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Index June 2012

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2012-06-01: les mutilations génitales féminines / l’excision;
2012-06-01: Missing Out: Some Poles Left Behind Despite Economic Success;
2012-06-02: some links around humanitarian questions;
2012-06-03: Revolutions are not decided by elections;
2012-06-04: The militarisation of poverty in Africa;
2012-06-05: Your brain and the science behind sexuality;
2012-06-06: Sacrificing Mubarak to Save His Regime;
2012-06-07: Quebec’s student uprising: An interview with Amir Khadir;
2012-06-08: The elusive dream: women and sleep;
2012-06-09: Egypt’s revolution: Bread, freedom, social justice and why global solidarity matters;
2012-06-10: Nigeria: How do we make sense of our predicament?
2012-06-11: Egypt: Persisting uncertainty;
2012-06-12: Africa + Europe = Yannick Noah;
2012-06-13: Making Work Pay;
2012-06-14: Hubris as the Evil Force in History;
2012-06-15: Justice on the rocks: The demise of the people’s court;
2012-06-16: Soy farming and land grab in the Brazilian Amazon – The Water Channel;
2012-06-17: New film sows seeds of freedom;
2012-06-18: Complicit neighbours: Rwanda, Uganda and East DRC;
2012-06-19: Assad Will Breathe A Sigh Of Relief At Death Of Arab Spring;
2012-06-20: Women and property: some insights from African history;
2012-06-21: World Day Against Child Labour;
2012-06-22: In the Name of Allah: Islamic Mediators and Germany’s Two Legal Systems – part 1;
2012-06-23: Hit Squads in the Amazon;
2012-06-24: The revolution and the emancipation of women;
2012-06-25: Ban FGM Campaign;
2012-06-25: histoire cachée du peuple Africain;
2012-06-26: Rodney and the concept of labour;
2012-06-27: Empire, Language, Economy and Syria;
2012-06-28: Third International Conference on Human Rights Education;
2012-06-28: Europe: Child circumcision ‘an assault,’ says court;
2012-06-29: At the Crossroads of the Most Serious Economic Crisis In World History;
2012-06-30: The Attraction of Tax Breaks: Switzerland Grows into Global Commodities Hub.

The Attraction of Tax Breaks: Switzerland Grows into Global Commodities Hub

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Alexander Jung and Anne Seith, June 29, 2012 (see also the Photo Gallery).

Switzerland has quietly developed into the global center of commodities trading. Critics say the industry’s business practices in countries such as Congo and Zambia are immoral, and that it puts profits before people … //

… Sanctuary for Kleptocrats and Tax Evaders:   Continue Reading…

At the Crossroads of the Most Serious Economic Crisis In World History

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Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, Guest Michel Chossudovsky

To listen this audio, 59.00 min: go to KPFA and click on PLAY – Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, June 28, 2012 (on (KPFA: 2012-06-27).

At the Crossroads of the Most Serious Economic Crisis in World History” with Michel Chossudovsky. History of the financial crisis from the early 1980s to the present; economic dimensions of the global crisis; naked short selling; market manipulation; speculative activity; derivatives; solutions to the crisis the cause of further collapse; privatization; government policies; bankruptcies; debt and social breakdown; grassroots organizing; Occupy Wall Street; Ad Busters; CANVAS-OTPOR …  Continue Reading…

Europe: Child circumcision an assault, says court

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German ruling says fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of parents – Published on Al Jazeera, June 27, 2012.

Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court has ruled.

The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled on Tuesday that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”, a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.  Continue Reading…

Third International Conference on Human Rights Education

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Cracow/Poland, 6-10 December 2012 – Received by e-mail, From: Sev Ozdowski, Date: 26/06/2012.

Invitation to attend the Third International Conference on HRE in Cracow Poland, 6-10 December 2012:

I am pleased to inform you that the “Third International Conference on Human Rights Education: Promoting Change in Times of Transition and Crisis”, will be held from 6-10 December at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.  Continue Reading…

Empire, Language, Economy and Syria

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Watch this video, 40.01 min,  published on ZNet, by Noam Chomsky, June 24, 2012: Bubble TV sits down with Noam Chomsky after receiving his honorary degree to hear his views on Scottish independence, the global financial crisis, the British monarchy, language and Syria.

Also on YouTube, originally from and uploaded by BubbleTVonline, on June 21, 2012.

Rodney and the concept of labour

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Published on Pambazuka News, by George Lamming, June 21, 2012.
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/83117
Walter Rodney’s scholarship of resistance and recognition of the unity created
by African and Indian workers’ common experience of labour and struggle for
liberation endures.

Published on Pambazuka News, by George Lamming, June 21, 2012.

Walter Rodney’s scholarship of resistance and recognition of the unity created by African and Indian workers’ common experience of labour and struggle for liberation endures … //

… We are now a market society where every value is a commodity up for sale. Although the continental terrain is Africa, in this study Africa is a symbol of the dispossessed across all boundaries of race and ethnicity. Webster’s Third new International dictionary ascribes to the term ‘black’ the connotations ‘outrageously wicked, a villain, dishonourable, indicating disgrace connected with the Devil’. On the other hand, ‘white’ carries such connotations as ‘free from blemish, decent…In a fair upright manner, a sterling man’.   Continue Reading…

histoire cachée du peuple Africain

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vient tout juste de sortir: histoire cachée du peuple Africain, un livre écrit par Dominique Kounkou et Gilles Gilbert, aux Editions l’Harmattan.fr, dans la série Théologie et Vie politique de la terre, ANTHROPOLOGIE, ETHNOLOGIE, CIVILISATION HISTOIRE AFRIQUE NOIRE: A la croisée du dialogue des civilisations, cet ouvrage révèle des aspects insoupçonnés de la traite des Africains et de leur histoire.
ISBN : 978-2-296-99258-0, juin 2012, 194 pages.

Ban FGM Campaign

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prominent political leaders sign the Appeal calling for a Resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 – Published on No Peace Without Justice NPWJ, June 21, 2012.

The International NGO Coalition for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation has been campaigning since 2010 for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a Resolution banning the practice. Following the decision by the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March 2012 recommending that the General Assembly consider the issue of female genital mutilation at its 67th session later this year, the African Group at the UN is currently spearheading the effort to draft a Resolution.   Continue Reading…

The revolution and the emancipation of women

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Amber Murrey, June 20, 2012.

The life and work of Thomas Sankara can be taken as a reminder of both the power and potential for human agency to enact transformation … //

… The revolutionary transformation of the West African country Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (what is known as the August revolution of 1983) occurred during a previous neoliberal crisis, that of the 1980s African debt crisis. Sankara vehemently and publicly denounced odious debt and rallied African political leaders to do the same.  Continue Reading…

Hit Squads in the Amazon

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Jens Glüsing, June 20, 2012 (Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan – Photo Gallery).

At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro this week, Brazil intends to portray itself as a model country when it comes to the environment. But rampant exploitation continues in the country’s Amazon region, where environmentalists are threatened by hit squads.

She has removed her bulletproof vest and the elite soldiers assigned to protect her have left. In return, Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, 45, had to promise the authorities that she would keep her whereabouts a secret and would not return to her native region in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, where a contract killer is waiting for her.

A mafia of timber merchants and cattle ranchers has placed a bounty worth the equivalent of €8,000 ($10,080) on her head. She is the president of Deus Proverà, an association of farmers and rubber tappers in the southern part of the state of Amazonas, where loggers and environmentalists are at war. Miguel de Lima had the audacity to file a criminal complaint against illegal logging.

Five years ago, the government settled 300 families in the rainforest, where they are running one of 21 projects to promote the sustainable exploitation of the Amazon region. The farmers tap rubber trees, collect Brazil nuts and grow pineapple, bananas and cassava. “We are the guardians of the forest,” says Miguel de Lima. The families live 42 kilometers (26 miles) from the nearest federal highway. They are lacking electricity, the school that was promised them, medical personnel and police protection in the jungle.

Loggers and cattle ranchers take advantage of the absence of a government presence. They divide up the forest into parcels, falsify the land register and use weapons to drive away the small farmers. Dozens of families have already fled, abandoning their fields or selling them to the big landowners. “Nilcilene will be killed if she returns,” says her companion Raimundo Alexandrino de Oliveira.

Menu of Atrocities: … //

… Crimes Are Not Punished:

  • But destroying the rainforest is cheaper and more lucrative, especially since it usually goes unpunished. The destruction always follows the same cycle: First loggers cut down the most valuable trees, and then they tear down the remaining vegetation with tractors or burn it. They sow grass as soon as the jungle has been destroyed, and soon the first cattle are trotting around among the tree stumps. Soybean farms are also advancing into some parts of the Amazon region.
  • Getting in the way of the ranchers can be very dangerous. Last year, 29 people were murdered in Brazil because of land disputes. “The crimes are not punished,” laments Francineide Lourenço of the church aid organization Comissão Pastoral da Terra in Manaus. Greenpeace workers only travel in armored SUVs in the jungle.
  • Last year, 49 environmental activists and small farmers received death threats in the state of Amazonas alone. The government had provided three of them, including Miguel de Lima, with armed guards.
  • The petite woman greets visitors in a house more than 1,000 kilometers from her native region. She takes sedatives, and her eyes well up with angry tears as she tells her story. “They burned down my property,” she says, showing photos of the charred remains of her house.
  • She fled from the region a year ago after a hired killer had tracked her down. The government granted her an armed escort from the Força Nacional, or National Public Security Force, a special-forces unit made up of the military and police. She returned in November, with the protection of nine soldiers, and wore a bulletproof vest day and night. “We shoot in the head,” the mafia threatened after that.
  • In her absence, the cattle ranches had moved close to her settlement. Ranchers had blocked the paths with fences and destroyed the rubber trees.
  • But Miguel de Lima refused to be intimidated. Her parents were rubber tappers, and she comes from the same area as Chico Mendes, an environmental activist and rubber tapper who was murdered by two farmers in 1988, four years before the first UN environmental summit in Rio. His death triggered a worldwide campaign against deforestation, but his murderers are now out of prison again.

Bodyguards Afraid: … //

…  Lumber Trucks Every 15 Minutes

  • In Vista Alegre, a few kilometers from Miguel de Lima’s settlement, the lumber trucks emerge from the forest about every 15 minutes, accompanied by an armed motorcycle escort. The drivers use ham radios to announce their arrival.
  • The logs are processed into boards in illegal sawmills on the outskirts of the city, and the remaining wood is left to rot in the mud. “Forged papers are drawn up for the lumber, and it is transported south,” says Miguel de Lima. The giants of the rainforest end up as construction lumber in the mega-city of São Paulo.
  • Meanwhile, the bananas are rotting on Miguel de Lima’s property, while weeds grow rampantly over the charred remains of her hut.
  • Amnesty International has launched a worldwide campaign for Miguel de Lima, and the governor in Manaus receives letters of protest from around the world every day. She dreams of returning, and she speaks by phone with her allies in the jungle as often as possible.
  • Meanwhile, they are hoping for help from faraway Norway. The government in Oslo has made $1 billion available for the “Amazon Fund” to protect the rainforest. At the UN summit in Rio, the oil-producing nation will present the project as a model for the sustainable rescue of the Amazon rainforest.

(full text).

In the Name of Allah: Islamic Mediators and Germany’s Two Legal Systems – part 1

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Joachim Wagner, June 20, 2012.

For years, Islamic mediators have been stepping in to solve family disputes and marital problems among Muslims in Germany. A new book takes a closer look at how their reliance on elements of Sharia law, instead of German law, affects Muslim women. Demir furniture store in the western German city of Recklinghausen is the go-to place for people in need of either inexpensive furniture or, for some Muslims, advice on how to handle a disobedient daughter.   Continue Reading…

World Day Against Child Labour

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Published on hrea.org, June 12, 2012.

12 June 2012–Today marks the adoption of the landmark International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour. While celebrating progress made since the Convention’s adoption in 1999, the World Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the millions of children involved in hazardous work.    Continue Reading…

Women and property: some insights from African history

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Published on PambazukaNews, by Ng’ng’a wa Muchiri, June 14, 2012.

Although the overarching view that Africa is a hyper-masculine society with no social space for women persists, numerous examples show how resilient and innovative women reacted when faced with patriarchal hegemony.

The more things change the more they remain the same. I’m intrigued by the global decline in children per family – since parents no longer wholly rely on their offspring during old age. Presumably, pension funds and nursing homes have taken over the task of caring for our elderly parents. But as the following two incidents show, perhaps this change is more illusory than real; children are still largely shouldering the burden of caring for aging parents across the world.   Continue Reading…

Assad Will Breathe A Sigh Of Relief At Death Of Arab Spring

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The 1991 Algerian parallel is relevant: a poll won by Islamists, special powers for the army, torture – Published on The Independent, by Robert Fisk, June 16, 2012 (see also Robert Fisk, Great Britain, on the World People’s Blog).

The end of the Egyptian Revolution? I suppose we could have seen it coming; the marginalisation of the original rebels of Tahrir Square, fobbed off with a few trials, while the military encrusted themselves round the power Mubarak had given them and sopped up his obedient ministers as a façade of civilian rule.   Continue Reading…

Complicit neighbours: Rwanda, Uganda and East DRC

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Antoine Roger Lokongo, June 14, 2012.

The troika of Rwanda, Uganda and the international community continue to get away with destablising the east of the DRC*. The carnage that is lived daily by the Congolese people in eastern DRC is what the Congolese daily Le Potentiel calls a ‘forgotten genocide’[1] by the will of the international community. In fact, the international community has witnessed the atrocities being committed in eastern Congo by both Rwandan Hutu and Tutsi armed groups, with the complicity of some Congolese, since the UN peacekeeping mission was deployed in the DRC over a decade ago.   Continue Reading…

New film shows seeds of freedom

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African farming voices challenge the GM myth – Published on Pambazuka News, by Teresa Anderson, June 14, 2012. “Seeds of Freedom” is online for international audiences – watch and download for free: Seeds of Freedom.

At the heart of the film “Seeds of Freedom” is the story of seed and its transformation from the basis of farming communities’ agriculture to the property of agri-business. Global agriculture has changed more in our lifetime than in the previous 10,000 years. But as with all change, conflicts of interest have arisen. Nowhere is this conflict more poignant than in the story of seed.  Continue Reading…

Soy farming and land grab in the Brazilian Amazon – The Water Channel

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Watch this video, 11.36 min, published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Abraham Abhishek, June 13, 2012: Large-scale soy monoculture is expanding rapidly in Latin America. Boosted by investment from multi-national corporations, it has moved well beyond the southern states and into the Amazon area. A majority of those dependent on land in the region are forest dwellers and small farmers. Their land rights insufficiently documented. At the same time, a large number of cases have been reported wherein agro-businesses, large farmers and government striking dubious land deals which take land, livelihood and food security away from the poor.   Continue Reading…

Justice on the rocks: The demise of the people’s court

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Published on Intrepid Report, by John W. Whitehead, June 14, 2012.

The (US) Warren Court handed down rulings that were instrumental in shoring up critical legal safeguards against government abuse and discrimination. Without the Warren Court, there would be no Miranda warnings, no desegregation of the schools and no civil rights protections for indigents. Yet more than any single ruling, what Warren and his colleagues did best was embody what the Supreme Court should always be—an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds.   Continue Reading…

Hubris as the Evil Force in History

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Published on Paul Craig Roberts, by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, June 12, 2012. (See Paul Craig Roberts, USA also on the World People’s Blog).

I have always been intrigued by the Battle of Bull Run, the opening battle of the US Civil War, known to southerners as the War of Northern Aggression. Extreme hubris characterized both sides, the North before the battle and the South afterwards.

Republican politicians and their ladies in their finery road out to Manassas, the Virginia town through which the stream, Bull Run, flowed, in carriages to watch the Union Army end the “Southern Rebellion” in one fell swoop.  Continue Reading…

Making Work Pay

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Published on New Left Project, Interview with Ed Lewis, by Daniel Garvin, June 6, 2012.

Pay Up is a new national action network challenging an economic model in which remuneration at the top of the income scale is extracted through paying poverty wages. NLP’s Ed Lewis spoke to Daniel Garvin about the campaign.

Pay Up is focusing on low pay. Why? How serious is the problem of low pay?    Continue Reading…

Africa + Europe = Yannick Noah

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uploaders:   Continue Reading…

Egypt: Persisting uncertainty

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Recent developments are making Egypt’s economic outlook more blurred than it already is – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Niveen Wahish, 7 – 13 June 2012.

For the past year and a half, economists have been saying that the Egyptian economy is on firm ground and that once stability is restored after the elections, it will take off in no time. The way events have developed in the past 10 days, in terms of dissatisfaction with election results and the return of mass protests to Tahrir Square, gives the impression that that stability is still far in the distance.   Continue Reading…

Nigeria: How do we make sense of our predicament?

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Sokari Ekine, June 6, 2012.

One terrorist attack, one plane crash with the evidence pointing to serious criminal negligence and one ‘accident’ due to an incompetent crane driver or malpractice.

Just two days into the week and Nigeria is facing its third disaster. It started Sunday morning with yet another Boko Haram suicide bomb attack against a church. The numbers killed varies between 12 and 15 and many more injured at the Living Faith Church in Bauchi BellaNaija The bombings have become so normalised that they hardly warrant more than a few tweets and a column in the daily papers. The government is weak and has lost all credibility and direction, like being set afloat in the Atlantic on a flimsy raft.   Continue Reading…

Egypt’s revolution: Bread, freedom, social justice and why global solidarity matters

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Comrades from Cairo, June 7, 2012.

The Egyptian revolution is important for all struggles against militarized power, exploitation, class stratification, and police violence. Join the resistance to the counter-revolution.

To you at whose side we struggle: From the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, the powers that be have launched a vicious counter-revolution to contain our struggle and subsume it by drowning the people’s voices in a process of meaningless, piecemeal political reforms. This process is aimed at deflecting the path of revolution and the Egyptian people’s demands for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’.   Continue Reading…

The elusive dream: women and sleep

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Published on Society for Women’s Health Research SWHR, by Jennifer Wider, MD, June 5, 2012.

Sleep is an essential part of a woman’s overall health and well-being with adults needing between seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but most are not getting it. A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation in Arlington, VA revealed that the average woman aged 30-60 sleeps less than seven hours during the workweek, woefully short of the recommended amount. Continue Reading…

Quebec’s student uprising: An interview with Amir Khadir

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Published on rabble.ca, interview by Stefan Christoff, June 6, 2012.

In Quebec City last night, Amir Khadir of Québec solidaire was arrested by police in the Petit Champlain neighbourhood along with many others joining a nightly casseroles protest in solidarity with the Quebec student strike and against Law 78 … //

… At a few nightly protests when the rain fell hard on people gathered to demand social justice in the face of police violence, I have often seen Khadir joining the protests, walking with his bicycle along with everyone else taking to the streets … //  Continue Reading…

Sacrificing Mubarak to Save His Regime

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Published on Global Research.ca (first on Counterpunch.org), by Esam Al-Amin,
June 4, 2012.

When deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his sons were indicted in April 2011, legal observers cynically noted that the charges were not only politically motivated in order to quiet the massive demonstrations demanding their trial, but also that they were so weak that the trial might have been designed to end in acquittals.   Continue Reading…

Your brain and the science behind sexuality

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Akinyi Margareta Ocholla, May 31, 2012.

Science shows that sexuality is formed beginning childhood. It is entirely possible one can grow up to be sexually attracted to persons of the same sex. If you think your brain is complex, you’re right – It is extremely complex. Just as every person has a special genetic coding, making her completely unique, so too does she have a brain that operates in a completely unique way – without exception.  Continue Reading…

The militarisation of poverty in Africa

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Increasing the rewards for those forces able to capture the state, by any means necessary, inevitably leads to war – Published on Pambazuka News, by Toby Leon Moorsom, May 31, 2012.

KINGSTON, CANADA – Over the past year, Africa has seen the decomposition of states from coast to coast. A belt of war, coups and large-scale spontaneous demonstrations has emerged across the Sahel, from Guinea-Bissau to Somalia. The situation represents a significant global security threat, which for some will justify the increasing militarisation of the continent. These political processes have a variety of localised causes, yet they have some commonalities.   Continue Reading…

Revolutions are not decided by elections

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Horace Campbell, May 31, 2012.

It is important for the Egyptian revolutionaries to build new structures outside of parliament and outside of the rigged game that is called elections.

BACKGROUND OF THE NEWS:   Continue Reading…

some links around humanitarian questions

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Couple to face French court over daughters’ circumcision, on en.rfi, by RFI, May 27, 2012: A couple of Guinean origin is to stand trial for female circumcision in France on Tuesday. Although they were put under control of court in 2005 when their two elder daughters were found to have undergone female genital mutilation, their two younger daughters were later found to have suffered the same fate. The couple, who came to France in the late 1980s, have been charged with complicity in violence, “having brought about the mutilation of a minor of less than 15 years old”. They face up to 15 years in jail … (full text);   Continue Reading…

Missing Out: Some Poles Left Behind Despite Economic Success

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Stefan Kaiser, May 30, 2012.
(See also the Photo-Gallery).

Poland, one of the hosts of this year’s European Football Championship, has been booming thanks to a rigorous modernization program. But not everyone is benefiting from the economic success. With rents climbing and the elderly complaining about lower pensions, resentment is on the rise … //

… God, Honor, Country:    Continue Reading…

les mutilations génitales féminines / l’excision

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Extraits de presse des derniers jours: