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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Iranian actress faces 90 lashes for role

Iran reportedly sentences film actress to 90 lashes

By Laura Rozen | The EnvoyMon, 10 Oct, 2011

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An Iranian court has sentenced an Iranian actress to one year in jail and 90 lashes related to her role in an Australian-made film portraying social alienation, artistic repression and drug use in Iran, according to an Iranian opposition website.

“In an outcome that could have been lifted from the pages of the movie’s script”–“My Tehran for Sale“–the film’s lead actress, Marzieh Vafamehr, “was arrested in July and received her sentence at the weekend, according to reports quoting Iranian opposition website kalameh.com,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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In the 2009 film, Vafamehr portrays a Tehran actress whose theater work is banned by the authorities and is thus driven to Tehran’s cultural underground. Ultimately, she contemplates whether to leave Iran for exile abroad.

“Vafamehr often appears with a shaved head and no headscarf in the film, which also explores cultural oppression in Iran and taboos such as drug use,” the paper said.

Vafamehr’s attorney has reportedly appealed the sentence which was handed down on Saturday. Technically, she was accused of participating in a film whose shooting did not have the required permits. However, both the film’s director and the actress’s filmmaker husband Nasser Taghvai said the charge is baseless.

“The accusations against Marzieh have no grounds,” Granaz Moussavi, the Melbourne-based Iranian-Australian director of the film, said in a statement Tuesday, the AP reported. “All the documentation has been provided to the Iranian court to show that permits were in place for the production of the film.”

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also expressed concern about the sentence Tuesday.

“The Australian government condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is deeply concerned by reports that Ms. Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to one year in jail and 90 lashes for her role in an Australian-produced film,” a spokeswoman for Rudd said in a statement, the AP wrote. “The Australian government urges Iran to protect the rights of all Iranians and foreign citizens.”

 

Iran’s Orwellian justice system has provoked past controversies.  Last year, for example, Iranian courts approved a death-by-stoning sentencefor Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman accused of adultery and murder charges. Ashtiani’s sentence was stayed, but only after a global outcry from international human-rights groups.

A moratorium had been declared on stoning in 2002, but the nation’s Islamic courts have continued to hand down stoning sentencesin accordance with the strict wording of the law.

On Tuesday, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly took to his websiteto criticize a flogging punishment handed down to a student who had criticized him.

“When high-profile figures freely insult the government, I disapprove that a youth is flogged for insulting me,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote at his presidential website, the Associated Press reported.

Lashing sentences are not unheard of in the region. Last month, the Saudi king reportedly overturned a lashing sentence handed down to a Saudi woman who had been arrested for driving.

 

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This article brings to mind the follwoing quote:

“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.” — Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister

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The most powerful woman in U.S. business

Kraft boss bumps Pepsi chief as top U.S. woman exec

reuters

On Friday September 30, 2011, 9:32 am EDT …Editing by Cynthia Osterman

 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Kraft Foods boss Irene Rosenfeld is the most powerful woman in U.S. business, Fortune magazine said on Thursday, bumping PepsiCo Inc chief Indra Nooyi into second spot after five years on top.

The 14th annual ranking was determined by the size and importance of the woman’s business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman’s career and her social and cultural relevance.

“Rosenfeld made a big show of power this year with her decision to split Kraft into two companies, a reversal of her previous strategy of expanding through acquisitions,” Fortune magazine said of the Kraft chief executive, who led a hostile $18 billion takeover of Britain’s Cadbury last year.

“On Nooyi’s watch, PepsiCo has forged further into nutrition-focused products,” Fortune said. “But Nooyi has been criticized for taking her eye off the core North American soda business, which has lost share to Coke.”

Nooyi was the only woman in the top 10 most powerful to be among the top 10 highest paid, coming in at No. 9 after earning $14 million last year. The highest paid woman was Oracle President Safra Catz with $42 million.

Just a week after being appointed chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co , Meg Whitman — who was chief executive of eBay Inc until 2008 and last year ran a failed bid to become governor of California — returned to the ranking of the top 50 most powerful business women at No. 9.

“While her ascent to the role is a sure sign of her power, it remains to be seen if she can fix the computer maker and bring order to its dysfunctional board,” Fortune said.

Whitman filled a top 10 vacancy left by the firing over the phone last month of Yahoo Inc Chief Executive Carol Bartz, who has now dropped off the Fortune list.

PUSH FOR WOMEN IN BOARDROOMS

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey fell 10 spots to No. 16 with Fortune saying her influence had waned after hosting the final season of ” The Oprah Winfrey Show ” in May. Johnson & Johnson Vice Chairman, Executive Committee, Sherilyn McCoy, filled that top 10 opening, coming in at the 10th spot.

Otherwise the top of the list was largely unchanged from 2010.

Archer Daniels Midland Chief Executive Patricia Woertz came in at No. 3, followed by DuPont Chief Executive Ellen Kullman, Wellpoint Chief Executive Angela Braly and Avon Products Chief Executive Andrea Jung.

Rounding out the top 10 was IBM Senior Vice President Ginni Rometty at No. 7, followed by Xerox Chief Executive Ursula Burns.

While women represent about half of the United States’ white-collar workers, they are a rarity in the upper echelons of business, with female chief executives running just 3 percent of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index .

More companies have been focusing recently on increasing their female board representation as more and more research has shown that companies with women directors or even just more diverse boards tend to do better than those with executive teams made up entirely of men.

Some countries such as Norway and Spain have introduced quotas requiring a minimum level of female board representation.

A former British trade minister wants FTSE 100 companies to have 25 percent women on boards by 2015 and EU internal market commissioner Michel Barnier has put gender diversity for bank boards on his radar in the wake of the financial crisis.

The full Fortune list of the most powerful women in U.S. business can be seen at: http://cnnmon.ie/oSllDy and the list of the highest paid can be seen at: http://cnnmon.ie/pO26Ho