'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march

'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march
Demonstrators arrive on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the 'Women's March on Washington' on January 21, 2017 (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide
Thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of scienceThousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of science

Bernie Sanders and the Movement Where the People Found Their Voice

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick
'Grandpa Wong' is a regular sight at Hong Kong's street battles (AFP Photo/VIVEK PRAKASH)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote in Zurich on May 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Buholzer)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018
The " Fearless Girl " statue on Wall Street is seen by many as a defiant symbol of women's rights under the new administration of President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

“… The Fall of Many - Seen It Yet?

You are going to see more and more personal secrets being revealed about persons in high places of popularity or government. It will seem like an epidemic of non-integrity! But what is happening is exactly what we have been teaching. The new energy has light that will expose the darkness of things that are not commensurate with integrity. They have always been there, and they were kept from being seen by many who keep secrets in the dark. Seen the change yet?

In order to get to a more stable future, you will have to go through gyrations of dark and light. What this means is that the dark is going to be revealed and push back at you. It will eventually lose. We told you this. That's what you're here for is to help those around you who don't see an escape from the past. They didn't get their nuclear war, but everything else is going into the dumper anyway. … “

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Malta PM to step down over slain reporter case: party sources

Yahoo – AFP, Matthew Xuereb, November 30, 2019

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has faced mounting criticism over his
government's handling of the murder of Caruana Galizia (AFP Photo/Christof STACHE)

Valletta (AFP) - Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will step down on January 18, party sources told AFP Saturday, following mounting criticism of his response to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Party insiders said he would step down once those behind the killing had been charged and once his Labour Party has chosen a new leader.

"He always said that he will be leaving soon and he feels that now is the time to go," said one party source.

First however, he wanted to see that the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder was solved on under his watch, as he had promised, sources added.

"After the mastermind or masterminds are arraigned in court, he plans to announce that he will be stepping down and that there will be a leadership election on January 18," a party source told AFP.

The sources did not say when 45-year-old Muscat would announce his decision -- or whether it would be via a televised announcement -- but they stressed that he would not stay beyond January 18.

The news came amid mounting pressure from Caruana Galizia's family and protesters on the streets, who have cried foul over his handling of the affair.

Mounting pressure

The escalating murder investigation has rocked the tiny Mediterranean island and reached the highest rungs of the country's politics, with two ministers and Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri stepping down from their posts this week.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Valletta Friday evening 
after Muscat refused to give immunity to the main suspect in the 2017 murder to 
disclose what he knows about the case (AFP Photo/STRINGER)

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Valletta Friday evening after Muscat refused to give immunity to the main suspect in the 2017 murder, tycoon Yorgen Fenech, to disclose what he knows about the case.

It was the sixth such demonstration in two weeks.

Fenech has identified Schembri as the mastermind behind Caruana Galizia's 2017 car bomb killing, according to sources.

Schembri was arrested on Tuesday, but his release on Thursday sparked accusations of a cover-up.

Muscat, who has vowed to resign if links were found between himself and the murder, said Friday he would remain in power, telling reporters he wanted "this case to be closed under my watch".

But Caruana Galizia's family, who have accused the prime minister of protecting his long-time chief of staff have called for him to go.

"We share Malta's shock and anger at the release of Keith Schembri," the family said in a statement.

"At least two witnesses and multiple pieces of physical evidence implicate Schembri in the assassination of our wife and mother."

They accused Muscat of playing "judge, jury, and executioner in an assassination investigation that so far implicates three of his closest colleagues".


Muscat said Friday he had recused himself from the decision on whether to grant immunity to Fenech.

Protesters reacted angrily after Yorgen Fenech, a tycoon whose business interests
span the energy and tourism sectors, was released (AFP Photo/STRINGER)

The prime minister later said he had reported Fenech to the police for attempted blackmail, saying the mogul had threatened to implicate him in the affair if he was not given a pardon.

Fenech, a tycoon whose business interests span the energy and tourism sectors, was arrested on his yacht last week after an alleged middleman in the murder, taxi driver Melvin Theuma, was offered a pardon to identify those involved.

That arrest was followed swiftly by the resignation of Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi, while economy minister Chris Cardona said he was "suspending himself".

Caruana Galizia, a popular journalist and blogger described as a "one-woman WikiLeaks", exposed cronyism and sleaze within the country's political and business elite.

Before she was killed, she had alleged that Schembri and Mizzi had been involved in corruption. She had named Cardona in a separate case.

Leaked emails revealed in court appeared to show both Schembri and Mizzi stood to receive payments from a Dubai company called 17 Black, owned by Fenech.

The Caruana Galizia family said Schembri and Fenech have the same doctor, who reportedly served as an intermediary, passing secret notes between them.

'Fear for my life'

A Maltese court is expected to rule Monday on a request by Fenech for the chief investigator in the case, Keith Arnaud, to be removed, amid allegations he also had close ties to Schembri and the prime minister.

After his release on bail Fenech told journalists he feared for his life.

"This is happening in the EU, right now. Where is the voice of the European Commission or other EU leaders?" Robert Barrington, former head of Transparency International in the UK, said on Twitter.

The European Parliament is planning to send a mission to Malta, a parliament source told AFP.

Suriname court convicts president of murder

DW, 30 November 2019

Suriname's President Desi Bouterse has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 1982 murder of 15 political opponents. The South American country is now on edge over what happens next.

Suriname President Desi Bouterse (Reuters/R. Abhelakh)

A military court in Suriname on Friday convicted President Desi Bouterse of murder for the execution of 15 opponents in 1982, plunging the South American country into political uncertainty.

Opposition parties called on Bouterse, who is on a state visit to China, to step down. He was expected to return home on Saturday or Sunday.

The 74-year-old leader was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but the military court did not issue an arrest warrant. Under Surinamese law, he cannot be arrested until all appeals have been exhausted.

After the court decision, the government asked Suriname's 560,000 people to remain calm.

Who is Bouterse?

As a junior military officer, Bouterse seized power in a coup in 1980, five years after Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands. He stepped down in 1987 under international pressure in a move that led to a democratic election, only to briefly seize power again in 1990.

He later left the army and took office again in 2010, following democratic elections won by his National Democratic Party (NDP). He secured a second term in 2015.

What did the court find? 

The court ruled that Bouterse had overseen what is known as the "December killings," in which soldiers abducted 16 opponents, among them prominent journalists, academics and military officers.

All but one of the detainees was killed at a colonial fortress in the capital Paramaribo. The sole survivor — a union later — testified against Bouterse.

What led up to decision?

The court decision marks a turning point in a trail that began in 2007, when Bouterse accepted "political responsibility'' for the killings but insisted he was not present.

Bouterse and the NDP have repeatedly sought to obstruct the trial. Shortly after taking office in 2010, the NDP-controlled National Assembly granted him amnesty that was overturned by the constitutional court.

Then in 2016, the president asked the attorney general to halt the legal proceedings against him, but the court ruled against the move because the trial had already started.

Calls to implement law

Angelic del Castillo, head of the opposition Democratic Alternative '91 party, said Bouterse had "disqualified himself" and demanded he immediately resign.

In a joint statement, the diplomatic missions of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States called on the final verdict in the killings to be "implemented and upheld in accordance with the rule of law."

"The integrity and independence of the Judiciary is a pillar in Suriname society," they said.

Drug trafficking

In 2009, a Dutch court sentenced Bouterse to 11 years in prison in absentia for drug trafficking. However, his 2010 election victory protected him from being extradited under an Interpol warrant.

In 2015, his son, Dino Bouterse, was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison in the United States after being convicted of drug smuggling and trying to help the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah establish a base in Suriname. He had previously been picked to run Suriname's counter-terrorism unit.

A Suriname judge in 2005 convicted Dino of trafficking arms, drugs and running a gang.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Japan store to replace staff 'period badges' after uproar

Yahoo – AFP, November 29, 2019

One of Daimaru's upscale department stores in the western city of Osaka adopted
'period badges' proposed by female employees (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro NOGI)

Tokyo (AFP) - A Japanese department store has scrapped a "period badge" for employees that let colleagues know they were menstruating, after the policy sparked an internet storm, a spokeswoman said Friday.

One of Daimaru's upscale department stores in the western city of Osaka began the programme last month, adopting an idea proposed by female employees.

The voluntary badges were intended to alert colleagues to the idea that coworkers with severe menstrual pains -- or other period-related needs -- might require longer breaks or extra help lifting heavy objects.

But after local media reported the policy, prompting outrage on Twitter, several customers rang the store to question the merit of what is now dubbed a "period badge".

"We are not scrapping the programme itself because it is strictly for internal communication, among those who work here," a company spokeswoman told AFP.

But she said the store will use something other than the badge.

"Most of our staff are women and staff members support this programme. We will continue in a better way," she said.

The idea came as the luxury store prepared to launch a new section for products related to female hygiene on a floor dedicated to young women's fashion.

During its planning, staff openly discussed their experiences with periods and ways to improve the work environment.

To launch the section, the store worked with "Seiri-chan", a comic-book character whose name means "Ms. Period", which has been made into a new movie.

The store then created a badge that announced the start of the section's opening from November 22 on one side, with the pink character on the other.

"There was a time when speaking openly about periods just did not happen. Now we can do this," the Daimaru spokeswoman said.

"Everyone experiences periods differently. Through discussions, we believe this can lead to greater understanding of our experiences," she said.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Aid group calls on pension funds to ditch dubious arms investments

DutchNews, November 28, 2019

Photo: zeferli@gmail.com via Depositphotos.com

Nine of the biggest Dutch pension funds are investing in companies which supply weapons to regimes that violate human rights, according to research by Dutch aid group Pax

Pax says the funds invest more than €1bn in dubious weapons manufacturers, with civil service giant ABP plus health fund PFZW and engineering fund PME accounting for €927m of the total. 

The findings come from a new study by the Fair Pension Guide. 

‘Some of most Dutch people’s retirement money is invested in arms companies that, for instance, keep Saudi Arabia’s jet fighters in the air,’ PAX spokesman Cor Oudes said in a statement. ‘These planes drop bombs that kill and maim civilians in Yemen.’ 

The study looks at the largest companies supplying weapons to around 50 countries either currently involved in an armed conflict or which violate human rights. 

Aircraft engines 

Of the 14 companies supplying weapons to countries with poor human rights records, United Technologies Corporation and General Electric have the most Dutch pension fund investment. 

Both companies provide and maintain aircraft engines for the air forces of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Pax says. 

The organisation says pension funds should develop good arms trade policies and urges funds to encourage these arms manufacturers to stop selling arms to dubious regimes. 

‘If the manufacturers fail to take action, pension funds should exclude these companies from their investments,’ Pax said. 

Last year, civil service pension fund ABP, one of the biggest pension funds in world, said it is phasing out all investments in tobacco and nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hong Kong leader offers mea culpa, but no concessions

Yahoo – AFP, Yan ZHAO, Xinqi SU, November 26, 2019

The result -- the first vote held since protests engulfed the city -- was a humiliating
rebuke to Beijing and Lam (AFP Photo/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

Hong Kong's unpopular leader Carrie Lam acknowledged Tuesday that public dissatisfaction with her government fuelled a landslide win by pro-democracy candidates in local elections, but she drew fresh criticism by offering no new concessions to resolve months of violent protests.

In China, state media sought to downplay and discredit the weekend ballot that delivered a stinging rebuke to the financial hub's pro-Beijing establishment.

Lam admitted that the district council election result revealed public concern over "deficiencies in the government, including unhappiness with the time taken to deal with" the unrest.

In a rout that stunned the semi-autonomous territory, candidates opposing control by China seized an overwhelming majority of 452 elected seats in the city's 18 district councils, bodies historically dominated by a Beijing-aligned establishment.

It was a humiliating rebuke to Beijing and Lam, who has dismissed calls for political reform and repeatedly suggested that a silent majority supported her administration.

Since the polls, pro-democracy politicians have stepped up calls for Lam to meet key demands such as direct popular elections for the city's leadership and legislature, and a probe into alleged police brutality against demonstrators.

But in her weekly press briefing, Lam sidestepped those calls, instead denouncing street violence and repeating earlier pledges to step up a cross-party dialogue on the root causes of the turmoil, proposals previously dismissed by her opponents as inadequate.

The result -- the first vote held since protests engulfed the city -- was a 
humiliating rebuke to Beijing and Lam (AFP Photo/NICOLAS ASFOURI)

'In a coma'

Millions of Hong Kongers marched in protest rallies earlier this year after Lam's government introduced a bill allowing extraditions to China.

It was eventually withdrawn under public pressure, but fuelled growing fears that Beijing was tightening its grip, leading to broader reform demands and violent clashes between police and protesters.

Lam's latest comments indicated "no reflection, no response and no resolution" for Hong Kong's ongoing crisis, said Lam Cheuk-ting, a lawmaker with the Democratic Party, the city's largest anti-establishment party.

"While the pro-establishment camp was finally awakened by votes, Lam still chooses to remain asleep, as deeply as in a coma," he said.

China's state media, however, cast doubt on the vote's legitimacy, focusing on violence that marred campaigning.

The People's Daily said "social unrest... has seriously disrupted the electoral process," while an editorial in the English-language China Daily said the vote was "skewed by intimidation" and "dirty tricks" that hurt pro-establishment candidates.

The electoral drubbing has revived speculation that Lam might be dumped by Beijing, but a Chinese government spokesman on Monday reiterated support for her.

Millions of Hong Kongers took to the streets earlier this year to protest a bill 
allowing extraditions to China (AFP Photo/Philip FONG)

Asked whether China wanted her to take responsibility for the rout, Lam said she had received no such communications from Beijing.

Officials at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where police and protesters clashed violently more than a week ago, said they searched the entire campus Tuesday to find just one remaining holdout, raising hopes that a police siege of the campus could be nearing an end.

However, campus officials added that they could not rule out the possibility that some protesters remained hidden.

The government announced separately that the busiest road tunnel linking Hong Kong island and the city's mainland would reopen on Wednesday for the first time since November 13, when it was closed for safety reasons as unrest at the university began to escalate.

The closure added to the strain on transport in the territory, where subway lines also have repeatedly been shut down due to violent protests.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Priests who abused deaf children get 40-year jail terms in Argentina

Yahoo – AFP, November 25, 2019

Victims and relatives celebrate outside the court after hearing their abusers
get lengthy jail sentences for years of sexual abuse at the Provolo institute
for deaf children in Mendoza, Argentina (AFP Photo/Andres Larrovere)

Mendoza (Argentina) (AFP) - Two Roman Catholic priests were each sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in Argentina for the sexual abuse, including rape, of deaf children, a court in the western city of Mendoza ruled Monday.

Argentine priest Horacio Corbacho was sentenced to 45 years in jail, while a 42-year sentence was imposed on Italian Nicola Corradi for the abuse of some 20 children at the Provolo Institute for deaf and hearing-impaired children between 2004 and 2016.

The trial, one of several involving the school that have yet to begin, has sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church in the homeland of Pope Francis.

The court said the sentences took into account the aggravating circumstances that the priests were responsible for the children's wellbeing, as well as the fact that the victims were minors living at the boarding school.

Italian Catholic priest Nicola Corradi being wheeled into court before being 
sentenced to 42 years for sexually abusing minors at a school for the
deaf in Mendoza, Argentina (AFP Photo/Andres Larrovere)

The victims were children and adolescents aged between four and 17.

The school's gardener, Armando Gomez, was also jailed for 18 years for sexual abuse.

Neither of the three defendants made any response when their sentences were read out. Corradi, the eldest, had been brought into court on a wheelchair.

Outside the court a group of young people waited for the ruling, holding up banners which said "Support for the Survivors of Provolo."

Ezequiel Villalonga (L), 18, who accused Italian priest Nicola Corradi and two 
others of sexual abuse at the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, celebrates with 
other victims and relatives after they received lengthy jail sentences (AFP
 Photo/Andres Larrovere)

Some burst into wild celebrations when the sentence was read out in court. Some of the victims' mothers simply embraced and wept.

School shut down

Corbacho, 59, and 83-year-old Corradi had been held in preventive detention since their arrest three years ago on charges of child sex abuse at the school.

Apart from the gardener, several other staff at the school were taken into custody after the allegations of abuse first came to light in 2016, and the institute, 1,000 kilometers west of Buenos Aires, was shut down.

Italian Catholic priest Nicola Corradi being wheeled into court
ahead of his sentencing Monday (AFP Photo/Andres Larrovere)

They included a 42-year-old Japanese nun, Kosaka Kumiko, who was arrested later after surrendering to authorities. She was charged with complicity with the two priests.

The trial began on August 5 and heard evidence from 13 victims from the institute during in camera hearings.

In a fast-tracked trial last year, a former altar boy, Jorge Bordon, 50, received a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to the sexual abuse of five children.

Another of the defendants was deemed mentally incompetent by the court for being disabled and having suffered sexual abuse himself as a child.

A woman holds posters of people accused of sexual abuse, corruption of children 
and mistreatment during a demonstration outside the Mendoza court (AFP Photo/
Andres Larrovere)

Fourteen more defendants are facing trial in two other separate cases involving the school.

Corradi arrived in Argentina in 1970 from the Provolo Institute in Verona, Italy, and took over the institution in the South American country, initially in La Plata near Buenos Aires, and then, from 1998, in Mendoza.

Other cases

Prosecutors have investigated other cases of abuse at the La Plata branch of the Provolo Institute which will also go to trial.

Argentine Catholic priest Horacio Corbacho at court before being 
sentenced to 45 years in prison for the sexual abuse of deaf 
children in his care in Mendoza (AFP Photo/Andres Larrovere)

"Life was very bad in there," one of the victims, 18-year-old Ezequiel Villalonga, told AFP at the beginning of the trial, highlighting the vulnerability of the children at the Mendoza school.

"We didn't learn anything. We didn't have any communication," Villalonga said of the school, set up to educate children with impaired hearing or speech disorders.

"We didn't know sign language, we didn't know what we were writing, we asked other classmates and, also, nobody understood anything."

Femicide: A global scourge

Yahoo – AFP, Lucie PEYTERMANN and Mariette LE ROUX, November 19, 2019

The share by gender of homicides and partner-killings worldwide.
(AFP Photo/Maryam EL HAMOUCHI)

Paris (AFP) - Every day in 2017, 137 women and girls were intentionally killed by their partner or a family member somewhere in the world, according to UN statistics.

This adds up to over 50,000 women's lives ended by those closest to them, a scourge blamed on deep-rooted gender inequality and damaging stereotypes of women as weaker and less valuable members of society.

Here is an overview of the worldwide killings of women, also called femicide.

The toll

In 2017, some 87,000 women and girls were murdered worldwide, according to a 2018 report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Of these, 58 percent had their life taken by someone in their inner circle -- 30,000 by their spouse or intimate partner, and another 20,000 by a member of their own family.

The report showed that men were four times more likely than women to fall victim to homicide (they form 80 percent of all murder victims) but more often than not died at the hands of a stranger.

Fewer than one in five murdered men were killed by their life partner, compared to 82 percent for women.

Women in Africa are most likely to be killed by a spouse or family member, with a rate of nearly 70 percent (19,000 murders) compared to 38 percent (3,000 murders) in Europe, the region with the smallest share, said the UNODC.

In absolute numbers, Asia had the most severe toll, with 20,000 women killed by a partner or family member in 2017.

Husbands, fathers, brothers, mothers

The high murder rate among women is a consequence of rampant gender-based violence.

Nearly a third of women who have been in a relationship reported having experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their partner, or a non-partner, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Many of the victims of 'femicide' are killed by their current and former partners, but they are also killed by fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and other family members because of their role and status as women," said the UNODC.

These killings, it added, do "not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-based violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives."

The WHO report also blamed "unequal power of women relative to men" and the "normative use of violence to resolve conflict".


Emergencies such as poverty, war and humanitarian crises make women even more vulnerable.

Countries topping a UN-compiled list of "intentional homicides, female" are mostly in Latin America and Africa, regions which struggle with gang and ethnic wars, unemployment and privation.

Topping the list is El Salvador with 13.9 out of every 100,000 women murdered in 2017, followed by Jamaica with 11 per 100,000 in the same year.

The Central African Republic was in third place with 10.4 per 100,000 based on 2016 statistics, followed by South Africa with 9.1 per 100,000 in 2011.

The real numbers are likely to be higher, with reports based on whatever data is gathered by national statistical systems -- severely lacking in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Many wars, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi to Kosovo and Iraq, are known for the tactic of targeting women, who are raped, beaten, taken as sex slaves, and often killed, as a "weapon of war".


According to the UN, some 1,000 of the 5,000 so-called "honour killings" reported around the world every year, are committed in India.

These are crimes committed by close relatives after a woman or girl is deemed to have diverted from religious or traditional mores and values -- often for falling in love with a man from the wrong family, or for engaging in sex before marriage.

They are shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered, or stabbed to death with what the UN describes as "horrifying regularity", often in countries where the laws exempt the perpetrators from punishment.

Pakistan sees hundreds of these killings every year, while in Afghanistan 243 cases were recorded between April 2011 and August 2013.

Change coming?

Spain is hailed in some quarters for turning the tide in the battle against femicide through a 2004 law against gender-targeted violence that sought to address the problem in different spheres simultaneously -- social, educational and correctional.

About 100 special courts and police units were also set up.

Last year, 50 women were murdered in Spain, and 51 so far this year, down from 71 in 2003.

Activists say the number is still too high in a country where judges are accused of bungling cases involving violence against women.

Last month, a court caused widespread anger by convicting five men accused of gang-raping a teenager of a lesser charge of sexual abuse on the grounds that she did not fight back.

There are action plans to combat violence against women in all of Canada's 10 provinces and marital violence has fallen since 2009.

"Training police has been one of the most beneficial factors," said Manon Monastesse, of the federation of homes of refuge for women.

But a woman still dies in Canada every six days at the hands of her partner, with indigenous Canadians six times more at risk.

Thousands in Brussels protest violence against women

Yahoo – AFP, 24 November 2019

Protesters placed red shoes on the ground as a symbol of the victims of
violence against women

Around 10,000 people took part in a protest march in Brussels on Sunday calling for an end to violence against women, police said, a day after similar demonstrations in France and Italy.

The protesters in the Belgian capital paid homage to women killed by partners or ex-partners, then marched to the Palace of Justice where they placed pairs of red shoes as a symbol of femicide victims.

"Belgium is a very complex country with many levels of power; federal, regional and communal and all these levels of powers do little things to tackle violence against women. But the main thing we are demanding is a national plan," said Celine Caudron, one of the organisers of the protest.

"It is important to punish the perpetrators but what we want most is that the violence doesn't happen in the first place."

The marchers held up placards bearing messages such as "That's enough" and "Not one more life".

Also prominent were the names of the 22 women killed by men in Belgium this year.

Outside the law courts building the demonstrators set off alarms and made noise as a "protest against the silence" which surrounds the deaths of battered women.

According to Mirabal, a Belgium umbrella group of organisation opposing violence against women, there have been 98 femicides in the country since 2017, a figure "which, in proportion to the population, is well above the average for European nations".

Tens of thousands marched in France and Italy on Saturday calling for an end to violence against women.

The marches came ahead of the UN-recognised International day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Monday.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Six protesters killed in south Iraq as unrest intensifies

Yahoo – AFP, Bassem al-Rikaby, November 24, 2019

In the oil-rich southern city of Basra, demonstrators blocked main roads from
dawn (AFP Photo/Hussein FALEH)

Nasiriyah (Iraq) (AFP) - Six protesters were killed Sunday in Iraq's south where angry demonstrations turned up the heat on a paralysed government facing the country's largest grassroots movement in decades.

Three demonstrators died and around 50 were wounded in clashes with security forces near the key southern port of Umm Qasr, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission reported.

An AFP correspondent said security forces had fired live rounds at protesters trying to block access to the port, a vital lifeline for food and medicine imports as well as energy exports.

Hours earlier, before dawn, three protesters were shot dead and at least 47 wounded by security forces in Nasiriyah, some 300 kilometres (200 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, medical sources said.

Protesters there blockaded five main bridges over the Euphrates River, shut down schools and burned tyres outside public offices.

They blocked access to oil fields and companies around the city, torching as well its Shiite endowment centre, a government body that manages religious sites.

Iraqi protesters are angered by rampant government corruption, poor services 
and lack of jobs (AFP Photo/SABAH ARAR)

Since October 1, Iraq's capital and majority-Shiite south have been swept by mass rallies against corruption, a lack of jobs and poor services that have escalated into calls for a complete overhaul of the ruling elite.

Top leaders have publicly acknowledged the demands as legitimate and promised measures to appease protesters, including hiring more civil servants, reforming the electoral system and reshuffling the cabinet.

But the rallies have continued, waning on some days but swelling again, despite the bloodshed, when demonstrators have felt politicians are stalling.

"We are not afraid of threats," said one protester, Salem Hassan, in the southern city of Amara.

"We cannot remain silent in the face of the barbarism of the leaders and the time they take to satisfy our demands."

Live rounds fired

An estimated 350 people have been killed and thousands wounded since October 1, according to a tally compiled by AFP as authorities no longer provide updated figures.

Activists called for a general strike in Basra, where demonstrators burned 
tyres to cut off roads (AFP Photo/Hussein FALEH)

Iraq's south, a rural area where tribal allegiances are strong, has carried the torch of the movement for weeks, with students and teachers leading rallies outside schools and public offices.

The education ministry issued a directive for schools to open normally on Sunday, the first day of the work week in Iraq, but protesters in Nasiriyah defied the order and shut down schools anyway, AFP's correspondent said.

In the oil-rich southern city of Basra, demonstrators blocked main roads, including those leading to the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair.

Clashes also pitted protesters against security forces overnight in Karbala, one of Iraq's two Shiite holy cities.

The two sides lobbed Molotov cocktails at each other from behind barricades set up in small alleyways.

"They're throwing Molotov cocktails at us and at midnight they started shooting live rounds," one demonstrator said about the security forces.

In the night-time clashes, the streets were lit only by fires from the makeshift incendiary weapons, and by green laser pointers used by demonstrators to harass riot police.

Iraqi anti-government protesters gathered near the Al-Ahrar bridge in Baghdad, 
where three protesters were killed and dozens wounded in clashes with security 
forces on Saturday (AFP Photo/SABAH ARAR)

"Our demands are clear," said a demonstrator, his face wrapped in a black scarf.

"The downfall of this corrupt government."

Budget talks

Iraq is the 12th most corrupt country in the world, says Transparency International, a key driver of the popular anger behind the mass protests.

The activists accuse elites of awarding public sector jobs based on bribes, nepotism or sectarianism, while ignoring a painful youth unemployment rate of 25 percent.

Iraq's cabinet is currently discussing the 2020 budget before it is submitted to parliament and government sources say it is expected to be one of the country's largest yet.

Sunday's violence came a day after the surprise visit of US Vice President Mike Pence to Iraq, where he dropped in on American troops stationed in the country's west and met top leaders in the Kurdish region in the north.

He did not, however, meet officials in Baghdad, with officials citing "security reasons".

Washington and Baghdad have been close allies since the US-led 2003 invasion that toppled ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, but ties are now at their coldest in years, officials from both countries have told AFP.