As part of a campaign to combat violence against women, city leaders and Christian ministries in Toowoomba, Australia, are working together to eliminate porn from their community entirely. A local church group, City Women Toowoomba, is leading the effort supported by the mayor Paul Antonio.
The campaign addresses porn as a public health disaster that promotes gender-specific stereotypes of dominance and aggression in men.
Up to 300 people, mostly men, attended a rally at a public park last week and pledged, "I won't view porn and I will help create a city free from porn."
A local ABC affiliate spoke with John Minz, chairman of Toowoomba Together, a local organization that raises awareness about domestic violence issues. Minz described porn as a "social cancer," adding, "politicians and police are doing what they can in relation to drugs and alcohol, but who is taking responsibility in relation to pornography? The answer is no one."
Studies show that consuming porn can hardwire pathologies in the human brain in the same way that drug use can, altering the reward center to compulsively desire the dopamine hit that viewing porn can bring.
City Women Chief Executive Letitia Shelton of Toowoomba said that an actual porn-free city "sounds very ambitious and unlikely," but she believes that curbing its negative influences, and shedding light on this issue, to be a worthy cause.
As Hurricane Matthew moves up the coast of Florida, we’re getting a look at the damage it's caused in the Caribbean. It’s catastrophic.
According to the officials cited by Reuters, the death toll is at least 478. What’s worse, most officials anticipate that number to rise as first responders reach less populous, isolated parts of the island.
One of those remote areas (though it’s populous) is Chantel. The city’s deputy mayor expressed to reports that he doesn’t know how that community will move forward. He said:
We have nothing left to survive on, all the crops have gone, all fruit trees are down, I don't have a clue how this is going to be fixed.
The UN disaster response team estimates, too, that the storm directly affected around 1 million Haitians. Some 50,000 are in immediate need of food, water and medical care. And around 61,500 remain in shelters, according to reports.
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Relief organizations are seeking support in their efforts to deliver aid and assistance to people affected.
Since the Syrian army launched an offensive starting late last week (when the ceasefire ended), dozens of airstrikes have hit the rebel-held city of Aleppo city in Syria. Last night, airstrikes were particularly devastating.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday that a series of strikes killed 237 people—and that’s including 38 children. Experts suggest that 162 were east Aleppo and so far, around 400 people have died total in the past week.
Rescue efforts are being held up because all of the bombing has made the roads impassable and much of the rescue equipment has been destroyed in the same way. Discuss
2017 could see a significant increase in the number of refugees that are welcomed to the United States. Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress this week that the White House plans to bring 110,000 refugees from around the world into the country next year. That’s a 57% increase since 2015.
The refugees will be from various countries, and are some of the most vulnerable individuals in the world. Many have fled violence, poverty, instability and religious persecution, and have been selected by the U.S. because they are in dire need of safe places to live. Discuss
The organization George Clooney co-founded, The Sentry, released the findings of a two-year, undercover investigation into the war profiteering of South Sudan's government leaders. The results are shocking.
Sentry is an organization based out of the Enough Project and Not on Our Watch and its mission is to "disrupt and dismantle the networks of military officers, government officials, businessmen, arms dealers, bankers and other enablers who benefit financially and politically from Africa’s deadliest conflicts,” according to its website.
The organization found that the government officials have gained massive personal fortunes from arms deals, oil and gambling to fuel one of the world's deadliest conflicts that has been happening since 2013 andhas left tens of thousands dead and almost half the country with food insecurity. Millions have been displaced.
In a Washington Post op-ed, George Clooney and Sentry partner John Prendergast explained that some cases, leaders appear to be intentionally blocking aid so that the war will continue, and they will get richer.
[Leaders] have agreed to international humanitarian aid, but their forces obstruct the aid agencies at every turn and even attack, rob and rape aid workers ... All of this obstruction and obfuscation buys time for the leaders to continue to use extreme violence to loot the state treasury and the country’s natural resources.
In some cases, they say that leaders committed “outright fraud” and conducted unethical business deals.
The Sentry found that a number of [South Sudanese President Salva Kii’s] relatives are involved in a wide range of business ventures … The Sentry found that even Kiir’s 12-year-old son held a 25 percent stake in a holding company formed just a few months ago. Several of his children have held stakes in banks, some while they were teenagers
Don Cheadle, who co-founded Not on Our Watch, said:
These families of several top officials we examined live in million-dollar mansions outside of the country. They post videos partying in hotels, driving around in luxury cars while the rest of the people in their country suffer consequences of a brutal civil war and in many places experience near famine conditions.
The report highlights how the leaders have accumulated wealth in properties outside of the country, cars and other businesses.
The author's report, J.R. Mailey, said, “In some cases we would be able to confirm that certain people are in a house that we already suspected because they post a bunch of pictures next to a really beautiful pool.”
Clooney told journalists:
Investigate us. But don't take our word for it. Investigate it yourself. Look at the information with an open mind.
The release of the report and the earlier press conference comes before a meeting at the White House today with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Discuss
Just days after a temporary cease-fire was announced among factions in the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has made a grim announcement about the country’s long-running civil war. According to the group, since 2011 when fighting began, 301,781 people have been killed. Out of those, 86,000 were civilians. More than 15,000 were children.
The fighting has displaced millions, causing an international refugee crisis. And since fighting began, there have been widespread reports of human rights violations. Discuss