Fermina Lopez Cash, a 47-year-old woman from Guatemala, sits in her home with a photo of her 13-year-old son, Omar, who died in July 2010 in the Arizona desert trying to cross the US-Mexico border to join her and his older siblings in Phoenix. Only 9 years old when she left, Lopez Cash said Omar begged to come to the US as well. A middle-aged woman offered to come with him, and they hired a “coyote” (smuggler) to take them across the border.
Almost three years later, the remains of a teenage boy that had been found in the Arizona desert along with those of an older woman, were confirmed as those of Fermina’s son
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Shima Aktar was an 11-year-old girl in Bangladesh when her father pulled her out of school and began planning for her marriage to an older man. Shima would have accepted her father’s decision were it not for the support of a local youth advocacy group that educates young people on gender roles, sex discrimination and early marriage.
Now that she knows her rights, Shima is fighting hard to assert them, joining a grassroots army of young women in Bangladesh who are determined to change traditional views about gender. According to UNICEF, some 600,000 adolescents around the country — 60 percent of them girls — are now educated on issues like the legal marriage age of boys and girls, as well as the importance of education and family planning.
Read more via IPS News Agency.
What’s worse than an innocent child being killed? A child being robbed of any chance at a future- leaving them to live with a disability.
7 year old Maha, and 8 year old Mohammed are two heartbreaking examples.
On 12 August, Mohamed Badran, 8, lies on a cot in an ambulance in Gaza. He lost one eye and lost sight in the other during a blast that reportedly killed his father and eight members of his family. Doctors say that Mohamed continues to ask why they “switched the lights off.” Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1157/El Baba
Four male students from North Carolina State University have developed a prototype for a nail polish that detects date rape drugs and changes color when it is exposed to them.
“In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” the company says on its Undercover Colors Facebook page. “That’s almost one out of every five women in our country. We may not know who they are, but these women are not faceless. They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends.”
Read more via The Washington Times.
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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.
The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That’s about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.
So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?
To answer that, ecologist Peter Walsh says we need to look at the history of Ebola Zaire.
Back in the summer of 1976, a young Zairian doctor named Ngoy Mushola traveled to a rural village in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He heard people were dying of a strange disease, near the shores of the Ebola River. They had fevers, stomachaches and rashes. Some had internal bleeding.
"What’s so nasty about it is that it effectively melts your blood vessels," says Walsh, who’s at the University of Cambridge.
Illustration by Leif Parsons for NPR