Amnesty International Magazine | Homegrown Progress

Turkish human rights defender Cânân Arin takes a bricks-and-mortar approach to building a movement for women's rights.

Cânân Arin casually shrugs when describing the occupational hazards of being a leading women's rights advocate in Turkey. A few years ago, Arin recalls, a doctor in Istanbul survived a beating from her husband that left her spine broken in three places. When Arin helped the doctor initiate divorce proceedings, the abuser came after her as well.

"He threatened me, he tried to bribe me, he tried everything against me because there was no way to break me," says Arin, a lawyer who has pioneered the movement to provide shelter and legal services for domestic violence victims in Turkey. An unfaltering, powerful woman of 63, Arin knew she was the last line of defense for the woman; her family had turned her away and her abuser had evaded jail by paying a $2 fine.

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Amnesty International Magazine | Creating Hope: Bosnia Ten Years Later

Two summers ago, irma Vatric, a young Muslim survivor of the Bosnian conflicy, learned that her participation in a youth program would involve working alongside Serb teens to organize a field trip for orphans. She agreed to go but said she would not speak to the youth team leaders from "the other side."

"She ended up in a conversation with a Serb girl who had spend many years during the war in a basement, just as she had," said Kate Chumley, Bosnia Projects Co-Director for the Children's Movement for Creative Education (CMCE), based in New York City. "It was an emotional moment, and both felt like [reconciliation] is possible."

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Amnesty International Magazine | The Pinochet Precedent

The Chilean Supreme Court's decision to try August Pinochet put human rights violators on notice that judgment may yet come knocking on their doors. Pinochet was formall charged in January with one murder and nine kidnappings in a lawsuit brought against him by victims' families.

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Amnesty International Magazine | Death Penalty on Trial

Political debate over capital punishment is dividing New York state lawmakers. Governor George Pataki reinstated the death penalty in 1995 to fulfill a campaign promise, but in June the state's Court of Appeals ruled one of the sentencing guidelines unconstitutional.

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Urban Latino | Gallery of the Gods

Sacrifice your weekend plans; the Aztec Empire has arrived in New York. The first major show about Aztec civilization to hit the U.S. in 20 years dominates six levels of the Guggenheim until mid-February. The exhibit features several artifacts that have never left Mexico before - and may never do so again. It focuses on advanced arts created in the centuries leading up to the Spanish conquest, including life-size sculptures, glittering gold lip plugs and earrings, and intricately detailed clay figurines.

In one room, a sensational statue of Mictlantecuhtli, god of the underworld, grins widely as his liver hangs below his ribs, the shadow of his claws creeping up the wall. Mexican architect Enrique Norten is behind the show's dramatic design, including a backdrop of gray fabric draping the walls of the museum's famous coiled rotunda, leading to a stone carving of a serpent's head in the lobby.

Scarce exhibit descriptions might frustrate knowledge junkies, but the intent isn't to boost audio tour sales. Instead, each object is left to speak for itself as a work of art.

"The exhibit design showcases the magnificence and impressive size of the pieces," said Sarah Selvedge of the Guggenheim's education department. "It's not so much about what the Aztecs were doing in the original context. It's about what it means now and how we see these things."

Visitors searching for context can take one of the free scheduled tours or attend artist lectures. If the more than 430 pieces aren't enough, head downstairs to see the Aztec-inspired Keith Haring pop art exhibit. The Guggenheim charges a hefty $18 admission, but offers a two-for-one on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m., when the café serves blood orange margaritas.

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Amnesty International Magazine - Rewind

Don't feel bad if you didn't know that the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous People ends in December. The United Nations is considering a repeat performance due to criticism it made little progress in advancing indigenous rights since 1995, although it did establish the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues. Marcos Matias Alonso, a Mexican forum member of Nahuatl descent, referred to decade as a "relative failure."

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Amnesty International Magazine - Afghanistan Unveiled

When the Taliban was in power, most of the women who filmed Afghanistan Unveiled could barely leave their homes, let alone study or work. But in 2002, the young documentarians - some still teenagers - traveled across mountains, rivers, and deserts to make the first film by and about Afghan women.

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Manhattan South - Sexed Up Funk: Los Amigos Dock Their Intergalactic Love Boat

"Shake your booty!" shouts Los Amigos Invisibles' lead singer Julio Briceño over the band's tight rhythms. "You're going to forget that it's raining out there."

It's a rainy, cold Monday night in the West Village, and Los Amigos have taken the S.O.B.'s stage with plaid pants on and shirt collars unbuttoned. While the Venezuelan sextet time-travels through a universe of disco, funk, and Latin styles, conjuring images of an intergalactic Love Boat -- just imagine George Clinton on board, playing maracas -- the blend of beats on songs like "Ponerte en Cuatro" keeps the crowd dancing.

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Queens Chronicle - A Relay From Mexico to Qns. Carries Torch for Immigrants

A delivery that traveled 3,133 miles arrived at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Jackson Heights, giving special meaning to the area’s large Mexican community.

About 6,000 runners between Mexico City and New York formed a symbolic chain known as the Carrera Antorcha Guadalupana, crossing the border to carry a torch and two paintings from the Mexican capital’s Basilica de Guadalupe.

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The Boston Globe - Let there be nondenominational light

On a sunny winter afternoon in Exeter, N.H., the fading daylight illuminates blues and greens in the new stained-glass window of the Phillips Churs. The colors give the window a three-dimensional effect as they swirl into a dramatic red that bursts across the 15-by-20-foot piece.

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The Boston Globe - Sited: The food is out there

How to get food stamps to the people who need them?

Massachusetts, with its liberal reputation, is the third worst in the country at getting the message out, with only 40 percent of qualifying people getting food stamps, according to a federal study.

That's why a Web site,, moved into Spanish last month.

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The Boston Globe - Once again, these are the salon days

"If you wish to have any standing in society," wrote French novelist Stendhal in 1832, "it is necessary that 20 people should be interested in speaking well of you. Remember you will get promotions only by means of the salons."

The Laconda Room in the Prudential Center's Marché restaurant doesn't exactly bring a 19th-century French drawing room - from which the salon tradition drew its name - to mind.

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The Boston Globe - Knowledge goes a long way

Copies of "Wuthering Heights" and "Othello" recently began a lengthy journey, along with "Essentials of Internal Medicine" and "Principles of Economics."

They are among 9,000 books from Boston and Cambridge bound for Afghanista, via Belgium, Uzbekistan, and bumpy rides across the Afghan border.

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The Boston Globe - Touring in Tongues

The 91-degree August morning doesn't alter Rafael Torres's energy level. Squinting in the bright sun, he calls out, "Yours in Spanish?" while offering brochures to Boston Harbor Tourists."

"I love doing tours," he said. "If I have 40 people it's even better."

The 51-year-old native of Colombia developed an interest in tourism after 20 years of working for organizations such as La Alianza Hispana and the YMCA. He started asking local tour companies if they wanted a biligual guide, but, "They weren't interested," he said.

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The Boston Globe - Finally, a Latino film festival here

Los Angeles, Miami, and San Diego have held Latino film festivals for years, attracting big-name stars as speakers. Even Providence celebrated its tenth in April, with Antonio Banderas in attendance at the festival's $125-per-person gala dinner. It takes a little longer for such high-powered events for Boston and Cambridge...

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