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Turning off the tap for Syrian rebels

January 3rd, 2013
06:33 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Increasing concerns about the long-term aims of certain Syrian opposition forces may now be leading the international community to “turn off the tap for the rebels.”

That is according to NPR Foreign Correspondent Deborah Amos, who has just returned from five-weeks of reporting in and out of Northern Syria.

“I think what is happening is there is some sort of arrangement so that [the rebels] don’t exactly win the war, but they push the regime enough to make them talk,” she told CNN’s Fionnuala Sweeney.

The West is concerned about rebel groups like al-Nusra, which the U.S. branded a terrorist organization last month. But most analysts say that al-Nusra is among the best fighting forces trying to overthrow the regime.


Filed under:  Latest Episode • Syria

Prominent Indian lawyer wary of rape investigations

January 3rd, 2013
06:04 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

The men accused in the brutal multiple-rape and killing of a 23-year-old Indian woman have been formally charged in a New Delhi court, but a leading Indian lawyer and women’s rights activist is calling attention to how Indian authorities commonly handle rape cases.

“Investigation by the police is extremely shoddy.” Kirti Singh tells CNN’s Fionnuala Sweeney. “They may not collect proper evidence.”

Police often carry out obscene physical exams on rape victims.

Singh says there is fairly widespread practice of using a two-finger vaginal examination to determine whether a woman was previously engaged in sexual intercourse and courts even look at evidence submitted from this type of assessment.


Filed under:  India • Latest Episode

Pioneering female doctor leaves behind an inspiring legacy

January 3rd, 2013
05:59 PM ET

By Lucky Gold & Richa Naik, CNN

When Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in Italy in 1909, girls were expected to marry and have children, but Levi-Montalcini wanted to be a doctor.

Despite her father’s opposition, she graduated from medical school, ready to devote her life to science and research.

However Levi-Montalcini, who was Jewish, was banned from pursuing that dream when Benito Mussolini and the fascists came to power. But that didn’t stop her.

She turned her bedroom into a laboratory, risking her life to conduct research in secret. Levi-Montalcini’s solitary work led her to see what other scientists had missed – a crucial factor that allows cells to grow and develop.

After the war, she came to America to continue her research, creating a new way of understanding conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

In 1986 Levi-Montalcini shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She continued to work even after her hundredth birthday, making her the oldest living Nobel Laureate.

“At one hundred, I have a mind that is superior, thanks to experience, than when I was twenty,” she said.

Rita Levi-Montalcini died this week at the age of 103. She never married or had children, but leaves behind a legacy of courage and discovery.

Filed under:  Imagine a World • Latest Episode

Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution

Indian rape debate: Why death penalty is no solution
After the gang-rape and murder of a student in New Delhi, many Indians want the death penalty to be introduced for rapists.
January 3rd, 2013
02:22 PM ET

By Ananth Guruswamy, special for CNN

Ananth Guruswamy is director of Amnesty International in India. As the organization's chief campaigner, political advisor, strategist and spokesperson, he leads efforts to end human rights abuses in India and the region.

New Delhi (CNN) - The tragic case of the 23-year old woman who was brutally attacked, raped and left for dead by six men in New Delhi on December 16 has highlighted the unacceptable reality millions of women in India are facing. Violence against women is endemic - more than 220,000 cases of violent crimes against women were reported in 2011 according to official statistics from the Indian government, with the actual number likely to be much higher.

If there has been a silver lining to this horrendous case, it has been the enormous outcry from Indian society. What started as student-led protests in New Delhi has grown to encompass Indians from all walks of life and from the whole political spectrum. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets with the clear message that something has to change, and that women should no longer have to live in fear. <<READ FULL ARTICLE>>

Filed under:  India