INTERNATIONAL NEWS: North Korea bans major social media sites, Nearly 1,100 Pakistani women killed in ‘honor killings’ last year, President of South Africa apologizes for corruption


North Korea bans major social media sites

North Korea announced its plan to block major social media websites, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other South Korean websites, reported Fox News on April 1. The ban follows increased concern by the North Korean government to censor citizens’ Internet usage. Few North Koreans typically have access to the Internet and restrictions are similar to those in China, “on sites that Beijing deems politically sensitive or socially harmful,” said Fox News. North Korea’s capital Pyoungyang, has been ramping up restrictions since last year to prevent both news getting into the country and out into the world. The latest censorship occurred when North Korea expressed concern over the U.S.-South Korea military exercises currently taking place.

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Nearly 1,100 Pakistani women killed in ‘honor killings’ last year

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan revealed in its annual report that nearly 1,100 women were killed in the country last year based on dishonoring their families, said the BBC on April 1. The practice of killing women whose family members feel bring dishonor onto them is quite common in areas like Pakistan. A large number of incidents are not reported since there is no current law in Pakistan banning this practice of honor killings. In addition to these numbers, “The commission said 900 more women suffered sexual violence and nearly 800 took, or tried to take, their own lives,” said the BBC. According to the BBC, “Religious groups (in Pakistan) have equated women’s rights campaigns with promotion of obscenity.”

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President of South Africa apologizes for corruption

South African president Jacob Zuma apologized to citizens for the scandal caused by his corruptive behaviors in office, reported the BBC on April 1. Zuma admitted to the misuse of government money that he used for million-dollar upgrades in his private residence. The BBC said, “The public protector, an anti-corruption body, ruled in 2014 that $23m … of public money had been improperly spent on Mr. Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province, and ordered him to reimburse part of the expense.” A unanimous ruling this past week said, “Mr. Zuma’s failure to repay the money violated the constitution.” Zuma apologized in a public address April 1 but denied deliberately violating the constitution.

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