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Global Quickies: 18/01/14

I’ve got a lot of links for you today, so sit back, relax, and find out what’s been going on in the world.

UK (From Criticaldragon1177)
An Afghan immigrant was granted asylum on the basis of his atheism, as he could have faced a death sentence for apostasy if he had been deported to Afghanistan.

INDIA
After the Supreme Court of India ruled to uphold Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalizes homosexuality, actor Imran Khan made this funny video to answer questions about what it means to be gay.

SOUTH AFRICA
A preacher makes his followers eat grass to “be closer to god”. Predictably, it makes them vomit. Still, some people claim to have been healed by the pastor. (warning: Daily Mail link).

ZIMBABWE
A 21-year-old woman killed herself after being told by a prophet that she was possessed by demons.

INDIA
It’s been 3 years since the last reported case of polio in the country, so the WHO is expected to declare the country polio-free in March. The last reported case was of an 18-month-old girl in 2011 whose parents now regret having vaccinated only their son and not their daughters.

MAURITANIA
A journalist was convicted of “lack of respect for the prophet” for writing an article criticizing Mohammed, and may face a death sentence for apostasy. A local businessman and preacher has also offered 4000 Euros to anyone who kills the journalist if he doesn’t repent.

CAMEROON
This news has been posted all over, but in case you missed it, Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, a symbol for gay rights in Cameroon, died last week. Roger had been sentenced to 3 years in jail for sending a text message to another man saying “I’m very much in love with you”.

SAUDI ARABIA
Just months after the first license to practice law was issued to a female lawyer, the first female lawyer’s office opened in the country. Still no driver’s licenses for women, though.

NIGERIA
A man convicted of homosexual offenses was given 20 lashes. The judge took into account that acts had been committed 7 years ago, and he had “stopped the practice”. 11 other men were arrested last month accused of being gay.

SOUTH AFRICA
The family of a boy who went missing on a river believe he was taken by a mermaid and will be returned to them because they prayed and followed some rituals. The police, who keep looking for the boy (as does the family), believe he either drowned or was attacked by a crocodile.

TANZANIA
A man has been charged for marrying off his 12-year-old daughter to a 54-year-old man. The legal age for girls to get married with parental consent is 14.

NEPAL
The retired Kumaris, girls worshiped as goddesses from as young as 4 until they reach puberty, will start receiving an allowance to help them adjust to normal life/ compensate them for lost childhood.

Featured image: Kathmandu, Nepal by me.

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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2 Comments

  1. “UK (From Criticaldragon1177)
    An Afghan immigrant was granted asylum on the basis of his atheism, as he could have face a death sentece for apostasy if he had been deported to Afghanistan.”

    “faced”, not “face”. Also “sentence”, not “sentece”.

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