February 2, 2007

World Headlines: January 25-31

Africa’s Urbanization Struggle

In Lagos, Nigeria, waste produced by 13 million residents fills up canals and spreads disease and contaminants into the soil and waterways. Despite a $20 million World Bank loan, the city’s poorest residents live in shacks next to illegal dumps and burn garbage to make room for more housing.

A Maid’s World

A program to make Filipino domestic workers more competitive has backfired, advocates say, by mandating costly training programs even for veteran maids. Delays caused by the new regulations are prompting clients to hire Indonesians instead, a blow to Philippine workers that pay huge job placement fees.

Saudi Sectarian Crackdown

A human rights group has accused Saudi Arabia of a “grave violation” of religious freedom by arresting and/or deporting dozens of Ahmdai muslims. A religious minority predominant in India and Pakistan, Ahmadis follow a different spiritual leader and are considered heretics by the ultraconservative Saudi regime.

Iraq’s Once and Future Army

“Hundreds of thousands” of officers in the former Iraqi army are divided by loyalty and resentment. Iraq’s Azzaman newspaper reports that many are behind anti-U.S. insurgent groups, and threaten or kill others seeking work with the new regime, even as government factions provoke abuse and violence at recruiting centers.

Sources:

“Lagos pays the price of population surge”
Integrated Regional Information Networks (U.N.), January 26, 2007

“HK maids to hold protest rally over new restrictions”
Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 29, 2007

“Saudi Arabia accused of harassing South Asian sect”
Agence France-Presse, January 26, 2007

“Militiamen kidnap and kill 10 former army officers”
Azzaman (Iraq), January 25, 2007

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