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Sophie Brown

Berlin, Germany
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About Sophie
Sophie Brown is a journalist and editor, who specialises in news and feature writing. She previously worked as a digital news producer and homepage editor for CNN International's Asia bureau in Hong Kong.
German English
Vox Pop News Gathering Feature Stories
Business Politics Current Affairs

What It's Like To Lose Your Sister in an Honor Killing

25 Apr 2019  |  www.vice.com
Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year-old Londoner, was murdered in a so-called honor killing in 2006 after leaving her arranged marriage and seeking help from the police multiple times. Similarly, Raneem Oudeh and her mother, Khaola Saleem, were killed in Solihull by Oudeh's ex-husband despite contacting the police. The article discusses the systemic failures of the police to protect victims of honor-based violence, the cultural divide between communities and law enforcement, and the need for better training and awareness. Payzee, Banaz's sister, speaks out for the first time about the loss of her sister and the importance of education and support to prevent such crimes.

Paraguay’s transparency alchemists

07 Dec 2018  |  Medium
The article discusses the resignation of Paraguay's Education Minister, Marta Lafuente, following a public outcry over inflated prices in a catering contract for an education ministry event. The incident, known as the 'Cocido de oro' scandal, highlighted the misuse of public funds and triggered protests by students and teachers, leading to a broader examination of the country's education system and government spending. The scandal also prompted President Cartes to sign an agreement with student groups to improve school infrastructure and increase transparency. The article further explores Paraguay's efforts to combat corruption and promote transparency through initiatives like the Open Government Partnership and the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard, which has made the country's procurement system one of the most transparent in the world. These reforms, driven by government and civil society, aim to address issues such as graft, overpricing, nepotism, and influence-peddling in public spending.

Why Are Prison Suicides in the UK Still Increasing?

04 Dec 2016  |  www.vice.com
The UK prison system is facing a crisis with a suicide rate more than 10 times higher than the general population, as reported by the Howard League for Penal Reform. Inmates like Carl, who attempted suicide, receive inadequate mental health support, with no counseling or medication provided post-incident. Prison officers, such as Lauren and Alex, feel unprepared to handle the severe mental illnesses of inmates due to insufficient training. The use of legal highs has exacerbated violence and mental health issues within prisons. G4S, the management company for HMP Rye Hill, denies suicides at their facility, citing a report that praises their handling of complex cases. However, the government acknowledges the need for better mental health support in prisons and has initiated measures to improve conditions.

Ex-Convicts Tell Us What They Noticed About the World After Leaving Prison

06 Aug 2016  |  www.vice.com
Former inmates in the UK share their experiences of re-entering society after prison, highlighting challenges such as adapting to technological advances, financial restrictions due to the Proceeds of Crime Act, and lack of support from authorities in finding employment, housing, and drug counseling. Despite these difficulties, some find jobs and support through family and community, while others struggle with the psychological impact of incarceration, such as recreating prison routines at home for a sense of security.

Nepalese eye doctor restored vision of 100,000 people

14 Dec 2014  |  CNN
The article focuses on the work of Nepalese doctor Sanduk Ruit, who has restored the vision of over 100,000 people in Asia and Africa over the past 30 years. Ruit's technique for cataract surgery is quick and cost-effective, making it accessible to those in low-income areas. He co-founded the Tilganga eye hospital in Kathmandu with his mentor, the late Australian ophthalmologist Fred Hollows. The hospital produces high-quality lenses and exports them globally. Ruit also conducts mobile eye camps in remote areas, including North Korea, where he has faced restrictions but successfully provided training and treatment. The article includes experiences from Australian photographer Michael Amendolia, who has documented Ruit's work. Ruit's motivation stems from personal loss and a commitment to helping others, and despite his achievements, he feels there is still much to do in the fight against preventable blindness.

Foreign companies battle trademark squatters in China

17 Jul 2014  |  CNN
The article discusses the challenges foreign companies face with China's 'first to file' trademark system, which has led to a practice known as 'trademark squatting'. Companies like Penfolds and Tesla have been embroiled in legal disputes to claim their trademarks in China. The article highlights the case of Treasury Wine Estates, which is fighting to use the Chinese name for its Penfolds brand against a trademark squatter. It also mentions Pfizer's long legal battle over the Viagra trademark and Castel Frères' rebranding after losing a trademark case. Legal experts suggest that recent amendments to China's trademark laws and a better understanding of the system could help foreign brands protect their trademarks. The article advises companies to conduct thorough research and secure trademarks early to avoid costly legal battles or the need to rebrand.

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