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Caribzone Round UP

Thursday, February 2, 2017

J-FLAG supports call by the UN to broaden the definition of sexual intercourse

The Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has thrown its support behind the call by the United Nations (UN) recommending that Jamaica’s definition of sexual intercourse be extended beyond “penetration of the vagina by the penis of another person”.

UNDP Senior Human Rights Adviser in Jamaica, Birgit Gerstenberg, told a Parliamentary committee meeting at Gordon House yesterday afternoon that the UN was recommending that other forms of penetration be considered such as penetration of the mouth, anal intercourse or penetration by non-sex organs and objects (except for medical purposes).

Policy and Advocacy Manager at J-FLAG, Glenroy Murray, in supporting the proposal told OBSERVER ONLINE that the current definition of sexual intercourse which was crafted in 2009 is “inaccurate”, adding that “it is unfortunate that we have allowed our laws to treat rape of some persons as more severe than rape of others.”

He further stated that the revised definition of sexual intercourse should include penetration of the mouth or anus by a penis and penetration of the vagina, anus and mouth by an object except where the penetration is carried out for proper medical purposes…

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Gov’t to continue dialogue with key US stakeholders over immigration orders

The Government said it will continue to communicate with key stakeholders in the United States regarding the recent Executive Orders on immigration and travel signed by President of the United States, Donald Trump.

This was noted by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

“The Government is aware of the concern, we are on top of it and we are talking to our key partners within the State Department and across the Diaspora,” he said.

Reid encouraged Jamaicans to stay calm, adding that the Government will continue to provide information on topical issues which concern the citizens of the country…

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Hidden in plain sight — the African-American women who helped land a man on the moon

Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson aren’t household names.

There wasn’t a chapter dedicated to them in your middle school American history books. And although these women helped shift our culture forward, they aren’t regularly celebrated as trailblazers.

Well … that was until the release of Margot Lee Shetterly’s book “Hidden Figures” and the eponymous film, which hits theaters on Friday.

These three women were among a group of skilled mathematicians and scientists, dubbed “computers” at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s inaugural field center. In fact, their sharp minds helped develop the calculations that supported the launch and landing of John Glenn, who in 1962 became the first American to orbit Earth.

Yet their contributions had been hidden, and maybe even buried in plain sight.

“[It] wasn’t so much hidden, but unseen. Fragments patiently biding their time in footnotes, family anecdotes and musty folders before returning to view,” Shetterly notes, when the topic of “finding” their accomplishments arises.

Here we celebrate these pioneers and remind the world why their stories matter.

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