Saturday 19 September 2009

A British woman, allegedly humiliated in courtroom, says hopeful of justice

Kaya Eldridge, who was allegedly humiliated by a lawyer during the hearing of a molestation case in India, says she is hopeful of justice.

AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA (SEPTEMBER 19, 2009) ANI- Kaya Eldridge, a British woman, who was allegedly humiliated by a lawyer during the hearing of a molestation case in India, said that she was hopeful of getting justice on Saturday (September 19).
Elridge staged a protest along with several locals and foreigners against molestation of women in India's western Ahmedabad.

"I am very positive about my case. I think if the support of the people is anything to go by, then the judicial system will have to, will have to reflect that and hopefully the truth will prevail here and we will finally get justice," she said.

Local citizens who voluntarily joined her shouted slogans demanding justice for victims of molestation and violence.

"On one hand we are inviting the guests from foreign lands and we are welcoming them and we are pampering them and on the other hand a guest lady is suffering from these atrocities." Swarup Dhruv, a cultural activist said.

High Court of India's western Gujarat state on Friday (September 18) directed the chief metropolitan magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the case.

Elridge wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, Mr. Justice KS Radhakrishnan, with signatures of people demanding action against the lawyer who allegedly asked her irrelevant question in the metropolitan court.

The issue was taken up at the High Court by a self-help group.

Expressing concern over the issue, Radhakrishnan sought report in the case after accusations were made by Eldridge that she was humiliated in the courtroom by the lawyer on Monday (September 14).

Last month, Eldridge complained that a plumber molested her when he came for a repairing work at her flat.

Guidelines of India's apex court say that court proceedings should take place 'in-camera' to avoid embarrassment to the victim and to protect her identity.

Thursday 17 September 2009

Lucy Liu, actress and UNICEF Ambassador speaks about human trafficking

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Lucy Liu, actress and UNICEF Ambassador, speaks about the need to put a stop to the crime of human trafficking at USAID's Anti-Trafficking Symposium on September 16, 2009. Since 2001 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than $134 million to combat human trafficking. USAID has funded anti-trafficking projects in more than 70 countries as a part of the coordinated U.S. government effort to combat the crime of trafficking in persons worldwide. Activities are in place to help prevent vulnerable individuals from being trafficked, to protect and reintegrate victims and to find and punish human traffickers. Lucy Liu's most recent collaboration with USAID was for the documentary "Traffic," a joint project with USAID and the MTV Foundation for the EXIT campaign. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. Agency for International Development)

Why Americans are so stirred up about Obama

Despite all the ruckus concerning town-halls lately, most
of which is the ruckus made by liberals upset that
conservatives are attending and expressing their opposition
to Obama's policies, we have been treated to some
important, if accidental, moments of honesty and clarity.

For example, while conducting a recent town-hall meeting,
Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill attempted to
calm constituents upset over the proposed "reform" by
asking "Don't you trust me?" The resounding "no's"
reverberated throughout the room, along with many boos,
which provides us with our moment of honesty.

So why don't voters trust the government or its
representatives to "fix" the problem? Partially because
they've taken a good look at the proposed "solution" over
the past few months, and the closer they look, the less
they like what they see. From federally funded abortions
(as "health care"), to reduced choices in the free-market,
to likely tax increases and health care rationing, there's
plenty to have a problem with.

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, fifty-four percent
of Americans would rather have no health care reform at
all, rather than the bills that are currently being
considered in Congress. The poll also shows that, while
eighty percent of Republicans oppose the bill, a surprising
forty percent of Democrats are opposed as well.

The other reason they're lacking in the "trust" department
is that they know the government's track record when it
comes to "fixing" things, or generally getting anything
productive done at all, much less done well.

They know government programs only get bigger, not smaller,
(unless you're talking about defense programs under liberal
Democrats). They know the stories about the five-hundred
dollar hammers and six-hundred dollar toilet seats, not to
mention the obscene overspending and fraud in Medicare and
Medicaid. They saw the great job done by local, state and
federal agencies during Katrina, and they weren't too

Which brings us to our moment of clarity, courtesy of one
of Obama's recent town-hall meetings, in which he gave a
great reason why we shouldn't trust the government to fix
much of anything, much less manage one-sixth of the economy.

Obama offered the example of the Post Office in an analogy
of how the government run option wouldn't hurt or hinder
the free market in delivering health insurance. Yes, the
US Post Office - the government agency whose failure to
sufficiently master delivery of packages from point A to
point B prompted the rise of free market choices like FedEx
and UPS.

In other words he was saying, "Don't worry about a
government run program killing off private competition,
because it will be awful, just like the Post Office".
(How's that for a vote of confidence!)

Yes, FedEx and UPS are doing fine in their competition with
the government, just as the free market would do a better
job of delivering quality, affordable health care, if not
for government interference. But that's because the Post
Office doesn't get to set the rules under which its
competitors operate.

Health care is another matter. Currently, government tells
insurance companies what products they can sell and where
they can sell them, and what policies customers can buy and
where they can buy them, (and forces them to use the
government product - Medicare - when they turn sixty-five).

I think it's fair to say that the competitors to the Post
Office wouldn't do so well under similar rules, which would
leave consumers with less reliable and lower quality

Rules and regulations under a government run health care
scheme are sure to be even worse - and so would the service.

Ronald Reagan used to tell the joke, "I'm from the
government, and I'm here to help", and it always got a
laugh. Why? Because the notion of the government being
helpful, as opposed to usually screwing things up, getting
in the way, or infringing on our liberties is laughable.

But if we allow this so-called "reform" to become law,
health care in America will "go postal". And the joke will
be on us.

About the Author:

Drew McKissick is a political strategist and former member
of the Republican National Committee with over 20 years of
experience in grassroots politics. He writes a regular
column providing analysis and commentary on the polical
scene. His website is available at . You can follow him on
Twitter at

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Canadian group vows to fight Tanzania albino murders

A Canadian group vows justice over the killings of Albinos in Tanzania, whose body parts are sold to be used in witchcraft.

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA REUTERS - A Canadian rights group says it will not rest until there is an end to the murder of albinos in Tanzania -- a minority often hunted down for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.
Since 2007 at least 53 albinos have been killed in various parts of the east African nation, with most incidents occurring in the remote northwest regions of Shinyanga and Mwanza, where superstition is deep-seated.

Albinos lack pigment in their eyes, skin or hair, making their life difficult in Africa, where there is plenty of sunshine. They are more susceptible to skin cancer and sunburn.

Tanzania has about 170,000 albinos among its 40 million people, according to government and lobby groups, and grisly stories about their killings are carried in local media.

The killers sell parts such as arms, legs, hair, skin and genitals to those involved in witchcraft, The buyers hope these grisly ingredients will make their magic more potent, according to police and albino groups.

The high level of violence against albinos reflects the strength of many Tanzanians' belief in witchcraft. Tanzanian witch doctors are believed to be the best and are also sought after by people from elsewhere in east Africa.

Ash, an albino, gave the example of a 5-year-old girl named Mariam who was attacked by a group of men in Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria.

"About a year ago men broke to their home, wielding machetes in the dark. They smashed through the door into the room where Mariam and her siblings were sleeping, and they isolated her in a separate room of the home and they took out a machete, they pinned her down against the bed and they slit her across the throat and she began to bleed. They turned her body over and they took a cooking pot and they drained her blood into a pot while her other siblings watched. Then one of the killers drank the blood on the spot from the pot. Once they were done with that they began with the right leg and they sawed it off while she was alive in pain. They then sawed off her left leg. They then began with the right arm, then moved to the left arm," said Peter Ash, the founder and director of Under The Same Sun.

"Mariam screamed in agony. She did not have the benefit of being unconscious first. She was killed alive like an animal by grown men. They did this while the siblings watched. By the time her mother and other relatives got to the scene, she was already dead and the killers had run off with the body parts, which of course they will sell to witch doctors who then take those body parts, her precious blood, her little legs, her little arms, they grind them up like meat in a butcher shop and they mix them with potions. So this crime, this genocide, this crime against humanity can continue. The witch doctors in the community will buy those body parts and they'll mix them with potions and sell them to the wealthy businessmen and businesswomen in the mining industry and fishing industry and other individuals who may have political affiliations or business affiliations, who wants to become successful, they want to win elections, they want to succeed in business, and they will consult the services of these witch doctors and they'll use Albino body parts," Ash added.

Authorities have arrested more than 90 people, including four police officers, for their role in the killings of albinos or trade in albino body parts, which witch doctors tell their clients will bring luck in love, life and business.

Ash said that Mariam's mother had taken her brother, also an albino, to a boarding school for safety, but the boy cannot go home for holidays and instead lives with foster families.

Ash will later tour another school in Kasulu in western Tanzania near the border with Burundi where about 56 albinos live.

In June, prosecutors opened at least 15 cases against suspects, five of them in Shinyanga.

The murders have damaged Tanzania's reputation for relative calm in the region, and drawn condemnation from the United Nations and European Union.

In neighbouring Burundi, at least 11 albinos have been killed since last year. So far five people have been convicted, including one who received a life sentence.

Stream of high-profile outbursts in the U.S. raises questions on state of the nation's manners

There's a fine line between famous and infamous -

As tennis champion Serena Williams discovered during the U.S. Open after threatening to stuff a ball down a judge's throat.

Member of Congress Joe Wilson was shunned after shouting at President Barack Obama during a speech on healthcare.

And rapper Kanye West was booed off stage at the Video Music Awards after congratulating winner Taylor Swift by announcing Beyonce deserved the award.

The combination of outbursts has led some to question the state of the nation's manners.

But the offenders themselves have admitted misbehaviour and been keen to make up for their mistakes.


"I wanted to apologise first to the lineswoman, to the USTA, and my fans most of all, and to Kim Clijsters who ended up having such a wonderful tournament and winning the championship, and what an amazing feat that was."


"I, last night heard from the leadership and was told that they wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate. I did."

Beyonce graciously did the work for West, inviting Swift back on stage to share the spotlight.

Which may just be enough for etiquette experts to believe the traditional American pie may be humble after all.

Julia Glover, Reuters

Australia should prevent attacks, says India

India expresses concern over recent attack on Indian students studying in Australia. The Federal government of External Affairs has also asked the Australian Government to take strict action against the culprits.

NEW DELHI, INDIA (SEPTEMBER 16, 2009) ANI- Expressing concern over recent attack on Indian students studying in Australia, the Federal government of External Affairs asked the Australian Government to take strict action against the culprits.
Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs, said on Wednesday (September 16) that India had kept in touch with Australian leadership to take strict action against the culprits for the recent assault on four Indian men.

Two Indian nationals and two other persons of Indian origin, were assaulted by a group of individuals at Melbourne late in the evening on 12th September. One of the Indian nationals, Sukhdip Singh sustained serious injuries and is undergoing treatment.

Prakash added that the police had arrested four individuals who have since been released pending further investigations.

"We are concerned at the recurring attacks on Indians in Australia. The matter was taken up by our high commission in Canberra with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith of Australia today. Our High Commission has also written to the Premier of Victoria. The Indian Consul General in Melbourne is in contact with authorities in Victoria including the police authorities. As we take note of the assurances given to us, including from the highest levels of the government and provincial authorities of Australia, it is our earnest hope that the concerned authorities would take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of Indians in Australia," said Prakash.

Prakash said that concerned authorities in Australia have been asked to implement the measures as soon as possible in order to prevent reoccurrence of assault on Indians.

"We hope that the latest incident is investigated with care and the culprits are dealt with, as per the laws of the land. It would also help, if various measures being contemplated by the Australian side, in addition to those that have already been announced, are put in place at the earliest, to prevent reoccurrence of such incidents in the future," said Prakash.

Prakash added that officials of the Consulate General of India in Melbourne, are also in touch with the members of the family of the victims, who have been assured all assistance by the Consulate.

A series of violent assaults on Indian students was reported from Australia in last few months.

The attacks, which Indian media have called race-based, caused some diplomatic discomfort between the two countries and sparked angry protests in India. Australia's government condemned the attacks but said racism was not behind them.

Around 93,000 of the 430,000 foreign students in Australia are Indians, up from around 30,000 only a few years ago.

The latest attack has added to fears that violent attacks and robberies of Indian students could seriously damage Australia's third-biggest export earner, the A$15 billion ($12.16 billion) market for overseas students.

Earlier, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also raised concerns with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, and several senior ministers have been wheeled out by the Australian government to try to avert a foreign student exodus.

Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith had also formed a new task force to deal with the problem, led by former special forces commander turned National Security Adviser Duncan Lewis.

Here's how to find a group that aligns with your values

Each of us has always been a part of a group. We are born into a family which becomes a group. As we continue through life, our groups expand and contract, but mostly expand. There is our religious group, classmates, the other nerds, braniacs, athletes, national honor society members and on and on.... From the gym community to the garden club and on to our political party, we are group heavy.

Belonging to a group is a wonderful thing-- until the group/s begin to erode our truth... and we silence our own truth to continue to "belong." Read more