February 4, 2014 |
A disturbing new law in Nigeria establishes sweeping restrictions on homosexuality and has already led to dozens of arrests. Even before the law went into effect, it was illegal to engage in same-sex relations. But the new law goes further, prohibiting civil unions and same-sex marriages and threatening to slap a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who officiates at such a marriage. The law bans public displays of affection between people of the same sex, outlaws gay support organizations and makes it illegal for gay groups to meet.
August 19, 2009 |
Even before he became president, Jacob Zuma vowed to "transform" the South African judiciary. Translation: There were too many white male apartheid-era judges and too few nonwhites and women. Now Zuma will appoint four new judges to the 11-member Constitutional Court in coming months, his chance to effect a transformation that will shape the country's highest court on constitutional matters. But the nebulous definition of "transformation" has some people worried. To critics, the term has been so diluted by nepotism and cronyism that it's come to mean appointing your political friends.
July 15, 2012 |
Our Kind of People A Continent's Challenge, A Country's Hope Uzodinma Iweala Harper: 228 pp., $24.99 About halfway through "Our Kind of People: A Continent's Challenge, A Country's Hope," a stunning inquiry into the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, Uzodinma Iweala makes the thrust of his investigation clear. "I found his words interesting," he writes of a Nigerian politician who blames the disease's spread on long-distance truckers and rest-stop sex workers, "because they seemed to externalize both the epidemic and its primary means of transmission - sex. By focusing on these groups of people that Nigerians traditionally consider promiscuous or of lax morality, he seemed to suggest that normal people with normal monogamous sexual relationships exist outside the reach of the virus.
August 8, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's seven-nation tour of Africa reaffirms the administration's pledge to keep the long-neglected continent in its sights. On her first stops in Kenya and South Africa this week, Clinton stuck with the message of tough love that President Obama delivered in Ghana last month, balancing trade and development talk with the need to confront lawlessness and impunity. It's a good beginning to an Africa policy still in the making. Africa is an area where Democrats and Republicans have found agreement, although too often what they have agreed is to pay little attention to it. President George W. Bush's support for HIV/AIDS and malaria programs were widely hailed on the continent, even when his global "war on terror" made him personally unpopular.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 1998
As I read the story of all the young girls being raped and infected with HIV ("Africa's Silent Shame," Aug. 16) in Africa, I was reminded of what a great nation we live in. We are spending upward of 40 million taxpayer dollars to determine if two consenting adults had sex. Imagine what we could do for those girls in Africa with even a fraction of those funds. I'll bet you anything we won't even give that story a second look, as obsessed as we are with the antics of wealthy white folks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 1998
Re "S. Africa Frees 4 Killers of Southland Student," July 29: I am highly opposed to South Africa's decision on its law and the four killers. I understand that South Africa is trying to rid itself of violence, but letting killers loose won't help. They may say it was a political act, and maybe it was, but it was still murder. If they want to get rid of violence they should take those four and others like them and put them in a rehabilitation center, not jail. Teach them to deal with society and its many views.