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Metropolis, Illinois: Zimbabwe- Age of Consent to Go Up to 18 - Mnangagwa

Jackie B. Dugan 1109 Carter Street Metropolis, IL 62960

VICE PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says government was in the process of introducing a law that would see the statutory age of consent to sex by girls raised from 16 to 18 years.

He was responding to calls by Senators on Tuesday that the minimum age one could be allowed to consent to sex should be aligned to a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling which outlawed the marriage of or among minors below 18.

While the ruling was followed with euphoric victory among child and women's rights activists, some felt it remained hollow as girls as young as 16 could still indulge in sex and even conceive children for as long as they did not proceed to get married before 18.

"We have a landmark ruling in this country which states that nobody should be married or be married off when they are below the age of 18," Senator representing people with disabilities, Anna Shiri, had said earlier.

She was contributing to a motion which called on the government to ratify and incorporate into its gender laws, the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage.

Zimbabwe, currently, is in the process of enacting a law which seeks to operationalise the outlawing of child marriages aaza kaempferia parviflora.

"At the same time we have this Bill," Shiri said, "while we have part of the Act which says there is an age of consent to sex which is 16 years of age.

"As a result, there is some contradiction where early marriage is 18 years yet the consent to sexual activity is 16 years. We need to align these laws."

Mnangagwa, who was speaking as the country's justice minister, said government was considering raising the age of consent to 18.

"I may also say that the other two points you have raised relating to the issue of consent between juveniles or children, anybody who is below 18 is regarded as a child," Mnangagwa said.

"We had a Committee to deal with that and we have arrived at a possible solution which will come to Parliament on the issue of consent between an adult and juvenile or between a juvenile and a juvenile.

"Those issues we have debated and we believe that we should bring up also the age of consent to the age of 18. Of course, this is subject to debate when it comes to Parliament."

Mnangagwa said his ministry was in the process of aligning all the marriage laws and the progressive provisions of the SADC Model law he said will be incorporated in the comprehensive proposed Marriages Bill.

The proposed Bill will be able to amend the Marriages Act and the Customary Marriages Act and all other laws that are outdated in relation to marriages.


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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Arson as a Weapon of Neoliberal Mass Destruction

Brandon A. Alvarez 1088 Platinum Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Neoliberal agribusiness, which dispossesses millions of farmers & farm workers, has created massive migration abroad & to urban slums. Millions of people create makeshift shanty towns on unused property which brings them into conflict with real estate developers & urban gentrification. There have been pitched, sustained battles between slum residents being evicted & riot cops using kaempferia-parviflora tear gas, truncheons & bulldozers–most notably in Cambodia & the Philippines.

But there is a troubling phenomenon associated with these slums in several countries including India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya: massive conflagrations that burn them to the ground & displace the residents. Fire forensics are seldom reported but officials always give the same litany of speculations: could have been a cooking accident, faulty or pirated power lines, flimsy, flammable building materials, overcrowding, piles of recycling materials gathered by residents from dumpsites to resell, or sometimes just “cause unknown”. Sounds reasonable enough except that residents tell a very different story. They claim fire trucks arrived late to the scene; residents were forced to fight the fires themselves with buckets of water; once they did arrive firemen were unable to douse flames due to shortage of water; & perhaps most damning of all, the fires happened after repeated eviction orders from authorities.

There are hundreds of fires going back over a decade. Arson for purposes of land development & gentrification is the most compelling explanation, given the eviction notices & frequent violent eviction battles between riot cops & residents. It wouldn’t be the first time arson was used to facilitate gentrification. It was not uncommon in the US in the 1970s for urban renewal. The combativeness of residents against evictions might make torching the settlements seem the strategy of least resistance to developers.

Some residents have been killed in the fires, including elderly, infirm, children, & pets unable to escape; many have been injured; people have lost all their belongings; & tens of thousands have been dislocated with no place to go.

The process of development & gentrification using forced evictions & fires is nowhere more ruthless than the Manila metropolitan area in the Philippines. There are dozens of fires every year; there were at least one or two a month this year alone in several districts all charted for development orchestrated by Henry Sy, a real estate tycoon, & Enrique Razon Jr., a shipping magnate, who are two of the four Filipino billionaires. What’s interesting about these two guys is that they use complex real estate swindles to illegally reclaim & refurbish prime real estate without permits & on untitled public domain property occupied by shanty towns. Their real estate swindles are just the vehicle for neoliberal privatization policies which is why so many Filipino politicians, government agencies, the courts, & the cops are involved against slum residents.

There have been three fires in Manila this month in different districts krachai dam. This little guy is swimming in the debris of a December 10th fire in Malabon city, a district along the rim of Manila Bay, one of the primary areas targeted for development by shipping companies & resort/casino developers.

Housing is a primary human need not available to millions of people worldwide & must become a central political demand. “Money for housing, not for war” is an apt slogan in the Philippines since militarism is a feature of Filipino political rule.


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Five Points (Warren), Ohio: This surgeon says he can increase your penis size by two inches by injecting it with blood

Tommy L. Poitras 442 Boggess Street Five Points (Warren), OH 45066

It’s really not about length. It’s about what you do with it.

But despite this knowledge being spread far and wide, many men are still bothered by the size of their penis – judging by the Google searches for ‘how to make my penis bigger’, anyway.

So of course, surgeons are stepping up to meet the demand, creating procedures that they claim will make men’s dicks larger.

They’re probably more effective than the herbal teas tongkat ali recommended all over the internet, to be fair.

Dr Norman Rowe, a surgeon in New York, has just debuted a new technique for boosting men’s genitals.

Essentially, it’s a bit like those vampire facials everyone got excited about when Kim Kardashian shared a bloody-faced selfie. You pop into the surgery, get your own blood injected into your genitals, and, apparently, can expect a growth of 1.5 inches in circumference.*

*Yep. We’re talking girth, not length.

Dr Rowe told Daily Mail Online that the procedure lasts just 10 minutes and there’s no need for a recovery period. You can get the procedure done in your lunch break and go straight back to work. If you fancy.

The only after-effect you need to worry about is accidentally disrupting the symmetry of the injection. Dr Rowe recommends skipping sex for two days post-op.

The procedure is a pretty big deal, as it’s the first time someone’s come up with a way cockatoo to enlarge the penis without surgery.

Dr Rowe was inspired to create the treatment by the rise of quick fix procedures like Botox and fillers, and wondering if something similar could work for penises.

He then looked into a method often used in sports medicine, which involves injecting blood back into the body to revive the muscle, and the vampire facial.

And voila: he came up with his bulge booster, which he claims can remedy erectile dysfunction alongside increasing girth.

Which all sounds wonderful, if girth is something you’re worried about.

But would you dare to get multiple injections in your dick? Could you actually go through with it? We’re crossing our legs and cringing a little at the thought.


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Jackson, Mississippi: Is there a torture manual?

Alberto S. Beam 2031 School House Road Jackson, MS 39211

KUBARK Manual: A User's Guide to Torture?

The 1950s appear to have been a time when the CIA put a tremendous amount of energy into perfecting the science of torture. The CIA conducted covert experiments, at times on unsuspecting Americans, using LSD in the search of a “truth serum” [source: The New York Times]. It used electrical currents to inflict pain [source: The Boston Globe]. The agency conducted trials investigating the effects of sensory deprivation [source: The Washington Post]. The CIA found that the best methods for extracting information from detainees come not through the infliction of physical pain or torture, but through psychological torture.

Although the brand of torture the CIA devised through more than a decade of trial and error may not inflict physical pain, it can still do some real damage. Historian and expert on the subject of the CIA and torture, Alfred McCoy, writes, “Although seemingly less brutal, no-touch torture leaves deep psychological scars. The victims often need treatment to recover from trauma far more crippling than physical pain”.

There is indeed a torture manual and the CIA literally wrote it. In 1963, the Agency created the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation manual. It was, as Alfred McCoy puts it, the “codification” of everything the CIA had learned from its experiments throughout the 50s. In the KUBARK (the codename for the CIA in the Vietnam War [source: The Washington Post]) manual, methods for breaking detainees are based generally on psychology. Identifying a victim’s sense of self and then stripping it away is part of the first step toward breaking him or her. An introverted or shy detainee might be kept naked and perhaps sexually humiliated, for example. Clothes may also be taken simply to alienate the detainee and make him or her less comfortable.

Creating a sense of unfamiliarity, disorientation and isolation seems to be the hallmarks of psychologically undermining a detainee in the purview of the KUBARK manual. Practices like starvation, keeping inmates in small, windowless cells with unchanging artificial light and forcing inmates to sit or stand in uncomfortable positions (stress positions) for long periods of time have been decried or banned outright by the United States government. Yet these techniques are part of the regimen prescribed by KUBARK. So, too, are using hypnosis and drugs to extract information.

While it doesn’t mention electric shock directly, the manual calls for interrogators to be sure that a potential safe house to be used for torture has access to electricity. As one source told The Baltimore Sun, “The CIA has acknowledged privately and informally in the past that this referred to the application of electric shocks to interrogation suspects” [source: The Baltimore Sun].

Physical pain, however, is ultimately deemed counterproductive by the manual. It’s a much worse experience, the guidebook concludes, for an inmate to fear that pain may be coming than to actually experience it. The old adage that anticipation is worse than the experience appears to also have a basis in the shadowy field of torture expedition.

A newer book, largely a revision of the KUBARK manual, draws the same foundational conclusion -- that psychological torment is paramount to physical abuse. The Human Resource Exploitation Manual -- 1983 was first publicized as the result of an investigative report into the human rights abuses in Honduras.


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