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Today’s Lady News: “Harry Potter” Actress Brother Guilty Of Assault Over “Non-Muslim” Dating

  • The brother of “Harry Potter” actress Afshan Azad, 22, who played Padma Patil in the series, has pled guilty to assaulting her at the family’s Manchester, England, home when he learned she was dating a non-Muslim. Ashraf Azad, 28, and his father allegedly began screaming that Afshan was a whore while the brother assaulted her. She escaped by jumping out her bedroom window and making her way to London. Ashraf Azad was released on bail, but Afshan herself has repeatedly indicated she fears her life is at risk if she pursues charges against her family. [Jezebel]
  • Cincinnati Right To Life, a group against legalized abortion, has posted Christmas-themed billboards which say “He came as a baby” and show a fetus inside an ultrasound with a halo around his head, symbolizing Christ. [Cincinnati.com]
  • Beginning last week, the Doonesbury comic strip introduced a lesbian character for a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” themed story line. [Doonesbury via AfterEllen.com]

  • A bill is headed to New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s desk which would give low-income women access to subsidized family planning services. Christie had vetoed a similar bill back in August, claiming he did not want to spend the money. But the current bill requires NJ to put up $1.1 million in funding to qualify for $15 million from the U.S. government. [NorthJersey.com]
  • Male victims of domestic violence often get lost in interpretations of DV data, say experts. [Sacramento Bee]
  • 2010 was a year of strong women in pop culture, including Lisbeth Salander, the character in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in “Salt.” [New York Times]
  • Bikini Kill/Le Tigre’s Kathleen Hanna remembers her “angry young feminist” friend, Kurt Cobain. [Seattle Weekly]
  • New Orleans-based rapper Magnolia Shorty (real name: Renatta Lowe), 28, was killed on Monday by gunfire. [The Grio]
  • Actress Meredith Baxter from “Family Ties” explains why she scooped the tabloids and came out as a lesbian on her own terms on “The Today Show.” [Windy City Times]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Canada’s abortion debate has been reignited following the conviction of Melinda Morin, 29, of Calgary, Alberta, who stabbed her 48-year-old boyfriend to death for trying to force her to have an abortion. Morin is a prostitute with a drug addiction and she claimed her boyfriend kicked her in the stomach because he did not want her to have a “crack baby.” [[UPI.com
  • "Four Weddings," an Australian reality show about getting married, is looking for same-sex couples to participate — even though gay marriage isn't legal there. [SameSame.com]
  • Meet Bushra Hussein Saleh, the lone woman in Iraq’s new cabinet. She is a deputy from Fadhila, a small Shiite fundamentalist party. [AFP]
  • A nurse in Samoa has been jailed for procuring an abortion. Akalita Apelu has been jailed in the past for procuring abortions for needy women. [Radio New Zealand International]
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