Philobiblon: Thumbs down and thumbs up

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thumbs down and thumbs up

America, champion of democracy and a free press? I doubt one young, extremely brave, Iraqi journalist thinks so:

"American troops in Baghdad yesterday blasted their way into the home of an Iraqi journalist working for the Guardian and Channel 4, firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping with his wife and children.
Ali Fadhil, who two months ago won the Foreign Press Association young journalist of the year award, was hooded and taken for questioning. He was released hours later.
Dr Fadhil is working with Guardian Films on an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme into claims that tens of millions of dollars worth of Iraqi funds held by the Americans and British have been misused or misappropriated."

So was this yet one more American stuff-up, or something worse?

But a cheer for Norway's equality minister:

"After a week in which the Equal Opportunities Commission in Britain has warned that it would take 40 years for women to break into the ranks of the FTSE 100 in the same way as men, Norwegian companies face a two-year deadline to ensure that women hold 40% of the seats of each company listed on the Oslo bourse. ...
The requirement came into effect at the start of this year after companies were given two years to embrace the demands voluntarily following the passing of the law in 2003. ...
The failure of companies to act - about half of the companies on the stock market are estimated to have no women on their boards - has prompted the Norwegian equality minister, Karita Bekkemellem, to take the draconian step of threatening firms with closure.
"From January 1 2006, I want to put in place a system of sanctions that will allow the closure of firms," she said. "I do not want to wait another 20 or 30 years for men with enough intelligence to finally appoint women."

Who says "draconian"? The Guardian. Someone should surely have subbed that out.


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