Atheist Republic News Summary: Pakistan Considers Death Penalty for Rapists

1. Pakistani government considering death penalty for rapists
Location: Pakistan

2. Trump: If Joe Biden Wins, “There Will Be No God”
Location: United States of America

3. Three boys accused of stealing to have fingers AMPUTATED in Iran
Location: Iran

4. Outrage sparked for depiction of Jesus in a drews with a beard and breasts
Location: Iceland

5. Famine threat returns to Yemen, amid upsurge in fighting
Location: Yemen

6. Unveiling: Malaysian activist fights for freedom from hijab
Location: Malaysia

7. Hindu jailed 7 years in Bangladesh for insulting Prophet Mohammed
Location: Bangladesh

8. China forces 500,000 Tibetans into labour camps
Location: Tibet Autonomous Region

9. Israeli Court Rules Accused Child-Abuser to Be Extradited to Australia
Location: Israel/Australia

10. Victory! Afghanistan allows mothers' names on birth certificates #WhereIsMyName
Location: Afghanistan

Video descriptions:

1. The Pakistani government is considering various changes in the present set of rape laws to introduce the death penalty for rapists of children and women whose cases involve aggravating factors. The proposal of chemical castration is also being included. These proposals, it is said, do not include the option of public hanging but might suggest televising the hanging of such culprits directly from jail to ‘create a deterrence’. At present, the offense of rape does not carry the death penalty. An amendment is now being proposed that the death penalty will be handed down to the rapists of children. The same punishment of death is being proposed for those who rape women where the rape case includes any of the aggravating factors.

2. During a rally in North Carolina, President Donald Trump claimed that a Joe Biden victory this November means “there will be no God.” The quote comes from a ramble during which Trump criticizes Biden for flip-flopping while trying to pander to the Right, “I tell it all the time, Texas, right? Texas. They like oil! They like guns, right? In Texas, right? And they like God. So he comes out with a platform: “No oil. We don’t want oil!” This is during the… Democrat deal. “There will be no oil. There will be no God. There will be no guns.” This is not a good campaign!” Meanwhile, Biden is a devout church-going Catholic.

3. Three teenage boys accused of stealing will have their fingers amputated as part of their horrific punishment. The three prisoners - Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian and Mehdi Shahivand - will have four fingers from their right hands sawn off. Iran's Islamic penal code says theft "on the first occasion" is punishable by the amputation of four fingers of the right hand. Nargess Tavalossian, legal analyst and journalist at Iran International TV, said: “Amputation as a form of punishment is rare in Iran. To have this type of punishment, there are 13 rules that all need to apply for the judge to order an amputation. However, judges usually avoid issuing such punishment by saying that 12 out of the 13 rules are met and amputation is therefore not required.” Despite attempts to appeal the decision, Supreme Court judges this week upheld the verdict.

4. In an ad purportedly meant to encourage children to attend Sunday school, the National Church of Iceland featured a bearded Jesus with breasts, makeup and a dress dancing under a rainbow. After receiving backlash, the church removed the ad from social media — but not busses — and released an apology. However, the church also argued that it believes “it’s okay” to depict Jesus as a woman, transgender or anything else. The church, known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland and considered the official Christian church in the country, apologized, saying: “The 2020 Assembly of the National Church regrets that the picture of Jesus in a Sunday school advertisement has hurt people. The goal was to emphasize diversity, neither to hurt people nor shock them."

5. The spectre of famine has returned to Yemen as donor countries fail to make good on their 2020 pledges, amidst an upsurge in fighting, fresh hurdles for aid deliveries, and ongoing efforts to nail down a nationwide ceasefire. Increased funding was the main reason that famine was prevented two years ago, but this year only 30 per cent of promised donations have come through, said Mark Lowcock, the United Nation’s top humanitarian official. Several donors, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, have given nothing so far to the $2.41 billion UN humanitarian response plan. The UN ranks Yemen as the world’s most serious humanitarian crisis, the result of five years of conflict, disease, economic collapse and a breakdown of public institutions and services - leaving a staggering 80 per cent of its population of 30.5 million, dependent on aid.

6. Harassed and placed under investigation by the religious authorities - activist Maryam Lee is a highly controversial figure in Malaysia. Her crime? Speaking out about her decision to stop wearing the hijab and criticising what she sees as institutional patriarchy in Islam. Ms Maryam, who was made to wear a headscarf from the age of nine, says she realised in her mid-20s that she was conforming to a social expectation rather than a religious requirement and decided to remove it. Malaysia's religious affairs minister expressed concern and she was hauled in for questioning under a law against insulting Islam - the country has a dual-track legal system, with Muslim citizens subject to sharia law in certain areas. "I was born a Muslim, I'm still a Muslim - I'm no less of a Muslim because I removed my hijab," she explains.

7. A Hindu has been jailed for seven years in Muslim-majority Bangladesh for insulting the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. Although Bangladesh is officially secular, criticism of Islam is taboo in the conservative nation of 168 million people and violent protests have previously erupted over social media posts deemed blasphemous. Jibon Krishna Roy, a security guard, was found guilty of posting “obscene, derogatory and objectionable comments on Prophet Mohammed.” The offence falls under the country’s controversial internet laws.

8. China is pushing hundreds of thousands of Tibetans into forced labour camps, mirroring a program in the western Xinjiang region. New evidence suggests the Chinese government now has a large-scale mandatory "vocational training" program in Tibet, pushing more than 500,000 rural labourers into recently built military-style training centres in the first seven months of this year alone. The labour camps are accompanied by enforced indoctrination, intrusive surveillance, and harsh punishments for those who fail to meet labour transfer quotas, according to the research, by Dr Adrian Zenz. Amidst the pro-democracy crackdown in Hong Kong, the genocide of the Uighur Muslim people of Xinjiang, and the new evidence of Tibetan labor camps, the International Olympic Committee is being urged by global leaders to strip Beijing of the Winter Olympics.

9. An Israeli court decided that accused p*dophile Malka Leifer be extradited to Australia. Leifer fled to Israel in 2008 after being indicted in Australia for 74 counts of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse of three sisters who were her students while she served as the headmistress of a Jewish school in Australia. A statement by Kol V'Oz, an advocacy group for survivors of child sexual assault, said that even Leifer and the school where she taught "could not have foreseen the extent to which certain ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel and around the world would go to protect an accused pedophile and how the failures of the Israeli justice system would help them in their quest for an alleged pedophile to avoid justice.” The court said that the expert panel created to assess Leifer's mental state had concluded that she was clearly lying about her ability to stand trial.

10. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed an amendment allowing mothers' names to be included on their children's birth certificates, after a three-year campaign by women's rights activists. #WhereIsMyName campaigners are fighting an ingrained Afghan tradition that states using a woman's name in public brings shame on the family. Instead, women are publicly referred to by the name of their closest male relatives. "My feeling of happiness may seem ridiculous for women in other countries, but when we live in a society where women are physically and spiritually excluded, achieving such basic rights is a big and difficult task," said activist Sonia Ahmadi, who joined the campaign when it began in 2017.

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