Houston police kick out veteran with service dog from restaurant
Published time: February 27, 2014 20:24
Reuters / Richard Carson
A Houston, Texas, police officer allegedly kicked a US Army and Navy veteran out of a local restaurant for bringing in a service dog on the grounds that he wasn’t actually blind.
According to local news outlet KHOU, Aryeh Ohayon served in the US military for 23 years. Ohayon said his service dog, named “Bandit,” helps him deal with the lingering effects of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially if he begins to suffer from panic attack or a flashback linked to his prior experiences.
The incident began when Ohayon entered a Thai restaurant for dinner and was denied service by the manager. The veteran called police to clear up the situation, but he said the responding officer only denigrated his condition.
“I told him what my disabilities were,” Ohayon told KHOU. “That’s when he said, you’re not blind. [He said] I don’t see why you need the dog.”
“It feels like your service and experience that you’ve done to defend and uphold the Constitution and protect this country have been belittled,” he added.
Residents and business owners in Broad Channel, N.Y., are protesting skyrocketing insurance rates that are part of a new federal law designed to keep FEMA afloat. The new law increases the number of areas that are deemed flood zones and stipulates that homeowners in those areas raise their houses or face increased premiums. Don Dahler reports.
Congress tried to cut subsidies for homes in flood zones. It was harder than they thought.
Back in 1968, Congress first began subsidizing flood-insurance policies for homeowners across the nation. That change allowed more Americans to move into coastal areas and floodplains without paying full price for the risks involved.
Flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 (The Washington Post)
By 2012, however, lawmakers were rethinking the whole scheme. The National Flood Insurance Program was subsidizing premiums for 1.1 million policies and running multi-billion-dollar deficits. On top of that, scientists were predicting that sea-level rise would make flooding even more common in the years ahead. Environmentalists and fiscal conservatives alike argued that it made little sense to encourage building in high-risk areas.
So, that summer, Congress voted to revamp the program.* The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 aimed to end subsidized rates for 438,000 insurance policies in flood zones — mainly second homes, businesses, and repeatedly flooded properties. Subsidies for the rest (about 715,000 properties) would get rolled back more gradually, as the homes got sold. A separate set of properties could also face premium hikes as the government revises its flood maps.
Refugees queue for food parcels in Yarmouk. Photograph: Handout/Reuters
It is a vision of unimaginable desolation: a crowd of men, women and children stretching as far as the eye can see into the war-devastated landscape of Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
A photograph released on Wednesday by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, shows the scene when thousands of desperate Palestinians trapped inside the camp on the edge of the Syrian capital emerged to besiege aid workers attempting to distribute food parcels.
More than 18,000 people are existing under blockade inside Yarmouk, enduring acute shortages of food, medicines and other essentials. Much of the camp has been destroyed by shelling, and attempts to deliver aid to those inside have been hampered by continued fighting in Syria‘s three-year-old civil war.
United Nations workers have delivered about 7,000 food parcels over recent weeks, following negotiations between the Syrian government, rebel forces and Palestinian factions within the camp. The most recent delivery, of 450 parcels, was on Wednesday. The UN acknowledges that the level of aid is a “drop in the ocean”.
Yarmouk has been cut off since last July. Many residents are now weak and severely malnourished, as well as being exposed to the risk of disease, or death and injury from fighting.
Filippo Grandi, the head of UNRWA, described the camp as a ghost town after visiting this week. “The devastation is unbelievable. There is not one single building that I have seen that is not an empty shell by now. They’re all blackened by smoke,” he told reporters.
He said he was even more shocked by the camp’s residents, who flooded towards aid distribution points. “It’s like the appearance of ghosts. These are people who have not been out of there, that have been trapped in there not only without food, medicines, clean water – all the basics – but also probably completely subjected to fear because there was fierce fighting … They can hardly speak. I tried to speak to many of them, and they all tell the same stories of complete deprivation.”
UN chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by refugee camp in Syria
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The chief of the UN relief agency supporting Palestinian refugees said he is “deeply disturbed and shaken” by the despair and destruction he had seen in a besieged camp in the Syrian capital.
By Albert Aji, Syria
The Yarmouk refugee camp, located in southern Damascus, is an opposition enclave under the tight blockade of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.
More than 100 people have died in Yarmouk since mid-2013 as a result of starvation and illnesses exacerbated by hunger or lack of medical aid, according to UN figures.
Filippo Grandi, commissioner general of UNRWA, was visiting Yarmouk as the relief agency resumed food distribution there. Shipments to the camp have been disrupted for months, sometimes cut off for weeks at a time, and Yarmouk has suffered from crippling shortages of food and medicine.
“I am deeply disturbed and shaken by what I observed,” Grandi said. Palestinian refugees to whom he spoke in Yarmouk were “traumatised by what they have lived through.”
The extent of damage to the refugees’ homes was shocking, he also said, adding that many Palestinians in Yarmouk need immediate support, particularly food and medical treatment.
Yarmouk is the largest of nine Palestinian camps in Syria. Since the camp’s creation in 1957, it has evolved into a densely populated residential district just five miles from the centre of Damascus. Several generations of Palestinian refugees have lived there.
More than 100 people have died in Yarmouk since mid-2013, some of starvation
Published: 16:25 February 25, 2014
Damascus: The chief of the United Nations relief agency supporting Palestinian refugees said on Tuesday he is “deeply disturbed and shaken” by the despair and destruction he’d seen in a besieged camp in the Syrian capital.
The Yarmouk refugee camp, located in southern Damascus, is an opposition enclave under the tight blockade of forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad. More than 100 people have died in Yarmouk since mid-2013 as a result of starvation and illnesses exacerbated by hunger or lack of medical aid, according to UN figures.
Filippo Grandi, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, was visiting Yarmouk as the relief agency resumed food distribution there. UNRWA shipments to the camp have been disrupted for months, sometimes cut off for weeks at a time, and Yarmouk has suffered from crippling shortages of food and medicine.
“I am deeply disturbed and shaken by what I observed,” Grandi said in a statement. Palestinian refugees to whom he spoke in Yarmouk Monday were “traumatized by what they have lived through.”
Qatari women with their children and housemaid strolling in Doha. Photograph: Stock Connection/REX
Foreign maids, cleaners and other domestic workers are being subjected to slave-like labour conditions in Qatar, with many complaining they have been deprived of passports, wages, days off, holidays and freedom to move jobs, a Guardian investigation can reveal.
Hundreds of Filipino maids have fled to their embassy in recent months because conditions are so harsh. Many complain of physical and sexual abuse, harassment, long periods without pay and the confiscation of mobile phones.
The exploitation raises further concerns about labour practices in Qatar in advance of the World Cup, after Guardian reports about the treatment of construction workers. The maids are not directly connected to Qatar’s preparations for the football tournament, but domestic workers will play a big role in staffing the hotels, stadiums and other infrastructure that will underpin the 2022 tournament.
Our investigation reveals:
• The Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) sheltered more than 600 runaway maids in the first six months of 2013 alone.
• Some workers say they have not been paid for months.
• Many housemaids do not get days off.
• Some contracts and job descriptions are changed once the workers arrive in Qatar.
• Women who report a sexual assault can be charged with illicit relations.
The non-payment of wages, confiscation of documents and inability of workers to leave their employer constitute forced labour under UN rules. According to the International Labour Organisation, forced labour is “all work which is exacted from someone under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”.
Lack of consent can include induced indebtedness and deception about the type and terms of work, withholding or non-payment of wages and the retention of identity documents. Initial consent may be considered irrelevant when deception or fraud has been used to obtain it.
“Menace of penalty” can include physical violence, deprivation of food and shelter, non-payment of wages, the inability to repay a loan, exclusion from future employment and removal of rights and privileges.
When the Guardian visited in January, at least 35 runaway maids had sought sanctuary at the POLO in the capital, Doha, which provides support to 200,000 Filipinos in Qatar. The welfare officer said most complained of pay being withheld, insufficient food, overwork and maltreatment. Some said they had endured verbal and physical abuse by sponsors of different nationalities.
Eight Filipino workers interviewed by the Guardian said they had not been paid for six months, were sometimes deprived of food while cleaning for long hours and had had their passports confiscated.
“We are afraid,” said 28-year-old Jane*. “We don’t really know what to do. We are trying to survive. That’s why we do part-time jobs secretly.” If they are caught breaching their contract, the maids face months in a deportation centre. The repatriation process is often delayed when people do not have their passports, according to James Lynch, Amnesty International’s researcher on Gulf migrants’ rights.
Qatar vigorously denies it is a “slave state” and is understood to be reviewing the controversial system that governs migrant labour, and to have stepped up inspections of businesses that use migrant labour. The Qatari labour ministry said in a statement: “We have clear laws and contractual terms in place to protect all people who live and work in Qatar and anyone found to have broken those laws will be prosecuted accordingly.” It said that non-payment of wages and confiscation of passports were illegal in Qatar, and added: “The vast majority of workers in Qatar – domestic or otherwise – work amicably, save money and send this home to improve the economic situation of their families and communities in their home countries.”
But the Philippines-based OFW (Overseas Foreign Workers) Watch, which supports Filipino migrant workers, said physical abuse, delayed and refused salaries, the misrepresentation of employers and contracts and passport confiscations were common issues in Qatar. The Guardian has already highlighted this malpractice in its investigation into the mistreatment of migrant workers as Qatar gears up for the 2022 World Cup.
As with the construction workers, the abuse of maids is systemic and brought into sharp focus by a lack of legal protection and the kafala sponsorship system, under which workers cannot leave the country or change jobs without their employer’s permission, Lynch said.
“The women we’ve spoken to who have suffered abuses in the workplace, ranging from excessive working hours to physical violence, their employers came from a variety of countries,” he added.
Many maids say they do not get any rest days and that employers confiscate their mobile phones.
Several recruitment agencies contacted by phone told a Guardian reporter pretending to be a would-be client that they routinely withheld the passports of their migrant workers. One agency volunteered that it was up to the sponsor whether the maid had a day off. “If you want to give an off day, let them rest at your house,” an Al Hadeel Manpower representative said. “Don’t give them free days outside because there is more problems outside.”
Nearly a third of the 430 billion pounds of food produced for Americans to eat is wasted, a potential catastrophe for landfills and a wake-up call to officials scrambling to feed the hungry, according to a stunning new report from the Department of Agriculture.
The just-issued report revealed that in 2010, 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of food produced for Americans to eat was wasted, either molded or improperly cooked, suffered “natural shrinkage” due to moisture loss, or because people became disinterested in what they purchased.
“In 2010, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food at the retail and consumer levels in the United States went uneaten, and this amount is valued at $161.6 billion using retail prices. This amount of food loss translates into 141 trillion calories in 2010. These estimates suggest that annual food loss in the United States is substantial,” said Ag.
The report comes as the administration is growing concerned about landfills running out of space and struggling to help the one-sixth of Americans who go hungry every day. The report noted that 14 percent of garbage dumped into landfills is food waste, and that 49 million people, mostly poor, need more food.
While waste isn’t new to America, the volume revealed in the report is shocking, and the reasons sometimes just as surprising.
The report provides estimates of waste for different foods, including the top food groups wasted. No. 1 in 2010, the sample year, was the group including meat, poultry and fish. The report said 30 percent, or $48 billion, was wasted.
The reasons for trashing food included dented cans, spills, mold, poor coloring and even religion. Below is USDA’s list of reasons consumers trashed their food:
Baton Rouge’s Rich Want New Town to Keep Poor Pupils Out: Taxes
February 6, 2014 12:00 AM ET
By Margaret Newkirk
Saying they want local control, they’re trying to leave the 42,000-pupil public-education system. They envision their own district funded by property taxes from their higher-value homes, which would take money from schools in poorer parts of state-capital Baton Rouge, home of Louisiana State University. They even want their own city.
Similar efforts have surfaced in the past two years in Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee, some of them succeeding as the end of court-ordered desegregation removed legal barriers. The result may be a concentration of poverty and low achievement. A 2012 report by ACT, the Iowa-based testing organization, found only 10 percent of low-income students met college benchmarks in all subjects, less than half the average.
“It’s going to devastate us,” said Tania Nyman, 45, who has two elementary-age children in the Baton Rouge system. “They’re not only going to take the richer white kids out of the district, they are going to take their money out of it.”
U.S. educational funding varies by state, often relying heavily on local taxes. The South, once notorious for segregated schools, by 2011 had the nation’s second-narrowest funding disparity among districts, according to a study by the Federal Education Budget Project, a Washington-based research organization that is an offshoot of the nonpartisan New America Foundation.
Louisiana, however, scored worst in the nation, according to the study. A December report by three LSU economics professors found that breaking up the East Baton Rouge Parish school system would depress total per-pupil spending to $8,870 from $9,635. It would rise to $11,686 in the breakaway district.
Eighty percent of the current district’s students are black, and 82 percent poor enough to qualify for free or reduced school meals. Nyman and other district boosters say a split would set a dire precedent.
“Every affluent community in the state will want to create their own little school system,” said Carnell Washington, president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.“They are taking money away that would help the entire school system and the entire city.”
Backers of the split, whose website is called Local Schools for Local Children, say the district has been failing for at least a dozen years, with some schools performing so poorly that the state took them over. In the 2011-2012 school year, six of 10 students attended a school ranked failing or almost failing by the state and the drop-out rate was 20 percent, according to Baton Rouge Area Chamber, a business group.
“Baton Rouge is one of the best job markets around, and the middle class is moving out,” said Republican state Senator Mack “Bodi” White. “Those who stay have their kids in private schools.”
About 30 percent of children within district lines were in private schools in 2009, according to Tulane University’s Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.
AUSTIN — For 28-year old Irma Aguilar, raising four young children while working a full-time job is difficult enough.
Suffering from a damaged disc in her neck and debilitating high blood pressure that leaves her dizzy and bouts of anxiety, she needs medical coverage. An assistant manager at a national pizza chain, the San Antonio resident earns too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for discounted plans on the health insurance marketplace.
“It just makes me feel like, how am I supposed to get help? I thought that working hard for your money was supposed to help you go on in life and help you get some kind of insurance, and we can’t even get that,” said Aguilar. “We’re the ones working hard. We’re the ones doing everything, and we can’t even get a penny out of it. We don’t get nothing. So, do I have to stop working and let my kids drain and me drain so that way I can get help? It’s just not fair to me, and it’s not fair to my kids.”
Roughly 1 million Texans are in a similar situation: unable to qualify for Medicaid under Texas’ stringent restrictions and unable to afford to purchase plans offered under the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, representatives of dozens of organizations gathered at the Texas Capitol to launch a new campaign demanding something be done for them.
“It’s a moral responsibility to address this situation,” said Sister J.T. Dwyer of the Seton Health Care Family. “Our mission is to care for and improve the health of those we serve with a special concern for the poor and vulnerable. So, wouldn’t we be interested in this? These are the vulnerable people who are left out.”
With 6 million uninsured individuals, Texas leads the nation in the number of residents without health care coverage. A project of the Cover Texas Now Coalition, Texas Left Me Out is a campaign to compel lawmakers to develop a solution to insuring Texas’ working poor who fall in the coverage “gap” resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to require states to expand Medicaid to those unable to afford coverage through the health insurance marketplace.
“The problem is that, because the law was written assuming that the Medicaid piece would be there, they said nobody below the poverty line is going to get the sliding scale of subsidies with premiums in the new health insurance marketplace,” said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the progressive Center for Public Policy Priorities.
For a $15 billion investment in state money, over the next 10 years Texas would draw down about $100 million in federal funds, which Texans will be taxed for regardless. Gov. Rick Perry has opposed expanding Medicaid, calling the system “broken.” Instead, Perry has advocated for a block grant which the federal government has thus far seemed disinclined to provide.
The Washington Navy Yard gunman who killed 12 people last year conned Veterans Affairs doctors into believing he had no mental health issues before the shootings.
WASHINGTON — The gunman who killed 12 people in last year’s rampage at Washington’s Navy Yard lied so convincingly to Veterans Affairs doctors before the shootings that they concluded he had no mental health issues despite serious problems and encounters with police during the same period, according to a review by The Associated Press of his confidential medical files.
Gunman’s doc. before rampage: ‘No problem there’
Just weeks before the shootings, a doctor treating him for insomnia noted that the patient worked for the Defense Department but wrote hauntingly “no problem there.”
The AP obtained more than 100 pages of treatment and disability claims evaluation records for Aaron Alexis, spanning more than two years. They show Alexis complaining of minor physical ailments, including foot and knee injuries, slight hearing loss and later insomnia, but resolutely denying any mental health issues. He directly denied having suicidal or homicidal thoughts when government doctors asked him about it just three weeks before the shootings.
In a bizarre incident in Newport, R.I., Alexis told police on Aug. 7 that disembodied voices were harassing him at his hotel using a microwave machine to prevent him from sleeping. After police reported the incident to the Navy, his employer, a defense contracting company, pulled his access to classified material for two days after his mental health problems became evident but restored it quickly and never told Navy officials it had done so.
Just 16 days later, after Alexis told a VA emergency room doctor in Providence that he couldn’t sleep, the doctor wrote that his speech and thoughts seemed “clear and focused” and noted that he “denies flashbacks, denies recent stress.”
The medical records said Alexis, 34, was found sleeping in the VA waiting room in Providence on Aug. 23 while waiting to see a doctor. During that visit he was prescribed 50 milligrams of trazodone, an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication that in such low doses can be used to treat insomnia.
“Denies any pain except discomfort rt (right) temple,” a nurse wrote on Aug. 23. “Pt (patient) taking no medications including any otc (over-the-counter) medications.”
An attending doctor provided additional details, saying Alexis suffered from fatigue after sleeping only two or three hours every night over the past three weeks.
“Speech and thoughts clear and focused. Denies flashbacks. Denies recent stress. Denies drugs, cocaine, heroin, caffeine product, depression, anxiety, chest pain, sob (shortness of breath), nightmares. He denies taking nap during the day. Denies SI (suicidal ideation) or HI (homicidal ideation),” the doctor wrote.
“He works in the Defense Department, no problem there,” the doctor added.
The medical records showed that Alexis answered “no” when asked, “Do you have anything that could be considered a weapon?” The VA told the AP that was a standard question it asks veterans whom it treats in a triage setting.
Five days later, on Aug. 28, Alexis visited a VA medical facility in Washington, again complaining of sleeplessness: “Patient presents to ER with c/o (case of) awakening each morning about 4 a.m. like clockwork and he cannot figure out why this is happening.”
He answered “no” when asked whether he was having feelings of hopelessness for the present and the future. Another doctor that night described the examination as “unremarkable.” The VA gave him 10 more tablets of trazodone and sent him home just before 9 p.m.
Doctors found ‘no problem’ with Navy Yard shooter weeks before rampage
Published time: January 31, 2014 21:31
Aaron Alexis moves through the hallways of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun in this undated handout photo released by the FBI (Reuters)
Veteran Affairs doctors were so sure the Washington, DC, Navy Yard gunman was clear of mental issues they declared there was “no problem” with him just weeks before his shooting spree killed 12 people.
According to a new report by the Associated Press, medical records for the 34-year-old gunman Aaron Alexis showed him complaining of insomnia multiple times, as well as physical problems such as hearing loss and foot injuries. Three weeks before his violent outburst, Alexis adamantly denied harboring any suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
In early August, Alexis told police that disembodied voices were using a microwave in his hotel room to keep him awake. The defense contractor employing Alexis revoked his ability to access classified material after this came to their attention, but reinstated his access soon afterwards and declined to inform the Navy of its actions.
Just over two weeks later, Alexis was treated by a VA doctor for insomnia and given an antidepressant to help him sleep. The medical staff did not find anything of significant concern.
“Speech and thoughts clear and focused. Denies flashbacks. Denies recent stress. Denies drugs, cocaine, heroin, caffeine product, depression, anxiety, chest pain, [shortness of breath], nightmares. He denies taking nap during the day. Denies [suicidal ideation] or [homicidal ideation],” the doctor wrote, according to the AP.
Oil and gas fracking is big business in America, with more than two million hydraulically fractured wells across the country producing 43 and 67 per cent of our national oil and gas outputs, respectively. These wells also nearly played a secondary role as nuclear waste storage sites, had the Atomic Energy Commission had its way with Project Plowshare.
However in the mid 1950s, scientists from the Atomic Energy Commission and officials from the US Bureau of Mines began experimenting with an alternative method of fracking, one that employed nuclear bombs more powerful than anything we dropped on the Japanese.
Dubbed Project Plowshare, this insane undertaking explored two industrialized — or “peaceful” — applications for nuclear explosives:
Conceptually, industrial applications resulting from the use of nuclear explosives could be divided into two broad categories: 1) large-scale excavation and quarrying, where the energy from the explosion was used to break up and/or move rock; and 2) underground engineering, where the energy released from deeply buried nuclear explosives increased the permeability and porosity of the rock by massive breaking and fracturing.
In 1967, the AEC teamed up with the US Bureau of Mines and El Paso Natural Gas Company for what would be the first of a series of underground experiments. In a remote gas well outside of Farmington, New Mexico, researchers lowered the 29-kiloton “Gasbuggy” nuclear device 1200 metres into the Earth and set it off. The results were spectacular.
“The 4042-foot-deep detonation created a molten glass-lined cavern about 160 feet in diameter and 333 feet tall,” according to the American Oil and Gas Historical Society. “It collapsed within seconds. Subsequent measurements indicated fractures extended more than 200 feet in all directions — and significantly increased natural gas production.”
This initial success led to numerous additional tests in the following years — 27 experiments and 35 nuclear explosions in total. While most of the experiments were small, above-ground explosions were detonated in Nevada with the goal of forming craters and canals. Indeed, two additional underground tests in ’69 and ’73 proved even more massive than Gasbuggy.
A few weeks ago, a reader wrote to me asking how we can be sure the government isn’t slyly getting rid of nuclear waste by injecting it into shale rock that’s been fracked for oil or gas. Jon Abel’s questions will seem far-fetched to some of you, worrisome to others, depending on how much you trust government and the energy industry:
I wanted to mention something that might be getting missed with the whole radioactivity issue surrounding fracking waste water,” my reader wrote. “Has anyone tested for other radioactive metals – such as cesium or plutonium (not just NORM elements)? And, has anyone tested the frack water for radioactivity BEFORE it goes down the frack production wells? Is it possible that the government is getting rid of nuclear waste in this manner?”
Far-fetched or not, no sooner had Jon posed the question than someone proposed it.
At the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Leonid Germanovich of the Georgia Institute of Technology suggested that nuclear wastes deposited in shale rock would never return to the surface.
“It’s basic physics here — if it’s heavier than rock, the fracture will propagate down,” said the physicist and civil and environmental engineer.
Jens Birkholzer, head of the Nuclear Energy and Waste Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told Livescience the idea is impractical, largely for safety reasons, but in fact, the government has already disposed of nuclear wastes this way, as you’ll read below.
Jon Abel’s questions had me wondering whether these two explosive forms of energy extraction had ever been combined.
And indeed they have.
In December, 1967, scientists from the Atomic Energy Commission and officials from the U.S. Bureau of Mines and El Paso Natural Gas Company gathered at a gas well in northern New Mexico, near Farmington. They lowered a 29-kiloton nuclear device more than 4,000 feet down the shaft and set it off.
I’m not sure if Islamic law is the worst thing ever… but it’s probably the worst thing ever for women.
I keep hearing that Mohammed was the original feminist and that Islamic law protects women. Also the State Department praised the moderate Muslim president of moderate Muslim Maldives for being elected through democratic values.
The US has congratulated Abdulla Yameen on him being elected as the new President of the Maldives, and called the association between the two countries as “a long history of cordial relations”.
“The extraordinarily high turnout on November 16th was a tribute to the Maldivian people’s commitment to the democratic process and democratic values,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday.
Yameen is the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, center, was sworn into the presidency on Nov. 17, 2013. Photo by Maldivian government (press release).
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to sign a bill Thursday that criminalizes some forms of marital rape, Religion News Service reported. Though the bill passed parliament with 67-2 vote, Yameen rejected the legislation, which limits a husband’s right to demand sex from his wife, because it was “un-Islamic.“
The bill did not criminalize all marital rape, but banned it under the following circumstances:
if a case for dissolution of a marriage is in court
while a divorce, filed by the husband or wife, is pending a court hearing
if the intent of intercourse is to transmit a sexually transmitted disease
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