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Cellar Door Links Roundup

February 16, 2012

Witch hunting: Villagers set woman ablaze

Guwahati, Feb 10 : In a case of witch hunting, a 45-year-old tribal woman was burnt alive by villagers in upper Assam’s Sivsagar district on Friday. At least 24 people have been arrested for the crime, police said. The victim was identified as Phuleswari Halowa.

Police said villagers at Hasong Basti area of Joloha village under Sonari police station jurisdiction set the woman ablaze as they suspected she practised witch craft – a superstition prevalent in many interior areas of the state.

Zimbabwe mermaids appeased by traditional beer ritual

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A mermaid-plagued dam in Zimbabwe is up and working after traditional healers brewed beer to appease the mischievous water spirits. The “mermaids” had harassed workers installing water pumps at a dam near the small town of Gokwe, in northern Zimbabwe, according to local media reports. Water resources minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo told a Senate committee last week that work on the pumps at Gokwe dam had stopped after terrified workers complained of machines breaking down under mysterious circumstances, and blamed mermaids […]

India’s Own Jasmin Revolution

It took a suicide and the Facebook account of a man named Jasmin to set it off. Within five months, it saw 164,000 nurses rallying online—thousands of them in actual hospitals too—for better work conditions

Catholic Priest Allegedly Told Child He Was Raping That ‘This Is What God’s Love Feels Like’

An important and resonating critique of the SlutWalk movement.

If SlutWalk truly wanted to bring attention to the systematic ways in which women are harmed by regressive and misogynistic thinking, they could have done the heavy lifting of reaching out and supporting black, poor and transgender women in New Orleans, for whom the word “slut” carries a criminal sex offender record. Instead, they force us to keep bearing the multiple burdens that come with not only being a woman, but also being a working class woman of color. Had SlutWalk organizers considered New Orleans – or perhaps any city in the Northern Hemisphere where undocumented women possess a very real fear that a call to the police for any reason will result in her own deportation – they might have thought twice about sinking so much time and energy into their event. They might have had to listen to women of color, and actually involve them in visioning for what an equitable future would look like. Instead, they decided to celebrate a term not everyone is comfortable even saying. While I will not pretend to speak for women targeted in New Orleans, I doubt that the mere idea of naming themselves “sluts” would be welcomed. SlutWalk has proven itself to be a maddening distraction from the systematic and interpersonal violence that women of color face daily.

Go read the whole thing.

A village where every house has a cancer patient

A village in Germany has left health experts baffled as almost every household there has a resident suffering from cancer, a media report said Monday. The Wewelsfleth village with a population of 1,500 has been dubbed the “village of the damned”, said the Daily Mail.

Village mayor Ingo Karstens, who lost two wives to cancer, said: “It feels like a curse.” Researchers from the University of Lubeck investigated the phenomenon and found cases of breast, lung, oesophageal, womb and stomach cancer.

They could, however, find no cause for the deadly disease.

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