Photo used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of Flickr user superblinkymac.
On Monday, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first French president since Charles Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte to address the Parliament, thanks to recent reforms that scrapped a 19th-century law meant to protect the independence of the legislature. Given the occasion, it was rather odd that Sarkozy's strongest words were reserved for denouncing a garment that hardly any women in France wear. The burqa, he said, "is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women." It is, he added, "not welcome in France." Headscarves have been banned in French schools since 2004. Now Sarkozy wants to go much further, banning burqas, loose, full-body veils that cover women entirely, as well as niqabs, or face veils, from being worn anywhere in public.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a remarkably intransigent speech at Bar-Ilan University, intended to both mirror and answer the speech President Barack Obama gave in Cairo last month. Netanyahu flatly refused to call for a settlement freeze, making the absurd but oft-heard argument that "there is a need to allow settlers to lead normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like all families around the world," as if no one else on Earth were subject to zoning restrictions. He laid out conditions for Israeli support for a Palestinian state so pinched and deliberately unrealistic, they were more insult than offer.
The Web site A Heartbreaking Choice is a place where women share their stories of late-term abortion. Though clearly pro-choice, the point of the site is not political; it is a support group for grieving parents. These are women who desperately wanted their babies but whose pregnancies turned disastrous. A section of the site is devoted to "Kansas Stories," because when women learn very late in their pregnancies that their fetuses have abnormalities that are likely to be fatal, Dr. George Tiller's Wichita clinic, Women's Health Care Services, was one of the only places in the country that could help them.
At a march commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, a gay-rights activist is taken away by riot police officers in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. That's why gay-rights activists chose May 17 for the International Day Against Homophobia, a worldwide series of events, now in its fourth year, designed to spotlight the terrible abuses gay and lesbian people face in much of the world. (In what might be seen as a prescient tribute to Larry Craig, it goes by the acronym IDAHO.) Even before this year's IDAHO began on Sunday, events in Moscow offered a lurid demonstration of why global homophobia needs our attention.
According to Advertising Age, The Huffington Post is auctioning off an internship. Bidding is now at $13,000, and the minimum next bid is $15,500. “Jumpstart Your Career in the Blogsphere With An Eye Opening Internship at The Huffington Post in New York or Washington,” says the site hosting the auction. So it’s come to this.