By Dylan Welch KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan is failing to use a law designed to protect women from violence in a country regularly voted one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman, the United Nations said on Sunday. The plight of women in Afghanistan captured the world's attention during the 1996-2001 rule of the Taliban when women were not allowed to leave their houses without a male relative, girls were barred from school and adulterers were shot or stoned to death. Women have since won back rights to education and work, but there are fears these freedoms are shrinking as NATO-led forces prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year. The United Nations examined the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, enacted as a presidential decree in 2009 and passed by parliament earlier this year.
China's exports grew far more strongly than expected in November while import growth weakened, official figures showed Sunday, fuelling the country's biggest trade surplus in nearly five years. Exports increased 12.7 percent year-on-year to $202.2 billion, the General Administration of Customs said -- compared with a forecast of seven percent in a poll of 11 economists by the Wall Street Journal. "China's November exports came in much higher than expected", ANZ bank economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao said in a report, citing "better demand from developed economies" like the United States and the European Union. Exports to the United States rose 17.7 percent in November year-on-year, while shipments to the 28-member European Union gained 18.4 percent.