Haiti Rapes Defy U.N. Intervention
Kidnappings and rape went hand-in-hand during Haiti’s years of political repression. But even as U.N. peacekeepers crack down on gangs in the slums of Port-au-Prince, rapes there are on the rise. Social workers say at least 800 women there were raped in the past 12 months, and estimate that many never tell police or their families out of shame or fear.
SoCal Scofflaws Take Hazmat to the Hills
The forested canyons of San Bernardino County, California, are full of construction debris, old computers, TV sets, and other refuse dumped by people trying to avoid increased landfill fees. Much of it is hazardous waste, and subject to new, strict recycling regulations. Forest Service officials say that as a result, illegal dumping has massively increased.
Pakistan’s Overrule of Law
Pakistani lawyers were rioting in the streets last week after President Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry for “misconduct and misuse of authority.” Critics say the judge, who was appointed in 2005, is being punished for enforcing laws against human rights abuses and illegal detentions, and for blocking privatization plans.
Two TV stations that broadcast the protests went off the air temporarily, and did not show the footage thereafter. The BBC reports that the conflict is exacerbating election-year tensions between the civilian government and Musharaff’s military regime.
“Haiti kidnap wave accompanied by epidemic of rape”
Reuters, March 8, 2007
“San Bernardino National Forest trashed by dumpsites”
Press-Enterprise (CA), March 10, 2007
“Violent protests in Pakistan over chief judge’s suspension”
Indo Asian News Service, March 12, 2007
“Pakistan panel quizzes top judge”
BBC, March 13, 2007