February 15, 2007

Top Stories: Feb. 8-14

Venezuela’s Deadly Trade Union Battles

Rival trade union leaders, already divided into competing pro- and anti- Chavez camps, are killing each other in a mafia-style vendetta to claim exorbitant hiring fees paid by laborers desperate for work in Venezuela’s booming construction industry.

Jewish Women to The Back of The Bus?

Orthodox Jew Naomi Ragan of New York City is suing a Jerusalem bus company after she was harassed by ultra-conservative men for refusing to move to the back of a sex-segregated bus.

The company operates 30 such bus lines throughout the city as a concession to the powerful Haredi community, a Jewish sect known to splatter bleach on women and clothing they deem immodest, riot against gays, and prevent their wives and daughters from attending college.

Philippine Kidnapping Linked to Police, Armed Forces

The thwarted kidnapping of the head of the Philippine Tourism Authority has led to the arrest of two police officers and a member of the military. “Day kidnappings,” in which victims are released within a day after ransom is paid, are common across the country.

Sources:

“Trade union job-peddling leads to bloodshed”
Inter Press Service, February 13, 2007

“Women fight back against ultra-Orthodox Jews”
Agence France-Presse, February 9, 2007

“Barbers’ family escape kidnap try”
Inquirer.net (Philippines), February 10, 2007

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