This Week in the World: February 20th 2014

Condom delivery service started in Kenya

A Kenyan businesswoman has started a condom delivery service based in Nairobi hoping to tackle AIDS in the country. According to the BBC, many Kenyans are saying that they are too embarrassed to buy condoms, worsening the AIDS epidemic. The condom delivery service, also available in Mombasa, Kisumu, and Eldoret, has had around 4,000 clients in the past two weeks, and was started before its official launch. The company is made up of fifteen employees, and a packet of three condoms sells for $3.50 USD, which includes delivery. Free condoms are supposed to be available in all public toilets, hospitals, and health clinics, but they often run out. Sex is still a taboo subject in Kenya, leading many to be reluctant to openly buy condoms. In the past five years, the AIDS prevalence rate has dropped by 1.6 per cent in Kenya.


Doctor charged for waterboarding

A former pediatrician in the state of Delaware has been found guilty of waterboarding his eleven-year-old stepdaughter by holding her head under a kitchen tap. Melvin Morse was arrested in 2012 after his stepdaughter ran away and reported the abuse, and his license was subsequently suspended. Many say that waterboarding is a form of torture, in which one holds the victim’s head under running water, causing them to choke and feel as if they are drowning. The girl told the police that Morse held her head under the faucet at least four times in the past few years, as well as dragging her across a gravel driveway by the ankle, and ruling all aspects of her life. The victim’s mother agreed to testify against Morse.


Seven Japanese divers missing

Indonesian rescuers have been searching for seven missing Japanese divers off the coast of Bali since Friday, Feb. 14. All seven are reported to be experienced divers, but disappeared in bad weather. The BBC reported that helicopters have been deployed to try and spot bodies floating in the water, but no one has been found yet, and rescuers remain hopeful that the divers will be found in safe conditions. The group of divers had gone for two diving trips on Friday morning, and failed to return from a third trip in the afternoon. Some of the divers were visitors to the area, while the instructors are said to have been very familiar with the area.


Gays attacked in Nigeria

At least fourteen young men in Abuja, Nigeria were woken up at 1 am, dragged out of bed, and assaulted on Feb. 15, resulting in some of them being arrested because they were thought to be homosexual. The Associated Press reported that attacks such as this are not uncommon since a new law was passed in January that has been nicknamed the “Jail the Gays” law. Not only does it forbid gay marriage, which comes with a fourteen year jail sentence, but it also prohibits anyone, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, to advocate human rights in any way, which holds a ten year jail sentence. Since the bill was passed, dozens of suspected homosexuals have been arrested, and it has also started a series of attacks from citizens who view homosexuality as a sin, dragging them to police stations, kicking them, vandalizing their homes, and assaulting them.


Missing Mexican journalist found dead

The BBC reported Feb. 12 that Gregorio Jiminez, a Mexican journalist, was found dead this week in Veracruz State with two other unidentified bodies. Jiminez was kidnapped on Feb. 5. He had been writing about kidnappings in the area when he was abducted by masked gunmen from his home. Police have arrested several people in connection with his abduction and murder, including one of his neighbours. While he was missing, several of Jiminez’s colleagues launched a social media campaign asking for his safe return. It is not uncommon for journalists in Mexico to be killed, particularly if they work the crime beat. Since 2010, at least a dozen journalists have been abducted or killed in Mexico.


March honours missing Aboriginal women

An annual march honouring missing or murdered Aboriginal women throughout Canada was held on Valentine’s Day, with thousands of people participating, or stopping for a moment to remember the lost women. Some women have been missing for close to two decades, and the annual march started in 1994 as a call to action. Some people may not even realize that something like this could be happening in Canada, and those participating in the march want this to change. The CBC reported that those organizing the march have also gone to Parliament and told the government that a national inquiry into the murders and disappearances of these Aboriginal women is necessary, something that Aboriginals across Canada are now fighting for.

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