8-31-19 The daily horrors of the jailhouse birth
Women give birth in American jails every day. What happens to them is a national disgrace. Diana Sanchez gave birth to her son alone in a jail cell in Denver. In county custody at eight months pregnant for a probation violation following a nonviolent offense, Sanchez told jail staff "at least eight times," the lawsuit she has filed alleges, that she was in labor. She let them know she'd been experiencing contractions and her water broke. They did not provide her with medical care. Instead, they monitored her remotely via video feed. And as that recording shows, Sanchez was left to labor by herself for hours, screaming in pain on a narrow bunk. Someone briefly enters before the baby is born. An absorbent pad is pushed under the door for Sanchez to collect the fluids of birth. After her son enters the world, a nurse finally appears. Yet even then, the lawsuit says, no one "took any steps to provide necessary care to address risk factors to Baby J.S.M. associated with Ms. Sanchez's use of prescribed methadone or other high-risk prenatal issues," behavior that "was not just negligent, [but] deliberately indifferent to his obvious, serious medical needs." Sanchez's story has made headlines for its sheer horror — and perhaps because it resonates with our national attention, caught by the plight of migrant families at the southern border, to the ethics of making children suffer for the deeds of their parents. But her case is hardly unique. In fact, we have a steady stream of similar stories of women birthing alone or inadequately assisted, sometimes still confined by shackles or other restraints, in carceral facilities across the United States. America's jailhouse births are a national disgrace.
8-30-19 Why women are finally rising up
Mexican women are ready to riot, said Cecilia Soto. We are under attack. Ten Mexican women are murdered every day, the highest rate in Latin America after Brazil, while hundreds have been kidnapped since the start of this year. Yet the “drop that made the glass of rage and despair spill over” was the alleged gang rape last month of a 17-year-old girl by four police officers in Mexico City. Authorities not only dragged their feet on investigating the assault, they trawled through social media posts to smear the victim. This was just one in the list of the dead: the 6-year-old whose suspected murderer insists he didn’t rape her; the 19-year-old raped and killed by a Cabify driver; the girl who begged “help me please” on WhatsApp. At least 2,000 furious women took to the streets in violent protest. What do they want? More money to protect women and girls, for starters: The very month the government announced cuts to women’s shelters, Mexican police received nearly 57,000 complaints of domestic violence. Women also want an end to the flow of guns from the U.S., which fuel gang warfare and cause the death of even more women “as part of the violence between organized crime groups.” Right now, for girls, Mexico is “a living hell.”
8-29-19 Denver lawsuit alleges woman had to give birth alone in jail cell
A woman in Denver, Colorado, is suing the city and sheriff staff, alleging she had to give birth alone in a jail cell with no medical assistance. Diana Sanchez claims in a complaint that she was forced to deliver her baby last year "on a cold hard bench, feet away from a toilet" in the county jail. She alleges staff knew she was in labour for hours but ignored her. strong>The Denver sheriff's department told the BBC it conducted a review and found staff had acted appropriately.strong> The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, names the city and county of Denver, the Denver Health Medical Center and six other individuals as defendants, alleging they "utterly failed to satisfy their legal and moral duty". According to KDVR News, Ms Sanchez was booked into the Denver County Jail on 14 July 2018, aged 26, on identity theft charges. Ms Sanchez's complaint alleges she notified health personnel at the time of her booking that she was more than eight months pregnant. On 31 July Ms Sanchez reported to deputies that she was in active labour, says the complaint. It states she spoke with prison deputies and nurses "at least eight times that morning, informing them each time that she was experiencing contractions". But, the lawsuit says, she ended up in labour alone in her cell for the next four to five hours with no medical care. A nurse examined her after her waters broke, but only provided an absorbent pad and did not recommend calling an emergency ambulance, the suit alleges. "What should have been one of the happiest days of her life was instead a day of unnecessary terror, pain, and humiliation that continues to cause her on-going emotional trauma," the complaint states. A spokeswoman for the Denver Sheriff's Department (DSD) told the BBC that Denver Health Medical provides "comprehensive medical care at both of our jails" and that professionals are "housed in the jail facilities and have dedicated medical units" to provide care. (Webmaster's comment: LIES! She was the wrong race!)
8-29-19 Ilhan Omar reveals racist threat to shoot her at state fair
A US Democratic lawmaker has publicised a racist threat that she would be killed at the state fair by "a very capable person with a very big 'Gun'". Ilhan Omar, a Muslim representative from Minnesota, said such anonymous messages are why she now has security guards. She spoke as US Senate candidate Roy Moore tweeted: "President Trump was right, she should go back to Somalia". Alabama Republicans have called for Ms Omar's expulsion from Congress. "I hate that we live in a world where you have to be protected from fellow humans," Ms Omar, who came to the US as a Somali refugee aged 12, wrote on Wednesday. "But until deranged people like this stop threatening my life and the lives of others, I have to accept the reality of having security." Conservatives have repeatedly lashed out at Ms Omar over her stance on Israel, accusing her of anti-Semitism. Ms Omar has also faced censure from her own party over comments on US-Israel relations, but has denied charges of being anti-Semitic. She has apologised in the past for stoking stereotypes of Jews in her remarks against lobbyists. A resolution urging Alabama's congressional delegation to begin expulsion proceedings over Ms Omar's rhetoric on Israel was approved by the state's Republican party over the weekend, AL.com reported. Ms Omar hit back on Tuesday: "I was elected with 78% of the vote by the people of Minnesota's 5th District, not the Alabama Republican Party." She added a jab at Mr Moore, alluding to allegations by three women that he made sexual advances towards them when they were teenagers.
8-29-19 Hong Kong park lights up in sex abuse protest
Thousands have shown up at a Hong Kong park for a #MeToo-style rally, to support pro-democracy protesters who allege they were sexually assaulted by police officers. Hong Kong police have said the allegations are "totally false" online rumours.
8-29-19 Anti-groping stamp lets victims mark assailants
An anti-groping device aimed at tackling sexual harassment on public transport has been launched in Japan. Tokyo's commuter trains have 'women-only' carriages. It allows victims to mark their assailants with an invisible ink stamp in the shape of a hand. People can then use the device's black light to identify those who have been marked. The firm involved says it wants to help tackle the crime. But one sex abuse charity is concerned that the tech could place an added burden on victims. Japanese firm Shachihata says it developed the stamp to help deter groping on trains in the country. The company first announced it was developing the stamp in May after a video showing a pair of Japanese schoolgirls chasing down a suspected groper on a station platform went viral. A spokesman for Shachihata tweeted that the device was a "small step toward a world free of sexual crimes". But a spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales told the BBC she was concerned about companies making money on the back of "legitimate fears of rape and sexual violence" and putting the onus on the potential victim. "While the inventors and manufacturers of products like these are no doubt well-intentioned, there is something problematic about anyone making profit out of people's - predominantly women's and girls' - reasonable fear of sexual violence and abuse," said Katie Russell. "Perhaps more importantly, 'prevention' products like this one seem to place the onus and responsibility on victims and potential victims to protect themselves and others from sexual violence, when really that responsibility lies solely and completely with the perpetrators of these crimes, as does the power to end them." The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said 2,620 sexual crimes were reported in 2017, including 1,750 cases of groping, mostly on trains or at stations. A limited run of 500 devices, which retailed at 2,500 yen (£19.30), sold out within 30 minutes on Tuesday, a spokesman told CNN.
8-28-19 Greta Thunberg: Why are young climate activists facing so much hate?
From the first protest by a single student, the school climate strike movement has been a lightning rod for criticism. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who inspired the now-global movement, has become a primary target. On Wednesday, the 16-year-old arrived in New York after completing her voyage across the Atlantic aboard an environmentally friendly yacht. She faced a barrage of attacks on the way. "Freak yachting accidents do happen in August," Arron Banks, a businessman and prominent Brexit campaigner, tweeted. While Mr Banks said the tweet was a joke, many were outraged. Ms Thunberg is not the only eco-activist under fire, though. Four young climate campaigners told the BBC of the abuse they have been subjected to. One was compared to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels while another said she had been racially abused. These environmentalists have asked difficult questions of politicians, and been ruthlessly derided for doing so. With hostility heightening, why are young climate activists facing so much hate? Since Ms Thunberg's first solo vigil outside Sweden's parliament in August 2018 media attention and criticism have gone hand-in-hand. At first, they were told to stay in school. These students were not on strike, one British Conservative MP tweeted, they were truants. Then there were claims that young climate activists were merely the puppets of adults. In February a far-right Dutch lawmaker said students were being influenced by teachers with a political agenda. When Ms Thunberg travelled to the UK in April, several right-wing media outlets wrote polemics against the teen. One of them, an editorial by the website Spiked, mocked the "apocalyptic dread in her eyes". There were sustained attacks by Germany's far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party ahead of the EU elections in May. Posts about Ms Thunberg and climate change spiked on the party's Facebook page, an investigation, led by Greenpeace Unearthed, found. Weeks later, before her address to the French parliament in July, some far-right and conservative MPs hurled insults at the teen, calling her the "Justin Bieber of ecology" and a "prophetess in shorts". Those who have resorted to personal attacks on the activist appear to be "retreating into various forms of denial", Nigel Thomas, professor of childhood and youth at the University of Lancashire, says. Given the seriousness of scientists' climate warnings, some "may feel threatened by a teenager who has clearly understood and faced up to the trouble we are all in". So far, she has shown restraint, staying mostly above the fray. Her tweeted response to Australian political blogger Andrew Bolt, who described her as "deeply disturbed", was an exception. Instead, Ms Thunberg tends to focus her ire on political leaders. Her brand of environmentalism, however, does not appeal to everyone. In particular, those who "don't like being told what to do" and feel children "don't have the right to say these things", Richard Black, the director of the environmental think tank the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, said. (Webmaster's comment: She has more courage and more truth in her little finger than all the ignorant people attacking her! Having no answer to her arguments these total imbeciles are exposed for what they really are! Those who would rule by bullying and force, not by logic and reason!)
8-28-19 Jeffrey Epstein accuser urges Prince Andrew to 'come clean
A woman who accused the late financier Jeffrey Epstein of sex abuse and alleged she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew as a 17-year-old has urged the UK royal to "come clean". Speaking after a hearing for alleged victims in the wake of Epstein's death, Virginia Giuffre told reporters the prince "knows what he's done". The Duke of York denies the accusation. Epstein killed himself in his prison cell this month while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. The 66-year-old tycoon - who once counted President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew as friends - was found unresponsive on 10 August. About 15 plaintiffs were given an opportunity to speak at the New York City court hearing that brings an end to the criminal case - which is now closed because of Epstein's death. The women spoke of their anger, saying Epstein had cheated justice by taking his own life. Prosecutors said the investigation was ongoing and charges could still be brought against any co-conspirators. Ms Giuffre, 35, has alleged she was forced on three occasions to have sex with Prince Andrew, which he denies. She has accused Epstein of keeping her as a "sex slave". In court on Tuesday, she said: "My hopes were quickly dashed and my dreams were stolen." Ms Giuffre has said in a court deposition she was a 15-year-old working at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida when she was approached by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to give massages to Epstein. When asked for a comment on Prince Andrew during a news conference after the hearing, Ms Giuffre said: "He knows what he's done and he can attest to that. He knows exactly what he's done and I hope he comes clean about it." The prince has said it was "a mistake and an error" to see Epstein after his release from prison, and that he never saw or suspected criminal behaviour.
8-26-19 Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to new charges
Film producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to two additional charges of predatory sexual assault. Mr Weinstein, 67, entered the plea in a Manhattan federal court. He has already pleaded not guilty to raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006. Prosecutors have reportedly filed the new indictment to allow jurors to hear testimony from a third woman who has said Mr Weinstein raped her in 1993. He has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by over 75 women, which he denies.
8-21-19 Man accused of upskirting over 550 women in Madrid
A man has been arrested in Madrid on suspicion of taking upskirt videos of more than 550 women and posting much of the content online. The 53-year-old Colombian man allegedly filmed the videos on a mobile phone hidden in a backpack. Police say he then uploaded at least 283 videos to pornographic websites, racking up millions of views. Many of the 555 victims - some of which were underage - were targeted on the capital's Metro system. The man is accused of upskirting women on a daily basis since last summer when he began uploading content online. He also allegedly operated at supermarkets, sometimes even introducing himself to his targets in an effort to get clearer shots. Police started monitoring the suspect and arrested him while filming a woman on the Metro. In a video posted to Twitter, the National Police called the suspect "one of the biggest predators of women's privacy". Upon raiding his home, police uncovered a laptop and hard drives with hundreds of videos. His own website had 3,519 subscribers. The suspect has been remanded in custody. In Spain, upskirting is considered sexual abuse and offenders can face jail. Upskirting recently became a criminal offence in England and Wales after a campaign by writer Gina Martin.
8-17-19 Mexico teen rape cases: Women protest against police violence
Hundreds of women took to the streets of Mexico City on Friday to demand protection from the police after a number of recent high-profile sexual assault cases involving officers. The initially peaceful rally ended with some protesters lighting a fire on the second floor of a police building and vandalising a bus station. The protests were sparked by two recent cases - that of a 17-year-old who said four policemen raped her in their patrol car, and a 16-year-old who said a policeman raped her in a museum.
8-14-19 Steve King: Rape and incest 'aided population growth'
Democrats are calling for a Republican congressman to resign after he defended abortion bans by saying that humankind might not exist but for rape or incest. Without rape or incest "would there be any population of the world left?" nine-term lawmaker Steve King asked the Des Moines Register newspaper. Mr King was defending anti-abortion legislation that does not make exceptions for rape or incest. Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders soon demanded he step down. "You are a disgrace. Resign," Ms Gillibrand wrote on Twitter. Her remarks were quickly echoed by other 2020 Democratic hopefuls Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke and Julián Castro. A Republican lawmaker, Iowa state Senator Randy Feenstra, also criticised Mr King's remarks. "I am 100% pro-life but Steve King's bizarre comments and behaviour diminish our message," he wrote on Twitter. On Wednesday, Mr King told the Des Moines Register that the Republican leadership had stopped bills he sponsored banning abortions from advancing through the US House of Representatives. "What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" Mr King said on Wednesday. "Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can't say that I was not a part of a product of that." (Webmaster's comment: Brute males have always defended rape and incest. Anything to get off!)
8-14-19 Plácido Domingo accused of sexual harassment
The opera singer Plácido Domingo has been accused of sexually harassing several women over a number of decades. Eight singers and a dancer claim they were sexually harassed by the Spanish tenor from the late 1980s, according to the Associated Press news agency. Only one of the women, mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, agreed to be named. Domingo has denied the accusations, and the Los Angeles Opera - which he directs - has pledged to investigate with the help of "outside counsel". "Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions," continued Mr Domingo. "People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone." Six other women also claim the tenor made them feel uncomfortable by making "sexual overtures" towards them, AP reported. Ms Wulf said he didn't physically touch her but would come up close to her every time she walked off stage and ask if she "had to go home tonight". Another woman said Domingo put his hand down her skirt on one occasion. Three others said he forcefully kissed them. The incidents are said to have taken place in different venues including a dressing room, a hotel room, during a meeting and at opera companies where Domingo held managerial positions. "A business lunch is not strange," one of the singers told AP. "Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange or putting their hand on your knee is a little strange. He was always touching you in some way, and always kissing you." Domingo was due to appear at the Philadelphia Orchestra's opening night concert on 18 September but the organisation said, in the light of the allegations, it had withdrawn its invitation.
8-13-19 Whitney Cummings, US comedian, tweets nipple photo to stop extortion
A US comedian has tweeted a photo of her own nipple after followers used it to try and extort money from her. Whitney Cummings said she accidentally posted the image on Instagram in April, but deleted it soon afterwards. Someone took a screenshot and sent it to her, with the message: "How much would it cost to not share this photo?" Re-posting the photo, Cummings wrote: "If anyone is gonna make money or likes off my nipple, it's gonna be me. So here it all is, you foolish dorks." People later posted their own embarrassing photos with the hashtag #IStandWithWhitney - including comedian Bert Kreischer, who tweeted a picture of his injured testicles. Cummings had posted an Instagram story of herself eating a lychee fruit in the bath, without realising that part of her breast and nipple were in the frame. After noticing, she deleted it. Posting on Twitter, Cummings wrote: "In April I accidentally posted an insta story that showed nipple. Once I realised, I deleted. The people who took screen grabs are trying to get money from me, some said they have offers to sell them, some are asking for money to not post the photo. "They all must think I'm way more famous than I am, but they also must think I'm way more easily intimidated than I am." She then posted a screenshot of one of the messages she had received, along with the photo itself. "When a woman in the public eye is extorted, we have to spend time, money and energy dealing with it, hiring lawyers and security experts, and living with a pit in our stomach about when and how we will be humiliated," she added. "Y'all can have my nipple, but not my time or money anymore." A few hours later she tweeted that she was receiving threats from people claiming to have access to photos of her stored on her iCloud. I'll be honest, I stand by most of my nudes," she wrote. "Frankly I'm way more embarrassed by all the inspirational quotes I've screen grabbed." (Webmaster's comment: Only in America do the males do this crap to women.)
8-11-19 This underground network helps Yemeni women to safety
The group uses WhatsApp to help facilitate a safe escape. Azal held her breath and hoped the burqa she was wearing would be enough to evade detection at the nearly two dozen checkpoints that lay ahead. If everything went according to plan, she would soon be in Sudan. Getting in the back of a pickup truck with a strange man posing as her husband was just the beginning of her harrowing escape from Yemen. "I never imagined this would be my life," said Azal, who asked that her last name be withheld for her family's safety. More than four years of war between the Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government has ripped Yemen apart and led to the world's worst humanitarian disaster. Houthis, backed by Iran, have captured large swaths of the country, including the capital city, Sanaa, from pro-government forces. In those areas, rights groups say Houthis have escalated their crackdown on public displays of dissent. In October 2018, Houthis arrested Azal, then 21, along with dozens of other university students who attended a protest against poor living conditions in the capital, according to Rasha Rashid Jarhum of the Peace Track Initiative. In prison, guards severely beat her and accused Azal of belonging to ISIS. Released after 12 hours with a bloodied face and a warning, Azal knew she needed to leave her city — and fast. "The Houthis [then] asked my university to hand me over. They were outside my house day and night," she remembered. "I was driven out of the country, forced to run from one house to the next." Some 6,000 miles away in Ottawa, Canada, Rasha Rashid Jarhum had begun coordinating Azal's escape through the messenger service, WhatsApp. "We were asking her, what are the options? We told her, once you think you can safely relocate and once you arrive in Marib, just contact us," Jarhum said.
8-9-19 Cuba Gooding Jr to face trial over 'grope'
Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr will stand trial over claims he groped a woman in a New York bar in June. A judge dismissed his plea to have the case thrown out, saying the Boyz N The Hood star had not "provided compelling reasons to warrant dismissal". Gooding Jr was charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree after allegedly grabbing a woman's breast during a night out. His lawyer said he was "confident" his client would be "totally exonerated". The 51-year-old star of Jerry Maguire and The People vs OJ Simpson could face up to a year in prison if convicted. The trial is scheduled to start on 3 September.
8-6-19 Misogyny and murder often go hand-in-hand
We probably should have seen Connor Betts coming. Betts killed nine people — including his own sister — during a shooting spree Sunday in Dayton, Ohio. He harbored violent fantasies about raping women and killing classmates. And his dark predilections were no secret. His friends knew. One says she urged him to get counseling. His school knew. He reportedly was once suspended for compiling a hit list of people he wanted to kill. "This isn't a mystery to me," a middle school classmate told reporters. But nobody stopped him from obtaining a firearm and committing a massacre, even though the red flags were there for everybody to see. There is a danger that, like the warning signs, Betts' murderous misogyny will go unrecognized. The Dayton killings took place just hours after the mass casualty shooting in El Paso, Texas — an event that was ultimately more deadly and, because of that shooter's racist intent, more intimately bound up in the current political debates. The national discussion is mostly centered on white nationalism — and President Trump's relationship to it — which leaves less bandwidth for a discussion of Betts' apparently murderous misogyny. But we can't let this happen. We can't talk about mass-casualty violence in America without examining toxic misogyny and violence against women. As Mother Jones reported earlier this summer — before the Betts attack — at least a third of 22 mass shootings since 2011 featured perpetrators who "had a history of domestic violence, specifically targeted women, or had stalked and harassed women." Together, those attacks claimed 175 lives and injured scores more. There is a "strong overlap between toxic masculinity and public mass shootings" the magazine reported. The same is true of toxic masculinity and acts of violence closer to home. Recent research suggests that "intimate partner violence" — when somebody kills their spouse or romantic partner — has been on the uptick in recent years, rising from 1,875 deaths in 2014 to 2,237 deaths in 2017. The victims, unsurprisingly, are overwhelmingly female.
8-1-19 TV host AJ Calloway leaves Extra over sexual assault allegations
AJ Calloway, the long-time co-host of US TV show Extra, has left the role after facing multiple allegations of sexual assault, according to reports. Calloway appeared on the showbiz news show for 14 years until Warner Bros Television suspended him in February. When the allegations emerged, Calloway's lawyer said he "vehemently denies that he ever assaulted anyone". Warner Bros has now said it and the presenter have "mutually agreed to part ways" after an internal investigation. Calloway was accused of assaults in New York, New Jersey and California between 2003 and 2013, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a statement to US media including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Warner Bros said: "The company has investigated the claims made into Mr Calloway's conduct and he and the company have mutually agreed to part ways." Following his suspension, Calloway's attorney Lisa E Davis told The Hollywood Reporter: "Mr Calloway maintains that these unsubstantiated allegations are patently false. He vehemently denies that he ever assaulted anyone and looks forward to clearing his name." The Emmy-winning Extra goes out nightly across the States, mainly on NBC stations, and boasts "British TV sensation" Mark Wright as one of its correspondents.