The UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for nuclear disarmament. While not mentioned specifically in the resolution, President Obama, who chaired the session, said the resolution was, in part, in response to the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, BBC News. Women’s rights discussed behind the scenes at the UN, CNN.
The FBI is investigating the death of a U.S. Census Bureau worker, William Sparkman, who was found hanged in Kentucky with the word “fed” written on his chest to see if the death is linked to anti-government radicalism, USA Today. More on right-wing attacks on the Census, which the U.S. Constitution mandates be taken every ten years, USA Today. The results of the Cesus are used to allocate congressional districts, electoral votes, and government spending.
A new vaccine for the AIDS virus has been effective in trials. In a trial of 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, the vaccine reduced the risk of getting the virus by 31%, National Public Radio.
Sydney and Brisbane clean up after the dust storm, the Big Picture.
Well, according to the #awaresg hashtag on Twitter, there’s a storm a-brewin’ in Singapore. From what we can gather (and check out media links below for better summaries), the women’s organization AWARE has been taken over by Christian fundamentalists and a no confidence vote is under way.
AWARE’s website. Their mission statement: “Our mission is to identify areas for improvement in gender equality, encourage positive change, and support women in realising their highest potential.”
Update: The votes have been collected – the majority voted no confidence. 1414 yes (for no confidence vote), 761 against. The Old Guard called for the Exco to resign. The New Guard didn’t respond in time, and so AWARE is voting on new officers.
Oh, not so fast! The New Guard has come back and will make a statement. Josie Lau announces they are “graciously stepping down.”
- Pat Law is live at the meeting. Updates here.
- ctham: Irene Ang has taken the mic: “I have no confidence in the new leadership”
- intewig: Good parallel would be the US southern Baptists taking over Planned Parenthood in the name of “Pro Family, Pro America”
- stuartkoe: Church members leaving in droves. I think they are in shock and completely didn’t expect this backlash.
- euniqueflair: If you are here at the EGM, you could tell that the majority is going for no-confidence.
- euniqueflair: A #awaresg member brought up 20k expenses and asks how much have the new comm spent but new comm shuns & don’t wanna reply.
- helpsaveaware: the lawyer has been escorted off the premises for continuing to ask how much they spent
- kelvl: Cameras and videocams not allowed in Suntec. Wayang Party’s journalist got his videocam confiscated
- helpsaveaware: #awaresg the new exco said they estimated they spend $90,000 for all this. Omg. Crowd is outrage[d]
- dominicsoon: Exco revealed that they spent 90k on EGM when they were legally entitled to spend only 20k. Almost all the money from new members
- madespace: CNA report:ex-new guard might be taken to court for blowing $90K without consulting members. – each individually accountable!
China’s GDP growth fell 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. China, which is holding much of the U.S.’s debt, has had double-digit growth from 2003 to 2008 and grew 9 percent last year, BBC News.
Anti-tax protests were the talk of the nation today as thousands attending “tea parties” in their cities to protests wasteful government spending and Obama administration policies, Wa Po. Check out our live post below for more information.
In Afghanistan, women there protested a new law that deems men raping there wives legal. The 300 women who marched were met by counter-protesters, Afghan men, who shouted slurs at them and hit them with rocks. The law also has other provisions such as wives having to have permission from husbands to work outside of their home or go to school, NY Times.
Follow BBC News’s live coverage of the vote in India here. We’ll follow it all month long until the results are announced on May 16th.
New legislation, quietly passed last month, will restrict rights for Shia women living in Afghanistan. The legislation, officially called the “Shia Personal Status Law,” puts the legal age of marriage at 16, specifies that husbands have a right to intercourse every four days, and restricts the movement of women outside the home without their husband’s consent. A provision in the Afghan constitution allows Shia’s in Afghanistan, about 15% of the population, to employ Sharia, or family, law which follows religious traditions. The law, which has been approved by Parliament and signed by President Hamid Karzai but has not yet gone into effect, is widely seen as an attempt by Karzai to gain Shia support in the upcoming presidential election, Guardian.
Markets rally on opening of G20 summit in London. Stock markets in Toyko, Hong Kong, London, Paris and New York all posted gains yesterday.
G20 summit issues: Germany and France pushing for increased regulation on tax havens. Final agreement of actions to be taken expected this afternoon, BBC News.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper misses official G20 summit group photo, CBC.
U.S. marshals seize Florida mansion and yacht belonging to convicted Ponzi scheme swindler Bernie Madoff, CNN.