#AceWorldNews – ROME (Vatican City) – June 27 – The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse, AP reported.
Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was also defrocked on Friday, in the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.
Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization.
He can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.
The ex-ambassador, who also faces other charges from the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, can appeal.
(MSN) – Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse, and his case raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation.
The Vatican has never said how Wesolowski responded to the charges and hasn’t provided any contact information for his lawyer.
US health officials are on high alert as a mosquito-borne virus that yet has no cure has struck six of the US states. The virus called chikungunya causes severe joint pain which can last for years.
The latest case of the virus has been confirmed by Tennessee officials as the resident of Madison County, has been tested positive for the virus. The officials, however, added that there was no transmission to other residents in the state.
“It will be more difficult for the virus to establish itself here,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee told Tech Times.
Rhode Island authorities also confirmed two cases of the mosquito-borne virus. They involve travelers who returned from the Dominican Republic on May 17 and May 29, said state officials, adding that authorities are currently investigating several other suspicious cases of the virus.
Florida has been the worst hit by the virus, with at least 25 cases reported in the state, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Florida Department of Health released a set of guidelines in order to avoid becoming infected and spreading the virus.
The cases of the virus, transmitted to humans through mosquitoes, have also been confirmed in North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana.
On Wednesday, the virus affected two residents from the US Virgin Islands, according to local authorities.
“The first case has been confirmed as locally acquired; the second case is an imported case with the patient recent travel history outside of the Territory,” said the Department of Health in the US Virgin Islands in a press release.
Florida officials advised residents “to wear long sleeves and long pants when possible,” and “use mosquito-proof screens on windows and doors.”
Symptoms of the malaria-like illness include fever, headache, chills, sensitivity to light, and rash, vomiting and severe joint pain, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, it adds. They usually begin three to seven days after infection occurs. The consequences include a long period of joint pains which may persist for years in some cases. Though the virus rarely leads to death, the problem is that there is currently no vaccine available. The treatment only aims at improving the symptoms.
According to WHO, Chikungunya was first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952, eastern Africa, and since then has been detected in nearly 40 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and also in the Americas.
The Pan American Health Organization says that about 165,000 cases have been either suspected or confirmed in the Caribbean since it was first documented in 2013-2014 with 14 death cases. Most of the cases have been detected in Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Martinique and Haiti.
#AceWorldNews – EUROPEAN UNION – May 06 – The EU has reportedly lifted visa requirements for 19 countries from the Pacific, Caribbean, Middle East and Latin America.
The EU Council adopted a regulation to exempt from visa requirements when travelling to the Schengen zone nationals from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Peru, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.
The decision prompted frustration in Turkey, which has been waiting for years to acquire the right to visa-free travel, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
#AceWorldNews says the other day was an opportunity for each person to recommit to ending the harm being committed against one out of three women, senior United Nations officials said marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
“Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7307“>said in his message for the Day, which this year focuses on the theme of raising awareness by wearing the colour orange.
Mr. Ban applauded leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mindsets, and paid tribute to the heroes who help victims heal and become agents of change. Among those, Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who the UN chief met last month, and who in turn, is inspired by the courage of the women he treats.
In her first message for the Day as UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, urged world leaders to “mount a response that is proportionate to the violence threatening the lives of women and girls.”
“We need education in schools that teaches human rights and mutual respect, and that inspires young people to be leaders for equality,” she <“http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/11/press-release-ed-message-25-november“>said in a video message, adding that to be effective, prevention to must address gender inequality as the root cause of violence.
Speaking to journalists in New York, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri called gender-based violence a “gross human rights violation” and a “pandemic”.
Wearing orange scarfs uniformly with the other panelists to call attention to the orange theme, she noted that violence takes many forms – physical, psychological, economic and sexual – and that it is more dangerous to be a woman in conflict and post-conflict situations than to be a soldier, given the use of rape as a war tool.
She also called attention to the most common place for violence against women and girls – the home – which is the place they are supposed to be the safest.
Journalists also heard from Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, who noted that while he was the only man on the panel, the issue mainly concerns men since they are traditionally the perpetrators of the violence.
More than 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
“This is not acceptable: better laws and their enforcement are needed,” <“http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/11/25/violence-against-women-is-not-acceptable-and-can-be-prevented/“>said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. She called for law enforcement and judicial systems to work together with governments, civil society and international partners to tackle the root causes of violence against women, support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.
Meanwhile, the UNDP reported today that gender-based discrimination remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities.
According to the ‘Regional Human Development Report (HDR) 2013-2014 Citizen Security with a Human Face: evidence and proposals for Latin America’, gender-based violence contributes to insecurity in Latin America and is a persistent threat and obstacle to human development, public health and human rights.
While the evidence linking gender-based violence and poverty grows, so does a global call to include men’s voices in the solution to violence against women. A recent UN study carried out in the Asia-Pacific region found that of the 10,000 men surveyed, nearly half reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner.
The study recommends that development interventions should address social norms related to the acceptability of violence and dominant gender stereotypes, as well as focusing on ending impunity for perpetrators.
This same message is set out in the report ‘A Million Voices: The World We Want’, which synthesizes the results of an unprecedented global consultation involving over a million people across all countries and backgrounds on what the world’s future development agenda should look like.
It states that the current anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are silent on violence against women and girls, even though one of the eight goals is on gender, according to the UN agency.
“As we prepare to craft a post-2015 development agenda, violence against women and girls remains an enormous global problem that must be overcome,” <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_elimination_violence_against_women2013.shtml“>said John Ashe, the current President of the General Assembly.
Noting that the international community is crafting a post-2015 development agenda, he added that “no sustainable development agenda can be achieved without ending this global violation of human rights, without ending all violence against all women and girls in every country in the world.”
The UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in a 1999 resolution inviting governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to “organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on that day.”
The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo on 25 November 1960.
The Day marks the start of 16 days of activism, culminating with Human Rights Day on 10 December.
Given the timing of the 16 days and the focus on raising awareness with the colour orange, this year’s official theme is “Orange the World in 16 Days.”
Today’s events are part of the landmark UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Launched by Mr. Ban in 2008, it has gathered UN agencies and offices to galvanize action across the UN system to prevent and punish violence against women.
He also noted the importance of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, the world’s leading global grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls, administered by UN Women.
Mr. Ban called for financial support to the Fund, the demand for whose grants have more than doubled in the recent years while the amount it has distributed diminished by 60 per cent.
“I appeal to all partners to help meet this vast unmet demand for resources to further our aims.
New York, Nov 25 2013 3:00PM
- “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” (acenewsservices.com)
- Sierra Leone partakes in UN high-level panel on the advancement of Women (sierraexpressmedia.com)
- Africa: Violence Against Women Is Not Acceptable and Can Be Prevented (fldinafrica.wordpress.com)
- Violence against women is not acceptable and can be prevented (oneislandtwonationsblogspotcom.typepad.com)
- November 25: International Day to end violence against Women (english.pravda.ru)
- Helen Clark: Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls: An Urgent Priority (huffingtonpost.com)