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Archive for the ‘AFRICA’ Category

Girls being force-fed for marriage as junta revives fattening farms

In AFRICA, WOMEN on 01/03/2009 at 7:48 AM

Fears are growing for the fate of thousands of young girls in rural Mauritania, where campaigners say the cruel practice of force-feeding young girls for marriage is making a significant comeback since a military junta took over the West African country. Aminetou Mint Ely, a women’s rights campaigner, said girls as young as five were still being subjected to the tradition of leblouh every year. The practice sees them tortured into swallowing gargantuan amounts of food and liquid – and consuming their vomit if they reject it… The Observer.

The Food Chain: Movable Feast Carries a Pollution Price Tag

In AFRICA, ENVIRONMENT, EUROPE on 26/04/2008 at 2:26 PM

Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya. The movable feast comes at a cost: pollution — especially carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas — from transporting the food. Under longstanding trade agreements, fuel for international freight carried by sea and air is not taxed. Now, many economists, environmental advocates and politicians say it is time to make shippers and shoppers pay for the pollution, through taxes or other measures. “We’re shifting goods around the world in a way that looks really bizarre,” said an Oxford University economist … [who] noted that Britain imports — and exports — 15,000 tons of waffles a year, and similarly exchanges 20 tons of bottled water with Australia… New York Times

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers…

In AFRICA, ODD NEWS, SEX on 25/04/2008 at 2:33 PM

…accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft. Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur. Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo’s sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings. Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure… “I’m tempted to say it’s one huge joke,” [police chief Jean-Dieudonne] Oleko said. “But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it’s become tiny or that they’ve become impotent. To that I tell them, ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it’,” he said.