Ecuador News | Afro-Ecuadorians

Ecuador government passes resolution to include Afro-Ecuadorian history in textbooks
  • As Ecuadoreans around the country celebrate National Day of the Afro-Ecuadorian People, the government announced the new education measure to foster inclusion of Afro-Ecuadorians in the nation’s history.
  • Afro-Ecuadorians number more than 600,000 in the country, but continue to face discrimination and economic difficulty.
  • The National Day of the Afro-Ecuadorian People began with the 1997 congressional declaration of the National Day of the Black Ecuadorian, symbolized by celebration of fugitive slave leader Alonso de Illescas and Afro-Ecuadorian history and culture.

“On this day we have to remember all the contributions we have made as a people and bring it, together with our history, to the rest of the people because many don’t know it, which enables a lot of forms of discrimination.”

Read more:
Ecuador to Include Afro-Ecuadorean History in Textbooks” (teleSUR English)

(Image Credit: El Telegrafo, via teleSUR)

South Korea Feature | Jehovah’s Witnesses

South Korea’s Prisoners of Conscience

South Korea leads the world in the incarceration of conscientious objectors, jailing hundreds each year who refuse the country’s manditory military service on the basis of conscience and belief. The vast majority of the imprisoned are Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of a Christian sect that has seen tens of thousands jailed in the half-century following the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War. The New York Times profiles the ongoing struggles of the community and recent developments that could finally see movement in the fight for their freedom of conscience.

Read more:
South Korean Jehovah’s Witnesses Face Stigma of Not Serving in Army” (The New York Times)

Other coverage:
South Korean conscientious objectors keep up fight against military service” (The Los Angeles Times)
South Korea, world’s top jailer of conscientious objectors, resists giving them alternatives” (Fox News)

(Image Credit: Jean Chung/The New York Times )

Israel & Palestinian Territories News | Israelis & Palestinians

Palestinian teen dead, Israeli teen wounded as violence grows in Jerusalem and the West Bank
  • A Palestinian teenager was killed as Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces during a police operation in the West Bank town of Tulkarm.
  • Following the murder of two Israeli men in Jerusalem, a follow-up stabbing by another Palestinian wounded an Israeli teenager.
  • As Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the knife attack, PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced the homes of attackers would be destroyed and access to the Old City in Jerusalem limited.

Read more:
Violence intensifies in Jerusalem, West Bank, raising security concerns” (Reuters)
Jewish Teen Moderately Wounded in Latest Jerusalem Stabbing Attack” (Haaretz)
Israel bans Palestinians from Jerusalem’s Old City after knife attacks” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Atef Safadi/EPA, via The Guardian)