Terrorism takes backseat to economy in US
It would not be wholly correct to state that seven years after the September 11 attacks terrorism has taken a back seat. Since the attacks the federal government has made only limited progress toward preventing a catastrophic nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction abroad. The perpetuation of terrorism since then and manhandling of entire issue by US and its allies has posed serious threat to international peace as evident from subsequent events like 7/7 brutal attacks in London and elsewhere. The coalition forces seemed to have veered from their real target which comprised the elimination of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Instead, they are now fighting the drug trade which helps the militias retain their power and a resurgent Taliban to fight which the Bush administration recently took the decision to enhance the US troop levels. Although there has been no terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11 the threat of a new major attack is still very real. Both terrorism and economic recession are major challenges confronting US
Nepal to end bonded labor
The government decided to abolish the Haliya system the other day. This is an important step towards establishing social justice through abolition of the remnants of feudal system. The system is analogous to bonded labor and is a glaring example of the ruthless feudal relations that survives on exploitation and expropriation of the returns of labor. Held in debt bondage for generations those belonging to the lower rungs, especially untouchables and subalterns, are compelled to till and tend the land without being compensated for the labor. Once liberated and emancipated they should not be forced to till the land which is not owned by them as this is illegal and punishable by law. However, the decision needs effective implementation to ensure substantive improvement in the social and economic life of the bonded laborers. The abolition of the Haliyas system should be complemented by alternative means of livelihood so that the Haliyas can lead an independent and dignified life otherwise they might relapse into subjugation.
Bolivia civil war threatens Brazil
The situation is very tense in Bolivia, more specifically in the department of Santa Cruz, the richest and which has the largest natural gas reserves in the country. There is risk of having a civil war.
The conflicts started because of a decision by President Evo Morales want to use the funds obtained from the income of gas in a social program, reducing the financial resources of the Departments.
These Five departments in Bolivia, the richest, want to become autonomous regions, opening the possibility for that Bolivia is divided into two countries. Between yesterday and today, thousands of demonstrators took the streets of Santa Cruz and federal buildings are being invaded. There are rumors that thousands of Indigenous are going towards Santa Cruz to combat the separatist protesters.
Moreover, these demonstrators attacked the gas pipeline that delivers natural gas to Sao Paulo state in Brazil, trying to force the Brazilian government to enter the conflict. For while Brazil seems to be very concerned about the situation but will not intervene in this situation, because it is clear the intention of the protesters is to overthrow a president who was democratically elected.
Indian physicist, victim of racism
Of the three main past and present physicists behind the landmark proton-smashing experiment in Geneva, the third man is the Bose of the Higgs-boson experiment - Satyendra Nath Bose so brilliant and yet so overlooked. It is Bose after whom the sub-atomic particle 'boson' is named. The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider experiment in Switzerland could not have happened without Bose and Albert Einstein. In 1924, Bose sent a paper to Einstein describing a statistical model that laid the basis for describing one of the two categories of the elementary particles that make up an atom of which one was boson. Einstein had already won the Nobel in 1921,the British scientist Peter Higgs who eventually came up with his theory of the Higgs boson is now widely tipped to win the Nobel. It is Satyendra Nath Bose who for some reason never won the medal perhaps he became a victim to institutionalized racism. In such a case the international community and the Nobel academy should make amends through immediate recognition of his work.
Migrant clashes in India’s Assam
How can the state officials in Assam blame the separatist National Democratic Front of Bodoland blame them for clashes and ethnic cleansing of Muslims? Recurrent bouts of violence between indigenous tribesman and migrant Muslim population are a direct result of Bodos getting marginalized in their homeland by the influx of Muslims. Bodos who feel neglected by the central government want the illegal immigration to stop which is depriving them of job opportunities in the region. The Bangladeshi migrants have no right whatsoever to be in India yet the Congress government in Assam continues with the policy of importing Bangladeshi migrants and naturalizing them as Indian citizens with an eye on the vote bank. Much has to do with the lack of region’s political representation at the centre and utter neglect of this region in spite of abundant natural resources. The nation needs to focus its attention on the region if it wants to solve the problems inflicting this region.
CNN’s iReport mishap
An iReport contributor reported that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs had had a heart attack. Within moments of the post, the companies stock began to dip until Apple quickly responded that CNN's third-party reporting was false, Mr. Jobs was fine. The stock then resumed its normal trading pattern. CNN has since removed the post, obviously. But the fact that such false information about a prominent American CEO could be posted, without verification, on the website of one of the United States' and the world's most reputable news organization raises serious questions about the conduct of citizen journalism: who are the editors and what are the standards? The standards to be maintained are simply and obvious, they are the standards upheld by most news bureaus: honesty, decency and thorough fact-checking. As to who are the editors: we all are. It also means that as public editors we should offer one another constructive criticism.
Odinga demands resignation from ECK
Kenyan coalition government should immediately implement the recommendations made by the Kriegler commission. The report has sufficiently exposed the flaws in the country's entire electoral system. It has exposed how the Electoral Commission of Kenya, politicians, members of the public, political parties and the media rigged the whole exercise. ECK was found wanting in its independence and capacity which impacted negatively on the commissioners' legitimacy and public confidence to deliver impartial results. Kenyans deserve to be part of a free and fair electoral process. Thus the government must initiate necessary executive, legislative ad political measures to reconstitute the electoral body so that some amount of electoral integrity is injected into the system. This is essential if it ever wants to change the preconceived misconceptions held by Kenyans regarding country's electoral excise.
Church opposes family planning policy
The Philippine Congress is about to pass the legislation for national family planning program that includes government sponsored contraception for the poor. Those who support the proposition believe that abstinence isn't enough to control a burgeoning population. But the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill would be a waste of resources if nothing much is done to reduce poverty and improve the level of education in the country. The sector to educate the most is women, since pregnancy rates have shown to have been more controlled among educated females. While there is sex education in the curriculum of public schools right from elementary level, parents and communities should also take part in educating the youth on the topic. But if poverty reduction is the ultimate aim of population control, other measures should be equally shored up by the government such as price control on basic commodities, better education and capability skills enhancement to meet employment requirements, and more employment opportunities to reverse brain drain
France shocked by the images of war published by Paris Match
The French magazine, Paris Match, has acted irresponsibly by publishing pictures of Taliban along with guns, walkie-talkies and even a wrist-watch – belonging to 10 French soldiers they killed in an ambush last month. The pictures were allotted the front page on the glossy spread, completely unmindful of the psychological pain and suffering which the families of the deceased servicemen and their serving comrades in Afghanistan would have to undergo when they see the pictures. Although the freedom of press is fiercely protected in France, the act has outraged the public which implies that the magazine should apologize for its careless act and refrain from such actions in future. French media has every right to rekindle the argument regarding the role played by French troops in Afghanistan given the fact that nearly two third of the population is against their positioning along with US led coalition forces in Afghanistan and want them back in the country. It should remember that the same can be achieved through constructive means and not by ruthlessly trampling over the sentiments of the bereaved families.
Mexican court upholds law favoring free, legal abortion
Mexico Court's decision to uphold a law that allows legal and free abortion in Mexico City during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is widely acclaimed by the feminists, and why not.
This ruling is of great importance and set a precedent for state legislatures to pass measures legalizing abortion. It is likely to encourage similar legislative drives outside Mexico City where abortion remains illegal except in certain cases, such as pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
It is even good as the abortions have long been available in Mexico and many poor women seeking to terminate pregnancies have obtained drugs from pharmacists without a doctor's signature. But this move would make abortions more widely available to women of all social classes while reducing the risk of death or injury from procedures performed in underground clinics.
Moreover, it's historic with a wide impact on women's rights not only in Mexico but throughout Latin America.
Baby peddling thrives in South Korea
The South Korean fertility industry is one of the largest industries which operates with virtually no rules or governmental oversight. 'Ae Ran Won' are birthing rooms that supply the raw material (babies) for export to the United States. Korea is the largest supplier of babies to the U.S. and accounts for 62 percent of all babies adopted from abroad. While the surrogates make anywhere from $ 10000 to $75000, this luxury of creating babies also creates a plethora of dilemmas. For instance should doctors be allowed to implant multiple embryos? If triplets or even quintuplets are produced, should the adoptive parents be allowed to keep the most desirable of the litter and discard the remainder? Such choices present very hard questions about the worthiness of life. The complexities of baby trade are mind boggling and need to be approached with extreme caution and regulated closely, if not by the individual states, then by the federal government.
Child labor and trafficking rampant in Malawi
Child labor and trafficking in Malawi is nothing new. Children as young as 10 years old are trafficked from many parts of the country and are kept in critical conditions. These children are used in agricultural work, whereas girls are put in domestic work and in some cases, prostitution.
Due to these conditions these children do not have the opportunity to access formal education.
There are currently no proper records of children trafficked for child labor due to poor technical and financial capacity. The other weaknesses include lack of clear policy on child labor or child trafficking and therefore, those promoting this modern-day slavery have not been punished enough.
There are some community programs aimed at curbing this problem, but they are so far insufficient. There is a crucial need for a law on child trafficking and child labor and an urgent need on educating the poor, the first victims of this menace, failing which, Malawi is doing nothing but breeding an HIV disaster.
Dubai’s real estate market in doldrums
A lot of Syrians have invested in the boomed real states sector in Dubai. I met one of them who claimed that he has lost about 15 $ millions. At the beginning, I didn’t believe what he said. This is a fortune in Syria. After a quick trip to Dubai last week, I realized that what he said was the new fact in Dubai. Dubai has turned from the heaven of Real States to the hell of it. A lot of Syrians have invested there. One of the public rumors in Syria, Aleppo that one of a leading business men in the city has lost about 20 $ million in Dubai stock market, which has named recently Nasdaq-Dubai market.
IFFI scraps M F Hussein film
In a bid to preserve the image of the country of the country the Films Division of India has decided to defer the screening of M.F. Husain's 1967 film "Through the Eyes of a Painter", at the ongoing International Film Festival of India. Films Division of India comfortably chose to forget the democratic credentials settling for Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s chauvinistic agenda that only knows how best to spread communal hatred and violence. The objection is a fall out of ruckus generated over his paintings of nude Hindu deities that led to court cases, attacks on his house and death threats. Maqbool Fida Husain, 93, is one of India's best-known artists and has even been referred to as the country's Picasso. Those who have watched the film consider it as work of art and see nothing objectionable in it. We make our films to be seen and not to be dumped at slightest opposition of a jingoist right wing organization.
Operation Baba, African answer to poaching
Africa has seen the unprecedented destruction of its wild fauna and flora as a result of poaching, fuelled to a large degree by the profits that are gained by wildlife traffickers. The last 35 years have seen the loss of 97 per cent of rhinoceros species and, in many countries, over 90 per cent of elephant populations, through uncontrolled trafficking in rhino horn and ivory. Many other species are suffering the same fate. At risk too are Africa's rich and diverse tropical forests, threatened by uncontrolled commercial exploitation. Kenya has had a fair share of these incidences that have been described as a great threat to the wildlife as well as tourism industry. However, a joint operation involving Kenya, Congo-Brazaville, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia since June has seen conservancy officials recover 1,000 kilogrammes of ivory in powder form and carvings as well as hippo teeth.
Lahore HC bans dance performances
Punjab government’s ban on dance performances has a positive side to it. In that it shows government’s concern over fuelling vulgarity and sexual perversion but at the same time there is no explanation over why the red light district in Lahore and other red zones in other parts of the country are left open as public venues for prostitution. Some form of limitation is also to be specified for private dance performances because the ban on stage performances and theatre performances are likely to make the dance addicts use private functions as the new dance stages within the fore walls considered decent in the general opinion. Beyond that issue of media censorship also needs to be addressed and a team of qualified editors be hired for bringing film and video production in accord with the moral code of society.
Issue of Bhutanese refugees raises its head in Nepal
Thousands of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal have been resettled in seven countries. These countries are USA, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Canada. For the past 17 years, more than 1 lakhs Bhutanese refugees have been sheltered in eastern Nepal their eviction from their homes by the Bhutanese government, which introduced a law stripping them of their citizenship and civil rights because of their ancestry. According to UNHCR, Since March 2008, 6,200 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled and more are in the process of leaving the camps every week. Some Bhutanese people are happy to go abroad but some are sad. It is said that settling abroad is the vast conspiracy of Bhutan government to be protected from the rebel of displaced Bhutanese refugees. Migrating abroad is not the ultimate solution of the problem. Bhutan, India and Nepal government along with UN needs to take initiation to make return back to their homes for refugees and settle democratic environment for the public in Bhutan.
Mexico refuses US offer of $30b swap line
Mexico although being battered in recent weeks by the global credit crisis, has made a historic decision to refuse, at least for the time being, a $30 billion swap line offered by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The peso has slumped in recent weeks and commercial paper has had serious liquidity problems as international investors haul assets from emerging economies. With Mexico already suffering a sharp slowdown in its economy because of falling U.S. demand for its goods, stalled credit could lead to bankruptcies and layoffs. For citizens, although we are fearful, we are also holding great admiration for our President Calderon as he is clearly showing his intentions and are willing to fight for our future and economic prevail.
French textbooks riddled with racial stereotypes
Publishers in france have been ordered to modernize school textbooks. They have found to be riddled with racial stereotypes and negative images of social and ethnic groups. The report by state anti discrimination body consisted of the study of more than 300o illustrations in 29 schoolbooks. It revealed that women are often portrayed as house wives or secretaries, blacks as being poor or sick and the elderly as being decrepit. There is little mention of the homosexuals or the disabled. Men are depicted more often in positions of social and professional superiority. While this is ruthlessly politically correct the report underlines France’s struggle to contain racism and intolerance in a country where gathering official statistics on race and religion is taboo.
Mixed results for Lula in Brazil’s local elections
In this Sunday were held elections in all municipalities to choose new mayors and city councilors. Voting is mandatory in Brazil. Around 125 million people voted in electronic ballot, which ensures a process of verification of the votes faster, safer and effective. In most of Brazil, the elections passed without major problems. Of the more than 5,000 municipalities, only 100 had some kind of problem, such as the arrest of election candidates doing propaganda in places of voting. In about 400 cities, the army's presence was needed tfor the security of voters against possible attacks by criminal gangs. It is too early to say who will be the winners, but about 50% of the votes have been counted. Moreover, in cities with more than 100 thousand voters, there will be a second runoff. However, these elections are a preparation for the elections of 2010, in which new governors and a new president will be chosen. The governors who get elect "their candidates" will be strengthened for the presidential campaign. Lula, despite it high level of popularity, is still unable to choose a viable successor and the main opposition candidate, Jose Serra, seems to emerge stronger after today.
Pakistani cinema showcasing Bollywood
Cinema owners in Pakistan are trying to showcase movies that attract families and young viewers. The latest Bollywood flick running to packed houses within Pakistan is Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif starrer 'Singh is King'- the movie has been a complete delight for any Pakistani moviegoer passionate about the Bollywood films. Pakistan and India might have their long held differences, but nothing can deny the fact that Pakistanis prefer Indian film productions that are slick and lavishly produced. It is also no secret that most travel abroad just to watch the latest Bollywood flick starring their favorite actors and actresses. It is vital that the Pakistani government remove the ban on showcasing Indian movies so that their exhibition and distribution pours in money vital to revive our production houses. This will help increase the competitiveness of the Pakistani cinema besides keeping the country's millions entertained.
Mexicans observe 1968 massacre
Thousands of Mexicans marched across the nation's capital the Mexican government to establish the truth behind a deadly clampdown on student protesters 40 years ago and punish the perpetrators. The failure to confront the massacre on October 2, 1968, when security forces opened fire on students gathered in the Tlatelolco Square in the capital Mexico City, had left a "deep scar" in Mexican society. That scar can only be healed by full disclosure, bringing the perpetrators to justice and providing reparations to the victims or their families. It is shameful the even 40 years after the massacre the details of that day remain unclear, even the number of those killed. President Calderon cannot remain silent on this dark chapter in Mexico's history. The Mexicans in general and the victims families in particular want the administration to open all relevant archives and records, establish a new and independent inquiry and punish those responsible for this horrific crime.
Lowest water levels in Sea of Galilee
The government of Israel seems to be oblivious to the damage being caused to the country's largest lake, the Sea of Galilee. Four years of drought and relentless demand from homeowners and farmers has brought down the water levels to the lowest record ever. Despite the falling levels, pumping of the water continues from the lake. The main factor driving the unquenchable thirst is Israel's projection of itself as a country of pioneering farmers who made the desert bloom, much in contrast to the previous Palestinian owners who were prepared to live on the barren land. The Israeli government must initiate stricter measures to stop cultivation of alien crops that are not suited to the desert and then exported to the west. The drop in the water levels is not only causing increased salination but also affecting the fish stocks. The government should seriously consider establishing desalination plants and begin valuing its ecology before the water disappears all together.
India seeks ban on Pakistani group
Pakistan has been a terrorist hub for more than two decades. The problem only gets aggravated as the time passes by. All this time India has arranged proofs of Pakistani involvement in several terrorist attacks on its soil. Right from the 1993 Mumbai blasts to the most recent 26/11 Mumbai strikes. Post such attacks Pakistan has always acted hurriedly to arrest the suspects under intense international pressure. At the same time it fell badly short of arranging the extradition of criminals such as Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar to India so that such criminal elements always remained at large. India must build up pressure on Pakistan with the help of international community to handover the arrested commander of Lashkar-I-Toiba for further trial this time.
Remembering Virgin of Guadalupe
More than a million Mexicans and international visitors are headed to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City this week as part of the annual pilgrimage to celebrate the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Friday. The annual trek is not taken lightly, as devotion to this Marian image continues to expand in both good and bad economic times. According to the story, the Virgin Mary appears four times to a humble Indian, Juan Diego, and leaves an imprint of her image on his cloak. She has always been a sign of hope, especially to those who are being persecuted, And more so this year, when the economy is down, they feel the assurance that Guadalupe will protect them and guide them through these difficult times.
Pakistan to reduce transport fares
Reducing the local and long route transport fares are welcomed by the general public but benefits will only come if the authorities monitor the transport services providers for whether or not they actually follow the government policies. Traffic police serving in Peshawar and different cities is very famous for ignoring the excesses of transport service providers and many of them are even known for receiving small bribes on a daily basis. The public must also play its role in reporting all problems or lodging complaints in time to make their journey a fair and comfortable experience.
Year 2008 extended by an extra second
Along with the economy, the Earth itself is slowing down, requiring timekeepers to add an extra second to their atomic clocks to keep in sync with Earth's slightly slowing rotation. So an extra second will be tacked on to Dec. 31 after 6:59:59 p.m. and before 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That extra second will make 2008 -- already long, with an extra day on Feb. 29 -- the longest year since 1992. The decision to add an extra second was made by an international consortium of timekeepers. World commerce and digital technology depend on accurate to-the-second timekeeping responsible for one-third of the world’s digital technology.
US relaxes visa rules to boost tourism
The American might is melting in the heat of economic recession. The financial setback has compelled Uncle Sam to extend an openhearted invitation to potential visitors from countries it would have otherwise resisted tooth and nail. In an effort to ease the pressures of economic downturn the American think tanks are looking towards tourism. US tourism has therefore decided to ease the visa rules through expansion of visa waiver program. Travelers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia along with South Korea will also be allowed to visit the U.S. for 90 days without visas. International travel is absolutely critical to supporting the American. The economies worldwide have slumped; they have eaten into both foreign wealth along with American wealth. With the financial crisis, people are generally going to be very careful about traveling now since it's going to be more expensive because of higher energy prices and the rising U.S. dollar. Though this is a worrisome prospect any hike in overseas travel at this point of time is likely to ease financial pressures and is therefore welcome.
Pakistan revives tribal militias
Calling for organized action by local tribesman is indeed a clever strategy for uprooting the Taliban groups in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The tribesmen are armed they know their home ground well, they are motivated for action against terrorists joining hands with Pakistan’s military forces and foreign support can yield promising results in the immediate future. the need of the hour is to run intensive campaigns of awareness and establish understandings between local tribesmen and military and foreign agencies in order to make quick and effective action possible. This will not only cleanse the tribal belt of terrorists but also create new channels for the development of these backward areas.
Whaling in the name of research
As the ageing Japanese whaling industry continues its intrepid struggle to justify itself Japan the question of whether any of the purported killings carried any scientific value has been raised time and again by protestors. Furthermore with refrigerator storehouses full of uneaten meat the industry is running out of excuses to keep the general public believing that they enjoy eating whale. However a new backward protesting strategy has emerged from the wake of another whaling season picking up speed. Let them do it support it. Author and environmental activist Mark Brazil suggest that in order for the government subsidized whaling industry to see the senseless of their hunts the protesting public only need to promote the sale of the whale meat. Call the government out into full disclosure of accountability contrary to suspicions of media’s heavily laden with inevitable levels of mercury if the government is backing it the meat must be safe. Right. In a country whose food industry has been ravaged at all levels by scandal after scandal perhaps blatant opposition is not the best way to back the government into corner and invoke change.
Elite Squad portrays Brazilian violence
One of the main features of Brazilian cinema is the realism (or neo-realism). Elite Squad, from the movie maker Jose Padilha is no exception to this rule. The only problem is that maybe he has gone too far on his film. This movie, turned in large part in Rio slums caused the most diverse reactions of the Brazilian public: from laughter to horror. Beatings, suffocation, threat of rape, blood bath and the constant state of fear in the movie have made many international critics pointed to Elite Troop as a film that is favorable to fascism. But that is not true. The fact that the violence be banalized in Brazil stems from more than 40 thousand homicides that occur annually here. Cinema is art, fiction. The reality is that it is brutal. After all, a movie is just a movie and this one particularly reflects what happens in a sick society."
Bush approves raids within Pakistan
The decision is extremely shameful and outrageous. Apparently America believes in some kind of self imposed divine right theory which empowers it to tread over other nations sovereign rights at its own will. Pakistan is America’s closest ally in the war against terror. We must fight tooth and nail against Bush administration’s decision to conduct raids against terrorist targets on our soil, without our permission. After all it’s a question of our own sovereignty which we must protect at all cost even if it means warning a close ally. We support aggression against militants which threaten to destabilize the entire region but Pakistan is not an America lap dog accepting whatever comes its way through latter. America should refrain from such unilateral actions, respect our territorial integrity and sovereignty and always remember Pakistan’s assistance in fighting extremism at the cost of its own internal security.
Guatemala to prosecute criminal elements
A United Nations report is calling on Guatemala to increase efforts to prosecute criminal elements within the country. The special commission is called the International Commission Against impunity in Guatemala, released the report stating that extra efforts must be exerted to prosecute criminal elements in Guatemala. On 12 December 2006, the Guatemalan government and United Nations signed an agreement to establish an independent international commission against impunity in Guatemala. The mandate of the commission is to investigate and promote the prosecution of legal society organizations. The commission says that while Guatemala has begun moving forward with efforts to crackdown on illegal armed groups, the small number of prosecutions and lack of protection from the police, judges and witnesses requires more work.
Japan shook by 7 magnitude earthquake
It is a classic case of American news channel making disproportionate news out of everything that comes out of Japan. On one hand, CNN headlines the story of massive earthquake that was 7.0 on magnitude scale, while the eastern coast of Hokkaido, Japan only sees a few sets of four inch ripple on the shoreline. Japanese news channel the entire day have been siphoning a collective yawn instead, after the front page coverage of the NPD election and the announcement of a wide scale Japanese troop pullout from Iraq. However should you ever manage to look past that 7.0 magnitude earthquake is two times stronger that killed 6500 people in and around Kobe in 1995 you notice that today’s earthquake still struck at the depth of 12 miles and 80 miles off the shore of Japan’s north west state. It is normal practice for Asian news especially for Japan to get heavily sensationalized during its dizzying spin to the western news user. News flash has had large scale earthquakes that wrecked unforgettable destruction in the past lets not forget about all those little ones felt by the country everyday of the week.
West Bengal promotes IT investments
People should be thankful to the Information technology department of government of west Bengal after it decided to provide land to the IT major Infosys. The pronouncement would help salvage the image of the state that took a beating following the Singur problem. The ruckus generated around the Tata Nano plant in Singur has generated skepticism in the minds of prospective investors regarding the safety of their future investments. West Bengal needs lucrative investors to help create employment opportunities for the young. The animation and gaming industry has a potential to emerge as a major revenue spinner. Kolkata has marched ahead in areas of animation and gaming, with prominent players making a foray into the state. The state government should march ahead and provide full support to the IT industry along with other small and medium scale industries. Only such measures can help improve the image of West Bengal as an investor friendly state, otherwise tainted by Singur controversy.
Mexican military patrols Tijuana
In the government's latest effort to flush out corrupt police, Mexican Military Troops removed 500 local police officers and took over law enforcement in Tijuana, where drug hitmen have killed over 220 people, including children, in the past month. The army aims eventually to suspend the remaining 1,500 officers and gradually rid the Tijuana force of corrupt police where some officers openly work as hitmen for drug gangs. Widespread corruption among Mexico's badly paid police is undermining President Felipe Calderon's army-backed war on drug gangs. Mexico must continue purging corrupt officers while increasing pay and incentives to loyal, non corrupt officials.
Surge in racist crimes after Obama victory
Barack Obama's historic election as America's first black president has led to a surge of racist incidents across the United States. Since the closing weeks of the campaign, there has been a real and significant, white backlash break out which is only getting worse. Hundreds of incidents of cross burnings, death threats, Obama effigies hanging in nooses to ugly racial incidents in schoolyards across the country are getting reported with increased regularity. The increase in racist incidents can be attributed to the non-white immigration and rising unemployment. Add to all of that the idea of a black man in the White House and you have a very significant number of whites who feel as if they've lost everything, that the country built by their forefathers has somehow been stolen from them. It seems that whites within America have begun experiencing identity crisis.
Ballot empowers women
Usually, the word Kargil brings back memories of the India-Pakistan conflict of 1999 when Pakistani intruders walked miles into Indian Territory leading to skirmishes which gradually grew into what came to be known later as Kargil war. Amid it all, Kargil district stands out as a shining example of empowerment of women at the grassroots level, by way of enfranchisement. Despite sub zero temperature enthusiasm of voters was high as they were seen in long queues in front of polling stations hours before the polling started. The reports indicated that women in traditional colorful attire out-numbered the men at the polling stations. The district has more female voters than male voters. Perhaps no other district in the entire north India, in any of the states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh or Uttaranchal enjoys this distinction. There is still hope for women’s empowerment in J&K through ballot.
US Federal reserves rescues AIG from collapse
The Federal Reserve has finally managed to turn the tide that could have could have shook the very foundations of the global market system. All the talk of near imminent collapse of AIG has been put to rest after Fed's $85b loan rescue. However the most radical intervention in central bank's history to save private business is bound to raise fresh controversy. The government put taxpayers hard earned at risk protect bad investments made by AIG and other firms. Besides why only AIG and not Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns who were allowed to fade out? With a precedent already established the Federal reserve should probably brace itself for other possible bailouts. Finally, the deregulated financial system of the U.S stands badly exposed for its inefficiency and unavailability. The governments must introduce safety measures to keep a tab on the functioning of private financial businesses. Rest apart; the financial crisis is definite to ensure an intense political debate during Presidential campaign.
Political parties in India demand implementation of repressive laws
After the Delhi bombings voices advocating implementation of repressive laws are afloat like never before. Undoubtedly, India needs a security mechanism which can effectively fight the terror threat but we certainly do not require a set of demonic laws that infringe all human rights. Repressive laws such as TADA and POTA cannot be the antidote to terror. Such laws based on ethnic profiling are counter productive and have done more harm than good in the past. Our report card on human rights violation is already dismal and replete with incidents of fake encounters, custodial deaths etc. Implementation of such draconian laws will only push the radicalization of the moderates and recruitment drive of the extremists. The government should not therefore consider the implementation of such laws. It is time to drop all partisan politics and devise concrete measures that fight terrorism without violating the basic freedom to life and liberty.
Britain introduces Sarah's Law to ensure child protection
Sarah's law is a gigantic leap in fighting crimes against children within United Kingdom. Finally Sarah Payne's death at the hands of a convicted pedophile Roy Whiting has led to dramatic response from public authorities. It allows single mothers, parents and guardians can seek police help in conducting background checks on somebody with close access to their children. Information on people who could pose a threat to the children's lives will empower the parents and help the latter protect their children better. However when compare to Megan's law in US the law falls short in one respect. It does not allow the information regarding convicted sex offender to be made public. This is unfair. The information on sex offenders should be made public so that other parents become vigilant towards freely roaming pedophiles that are a potential threat to their children. The scheme should be rolled out throughout Britain without any delay and communities should actively participate to ensure its success.
South Korea and United States prepare for post Kim Jong II era
Good news finally for the Korean peninsula. The rumors surrounding Kim Jong II's frail health have finally paved way for a contingency plan to meet any eventuality following the north's collapse. A totalitarian dynasty under Kim Jong II has transformed the country into a vast prison camp, where living conditions are close to medieval. Whatever the state generated propaganda can come up with, nothing can cover up the Dear Leaders' disastrous policies, which have brought starvation and death to more than a million people since the 1990's. Many have fled the country after attempting the most daring escapes across the border. North Korea can boast of its nuclear capabilities, but nothing can conceal the squalor, misery and repression subjected on its populace. It's high time South Korea recognizes its responsibility and rescue its second half from a decade of tyranny without worrying about the cost of absorbing their newly liberated brothers.
Nepali Journalist murdered
Number of impunity and terrorism attacks is being high in Nepal. Terai, the southern part of Nepal, near to India has become cancer of the country. This week, Uma Singh, a female radio journalist working in Janakpur, prominent religious place of Nepal was murdered by unknown forces using weapons. It is still not clear who killed the journalist, who was in her mid-20s but her father and brother were abducted and killed by Maoists two years ago. She had spoken about the difficulties of working in south-east Nepal, where armed groups have recently mushroomed. Ms. Singh is the first women journalist who was murdered. Previously, more than two dozen male journalists were killed by different forces. Insecurity for journalists is being raised in Nepal whereas many journalists get threatened by different forces regarding the news and views.
Co founder of los Zetas arrested
Mexico has captured one of the founders of the “zetas” Gulf cartel's brutal squad of hit men that is behind much of the country's bloodshed. Miguel Angel Soto Parra, arrested on Wednesday in Mexico City, is a former police officer who was one of the earliest members of the Zetas, a group of hit men made up largely of army deserters. The Gulf cartel, which relies on the Zetas to settle scores with rival gangs, is one of Mexico's top smuggling groups, running Colombian cocaine into Texas via the border cities of Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo.
The Ugandan Rebel
The Ugandan rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA, has slaughtered at least 537 people and kidnapped another 408 in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo since September.
Troops from DR Congo, Uganda and South Sudan have conducted joint operations against the LRA since December, but the military action has provoked further retaliatory raids by the rebels against the local civilian population. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Says over 100,000 people have also been forced to flee the violence to hide in the bush especially the region neighbouring South Sudan and Uganda. An estimated 37,000 people have fled from Faradje, a town which borders Sudan, including over 10,000 children. Sightings of LRA rebels are "causing panic and new displacement" throughout the region.
Slumdog millionaire bags Golden Globe
R Rahman winning the Golden Globe for his musical score was India’s moment under the sun. Despite the film, Slumdog Millionaire, having a British tag, the honours brought glory to Indian cinema, music and literature in one stroke. Rahman’s soundtrack has a typical desi flavour and the film’s story was inspired by Indian life in the slums and originally told by Vikas Swarup through his thoroughly entertaining book Q&A. But now Danny Boyle, who has won the Golden Globe by directing an essentially Indian project, has shown the world how effectively an Indian theme can be turned into a world-class film. Rahman has definitely made the country and the place where he honed his music skills, Chennai, proud through his soundtrack. Indeed, India has a large talent pool that waits to the tapped. Not just musicians but in other fields, too, with the potential to make movies that can make the world sit up and watch.
India hands terror evidence to Pakistan
The second dossier from India to Pakistan which is likely it hand DNA sample of lone arrested terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for verification by Pakistani authorities is a welcome move. Other than the fact that it will enable Pakistani authorities to match the sample with his father and establish his Pakistani identity the DNA sample is also accepted as evidence in the court of law. In fact the government should hand over the DNA samples of other nine terrorists too whose names and addresses are available with the authorities. Let the whole world know how they transmit terrorism to the world.
V. Prabhakaran's bunker busted
Sri Lankan army's latest feat of busting bunker belonging to the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran has added another feather in the former's cap. He may have escaped meeting a brutal end at the hands of the army but then at least Sri Lankans may seek contentment in the fact that the rebel leader faces the biggest challenge of his life. Prabhakaran is a ruthless killer, outlawed around the world as a terrorist kingpin and wanted on charges of mass murder; the international community must help Sri Lanka in bringing this culprit to justice.
Concerns about the bloody drug war being fought just across the Mexican border led to a short-lived resolution in El Paso Texas asking the federal government to consider legalizing drugs. Mayor John Cook vetoed the resolution hours after it was unanimously approved by the City Council. The nonbinding resolution suggested that legalizing drugs in the United States could help curb a volatile and bloody drug war that killed more than 1,600 in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, in 2008.
Facebook solves burglary
The latest incident involving the capture of a burglar by simply displaying the CCTV footage and pictures of him on the Face book shows that the new media has definitely come off age. Who could have imagined that the social networking sites could play such a useful role in catching the anti social elements? However this isn't the first time that Face book, the world's largest online social network has been used to crackdown on criminals. The episode will definitely help in containing crimes that are committed with impunity since most offenders got the opportunity to move out scot-free even in the absence of adequate means.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said that India has never been a threat to Pakistan, and that militants in Indian-administered Kashmir are terrorists. The unorthodox views run counter to those held by Pakistan's military, which views India as a threat. India and Pakistan have fought three wars but have made recent peace moves.
Path breaking statement on Indo Pak relations
President Zardari's statement is bound to create ruckus within Pakistan since it controverts the very essence that has defined the Indo Pakistan relationship for 60 years. Those who consider India as an existential threat to Pakistan need revisioning. Mr. Zardari's comments are path breaking and lend fresh dimension to Indo Pakistan relationship. Neither can we allow our policies to be India centric any more nor can we allow our relationship to be held hostage by the Kashmir issue. Terrorism has destabilized the whole region, it also poses a grave threat to Pakistan's democratic and secular traditions. We need to work together with our neighbors to rein in this menace. Mr. Zardari was also correct in stating that 'there is no economic survival for nations like us. We need to have trade with our neighbors first'. Pakistan's troubled economy can derive huge benefits through trade with India. Pakistan must develop normal friendly ties with its neighbors if it is to emerge as a powerful nation.
Uganda's Health Ministry has warned the country is under threat of importing the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) from Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. WHO confirmed to the case of the virus in Miti-Murhesa District, South Kivu Province, DRC and subsequently of another case in Juba town, South Sudan.
Uganda faces Polio attack
The porous border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda and the free movement of people for trade and cultural reasons between Uganda and Juba, makes the possibility of such importation even more likely. The districts along the border with DR-Congo and South Sudan border plus districts along the Kampala – Juba highway should be put on high alert. Uganda has been free of the Wild Polio Virus since 1996 and was certified Polio-free in October 2006. However, there have been challenges of routine immunization in the past few months leading to an accumulation of unimmunized children. The government should accelerate routine immunization nationwide with screening of eligible children to close the immunity gap. The government should cooperate with UNICEF, WHO and other partners for smooth facilitation of immunization and monitoring activities.
South Korean actress Choi Jin Sil has left the entire country shaken. In her death, the late actress has become a symbol of the difficulties women face in this deeply conservative yet technologically savvy South Korean society.
South Korea shaken by celebrity suicide
Actress Cheo Jin Sil, suicide has gripped the nation, dominating headlines as authorities, relatives and even the government tries to determine what went wrong. It should not be that hard to figure out the reason underlying such an unfortunate eventuality. The late actress's life symbolizes the difficulties faced by a single, working, divorced mom in a deeply conservative yet tech savvy society. Choe may have killed herself in a momentary according to the investigative team, driven by malicious rumors and prolonged stress but nothing can deny stress of living with a pariah status in South Korean society. Choi spoke openly on the taboo topic and sought to change the unpopular public perception of single moms in South Korea. Korean society has never liked strong women, and thinks single moms have a personality disorder. South Korean society must shed this medieval psychology and become a support system for single mothers before taking any further lives.
Zambia is gearing up for elections at the end of this month. The leaders of the respective parties have appealed to the party members to focus campaign on issues which are important for the people of Zambia.
This is Brenda Zulu Citizen Journalist from Zambia reporting on Instablogs
Elections in Zambia are not issue based. Even when some political parties or candidates attempt to campaign on the basis of issues that they intend to address, there is no guarantee that they would fulfill them once voted for. On the other hand many citizens appear to be unaware of the connection between elections and their own development and that of the country. Political parties in Zambia are so preoccupied with power politics that very little attention is paid to development politics. It is important, however to emphasis the link between elections and development. Today there are some national issues which have been left hanging in the balance. These include the constitution making process, the awarding of hefty salary increments to politicians and other constitutional office holders, the road infrastructure country wide, social services such as health and education, employment and secure livelihoods for the Zambian people.
Congo, Uganda and South Sudan unite to fight LRA
Citing lack of progress towards a peace deal with LRA’s leader Joseph Kony, the leaders of Uganda, Congo and the autonomous region of south Sudan have agreed for the first time to co-ordinate military efforts to end one of Africa’s longest wars that has brought misery to a region bordering several countries. However, it is doubtful whether they can effectively resume an all out war against LRA. The people of Central African Republic (CAR), recently tasted LRA’s barbarism and fear the worst if the war materializes. Local Ugandans in the north do not want to jeopardize the normalcy restored by two years of ceasefire. Moreover, the south Sudanese, whose main trade route to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, and beyond passes through the affected area, oppose a renewal of war. And Congo, which would have to undertake the daunting task of driving the LRA out of its jungle hideouts in the country’s north-east, has one of the least competent armies in the world. Ugandan military believes that threat of force will drag the LRA back to negotiating table. At least those who oppose war would be encouraged by the news that has named a new negotiating team.
Pakistan protests after Australia announces India tour
Pakistan cricket board sounds really justified in accusing the Australian cricket team of practicing double standards after it confirmed to go ahead with the test tour of India. The team had postponed a test tour to Pakistan after raising concerns over its safety and the security situation within the country. The Australians have been unabashedly biased in their outlook towards Pakistan. We agree with country's grim security situation given the frequent bombings that rock the country, now and then, but since when did India become an exception to bloodshed? It too has witnessed spate of terrorist bombings in recent months at all the major cricket venues. How does that make India fair any better than Pakistan? All the talk about Pakistan's inability to provide security to the players is sham. In the end it is all about big money the Australians get to chase and possibly win in India and not Pakistan.
Malawi bars small traders from selling maize
Maize sellers have tagged the presidential order as ‘undemocratic’ since it bars them from selling the country’s staple grain. The vendors even went to the extent of saying that Muthalika lacked a sense of humanity. They asserted that it was strange for the president to attribute maize shortage in the country to the vendors while the government had sold a lot of maize to Zimbabwe despite earlier warnings that the country had little maize. The vendors in the region are not very well off rather they are small scale traders who ear their livelihood by selling the staple grain. Defending their part, they added that their prices are slightly higher as government has subsidized the ADMARC price. However, the truth is that the rich businessmen are hoarding maize and are buying out the small scale businessmen. This strategy by the so called high profile men has wrongly swayed the public opinion in favor of the current government as people have begin to think that the food situation is really bad. Hence the govt. intervened and banned private sale.
Gay parades, source of social mobilization in Brazil
Brazil is turning into a country of middle class. Given the economic advances that have occurred in recent years, more than 100 million Brazilians are part of the so-called middle class. The advancement of millions of Brazilians is transforming the country and the reflection of this are the gay parades. As with other parts of the world, the biggest event of urban social mobilization is not the May 1st, but the Gay Parades. Instead of workers demanding their rights, million of homosexuals dancing to the sound of electronic music and kissing each other! Instead of the struggle for equality, seeking the right to be different. But all this beauty and joy hide something sinister, the logic of capitalism, where everything must be bought, even the right to express the individuality. An example is the Gay Parade of Sao Paulo, the largest in the world, which is rightly held in the main artery of Brazilian capitalism, the Paulista avenue. There is no doubt that gays are gaining a larger space in Brazilian society, but this happens not because the issue of human rights in Brazil advanced, but because respect is something you buy, like a Calvin Klein underwear.
Israel to release 250 Palestinian prisoners
New released report of Ha'aretz, one of the top three Israeli widely distributed newspapers, talks about an expectation of releasing Palestinian prisoners away from any expected deal that linked to Shalit release; the Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped by Hamas in Gaza 2 years ago. Buried in a report on the Sunday decision to release 250 Palestinian prisoners was information concerning the fate of dozens of members of Palestine's Legislative Council (PLC), abducted from Ramallah shortly after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Obama war policy promises peace and stability
There is general skepticism about President elect Barack Obama’s war policy as something effectively bringing peace and stability in the Pak-afghan region. Pakhtoon community residing in Pakistan and Pakistani people in general, are also concerned about safe return of Afghan refugees to their homeland. If President Obama reinforces America’s military presence in Afghanistan not only will these refugees lose hope of getting back to their homeland in peace but more war torn Afghans will arrive in Pakistan to seek shelter. An overburdened economy and poor law and order situation will aggravate making life harder for the people in both the countries. Pakhtoon communities in both the countries therefore expect Mr.Obama to revise his war policy and come up with a peace plan in the region.
Mexican army to slow drug fight
President Calderon recently promised in a human rights progress report to the United Nations, that the Mexican army would gradually be pulled from the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering, but would not give specifics in when or how. Many have criticized Calderon for deploying more than 40,000 soldiers across Mexico. The National Human Rights Commission says some of them have tortured, raped, and even killed civilians. Authorities argue the use of soldiers is imperative in the nationwide crackdown on the drug trade because police are still too corrupt and ill equipped to take over the battle.
Jordanian drama wins Emmy for Al Ijtiyah
For the first time in the history of Jordanian drama, the Jordanian television series Al Ijtiyah won an Emmy award last week to be the first Arab production to win this prestigious award. Al Ijtiyah meaning the invasion tackled different love stories during the year 2003 at the same period of time when the Israeli army invaded the Jenin camp in the West Bank. The series was considered a controversial one; most Arab channels had refused to broadcast because the main love story was between a Palestinian freedom fighter and a Jewish girl. The production was shot on Syrian location with Jordanian, Syrian and Palestinian actors. The series was selected from amongst 40 nominees from 16 countries competing for international Emmy categories.
Indian Roman Catholics have their first female saint after Pope Benedicr XVI canonized Sister Alphonsa to sainthood at Vatican. The canonization comes at a time when Christians have been attacked by Hindu mobs in eastern and southern India.
Sister Alphonsa India’s first female saint
Pope Benedict XVI canonised of Sister Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception in the Vatican.Thousands of Christian Indians travelled to Rome for the ceremony. The Pope described her as "an exceptional woman", who lived in "extreme physical and spiritual suffering", Sister Alphonsa is only the second Indian to be elevated to sainthood. She was so determined to become a nun that she stepped into a fire to disfigure her feet so that her aunt would stop pressuring her to marry. She was plagued by serious illness for much of her life, but was known for her stoicism and compassion. She died in 1946 aged 36. After her death, numerous miracles were attributed to her powerful faith.. The canonization follows attacks on India's Christian minority by Hindu mobs in the east and south of the country. The Pope urged Christians and Hindus to "work together in building a civilisation of love".
Filipinos in the United Kingdom have condemned a BBC sketch comedy for airing a skit that is considered demeaning to Filipino domestic helpers. The "Harry and Paul” show showed a Filipino domestic worker in a maid's uniform dancing provocatively in front of a man in an attempt to seduce him.
Racist skit reflects Pinoy migrant plight
The "racist" portrayal of a Filipina domestic worker in a comedy show of the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) was only reflective of the true plight of Overseas Filipino Workers. Lack of opportunities for comfortable income force Filipinos to work overseas where they face racism, discrimination at the workplace, sexual harassment, rape, and other violent attacks. The BBC sketch is a painful reminder of the real plight of Overseas Filipino Workers which is often ignored by the Philippine government. The much-criticized skit, aired in the September 26 episode of "Harry and Paul,." It showed comedian Harry Enfield telling a postman that he is ordering his Filipino maid to mate with his friend Paul Whitehouse. The Philippine government should formally protest the racist slur. Overseas Filipino Workers are often times called heroes. President Arroyo's praise for the overseas migrants will only become more meaningless if such racial insults are not opposed.
Reports of Charles Sobhraj’s secret marriage with his girlfriend Nihita Biswas in the prison has taken a toll on Bikini Killer .Nepal's central jail authorities have tightened the security of murder 64 year old murder convict and restricted his visitors too.
Bikini Killer’s security tightened
Charles Sobhraj the notorious Bikini Killer’s wedding to his 20 year old fiancée has produced an opposite and greater reaction. The prison authorities decided to crack down on the 64-year-old murder convict. They issued an alert carrying 10 detailed instructions for the prison staff for many believe that the marriage was a gimmick to escape from the prison. Sobhraj henceforth will not be allowed of the prison except under most pressing conditions can he be escorted out. His cell is to be checked periodically and no policeman can accept any food or drink from him. The jail authorities have also cracked the whip on Sobhraj's new "wife”. The 20-year-old woman however is now allowed to meet him only twice a week, and then too, only for half an hour. In the past, she would stay with him in prison from morning to evening, often taking a packed lunch for him and sharing the food with him.
Brazilian economy is growing bigger day by day. It is fast becoming the power house of Latin America with a registered growth rate of 10 percent. Growing economic clout combined with political stability has given Brazil an opportunity to play a major role in world affairs.
Brazilian economy marches at phenomenal pace
Brazil is all set to become a country for the future with its fast growing economy moving ahead at a phenomenal pace. The country’s expanding manufacturing sector, rising agriculture output, mineral oil industry are together fuelling its economic advancement. It is transforming into a power house for Latin America whose growth becomes all the more evident at Bovespa the country’s stock exchange. Since January this year it has registered a growth rate of 10 percent, thereby expanding the country’s economic clout in the region. The political stability within the country along with the changing geo political map of the world has given Brazil an opportunity to play major role in the world affairs. No doubt it is asserting its right to not just a permanent seat on the UNSC but also major world forums such as the G8. Brazil has a long way to go in terms of addressing its social security concerns but that cannot prevent it from spreading its wings and soaring high in the sky.
India rejects Pakistani claim
In the past two decades Pakistan has time and again launched two genres of war against India. First, the proxy war: wherein it clandestinely supported violent militant activities on the Indian soil. Second, the propaganda war meant to conceal its own nefarious designs and malign India for nothing. The recent Pakistani tantrum toes the same line. It has come under increasing international pressure to rein in terror groups following the Mumbai terror strikes. Caught in the eye of the storm, it has come up with yet another fantabulous concoction of Indian fighter planes violating the Pakistani airspace near Lahore and PoK. When the world refused to buy its story, the so called space violation was comfortably scaled down to ‘technical incursion’ with no cause of alarm. Will Pakistan ever mend its ways?
Hamas celebrates founding anniversary
Over 300,000 flag-waving Palestinians attended a mass rally in Gaza on Sunday marking the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Hamas movement. Addressing the crowd, Palestinian de facto Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh vowed once again not to recognize the authority of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after his term expires on 9 January based on Palestinian constitution. He also pledged to compensate Palestinian pilgrims from Gaza who were prevented from going on the Hajj to Mecca due to Hamas' ongoing conflict with Abbas' Fatah movement. Haniyeh's speech had been billed as a 'State of the Gaza Strip' address. Haniyeh also criticized Israel's siege of the Gaza Strip, labeling it a "dirty war" against the civilian population of the Strip.
Child Begging in Pkaistan
Begging has become a routine experience in all parts of the country including educational institutes, ordinaries and even inside omni-buses. A large number of beggars are children under the age of 10 years who are not sent by their families to school for learning on account of their poverty. These children frequently get taunts and many a times abusive remarks from people who get irritated at their persistent requests for money. Around midday these poor children roam about restaurants in the hope of getting free food. In some parts of the country these poor children are subjected to sexual abuse and it is not hard to see that their experiences of open deprivation from basic life needs are likely to turn them into dysfunctional members of a reckless society. We certainly need more organizations like Children Foundation to save these kids from complete destruction.
An independent Mexican watchdog group, Citizen's Council for Public Security and Justice says more than 15,000 have been kidnapped across the nation since 1986. Official figures show 954 kidnappings from January 1 to November 30 2008, but rights groups say there are three to five more cases to each one reported. Since 1971, 856 kidnap victims have been killed, in a trend that is very much so on the increase. The explosive growth in the number of kidnappings can be explained by the participation of security forces, directly or indirectly, by selling protection, as well as negligence or incompetence.