Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and resume commercial whaling in July. Wednesday's announcement was met with opposition from animal rights groups, who say that Tokyo is violating international law. Japan says whaling will only be in its own waters and exclusive economic zone. Arash Arabasadi reports.
Female circumcision — a practice that opponents call female genital mutilation — has been a coming-of-age ritual among the Maasai tribe of Kenya for generations. But it is becoming less common, in part because of one man who is trying to persuade tribe members to abandon the practice. Douglas Meritei began his campaign about 10 years ago. He spoke to Rael Ombuor, who reports for VOA from the Kimana settlement in southern Kenya.
South Africa has the world's largest antiretroviral therapy program with over 4 million people receiving treatment. But the ARV drug therapy, regarded by many as a panacea for HIV, is complicated and comes with its a number of side effects, both physical and mental. As VOA's Zaheer Cassim explains from Johannesburg, perceptions of those side effects and the complex nature of the treatment has brought a new serious problem: many people just do not want to take the drugs anymore.
One of the most common birth defects in the world is a cleft lip. It's essentially a gap in the upper lip where the skin didn't grow together. Babies with cleft lips may also have a cleft palates, where the roof of the mouth is split. Both can be repaired surgically. But unless that's done, this birth defect can cause significant disability or even death. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.