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Worth Your Time

August 20, 2010

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission released a report on the devastatingly high rates of sexual assault and rape in U.S. prisons (Colorlines has a good summary):

About one in every 20 people in prison were sexually assaulted last year, according to federal statistics. For juvenile inmates, the annual rate is about one in eight. The threat of sexual violence and coercion stems from both fellow inmates as well as staff, and women and girls especially are at risk of being exploited by the officers controlling their facilities.

The problem, says the ACLU and other groups, is compounded by restrictions on litigation that limit the legal remedies available to incarcerated people, which means that assault survivors must first go through a labyrinth of internal grievance procedures before they can seek justice in the courts.

In Pictures: In the eyes of Saudi women

Alanna Shaikh asks Why Are So Many Donors Ignoring Pakistan?

Twenty percent of Pakistan is under water, and it’s getting way, way less attention – and more importantly – financial support – that the earthquake in Haiti generated. It’s true that in terms of initial casualties, the situation in Haiti was far worse, but the long-term impact of the Pakistani floods is going to dwarf the catastrophe in Haiti. That fact is apparently being ignored, by both the media and donors.

At Aid Watch, Laura Freschi points out that “Compared to the response to the Haitian earthquake, media coverage of the Pakistan floods has been paltry. While news coverage isn’t correlated with need, it does have a major effect on the amount of disaster relief aid given.” She offers the depressing explanation that the attention – and money – given in response to disasters is based on how popular the area is with American tourists.

Hilary Clinton on why global health is a foreign policy issue and the creation of the Global Health Institute:

“What exactly does maternal health or immunizations or the fight against HIV and AIDS have to do with foreign policy?” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton queried a packed crowd of faculty and students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies on Monday. “Well, my answer is ‘everything.’ “

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