When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Syria In Turmoil After Bombing, Whereabouts Of Assad Unclear, UN Vote Scheduled

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS, AFP

Worldcrunch

Heavy fighting continues between Syrian rebels and government security forces in Damascus on Thursday, as the country reels from yesterday's bombing that killed three top regime military officials, including President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law. The attack has plunged Syria into perhaps its deepest state of uncertainty since the uprising began last year, with Assad's whereabouts unclear and reports from activists of violence engulfing the Syrian capital.

Reuters reports that Damascus residents have witnessed rebels fighting pro-regime army forces within sight of the presidential palace and government headquarters. Residents also say that several neighborhoods are being heavily shelled by the government forces, and that some are arming themselves. The following amateur video purportedly shows rebel forces overtaking government security posts in the Syrian capital.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the AFP that hundreds of Damascus residents were fleeing the clashes as the military gave them two days to leave. The Observatory also said that 214 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, including 124 civilians.

Assad has not made any public apperances since Wednesday's bombing, fueling speculation on his whereabouts (Latakia is Syria's main Mediterranean port).

The Guardian reports that Major General Robert Mood, the head of the United Nations monitoring mission in Syria, announced his departure from the country. "It pains me to say, but we are not on the track for peace in Syria and the escalations we have witnessed in Damascus over the past few days is a testimony to that," he said in a statement. He added that "there is no lasting hope in the military solution."

A U.N. Security Council vote is scheduled for later today on a United Kingdom drafted resolution that threatens Syria with harsher sanctions under chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, which authoritizes military intervention. Russia has warned it will veto the resolution.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

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.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest