‘I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.’ – Susan B Anthony
Amnesty International is now condemning the treatment of 18 women who were held in military detention after being arrested during a protest on March 9 (a month after Mubarak stepped down). The women told Amnesty International that they were beaten, given electric shocks, and subjected to strip searches while being photographed. They were then forced to submit to “virginity tests” and told that if they were “found not to be virgins,” they could be charged with prostitution.
I’m sure this isn’t the revolution they signed up for.
- NATO set to take command of Libya operation; French fighter jet strikes Libyan combat plane that violated no-fly zone.
- Anti-government protests in Syria intensify, 20,000 attend funerals for dead protesters.
- Fukushima Daiichi workers taken to hospital following dangerous radiation exposure; radioactive iodine levels in Tokyo tap water no longer unsafe.
- Reagan National Airport air traffic controller falls asleep, two planes land on their own.
- Rep. Michele Bachmann mulling presidential bid, will form exploratory committee in June.
- Fidel Castro officially resigns Cuban Communist Party leadership.
- RIP: Lanford Wilson, Pulitzer-winning playwright, dead at 73.
52-year-old freelance illustrator and Elliot’s then-girlfriend Fiona Walker — who says she isn’t much of a tennis fan — claimed ownership of the world-famous fanny at Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts, where the poster will be on display as part of a tennis-themed exhibition.
“It never ceases to make me smile when I see it,” Walker said. “I have no regrets about it.”
RIP: Dorothy Young, the last-known surviving stage assistant of legendary illusionist Harry Houdini, passed away yesterday at the age of 103.
Young was hired by Houdini at an open casting call which she attended at 17 during a family trip to New York. She spent a year touring with the great escapologist, leaving just two months prior to Houdini’s death in October of 1926.
Young went on to marry a wealthy New York businessman with whom she formed a dance act that became known for inventing the Latin dance “rumbalero.” She also starred in several movies, and published a novel about her time with Houdini.
Interestingly enough, Young’s death occurred a day before her former employer’s 137th birthday, commemorated by Google with a special logo doodle.
Worst Person Ever of the Day: 6-year-old Enzo, who was diagnosed with life-threatening Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the tender age of three, wanted nothing more than to spend an hour or two of the few he might have left cooking with his idol, Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa. (Bed-ridden Enzo often watches the celebrity chef’s Food Network show with his mom by his side.)
But when the Make-A-Wish Foundation approached Garten to help make Enzo’s dream come true, she turned them down — twice. According to TMZ, a book tour got in the way last year; this year, she simply responded with “a definite no,” blaming “scheduling conflicts.”
Enzo was reportedly heartbroken by Garten’s inexplicable rejection, asking his parents “why doesn’t she want to meet me?” But M-A-W took the incident mostly in stride, issuing a statement saying that “[f]rom time to time, planning for wishes doesn’t turn out as originally envisioned, despite people’s best intentions and efforts throughout the wish-granting process.”
Meanwhile, Enzo has moved on to a new dream: Swimming with dolphins.
Faith-Restoring Follow Up of the Day: In light of Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s refusal to grant what is, for all intents and purposes, the dying wish of 6-year-old cancer patient Enzo, not one but two Food Network chefs have come forward to offer their services in her stead.
Beau “BeauMac” MacMillan and Iron Chef Michael Symon have each extended an offer to cook with Enzo. BeauMac told TMZ that he has invited Enzo and his entire family to Arizona for a stay at a fancy resort and a meal at his 5-star restaurant, Camelback Mountain, which Enzo can help prepare.
Symon, who will be visiting Oregon, Enzo’s home state, in the near future, said he would drop by and “cook a dish” with the young gourmand.
Must-Read of the Day: A Libyan woman from Benghazi who identified herself as Eman al-Obeidy pushed her way into Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel, which houses members of the foreign press, asking to speak with reporters from Reuters and The New York Times.
“Look at what the Qaddafi men did to me,” she said, before proceeding to reveal an array of bruises and scars which she claimed were inflicted upon her during a brutal gang rape she endured while being held by Qaddafi’s militia for two days.
Ms. Obeidy told reporters she was stopped on the outskirts of Tripoli and taken away. “I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me. They violated my honor.” She eventually managed to escape, but her friends were not as lucky. “They are still there, they are still there,” Ms. Obeidy said, pleading for their release.
As reporters moved in to ask questions, security officials and hotel staff attempted remove Ms. Obeidy from the building by force, throwing punches and kicks, brandishing guns and knives, breaking equipment, and seizing a recording device. Security guards managed to grab hold of Ms. Obeidy, dragging her into a white car as she shouted “they are taking me to jail, they are taking me to jail.”
A government spokesman later said the woman appeared to be drunk and mentally ill, adding that “her safety of course is guaranteed.” Concerning her claims of torture, the spokesman said authorities were investigating the possibility that they were “fantasies.” Charles Clover, a Financial Times reporter who attempted to shield Ms. Obeidy from the security guards, was himself placed into a van and driven to the border. The Libyan government had asked him to leave the night before due to alleged reporting inaccuracies.
Japanese pet shop owner Ryo Taira rescues a young finless porpoise from a flooded rice paddy. The small cetacean was brought inland by the huge tsunami waves that inundated the area on March 11.
Taira and some friends wrapped the dolphin in wet towels and drove it back to the sea, where they set it free. The dolphin appeared to perk up when it was back in the Pacific, he said.
“I don’t know if it will live, but it’s certainly a lot better than dying in a rice paddy,” Taira told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.