Poll: Privacy rights in U.S. are not being well-protected

Following disclosures about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance programs, a majority of Americans believe the U.S. government is doing a poor job of protecting privacy rights, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Close to 60 percent of Americans oppose the NSA’s collection of data on telephone and Internet usage. A similar majority opposes the legal process supervised by a secret federal court that oversees the government’s classified surveillance.

The American public is still anxious about terrorism as the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches. About 6 in 10 Americans feel it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice rights to confront terrorism.

But suspicions about the government’s promises to protect civil liberties have deepened since 2011. Only 53 percent now say the government does a good job of ensuring freedoms, compared to 60 percent two years ago.


One in four men in Asia study admit to rape

About one in four men in some parts of Asia admitted raping a woman, according to the first large studies of rape and sexual violence. About one in 10 admitted raping a woman who was not their partner.

International researchers said their startling finding should change perceptions about how common violence against women is and prompt major campaigns to prevent it. Still, the results were based on a survey of only six Asian countries and the authors said it was uncertain what rates were like elsewhere in the region and beyond. They said ingrained sexist attitudes contributed, but that other factors like poverty or being emotionally and physically abused as children were major risk factors for men’s violent behavior.

A previous report from the World Health Organization found one-third of women worldwide say they have been victims of domestic or sexual violence.


Court convicts four men charged in fatal gang rape

An Indian court convicted four men Tuesday in the deadly gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, a brutal crime that galvanized public anger over the widespread yet widely tolerated violence faced by Indian women.

As word of the verdict filtered out, protesters outside the courthouse chanted “Hang them! Hang them!”

The men were convicted on all 11 counts against them, including rape and murder, and now face the possibility of hanging. The sentences are expected to be handed down Wednesday.

Judge Yogesh Khanna said in his verdict that the men, who tricked the 23-year-old rape victim and a male friend of hers into boarding the bus they were driving, had committed “murder of a helpless person.”

The parents of the woman, who cannot be identified under Indian law, had tears in their eyes as the verdicts were read.

– From news service reports