Global Quickies: Major Sins, Unlucky Buildings, and Nazi Tatoos

“A Muslim police chaplain has faced criticism after he reportedly said women commit “a major sin” if they refuse to have sex with their husbands.”

“Staff at some of Paris’s most high-profile political and cultural offices stopped work at 4.34pm on Monday in solidarity with a protest against women being paid less than men.”

Young Syrian refugee girls are being married off by desperate parents – and finding themselves in abusive relationships or worse”

“Police in the north-eastern Nigerian state of Borno say they have deployed 100 female officers to camps for those who have fled Boko Haram’s insurgency. The female officers will ensure the protection of women, said state police commissioner Damian Chukwu. A Human Rights Watch report last week alleged that several women had been sexually abused by security officers.”

“The chief minister of the south Indian state of Telangana is planning to raze a government complex and build a new one at an estimated cost of 3.5bn rupees ($52m; £42m) because he believes the building is unlucky for the state.”

“Italian rules that mean children of married couples are automatically given only their father’s surname are unlawful, the country’s constitutional court has ruled. The judgment was welcomed by campaigners as a milestone in a long legal and political battle to overturn regulations and practice that they say are based on outdated patriarchal ideas.”

“African nations are seeking to suspend the work of the first UN independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“The murder of six people, five of them women, in Argentina over the space of 48 hours has once again highlighted the problem of gender-related violence in the South American country, following a high-profile case last month involving the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.”

“ A German court has sentenced a far-right politician to eight months in prison for displaying a Nazi tattoo. Marcel Zech was found guilty of “public incitement to hatred” and given a harsher sentence on appeal than the six-month suspended sentence he originally received last December.”

“The women in El Salvador starting businesses to escape domestic abuse.”

“Some foreign visitors to Canada will be allowed to identify themselves as male, female or other in a border document being introduced this week, as Canada joins a handful of countries offering gender-neutral options.”

Alcoholics Anonymous’ religious undertone is under fire in Canada, where an atheist lodged a human rights complaint and secular groups have been delisted”

“A constitutional committee of the lower house voted down the initiative put forward by president Enrique Peña Nieto, which would have allowed for same-sex unions for people in all of Mexico’s 32 states. Same-sex marriage is currently permitted in Mexico City and in seven other states.”

Health system ordered to compensate woman who lost uterus after hospital refused to carry out abortion for invoking the doctor’s right to objection on moral grounds.

Featured image: Pay gap protest in France. source.


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. The Toronto AA biz is truly bizarre. There are 51 listed atheist agnostic meetings every Sunday in the US. That’s the only day I tried counting, and only from a rather roughly kept national list.

    This weekend, an international AA convention for ‘Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinkers and others’ is being held in Austin Texas. So how is it that a local ‘intergroup’ office in Toronto can unilaterally remove an AA group from its public schedule?

    People don’t seem to grasp that, for good and ill, there is no central command structure of AA. This is good, in that no official standard can be enforced, no conformity demanded at the larger level. But there is also no protection against an individual group, or even a dominant personality within a group, imposing all sorts of weird restrictions and rules.

    The notorious Pacific Group, in the LA area, has a dress code, and at least some of the time actually has segregated seating by gender. If you tell a 100 people in AA that this can even happen, 99 jaws will drop. But the driver behind that group wields so much influence that there are knockoff groups in the Northwest, New York, and Washington DC. The latter, ‘Midtown’ group hit the national media with a sex and money scandal a few years ago.

    Advocating, or criticizing, AA is eerily difficult, since any accusation might be true of some place, and any warm-fuzzy promise that one member experiences be invalidated in the next town.

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