In a rare show of unity, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali has joined the National Commission on Violence Against Women in the chorus condemning the proposed mandatory virginity test for high school girls. “It is unethical and it is an act of disrespect to women,” he said on Wednesday. of the proposal made by South Sumatra’s Prabumulih education board head. Suryadharma said the implementation of such tests could elicit negative consequences in the long term, not only in a way that would degrade the dignity of female students and women, but by potentially damaging them psychologically.
Comments: A local Response to the TIMES article posted earlier this morning: ‘Virginity Tests’ Throw Spotlight on Indonesia’s Conflicted Sexual Morality.
ENGLEWOOD (NJ).--Twenty-four years ago, Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe was in the middle of the shoving and shouting matches between hundreds of abortion opponents and abortion-rights supporters outside a women’s clinic in the city. Protesters chained themselves together outside Metropolitan Medical Associates on Engle Street and bolted the clinic’s door shut. Police, including O’Keefe, a sergeant at the time, arrested protesters by the dozens, hauling them off in buses, and one, on a flatbed truck. “I am not looking for that to happen again,” he said recently.
Two Belgian university professors recently decided to submit the 10 most borrowed books at the Antwerp library to bacteriology and toxicology tests. Traces of cocaine were found on all 10 books. The traces were small enough that readers would not feel the effects, but significant enough that they could test positive for cocaine. But the real case of life imitating art was revealed when the scientists discovered traces of the herpes virus in the pages of the erotic tale Fifty Shades of Grey. In order to prevent a public panic, professors assured readers that the concentrations of the herpes virus
The glitch-ridden website used to sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama´s healthcare law will be down for "extended maintenance" overnight on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The website has been plagued by technology problems and has not worked reliably since its launch on October 1, embarrassing the administration and providing ammunition for Republicans seeking to roll back the law known as Obamacare. The application, enrollment tools, and "data hub" will not be available from about 9 p.m. ET on Saturday (0100 Sunday GMT) until 9 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) on Sunday, a spokeswoman for
A pack of bikers pummeled a driver in upper Manhattan on Sunday, after a wild chase that began with a fender bender on the West Side Highway, cops said. The brawl erupted after the victim — who was driving his wife and their young child — became surrounded by a swarm of motorcycles on the highway and accidentally hit one of the bikes near W. 125th St. about 2 p.m., police said. But when the driver stopped, several of the bikers began to damage the man’s black Range Rover — so he hit the gas and plowed through three motorcycles before speeding away, cops said.
WASHINGTON — The federal government on Sunday morning barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after the Republican-run House, choosing a hard line, voted to attach a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and a repeal of a tax to pay for it to legislation to keep the government running. The votes, just past midnight, followed an often-angry debate, with members shouting one another down on the House floor. Democrats insisted that Republicans refused to accept their losses in 2012, were putting contempt for the president over the good of the country and would bear responsibility for
WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials. The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.
Providence College, a Roman Catholic school in Rhode Island, has canceled a lecture in support of same-sex marriage on Thursday by a gay philosophy professor, citing a church document that says that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.” The lecturer, John Corvino, chairman of the philosophy department at Wayne State University, in Detroit, has spoken previously at more than 10 Catholic colleges and often appears in friendly debates with religious opponents of gay marriage. His appearance at Providence College had been co-sponsored by nine departments and programs, and some of the
Talking publicly for the first time since his trial and conviction on three counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter and more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act, Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell insists he is “spiritually innocent.” Speaking exclusively to Philadelphia magazine writer Steve Volk for a new magazine article and e-book, Gosnell—who was convicted in May of snipping the necks of babies born alive during abortion procedures in his West Philadelphia clinic—believes he was serving the best interests of his community and the women who came to him.
The last month and a half has seen perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt in seven centuries, with dozens of churches torched. Yet the western media has mainly focussed on army assaults on the Muslim Brotherhood, and no major political figure has said anything about the sectarian attacks. Last week at the National Liberal Club there was a discussion asking why the American and British press have ignored or under-reported this persecution, and (in some people’s minds) given a distorted narrative of what is happening. Among the four speakers was the frighteningly impressive Betsy Hiel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Washington — When the U.S. Justice Department promised not to prosecute illegal marijuana sales planned to begin in Washington state and Colorado next year, its top lawyers demanded that the states reciprocate with a pledge to keep the drug away from minors. And officials in those pioneering pot states – where recreational use of marijuana was approved by voters in November – say they’re ready to comply. But to legalization opponents, such promises are a pipe dream, destined to fail. They say it’s more likely the U.S. will unleash a new industry that will try hard to attract young users
COMPULSIVE users of pornography show the same signs of addiction in their brain activity as alcoholics or drug addicts, a study has revealed. In the first research of its kind, scans showed that a central portion of the brain which is stimulated in drug or alcohol addicts also “lit up” when compulsive pornography users watched explicit material. There was no such effect in the brains of people who were not habitual users of porn. The Cambridge University study will increase pressure for tighter control on porn. Researchers used MRI scans to analyse the brain activity of 19 users of pornography
In what is being described as the first known event of its kind, a transgendered teen was named as her high school’s homecoming queen on Friday. “I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there,” 16-year-old Cassidy Campbell said after receiving her crown during the halftime of Marina High’s homecoming football game Friday night in Huntington Beach, CA. The Los Angeles Times published a slideshow of photos from the homecoming event, which you can view here. Cassidy rose to national prominence when it was reported that she was entering the contest.
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
In February, the Bush family’s personal emails were hacked by Guccifer, a hacker who uncovered photographs of former President George H. W. Bush in a hospital bed and George W. Bush’s oil paintings in the process. It seems Guccifer has struck again, this time targeting former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Library. The hacker has reportedly uncovered doodles of Clinton drawing on what were, at the time, classified documents. Among the doodles is apparently a picture of a penis. The document uncovered is a briefing of the strategic measures the United States could take prior Clinton’s decision to intervene in
Denver - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay
Amid an array of “knock-out” attacks against a number of Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, a city councilwoman pointed to the success of the Jewish community as triggering the aggression. Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo emphasized that while she “admire[s] the Jewish community immensely” for its work ethic, black teens may see it differently. “While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success,” Cumbo, who was recently elected, wrote in a letter. Chief among the issues
On Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported that Onyango “Omar” Obama, uncle to President Obama, says that his famous nephew stayed with him while a student at Harvard Law School in the 80s, in contradiction to The White House’s contention that the two had never met. At Thursday’s White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the President had, in fact, briefly stayed with “his father’s half-brother,” as Carney described Omar Obama, and that no one had actually asked the President about it when the White House initially commented. The 69 year-old Omar Obama has been facing deportation back
Former President Bill Clinton shared an anecdote regarding Nelson Mandela and the aftermath of his impeachment Friday on CNN. Clinton revealed shortly after the “impeachment business” finished on Capitol Hill, Rep. Henry Hyde (R., Ill.) who managed the impeachment trial requested a meeting at the White House. The former president granted the meeting out of lessons of humility and forgiveness he learned from Mandela, he said: BILL CLINTON: I remember one day, oh, about a month after the whole impeachment business was over, Henry Hyde, who had run the whole show, unbelievably enough, maybe a few months after, it was
The world premiere of the “Ballad for Trayvon Martin for Orchestra and Jazz Quartet” is set for tonight. Princeton University’s director of its jazz-studies program composed the work in honor of the Florida teen. Anthony D. J. Branker told the Star-Ledger that the piece is intended to “be a form of healing” after Martin’s death and the controversial court case that followed it. The ballad, which will be performed by the university’s official orchestra and jazz ensemble, is intended to be a tribute to victims of racial violence, Branker explained. He hopes that the performance will be “one that speaks to
WASHINGTON – A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, an encouraging sign for the economy. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October´s revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month. The economy has now generated an average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That´s up
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has high praise for potential 2016 contenders Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think Joe Biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents ever, and he has been with me, at my side, in every tough decision that I’ve made,” Obama told MSNBC in an interview Thursday held at American University. “Hillary, I think, will go down in history as one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve ever had, and helped to transition us away from a deep hole that we were in,