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Ecuador’s Domestic Workers Profiled

Domestic workers in Ecuador need to respect their work to change attitudes, according to a long-term live-in help. Lenny Quirós, 48, has been a domestic worker for more than 20 years but chooses never to work more than two years for the same employer as a puertas a dentro, or “behind-doors”, as a live-in help is called.

Brazil protests run gamut from health care to World Cup

Protests continued across Brazil on Sunday, capping a week of unrest that saw more than 1 million people marching across the vast country demanding an end to corruption and social inequity. More than 60,000 marched over the weekend, and a major protest is scheduled next Sunday for the final in Rio of the Confederation Cup soccer tournament, a run-up to next year’s World Cup and 2016’s Olympic Games, which are being held in Brazil.

Rodeo rift: Elitism in Chile’s national sport

THE 50,000 fans who travelled to Chile’s National Rodeo Championship Finals in late March may have been surprised to see that Michelle Recart had qualified. As an amateur and mother in her late 40s, Ms Recart looked the very antithesis of the typical competitor in what is a famously elitist and chauvinistic sport. But apart from being a woman, Ms Recart was little different from her rivals. Like them, she comes from a wealthy family that has been involved in rodeo for generations. Her father is the former president of the Federation of Chilean Rodeo.

Varsity survey reveals silence around sexual assault

Sexual assault and rape continue to occur at striking rates amongst University of Cambridge students, an exclusive Varsity survey has revealed. According to the survey, which was conducted online over a two-week period, 16 per cent of respondents admitted to being victims of sexual assault and/or rape. The figure seems to be in line with national statistics relating to sexual assault amongst university and college students. A recent survey conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS) showed that 14 per cent of female students were sexually assaulted during their time at university or college. The survey responses paint a remarkable picture of student attitudes and experiences regarding sexual assault. Most notably, Varsity found that sexual assault among students continues to remain vastly under-reported: only 1 in 6 respondents who admitted to being assaulted reported the incident to authorities

The Interview: Peter Tatchell – human rights campaigner

Reading back on this interview I did for Cambridge University’s Varsity, I get the impression I did not like this man much…or that he gave me a very hard time trying to interview him. Still, a fascinating figure.

Talking to Peter Tatchell is like trying to get blood from a stone, which is surprising considering he has so much to say. Like all successful campaigners, Tatchell has an agenda and a ruthless knack for shaping his media coverage, something that he does not fail to implement in this particular instance in the plush environs of one of the Union’s reception rooms. Born in Australia in 1952, Tatchell escaped conscription to the Vietnam War in 1971, coming to England on the eve of the Gay Liberation Front movement in which he became a prominent member. Finishing his education in London, Tatchell became a freelance journalist focusing on foreign news, before 22 years of involvement in Labour politics during which he was defeated as the Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey election.

The Secret Service: “a very British mess”

Olivia Crellin interrogates Annie Machon on her life after MI5.

Annie Machon, former MI5 agent, is the image of glamour and guts. Her blonde hair, of the bombshell variety, frames a face that, far from being that of the reserved and stealthy spook, exudes energy, enthusiasm, and openness. Unlike her former partner, the whistleblower David Shayler, Machon seems to have emerged relatively unscathed from the years immediately following the couple’s attempts to reveal serious MI5 blunders in 1996.
Now working as a self-professed “author, media pundit, journalist, campaigner and prominent public speaker”, she has made a “new way of life” out of selling herself, her past, and her story. And she’s doing a good job.

Op-Ed: Wearing faith on your sleeve

Strangely this term, as I dutifully participate in the various and very important seminars, lectures, library sessions necessary to the not-unpleasant-finalities of final year, I have started to notice many many more familiar unfamiliar faces flitting around the Sidgwick Site than I had previously thought existed. Of course, one is invariably unobservant. English students are often recluses, I tell myself, and with heads in books the only thing one really notices with any interest in the Faculty is a particularly avant-garde hair-do.

But, no, there is something happening…there is a new bunch of beaming students that I have never seen before. It’s a mystery but one that is revealed in a lightening bolt revelation one sleepy 9am. The new bunch of beaming students are not what is grabbing my eye, it is the bright blue hoodies catapulting their wearers to the front of my early morning still-asleep attention. In matching turquoise outfits complete with a term calendar of events on their backs, a human sandwich board of doctrinal goodness, I have discovered previously camouflaged members of Cambridge’s Christian Unions.

Chile’s Tax Reform: An Answer to Education Woes?

Just like the cueca (Chile’s national dance that will be on full display during Independence Day celebrations this weekend) Chilean politicians were running round in circles last week over controversial tax reform legislation to overhaul its protested education system. The bill, which will increase education-allocated government revenue by $1.23 billion, originally did not clear the Senate—where it was rejected on August 28 by a vote of 6 yeas, 19 nays and 7 abstentions. The legislation had included a welcomed increase of the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent. But it also included controversial measures, including a 2-to-5-percent tax decrease—compared to 2011—for the top income-earners in Chile as well as incentives for children in private subsidized schools.

Around the World in 50 Years

Albert Podell was an editor for Playboy and other men’s adventure magazines in the 1960s. He commissioned travel stories from others until one day, he decided to embark on an expedition himself, and he’s never looked back. Fifty years later he is one of the few who can say they’ve visited every country in the world.

For Podell, it began on a car trip, which at the time broke the record for the longest route around the world. Visiting all the world’s countries wasn’t easy: war, revolution and the break-up of the Soviet Union were all sizeable obstacles that extended his mission.

Now he’s written a book, Around the World in Fifty Years, about his exploits, from eating live monkey brain in Hong Kong to parking his land rover in the middle of a minefield in Morocco.

He shares with us his tips on travel.

Letter from Rio

In Tunisia a flower-seller set himself on fire. In Turkey protesters gathered to protect a local park. Now in Brazil, an increase of 20 cents (£0.90) to the cities’ bus fares has brought tens of thousands of protesters to the streets of 23 major cities, including Rio de Janeiro, in the biggest protests to hit the country in the last 20 years.

“It’s not about the bus fare,” said Rogerio Luiz, a 45-year-old analyst. “We are tired of what is happening to the people: the violence, the corruption, poor healthcare, the high cost of living. We are not getting a service from our government.”

On Monday afternoon around 100,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Some had just left the office and were dressed in suits, while others in the packed crowd danced to brass bands, draped in Brazilian flags and holding flowers.

But this was no Carnival: this was the moment Brazilians woke up to the poor infrastructure and widespread government corruption crippling their country.