Today’s Lady News: All Charges Dismissed Against Dominique Strauss Kahn

  • All criminal charges for sexual assault against Dominique Strauss Kahn, former head of the IMF, were dismissed by a judge today. Prosecutors said that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that DSK had sexually assaulted hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in his New York City hotel room because Diallo was found to have lied about numerous items on her immigration asylum application, including a gang rape in her home country of Guinea. Diallo’s lawyer has accused the Manhattan DA’s office of “abandon[ing] an innocent woman.” Meanwhile, Diallo still has a civil lawsuit pending against DSK in the Bronx, where she lives. [NY Times]
  • The number of women working as writers on primetime broadcast TV shows dropped to 15 percent last year from 29 percent during the 2009-2010 season, according to a study at San Diego State University. Among women directors on such TV shows, the numbers dropped to 11 percent from 16 percent. Women appeared as 41 percent of all on-air characters, a slight two-percent drop from the year before. [Los Angeles]
  • Another New York City police officer has been arrested on rape charges: off-duty cop Michael Pena, 27, is accused of asking a woman for directions, showing her his gun, and then raping her in a backyard. [WNYC]

  • Military contractor KBR (formerly known as Halliburton) filed a $2 million lawsuit against Jamie Leigh Jones, a former employee. Jones had sued KBR for its treatment of her after a sexual assault she suffered while working for the company in Iraq. (A jury ultimately ruled against her.) Now KBR is suing Jones claiming her original lawsuit was “frivolous, unreasonable, and groundless.” Jones’ lawyer said the lawsuit is meant to scare other employees from ever speaking out against KBR again. [Talking Points Memo]
  • Karl Rove told Fox News he thinks Sarah Palin will run for president … so interpret that however you so choose. [Politico]
  • People convicted of sexual abuse or sex trafficking are now forbidden from employment as public school bus drivers in New York. I’m shocked this wasn’t a law before! [New York Observer]
  • Elmhurst College in Illinois has invited prospective students to identify themselves as lesbian and gay. Why would a student want to do that? To give the school an idea of how to allocate their money for campus services. [Think Progress]
  • Virginia’s prisons will strengthen their policy against shackling pregnant inmates. [Feministe]
  • The upside of “The Help”? It’s made us talk about race. [GOOD]
  • “Geek girls” and the problem of self-objectification. [Geek Feminism]
  • Ten essential female funk artists. [FlavorWire]
  • Edie Wasserman, a philanthropist and the “first lady of Hollywood,” died recently at age 95. Wasserman was married to Hollywood big whig Lew Wasserman. [Hollywood Reporter]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Guatemala has barred Sandra Torres, the former first lady, from running for president. Torres divorced the current president so she could run, but that does not circumvent a rule that says close relatives of the president are forbidden from running. [CNN]
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