June 09, 2016

Women’s Rights in Pakistan, Austrian Far-Right Won’t Admit Defeat




With the Brexit vote rapidly approaching, the UK is seeing a surge in registered voters. Here’s what you should know about the upcoming referendum. 



Women’s Rights In Pakistan Gets Overdue Spotlight

Outrage erupted yesterday after police in Lahore arrested a woman suspected of murdering her daughter for marrying without family consent. Details of 18-year old Zeenat Rafiq’s gruesome murder, which include torture and being set on fire, have put Pakistan in the spotlight for its struggles with women’s rights and agency within marriage. This is the third major attack on Pakistani women this month, in which young girls were burned for either refusing marriage proposals or choosing their own suitors. Moreover, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports that nearly 1,100 women were killed by relatives in Pakistan last year from honor killings.

What caused this violent surge?

Reporters have noticed a sharp increase in violence since the Punjab province passed a landmark law in February criminalizing all forms of violence against women. While the law was celebrated by human rights groups, more than 30 religious groups have threatened to launch protests if the law is not repealed. One government advisory council even asked to update the law to allow “light beatings for when, you know, the sandwich isn’t perfect. 

Good Read: Why Is The Pakistani Bill To Protect Women So Unpopular?

Austria’s Far Right Still Ignoring Election Results

Bernie Sanders isn’t the only politician that doesn’t know when to quit. Now that the far-right candidate Norbert Hofer lost Austria’s presidential election, he claims there were irregularities at the polls. Hofer lost by a narrow margin to Alexander Van der Bellen, but initially wasn’t a sore loser about it, saying there were “no signs of electoral fraud” at the time. Now, Hofer’s ultra-conservative Freedom Party (FPÖ) will contest the outcome, forcing the constitutional court to establish whether or not these irregularities existed. FPÖ also wants to abolish the postal voting system, arguing that it’s erroneous and corrupt in its current form. Sound familiar? 

Good Read: Austria’s Narrow Election Is A Warning Sign To All


Deadly Shooting In Tel Aviv

At least three people were killed and seven were wounded from a shooting at Sarona Market, an upscale food-mart in Tel Aviv. One of the shooters was arrested and taken in for questioning, while the other shooter is in the hospital in serious condition. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld wanted to remind the media that this is not common. But he said knife fights are much more popular these days, which isn’t exactly comforting, either. 

This is a developing story. Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

Maria Sharapova Disappoints Kids Everywhere

Maria Sharapova sadly joined the ranks of Lance Armstrong and other athletes who broke fans’ hearts over a doping scandal. The International Tennis Federation banned Sharapova for two years for her use of the prohibited drug meldonium. Although she tested positive for the drug in January, the final verdict is still a major shock, considering Sharapova is a five-time Grand Slam winner and was the highest-paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years. The Russian tennis hero said she plans to appeal the suspension, arguing that her drug offense was unintentional. 

Who Is Even Laughing At EgyptAir’s Bomb Hoax?

In light of the EgyptAir plane disappearance last month, you can imagine the panic on an EgyptAir flight from Cairo to Beijing when it received a security threat after takeoff. The passengers and crew evacuated the plane in Uzbekistan, only to find out the threat was just another hoax. There appears to be a growing trend of threats-for-laughs against EgyptAir, who have had to deal with numerous fake bomb threats since the crash. A fake bomb scare isn’t exactly mainstream comedy. One official, who asked not to be named, is convinced there is a conspiracy against the airline. Given the little information we have, it’s hard not to sympathize with the guy.


Russia:A Moscow court released Petr Pavlensky from jail just months after the infamous performance artist set fire to Russia’s security headquarters. Even Pavlensky’s lawyers were shocked by the lenient ruling. The artist was fined 500,000 roubles (roughly $7,800) and was asked to pay for damages to the building.  
Brazil: Organizers for Rio’s Olympics held a press conference this week to
insist that it’s safe for travelers to attend the Olympic Games despite a still-present Zika virus. Last month, 150 scientists and doctors wrote an open letter arguing the 2016 Summer Games should be postponed or moved, but Rio organizers feel it will be fine.
Hong Kong: Cosmetic company Lancôme shut down its Hong Kong locations after protestors accused them of catering to Chinese censorship. The Yellow Umbrella movement, a Hong Kong pro-democracy group, began protesting stores after Lancôme canceled a promotional concert featuring a pro-democracy singer.


Ex-Escobar Enforcer Who Killed 300 Is Now A YouTube Star

During his time as Pablo Escobar’s most feared enforcer, “Popeye” killed more than 300 people and facilitated the execution of thousands more. But these days, he’s hoping to kill it on the internet. John Jairo “Popeye” Velásquez created the YouTube channel “Remorseful Popeye” to warn kids about the dangers of a life in crime and has already garnered over 100,000 subscribers. Not everyone thinks his internet persona #slays, though. Some of those who suffered from his violent past are offended by his newfound celebrity status. Still, Velásquez – who used to get paid up to one million dollars for a murder – is happy to be making “clean money from honest work” for a change. 

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: