The American Center for Law and Justice has sent legal documents to the United Nations calling for an end to the grotesque practice in Afghanistan where grown men force young boys to dress up like women, before raping and sexually abusing them.
The conservative law group said that the "bacha bazi" practice, which translates to "boy play," has been present for centuries in Afghanistan, and reports have said that it is still being used in the war-torn country.
"Perpetrators span all facets of society, including high-ranking officials in the government and security forces, and are allowed to systematically rape and traffic young boys with virtual impunity," the ACLJ said. more >>
Christians around the world are taking time this week to remember the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants one year ago in a threatening video to the "nation of the cross."
"One profound result and gift of this horrific act is that it brought people together," said Bishop Amba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in a service of commemoration last week in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, London.
"These men paid the ultimate price, but gave us a cause to advocate for all those persecuted; they also showed us that there was a level of evil that we must all stand in solidarity against, and a level of courage, faithfulness and defiance that we must all aspire to," Angelos added. more >>
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson argued that the United States should officially declare war on the Islamic State terror group, something which Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton has firmly opposed.
"As President I will declare war on the Islamic State, taking back the territory through which it claims legitimacy. I will destroy the means by which it gains revenue and cut off the supply routes on which it relies, and I will work with regional partners and local forces — including displaced Syrian men — to take back that country from the jihadists," Carson wrote in an Op-ed for Fox News published on Monday.
"At the same time I will work with allies and partners in Europe and Northern Africa to halt the advance of the Islamic State in the Maghreb and turn back the growing tide of radical Islam across the continent. This movement is global, and our efforts must match it in scale and intensity," the retired neurosurgeon wrote. more >>
UNITED NATIONS — Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died, Venezuelan U.N. Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, president of the U.N. Security Council for February, said on Tuesday. He was 93.
An Egyptian, Boutros-Ghali served one five-year term as U.N. chief from 1992 to 1996.
The 15-member Security Council observed a minute's silence. No further details on his death were immediately available. more >>
A diplomat with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed laboratory tests that show the Islamic State terror group has been using banned chemical weapons on soldiers in Iraq.
Reuters reported on Monday that the diplomat, who chose to remain anonymous because the OPCW report has not yet been officially released, said the findings point to IS using sulfur mustard gas on around 35 Kurdish troops last August, in at least one confirmed case.
The use of chemical weapons has been banned throughout the vast majority of the world, with sulfur mustard known to cause severe delayed burns to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. more >>
During his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis condemned the country's drug trade and government corruption that has led to hundreds of thousands of murders and missing persons cases.
The pope made his comments on Saturday while speaking to the country's bishops at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, urging religious leaders to take a more pro-active stance in fighting the drug trade and warning of "the temptation of aloofness and clericalism."
The country's Catholic Church has also received criticism in the past for turning a blind eye to government corruption and drug-related violence. more >>