Today’s Lady News: Quebec Considers Restrictions For Women With Face-Covering Muslim Veils

  • Quebec Premier Jean Charest has introduced legislation that would forbid Muslim women from giving or receiving public services while wearing a niqab, or a face-covering veil. Charest said that wearing other religious symbols, like a head-covering veil or a cross, would be allowed, but a concealed face is inappropriate. Critics, however, say the proposed ban is racially and religiously discriminatory. [Toronto Star]
  • Police in London issued their first warning to a male employee at Heathrow over the airport’s X-ray security scanner. They issued a harassment warning to a 25-year-old male who made a crude remark about a colleague’s breasts when she walked through the scanner. [AFP]
  • President Obama is allegedly trying to tackle an image problem — that his administration is a “boys’ club” that makes women feel excluded. Late last year, he invited the highest-ranking women on his staff to dinner at the White House to ask their opinions personally. The “boys club” criticism gained traction last year after Obama hosted several basketball and golf games with all- or mostly-male groups of staff. One senior official, who was at the dinner, told the AP that the women said they felt the men who were hanging out with Obama in less formal settings had more access to him. [AP]

  • Ella Mae Johnson, age 106, an African-American woman who had attended Obama’s inauguration last year, passed away on Monday. [AP]
  • South Carolina’s State Senate approved a bill yesterday that requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait at least one day after she has viewed an ultrasound. Critics say that if the bill goes into law, it will make it more difficult for women to seek abortions if they had to take time off of work or get childcare in order to travel across the state for the procedure. [CBS News]
  • Members of Kappa Delta sorority at Valdosta State University are raising money for the Children’s Advocacy Center, which has had its budget cut by 65 percent over the last three years, and the group, Child Abuse America. The CAC provides therapy to children who have been victims of sexual abuse and provides forensic interviews to help police investigations. [WALB]
  • New York State assemblymen have introduced a bill to the state’s Finance Law that will ban the state from investing pension money in companies that sell, design or manufacture “provocative” children’s clothing, like tees with sexually suggestive sayings. [Legislative Gazette]
  • Three boys in Miami Gardens, Florida, ages 11, 11 and 13, have been charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old autistic girl at their school. [Miami Herald]
  • National Public Radio has advised its journalists to no longer refer to activists as “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” Henceforth, journalists should use the term “abortions rights supporters” and “abortion rights opponents.” [Media Matters]
  • After recent allegations that photographer Terry Richardson has sexually harassed young models, blogger Jenna (formerly known as Tatiana The Anonymous Model) at Jezebel asks what are modeling agencies doing to protect young girls from predators in the modeling industry. [Jezebel]

INTERNATIONAL

  • British scientists are testing a medication that targets the cause of menstrual cramps. The drug, VA111913, would block the hormone vasopressin, which increases when a woman has cramps. Currently, drugs like Midol only address the symptoms of cramps, but not the cause. [L.A. Times]
  • Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act which requires “milk breaks” for nursing female employees and mandates “lactation stations” be set up for breastfeeding in offices and public areas. [Manila Bulletin]
  • Cosmetic plastic surgery has risen in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted from power, in part because doctors who fled the country at the beginning of the violence have returned. [Washington Post]
  • A fourth woman in Sydney, Australia, has reported that she was sexually assaulted by a random man on the street who grabbed her breasts and then ran away. [News.com.au]
  • Actress Simone Buchanan has spoken up to say she was aware “Hey Dad!” actor Robert Hughes had allegedly been sexually abusing the show’s child star, Sarah Monahan. Monahan recently claimed she had been abused by Hughes as a young actress but kept quiet about the abuse because she had been supporting her family. Buchanan, who was also a young star on the show, has come forward to say Monahan told her about some of the abuse and she tried to help protect her young colleague at the time. Hughes, the accused, has denied all the allegations. [News.com.au]
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