Global Quickies: 30/11/13

Here’s your weekly dose of links from around the world!

AUSTRALIA (from Jack99)
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) lost an appeal against the order to change their name for being misleading. The Fair Trading Minister said the Ministry reserves the right to reject any names they consider inappropriate for this anti-vaccination lobby.

Mexican observatory pushes the limits of gamma ray astronomy! The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory (HAWC) detects high-energy bursts coming from supernova explosions and other cosmic events.

A rabbinical court is fining a woman $140 a day for refusing to circumcise her one-year-old-son. The judges say that the backlash against circumcision in other countries is a form of anti-Semitism that must be combatted. “How will the world react if even here the issue of circumcision is given to the discretion of any person, according to their own beliefs?” Yeah

Government officials have proposed reintroducing public lashings and stoning to death as a punishment for adultery and pre-marital sex.

A team of researchers are trying to bring back the Pyrenean ibex, a type of wild goat that went extinct in 2000. In 2003 the team first attempted to clone Celia, the last member of her species, but the little goat only survived a few hours.

A couple faces criminal charges for taking their infant son, injured in a car crash, to church for an urgent baptism rather than to a hospital. The baby died before they even made it to the church. An Orthodox Church spokesman has said that “This is superstition, not religion”.

A Twitter user has been sentenced to 5 years in jail for making references to the Prophet Mohammad’s descendants, which could be taken as endorsing Shiite beliefs.

CHINA (Via Tim Farley)
The wild-type poliovirus causing the recent polio outbreak in the province of Xinjiang has been confirmed to have originated in Pakistan. China had been certified as poliomyelitis-free in 2000, showing that even polio-free countries remain at risk.

A study by an Islamic university in Cairo addresses 51 “misguided fatwas” issued during the rule of Mohamed Morsi. The fatwas include one prohibiting women from swimming in the sea as they become adulteresses when the water touches their lady parts, and another prohibiting women from touching phallic looking foods, such as bananas and cucumbers.

EGYPT (From criticaldragon1177)
An activist talks about his voluntary work with Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, an organization that tries to prevent and help victims of violent sexual harassment and attacks by mobs in and around Tahrir Square.

Featured image: Graffiti in Cairo of a woman fighting against sexual harassmen (from sierragoddess on flickr). Here’s the complete image:

Cairo graffiti


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at

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