The week at a glance...Europe


Birmingham, U.K.

Malala speaks: Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, spoke publicly this week for the first time since she was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban in October. In a video appearance, she announced the creation of the Malala Fund, a charity to support girls’ education. Speaking clearly and looking healthy, but with one side of her face apparently paralyzed, Malala said she had been given a “second life” and wanted “every girl, every child to be educated.” The teenager, who was targeted because of her blog posts criticizing the Taliban for closing down girls’ schools, has undergone multiple surgeries in a British hospital. Her skull has been repaired and her hearing restored.


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State guilt: Ireland has finally admitted that its government was involved in the enslavement of thousands of women and girls in the Magdalene laundry system. For decades, the government insisted that the workhouses—where women were incarcerated and used as free labor, sometimes for years—were privately controlled and run solely by nuns. But a new report proves that the state was directly involved, sending thousands of women and girls to the institutions and instructing police to chase down and return those who escaped. The state also provided the workhouses with laundry contracts. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he regretted the “stigma” hanging over former residents, who were widely and incorrectly seen as having been committed for prostitution, but he angered survivors by failing to apologize for the state’s role.


Soccer is rigged: Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, is asking for the help of governments to clamp down on rampant match-fixing. A report this week by European police said a crime syndicate based in Singapore had rigged at least 380 games, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and some top European league games, by bribing players and officials. “It is time for governments to introduce appropriate sanctions as a deterrent,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter. “For while a player may be prepared to risk a ban for throwing a match, he will most likely not wish to risk a prison sentence.”

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