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Today’s Lady News: American Apparel Doesn’t Hire Based On Looks, Says Founder

  • Dov Charney, embattled American Apparel CEO, wants you to know the condemning internal emails and screen grabs of the company’s intranet are not “evidence” that they hire based on looks. “Photographing people head to toe is the right thing to do if you want to see how people present themselves to customers,” Charney defended himself. “It’s not for a beauty pageant like Miss America where we’re looking at someone’s breast size. We want to see their style.” Hmm, that doesn’t sound so nefarious. We’re not sure we believe him, though. [Signature9.com]
  • Constance McMillen, 18, the lesbian teenager who was told by her high school that she was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to prom, will visit the White House tomorrow. Constance will be a guest at a reception to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Later this week, she will march in New York City’s gay pride parade. [USA Today]
  • The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion rights group, released a report today stating they are unclear how deeply Elena Kagan, a Supreme Court nominee, supports abortion rights. [AP]

  • Ashley Battles of Tulsa, Oklahoma, set a new world record this weekend for “wing walking” for four hours atop an airplane. The previous record was for three hours and 23 minutes. There are only six active “wing walkers” in America, including Battles, who has a degree in aviation. [NewsOn6.com]
  • Candace Klein, a 29-year-old lawyer, has launched a micro-finance organization, BadGirlsVentures.com, which funnels private investments to early stage, women-owned businesses. Klein had her law school education financed by someone who made her promise to “pay it forward” and spend the rest of her life helping women succeed. [News-Press.com]
  • Maternal deaths in New York City are twice as high as the national average, according to a new report from the NYC Department of Health, and black women are seven times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. Almost half the total 161 deceased women studied were obese and 56 percent had chronic health problems, like asthma or hypertension. [Essence.com]
  • Legislators in New York State are at odds over a bill that would permit late-term abortion if a woman’s health is at risk. Currently, NY state law says late-term abortions are only permitted if a woman’s life is in danger. That law is overridden by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, which effectively legalized abortion. However, abortion rights supporters in NY state want this latest bill passed on the chance that Roe vs. Wade is overturned in the future. I thought all late-term abortions were banned by President Bush’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban, though? [New York Times]
  • Women in Minnesota earn 70 percent of what their male counterparts do, according to new research on gender parity by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. [St. Cloud Times]
  • According to internal emails at the Washington, D.C. police department, officers will stop intervening in an ongoing protest by Islamic women who oppose gender segregation in mosques. In the past, police have been called to the mosques to remove the protesting women. [Washington Examiner]
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against a Wisconsin woodworking company, Richardson Industries, for allegedly firing a female employee after she complained that she was sexually harassed by a supervisor at a company Christmas party in 2005. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Anti-abortion organizations have posted billboards depicting an African-American baby with text that says “Black & Unwanted,” at three locations in Arkansas. This billboard campaign targeting African-Americans comes after a similar campaign in Georgia. [KATV]
  • Marie Celeste Arraras, a host for Telemundo who is sometimes called the “Katie Couric of Spanish television,” was allegedly a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend. On May 28, Arraras called 911 in Miami, claiming her boyfriend was trying to kill her. A police report from that incident says Raul Quintana hit Arraras several times, pulled her by her hair, and threw her on the floor. A spokesman for Telemundo said the station is “fully supportive” of her regarding the matter. [New York Daily News]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Iranian police issued warnings to 62,000 women for being “badly veiled,” according to an Iranian newspaper. Police also allegedly confiscated 100 cars that carried women who were improperly dressed according to standards of the religious police. [AFP]
  • A Somalian mother of a 14-year-old daughter tells the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs how she refused to let her daughter be sold as a “child bride” for $4,000. [IrinNews.org]
  • Dr. Sonnet Ehlers of South Africa is giving out tens of thousands of “anti-rape” female condoms during the World Cup. Rape-aXe condoms, invented by Dr. Ehlers, have hooks which attach onto a rapist’s penis and can only be removed by a doctor. [New York Post]
  • Women in India are taking state-sponsored self-defense courses to learn how to fight back against sexual harassment in the streets. [AFP]
  • There’s still internal bickering within the Church of England about whether women should be allowed to be bishops. [BBC]
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