Riding the ‘Penis Seat’ on Mexico City’s Subway


Sexual harassment on subways is a major problem around the world, especially as passengers pack themselves in during rush hour commutes. The government of Mexico City took a humorous and effective approach to solving the problem by turning the tables a bit. The tactics? A ‘penis seat’ on a train and the filming of male passengers’ buttocks as they waited on the platform.


Ecuador’s Presidential Election Too Close to Call: As of late Sunday night, leftist candidate Lenin Moreno of the ruling Alianza PAIS party held a razor-thin lead over conservative opponent Guillermo Lasso. With over 96% of the votes counted, the two runoff candidates were polling within 3 percentage points. Moreno proclaimed himself the winner as did state media, but Lasso had already begun his celebration after exit polls predicted his victory. Lasso then alleged electoral fraud by his opponent, demanded a recount, and called on his supporters to take to the streets in peaceful protest. Hundreds gathered outside the National Election Council offices in Quito and Guayaquil to protest the election. Final official results have yet to be announced.

If Moreno is declared the winner, he will continue a decade of left-wing leadership begun by current President Rafael Correa, who was first elected in 2007. At that time, Correa was one of several left-wing leaders in power in Latin America. But in the last 10 years, conservative governments have taken power in countries such as Argentina and Brazil. If Lasso is declared the winner after a recount, he would continue that trend.


Venezuela’s President and Supreme Court Back Down: On Saturday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court reversed a controversial decision and restored powers to the country’s legislature amid increasing domestic and international accusations that President Nicolas Maduro was edging towards dictatorship. The court reversed an earlier decision nullifying the congress, which is largely controlled by the opposition and the sole branch of government not dominated by those loyal to Maduro. The court’s reversal came after Maduro himself requested the judges do so in order to preserve constitutional authority.

But it might be too little too late. The Supreme Court has spent the past year blocking major decisions made by the legislature, including laws preventing the president from expanding his power over the economy. The recent events have done damage to the rule of law in the country, a Venezuelan constitutional expert said. On Saturday, the opposition gave no indication that it would accept the court’s reversal as proof that respect for democratic principles had been restored, and several thousand people gathered in the streets in support of the country’s legislature.


Human Rights Group Accuses Israel and Egypt of Restricting Access to Gaza: On Monday, a human rights advocacy group accused Israel of barring foreign researchers from entering the Gaza Strip to investigate possible human rights abuses, saying the restrictions call into question Israel’s stated commitment to prosecuting such crimes. In a report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that Israel has been “systematically” preventing its researchers from visiting Gaza since 2008 and that Egypt has been preventing HRW and Amnesty International from entering Gaza since 2012.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since Hamas took over the territory in 2007. Human rights groups have accused both sides of committing war crimes, while the International Criminal Court is conducting a preliminary investigation into possible wrongdoing by both sides.

Colombia Reeling from Landslide: A landslide has killed up to 254 people and left hundreds missing in the southern Colombian city of Mocoa. Disaster struck early Saturday when overflowing waters from the Mocoa River converged on the capital of Putumayo province, catching many people by surprise as they slept. The government has deployed some 1,100 troops to help the almost 600 survivors rendered homeless by the catastrophe.

20 Killed at Sufi Shrine in Pakistan: On Saturday, 20 people were lured to a Sufi shrine in central Pakistan and then brutally hacked to death. The attack, which only came to the attention of authorities after one woman escaped, is said to have been perpetrated by the shrine’s custodian, Abdul Waheed, and two of his associates. 16 men and 4 women were killed in the massacre.

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