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Women, Argentina and immigration

Martin Vennard | 09:14 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A new all-female political party has been launched in India. The United Women Front, which has about a hundred members, has promised a new kind of politics.

It says it wants to focus specifically on women's issues, such as the aborting of female foetuses, and the provision of dowries for daughters getting married.

Announcing the launch, the party’s national president Suman Krishan Kant said the UWF had been formed to provide women space in Indian politics.

She said they would provide the country with a clean political system, including the rooting out of the criminalisation of politics, speedy justice for women, an equitable society, and equal representation for men and women in elected assemblies.

Last month in Poland the Women’s Party was launched, saying it wanted to alert female voters to what it believes is the real political problem in Poland: male chauvinism.

Do women need specific political parties? Should women only vote for women?


Australia and New Zealand have warned that the South Pacific is plagued by political unrest and poverty.

Citing last year’s military coup in Fiji and recent riots in Tonga and the Solomon Islands, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Winston Peters, said several countries teetered "on the brink of civil war and anarchy."

He said the socio-economic indicators of some Melanesian countries are almost on a par with those of sub-Saharan Africa, adding that "there are no quick fixes".

His remarks coincided with the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tonga which brought together the leaders of Australia, New Zealand and 14 island nations. Would you like to hear more about this part of the world?


Russia's President Vladimir Putin has offered qualified support for Iran's nuclear programme on a visit to Tehran.

Mr Putin told journalists that "peaceful nuclear activities must be allowed" and cautioned against using force to resolve the dispute over Iran.

Iran wants Russian help in its dispute with the West over its nuclear aims. Up to now Moscow has blocked any new UN sanctions over the Iranian nuclear programme, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes, while the US accuses it of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Is Russia a true friend of Iran or is it simply interested in selling its nuclear technology there?


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has confirmed that she will end more than eight years of self-imposed exile on Thursday.

President Musharraf had asked her to delay her return until the Supreme Court decides on whether he is eligible to be president for another term. The two leaders have been in power-sharing talks.

She left the country to escape court cases involving corruption allegations, while Pro-Taleban fighters have vowed to assassinate her and President Musharraf.

Is she right to be going back now?


The UN World Food Programme's top representative in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been abducted after gunmen stormed the UN compound.

There is a history of tension between the interim government in Somalia and the WFP, which is the biggest UN agency operating in the country.

A UN official said about 30 Somali government troops had raided the UN headquarters, forcefully entered the offices and arrested the WFP chief, Idris Mohamed Osman.

The kidnapping comes the day after Mogadishu witnessed some of the worst fighting since the Union of Islamic Courts, who ruled much of Somalia for six months last year, were driven from power last December by Ethiopian-backed government forces.

Should we be trying to speak to Somalis about what is happening in their country.


There are two new reports out in the UK about immigration. One says migrants are harder working and more reliable than their British born counterparts.

The other says almost every UK region has difficulties in housing, health, education and crime because of increased migration.

They follow a large influx of Eastern European migrants into the UK since the expansion of the European Union in 2004.

Is immigration a good thing or a bad thing for the host nation? Do you have to take the rough with the smooth when you let immigrants into your country?


Some Argentinians are seeking to auction off their votes on the internet ahead of the presidential election later this month.

Argentine electoral authorities say they can do little to stop the practice because it falls into a legal vacuum. The sellers say they are doing it to protest against useless politicians.

Is there anything wrong with selling votes for money, as long as you're open about it?


Madonna has signed a ground-breaking recording and touring contract with concert promoter Live Nation.

She is the first major star to choose an all-in-one agreement with a tour company over a traditional record deal.

It gives Live Nation rights to all her music-related projects - including new albums, tours, merchandise, websites, DVDs, sponsorship, TV shows and films.

Other performers, such as Radiohead and the Charlatans, are releasing their albums as downloads, with Radiohead saying fans can pay whatever they think the album is worth.

With sales of CDs falling ever lower, is this the end of the record industry as we have known it?


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