A 20-year-old Louisiana woman is in critical condition Tuesday after three men allegedly set her on fire in what the FBI is investigating as a hate crime. Sharmeka Moffit, who is black, was found on Sunday night by officers with burns over half her body and the letters KKK and a racial slur written on her car. On the 911 call, Moffit said her attackers were three men wearing white hoods or hats, and they doused her in flammable liquid and then set her on fire at a park at Winnsboro, in Franklin Parish. The park has no surveillance cameras, and no arrests have been made yet.
October 24, 2012 2:19 PM
FACE THE MUSIC
The BBC director-general will face questioning by Parliament on Tuesday for his handling of an alleged sex scandal involving the late Jimmy Savile, who has been accused of abusing hundreds of underage girls. George Entwistle will face questions by Parliament’s Culture, Media, and Sport committee—the same committee that has been investigating the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. On Monday, Newsnight editor Peter Rippon resigned amid questions of a piece about the Savile sex scandal that Rippon allegedly pulled. A BBC Panorama program aired Monday night addressed why the Newsnight documentary was dropped, although questions still remain about why the broadcaster did not address the allegations against Savile.
October 24, 2012 2:18 PM
The Pussy Riot saga is taking another troubling turn, as two members of the protestor group have been sent to penal colonies to serve out their two-year jail sentences. The women were arrested in February after performing a song that satirized Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow cathedral. Group member Nadya Tolokonnikova is being sent to Mordovia and Maria Alyokhina to Perm, prison camps that are described as “the harshest camps of all the possible choices.” Both women had petitioned to serve their jail time in Moscow, as they have small children.
October 24, 2012 2:16 PM
Doctors in the British hospital where young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is being treated for gunshot wounds said on Friday that she is steadily recovering. Having come out of a medically induced coma, she is now able to write and stand up on her own and has indicated that she has retained her full memory. However, Yousafzai is "still very ill," according to the hospital, and doctors warn that due to swelling, her brain injury has not been fully evaluated. Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban last week, targeted for her efforts to improve girls’ education.
October 22, 2012 9:26 AM
Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh went head to head with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth over Medicare and abortion during a local half-hour news program Thursday night. In addition to promising to end Medicare "as we know it" if it remains unchanged, Walsh revealed just how anti-abortion he really is, claiming that exemptions to abortion laws in cases where a mother's life in danger are obsolete. "With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," Walsh said. "There is no exception as life of the mother, as far as health of the mother, same thing."
October 22, 2012 9:24 AM
Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban last week, is no longer in a coma, New York Times reporter Adam Ellick said on Facebook on Wednesday. According to Ellick, Yousafzai is responding well to treatment and has a good chance of fully recovering, although she is not fully conscious yet. Yousafzai is being treated in a Birmingham combat hospital that has treated every single British casualty of both of the wars of the past decade. Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley after she called for more education for girls on her BBC blog.
October 17, 2012 4:59 PM
A twenty-year-old Afghan girl was beheaded after refusing to sleep with a man who was not her husband, provincial police told the Agence France-Presse. The young woman’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband, and alleged killer have all been arrested in connection with the killing. According to local police chief Abdul Ghafar Sayedzada, the girl’s mother-in-law tried to make the girl engage in prostitution multiple times before allegedly luring a man in to kill her. The story comes amidst international outcry over the Taliban shooting of Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai.
October 17, 2012 4:58 PM
If anyone knows anything about having “binders full of women,” it’s the backwards-hat-wearing, iron-pumping heartthrob that is Paul Ryan. The congressman defended Romney’s viral debate comment, saying that all Mitt meant was that, as governor, he just wanted to hire “qualified women” for his administration. Ryan also said—while probably hoping that everyone in America would just stop giggling for two seconds—that Romney’s point was clear. He also thinks Romney “won the debate.”
October 17, 2012 4:56 PM
Hilary Mantel has won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for her historical novel Bring Up the Bodies, becoming the third writer ever to win the award twice. She’s also the first to win with a sequel, after her book Wolf Hall won the Booker in 2009. “You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize, and two come along at once!” Mantel said. The five other books on the shortlist were: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, The Lighthouse by Alison Moore, Umbrella by Will Self, and Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil. Last year’s winner was Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. The Booker is the premier literary award for the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, and Zimbabwe.
October 17, 2012 4:31 PM
Malala Yousafzai, 14, who was shot in the head by Taliban insurgents targeting her, arrived on Monday at a British hospital, where doctors said she has every chance to make a “good recovery.” Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation last week the day after she was shot, but she now needs intensive follow-up care. She is now at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital, a center in Birmingham that has treated every British battle casualty for the last decade. Yousafzai was targeted by the Taliban for “promoting secularism.”
October 16, 2012 3:06 PM
The mother of a Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi slammed Mitt Romney on Wednesday for mentioning her son on the campaign trail. At a campaign event in Iowa on Tuesday, Romney said that he once met Glen Doherty, the slain SEAL, at a Christmas party a few years ago and the news of Doherty’s death “broke my heart.” Doherty’s mother, Barbara Doherty, said she doesn’t “trust Romney." Later in the day, Romney aids confirmed the candidate will cease mentioning the slain SEAL in speeches.
October 11, 2012 9:44 AM
ON THE TRAIL
Base? What pro-life base? Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register that abortion won’t be a part of his agenda—and Democrats immediately pounced on his words, with the Obama camp saying, “Women simply can’t trust him.” In an interview with the newspaper in Iowa—one of the key swing states—Romney said, “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.” Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded by insisting Romney is “proudly pro-life,” a position that Romney has had to defend in the past, especially after he insisted he was pro-choice while running for governor of Massachusetts.
October 11, 2012 9:43 AM
Take that, Taliban. Surgeons in Pakistan said on Wednesday that they had successfully removed a bullet from a 14-year-old who had campaigned for women’s rights, while the Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting. Malala Yousafzai and two other girls were injured as they left school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on Tuesday, with militants saying they targeted her because she “promoted secularism.” Her family told the BBC that they had never thought about getting security because they did not think militants would target a young girl. Yousafzai gained international attention in 2009 when she published her diary about life under the Islamic militants.
October 11, 2012 9:42 AM
PRINCESS OF AWK
Fire up the blogosphere! Lena Dunham, the media-darling creator of a critically hyped television show and little-known indie film, has inked a mega book deal with Random House. While the final advance has not been confirmed, publishers said bidding passed $3.5 million. The multihyphenated (she writes, acts, directs, etc.) 26-year-old Emmy nominee had publishers scratching off each other’s vintage eyeglasses over a collection of essays to be titled Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned. The book, which Random House said will be in the “tradition of Helen Gurley Brown, David Sedaris, and Nora Ephron,” will be comprised of Dunham’s advice on life, love, sex, and success.
October 9, 2012 9:17 AM
The National Women’s Political Caucus honored The Daily Beast with a journalism award Thursday night for a story about a young Manhattan woman who saved two Russian students from potential sexual slavery on Coney Island. The story, “How a Blogger Blocked Sex Slavery,” written by Abigail Pesta, describes how Kathrine Gutierrez Hinds boldly injected herself into the lives of two young Russians in danger, simply because she read about them online. After learning of their plight from a blogger on the site MetaFilter, she intercepted the women from a strip club, taking them into her tiny apartment and defying a likely mafia trafficking ring. The story sheds light on exactly how women are trafficked in the $32 billion global trade. Pesta is the editorial director of Women in the World at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Other award winners included Liz Brody of Glamour magazine; Carole Zimmer, Simon Clark, and Cam Simpson of Bloomberg News; Sheila Weller and Jan Goodwin of Good Housekeeping; Jenny Deam of Prevention; and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, director of the documentary Miss Representation, among others.
October 8, 2012 10:05 AM
BUNDLE OF JOY
Will they crowdsource baby names? Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to a boy last night, the company confirmed on Monday. Mayer’s husband, Zack Bogue, posted the news on his Twitter account earlier, writing that “Mom (@marissamayer) and baby are doing great—we couldn’t be more excited.” This is the first child for Bogue and Mayer, who was appointed CEO of Yahoo in July after running Google for 14 years. Not long after, Mayer told Fortune that having a baby wouldn’t get in the way of her new job. “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it,” she said. The remarks sparked a debate about corporate maternity-leave policies, the luxury of being able to afford around-the-clock child care, and whether or not women can “have it all.”
October 2, 2012 9:34 AM
RULE OF LAW
An appeal hearing for the Russian all-female punk band Pussy Riot was adjourned until Oct. 10. Three of the band’s members, who were jailed for hooliganism after performing a song satirizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, have gained world attention as they mount an appeal to their two-year prison sentence. The Russian Orthodox Church said on Sunday that it would apply its intercessory powers to the young women’s case if only they would repent for their “punk prayer”—but lawyers for the group said that such a mea culpa was not forthcoming. “The Church sincerely wishes for the repentance of those who desecrated a holy place, certainly it would benefit their souls,” a church spokesman said on Sunday.
October 2, 2012 9:33 AM
Don’t forget Todd Akin: the official deadline to drop out—or be kicked out—of the race is still approaching. The Republican Missouri Senate candidate launched his new campaign, “Women for Akin,” on Monday with a video featuring five women supporters—one of whom is a rape survivor. It’s an odd approach for the Senate candidate, infamous for the legitimate rape comment he made in August. Charging forward, despite the GOP’s request that he drop out, is Akin’s family. With his son as campaign manager and daughter featured in his new campaign, his wife, Lulli, made waves Tuesday with a National Journal interview in which she compares the GOP’s alienation of her husband to “rape itself.”
September 19, 2012 10:16 AM
Was Jesus married? That’s a question Harvard historian Karen King may be closer to answering with a newly revealed scrap of papyrus. Smaller than a business card, the fragment reads “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ... ’” and then goes on to quote him as saying “she will be able to be my disciple.” The papyrus has eight lines of text and was written in Coptic in the fourth century. A handful of other scholars have concluded it is most likely authentic, though where the relic came from is a mystery. The owner has chosen to remain anonymous.
September 19, 2012 10:14 AM
The parents of a 5-year-old autistic boy are outraged after his New Jersey elementary school refused to serve him lunch because his meal plan bill was a few days overdue. John Robert Caravella, a kindergartner enrolled in the special autism program at Cliffwood Elementary School, was sent home at the end of day Tuesday with a note from his teacher attached to his daily progress report: “John Robert was not able to get lunch today he ate his muffins. There is an issue with an outstanding bill.” The Caravellas admitted that their son’s $8 meal plan bill was overdue but said they’d been confused about the payment system. A spokesman for Cliffwood told reporters the issue was “an oversight.”
September 17, 2012 10:18 AM
David Albert Mitchell, 42, was arraigned early Friday for the alleged rape of a 73-year-old woman in Central Park earlier in the week. Mitchell, who has a rap sheet dating back decades, has not confessed, but was picked out of a lineup by the victim. “I attacked no one,” Mitchell said as he was led in shackles into the police station. The victim, a bird watcher, was found Wednesday around 11:30 a.m. after allegedly being raped in broad daylight by a man she suspects she had seen masturbating in the park before.
September 17, 2012 10:17 AM
A 73-year-old woman said she was beaten and raped in New York’s Central Park on Wednesday in broad daylight, and police said Thursday afternoon they had a "person of interest" in custoy. The woman told police that she was watching birds near the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields when a man asked her, “Do you remember me?” before allegedly sexually assaulting her at 11 a.m. and stealing her purse as he left. She said she thinks the attacker is the same man whom she saw masturbating about a week ago in a more isolated part of the park. A fellow birdwatcher told reporters he found the woman around 11:30 a.m., after noticing a pair of legs sticking out along a path.
September 14, 2012 8:59 AM
GET WELL SOON
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates is recovering from a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer several weeks ago. “Luckily, I don’t have to undergo radiation or chemo,” Bates, 64, tells People magazine. “My family call me Kat because I always land on my feet.” It’s the second bout with cancer for Bates, who survived ovarian cancer nine years ago. The 1991 Best Actress Oscar-winner for Misery is currently nominated for two Emmy Awards, Best Actress in a Drama Series for Harry’s Law and Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Two and a Half Men. The ceremony takes place Sept. 23.
September 14, 2012 8:58 AM
Old media vs. new media war is getting ugly. Facebook temporarily took down the New Yorker’s cartoons page on Monday after it featured a bare-breasted woman in a cartoon. According to a blog post by cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, the cartoon page was temporarily disabled after violating Facebook’s community standards on “Nudity and Sex” when it posted a cartoon by Mick Stevens featuring a bare-breasted Eve. Stevens even redrew the cartoon, but Mankoff said the “gain in clothes caused too great a loss in humor.” The page was reinstated by Monday night.
September 12, 2012 10:02 AM
When Elizabeth Warren clambered down from the ivory tower and jumped into the fray of national politics, she quickly made herself known in Massachusetts as an academic turned politico who could serve up fully baked justifications for liberal positions. In a new profile in The New Yorker, legal expert Jeffrey Toobin examines the once apolitical Warren’s journey from Harvard Law School professor to the Democratic Party candidate she now is, locked in combat with Republican Sen. Scott Brown. “So now here we are, we’re in this election of 2012,” the ever-erudite Warren says, “and it’s right there on the table: what is the role of government?”
September 11, 2012 10:09 AM