A tragic story emerging from China this week, the details of which remain vague, indicates that a 13-month-old boy was crushed by a vehicle driven by family planning officials, who were fining the child's parents for violating the country's controversial one-child policy.
The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, Feb. 4, when 11 members of a nearby birth control office arrived in a large van at the home of Chen Liandi and his wife, Li Yuhong, who live near Wenzhou city in the eastern province of Zhejian.
The officials arrived at the couple's home to collect an unspecified fine, as the couple had three children, therefore violating the country's strict one-child policy, which permits each couple to only produce one child in an attempt at population control. more >>
In a sign that the Chinese government is trying to repair its repressive image, officials recently sentenced 10 men to prison for illegally detaining people and putting them in so-called "black jails."
Black jails are detention centers that detain people without trial or evidence when citizens try to petition government officials to highlight inaction at the local level.
The 10 men, who were sentenced anywhere from between six months to two years, orchestrated a well-kept secret of illegally detaining individuals that were thought to be a threat to local officials reputations and political career prospects. more >>
ChinaAid, a Texas-based Christian non-profit organization that monitors religious freedom in China, said in its 2012 annual report on Monday that the Chinese government continues its uptick of persecution against Christians in the country for the seventh consecutive year.
The report examines 132 persecution cases involving 4,919 people, finding that persecution incidences rose 41.9 percent from 2011. Additionally, the number of people sentenced in cases relating to religious persecution jumped 125 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the group's finding.
"If the Chinese government had its druthers, religion would not be practiced at all within its borders," the organization stated on its website in response to the results of its 2012 persecution report. more >>
Malala Yousufzai, the young girl shot in the head by the Taliban, has spoken and produced a video for the first time since having major surgery. The 15-year-old spoke of her progress and her new foundation to help other children receive an education.
"I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund," she said in the video. "Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak; I can see you; I can see everyone."
"It's just because of the prayers of the people," Malala continued. "Because all people – men, women, children – all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers, God has given me this new life, a second life." more >>
A Christian advocacy group against the commercial sex trade and human trafficking has launched a social media campaign to coincide with the millions of people who will be interacting online during this Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Shared Hope International says there were 12.2 million Super Bowl related posts on social networking websites during and after the game. "As a matter of fact, the halftime show alone garnered 862,000 comments," officials stated.
The organization said that these types of large numbers related to the game means there is "a chance for us together to get in the game and create awareness for the fight against human trafficking, through online advocacy." more >>
Reports from North Korea show a disturbing new trend in rural areas of the country: cannibalism. Parents are allegedly murdering their children, or digging up their deceased's bodies in order to eat and survive the "hidden famine."
"While his wife was away on business, he killed his eldest daughter and, because he saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home, he offered her food, saying, 'We have meat,'" the Sunday Times reported.
"But his wife, suspicious, notified the Ministry of Public Security, which led to the discovery of part of their children's bodies under the eaves," the report continued. The man was later executed by firing squad. more >>