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Death threat for novelist in Algeria who criticized Islam

Death threat for novelist in Algeria who criticized Islam

Local Source:
Algerian journalist and writer Kamel Daoud is in danger. The best selling author of novel, “Mersault, Counter-Investigation,” has been accused of apostasy (the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief) by Salafi leader Abdelfatah Hamadache. Hamadache is urging the Algerian government to execute Daoud. Islam's Salafi movement takes its name from the term "salaf" ("predecessors”). The term is used to identify the earliest Muslims, whose adherents believe provide the epitome of Islamic practice. The award-winning novelist recently appeared on French television
Mexico reduces child labor in record numbers

Mexico reduces child labor by 27% in 2 years

Local Source:
Mexico's Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete announced that the country has made great strides in reducing child labor. The number of working children has decreased from 3.38 million to 2.5 million. This has been accomplished in just two years, as more and more companies refuse to hire children under the age of 16. At a Distinctive Agricultural Company Child Free Labor ceremony this week, Navarette praised 66 companies in 12 different states for rejecting the incorporation of minors into the labor force. There are many challenges in solving the problem. The primary struggles are protect
Liberia turns to trial serum treatment in fight against Ebola

Liberia turns to trial serum treatment in fight against Ebola

Local Source:
After trials in Britain and the U.S., health authorities in Liberia have started treating patients with an experimental Ebola serum. The serum is made from the blood of recovered survivors, containing the antibodies needed to fight the deadly virus. Local healthcare workers have been trained to administer the therapy and doctors are monitoring its safety and effectiveness. "This will empower local healthcare systems to become more self-sufficient and better serve their patients during this current epidemic as well as in the future," program director David Hoover said. The ultimate go

First donkey race in Egypt huge success

First donkey race in Egypt huge success

Local Source:
A popular YouTube video showed the first donkey race in Egypt. The race took place in a village in the province of Assiut in the country's south. A group of young people rode the donkeys and raced them as if they were trained thoroughbreds. The video was accompanied by the song "Bahbk ya Homar" ("I love you donkey"). A motorcycle trailed the race in order to maintain security and ensure the integrity of the competition. Shadi Aziz, the man who came up with the idea of the race, said that his motivation was not just a fantasy or humor; he wanted to send a message that “nothing will s
Teacher punished for removing crucifix from classroom

Teacher punished for removing crucifix from classroom

Local Source:
Italian teacher Davide Zotti was reprimanded and fined for removing the crucifix from his classroom, thus breaking the law. His “crime” was a form of protest against the Catholic Church after prominent bishop Camillo Ruini spoke against gay rights. “Being gay, I refuse to teach under a symbol of the very institution that humiliates me, and thus my teaching role,” Zotti said. The superintendent of the school immediately convened and punished him for “violating his duties and releasing comments to press without any authorization.” To impose the sanction, authorities referred
How will Puerto Rico be affected by new Cuban-U.S. ties?

How will Puerto Rico be affected by new Cuban-U.S. ties?

Local Source:
After 56 years of hostility, the U.S. and Cuba have announced that the two countries will begin negotiating the restoration of their relationship. While some Americans protested and almost all Cubans rejoiced, Latin nations such as Puerto Rico wondered how they fit into the equation. Many Puerto Ricans expressed fear that the improved relations between Cuba and the U.S. will prompt many American tourists to visit Cuba instead of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has been a top spot for American travelers. However, the U.S.-Cuban union could potentially provide new trade opportunities for Puerto
EU ruling 'opens Britain's borders' to influx of migrants

EU ruling ‘opens Britain’s borders’ to influx of migrants

Local Source:
EU judges have declared that the U.K. cannot block non-EU family members from entering the country without a travel permit. The ruling has led to worries that Britain's borders could be open to mass immigration from around the world. The case that triggered the ruling revolved around the family of Sean McCarthy, a man of dual English and Irish citizenship, and his wife Patricia McCarthy Rodriguez, a Colombian living in Spain. The couple has two young children who are both British citizens. Whenever the family wanted to visit the U.K., Patricia had to have her fingerprint scanned at
Prostitution legal, brothels next to kindergartens are not

Prostitution legal, brothels next to kindergartens are not

Local Source:
Germany's Prostitution Act legalized the "oldest trade in the world" in 2002. Still, such businesses are not allowed to be set up just anywhere, according to the Federal Administrative Court of Germany. Recently, the City of Frankfurt had a dispute with a landlord who had rented out a flat to a “Chantal Massage Parlor.” The 470 square foot space was occupied by prostitutes offering their services. The city, citing the “Exclusion Area Decree,” prohibited brothel operations on the premises. One school and two kindergartens are located in a radius of 600 feet around the parlor.
Iran to open first treatment center for kids drug addicts

Iran to open first treatment center for child drug addicts

Local Source:
The Iranian government is building Tehran’s first center for treating drug-addicted children, most of which live on the streets in the capital’s poor neighborhoods. Research centers and studies reveal that there are more than 2 million addicts in Iran, just over 2.5 percent of the entire population. Mohsen Roshan Bogoh, a member of an addiction treatment organization, said that the government is planning to build more special addict treatment centers in all provinces next year. Ata Allah Soltani Sabor from the Education and Research Committee in the Iranian parliament said that
Last human rights organization in Chechnya  driven out

Last human rights organization in Chechnya driven out

Local Source:
An open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been signed by the directors of all major human rights groups operating in Russia regarding a developing situation in Chechnya. The last human rights organization still operating in the republic is about to be driven out, after its employees went public with their condemnations of the criminal policies of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechnya. Earlier in December, a terrorist group carried out an extensive attack in Chechnya's capital of Grozny. Kadyrov went on public record saying that the families of the assailants would be driven
Israelis wait for the bus for a total of 5 days per year

Israelis wait for the bus for a total of 5 days per year

Local Source:
For the past few years, Israel has been trying to push its citizens to stop driving cars and to start using public transportation. Although many suggestions and plans were drafted for improving the service, passengers report extremely long wait periods and unbearable crowds on buses. People spend an average of two hours a day going to and from work, with at least half an hour being wasted on waiting for the bus or train to arrive, according to a survey. An average Israeli commuter spends an average of five days a year waiting for public transportation. The 15 Minutes organization de
TV crew controversially films police raid on gay sex party

Controversy: TV crew films police raid on gay sex party

Local Source:
A local television crew filmed a police raid on an Egyptian public bathhouse, in which 21 young men were engaging in a gay sex party. The men were arrested, further highlighting the country's  implicit disapproval of homosexuality. After journalists allegedly tipped off police officials about what was occurring in the bathhouse, the men were paraded half-naked in front of the TV cameras. The incident took place in the country's capital of Cairo. This was the latest in a series of police busts at suspected meeting locations of homosexuals in Egypt. Arrests of gay people have been on
Dangerous bacteria found in waters for Olympic Games in Rio

Dangerous bacteria found in Rio’s Olympic Games waters

Local Source:
The Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro is contaminated with "super bacteria," according to Brazilian scientists. The body of water is supposed to host the sailing and windsurfing events of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Mayor Eduardo Paes admitted that he will not meet the goal of reducing water pollution by 80 percent by the time of the Games. Scientists are concerned because the bacteria produces an enzyme known as KPC, which is resistant to most antibiotics. During the first Olympic test sail in the bay, Australian Olympic champion Nathan Outteridge found a dead dog. Other athletes saw cats,
New girls-eating-burgers challenge goes viral

New “girls eating burgers” challenge goes viral

Local Source:
Israel's version of the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge is taking the internet by storm. The country's new online trend involves teenage girls and young women who are protesting in a unique way. Last week, a story was broadcasted about the struggles of teenage girls who become obsessed with being thin after witnessing their mothers and sisters take on extreme diets. The girls said their dream was to become anorexic in order to follow the social norm that claims that thin equals beautiful and popular. Before going out at night, the girls said they take photos of themselves and send them to the
Turkish lawmakers give themselves ‘above the law’ rights

Turkish lawmakers give themselves ‘above the law’ rights

Local Source:
New proposed legislation would give members of the Turkish parliament powers above the law. A coalition agreement between the country's main political parties has been reached and is being discussed in the Grand National Assembly, the unicameral Turkish legislature. The most unusual point in the legislation is in regard to traffic and speeding fines; all members of parliament would be exempt from any kind of traffic fine. Additionally, their cars would be given the right of way, similar to that of ambulances and police cars. All MPs would rank higher than military commanders and w
To get money from ATMs, Chileans will now go to the police

To get money from ATMs, Chileans will now go to the police

Local Source:
The Chilean government has reached an agreement with banks and the national police that will allow the installation of 60 ATMs in police stations across the country. The purpose of the decision is to offer citizens a safe place to withdraw money, and to prevent criminals from breaking the machines. Nearly 1,000 ATMs from private banks have been destroyed or held up by thieves in the past year. The situation became out of control during the Chilean national holidays in September, when most people spend more, thus increasing the number of ATM withdrawals. ATMs were a hotspot for petty thi
No Christmas holidays, Good Governance Day instead

No Christmas holidays, Good Governance Day instead

Local Source:
India's central government has declared December 25 as "Good Governance Day," in celebration of the birthdays of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Hindu leader Madan Mohan Malviya. Officials have asked the schools to organize various activities such as essay competitions in order to achieve an increase in student participation on that day. Schools run directly by the central government will remain open on December 25. It is not yet clear whether this will be mandatory for other schools. Most of India's schools begin winter vacation on December 23 or 24. Parents are wo
Sleeveless shirts banned inside court and it's hot in there

Sleeveless shirts banned inside hot courts

Local Source:
A federal judge in the Brazilian city of Uberaba has banned women from entering the building while wearing sleeveless shirts and other clothing that he considers "indecent" and incompatible with the "austerity and decorum integral to the courts." The lawyers’ association made a complaint to the Attorney General and to the Brazilian National Council of Justice. Judge Élcio Arruda also requires bailiffs to wear pelerines (a woman's cape) over their blouses during the hearings. Everyone inside the building must wear long-sleeved clothes and closed shoes, and men must wear ties. Shorts, tra
Bolivia to create unique school curriculum for working kids

Bolivia government increasingly facilitates child labor

Local Source:
Groups that defend human rights were criticized by working children and organizations that support child labor in a forum meeting in Bolivia. The country is the first to legalize child labor. The meeting came a day after the Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that the adoption of the Bolivian "Code for Children and Adolescents” that was enacted in July was a violation of human rights. Children above the age of 10 are now allowed to become self-employed workers as long as they have enrolled in school and have the permission of their parents. At this first meeting of the forum, working
Lawmakers banned from having mobile phones inside assembly

Lawmakers banned from having mobile phones inside assembly

Local Source:
Lawmakers in the Indian state of Karnataka are banned from having mobile phones in the state assembly. Legislators must now dispose of their mobiles before entering the building. The ban came after a series of incidents in which phones were misused while the assembly was in session. Last week, a legislator of the Bharateeya Janata Party was caught on camera looking at a picture of Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and current Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi during proceedings. Legislators belonging to the Congress party paused proceedi

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