Thursday, 7 January 2010

Making the News

Some notable stories from around the world.

In Uganda, the darker legacy of ancient paganism is exposed in BBC reports which show that child sacrifice by witch-doctors still goes on, and has been increasing. The sacrifice is made as part of a ritual to enable communication with the spirits:

One witch-doctor led us to his secret shrine and said he had clients who regularly captured children and brought their blood and body parts to be consumed by spirits. The Ugandan government told us that human sacrifice is on the increase, and according to the head of the country's Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity, and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly.

In Burma, the regime is as repressive as ever, and two officials were caught leaking material to exiled media outlets. Burma's Electronic Act prohibits sending information, photos or video damaging to the regime abroad via the Internet.

Two Burmese officials have been sentenced to death for leaking details of secret government visits to North Korea and Russia, the BBC has learned

In the UK, Professor Nutt, the Government advisor sacked for providing politically incorrect advice about the dangers of different drugs, has decided to set up his own body, which will be independent from political interference and aim for scientific neutrality in objective assessment of the effects of drugs:

The professor said the new body he was setting up would provide independent scientific evidence about the effects of drugs, and that its "goal" was to supplant what the ACMD was doing. "I think in a way we will take over that particular role of the ACMD," said Prof Nutt. "We're going to focus on the science and the ACMD can continue if it likes to deal with issues about treatment provision, about social policy etc."

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