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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News Bits

Los Angeles loses iconic filmaker Sydney Pollack. Mr. Pollack died Monday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 73. Pollack was best known for directing The Way We Were, Out of Africa, Tootsie and Three Days of the Condor, among many other movies. He was also a very popular character actor, as well, having had bit parts in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and Michael Clayton, with George Clooney, just to name a few.

While attending a literary festival in Britain, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said on Sunday he expects Democratic superdelegates (himself included) to finally belly-up their choice for presidential nominee after the final primary in June. That's when, he opines, Hillary Clinton will then have to quit the race. Wait a minute... a literary festival? I bet Jimmy hasn't read all the books Dubya and Rove have since 2006.

Well what then for Senator Clinton? Senator Edward Kennedy has some insights as he reminisces on losing the Democratic nomination in August 1980. Clinton, Kennedy says in an interview conducted before his cancer diagnosis, must decide where her heart lies. "She's got great capacity -- she was a good senator before, and she can be a great senator in the future," he said. The question, he said, is "what she does with this experience."

When "Humanitarian Relief" is anything but: Save the Children UK is reporting that humanitarian relief workers and United Nations peacekeepers are sexually abusing small children as young as 6, in war-ravaged and food-poor countries.

Children as young as 6 have been forced to have sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in return for food and money, Save the Children UK said in a report released Tuesday. After interviewing hundreds of children, the charity said it found instances of rape, child prostitution, pornography, indecent sexual assault and trafficking of children for sex.

Save the Children says almost as shocking as the abuse itself, is the "chronic under-reporting" of the abuses. It believes that thousands more children around the world could be suffering in silence. According to the charity, children told researchers they were too frightened to report the abuse, fearful that the abuser would come back to hurt them and that they would stop receiving aid from agencies, or even be punished by their family or community.

"People don't report it because they are worried that the agency will stop working here, and we need them," a teenage boy in southern Sudan told Save the Children. The charity's research was centered on Ivory Coast, southern Sudan and Haiti, but Save the Children said the perpetrators of sexual abuse of children could be found in every type of humanitarian organization at all levels.

While I've come to the conclusion long ago that this world will never ever really be safe for all children, I didn't know humans (in the name of Humanitarianism) could be so truly vile. I guess it takes all kinds.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Children as young as 6 have been forced to have sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in return for food and money,"

What have we (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers) done to our children them to make them do what they are doing to these helpless children?

May 27, 2008 10:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

A lot of these aid workers are from Africa and countries without our almost reverence for children -- they're not westerners, with very few exceptions. Sex with kids isn't even a crime in the eyes of many elsewhere horrible as that sounds to us. After all some girls are forced to marry at puberty, around 11-12. And rape means power, of both women and kids.

What IS a huge crime, is the lack of supervision -- someone must be in charge, these criminals must be held to the highest international standards or all our world aid is a sick sham.

May 27, 2008 10:59 PM  

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