Our World in 7 Headlines: Oct. 8

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
October 8, 2013 Updated: October 8, 2013

India: Haryana khap expands marriage ban territory

CHANDIGARH—Not satisfied with the harsh diktats against same-gotra [same-clan] and same-village marriages, a khap panchayat [unelected village council] in Rohtak district has declared men and women from a cluster of eight villages in the region will also not be allowed to tie the knot.

Aethgama (eight villages) khap pradhan Anand Kumar said on Monday this is the “custom” followed by the villagers and no marriage will be allowed between women and men from Singhpura Khurd, Singpura Kalan, Bahu Jamalpur, Bahu Akabarpur, Gaddi Kheri, Taja Majra, Sunderpur and Bhali villages. “All girls and boys of these eight villages are siblings for us,” Anand Kumar said.

The announcement came after a couple from the region – Ravinder (27) and Jyoti (19) – eloped and tied the knot in a temple in Delhi on September 15. They are now living in fear at an undisclosed location and are scared of returning due to pressure from the community court. Even Ravinder’s family, which has supported the newlyweds, has had to seek police protection. …

Times of India


Thailand: Widow holds out in war-torn village

NARATHIWAT—Guarded by Thai soldiers from rebel attacks, an 81-year-old grandmother — the last Buddhist in a Muslim village — refuses to abandon her home, defying a wider split between insurgency-plagued communities.

Since violence erupted in the Muslim-dominated Thai deep south in 2004, Jiaw Pongthawil has seen her Buddhist neighbours flee Baan Ga Doh, a remote village in a security “red zone” in Narathiwat province.

She is now the only Buddhist among 1,200 Malay Muslims.

“I’m afraid. I have been attacked many times… but I have nowhere else to go. This is my property. This is my land,” she says, her voice faltering. …

Bangkok Post


South Africa: Woman faked abduction to test love of parents

JOHANNESBURG—A woman faked her own abduction to see whether her parents cared for her, The Star reported on Tuesday. 

Mary Dilley, 19, and her friend, Brandon Wester, 19, both pleaded guilty to defeating the ends of justice in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
In her plea read into the record by her attorney, Dilley said she and Wester had hatched the fake kidnapping plan on September 16.
“Brandon helped me tie myself up and he began taking pictures of me, which we sent to my best friend Shane via BBM [blackberry messenger],” she said.
“Shaun then sent the pictures to my mother, together with a recorded message, which was done by Brandon and which said he had found the phone at the beach on the bench, covered in blood.”



Nepal: Migrants returning in droves

BARDIBAS—Dashain [a 15-day Nepali festival] is an occasion when migrant workers return home, but this festive season, they have yet another reason to celebrate. Nepalis working in different Indian cities, who have started returning home, say this time they will not only celebrate Dashain but also take part in the Constituent Assembly elections, which they described as yet another festival. 

Nepali migrant workers in hundreds of numbers have been coming home every day since the beginning of Ghatasthapana from different bordering areas of Mahottari district including Bhittamod, Matihani and Samsi. Most of the returnees said that there were two prominent reasons to be back home — to celebrate Dashain and cast votes in the elections. 

Shankar Kshetri of Hatisarba Village Development Committee, who works in New Delhi, said he decided to return home to take part in the upcoming CA elections. 

Likewise, Saniulla Rayin, 30, of Bhangaha, said that he decided to come home on leave without pay only to cast vote in the elections. …

Himalayan Times


Italy: Inland revenue chief says some dodge taxes to ‘survive’

Befera says would be less cheating if Italy taxed less

ROME—The chief of the national inland revenue agency told radio listeners Monday that he believes tax evasion for economic survival exists in Italy and added that if taxes were lowered the country would see less cheating.

The notion that some in Italy are forced to dodge taxes by their economic circumstances has been a lightning rod for controversy in the past when similar sentiments were expressed by centre-right ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

The issue sparked furor anew when Junior Economy Minister Stefano Fassina, a member of Premier Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), repeated the hypothesis in late July.

On Monday, when asked on Radio 24 whether evasion for economic survival exists, Revenue Agency Director Attilio Befera responded, ”I believe so, but I don’t really know, not being an evader (myself)” …



Canada: An air passenger bill of rights awaits takeoff

The director of a lobby group representing Canadian airlines says he welcomes any discussions about an airline passenger bill of rights — a proposal rumoured to be announced in the next speech from the throne — as long as it’s a reasonable plan. …

But what’s considered reasonable by the lobby group and the airlines may differ greatly from what the government’s proposing and what opposition MPs and consumer advocates have called for in the past. 

The idea of an airline passenger bill of rights follows high-profile stories of passengers stranded for hours in planes on airport runways or passengers bumped from flights because of overbooking. CBC News reported on Monday about a Vancouver Island couple who had their Air Canada flight seats given to other passengers on an overbooked flight, leaving them stranded at the gate and unable to get home to their small children. …



Argentina: President Kirchner undergoes brain surgery

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will be undergoing surgery this morning at the Fundacion Favaloro. The head of state arrived yesterday at the medical center where routine examinations were performed prior to the operation. Ms. Kirchner suffers from a subdural hematoma and treatment is expected to keep her off duty for 30 days.

While a heavy security operation has been displayed at the clinic in the Buenos Aires City neighborhood of San Cristobal, pro-government activists held a vigil outside the building with banners hoping for the president’s quick recovery during the night and today’s early morning. …

Buenos Aires Herald