The Daily Fix: A Nobel for Malala, a Loss for Voter ID, an Apology From Microsoft
The children's rights activist who became a gunshot victim at the hands of the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai, 17, became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday when she was awarded the honor together with child slavery activist Kailash Satyarthi.
In his announcement, Nobel committee chair Thorbjorn Jagland noted that the committee was deliberate in bestowing the prize on a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, as evidence that groups that have clashed have common struggles.
Yousafzai began speaking out publicly about the right of girls to attend school in her native Swat Valley, in Pakistan, when she was 11. The Taliban, which prohibits education for females, were active in her town. When Taliban gunmen boarded her bus in 2012 asking, "Who is Malala?" the child responded, "I am Malala." She was then shot in the head. She received treatment in Birmingham, England, and wrote a best-selling memoir, I Am Malala.
Yousafzai was attending school in Birmingham when teachers pulled her out of class to give her the news. Five successive days of fighting in the India-Pakistan border region of Kashmir, the worst in a decade, paused on Friday. Celebrations erupted in the streets in Mingora, her hometown, after the Nobel announcement.
Since well before Yousafzai was born, Satyarthi has been battling child slavery in India using nonviolent tactics developed and popularized by fellow Indian and Hindu Mohandas K. Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement (who never won the Nobel). Satyarthi's work has freed tens of thousands of children from bondage, and like Yousafzai, he has survived an assassin's bullet—in his case more than once. The certification program he developed for rugs produced without child labor became an international model for corporate accountability for labor practices in manufacturing.
In other news…
Courts End Voter ID Laws in Two States: The U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to bar Wisconsin from requiring voters to show photo identification before exercising their right to vote. Three members of the court appointed by Republican presidents dissented. Opponents of the Wisconsin law, passed by a Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor, argued that it placed a disproportionate burden on groups such as minorities, the poor, and the elderly, who are less likely to have such identification. A federal trial judge in Texas agreed and struck down that state's law. The Government Accountability Office has found that voter ID laws have reduced voter turnout in some states. (via The New York Times)
Microsoft CEO Apologizes for His Advice to Women: At an event Thursday for women in the computer business, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was asked for advice to women who feel uncomfortable asking their male bosses for raises. His response: "It's not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along." By remaining silent, he continued, women employees would accrue "good karma." Twitter erupted. Several hours later, the company issued an apology in Nadella's name, quoting him as saying he answered the question "completely wrong." (via CBS News)
Today in Ebola: Three hundred U.S. Marines arrived in Liberia with equipment to help contain the disease's spread in West Africa. A U.S. senator opposed President Obama's plan for aid to West Africa, writing that "it does little from keeping the virus out of America." Sierra Leone's president pleaded for help at a World Bank meeting in Washington, appearing via video conference. Ebola "is an international threat and deserves an international response," Ernest Bai Koroma said through an interpreter. (via CNS News)
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