid global protests against monuments...