Sierra Leone school defies state ban on pregnant girls in class

FREETOWN, July 16 (Reuters) – When Mariatu Sesay realised she was pregnant at 14, one thing scared her more than the social isolation she felt in the classroom: Sierra Leonean law banned her from attending school at all because she was expecting. A keen student, Sesay continued to show up anyway and begged her teachers

Spotlight gives hope to Africa’s hunted albinos

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – I ncreased funding and awareness campaigns are helping to slow the rates of violence against people with albinism in Africa, according to officials and campaigners. In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, people with albinism – a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes – are

Scores of LGBT+ refugees in Kenya slum face homophobic attacks, eviction

NAIROBI, June 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Scores of LGBT+ refugees are in desperate need of emergency shelter after facing homophobic threats, violence and eviction warnings from community members in a Nairobi slum, the refugees and human rights campaigners said on Tuesday. The 76 LGBT+ refugees – mostly from Congo but also from Rwanda, Burundi,

Malaysian teen believed to have jumped to death after Instagram poll

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian police are investigating the case of a teenager believed to have jumped to her death after asking her social media followers to vote on whether she should kill herself. The 16-year-old girl, who was not named, had run a poll on photo-sharing app Instagram with the question “Really Important, Help

Without vaccine, hundreds of children die in Madagascar measles outbreak

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) – Two months ago, giggles floated through the home of fisherman Dada as his four-year-old son played ball outside with his two younger cousins on one of Madagascar’s famed sun soaked beaches. Malagasy fisherman Dada holds a photo of three siblings who died of measles one week apart in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar February

Migrant parents separated from children return to U.S., plead to be reunited

MEXICALI/TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) – A large group of Central American migrants who U.S. authorities separated from their children last year when they crossed the Mexican border entered the United States again on Saturday asking for refuge and to be reunited with their kids. Central American migrants react as they wait to enter the U.S., asking

Pope promises moves against sexual abuse but victims disappointed

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, ending a landmark conference on sexual abuse of children by clergy, called on Sunday for an “all-out battle” against a crime he said should be “erased from the face of the earth”. Pope Francis is seen during the last day of the four-day meeting on the global sexual abuse

‘Dream of a safe place’: Saudi sisters in hiding in Hong Kong after fleeing family

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Two sisters from Saudi Arabia were intercepted at Hong Kong airport by the kingdom’s diplomats en route to Australia, their lawyer said, the year’s second high-profile case of Saudi women trying to flee what they call repression at home. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is visiting Beijing on a tour

U.S.-backed Syria force seeks help with Islamic State prisoner ‘time bomb’

BEIRUT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Hundreds of foreign jihadist fighters held in Syria represent a “time bomb” and could escape and threaten the West unless countries do more to take them back, the Kurdish-led, U.S.-backed authorities holding them said on Monday. The fate of foreign fighters who joined Islamic State, as well as of their wives and

Mexican Church suspended 152 priests across 9 years for alleged abuse: bishop

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – At least 152 Catholic priests in Mexico have been suspended in the past nine years for sexual abuse against minors, Mexico’s Archbishop for Monterrey said, prompting a lawyer for alleged victims of abuse to question on Monday the Church’s sincerity. “Some delinquent priests are in prison, others have been suspended from

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