Home NewsIn-Brief World in brief: The Berlin Wall, Bolivia’s unstable democracy, and virginity tests

World in brief: The Berlin Wall, Bolivia’s unstable democracy, and virginity tests

by Virginie Ann November 12, 2019
World in brief: The Berlin Wall, Bolivia’s unstable democracy, and virginity tests

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. More than 100,000 people celebrated this historical event in the city, where images and videos from Nov. 9, 1989, were projected onto buildings, reported the Associated Press.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the opportunity to remind the world of the danger of taking democracy for granted. “The values on which Europe is founded – freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights – they are anything but self-evident and they have to be revitalized and defended time and time again,” said Merkel during the official ceremony, as reported by various outlets. Built after the end of World War II, the Wall divided East Berlin, occupied by the Soviets, from the West, controlled by the Western allies for 28 years during the Cold War.

Instability in South America continues to grow as Bolivia President Evo Morales resigned after nearly 14 years in power. On Monday, the country entered what the Associated Press referred to as an era of political uncertainty, after Morales stepped down over ongoing protests about the legitimacy of his re-election, earlier in October. Morales, the first Indigenous Bolivian president, had controversially abolished the limits of presidential terms, even after the 2016 referendum showed a majority were against that decision. While Carlos Mesa, who finished second to Morales in the election, called this a “democratic popular action,” BBC South America correspondent Katy Watson pointed out the fact that the military was behind what few people dared to call a coup, which strongly endangers the country’s democracy.

American rapper T.I. prompted strong backlash after revealing in a podcast that he’s been taking his 18-year-old daughter for annual hymen checkups, to make sure she’s still a virgin. In a segment aired on Ladies like us last Tuesday, which has since been removed, T.I. explained that “not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen. Yes, I go with her … I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.” Medical experts were quick to denounce his comments, stating that there is no such thing as a scientific-based virginity test, but rather a shameful procedure, reported The New York Times.

 

Graphic by @sundaeghost

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