Thursday, 29 December 2016

Saudi man who called for end to 'guardianship of women' is jailed

A Saudi man has been jailed for one year for calling for an end to the Muslim kingdom’s guardianship system that gives men wide controls over women, local media said Tuesday.
The man, who was also fined 30,000 riyals ($8,000) by a court in the eastern city of Dammam, was convicted of “inciting to end guardianship of women” in statements he posted on Twitter and in public posters, the Okaz daily said.
He was arrested while putting up posters in mosques in Al-Hasa district calling for an end to the globally unique system that subjects women in the ultra-conservative kingdom to male control.
During questioning, police found out that the man was also behind a wide online campaign to end the guardianship, the paper said.
The defendant admitted pinning up the posters in several mosques, saying he solely launched an “awareness campaign” after finding that some “female relatives were facing injustice at the hands of their families,” the daily said.
Thousands of Saudis signed in September a petition urging an end to the guardianship system following a Twitter campaign which the court claims was launched by the defendant.
Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.
Under the guardianship system a male family member, normally the father, husband or brother, must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.
Activists say that even female prisoners have to be received by the guardian upon their release, meaning that some have to languish in jail or a shelter beyond their sentences if the man does not want to accept them.

Junk food cravings are triggered by the mere thought of being low class

It’s well established that people with low economic status are the hardest hit by the current obesity pandemic, as well as related health problems such as diabetes. Poor healthcare, stress, unhealthy lifestyles, and a cornucopia of cheap junk food are all thought to play a role. But a new study suggests there’s a subconscious component, too.
When researchers merely prompted study volunteers to consider themselves low-class, they were more likely to prefer, choose, and eat larger amounts of food, as well as higher-calorie foods. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, echo what’s been seen in a variety of animals—from birds and rodents to nonhuman primates. Thus, the authors speculate that the mental glitch may be an evolutionary holdover intended to boost survival by compensating for a lack of social and material resources.
More important for humans, the findings suggest that we may not be able to tackle obesity by just improving access to healthier foods and promoting exercise.
For the study, psychology researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore recruited nearly 500 healthy participants for a series of four experiments. In the first, the team had 101 participants complete a task in which they were shown a ladder with ten rungs and told to select which rung they were on relative to either a wealthy, well-educated, powerful person or a poor, uneducated, unimportant person. Participants were randomly assigned to the two comparisons. In keeping with past studies, they ranked their social status lower in the former scenario and higher in the latter.
Next, the participants got to pick foods from a hypothetical buffet. Taking into account things like each participants’ normal eating pattern, hunger, and gender, the researchers found that those who ranked their social status lower chose more food and more high-calorie foods than those that ranked themselves as having a higher social status.
In the second experiment, researchers gave 167 participants the same socioeconomic ranking task, then asked them to match high calorie foods (pizza, hamburgers, fried chicken) and low calories foods (vegetables and fruits) with either pleasant or unpleasant descriptors, such as tasty or nasty. Again, those who landed lower on the ladder were more apt to prefer the high-calorie foods.
In the last two experiments, researchers followed up the socioeconomic task with actual eating experiments. In this part of the study, 83 self-ranked participants got to watch a documentary while munching on their choice of three snacks: potato chips, M&M candies, or raisins.  Again the low-ranked participants went for the chips and chocolate more than their higher-ranked counterparts. And finally, researchers gave 148 self-ranked participants a big bowl of noodles and then told them to eat until they were “comfortably full.” The lower-ranked participants ate an average of about 20 percent more calories' worth of noodles.
“These findings suggest that mindsets of deprivation and low social standing may be critically linked to obesity risk via increased intake of calories,” the authors conclude. As such, the subjective experience of low social standing may be another barrier to improving health.

Obama edges Trump as 'most admired' man in America

President Obama has retained his status as the most admired man in America for the ninth year in a row, edging out successor Donald Trump, according to Gallup's annual survey.
Among women, Hillary Clinton remains the most admired woman in the country.
Since Gallup started asking the question in 1946, incumbent presidents have dominated the list, winning 58 of the 70 times that Gallup has asked the question. The last exception was Obama himself, who received the honor as president-elect in 2009.
Obama's ninth consecutive year at the top of the list puts him in second place all time, behind president Dwight Eisenhower, who won the distinction 12 years.
Gallup asked 1,028 people an open-ended question: "What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?" Of the respondents, 22% picked Obama and 15% chose Trump.
It's the second year in a row that Trump reached the No. 2 spot. Gallup said Obama's strong showing was propelled by his popularity within his own party: 50% of Democrats named Obama as most admired, compared with 34% of Republicans choosing Trump.
Following Obama and Trump on the top 10 list were Pope Francis (4%), Sen. Bernie Sanders (2%), the Rev. Billy Graham (1%), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (1%), the Dalai Lama (1%), former president Bill Clinton (1%), Microsoft founder Bill Gates (1%) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (1%).
After Clinton, the most admired women were first lady Michelle Obama (8%), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (3%), television mogul Oprah Winfrey (3%), television host Ellen DeGeneres (2%), Queen Elizabeth (2%), women's rights activist Malala Yousafzai (2%), former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (2%) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (1%).
Clinton was the most admired woman for the 15th consecutive year, and the 21st year overall — the most years at the top of the list of any woman in the poll's history. Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt was most admired for 13 years.
The telephone survey was conducted Dec. 7-11 and had a margin of error of ±4 percentage points.

French president pardons woman convicted of killing her husband after he abused her and their children for 47 years.

A French woman in her sixties who murdered her husband in 2012 has been released after a second intervention by President Francois Hollande.
Jacqueline Sauvage suffered decades of abuse and became a cause celebre, prompting a campaign for her release.
Mr Hollande issued a partial pardon at the end of January but the courts twice rejected applications for her release.
He has now given Ms Sauvage a complete pardon and she was freed from jail early on Wednesday evening.
Now aged 69, she had been serving a 10-year sentence at Reau prison, to the south-east of Paris.
"I've decided to grant Jacqueline Sauvage a pardon of the rest of her sentence. This pardon puts an immediate end to her detention," the president tweeted.
In a further statement from the Elysee Palace, he said he felt her place was with her family and not in jail.
A car carrying Ms Sauvage and her three daughters was seen leaving Reau prison soon afterwards.
Campaigners were overjoyed by the news. But Virginie Duval, the head of the French union of magistrates, complained that the president had acted "to please public opinion", pointing out that the judiciary had followed the law when it rejected Ms Sauvage's appeals.
Read more on the Sauvage case: Should presidents pardon?
In August, a local court rejected a plea for parole and its ruling was backed up last month by the court of appeal in Paris.
Ms Sauvage's daughters had fought for her release ever since she was jailed in 2014, insisting that she had been brutally treated throughout her marriage by her husband Norbert Marot. When her son committed suicide, she picked up a gun the following day and shot him.
Justifying its decision to reject her application for parole in August, the local court at Melun explained that Ms Sauvage had not done enough to show remorse.
She could not expect to live in an environment which, because of the media coverage of her case, "would risk maintaining her in the position of victim". 
But Ms Sauvage's case attracted the support of 434,000 people who signed an internet petition as well as dozens of MPs, from both left and right.
It also secured the backing of President Hollande, who met her three daughters and gave her a partial pardon, which is part of the constitution but used very rarely.
His initial pardon in January was for her sentence to be reduced to a minimum, allowing for the judiciary to decide when she should be freed. His final decision called for her immediate release.

Jacqueline Sauvage's story

  • Suffered 47 years of violent abuse at hands of husband Norbert and ended up in hospital four times
  • Her son also suffered violent abuse; two of her three daughters were sexually abused
  • 9 Sept 2012: Son hangs himself
  • 10 Sept 2012: Ms Sauvage shoots husband three times in the back
  • October 2014: She is jailed for 10 years for unpremeditated murder
  • December 2015: Appeal court upholds verdict
  • January 2016: President Hollande meets three daughters, calls for Ms Sauvage's early release
  • 28 Dec 2016: She leaves jail

Artists From All Over The World Paying These Breath-Taking Tributes To The Late Carrie Fisher. Nobody’s Forgotten! (46 pics)

The great actress, known most as a Princess Leia in Star Wars episodes passed away at the age of 60 after a heart attack few days ago. She was also known as a media character, who advocated for mental health, having dealt with depression and addictions herself, and helping others to do the same. Talented artists from all over the world made it so that the actress will remain forever in history and our hearts.