Pakistan frames law against ‘honour killing’

Sunday, October 9, 2016

On Thursday, Pakistan’s parliament announced a bill has been passed against the practice of honour killing. Per the legislation, those convicted of honour killing would be imprisoned for 25 years to life.

In the practice of honour killing, men had the right to kill a female relative deemed to have brought dishonour to the family. Thus, murderers could avoid death-for-death Qisas ((ar))Arabic: ?retribution in kind by paying blood money according to Diyya ((ar))Arabic: ?blood money in Shari’a law.

The legislation, which was jointly approved by upper and lower parliament, allows the perpetrator to avoid the death penalty if the victim’s family forgives him, but the convict still faces imprisonment.

Last year, more than 1000 honour killing cases were reported in Pakistan. The legislation was presented as eliminating loopholes from past legislation against honour-killing. Pakistani human rights activist Farzana Bari noted the judge has unrestricted power to choose whether the murder qualifies as honour killing.

Asserting in parliament that 17,000 females in Pakistan have eloped since 2014, Conservative senator Hafiz Hamdulla later told the Associated Press, “They are trying to impose Western culture over here. We will not allow […] We will impose the law that our holy Quran and Sunnah say”.

The parliament also passed an anti-rape law mandating a DNA test. According to Shari’a law, proof of rape calls for multiple eyewitnesses. According to the legislation, the rapist of a minor or disabled person would face life imprisonment or a death sentence.

After the bill against honour killing was passed, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “Women are the most essential part of our society and I believe in their empowerment, protection and emancipation.”

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Wikinews interviews specialists on China, Iran, Russia support for al-Assad

Monday, September 23, 2013

Over the past week, diplomatic actions have averted — or, at least delayed — military strikes on Syria by the United States. Wikinews sought input from a range of international experts on the situation; and, the tensions caused by Russia’s support for the al-Assad regime despite its apparent use of chemical weapons.

File:Ghouta chemical attack map.svg

Tensions in the country increased dramatically, late August when it was reported between 100 and 1,300 people were killed in an alleged chemical attack. Many of those killed appeared to be children, with some of the pictures and video coming out of the country showing — according to witnesses — those who died from apparent suffocation; some foaming at the mouth, others having convulsions.

Amongst Syria’s few remaining allies, Iran, China, and Russia continue to oppose calls for military intervention. In an effort to provide a better-understanding of the reasoning behind their ongoing support, the following people were posed a range of questions.

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Wikinews interviews DuckDuckGo, Opera, Mozilla, Wikimedia about DoNotTrack feature

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Following the introduction of a “Do Not Track” feature in modern browsers at the end of last year, Wikinews interviewed several companies and groups about the feature.

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Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

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Becoming A Medical Office Assistant

byadmin

Working in the medical field is truly rewarding and has a variety of benefits. There are a number of different fields in which to choose from. Medical office assisting is just one of the many opportunities available for students who wish to work in the medical field and make a difference. A medical office assistant has many different responsibilities in the medical office which means very specific training is required before you begin a career in this field.

TasksA medical office assistant is a professional who performs a wide variety of tasks that are crucial in the overall function of a medical office. You can obtain a certificate or diploma both online and off. The more education you have in the field the better chances you will have in obtaining a long-term career with good pay.

Educational RequirementsIf you want to pursue a career in medical office assisting, you will first be required to obtain a certificate, diploma, or degree in this field. Many of these programs are offered online and through community colleges and vocational schools. Most of the medical assisting programs typically take less than one year to complete and prepare you for all of the medical tasks you will be responsible when you are out in the work force. In order to better your chances for a career, you should pursue an Associate’s degree in medical assisting.

The program that you choose must be approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs as well as the Health Education Schools Accrediting Bureau.

CourseworkCoursework will vary depending on your program but many of the classes will remain consistent throughout. You will be required to take courses such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, accounting, insurance processing, medical ethics, and computer applications. You should be prepared to take a wide variety of classes as your responsibilities as a medical assistant will be very diverse.

After all of your coursework has been completed you will need to become certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants.

ConclusionThere is nothing quite as rewarding as a career in the medical field. If you like working with others, have a great attention to detail, and are able to perform tasks in a timely and efficient manner, then this may be the right career choice for you. It won’t always be easy but it will always be rewarding.

World’s oldest living woman dies at age 115

Friday, January 19, 2007

The world’s oldest known woman, Montrealer Julie Winnefred Bertrand, died on Thursday, passing away peacefully in her sleep.

She earned the distinction as the oldest living woman when 116-year-old Elizabeth Bolden of Tennessee, U.S.A. died on December 11, 2006.

Bertrand was born on September 16, 1891 in Coaticook, a town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, and lived there for the majority of her life. She was the oldest of six children, and never married. She moved to Montreal after the death of her parents, and later moved into a nursing home.

She had never left her sixth-floor room in the nursing home for two years, but unexpectedly, she asked to tour the building the day before she died.

Bertrand will be buried in Coaticook.

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Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, August 13, 2009.

The French capital Paris has seen a second night of violence by demonstrators, who have blamed police for the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday.

On Sunday night youths in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, set 29 vehicles alight and threw stones and petrol bombs at police. Monday night was “relatively calm” according to Samira Amrouche, spokeswoman for the regional administration, the authorities having depolyed 40 vans of riot police only 8 vehicles were burnt.

The motorcyclist, a pizza deliveryman, was killed when he fled police attempting to examine his documents, dying when he was struck by a pursuing police vehicle according to the youths,however in the police version his death was a result of him crashing into barriers.

The current violence has echoes of the unrest in 2005, with again dissaffected youths of Arab and black descent venting their anger and frustration.

Sources

  • “Paris suburb youths fight police” — BBC Online, August 11, 2009
  • “Plea for calm after Paris violence” — Press Association, August 11, 2009

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders succeeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.

Sources

  • An. “Canadian and Mexican leaders fail to reach agreement on visas” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • An. “North American leaders wrap up summit, joint statement embodies cooperation” — Xinhua News Agency, August 11, 2009
  • Tanya Huntington Hyde. “Ignoring Mexico’s human rights abuses” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Border ban angers Mexico truckers” — BBC Online, August 09, 2009

Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal) have foiled an alleged plot to assasinate the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. Acting on intelligence gathered over a year the Federal Police arrested five drug cartel members on Sunday and publicly paraded their captives and a number of weapons ,including automatic rifles, on Monday. Speaking during a summit of North American leaders Calderón played down the threats on his life, saying that the cartels are being destroyed by his policies.

Some 11000 have died since President Calderón’s took office in 2006 and made the war on drugs a cornerstone of his administration.

Sources

  • “Drug cartel allegedly plotted to kill Mexican leader” — CNN, August 11, 2009
  • “Mexican police foil drug cartel plot to kill president” —  August 11, 2009
  • Julie Watson. “Mexico: Suspect plotted to kill president” — Associated Press, August 10, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced by a court in Burma to a further three years of house arrest for violating the terms of her previous sentence. However her sentence was immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of Burmese head of state Senior-General Than Shwe out of respect for her father General Aung San and out of a desire for “national reconciliation”.

The period of her arrest will prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the general elections scheduled for 2010. The sentence was immediately condemned by Western leaders, and breaking from their usual silence, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) through its current chair Thailand issued a statement expressing disappointment. The ASEAN statement and talk of further European Union and United States sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on Southeast Asian country given the support of India and China.

The Chinese issued a statement calling for the world to respect Burmese sovereignty and laws, and is seen as an indication that China, a veto power will not support any United Nations actions.

John Yettaw whose unauthorised visit led to Aung San Suu Kyi’s prosecution has himself been sentenced to seven years imprisonment, four of which will be for hard labour.

Sources

  • “Asian regrets at Suu Kyi verdict” — BBC Online, August 12,2009
  • Li. “Myanmar gov’t gives reasons to commute Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence” — Xinhua News Agency, August 12, 2009

Four employees of the Rio Tinto Group have been formally arrested in China on charges of bribery and using improper practises in its negotiations with Chinese companies. The Chinese accuse the men of improperly learning the negotiating position of Chinese companies wishing to buy iron ore, and through this charging 700 billion yuan (US$102.46 billion) more then they would otherwise have been able to

The four were initially held on espionage charges and have been held since early July. The formal charges allows the Chinese authorities to hold the four a further seven months as it prepares its case against them. Their arrests followed the collapse of an attempted by Chinese owned Chinalco to raise its stake in the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group to 18%.

Sources

  • Anne Barrowclough. “Rio Tinto China executives charged with bribery” — The Times, August 12, 2009
  • “Watchdog on secrets: Rio caused “huge loss”” — Xinhua News Agency, August 10, 2009
  • “A souring relationship” — The Economist, August 10, 2009

Michael Jackson will be the star of a film to be released on October 28, some four months after his death. The film will be primarily cut from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the series of concerts that would have taken place at the O2 in London, but will also feature interviews with Jackson’s family and friends.

The film becomes possible after AEG Live, the promoter of the O2 concerts, reached an US$60 million agreement with Columbia Pictures for over 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his swan song.

“He was the architect of ‘This is it‘, and we were his builders…” said Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s collaborator on the project “…it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph.”

Sources

  • Rosie Swash. “Michael Jackson film gets October release date” — The Guardian, August 11, 2009
  • “Michael Jackson rehearsal film set for worldwide cinematic release” — New Musical Express, August 11, 2009

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How To Choose The Best Yogurt Maker

How to Choose the Best Yogurt Maker By Atica Brewton

Many people who are seeking a more healthy diet and lifestyle are contemplating what is the best yogurt maker for their budget. There are many different brands to choose from with a plethora of options and price ranges. Although there are many to choose from, the difference between competing yogurt makers is minimal. All you need is a device that will maintain the yogurt mixture at the required temperature for a set amount of time. Honestly, the best yogurt maker is the least expensive and most reliable appliance that fits your budget.

Many consumers choose the least expensive option and just won’t buy a yogurt maker. I don’t think these people are cheap, but I do think they should explore their options. Instead, they will use their oven for heat. This is a viable option but it will end up costing you in the long run because of how much electricity is required to keep an oven heated for at least 6 to 8 hours. I recommend they purchase a yogurt maker instead because it is more energy efficient and won’t use nearly as much electricity as their oven. I must repeat that they best yogurt maker is the most inexpensive option.

Another option I’ve heard from several people is to use a microwave convection oven. Once again, this is a large appliance that draws tons of electricity so your power bill will be affected from leaving the microwave on for several hours. Also your microwave is tied up and can’t be used while your yogurt is heating. Some people would be annoyed by the constant noise of the microwave. It just seems easier and more hassle-free to invest in an inexpensive yogurt maker.

There are several ways to make yogurt using alternative heat sources. All of these options are legitimate and can yield a wonderful tasting snack. I recommend that you follow whatever method works best for you. I like to keep things simple and worry-free. The less utensils I dirty during the process, the better. Since I make yogurt several times per week, this works best for me. In my opinion, the best yogurt maker is the most user-friendly and inexpensive device available.

The author’s website Yogurt Maker Enthusiast features tips on finding the best yogurt maker, how to use yogurt makers, yogurt starters and homemade yogurt recipes.

Yahoo launches new Podcast Search

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Yahoo! announced in its blog Sunday the beginning of a public beta test of its new Podcast search service. The new service makes it easier for people to find and listen to podcasts.

Podcasts are short downloadable audio shows, very similar to a radio show. Podcasts are most commonly downloaded to portable mp3 players such as the iPod for which they are named, but they can be listened to on a computer or burned to a CD as well.

“Yahoo Podcasts offers a comprehensive directory of podcast series and individual shows from across the web, complete with detailed search results, most popular and highest-rated lists, editorial picks, and a full collection of tools you can use. These community tools include ratings, reviews, and the ability to tag audio content, or view the tags that other people add,” Lee Ott wrote in the Yahoo blog.

Yahoo! is the first the large web company to offer a podcast search services. Podcast search is currently offered by several smaller websites including Podcast.net, Blinkx, and Odeo.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a while, it’s a great way for people to find, listen to, and consume podcasts as they grow more popular.” said Yahoo! spokesperson Meagan Busath.

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Wikinews interviews Joe Schriner, Independent U.S. presidential candidate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Journalist, counselor, painter, and US 2012 Presidential candidate Joe Schriner of Cleveland, Ohio took some time to discuss his campaign with Wikinews in an interview.

Schriner previously ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but failed to gain much traction in the races. He announced his candidacy for the 2012 race immediately following the 2008 election. Schriner refers to himself as the “Average Joe” candidate, and advocates a pro-life and pro-environmentalist platform. He has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, and has published public policy papers exploring solutions to American issues.

Wikinews reporter William Saturn? talks with Schriner and discusses his campaign.

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