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Cellar Door Links for this Week

February 9, 2012

Tea Laborers Dying of Hunger in Assam, India

Arbitrary and exploitative actions of both the estate management and government drove about three thousand labourers and their families on the verge of starvation. The management abruptly closed the garden on 8 October, 2011 without paying wages due for 9 weeks, dues from provident fund and other benefits and alternative livelihood. The government public distribution system (PDS) and health care facilities are conspicuous by their absence. It is feared that without urgent and substantial intervention reports of deaths will keep coming.

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Missouri teen describes killing girl, 9, as ‘enjoyable’ experience _ before heading to church

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Raise the Crime Rate

In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.

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Excellent New York Times article about families of convicted murderers. Well worth reading.

Killers’ Families Left to Confront Fear and Shame

On the screen was her older brother, Richard Paul White, the person who taught her how to ride a bike and who tried to protect her from their mother’s abusive boyfriend when they were children. He was confessing to murdering six people.

Toward the end of the videotaped police interrogation, Ms. White reached for a razor blade and began to slice her left leg.

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Gripping.

The Murder of Sister Valsa: the Complete Story

“Where is Sister Valsa?” they demanded. “Where is Sister Valsa?”

In the dark of night on Nov. 15, the mob surrounded the tiled-roof compound. They carried bows and arrows, spades, axes, iron rods.

“I don’t have that information,” replied a woman who lived in the house, according to a statement she later gave to a local court.

You’re lying, she was told.

In one corner of a tiny windowless room off an inner courtyard, Valsa John Malamel, a Christian nun, hid under a blanket punching numbers into her cellphone.

“Some men have surrounded my house and I am suspecting something foul,” she whispered to a journalist friend who lived several hours’ drive away.

“Escape at any cost,” he says he told her. The call was logged at 10:30 p.m.

She called a friend who lived in the same village.“I have been surrounded on all sides,” she told him, according to his own court statement. Then the line went dead.

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China’s Fake Facebooks (Radio Stream)

Facebook is blocked in China –but that hasn’t prevented homegrown Facebook knock-off sites from sprouting. And even on China’s fake Facebooks, real conversations about politics and culture are occurring every day.

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Meet India’s first Transgender Pastor

Shunned and traumatized as a youngster, 25-year-old Bharathi now preaches to a congregation of 45 respectful parishioners, including 14 families, as India’s first transgender pastor.

Bharathi, who completed her bachelor’s degree in theology last April, has been a pastor at the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) branch in Chengalpattu, on the outskirts of Chennai, for the past eight months.

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Invisible Men: FTMs and Homelessness

Most FTMs who were homeless actively avoided the shelter system, choosing instead to sleep outside, couch surf, use substandard housing or the drop-in services of shelters without actually staying in them. These were all seen as preferable options to staying in a men’s shelter because of real fears of violence, and were also preferable to using a woman’s shelter due to a fear that their male identity and personal dignity would be undermined. In both situations, FTMs witnessed and/or experienced policies and practices that were degrading to them.

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Human Rights Campaign’s New York Gala Dinner Protested By Queer Occupy Wall Street Group

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WTF Headline of the week.

Judge Bans Autistic Woman From Having Sex

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