Monday, August 17, 2009

Today's Posts

Threats by Taliban May Sway Vote in Afghanistan
Published: August 16, 2009

TARAKAI, Afghanistan — A group of Taliban fighters made their announcement in the bazaar of a nearby village a few days ago, and the word spread fast: anyone caught voting in the presidential election will have his finger — the one inked for the ballot — cut off.

Afghan Husbands Win Right to Starve Wives
By Robert Mackey

Bowing to international pressure and unprecedented protests by hundreds of women on the streets of Kabul, the Afghan government promised in April to review a new law imposing severe restrictions on women in Shiite Muslim families.
Last week, though, Human Rights Watch discovered that a revised version of the Shiite Personal Status Law had been quietly put into effect at the end of July — meaning that Shiite men in Afghanistan now have the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met and that Shiite women must obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their houses, “except in extreme circumstances.”

Millions Of Afghan Women Will Be Denied Vote Due To Female Staff Shortage
By Jerome Starkey in Kabul and Kim Sengupta The Independent

Millions of Afghan women will be denied their chance to vote in presidential elections this week because there aren't enough female officials to staff the women-only polling stations.
A desperate shortage of female staff is threatening to undermine the legitimacy of the elections, which are the pinnacle of western-led efforts to build a peaceful democracy. Strict cultural norms mean women can't vote in male-run stations.

Lone kids seek entry at border
Mon, August 17, 2009

TORONTO -- As many as four children a week are showing up without parents or loved ones at Niagara Falls border crossings to file refugee claims to stay in Canada, U.S. immigration workers say.
And some suspect unscrupulous consultants may be behind the scheme to send child refugees here for a hefty fee so that one day they can sponsor their parents. About 200 children are expected to seek asylum this year at Niagara crossings, officials said.

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