What’s Up World? #34

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 19.06.13

What’s Up World?
Between the cracks of the world’s news headlines


WhatsApp with that?

It looks as though some of the world’s newest and most popular communication platforms are set to be banned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

60 percent of the Saudi population is under the age of 30, and as usage of the internet and smartphones sky rocket, authorities are taking measures to block WhatsApp, unless the Silicon Valleystart up cooperates with the Kingdom’s requirements. Viber has already been banned and Skype is also on their hit list.

Telecom officials say the apps break local laws, but don’t specify how. But according to critics, WhatsApp is obviously under fire for being the starting point for political protests, which are banned in the region.

The hidden issue of child domestic workers

Last Tuesday was World Day Against Child Labour and the UN’s International Labour Organization published a new report highlighting the enormous number of child labourers currently working in homes around the world.

Some 10.5 million children are domestic workers. Most are aged between 5 and 14 years old and around 3/4 are girls.

And we’re not just talking about taking out the garbage or tidying bedrooms – they work in other people’s homes, often isolated from their families, and are made to clean, cook, iron, collect water and look after children for little or no pay, often in dangerous or slavery-like conditions.

Because of the hidden nature of the problem, says the ILO, child domestic workers are difficult to protect.

Stuck in the middle with Julian

He may live around the corner from Harrods, but Julian Assange is far from living the dream. The political refugee celebrated (?) one year of living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last week, having arrived there to claim asylum last June.

Assange is still wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges, however he says the allogations are a honey trap, and if he heads to Sweden – or even steps foot on UK soil – he’ll be handed over to the US government and prosecuted for leaking their classified documents to the world via his now famous online orgaisation WikiLeaks.

For now the Nobel Peace Prize nominee is living in a deadlock – he can’t get to the airport, can’t go to the park, he can’t even go to Harrods, or one of the 24-hour guards waiting outside will pounce. Until diplomats find a solution it’s all sun lamps, treadmills and no shoes for Mr. Assange.

Everyone’s a winner

Ever wanted to be world champ but didn’t know what you could do? Well, you could do just about anything, it seems, and the weirder the better…

Enjoy ironing in dangerous or daring locations? You could well be the world’s next extreme ironing champion. Got particularly agile toes? Why not try your foot at toe wrestling? If worms find you particularly charming, here’s your chance to shine. Or fancy yourself as an air sex champion? There’s a competition for that too…

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld