THE WAR ON WOMEN ...in New York:
An elderly Pakistani immigrant beat his wife to death with a stick after the doomed woman made the mistake of cooking him lentils for dinner instead of the hearty meal of goat meat that he craved, according to court papers.
Noor Hussein, 75, was so outraged over the prospect of eating the vegetarian fare that he pummeled his wife, Nazar Hussein, 66, inside their Brooklyn apartment until she was a "bloody mess," prosecutors said in opening statements of his murder trial Wednesday.
Mr Hussein used "a stick that the family had found in the street and used to stir their laundry in a washtub". So, aside from a new wife, the poor guy now has to get a new laundry stick. His attorney says we need to be more culturally sensitive:
"He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife," Clark said in her opening statements at the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench trial. "He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife."
~THE WAR ON WOMEN ...in Quebec:
A father will serve 60 days in jail for a slap that killed his teenage daughter.
Moussa SidimÃ©, 74, says he just wanted to correct 13-year-old Noutene for doing a bad job of washing the kitchen floor.
If that 60 days in jail sounds a bit stiff, not to say culturally insensitive, don't worry, Mr SidimÃ© is already a third of the way through it:
SidimÃ© will not have to serve the 60 days consecutively. He will serve his time on Mondays and Tuesdays starting next week.
~THE WAR ON WOMEN ...in British Columbia:
The mother of a B.C. teen who died of suicide after being tormented online told a federal justice committee Tuesday that proposed anti-cyberbullying legislation doesn't do enough to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.
Carol Todd, whose 15-year-old daughter Amanda Todd died in 2012, was in Ottawa to speak before the Commons Justice committee about Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act.
Todd said she was "troubled" by portions of the bill, telling the committee that parents shouldn't have to "sacrifice" their children's privacy rights to make them safe from "cyberbullying, 'sextortion' and revenge pornography."
Amanda Todd's suicide provoked an outpouring of concern about Canadian high school kids and the new era of "cyberbullying". Hence, the national legislation, apparently reining in Canadian "privacy rights". So which Canadian drove Amanda to her death?
Police said they had arrested a 35-year-old Dutch-Turkish national named Aydin Coban in the case of a Canadian teenager who was blackmailed after exposing herself in front of a webcam. The 15-year-old girl, Amanda Todd, later committed suicide after detailing her harassment on a YouTube video watched by millions around the world. Dutch prosecutors said the man is suspected of blackmailing girls in Britain, the Netherlands and the United States. Canadian police said they would seek extradition.
So it's less to do with the epidemic of bullying in Canadian high schools and more to do with ...er, um, erm:
Has there been ANY mainstream Canadian media coverage of the suspected culprit in the Amanda Todd cyber bullying case?
Why, yes. The Globe & Mail:
The lawyer for Aydin Coban, the 35-year-old Dutchman who allegedly pushed British Columbia teen Amanda Todd to suicide after extorting her with webcam footage, has vowed to fight extradition "tooth and nail," saying his client would be denied a fair trial in Canada...
Mr. Coban's lawyer describes his client as a "quiet and withdrawn" man, who is unmarried and has no children. Mr. Van Dijk said Mr. Coban's parents were Turkish and that he was born in Tilburg, a city not far from Oisterwijk. According to Mr. Van Dijk, and contrary to recent media reports, his client does not hold a Turkish passport.
"I doubt he even speaks Turkish; he's a Dutchman," Mr. Van Dijk said.
~THE WAR ON WOMEN ...in Oxfordshire:
A gang of abusers who subjected vulnerable girls in Oxford to years of rape, torture and extreme sexual violence has been convicted at the Old Bailey in one of the biggest child sexual exploitation trials in recent years.
Seven men were found guilty of a total of 43 charges relating to six victims. The gang included two sets of brothers, Akhtar Dogar, 32, and Anjum Dogar, 31, and Bassam Karrar, 33, and Mohammed Karrar, 38. The other men were Kamar Jamil, 27, Zeeshan Ahmed, 27 and Assad Hussain, 32. All lived in Oxford...
The girls â€“ all of whom came from backgrounds in care â€“ were drugged, raped, sold as prostitutes and trafficked around the country while supposedly in the safekeeping of the local authority in the city.
Years of failings by Thames Valley police and Oxford social services were exposed during the trial... Social workers spoke of knowing that some of the victims were being groomed. But no one acted to draw all the evidence together until one detective took the case on in late 2010.
The case mirrors exploitation rings uncovered in Rochdale, Derby and Telford in that the perpetrators were from Asian backgrounds and the victims were young, vulnerable white girls.
Police and social services have apologised to the victims â€“ the number of whom police say could exceed 50.
~Meanwhile, on a lighter note, The Guardian has a funny column about "the Random Muslim Scare Story Generator" - you know, all those wacky paranoid pieces on "Muslim grooming gangs" that crop up every day. Oddly enough, the M-word doesn't actually appear in the grooming-gang story above. Nor in the slapped-to-death story. Nor in the beaten-to-death story. Not in any of them. And, if you wonder why that is, whoa, you're getting hung up on those crazy "scare stories", too.
Sometimes, slogging through the coy evasions of western newspapers, I pine for the Pakistani press where "the Random Muslim Scare Story Generator" is admirably straightforward:
ISLAMABAD: Amid criticism from various quarters, including some of its own members, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), on Wednesday endorsed its earlier ruling that girls as young as nine years old were eligible to be married, "if the signs of puberty are visible".
But, as The Guardian assures us, the idea that "Islamic Ideology" is "informing their culture" is "simply not true". So that's okay then.
~UPDATE (via many Aussie readers). Speaking of child brides:
Imam Muhammad Riaz Tasawar Fined $500 After Performing Marriage of 12-Year-Old Girl
That's not in Pakistan, that's in New South Wales.
~UPPERDATE (via many Kiwi readers) And New Zealand, too: West Auckland taxi driver Ishrat Malik appears in court charged with the double murder of his wife and teenager daughter.