Getty ImagesThree men have been arrested for allegedly gang-raping two transgender women at knifepoint in Bengaluru. The incident happened in Koramangala on May 12.The women, who hail from Assam, were scared to approach the police and feared how they will be treated. The News Minute states that with support from their friends and All Manipur Nupi Manbi Association (AMaNA).The incident happened on May 12 when the two victims were at a house in Koramangala. The bell rang and thinking that it was the food they ordered, one of them opened the door to find three men brandishing knives. They forcefully entered the apartment and sexually assaulted the two women for the next two hours. The men held the knives at the back of the victims’ neck to keep them in place, reports TNM.”The three men put their knives on our necks and asked us to remove our dress. When we begged them to leave us alone, they threatened to harm us. We were afraid and we did not do what to do. We had no option,” one of the victims told TNM.”I had seen one of these attackers in the neighbourhood before,” she added saying that they left the apartment immediately to their friend’s place. However, the men, who somehow got hold of their phone number threatened them with dire consequences if they did not come back.The three men were living in the same neighbourhood. One is a driver, the second man is a cook and the third assailant works as a supporting actor in the Kannada film industry.”This is a racial attack targetted towards gender and sexual minority people. This also shows the layers of inhuman treatment that people from the trans community from the North East region who live in big cities across the country face,” Santa Khurai, the president of the All Manipur Nupi Manbi Association was quoted as saying by TNM.
This combination of file pictures created on 20 January, 2019 shows US president Donald Trump as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on 19 January, 2019,and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) outside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on 3 January 2019US president Donald Trump bitterly attacked top Democrat Nancy Pelosi on Sunday and she again insisted that he end the government shutdown before border security talks can begin, but there were hints of possible movement.Trump lashed out on Twitter a day after Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, dismissed as a “non-starter” his offer to extend temporary protection to about a million immigrants in return for $5.7 billion for the wall he wants on the Mexican border to fulfil a signature campaign promise.Government shutdowns are a disruptive political ritual that have occurred in various administrations and are almost unique to the American system. But this one is the longest on record. It has left about 800,000 federal workers unpaid — among them airport security officers, FBI agents, museum workers, and Coast Guard members.”Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat,” the president tweeted. “She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control.”It was Trump’s most direct attack on Pelosi since the partial government shutdown began, and appeared to reflect a mounting sense of frustration.Pointedly ignoring his personal comments, Pelosi on Twitter emphasized the need to end the impasse, which has inflicted increasing pain after one month, with some government employees having to turn to food banks or local charities to get by.”Reopen the government, let workers get their paychecks and then we can discuss how we can come together to protect the border. #EndTheShutdown,” she tweeted.Good-faith compromiseWhile Pelosi and other Democrats dismissed Trump’s offer, Republicans insisted that it represented actual movement by the president.Vice president Mike Pence, who has been leading the administration’s contacts with Congress, said the Senate would put the proposal to a vote as early as Tuesday. He called it “a good-faith compromise.”The planned vote also reflects a shift by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. He insisted previously that he would not take up any shutdown bill unless both Trump and Democratic leaders backed it.”In a very real sense, what President Trump did here was he set the table for a deal,” Pence said on “Fox News Sunday.”The bill’s fate was far from clear. Republicans hope to lure the votes of a few Democrats from Trump-friendly states to reach the 60 votes needed, but they may lose some hard-line conservatives in the process.Most blame RepublicansThe Trump administration — increasingly blamed by Americans for the shutdown — is trying to balance demands of those hard-liners and Democrats who adamantly oppose spending the $5.7 billion Trump wants for a wall.Trump has regularly warned of what he says is a serious criminal threat from undocumented migrants entering the country, which is grappling with a surge in arrivals by families and children who say they are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.Democrats have offered more than $2 billion for a range of other border-security measures.They assailed Trump’s new offer as cynical, noting that it was the president who — by moving earlier to end the DACA program protecting 700,000 young immigrants and to expel about 300,000 others in a separate program — had placed in jeopardy many of those for whom he now offers temporary protection.But anti-immigrant voices also attacked Trump’s offer as tantamount to amnesty for the undocumented — a toxic concept for many conservatives.”No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA,” Trump said in another tweet. DACA was former president Barack Obama’s program to shield undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.Trump said that there would be “no big push” to remove the 11 million people in the country illegally, before warning: ‘but be careful, Nancy!”His immigration crackdown has not stanched the influx of migrants, and a new group of about 400 Hondurans — the fourth since October 13 — headed north on Saturday, officials there said.Still, as the costs of the US shutdown mounted, both sides in the standoff appeared to be casting about cautiously for a road ahead.”The vote this week (in the Senate) is not to pass the bill,” said Senator James Lankford, a Republican, “It’s to open up and say, can we debate this? Can we amend it? Can we make changes? Let’s find a way to get the government open.”Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, said that “I would not rule out a wall in certain circumstances.”He suggested that Democrats were amenable to negotiating if Trump would stop demonizing the party and its leaders and provide assurances that he would not suddenly shift positions.”The notion that we have come from a (focus on a) wall to some other thing is moving it along,” he told ABC’s “This Week,” “but we have to sit down and talk.”Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who plans to seek the presidency in 2020, told CNN it was urgent that both sides “come together and have a real conversation and hash out the differences.”But representative James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, insisted that the government must first be reopened.
In this photo taken on 4 April 2019 an Afghan presenter takes part in a live broadcast at the Khurshid TV station in Kabul. Photo: AFPBeneath the gaze of the TV cameras a woman begins speaking, at first softly but with growing passion as she faces the “Butcher of Kabul” across a crowded auditorium and asks if he wants to apologise for alleged war crimes.Without missing a beat, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the ruthless former warlord blamed for rocket attacks which reduced much of the Afghan capital to rubble in the 1990s, declined to do so.The dramatic moment during a recent televised news debate highlights how far media freedom has come in Afghanistan, where — for now — traumatised civilians can stand and at least try to hold powerful men to account, live on camera.”Years ago, these kind of questions could get you killed, but now people can challenge the most dangerous people in mainstream and social media,” Mustafa Rahimi, a university student, said after watching the debate.But today, even as hundreds of media outlets proliferate across Afghanistan, consumers and journalists alike worry a potential peace deal between the Taliban and the US could sound the death knell for a golden age of press freedom.”We are concerned about a total or a partial ban on media,” Sediqullah Khaliq, the director of Hewad TV and radio in Kandahar — the birthplace of Taliban — told AFP.”There is fear that we may go back to a media blackout or having a state-controlled press.”While in power, the Taliban raged against traditional forms of mass communication and entertainment, banning television, movies and allowing only Islamist programming or propaganda to be broadcast on the only radio station, Voice of Sharia.Anyone caught watching TV faced punishment and risked having their television set smashed and then displayed from a lamppost.Almost all electronic products were outlawed as un-Islamic. For a while, trees in Kabul fluttered with the magnetic ribbon tape from destroyed cassettes.Photographs of living things were illegal, and ownership of a video player could lead to a public lashing.- A deadly trade -Afghanistan is the world’s deadliest place for journalists, who face many risks covering the conflict and who have sometimes been targeted for doing their job.Nine journalists, including AFP Kabul’s chief photographer Shah Marai, were killed in an Islamic State attack in April 2018.Media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported that 2018 was the deadliest year on record for journalists in Afghanistan, with at least 15 media workers killed while working.Despite the risks, hundreds of media organisations have blossomed since 2001, and today there are more than 100 television channels, 284 radio stations and just over 400 newspapers and magazines, according to a government report.With one of the world’s lowest literacy rates, television and radio play a huge role in Afghan culture, and Afghans have grown accustomed to outlets holding their politicians to account.Warlords, politicians, Taliban sympathisers and government officials are openly challenged in televised debates, radio programmes and on social media.”We now play live music, women call in and share their problems on the radio. But even if the Taliban allow radios, I don’t think they would like our programmes,” said Mera Hamdam, a presenter at Zama private radio in Kandahar.”There is huge concern that we will lose all our achievements,” he said.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said if they return to power, the insurgents would follow an Islamic interpretation of freedom of expression.”We won’t allow propaganda, insults and humiliation to people in society and religious values. We will allow those who work for the betterment of the society,” he told AFP.A sixth round of talks between the US and the Taliban wrapped up last week in Doha, with apparently little progress being made on several key issues.The two foes have for months been trying to hammer out a deal that could see foreign forces leave Afghanistan in return for a ceasefire, talks between Kabul and the Taliban, and a guarantee the country will not be used as a safe haven for terror groups.But observers worry that in a rush to quit Afghanistan after nearly 18 gruelling years of war, America might not push for safeguards of protections many Afghans now take for granted, including media freedoms and improved rights for women and other marginalised people.”Freedom of expression as a protective value should be incorporated into any document resulting from peace talks,” NAI, a leading media support agency, said in a statement.Rahimi, the university student, said he worried about Afghanistan going back to “the dark era”.
#MayDay, or #InternationalWorkersDay, is when we commemorate the struggle to secure the 8-hour work day and other worker protections. #1u pic.twitter.com/ezgHHSAvrO— AFSCME (@AFSCME) May 1, 2018 Share #MayDay2018: Arizona teachers go out on their 4th day of strikes and walkouts, as teacher mobilizations across the country rock a capitalist system failing to provide for people’s needs. #Red4Ed #MayDay pic.twitter.com/4RotkNr9kr— Socialist Alt HTX (@SocialistHTX) May 1, 2018 May Day around the world https://t.co/1sO5F9yQGw pic.twitter.com/sv6oy3Q2u4— TIME (@TIME) May 1, 2018Immigrants say President Donald Trump’s administration has become almost everything they feared, but while they rally across the United States on May Day, their focus is less on huge turnout Tuesday than on the first Tuesday in November.Marches and other demonstrations for labor and immigrant rights were planned from Florida to New York to California on International Workers’ Day and come amid similar actions worldwide.“The Trump administration has made very clear that they’ve declared war on the immigrant community on all levels,” said Javier Valdes, co-executive director of the advocacy group Make the Road New York.Immigrant rights groups have joined in May Day activities for more than a decade, initially to push back against harsh legislative proposals and later to clamor for reform and legal status for immigrants in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S. as children or overstayed their visas.Now, they want to drive turnout in the midterm elections. Advocates hope voters target lawmakers who have pushed for measures that hurt immigrants and replace them with immigrant-friendly policymakers, said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles.“Elections have consequences, and the consequences for our community have been dire, and if we do not change the balance of power, we question our ability to remain free in this country,” she said.Protesters still are taking aim at policy changes under Trump, including a country-specific travel ban, the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, high-profile detention and deportation efforts, and proposals to cut back the overall numbers of people allowed to immigrate permanently.Trump and his supporters say the enforcement and policy changes are needed for national security and economic benefits. Some of the new policies have gotten tangled up in court, and Trump hasn’t secured funding for his coveted border wall with Mexico.After the rallies, immigrant rights groups will join LGBTQ, African-American and women’s organizations this summer to push for the election of new leaders, Salas said, adding that they hope to see more support from Americans who aren’t immigrants.“It is really a fundamental question about what kind of a country we’re going to be,” she said. “For us, the question of immigration is a question about race, and it is also a question about real equality in this country.”Today is the Annual #MayDay March for Immigrant and Workers Rights. It has never been more important to stand with immigrants and demand our government respect the rights of all people. pic.twitter.com/hHADEu2gJT— ACLU of Wisconsin (@ACLUofWisconsin) May 1, 2018