International Quick Takes

In international news this week…

Iran Just Outlawed child abuse. No, Really.

Iran just passed a law making child abuse illegal after the country was shocked by news of a father who beheaded his 14-year old daughter. Reza Ashrafi was beheaded by her own father, who had reportedly consulted a lawyer before killing her and was told that he could only be prosecuted under a much lesser law and that there was no law specifically protecting children from abuse by their parents.

“It’s the first time in Iran’s legal framework that harming a child is defined as a crime,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, an independent organization based in New York.

It’s as important to remember, that the United Nations has previously appointed Iran to the Human Rights Commission.  So child abuse was not illegal but they were appointed to help monitor human rights around the world? And THAT is one more example of why we should never allow our decisions to be made by international organizations.

WHO Can’t Figure Out What to Say

The World Health Organization (WHO) just can’t get out of its own way, it seems.  So in the last two weeks, it has changed its guidelines on wearing masks. But, they apparently decided that they can do even better than that and have changed their stance on how Covid-19 is spread twice in 24 hours.

In what seemed to be a significant step in understanding how the virus can be spread, WHO announced yesterday that there is very low risk of asymptomatic people spreading the disease to others. This morning, they ‘walked that back’ which is PR-speak for “yeah, we should never have said that”.

A WHO spokesperson said that there are cases of transmission by asymptomatic people and WHO did not mean to change its recommendations on policy.

Do they check with each other before they decide to issue a statement or do they just spin a wheel and someone makes a major announcement?

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