Global Quickies: Mars on a Budget, Sharia Law, and The Vatican Arrests a Priest

India has succeeded, at their first attempt, to send an operational mission to Mars. The Mangalyaan mission was also really cheap, $74 million. That’s less than what making the movie Gravity cost.


The Vatican has placed its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, under house arrest on charges of sexually abusing children.


Aceh province, the only area of Indonesia that enforces Islamic Sharia Law, is about to pass a law under which gays, Muslim or not, will be punished with 100 lashes with a cane if caught having sex.


The conservative government abandoned the plan to tighten abortion laws which would have made abortion illegal except in case of rape or when mother’s health is at risk, due to lack of consensus. Polls showed that between 70% and 80% of the population was opposed to the proposed law.


South Africa’s first gay-friendly, cross-cultural mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, is being ordered to close for not having the proper permits.


As many other politicians before him, a former congressman got in trouble for using the most sexist saying ever: “Laws, like women, are meant to be raped/broken”. Seriously, it’s bad enough that your advocating breaking the law, why do you have to advocate rape as well?


IRAN (From Lily)
Reader Lily sends us a friendly reminder that yes, Iran is still on the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The website she recommends also has a Ten-Point Plan for gender equality in Iran


INDIA (From criticaldragon1177)
Masculinist India is a horrific “men’s Rights” Group which has been spreading appalling memes, including one celebrating a court decision allowing married men to rape their wives with impunity. (TW: rape apologism, offensive imagery.)


UK (and spreading)
British Muslims have started the #NotInMyName campaign to condemn the actions of the Islamic State.


A healer who claimed he could breathe life back into a dead man has been arrested for killing a man who volunteered for the miracle.


Featured image: Indian Space Research Organisation scientists celebrating their awesome achievement.


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 esceptica.org.

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  1. Daniela,

    Note about the “Masculinist India” article. The link takes you to the middle of the page for some reason. Anyone who wants to read it, should scroll to the top of the page and than start reading. I don’t know why that happened.

    Anyway thanks for helping expose that sick organization. I also think we should David Futrelle for keeping up the good work fighting people like this.

    1. Sorry I meant to say it turns out that if you get rid of the “#more-13334” at the end of the link, it fixes the problem.

  2. India enjoys pointing out that their probe (its name means “Mars vehicle in Hindi, how great is it that they just called their Mars vehicle “Mars vehicle”?) cost less to make than Gravity, as well they should, but I’d like to point out that NASA’s new Mars probe cost 9 times as much as India’s. I know NASA’s project is much larger and it only makes sense it would cost more, that just amuses me given how they happened within days of each other.

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