Afghan women walk in the northwestern city of Herat on Nov. 23. Women still have few rights, and can end up in jail on adultery charges when they accuse a man of rape. There are fears that women's rights will be further eroded when Western troops leave the country.
This week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced the pardon of a 19-year-old Afghan woman who was imprisoned for adultery after being raped by a relative, in a case that has attracted international media coverage.
But what happened to the woman, Gulnaz, who has been in prison for two years, is not an isolated episode.
Many other women have suffered similar fates. A recent U.N. report suggests that laws to protect women in Afghanistan from rape and forced marriage are still not being enforced — with devastating results.
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.
Yesterday I was told I had approximately 20 hours to write an essay: 450 words about National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I'm quite partial to the event. Still, I thought about declining the essay, given the time constraint.
But then I decided, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, that it was rather silly to say "oh, I can't write 450 words in less than a day" So here we go:
Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 4:55 pm
Not long ago, economists and others expressed concerns that China's economy was expanding too quickly. Now, the latest data are raising concerns about a slowdown — and the woes it could trigger.
With a sluggish U.S. economy and troubles in the eurozone, Chinese exports are taking a hit, causing a slowdown on shop floors in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Earlier this week, the Chinese Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to its lowest level in nearly three years.
There's word from Rock Hill, S.C., that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says he'll be making an announcement on Saturday about the future of his presidential bid, The Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, here's a related bit of news to consider: His campaign just launched a "Women for Cain" effort, chaired by the candidate's wife Gloria.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 3:52 pm
The thought of eating Mr. Ed or Seabiscuit is likely to pull the heartstrings of most Americans. But there are plenty of people around the world who see our horses as just another source of protein and energy.
Results from the first round of voting in Egypt's parliamentary elections are being announced this hour. Already, according to al-Jazeera and other news outlets, there's word from the head of Egypt's Elections High commission that 62 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.
The Associated Press adds that Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim called the number "the highest since the time of pharaohs."
As we've noted before, 2011 has been a great year for Internet companies seeking to go public. Today, Zynga said it hoped to price its shares at $8 to $10 per share during its initial public offering later this month. Depending on whose math you trust, that means the company will try to raise about $1 billion and the debut could value the company at $7 billion. (Some news outlets are putting that number as high as $9 billion.)
What is Zynga you ask? They're the makers of social games like Farmville and Cityville.
The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly to 8.6 percent in November, in part because hundreds of thousands of Americans stopped looking for work. But analysts said the modest increase of 120,000 jobs created last month points to an economy that's generally still limping.