International News Desk – At Home: Sloppy storage of guns, drugs widespread at border service – In Foreign News: War in Gaza brings rise in domestic abuse

International News Desk – At Home: Sloppy storage of guns, drugs widespread at border service – In Foreign News: War in Gaza brings rise in domestic abuse

At Home: Sloppy storage of guns, drugs widespread at border service

The Canada Border Services Agency may be good at seizing contraband, but ?sloppy? practices at most of their storage facilities continue to be a problem.

The latest report into the Canada Border Services Agency found issues with access to contraband such as weapons and drugs throughout the 68 facilities inspected, including at airports, postal plants, and land border crossings.

As the Globe and Mail reports, drugs such as methadone, steroids, and hash ?are winding up in landfills because Canada’s border guards don’t know they’re supposed to be destroyed.?

As much as $400 million in seized goods is sent to supposedly secure government warehouses each year. Concerns about shoddy practices at the facilities were raised in 1998 and again in 2007. The current audit, completed last month, examined bond rooms in the Toronto and Windsor areas as well as the province of Quebec.

A litany of problems continues to exist, including ?below standard? security and access control, as well as missing paperwork for seized drugs. At 15 facilities, non-government persons were allowed access with no control by the agency, while 23 of the sites ?had no inventory control whatsoever.? An agency representative told reporters that a review of the problems will be completed in 2009.

In Foreign News: War in Gaza brings rise in domestic abuse

War has always brought costs beyond the obvious, and a recent BBC article highlights one of them: after the recent bombing in Gaza, women are reporting a sharp increase in physical assaults by their partners.

Women reluctantly discussed the abuse at a meeting organized by the Gaza Mental Health programme, and their experiences are backed up by anecdotal evidence gathered by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, which reports a rise in ?verbal, physical, sexual and psychological? abuse that corresponded noticeably with recent shelling by Israel, and more generally since the strip fell under Hamas control.

With frustrations rising at the hunger, homelessness, and lack of food caused by blockades, many women report that their husbands are venting their anger on their families, including their children.

As the BBC notes, the problem is made worse because Gaza is a ?conservative, male-dominated, clan-based society,? and options to escape the abuse are limited. There are clinics where women can seek advice or comfort, but no shelters. Some NGOs are trying to combat the problem by introducing violence awareness programmes, and as one female member of parliament noted, although women in Gaza have few rights ?. . . we are trying. We are struggling.?

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