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Today’s Lady News: Military To Discharge Single Mom Who Refused Deployment

  • The Army has decided to discharge Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a single mother who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because she could not find care for her 1-year-old son. The 21-year-old Army cook was arrested in November and faced a court marshal. However, a general at Fort Stewart in California granted Hutchinson an administrative discharge, which means she will be demoted in ranking and lose her benefits. [Yahoo]
  • Saudi Arabia‘s religious police, the muttawa, are cracking down on Valentine’s Day, patrolling stores for any signs of banned roses, chocolates, cards and stuffed animals. According to The Times of London dating in the Western sense, including the public amorous gestures that occur on Valentine’s Day, is simply not acceptable. [The Times Online]
  • Kate Winslet has been tapped to star in an HBO miniseries based on the 1945 film “Mildred Pierce.” Joan Crawford won a Best Actress award for the movie, which is about a woman abandoned by her husband who becomes financially independent and successful, yet is still hated by her bratty daughter. [Variety]

  • Madonna is trying to open a girl’s school in Malawi, where she adopted two of her children, but 200 residents of the local village are displeased that they’ve been asked to relocate their homes. Madonna is allegedly paying villagers $115,000 to relocate. [US Weekly]
  • Leslie Liwanag, a stripper, has filed a lawsuit against the Penthouse Executive Club in NYC. Liwanag, whose lawsuit is supported by the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, claims the club takes 20 percent of tips, makes dancers purchase their own costumes, doesn’t pay overtime, and charges them for working there. [New York Daily News]
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee is putting off a confirmation vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, law professor Dawn Johnson, after she is proving to be controversial to some. Johnson’s opinions on warrant-less wiretapping are objectionable to some, as is her past position as legal director of the National Abortion Rights Action League. Already, Johnson’s confirmation vote has been held up for one year. [Politico]
  • Utah is considering a $1.6 million cut to its Medicaid program, which would reportedly cause 5,600 women, including low-income pregnant, to lose benefits. [Salt Lake Tribune]
  • Kansas’ House Insurance Committee will soon debate a bill asking the state to bar private insurance companies for covering abortions except in the case of rape or incest when a police report was filed, or to save the woman’s life. Supporters of the bill say they don’t think insurance policyholders should have to “subsidize” abortions for other policyholders. [The Wichita Eagle]
  • Oklahoma’s State Senate advanced three anti-abortion measures on Thursday, including bills related to requiring a woman to view an ultrasound before she has an abortion. [Tulsa World]
  • Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Boise) introduced a “conscience bill” to the Senate State Affairs committee which would allow pharmacists and health care workers to refuse to distribute birth control pills, the morning-after pill, RU-486, or perform abortions. [CNBC]
  • Here’s another annoying article about women who earn more than their husbands. The lead: “She’s the main breadwinner, and his paycheck comes in second. Can this marriage survive?” Make it stop! [New York Daily News]
  • An absolutely shocking study published in the British Journal of Psychology: women prefer to date “men who are kind.” [BBC]

INTERNATIONAL

  • A vicar in Kent in the United Kingdom passed out a leaflet that angered some parishioners. It read: “Wives are to submit to their husbands in everything in recognition of the fact that husbands are head of the family as Christ is head of the church. This is the way God has ordered their relationships with each other and Christian marriage cannot function well without it. …It would seem that women should remain silent….if their questions could legitimately be answered by their husbands at home.” He then preached a sermon on the subject several days later in which he announced, “Marriage is not working … Wives, submit to your own husbands.” Several women have announced they’re quitting the church in response. [Telegraph UK]
  • A Jordanian-American businesswoman was put into jail by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks in Riyadh. The 37-year-old mother of three, who lives in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, headed to the coffee shop with a colleague to use the wireless internet when their office’s electricity went out. She was sitting with the man in a curtained booth in the “family” area where only related men and women are permitted to sit when she was approached by members of the religious police. According to the woman, the police confiscated her mobile phone and drove her to prison, where she was kept until her husband secured her release. [The Times Online]
  • Nadja Benaissa, 27, a singer in the German girl band No Angels, has been charged with causing bodily harm for not informing three sexual partners that she was HIV positive. At least one of her partners has contracted the virus. [BBC]
  • The BBC asks the heady question of whether drug addicts should be paid to be sterilized so they cannot impregnate/get pregnant. We tackled this tricky subject back in July. [BBC]
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