French Assembly Passes 'Burqa Ban'


• As expected, the French Assembly has indeed voted in favor of banning the full facial veil in public spaces; the measure extends to both burqas and niqabs. The bill is expected to be ratified by the Senate in September.

Those wearing the full Islamic veil will be fined $190; those who force a woman to wear a full veil will face fines up to $38,000 and a year in jail. The punishment is doubled if the woman is a minor. The draft law passed with 335 votes and one lone dissenter. • Thank you, Newsweek for introducing yet another stupid word into the lexicon. Today’s new word? Fermies or fermentation foodies. But bad news for fermentation-addicts: Kombucha may not really be a miracle drink after all. The über-expensive beverage has been a staple of the hipster pantry for some time now, but scientists are skeptical of its supposed benefits. “Oh, please. Fermentation is a way to preserve foods and, therefore, the nutrient value of those foods,” says professor Marion Nestle. “But I’m not aware of convincing scientific evidence that they have special health benefits beyond [the preserved item’s] basic nutritional value.” Other studies found that the live cultures could actually put certain people at risk. • Rod Thomas, writing for the Guardian makes an argument against consecrating women bishops. He claims that the measure “as it stands doesn’t provide for a secure future for us in the Church of England.” Apparently, the problem has nothing to do with equality – instead, it’s about theology. The Bible apparently made this guy a promise, and he would like to see it kept. • According to some human rights advocates, the increased interest in political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban may erase the small amount of progress that has been made on women’s rights. As rumors persist about possible meetings between officials and insurgent leaders, many women fear a return to the repressive regime and the “war on women” that it waged. • Former WNBA star Rebecca Lobo interviews the first WNBA commissioner Val Ackerman for ESPN and it’s really kind of sweet. When asked what her best memories are, Ackerman replies, “you, Rebecca, you’re a memory.” She continues, “I think the future of the league remains very, very bright.” • Iran’s women’s soccer team may be forced to sit out the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore next month because their uniforms have been deemed offensive to some. The top female of Iran’s physical education department called the modest apparel “inappropriate” for the players, who are all under 15, and says that the team will not compete in them. • Single women are outnumbered in Dubai’s expatriate work force by a ratio of 7-to-1, according to government figures. Dubai has invested billions of dollars in infrastructure to attract expatriate workers to its financial services, real estate, and tourism industries. • Yesterday, Duke University demolished the house where a stripper claimed she was raped by members of the lacrosse team. The house, which was located in the Trinity Park neighborhood of Durham, has been unoccupied since the 2006 accusations. • A California court of appeals ruled on Monday that a Guatemalan woman who argued she was in danger in her country simply because she was female can have her case reviewed. The woman drew upon the high murder rates for women in her home country to provide the basis for her plea, which is built on the idea that Guatemalian women make up a “social group” and should be eligible for asylum based on their inclusion. Initially, the immigration courts ruled that “all women in Guatemala” was too broad to qualify as a protected group. • Former NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child. Taylor allegedly paid a 16-year-old girl $300 to have sex with him in a New York hotel room. Taylor’s attorney may call a 23-year-old woman as a witness, who apparently spoke with the girl after she left Taylor’s room, and told her “It was weird… we didn’t even have sex.” • TVNewser has confirmed that Campbell Brown’s last day at CNN will be Wednesday, July 21st. Brown announced her departure from the network in May. • Recent research indicates that large headed Altzheimer’s patients are better off than those with smaller heads. The large-headed adults had better memory and thinking skills than others with the disease. • A new poll from Gallup found that 86% of Tea Party members say they’re “certain” to vote this year, compared to 66% of all Americans. They also found that 80% of Tea Partyers plan on voting republican, and only 15% are going to go democratic. • Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the New York Times breaks down the gender gap by state. At the deplorable end of the spectrum is Louisiana, where full-time female workers make only 65% of what men bring in. On the high end is the District of Columbia, where women make 96.5% of what their male counterparts earn. •

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