This week around the world: Feb. 12–Feb. 18


Feb. 12 United Kingdom: Oxfam deputy head resigns over sex scandal

Penny Lawrence—deputy head of U.K.–based charity Oxfam—resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct by aid workers in Haiti. Oxfam officials are accused of covering up for staff members who allegedly paid for sex, turning a rented villa into a brothel while working in the country following the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam—one of the U.K.’s largest aid organizations—could lose millions of pounds in public funding because of the scandal.

Feb. 13 Israel: Palestinian teen goes on trial over viral video
A teenage girl shown slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in a viral video posted to Facebook went on trial this week in a military court. Ahed Tamimi, 17, has been charged with with 12 offenses including assaulting security forces and inciting violence. If convicted, she will face a significant jail sentence. Against her parent’s wishes, members of the press were asked to leave the courtroom due to Tamimi’s status as a minor.

Feb. 14 South Africa: Jacob Zuma resigns as president

South African President Jacob Zuma resigned after his own ruling African National Congress party called a no-confidence vote, having failed to privately convince him to resign. Zuma, mired in scandal, faces more than 783 allegations of corruption, all of which he has denied. His successor Cyril Ramaphosa swore in on Feb. 15.

Feb. 15 El Salvador: Woman freed after 11 years in prison under total abortion ban

Teodora del Carmen Vasquez—a Salvadoran woman convicted in 2008 of aggravated homicide after allegedly aborting her pregnancy—was freed after serving more than 10 years of her 30-year sentence. Carmen Vasquez and her lawyers claim she gave birth to a stillborn baby after suffering complications, while prosecutors accused her of strangling her baby after giving live birth. El Salvador is one of only a few countries in the world that do not allow abortion under any circumstances. At least 27 women remain incarcerated under this ban.

Feb. 16 Israel: Protesters call for Netanyahu’s resignation amid corruption charges

Demonstrators gathered in a Tel Aviv square demanding the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after police recommended that he be charged with bribery in two corruption cases. Netanyahu has denied all wrongdoing.

Feb. 17 Pakistan: Court sentences Zainab Ansari’s killer to death

A Pakistani court issued a death sentence to convicted serial killer Imran Ali for the rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari. Ansari, whose murder sparked nationwide protests in Jan., was one of eight girls whose murders have been connected to Ali through DNA evidence.


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