Tuesday December 18, 2018
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Ban on India’s daughter: Why UK and the rest of the world need to clean up their dirt first

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Rape case (1)

By Harshmeet Singh

Global headlines have centred around India in the past one week, owing to the Government’s ban on BBC documentary, India’s Daughter. Significantly, majority of foreign media has merrily bashed the Indian society by concluding that most Indian men agree to what Mukesh Singh (one of the convicts of the Nirbhaya gang rape case) and his lawyers think about women.

Is the International reaction called for?

One of the most scathing attacks on Indian men came from Kuwait Times which ran a story titled ‘Rapist’s views reflect those of many in India – Indian men ‘blame women for rape’. For Kuwait, a country famous for minimal women rights, a country with no laws against sexual harassment or domestic violence, such comments do not stand true to its self made image.

How do the developed nations fare?

7th March 2015, Leeds – ‘An 18 year old woman raped and ‘left of dead’ in Leeds assault’

8th March 2015, Oxfordshire – The defence lawyer of the gang of five men accused of subjecting six schoolgirls to ‘horrific’ sexual abuse said that the girls came forward because ‘it’s better to be a victim than a slag’.

A number of similar stories make headlines in national UK newspapers every single day. According to credible factual data, developed countries make up for majority of the rape cases recorded against women around the world. 1 in every 6 women faces a rape attempt in the perennial world power, USA. In UK, a government report released in 2013 stated that 1 in 5 women above the age of 16 was subjected to some form of sexual abuse.

Is India alone?

The menace of rape and violence against women exists worldwide and making India the lone scapegoat isn’t going to solve the problem. In Mexico, on an average, six women are murdered each day. So despicable is Mexico’s situation that the UN termed it as ‘femicide’ in the country. In 2006, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl was raped and killed by five U.S. soldiers near Al-Mahmudiyah town, Iraq. To destroy any evidence, she was shot in her head and the soldiers set the lower part of her body on fire. Known as the country exhibiting the best ‘gender equality’ stats in the world, Sweden holds the dubious distinction of recording the highest number of rape cases in Europe. The ‘sick’ thinking of men behind such crimes exists everywhere in the world, including India.

Can India get away?

India can’t breathe easy by terming it as a one-off incident and arguing that similar cases happen at other places too. ‘India’s daughter’ was much more than just about another rape case in the country. If it included the rapist’s point of view, it also brought forth the unprecedented unity shown by the youth across the country to come out on the streets and demand their rights. Never before had the world witnessed so many people on the streets without a single leader, all protesting peacefully, demanding what is fundamentally theirs, a right to a dignified life.

The rising emotions of people in India are entirely justified. The thought of the juvenile convict (said to be the most violent) getting released in December this year is in itself scary. It certainly calls for revamping of criminal laws in the country. The five convicts are a part of the same society where our next generation will grow. Isn’t worth asking ourselves, where did we go wrong.

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Russia Helped Trump To Win On Every Social Media Platform: Senate Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election

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Former Donald Trump presidential campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, center, who triggered the Russia investigation, leaves federal court with wife Simona Mangiante, on Sept. 7, 2018, in Washington. VOA

Russia used every major social media platform to target voters with misinformation to try to get Donald Trump elected president, according to a new report that was prepared for the U.S. Senate and seen by The Washington Post.

The report says Russians working for a group called The Internet Research Agency (IRA) began experimenting with social media to influence local elections in 2009 and expanded its operations to U.S. elections in 2013 using Twitter.

It gradually added other popular social media sites to its campaign, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

For the 2016 presidential campaign, the report says Russians attempted to stir up conservative voters to back Trump by stressing such issues as gun rights and immigration.

Facebook, Trump
Conference workers speak in front of a demo booth at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, in San Jose, California, April 18, 2017. VOA

At the same time, the Russian operatives sent black voters messages and other information aimed at confusing them about the electoral process, including misleading information on how to vote.

Other groups, such as liberals, women, Muslims, Latinos, and veterans, were also targeted with similar messages either appealing to their politics or trying to discourage them from voting.

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says according to The Washington Post.

The newspaper says the report criticizes technology companies for what it calls their “belated and uncoordinated response” when the misinformation campaign was discovered and their delay in sharing information with investigators.

Michael Cohen, Trump
Michael Cohen walks out of federal court, Nov. 29, 2018, in New York, after pleading guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia. VOA

The report also warns that social media is morphing from what it says are tools for “sharing collective grievances and coordinating civic engagement,” including in the Middle East, to threats to democracy from “canny political consultants” and “politicians in democracies and dictatorships alike.”

The Post says Facebook and Google have not commented on the report. But Twitter says it has made “significant strides since the 2016 election to harden its digital defenses.”

The United States has already leveled criminal charges against Russia’s Internet Research Agency for interfering in the 2016 campaign.

Also Read: U.S. President Not Worried About Impeachment, Defends Hush Payments

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election and whether the president has tried to obstruct justice by trying to undermine the probe.

Trump denies there was any collusion and calls the Mueller probe a “witch hunt.” (VOA)