Honor Killings — In India, the surge of “honor killings” in the past several months underscores a scourge that plagues the country’s women, reports Al Jazeera. “Honor killings” — murders based on the perpetrator’s belief that the victim has brought shame to the family or community — are often associated with developing nations with large Muslim populations, including India. In 2000, a U.N. study estimated that there are upwards of 5,000 such killings worldwide every year, while the National Commission for Women in India said it investigates 70-80 possible cases every month. Activists believe the crimes are often disguised as suicides or accidents and argue that legal systems in many countries treat them more leniently.
Irish Carbon Taxes — Ireland’s carbon taxes on most fossil fuels used by homes, businesses, vehicles and farms are paying off, notes the New York Times. The Irish pay taxes for household trash and any waste that is not being recycled; they are also charged for new cars and for yearly automobile registration. “Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15% since 2008,” writes the daily. The revenue from the tax — $1.3 billion since 2008 — has also helped the Irish government reduce its budget deficit.
World’s Oldest Man — Bloomberg reports that Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man, has been named as the world’s oldest man in the Guinness World Records. Kimura of Kyotango in western Japan was born on April 19, 1897 and is among 22 Japanese citizens on a list of the world’s 64 oldest people compiled by the Gerontology Research Group. He is only the third man in history to reach 115 years of age, according to Guinness. The oldest woman in recorded history was Jeanne Calment of France who died at the age of 122 in 1997.
Could China Be Russia’s Future? — The Guardian reports that the warming relationship between Russia and China and the heavily populated region on the Chinese side of the border poses both “a problem and an opportunity” for the Kremlin. The report goes on to detail how Russia became a significant trading partner for China in recent years, exporting timber, coal, electricity and metals, and in 2012 “the total volume of trade between the two countries is likely to reach $90bn”. Yet while China has a great demand for Russia’s resources, they’re also a rapidly growing region whereas Russia’s border towns have largely stagnated.