UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Africa News blog:

Must we see rape in Britain to understand rape in Congo?

I was left somewhat traumatised after going to see a screening of a controversial new Hollywood-backed short released this week, aimed at highlighting the link between minerals mined for British mobile phones and the use of rape and murder as weapons of war in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The highly graphic campaign video - appropriately called Unwatchable - starts with a little English girl picking flowers in the garden of her family’s multi-million pound mansion in a picturesque Cotswolds village.

This tranquil scene is shattered in an instant when armed men descend on the house, gang-rape her sister on the kitchen table and then murder her parents. It ends five minutes later with the girl running for her life.

“We placed it in a sort of cliché idyllic countryside, and tracing it back to mobile phones would make it relevant to people on the street,” Marc Hawker of production company DarkFibre told AlertNet.

How bad is the violence in UK cities?

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copViolence resembling the U.S. television crime series “The Wire” has become the norm in British cities, Conservative Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling says.

“It’s the world of the drama series ‘The Wire’ — a series that tracks the nightmare of drugs, gangs and organised crime in inner city west Baltimore.  It’s a horrendous portrayal of the collapse of civilised life and of human despair.”

Witnessing a stabbing

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knife-ad.jpg The government has launched a series of hard-hitting adverts, featuring gruesome images of mutilated hands and knives sticking out of victims’ chests.

But even these fail to truly capture the real horror of what knives can do and the trauma it can cause. I know from first hand experience.

End of the road for violent games?

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grand-theft-auto-iv.jpg“We make games for the people that play them. We don’t make them for the Daily Mail.”

So says Dan Houser, the producer who co-created the Grand Theft Auto computer game series, one of the most successful of all time.

Little angels?

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dna.jpgTwo initiatives have focused the mind on badly behaved children this week and how to deal with them.

Under the first, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls proposes that trouble-makers as young as 10 should sign a good behaviour contract . The “most challenging” among them will have to stick to the order or risk a criminal record.

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