Briefs, January 10, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 5:04am

Rise in demand for 'exploited' domestics

GENEVA - The number of domestic workers worldwide has surged 60 per cent since 1995 to more than 52 million, the UN's labour agency said. "From caring for children, to caring for elderly and persons with disabilities, to performing a wide range of household tasks, domestic workers are an indispensable part of the social fabric," Sandra Polaski, deputy of the International Labour Organisation said as she unveiled the agency's first report on the often-invisible workforce. Polaski said most domestic workers, 83 per cent of whom are women, were "exploited beyond what would be tolerated for other workers". AFP


Second Lords member resigns in Britain

LONDON - House of Lords member Jonathan Marland became the second British minister to resign this week amid reports of an upper-house rift within the coalition government. Trade minister and former Conservative Party treasurer Lord Marland was stepping down as a minister "in order to focus on his role in trade promotion", the government said. The announcement came the day after Thomas Galbraith -Lord Strathclyde - quit as Leader of the House of Lords to return to the private sector. AFP


Union flag flies again after Belfast riots

BELFAST - The British flag was hoisted over Belfast's City Hall for the first time since its removal a month ago sparked riots in Northern Ireland. On a sixth consecutive night of violence in the British province, protesters pelted police in Belfast with petrol bombs, fireworks, bottles and stones. The city council said last month it would no longer fly the British flag all year round at City Hall. The emblem will now fly for up to 18 days a year, including British royal birthdays. AFP


Beauty queen stands out in a riot crowd

VANCOUVER - Police had an easy time identifying one suspect in Vancouver's Stanley Cup riots: a former Miss Congeniality beauty pageant winner. Sophie Laboissonniere, who was 20 at the time of the June 2011 riots over the Canucks' loss in the National Hockey League finals, has pleaded guilty to rioting. She was among the first suspects charged after reports identified her as a Vancouver beauty pageant winner. AP