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International News Archive
December 14 - December 20, 2001


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This page contains news for the period December  14 through December 20, 2001.



<<   December 2001  >>

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Wednesday, December 19, 2001

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Mexican men are unfaithful in relationships

A story released today by Comtex reports that according to a study done by Javier Alatorre, a professor of psychology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, more than 80 percent of Mexican married men and 40 percent of the women have had extramarital affairs.

Professor Alatorre, attributed the high ratio of infidelity among Mexican men to their traditionally privileged place in Mexican society. This leads men to have numerous affairs before marriage and to adhere to the same behavior pattern after marrying.

Alatorre said that nearly 30 percent of unwanted pregnancies in Mexico and Central America result from affairs in which men are only interested in sex.

He said that gender studies confirmed that Mexican men begin their sex lives earlier and get married later in life than women.

Alatorre also noted in his study that it is more important for men to get a good job and to have affair than to get married and raise a family.

Monday, December 17, 2001

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British couples wish to be single again

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that more than a quarter of married couples in Britain responding to a new survey say that they wish they were single again.

A MORI poll for Reader's Digest magazine showed 27 percent of couples who took the poll wished they had not married. Among those married between six and nine years, the figure was 30 percent.

The survey also revealed that women are more likely to keep a secret from their spouse, with 44 percent of respondents confessing they have been less than forthright, compared with 39 percent of men.

In addition, 20 percent of men under 45 wished to discuss their sex lives with their spouse, but only 17 percent of women in the same age bracket feel the same, according to the survey.

Russell Twisk, editor-in-chief of the magazine, said the survey painted an intriguing picture of marriage in Britain, where 40 percent of marriages now end in divorce.

``Men wanting to talk more -- we'd always thought it was women. Men longing for affection and wishing they could talk about sex,'' he said.


Sunday, December 16, 2001

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Turkey cracking down on teen marriages

A story released today by the Associated Press reports that Turkish authorities are now cracking down on teen marriages by rounding up husbands and fathers and fining parents when their children miss school.

The crackdown on teen marriages, illegal but tolerated for years, comes as Turkey vies for membership in the European Union. Turkey recently increased the legal age for marriage to 18 from the previous 15 for girls, and made it mandatory for children to attend school through eighth grade instead of just fifth grade.

UNICEF also has called for an end to teen-age marriages, saying girls suffer physically and emotionally from early motherhood.

Measures taken in the village of Acarlar have angered residents and have made this already closed community of about 9,000 more suspicious of strangers.

Police in the past two weeks have rounded up 40 Acarlar men, many still in their teens, whose brides are 14 or under. They face charges of having sex with underage girls.

The girls' families also are being investigated for possible exploitation of their daughters and could face three years in prison for having accepted money from the boys' families.

Local Gov. Kamil Koten has banned wedding ceremonies for underage girls, threatening restaurant owners with prosecution if they allow the use of their premises.

He has also imposed fines of $7 on parents for each day their kids miss school - a hefty penalty for the people of Acarlar, who work the fields and sell produce at markets around the province of Aydin.

The measures have worked, one principal said. Earlier, a third of the student body was absent; now, just a handful skips school among some 500 children, the principal said.

"God willing, a 200-year old tradition at Acarlar will come to an end," Koten said.

Although there are no official figures for child brides, the tradition also exists in other parts of Turkey and especially in the more traditional, mostly-Kurdish provinces of the southeast, where girls are sometimes forced to marry older men.

"Daughters are their fathers' properties until their wedding and then their husband's property after the wedding," said Nebahat Akkoc of the Diyarbakir-based women's group KAMER, which is also working to help stem teen marriages.


Saturday, December 15, 2001

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Jordan permits women to appeal in a divorce suit

A story released today by the ArabicNew.com reports that the king of Jordan has approved amendments on the marital status law that permits the Jordanian woman to appeal in a divorce action.

According to the amendments which were issued by the Jordanian dailies, if the woman says before the court that she can not live with her husband, the judge can divorce the couple. The amendment also gives the presiding judge the decision on whether the husband will pay any financial compensation to the divorcing wife.

The amendments also included the raising the age of marriage for women to 18 and 16 for men. The government in Jordan has prepared this amendment at a proposal made by the Royal committee for human rights which the Jordanian King order to be formed one and a half years ago. The government also introduced an amendment on article 340 of the sanctions law which would give alleviated sentences to those who commit crimes linked in "defending the honor" of women.


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