North Korea: First Starvation and Now Cannibalism

You can never trust the news coming out of North Korea, but starvation in the country have gotten so bad and the people are so desperate that there are now reports coming out of North Korea about parents murdering their own children for food. These scary reports were compiled by independent reporters commissioned by Asia Press, a independent press agency focusing on Asia, and were published by the Sunday Times.

Life in the famine destroyed North Korea is not getting better now that Kim Jong Un is new leader of North Korea after has succeeded his infamous father Kim Jong Il.

A man in Hwanghae region in North Korea has been put to death by a firing squad after it was learned that he had eaten his own children, according to the article.

North Korean government officials would neither confirm nor deny this execution and it is not the first time that the regime of North Korea is believed to have punished their own citizen who was find guilty of turning in to cannibalism instead of starvation and possibly death.

Different Human rights groups estimate that more than 10,000 people may have died since last year due to starvation in the famine-stricken nation. While tensions between Washington and Pyongyang is getting heated, a few weeks ago Kim Jong Un made a “speech to the nation” where he lashed out at the U.S as the “sworn enemy” of North Korea and vowed to restart the nuclear and long-rage missile testing.

Maybe these stories of cannibalism are nothing more than rumors, stories that devolved intro folklore stories and urban legends. Then there’s the facts that can’t be denied. North Korea was destroyed by storms and flooding in the summer of 2012; you can’t hide tropical cyclone thanks to our achievement in technology. It is not unthinkable that under such extreme conditions North Koreans might indeed be turning to desperate measures for survival.

Text: Yacob Rajes

Death penalty for being gay

Imagine to have your personal life published in a major newspaper: details of your sexual orientation, your phone number and your home address, and the only reason for why they are published is because you are gay- Yes you heard me right. I can’t possibly imagine how those people feel. How would you feel if you got your personal information shared with millions of people?

Homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda since the colonial time; the penalty for homosexual acts is life imprisonment, but in 2009 a lawmaker from the ruling party said that a stronger law was needed to protect Uganda’s children from homosexuals. Parliamentarian David Bahati accused wealthy homosexuals from the West were “recruiting” poor children into gay lifestyles with promises of money and a better life.

If not that was enough, the Ugandan parliament are now trying to pass a bill called the Anti-homosexuality bill, informally called “Kill the gays”. This law will criminalize same-sex relationship, people who promote LGBT rights in Uganda and they risk the death penalty for loving people of the same sex. Uganda’s Parliament will once again consider the Anti-Homosexuality Bill when it reconvenes in 2013. Many western countries have accused the Ugandan government for their lack of action when it comes to this bill and David Cameron, Premier Minister of the United Kingdom, threatened to cut aid over the poor gay rights records.

Many gay activists in Uganda have confirmed that the LGBT community is fleeing Uganda, and it will only get worse if this bill is passed by the parliament. The problem is that they have nowhere to flee: just over the border to Kenya similar homophobic acts are accruing.

The LGBT movement in Uganda have lost faith in their government, their countrymen and now, for lack of harsh enough reactions, the international community. It is certainly time to wake up and smell the coffee and see that the world isn’t a perfect a place, as not everyone is free to love who they want. Uganda is just one example; there are many countries in the world where same-sex relationships are against the law, and where homosexuals face death penalty.

Text: Yacob Rajes

Who is who in Israeli politics?

I guess most of you have heard that there was parliamentary elections in Israel two weeks ago. Since Israel is one of the most debated countries in the world I thought I would help to figure out who is who in Israeli politics. Here is a quick guide to the different political parties:

Likud Unification” — A right of center party which is currently leading the government. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanhayu, Likud represents conservative middle-class citizens.

Yesh Atid  “There is A Future” — A new party headed by an Israeli journalist named Yair Lapid, who many says is an upcoming political star. He was also voted for being the sexiest man in Israel. Yesh Atid is now the second largest party with 19 seats in Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

HaAvoda  “Labor”– Israel’s Labor party. Until 1977, all Israeli Prime Ministers were affiliated with the Labor movement, but lately the party have had troubles finding a clear path in their politics. HaAvoda is the only party in Israel led by a woman: Shelly Yachimovich. She is the second woman to hold that position after Golda Meir.

Israel Beitenu  “Israel is our Home” — An extreme right-wing party. The voters of this party belong to a large extent to the Russians speaking community in Israel and it is led by Avigdor Lieberman, the current Foreign Minister of Israel.

Hatnua “The Movement” — This party is led by former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and is composed of leaders from Labour and Likud that lost in their primaries. They won 6 seats in Knesset.

Habait Hayehudi  “The Jewish Home” — An extreme right-wing party with an ecological agenda – weird, I know! The party is led by Naftali Bennet, also a new star in the Israeli politics. The party is against the two state solution and will do everything in their power to block a Palestinian statehood.

Hadash  “New“, also known as “The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality” — A left-wing party that supports the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territories. Their main supporters are the Israeli-Arabs.

Balad “Country”, also known as ”National Democratic Assembly” — A left-wing party, almost the same as Hadash. Balad’s most famous member is Hanin Zoabi, an Israeli MK who took part in the Gaza flotilla. She was on the Mavi Marmara ship and was onboard when Israeli navy seals boarded the ship.

Shas  “Orders” — An extremists party representing ultra-orthodox Jews. Their agenda is to restore former glory, return to biblical times and hallelujah moment. It breaks my heart to inform you that they got 12 seats in the parliament.

Kadima Forward” — A centrist party that used to be the largest one in the parliament, and the leader of the opposition. Kadima made so many mistakes over the past years that (almost) all its members left. From being the biggest party in parliament it is now the smallest one, with only two seats.

After this quick guide, you know a little bit about who is who in the myriad of political parties in Israel. I must say Israeli politics are so interesting as it seems as there is a party for every imaginable problem. Actually it seems so easy to start a new party in Israel, that for the next election I think I am going to starting a new party for peace – who is with me?

Text: Yacob Rajes