Lebanon: Mass Evictions of Syrian Refugees

  (HRW) – At least 13 municipalities in Lebanon have forcibly evicted at least 3,664 Syrian refugees from their homes and expelled them from the municipalities, apparently because of their nationality or religion, while another 42,000 refugees remain at risk of eviction, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 57-page report, “‘Our Homes Are Not for Strangers’: Mass Evictions of Syrian Refugees by Lebanese Municipalities,” documents inconsistencies in the reasons municipalities have given for expelling Syrians and the failure of the central government to protect refugees’ rights….

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How to grow cannabis? With modern science and technology

Canada (Conversation) – In Canada and around the world, legal cannabis producers face many challenges: Varying government regulations, high security requirements and a lack of reliable information on how to grow their crops. Growing cannabis has been illegal for so many years that scientific research on how to best produce this crop is limited. Much of the knowledge on how to grow cannabis lacks validation, is clouded in secrecy and is mostly connected to hidden and illegal production facilities of the past. In contrast, researchers have been improving production practices…

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Magdalene Magazine Gives a Platform to Women and Other Marginalized Sectors of Indonesia

Indonesia (GV) – Since 2013, Magdalene has been publishing articles that speak to adolescent girls and women, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and religious minorities in Indonesia. This online publication was launched to offer a space for writers who wanted to tackle taboo topics in a country where Islamic hardliners have been aggressively pushing authorities to enforce their religious beliefs in society. Indonesia is the largest country in the world with a Muslim-majority population. Its founding principles as a nation include the promotion of pluralism,…

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Lockheed Martin ‘Ready to Assist’ With More Missiles for US After Syria Strike

US (Sputnik) – The joint US-UK-France missile strikes on targets in Syria last Friday featured the debut of the US Air Force’s newest extended-range joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM-ER), a weapon the US military is planning to buy in bulk. The company said it stands “ready to assist” the Pentagon should it need more missiles following the attack on Syria. “While we do not comment on the nature or circumstances of those operations, we stand ready to assist our customers in their efforts worldwide. Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the DoD to equip them with advanced weapon systems, such as JASSM, to conduct…

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The Long Tradition of Women Being Told to Shut Up

(Conversation) – Professor Mary Beard’s latest book Women & Power: A Manifesto is a short, sharp analysis of women in the West and their ongoing struggles for a voice in the public domain. Based on two lectures delivered in 2014 and 2017, Beard chronicles some of the major obstacles women continue to face, framing her analysis through the lens of the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome. In her first essay, Beard provides some examples from antiquity to illustrate the social and gender dynamics inherited in the West. In short,…

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Northern Ireland Rape Trial Highlights Rough Deal for Victims

(HRW) – An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, were acquitted of rape of a woman in 2016 when she was 19, but the trial revealed several players’ text messages bragging about what they considered sexual conquests, while referring to the woman in degrading, nauseating terms. On Saturday, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Ulster Rugby let the players go for failure to…

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How Indigenous Women Who Survived Guatemala’s Conflict are Fighting For Justice

Guatemala (Conversation) – In February 2016, Guatemalan women survivors and the alliance of organisations supporting them successfully prosecuted two former members of the Guatemalan military for domestic and sexual slavery in the groundbreaking Sepur Zarco trial. The trial marked the first time a national court has prosecuted members of its own military for these crimes. It was an historic achievement in the fight to stop violence against women and secure justice for wartime sexual violence. And yet, two years later, the Guatemalan government has not carried out most of the collective reparations measures ordered…

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From Land Day to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, Palestinians have plenty to protest

Palestine (OpenDemocracy) – On Friday March 30, over 30,000 Palestinians peacefully approached the border area of the Gaza strip to bring attention to their unfulfilled right of return to their families homes inside Israel and to highlight the ongoing plight of living under Israeli occupation. Israeli military forces responded with lethal force, deploying troops, drones, tanks, and snipers who fired on the crowds using live fire, rubber-coated steel pellets, and tear gas. By the end of the day, fifteen Palestinians had been killed – many of them plainly unarmed – and over…

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#GirlsOnBikes: Women Ride Bicycles To Reclaim Public Spaces in Pakistan

Pakistan (GV) – On April 1, 2018, a bicycle rally was organized in major cities of Pakistan (Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi) by prominent Pakistani feminist collective Girls at Dhabas. The ‘Girls On Bikes’ Rally was their third annual event to promote female participation in public events, fight restrictions faced by women in public places and increase awareness about issues faced by women. In May 2015, two Karachi-based girls, Sadia Khatri and Natasha Ansari, started using the hashtag #GirlsAtDhabas as a space to curate photos of women on Tumblr. The hashtag went…

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It’s Time to Cut the Contractors Loose

(OW) – How much of your paycheck do you plan to hand over to corporate Pentagon contractors this year? The average American taxpayer will have paid $14,520 in federal income taxes in 2017. And that’s not even including the taxes that every working person pays to take care of our elders (and one day, ourselves) through Social Security and Medicare. If that seems like a ton of money, it is. A full-time, minimum-wage worker earning $7.25 an hour would have only earned $15,080. Of course, how much you pay depends…

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