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Today’s Lady News: Conan O’Brien’s Fat Jokes Get Him In, Uh, Big Trouble

  • Conan O’Brien is the subject of pissy Tweets by plus-sized actresses Kirstie Alley and Star Jones after cracking jokes about Alley’s size. Example? A recent earthquake drill in California might have just been a response to Alley jazzercising. [New York Daily News]—Ah, fat jokes: the province of lazy comedians. Maybe he could mix up his repertoire and do ugly jokes, too? And for her part, maybe Alley could practice what she preaches and stop drawing so much attention to her own weight.
  • An analysis by George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services found that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to Obama’s health care reform bill would “produce industry-wide effects, leading to the elimination of health plan coverage for nearly all medically indicated abortions.” The GW study arrived at this conclusion after examining how “the health benefits services industry adjusts its products over time to conform to the regulatory environment in which it operates.” [George Washington University Medical Center]

  • Hate crimes in Los Angeles County dropped four percent last year. Yay! But it’s not all good news: hate crimes against gays/bisexuals/transexuals actually increased. The L.A. County Commission on Human Relations suggested California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages might have led to the increase in hate crimes against gays. [L.A. Times]
  • New York State’s Appeals Court ruled today that gay couples who are married in states where same-sex marriage is legal are entitled to some government benefits. The ruling rejected a challenge by a Christian legal group called the Alliance Defense Fund which said same-sex marriage is akin to incest or polygamy. [AP]
  • The artist Jeanne-Claude passed away last night at the age of 74. She is perhaps best known for her public art installations with her husband, Christo, such as 2005′s The Gates, which blanketed Central Park with orange flags. [Time]
  • Four women have filed a $7 million sex discrimination lawsuit against B&H, a photography equipment store in New York City run by Hasidic Jews. One current employee and three former employees say they were denied sales positions because they are women. In her lawsuit, the lead plaintiff said she was told sales positions were not open to women for “religious reasons.” [The New York Times, New York Daily News]
  • A police officer in Ozark, Arkansas, used his Taser on a 10-year-old girl after her mother said he could “tase her if I needed to.” The girl, who is now being held in a youth shelter, was violently kicking and screaming before the officer applied the stun gun to her back, according to the police report. The girl’s father, who doesn’t have custody, spoke out against the incident and said his daughter has emotional problems, but wasn’t holding a weapon and should not have been tased. [Independent UK] —Yeah, you think? Poor girl.
  • Remember a few weeks ago I blogged about so-called “men’s rights” groups who claim that advances in women’s equality are rolling back rights for men? A female writer named Cathy Young is actually defending these “men’s rights” guys by alleging feminism shouldn’t be about women’s dominance. Or something. Sigh. [Forbes.com]

INTERNATIONAL

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a speech in Rome today and announced there is no turning back on ordaining female priests. [Times of London]
  • A 28-year-old man allegedly sexually assaulted a 38-year-old female paramedic by groping her breasts in the ambulance on the way to a hospital in Australia. [News.com.au]
  • The BBC is in trouble with a media watch group after a radio host played a 10-second clip of Meg Ryan’s orgasm from “When Harry Met Sally” while talking about the female Viagara pill on air during a time of day when school children could be listening. [Independent UK]
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