Anti-violence ads criticized
Rights advocates on Thursday criticized a government ad campaign on violence against women, saying it minimizes the problem and depicts women as aggressors, too. A video included in the campaign urges men and women to “count to 10” before lashing out at people in their home. However, activists said that reduces a huge structural and cultural problem to a simple issue of anger management. “Shamefully, we’re seeing how federal authorities are mounting campaigns like ‘Count to 10’ that mirrors violence against women and puts the responsibility on the victims and underplays the crimes, making them appear just as simple emotional issues,” the National Observatory on Feminicide said in a statement.
Mahathir ousted from party
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was on Thursday ousted from the Bersatu political party along with his son and three other senior members, but he has vowed to challenge the move. “The unilateral action by Bersatu’s president to sack us without valid reason is due to his own fears in facing party elections as well as his unsafe position as the most unstable prime minister in the history of the country’s administration,” a joint statement by Mahathir and the four others read.
Gbagbo departure approved
Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions, the International Criminal Court said on Thursday, following his acquittal last year over post-election violence that killed 3,000 people. A court spokesman said Gbagbo could travel provided the country he was going to agreed to receive him. It was uncertain whether he can return to Ivory Coast, where his Ivorian Popular Front Party (FPI) is preparing to challenge President Alassane Ouattara’s ruling party in elections scheduled for October. “We are happy, it’s important that these restrictions are lifted,” FPI spokesman Franck Anderson said. “We are waiting for the date of his return. We will welcome him.”
Slow vote count slammed
Votes were still being counted on Thursday, three days after elections, with the opposition urging the government to concede defeat and President Desi Bouterse calling for a recount even though the final tally had not yet been released. The counting from Monday’s National Assembly election has been extremely slow. Normally a preliminary result is released the next morning and the failure to do so has irritated the chairman of the Independent Electoral Bureau, Jennifer van Dijk-Silos, who has called the elections “the worst organized” she has seen in her career.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable
SURGE CONTINUES: India recorded its steepest spike of more than 57,000 new virus cases in 24 hours, as Vietnam went from no virus deaths to reporting three South Korean prosecutors yesterday arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect as part of an investigation into allegations that the church hampered the government’s COVID-19 response after thousands of worshipers were infected in February and March. Prosecutors in the central city of Suwon have been questioning 88-year-old Lee Man-hee, chairman of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, over charges that the church hid some members and underreported gatherings to avoid broader quarantines. The Suwon District Court granted prosecutors’ request to arrest Lee over concerns that he could temper with evidence. Lee and his church have steadfastly denied the accusations, saying they are