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Geopolitics

Fourth Syrian Official Dies From Bomb Blast, Assad Reappears

BBC, AP

Syrian TV announced the death of a fourth top regime official Friday morning from the suicide bombing earlier in the week that killed members of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle.

AP reported that Syria's national security chief Gen. Hisham Ikhtiar died at a Damascus hospital from injuries from the attack carried out Wednesday by a bodyguard at the national security headquarters.

His death was announced as the Syrian regime held funeral ceremonies for the three other deceased officials close to Assad: his defense minister, a brother-in-law and a veteran army general.

The BBC reported that Russia's envoy to France has raised tensions between Moscow and Damascus by suggesting that Assad was ready to step down as President of Syria.

Russia and China again voted against UN resolutions to impose sanctions on Syria on Thursday.

The first images of the Syrian President since Wednesday's attack were broadcasted late Thursday, quelling rumours of his whereabouts.

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Society

Kleptomania, How A "Women's Pathology" Was Built On Gender And Class Bias

Between 1880 and 1930, there was a significant rise in thefts in department stores, mostly committed by women from the middle and upper classes. This situation brought with it the establishment of a new pathology: kleptomania. A century later, feminist historians have given new meaning to the practice as a protest against the social structures and oppressions of capitalism and patriarchy.

Photo of a hand in a pocket

A hand in a pocket

Julia Amigo

Kleptomania is defined as the malicious and curious propensity for theft. The legal language tends to specify that the stolen objects are not items of necessity; medically, it is explained as an uncontrollable impulse.

What seems clear is that kleptomania is a highly enigmatic condition and one of the few mental disorders that comes from the pathologization of a crime, which makes it possible to use it as a legal defense. It differs from the sporadic theft of clothing, accessories, or makeup (shoplifting) as the kleptomaniac's impulse is irresistible.

Studies have shown that less than one percent of the population suffers from kleptomania, being much more common among women (although determining exact numbers is very difficult).

The psychiatric disorders manual, DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has included kleptomania since 1962. Previously, it had already received attention from, among others, Sigmund Freud. Like nymphomania or hysteria, kleptomania became an almost exclusively female diagnosis linked to the biology of women's bodies and an “inability” to resist uncontrollable desire.

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