Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bangladesh War’s Toll on Women Still Undiscussed

The numbers are in dispute, but the story they tell has remained the same for four decades: 200,000 women (or 300,000, or 400,000, depending on the source) raped during the 1971 war in which East Pakistan broke with West Pakistan to become Bangladesh.

The American feminist Susan Brownmiller, quoting all three sets of statistics in her 1975 book “Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape,” compared the rapes of Bangladesh with the rapes of Chinese women by Japanese soldiers at Nanjing in 1937-38.

Accepting even the lowest set of figures for Bangladesh forces a horrifying comparison — the 1992-95 Bosnian war saw one-tenth the number of rapes as did the Bangladesh war. The rapes of Bosnian women forced the world to recognize rape as “an instrument of terror,” as a crime against humanity. But so far no one has been held to account for the sexual violence against Bangladeshi women in 1971.

As the 40th anniversary of the 1971 war approaches, the Bangladeshi government has set up an International Crimes Tribunal to investigate the atrocities of that era. But human rights advocates and lawyers fear that the mass rapes and killings of women will not be adequately addressed. They hope to ensure they are.

“There has been a denial by certain political groups of the history of the war, and a failure to account for the crimes of sexual violence against women,” said Sara Hossain, a human rights lawyer based in Dhaka.

For years, the experiences of women — the independence fighters, the victims of rape, the widows — during the war received little attention, their stories seldom told, the violence they experienced rarely acknowledged.

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Dutch euthanasia cases up 13 per cent last year

The number of reported Dutch cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide rose 13 percent last year, the government said on Wednesday, spurring talk of a possible “euthanasia hospital” to help people end their lives. The annual report of the regional commissions that oversee the Netherlands' euthanasia law said there were 2,636 cases in 2009, the vast majority of them euthanasia, or “mercy killing“, as opposed to assisted suicide, or helping someone to die.

That represented about 2 per cent of all Dutch deaths last year, based on figures from Statistics Netherlands. Of the cases, slightly over 80 percent were cancer patients and more than 80 per cent of the deaths occurred in the patient's home.

The rise follows a 10.5 per cent rise in 2008, bolstering a campaign for more formal facilities to end peoples' lives.

The Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life said this week it would begin a legal and practical review into opening an “end-of-life clinic” where all the relevant decisions can be made for a patient's death.

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Bancor: The Name Of The Global Currency That A Shocking IMF Report Is Proposing

Sometimes there are things that are so shocking that you just do not want to report them unless they can be completely and totally documented.  Over the past few years, there have been many rumors about a coming global currency, but at times it has been difficult to pin down evidence that plans for such a currency are actually in the works.  Not anymore.  A paper entitled "Reserve Accumulation and International Monetary Stability" by the Strategy, Policy and Review Department of the IMF recommends that the world adopt a global currency called the "Bancor" and that a global central bank be established to administer that currency.  The report is dated April 13, 2010 and a full copy can be read here.  Unfortunately this is not hype and it is not a rumor.  This is a very serious proposal in an official document from one of the mega-powerful institutions that is actually running the world economy.  Anyone who follows the IMF knows that what the IMF wants, the IMF usually gets.  So could a global currency known as the "Bancor" be on the horizon?  That is now a legitimate question.

So where in the world did the name "Bancor" come from?  Well, it turns out that "Bancor" is the name of a hypothetical world currency unit once suggested by John Maynard Keynes.  Keynes was a world famous British economist who headed the World Banking Commission that created the IMF during the Breton Woods negotiations.

The Wikipedia entry for "Bancor" puts it this way....

The bancor was a World Currency Unit of clearing that was proposed by John Maynard Keynes, as leader of the British delegation and chairman of the World Bank commission, in the negotiations that established the Bretton Woods system, but has not been implemented.

The IMF report referenced above proposed naming the coming world currency unit the "Bancor" in honor of Keynes.

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So what about Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)?  Over the past couple of years, SDRs have been touted as the coming global currency.  Well, the report does envision making SDRs "the principal reserve asset" as we move towards a global currency unit....

"As a complement to a multi-polar system, or even—more ambitiously—its logical end point, a greater role could be considered for the SDR."

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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