Female genital mutilation (FGM)—the horrifying practice of modifying or removing various parts of female genitalia for non-medical purposes that are somewhere in the no man’s land between cultural and religious reasons—has been outlawed in Egypt since 2007. Given the prevalence of the practice, however, many families still opt to have their daughters undergo the procedure privately. Now in a landmark case, a doctor is legally being held responsible for the death of a 13-year-old due to complications from her FGM operation.
Sohair al-Bata was a patient of Dr. Raslan Fadi’s, subjected to FGM at her father’s request, when she died in June of 2013. Although her father reported to the police that her death was the result of FGM, her case was dropped as the forensic report claimed it was thee result of an allergic reaction to penicillin used to treat genital warts. After much lobbying by human rights groups like Equality Now as well as an investigation by the Attorney General, both Dr. Fadi and Sohair’s father will both face criminal charges.
Slavery’s Lasting Impacts Is Topic of Two-Day Symposium - NewsAdvance.com : News - Local Lynchburg, Va. Area
To raise discussion about slavery and its lasting impacts on the United States, Randolph College and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest are calling upon scholars, artists and the community at large for a two-day symposium.
The conference, “Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise,” will be held April 3-5.
Scholars will include Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center in Richmond; and Spencer Crew, a former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
The symposium, open to the public, was developed to celebrate an official partnership between Randolph College and Poplar Forest to share resources and add internship opportunities for students.
“Black and white Americans have been sharing this continent since the early 17th century, yet they’ve never really been properly introduced. They still remain separated to a degree that is not healthy for the body politic and not healthy for any of us,” he said. “That’s the legacy of slavery and it does seem to me … we’ll never fully move past that in any healthy way unless we totally and fearlessly and completely face what slavery was and did to us.”
A detailed schedule is available at web.randolphcollege.edu.
We live in a universe with rich manifestations of incredible equilibrium. The universe, the galaxies, the stars, the planets and their moons, all maintain a cosmic balance within and around themselves. Deeper into every being, protons, neutrons and electrons maintain a rhythmic harmony.
The cycle of life and death in itself is a classic balancing phenomenon so essential for the survival of our planet. From our bones to dust and our moon to the cosmos we witness, experience and live illustrations of astonishing balance. So, we should be the master balancers in our personal lives, in our society and our world.
But, are we? Have we been able to balance things that we control, manage, influence or deliver?
Food worth over $750 billion gets wasted a year on our planet. On the other hand, one out of every eight human beings is severely undernourished! Over five million children die every year for lack of proper food!
Over 40 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the United States alone, a country where over 50 million people face hunger! Where is the balance?
The wealth held by the three richest men on earth is more than the GDP of countries like Iraq or Kazakhstan. Where is the balance?
From Seoul to New Delhi to Chicago…repulsive images of skyscrapers towering over pathetic shanties with half-naked children fighting over scant resources flashed by. Haven’t we bungled it somewhere big time?
More: Times of Oman
The CubeStormer 3 robot cracked the tricky puzzle in an incredible 3.253 seconds.
The triumph took place at the Big Bang Fair at the NEC.
The robot, which uses ARM(r) processor technology, needed to spin like mad to beat the record of 5.27 seconds set just over two years ago by its predecessor CubeStormer II.
What so recently seemed like a conservative slam dunk - a Georgia gun-rights bill to boost a “stand your ground” self-defense law - has been so watered down that, in the waning days of the legislative session, even its supporters have begun to falter. It’s not even clear that the “Safe Carry Protection Act” will come to a final vote.
Just in the last two weeks, Georgia Republicans also quashed a “religious freedom bill” patterned on what many saw as “anti-gay” legislation and killed a “state sovereignty” bill that aimed to distance the state from the national Common Core school standards, now taking effect in most other states.
All three bills were largely written by conservative special interest groups and, directly or implicitly, supported by both chambers and the governor’s mansion. So, why couldn’t they get a solid thumbs-up from a state legislature where Republicans have a supermajority?
What has played out in the past few weeks under the gold dome here in Atlanta is a reckoning of sorts for a divided Republican Party.
“The metadata the government collects isn’t just a list of numbers dialed and times—it’s a window into the lives of millions of Americans,” EFF Staff Attorney Mark Rumold said. “The law should provide the highest level of protection for this kind of information. The technology experts who signed the brief provide a valuable perspective for the court to consider.”
The ACLU filed its lawsuit against the Director of National Intelligence, NSA, Department of Defense, Department of Justice and FBI last year after former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed a secret legal order allowing for the indiscriminate capture of call metadata from Verizon Business Services.
EFF represents 17 professors who signed onto the brief, including: Profs. Harold Abelson and Ron Rivest of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Prof. Andrew Appel, chair of Princeton University’s computer science department; Prof. Steven Bellovin of Columbia University’s computer science department; and Matthew Blaze, an associate professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Computer and Information Science Department. Other experts signed on to the brief come from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, Rice University and Purdue.
“Metadata equals surveillance,” said security expert and EFF board member Bruce Schneier, another signer of the brief. “It’s who we talk to, what we read, and where we go. When the president says ‘don’t worry, it’s only metadata,’ what he’s really saying is that you’re all under surveillance.”
The ballot paper for the contest, which was published by parliament, disclosed that Crimean voters will be given two options: either immediate “reunification” with Russia, or adopting the “1992 constitution” — which gives parliament the power to vote to join Russia.
The status quo, whereby Crimea has autonomy within Ukraine, does not appear on the ballot paper. In practise, experts said that this amounted to giving voters the choice between joining Russia immediately or joining Russia after a short delay.
Also see: blog.foreignpolicy.com
Via YouTuber Fabio Baccaglioni comes a solemn compilation of rocket launch failures, from the early days of space exploration to present. That it’s just shy of 32 minutes long is a testament to something that can’t be overemphasized: getting to space is hard. It’s grueling, it’s dangerous, and, as we all know too well, it can be deadly.
[Fabio Baccaglioni via Universe Today]
Intense opposition from the National Rifle Assn. has all but doomed prospects for President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, officials said Saturday as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year.
Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws, the officials said.
Democratic leaders in the Senate have begun surveying senators to determine whether there is enough support to save the troubled nomination. Few Republicans are expected to back Murthy, and as many as eight Democrats also could be opposed.
“We don’t expect a vote to happen,” a Senate aide said.
The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List will go after vulnerable Democratic senators in conservative Southern states during this mid-term election season, said the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, at a donors’ conference in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, the SBA List—a national nonprofit that tries to influence congressional elections with the stated mission of reducing and ultimately ending legal abortion in the United States—hosted its 2014 Campaign for Life Summit, a four-and-a-half-hour conference that included discussion among congressional leaders and anti-choice advocates on the best strategies for the GOP to gain electoral ground during this mid-term election year and to try to make abortion bans at 20 weeks national policy.
The SBA List’s strategy is crucial given the multiple governors races during this election cycle. And abortion continues to be a prominent issue at state and federal levels, evidenced by money flowing from so-called free-market organizations to groups such as the SBA List.