Skepticism

Global Quickies 03/08/13

Welcome to Global Quickies! Here’s your weekly dose of international news:

UK / SIERRA LEONE / GAMBIA
Two women facing deportation from the UK are at risk in their countries of origin because they refuse to do FGM on girls.

UK
Same subject, different news story: Nobody has ever been convicted for FGM in the UK.

JAMAICA
NPR interviews the author of the documentary The Abominable Crime about homophobia in Jamaica.

ZIMBABWE
President Robert Mugabe says in political rally that he “will chop off the heads” of homosexuals.

CHILE
A local government who hired shamans for rain ritual, gets downpour of jokes from national TV. (Warning: horrible Google translation).

COLOMBIA
“Possessed” pig has attacked 25 cows and killed 2 in the past month. Some witnesses claim they have seen it fly.

SAUDI ARABIA
Liberal activist sentenced to 7 years in prison and 600 lashes for setting up a liberal network and insulting Islam.

INDIA
University of Madras cancels a lecture on feminist reforms in Islam by Amina Wadud after the police asked them to because some groups were planning protests.

PERU
The news that the Inca Ice Maiden Mummy was drunk and drugged before her sacrifice was all over the place. Local news outlet says reporting is misleading.

RUSSIA
Police busts a psychic ring that was lifting curses for money.

BRAZIL
Encouraged by the Pope’s recent “who am I to judge” comment, a priest who was excommunicated for his liberal views and giving communion to gays, has sued the dioceses.

IRAN
Government unveils a machine to cut off fingers of thieves.

TURKEY
Archeologists claim they have found a piece of Jesus’ cross in local church.

MOROCCO
Outrage after the king pardoned a convicted Spanish pedophile only 3 years into his 30 years sentence for raping 11 local children.

Featured image of Peruvian shaman from here.

Daniela

Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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6 Comments

    1. Yeah, i try not to link to the Daily Mail if I can avoid it. In this case, i read several reports of the case in Spanish, but didn’t have time to find a decent link in English.
      BTW, it was today reported that the guy might be a former spy, and that’s why the Spanish government asked the king of Morocco for the pardon.

  1. The piece of Jesus’ cross story has been getting on my nerves since the headline came across my desk (my work is affiliated with NBCnews.com). I’m just going to put all the free NY Comic Con buttons I have in an ornate, expensive box and hope archaeologists some day think were venerated relics.

  2. One quick edit: Indians get angered by the term “shaman” because it reflects from 19th-century anthropology’s general arrogance that all “primitives” were the same, along with a history of courtier’s replies. (I’m Oglala.)

    Now that that’s out of the way…

    One of my friends is a history professor who taught high school in Zimbabwe for a few years, back when the West was still so gung ho for Mugabe. He saw children (who worked as fruit vendors after school!) with scurvy, gave them multivitamins, and was accused of giving them drugs to enhance their academic performance! Despite this friend’s Marxist leanings, this was his Sister Souljah moment. His disillusionment in Russia, to borrow a phrase from Emma Goldman. These children couldn’t afford the very wares they were selling.

    Clitoridectomy, and for that matter circumcision, is basically prescientific medical tradition that has ascended to tradition. The only way to fight it is with education, I’m afraid. And yes, the rule that all alternative medicine will claim to cure whatever disease seems scariest right now applies.

    Archaeological studies are always misreported. Here in the States, they still use craniometrics, and even then, do it wrong.

    1. Thanks for the info. I didn’t know some people had issues with the term “shaman”. I’ll be careful when I use it next time. In this case, the word shaman (or chaman in Spanish) was used in the original Chilean reporting and by the people doing the ritual, so my guess is they are okay with it. If it were Mexico, where I’m from, we would use the words witch doctor (brujo) or shaman (chaman) indistinctly.

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